This question was posted to the PLLIP MyCommunities page on January 26, 2022.

Remote!

  • Remote forever. The flexibility paired with increased productivity makes up for loss of in-person comradery and mentoring. While admittedly I’m a bit Zoom-weary, especially by Friday. I did visit the office a week ago, and the fluorescent lighting was so enervating and hurtful to my eyes…no way I will go back unless by command.

  • Remote is right for me because I am allistic and ADHD and I have sensory processing challenges that create an energy drain when I have to work in an office. I am much more efficient and effective if I don’t have to expend energy unnecessarily on dealing with crowds, public transportation, traffic or driving, just to get to the beginning of my work day. Particularly when nothing I do requires me to be there in person, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been working from home for the last 2 years without incident, it seems particularly insensitive to waste two hours of my day on moving from one location where I could do all of my work to another location where I can also do work but under much worse circumstances. For those wondering why it takes a two hour round trip to get to work, note that I would need a wealthy partner (or for Joe Biden to forgive all of my student loans) if I wanted to live on a librarians salary, in a one-bedroom apartment, closer than 30-60 minutes from the office. I am also excellent at creating and maintaining deep connections with people who I interact with online. This is also generally true of many other non-neurotypicals who, like me have difficulty processing verbal communication. It’s not impossible, it’s just a huge drain of my energy that could be better used for something else. A well written email is always going to be easier for me to understand than someone talking their words at me into the air. For me, working from home is a dream come true because now I can manage my energy levels better and avoid autistic burnout which takes a long time to recover from and demands complete rest in a room with no other people, no noise, and no light. In short, I take fewer sick days and I feel more positive towards my employer when I am allowed to work from home.
  • My preference is to stay remote.  I have a long commute and mostly take public transportation.  During the pandemic transportation service had been reduced, and currently it remains reduced for lack of drivers. If I go into the office, my time is  limited because of the reduced bus schedule, or I need to drive (which I prefer not to be on the roads with crazed, high speed, reckless drivers). Our team is very busy.  Being at home I have plenty of work.  I also have the flexibility to stay online and work late if I need to. Though being in the office is nice seeing people, I also find I get less research work completed when I go into the office.
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This question was posted to the PLLIP MyCommunities page on September 16, 2021. 

We’re Open!

  • We opened up on September 3.  Before that secretaries were coming in 2 days a week.  Associates are encouraged to be in the office, some partners are not coming very much.  I, the librarian, have been coming in 1 day a week for the last 16 months and I can continue with that schedule.  We are a firm of about 30 attorneys.  Most of the large firms in the area are not back in full time.
  • We have been asked to be in the office at least 2 days a week since July 6.  They had expected to change that to 3 days per week after Labor Day, but we’re still on 2 days a week because of the increase in cases.  This isn’t a hard mandate (I don’t know if they’re checking), and we’re not required to select the days and stick to a schedule.
  • Our offices are open, and we are welcome to work in the office if we want to, or need to, but we’re not currently required to be in the office.   There are no incentives for coming in, but they were rewarding those of us who are in with lunches or special afternoon snacks.  I think the lunch ordering became problematic, because that has stopped.  But, they did issue gift cards to local food places as a thank you for those who have been coming in. Nothing has been said about when we would be re-opening, or what the options would be once we do.
  • The office reopened after the July 4th holiday with a hybrid schedule.  They request 3 days on site and 2 days remote per week. This change is supposed to be permanent going forward.  They also relaxed the dress code so that we can wear jeans every day, and have been bringing in free lunch on Wednesdays. As far as I can tell it is working well.  The office is quiet and half full any given day, which is good for social distancing.  They’ve recently asked that we wear masks in hallways and common areas, but not at our desks, due to the unfortunate continuing wave here in the state.
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Looking Forward to the PLLIP Summit: Full Agenda Now Available

The Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals Special Interest Section has prepared a timely and thoughtful program for Friday, July 16th, open to both members and non-members.  The theme of the program is Hindsight is 2021: Responding to Chaos and Change, and the Committee has secured engaging and dynamic presenters to share their insights with attendees.  Breakout sessions will allow for attendee participation and interaction with colleagues.  Please see below for more details on the Summit agenda.

