Predictions for Expanding Private Law Libraries

By Shaunna Mireau

As a private firm librarian, I have long been grateful for the public law library institutions in my jurisdiction. I confess to being a frequent borrower of the collections of my local law school libraries, the courthouse library, and the provincial government libraries. This parasitic ability has given my firm the ability to target our collection spending on just the material that we ‘usually’ need rather than developing a ‘just in case’ collection. Continue reading

Embedded librarianship in law firms: issues and opportunities

By Sarah Sutherland, Manager of Content and Partnerships, CanLII

There has been a fair amount of talk recently about law librarians using embedded librarianship as a model to increase their relevance and centrality to legal practice. This is an interesting idea; however, I believe there are limits to what we will be able to accomplish in implementing the original concept of the embedded librarian as it was developed in the form of the informationist in the medical field. Here is a link to the article that first proposed this model. Continue reading

Representing the value and usage of a print collection

by Helen Mok, Librarian, Parlee McLaws, LLP, Calgary, Alberta

Does anyone use books anymore?  I can find everything I’m looking for online, can’t I?  Do we really need a print collection?  Librarians hear these questions frequently today.  In the law library field, the answers to these questions are yes, no, and yes.  However, as organizational budgets tighten and the need for office space increases, librarians may face pressure to reduce or possibly eliminate their print collections.  How can we show the value of our print material in response to these pressures? Continue reading

The developing skill-employment disconnect in law libraries and what to do about it

By Sarah Sutherland, McMillan LLP, Vancouver, Canada

The press has been reporting skills shortages coupled with growth in unemployment. This situation comes from a transition toward new highly skilled jobs and away from legacy lower skilled jobs (you can read about this further here, here, and here). This is already happening in the greater library industry with a shift from some traditional roles, which are often very repetitive, towards roles that require more management and technological skills. Continue reading

Communication lessons from vendors

by Susannah Tredwell, Lawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver, Canada

We can learn a lot from how publishers meet (or don’t meet) the needs of law firm libraries and use that knowledge to better meet our clients’ needs. Below are a number of ways in which these lessons can be used to improve library services. Continue reading