What does innovation in Law Libraries mean?

The most recent edition of Legal Information Management (LIM) carried an article about innovation in Law Libraries. In it the author discussed how their Library was involved in the pitch process, preparing reports on the potential client and meeting the client at the initial pitch. It made me wonder; What does innovation in Law Libraries mean? Does it mean working with clients? certainly but not just at the pitch, the relationship should be one that is ongoing and built on by providing the client with information as they request it and increasingly providing information to clients on their own internal systems using technology like Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) which has made publishing information from websites and blogs much easier.

Innovation also means more than working with clients, so aside from this what else do Librarians or Law Librarians do that is “innovative”? My feeling is that innovation needs to be centred on things that we are experts at are excited about and which we know will make a difference, so (for myself) building blogs and social networks, working with clients on enquiries, creating taxonomies and tools for tagging material, creating imaginative training programs both online and offline and generally thinking about how I can use new technology to improve our procedures so we can work more efficiently with both our internal and external clients and provide a better “user experience”

Of course being innovative is only half the battle there are a number of barriers to innovation in Libraries. Stephen Abrams discusses these and more in a recent
post in the SirsiDynix OneSource newsletter. The Designing Better Libraries blog also has an excellent post on what innovation means.

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