To register for the 2021 Summit, please visit the AALL registration page here. Please note Registration deadline is July 2, 2021, **with zero exceptions**

Hindsight is 2021: Responding to Chaos and Change

 8:30 am Pacific / 9:30 am Mountain / 10:30 am Central / 11:30 am Eastern
Keynote Address – April Rinne

2020 saw more change and uncertainty than most people were ready for. The world was in flux: changes at work and at home, schedule changes and school changes, ever-changing plans and expectations. It was a lot! And yet, one year later in July 2021, the world is in just as much flux — it simply looks different, and it’s here to stay. What does “hybrid work” really mean? What new skills will be required? And of course, how can law librarians harness this uncertainty to their own and their organizations’ advantage? 

We’ll kick off this year’s summit by zooming out — beyond any one change management strategy, tool, or technique — to explore our relationships to change, period. When everything is in flux, what does it mean to have a “Flux Mindset?” You’ll learn practices to boost your self-awareness and see change differently. April Rinne is both a lawyer and a futurist. She’ll help us look back and look forward. This isn’t about any one change or any one year, but rather preparing for a future in flux — and thriving in it!

9:45 am P / 10:45 am M / 11:45 am C / 12:45 pm E
Facilitated Discussion Groups in Breakout Rooms

Join one of the topics below and discuss these current issues with your colleagues. Multiple rooms will be available per topic, and participants will be able to move between rooms.

The future of print. What is your organization doing with print?  Share your successes and failures with removing print from your collection.  How to deal with training attorneys, working with vendors, and utilizing creative solutions.

Training, marketing, and engaging attorneys. How to reach out to attorneys in an online or hybrid environment.  What tools have you used to facilitate adoption of online tools?  Share your tips, tricks, successes and failures – and learn from your colleagues. 

Technology tips. Applying Online Tools in the Library – ex: Gannt Charts and Project Management; Excel Pivot Tables; SharePoint for statistics, FAQs, request tracking; Winning internet designs and strategies. Share your best kept secrets and learn from the group.

New employees. Can new hires be remote or hybrid?  How to onboard new library employees in a remote or hybrid environment.

Team members, training and building relationships. How can you participate in team training or social opportunities while working from home.  Do you want to be in the office for evaluations? Share your tips and learn from others about how to build relationships in the evolving new environment.

Preparing to go back. Is your firm considering hybrid schedules?  How can we help employees that won’t be allowed to work from home?  Will there be new safety measures?  Will the library be providing new hours for your patrons? Are we ready for the next pandemic? 

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Partnering With County Law Libraries As Law Firm Members

ILL
by Michael Ginsburg, Reference Librarian at Arnold & Porter

Collaboration has often allowed librarians to overcome challenges of access to needed information resources. Early examples include interlibrary loans and document delivery. services. As our firm libraries face new challenges of access, collaboration can again help us succeed, benefiting not just the attorneys we serve, but also county law library (CLL) users. In cities without membership law libraries, we should engage interested CCL colleagues to develop or expand member services. Continue reading

After the Evolution: Promoting the Value of Law Librarians

collaborationSubmitted: Emily R. Florio, Manager of Libraries & Library Information Systems, Fish & Richardson (florio@fr.com).

On Thursday April 25th, 2013 LLAGNY (Law Library Association of Greater New York), ILTA (International Legal Technology Association) and SLA (Special Libraries Association)’s New York chapter sponsored After the Evolution, an educational event and networking reception. This strategic initiative and program built upon the LLSDC (Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C.) Showcase, a grassroots approach to communicating the value that law librarians bring to their firms, particularly lawyers, the “C” Suite and other firm administration. Several non-DC librarians from AALL’s Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section attended the DC event and helped bring it to NY with future plans for Boston, Chicago and hopefully beyond the East Coast. The objective of this ongoing project is to aggressively promote the management value of law librarians to the target community of law firm leaders. Participating librarians promoted their diverse management skills to administration, technology and marketing professionals rather than to our traditional audience of peers. This concept recognizes that library management is an insightful component of firm management strategy and that our contributions are vital to the overall operation and success of the firm. Continue reading