Law Library

There is a lot for the observational leader to watch at the moment. One thing that I’ve been particularly interested in is our willingness to change. On one hand, the pandemic has forced us to change our law library operations. Many of those changes are temporary. But on the other, there are more changes that could be made. They are being avoided, though, because of a fear of setting a precedent. Temporary changes are pretty…
This is my third week of self-quarantine. I was out of the country – so there’s two weeks. Then I went to the US to extract a kid from university, so my clock reset. As we begin to settle into doing things differently, I am starting to think about what lies ahead. I was on a phone call last week that had me thinking about law libraries. I’m a dog person. I like cats but…
Work from home sounds great in the same way that a brownie sounds great. The challenge is that, once your diet is solely brownies, the bloom comes off the rose. You can yearn for the familiarity of your former work life. Work from home during the pandemic can be a catalyst, though, to make long-term changes in your productivity. I’ve been watching our corporate activity in the past 10 days and these are some…
We’re closed. As has been frequently noted on social media, libraries are essential but not in the same way as healthcare is essential. I have always wondered what law practice would look like without law libraries. Now we’ll find out. I’ve said many times that I don’t believe law libraries are essential to law practice. Legal information is, but not law libraries. Like many professions, a legal professional has been trained to use the…
I’m in self-quarantine. To a certain extent, this isolation means that I am facing a lot more “that’s a you problem” experiences: working at home is something of a closed loop. But a law library is typically a mid-point in a chain. This can mean that process changes upstream at the publisher can impact our our operations downstream. A Canadian legal publisher has been struggling with fulfillment and a lot of those problems…
The legal profession operates in a Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft world. It was natural, then, to look at some Microsoft tools when thinking about communication and trust in our organization. The underlying goal is not technological: how do you create the weak network links between people within an organization that provides a foundation for establishing trust? But to get there, we need tools that enable for network building. Our organization has over 600 people in it,…
I am sure you have all been following the Parker County (TX) law library imbroglio as closely as I have. In fact, I was going to write a very different blog post about it today. But on Monday night, the county commissioners made the decision I would have recommended: the county courthouse law library will move to the public library.   If you haven’t been following this story closely, you can see how it started
Let’s give a cheer for the catalogers, for the metadata experts, for the people who make information access possible. I stumbled into cataloging during library school and that unplanned experience has had a huge impact. I am not a cataloger but I value what these organizers do. One of the challenges they face with online materials is making sure that things we don’t own or control remain accessible. My recent task was to find a…
Some are born leaders, and some have leadership thrust upon ’em. Leadership often just happens. You make a decision or take an action (or inaction) in response to a situation or context. You may have thought it through in advance – how will I react in X situation or if Y happens – but there’s not always luxury for that contemplation. When there is, though, it’s a missed opportunity not to use it. I…
The wheel turns and our library is going through an operational review. I’ve never been clear whether these are common or not. It’s involved a lot of data analysis and report writing. It requires a lot of explanation about what the law library does, to people who may have no context. I thought I’d jot down some thoughts on the process and how a law library director might prepare and respond. If you’ve not been…