September 2015 Bar Bulletin
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Transitions

 

September is a month of transitions. We go from the end of summer to the beginning of fall. Students go from vacations to a new year of classes.

Law firm libraries see a new class of associates begin work at their firms. Law libraries are also making a transition. As a librarian from Temple University Beasley School of Law recently stated in a position posting:

Modern day law libraries have lost their monopoly on legal information. Our users no longer need to enter our physical spaces to do legal research, and many of our users default to less reliable resources for their research needs. In these changing times, we must do more than create and maintain access to strong, reliable sources of information. We must promote ourselves as legal research experts through instruction (both formal and informal), a great deal of marketing, and the use of creative solutions for best serving our patrons where they are. And we must do all of this as library budgets decline and the cost of legal resources soars.

The Public Law Library of King County is constantly examining our procedures in light of the circumstances outlined above. We look at who we serve and how we can serve them better. We look at revenue streams and try to develop innovative ways that complement existing revenue streams. We look at the various formats of legal information and try to make legal information accessible to all of our users. And we monitor our expenses to ensure that we are spending our funds appropriately.

The Law Library must transform how it obtains information and how it serves the users of the library in a way that continues to address the needs of the public and the technology available.

 

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