Aligning Law Librarian Expertise With Knowledge Management

This is the first in a series of posts on SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis for law firm librarians. This post suggests ways we can respond and provide value to our firms in the area of Knowledge Management.

Written By: Alirio Gomez, Director of Library & Information Services, Milbank


There are a variety of activities that are innate to the Librarian’s role which uniquely identify our strengths. These core competencies can be seen in all of the methods that we use to identify and resolve the multiple information needs of our customers by selecting, identifying and providing the best resources using a variety of indicators such as relevance, 24/7 global research support systems, virtualization, web-based technologies, cost-effectiveness, among others. These same strengths provide an opportunity for the Librarian today to go beyond the traditional roles that we typically do to resolve information needs and “go beyond our comfort zone”.  This inevitable and gradual incorporation and integration of our research support systems and processes with other valuable knowledge resources located in Firms applications (such as document management systems, financial systems, forms and precedents, expertise directories, records management systems, etc) known as the repositories of  institutional knowledge assets is another way the Librarian can provide value.

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How Librarians Add Value To Their Law Firms – Advice From Greg Castanias, Jones Day Library Partner

Comments by Gregory A. Castanias, Library Partner at Jones Day, Washington, DC about the reaction to the speech he gave during the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section Summit of the American Association of Law Libraries held in Philadelphia, PA, on July 23, 2011.

I confess that I was surprised at the reaction of the audience to my speech.  While it was clearly my intent to deliver a certain message, I did not expect that the assembled attendees would interrupt parts of it with applause, and, in at least one instance, loud table-pounding.  It’s apparent that the frustrations I’ve experienced from a partner-administrator level have been felt by librarians for years, and that my speech gave partner-level voice to many of those frustrations.    Continue reading