Cheryl Niemeier is Director of Library Services at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP
Apparently, I am blazing a new trail as seemingly the first and only law librarian who is officially blogging on their firm’s blog page! “That’s huge!” said Greg Lambert of 3 Geeks and a Law Blog when he congratulated me on this new responsibility. The news also prompted Steve Lastres to ask me to write this guest blogger post describing the value proposition of law librarians blogging.
As I view it, my blogging on the firm’s blog pages has a three-pronged value proposition each serving a different purpose.
It provides the marketing department with fresh, and highly relevant content that generates a large number of new visitors to our Website.
The initial post on my firm’s Bose News Law Blog promoting my Res Gestae article generated a very large number of views – more views in fact than any other posts on any of our blog posts to date. Subsequent posts of mine have also generated many views, which in turn have led to additional visits to our other blog articles and the firm’s Website pages. Clearly, there is value in non-attorney posts on a law firm’s page; it expands the reach of the firm’s web site to a wider audience. Visitor’s to our site share our content via their own blogs, Twitter, or LinkedIn pages, further expanding our reach and enhancing the Firm’s marketing efforts.
It enhances the exchange of knowledge by helping us all stay current via sharing of ideas, tips, and experiences.
Blogging via the firm’s blog helps improve the flow of knowledge within and outside of the organization. Additionally, the mere act of writing causes us to learn new things as we do the research to write the blog posts.
It raises the visibility of law librarians in their firms and sharpens the library’s role as a provider of knowledge and information.
Furthermore, it advances the value of librarians in the larger legal profession, as Steve Lastres puts it “by transforming us into value-adding knowledge professionals.”
Of course, becoming a successful blogger does not happen overnight. In my case, it all began a number of years ago when I used a blog platform to publish the library’s internal newsletter, and eventually made that same newsletter blog available to the public. Guest blogging soon followed expanding my footprint. Involvement in both legal and law library professional associations and strategic use of LinkedIn and Twitter continued to help me build an audience of followers. From there, contributing articles to law library trade publications and speaking at law library conferences further advanced my visibility. More importantly, however, my offer to write for and speak at legal industry gatherings was ultimately the feather in the cap that helped me reach beyond the law library population and speak to the very end users who utilize our professional information seeking services – attorneys.
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Actually, Ms. Niemeier is not the “first and only law librarian who is . . .blogging on their firm’s website”. Two years ago, at the request of one of the partners in the DC office of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, I began blogging on the firm’s Nanotechnology Law Report blog site, which has a fairly wide readership in the US and internationally and has served a dual purpose, as both a marketing tool and as a way of communicating to the nanotech community information about new research, legislation that impacts on nanotechnology, and news from the field.
Ms. Niemeier is right that blogging raises the visability and profile of law librarians in our firms and the communities of interest that these blogs are aimed at. As librarians, writing for these blogs also allows use to use our research skills in new and more creative ways.
Congratulations to you! That is awesome. I apologize for not being aware of your blogging activity on your firm’s site and I truly commend you for being a leader in that regard. I expect I should have better worded my statement, as it may seem rather misleading. I purposely used the term “seemingly” which means “apparent; appearing, whether truly or falsely, to be as specified” so as to clarify my intent. I am glad to join the ranks of any other of my law librarian colleagues who are blogger for their law firm’s.