Explorations with Information and Technology

Readers Choice

July 2019

Latest from Explorations with Information and Technology - Page 2

Leaders need time. For the observational leader, the pandemic has allowed us to see bad habits get amplified. One reason seems to be a penchant for busyness. Things we did that were a distraction have now become a drain. We value people being busy rather than thinking about the value of what that busyness produces. A Harvard Business Review article came by that put some of that in perspective. Here’s the article (the HBR edition…
It’s Friday. Well, not when I’m writing this but … anyway. I’ve had a couple of things rattling around in my head that didn’t really fit anywhere else. One is an idea I’m starting to rough out a little bit for our law library. Another is something that other libraries have done that I want to emulate in spirit. One is just a “how would that work” idea. Thinking Outside the Physical Box This is…
I license information for a living. That is what law libraries do. We are intermediaries between someone who is selling content and someone who wants to access content. Unlike law libraries, apps tend to fail at delivering licensed content. One reason is that most apps are either one-to-one (publisher provided) or one-to-none (free access). If I were to build an information app, these are my druthers. Let me start with two scope comments. First,…
DO SOMETHING! It’s been 8 weeks since our law library closed. Our corporate management has started to plan our return to work. We have another 8 weeks before we’re back in our physical space, and more time until we return to regular operations. This is the period where there will be urges to rush. It’s a good time to pause and think: what are we trying to solve and do we need to do it…
Law libraries aren’t restaurants but we face similar challenges in a pandemic due to our reliance on physical space for delivery. A restaurant may have multiple channels – dine-in, take out, catering – to generate revenue. When the pandemic closes your restaurant, a commercial success is maintaining those channels without in-person contact and potentially creating new channels. When our law library closed, our reference interactions dropped like a restaurant that relied on seating diners. I’ve…
The shift of our work into our homes has highlighted a number of inequalities. Perhaps the most significant in my experience was how the choices management makes in technology provision impacts the success of the home worker. If your organization does not plan for staff to work away from the office – business continuity – that burden falls on the staff. Which means you better have planned your personal technology around work. One of my…
There is an interesting discussion over at AALL’s government law libraries community about which law libraries are using video tools for reference and how that’s working for them. It’s obviously a hot time for virtual tools. When a company like Verizon buys conferencing app BlueJeans, an app I’ve used to interact with law firms, it’s a sign that we should expect growth and change. But how do you use video for legal reference? and…
When my brother was imprisoned by the Russian government, my life changed. As the family’s designated spokesperson, I had to adapt to a new skillset and experiences. It was a bit of a wrench to realize that that old life no longer existed. Even when I do the same things – as a parent, partner, son, pet owner – that I did before, I’m a different person now. The pandemic creates a similarly jarring event…
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…