Library Best Practices Wiki

This looks like it could be a really useful resource!

The Law Library as Business

Nina Platt over at the Strategic Librarian has written an interesting post on how increasingly Law Libraries are being thought of as businesses in their own right.

The last paragraph sums up an article that is well worth reading:

"Many law firms today do not look to their Librarians for this type of planning. Often the Librarian is involved at the last minute to provide research support. This is unfortunate as engaging Librarians in planning, even if the need for research hasn't been identified, will improve outcome. It's been said, information is power. A firm that expects the Library to operate as a business entity, will realize the value it can provide"

Bact to Basics - Social Bookmarking

If you're looking for an introduction to Social Bookmarking, look no further then this article in IWR.

One-stop-shops stay strong

This is the title of an interesting piece in the latest edition of Information World Review. The article follows up a previous piece on the Financial Times introducing changes to its online subscription model.

In it the author finds that news aggregators like Factiva and LexisNexis are still on top when it comes to providing news stories, this is despite moves by the FT and also the New York Times to make their content freely available. There is obviously some relectuance by Information Professional to use sites that offer free content with, yet issues remain with the products that are available;

"One info pro at a European bank is highly critical of LexisNexis, describing it as slow, badly indexed and cumbersome: “The partners hated it.” He thinks a major flaw in the site is its geographic index, which starts with Antarctica. “Where is there any business activity there?” he asks. Many highlight the speed of Factiva and its good design."

Just do it!

This is the title of Lynne Brindley's plenary session at the recent Umbrella Conference. In it Lynne talks about the challenges facing the profession and changes that Web 2.0 brings.

Selling Law Librarianship..

...I'm really not sure what to make of this article which is published in the November edition of the AALL Spectrum.

Firstly I wouldn't trust the person on the front cover to sell me anything, then there are some of the suggestions for building a set of skills for making you more effective. Some of these are very good (I'll come on to these later) but some are just bizzare and I'd love to see a Law Librarian do them, lets start with Personal Development Skills:

"Always smile when you answer the phone. You can sense the positive energy over the phone lines" - H0w? wouldn't your jaw lock after a while and can you really speak whilst smiling?

"Keep a mirror near the phone. Check you reactions and keep tabks on your expressions during phone interactions" - I'm wondering where I should put this mirror? on the ceiling, on the phone itself, under the desk, in my pocket? Isn't it also rude to check yourself out whilst speaking to someone?

Then there are some very practical suggestions for promoting and providing services to Clients, including;

"Communicate one application of service a week"

"Target about 10 attorneys (fee-earners) at a time for a small campaign"

"Find a champion within a practice group to introduce a Library service"

All in all an interesting article which is worth reading, although if you are like me you will need some time to recover your composure before finishing it.

Nominate Your Favourites!

LIS News has launched its "Must read LIS Blogs for 2008" from the LIS News site:

"What blogs do you read every day? What blogs help you learn? What blogs keep you informed? What blogs make you laugh? Who's the best writer out there? Think of it this way: "I read many others, but these are the LIS blogs that read even when time is short."

So what's keeping you get nominating!

Can publishers adapt to Social Media?

This is an interesting post on the Agency Next Blog, in it the author dicusses how Reed Business Information (a part of Reed Elsevier, parent company of Lexis Nexis Butterworths) have developed a series of feeds and a blog on a site called Reed Construction Data.

Certainly not the most exciting subject in the world but it is a start and the blog ticks all the right boxes in terms of one content with one failing...

"On the blog we're talking about here, there's no way to leave a comment. Mr. Haughey links to nothing in any of the six posts I read on page one of one. So if you or I think Mr. Haughey is right or wrong about something, or we want to further the conversation, we're back talking to ourselves the way we used to when newspapers were popular and we took issue with some content."


...not something you use to wrap Cod and Chips in but a new Newspaper Search Engine which is currently in Beta mode. This isn't just a really good Search Engine but because of the addition of RSS Feeds and Google Toolbar plugins a really great site.

What's a legal search?

Nick Holmes has posted a review of two new Legal Search engines. They are Westlaw's WebPlus and's Quest.

A conference butterfly... life is going to be very busy for me over the next 6 weeks. Firstly I'm talking at the Career Development Group Student Conference at City University, on a Saturday, talk about dedication.

Then I'm talking at Online Information 2007 on what Legal Publishers are doing with Web 2.0. What does this all mean, well most of my time is taken up struggling with PowerPoint and writing notes so blog posts may be scarce.

Also the title of this post sounded a lot better in my head...

B is for BIALL

Yet another plug for a blog I might have a small hand in adminstering. This time it is the BIALL Blog which has had a revamp. If you don't already read the BIALL Blog, why not? If you do hope you enjoy the new look.

Thanks to Jennifer over at Enquiring Minds Want to Know for the work she put in over the weekend, now that is dedication!

Social Space and Social Networks inside the Law Firm

A short post here on the KM Space Blog on how to create a more social environment for fee-earners. The author posts that the downside of having more information via fee-earners desktops means there is less interaction and networking on a face-to-face basis. The author then makes some interesting suggestions on how to improve this;

"Better Coffee Stations. Most attorneys live on coffee. Starbucks seems to attract people getting work done at their tables. Put a table in the kitchen and make it a better place to mingle and run into each other."

I'm pleased to be able to say that our Library already has a coffee machine and a very relaxed feel to it which leads to it being used regularly by fee-earners for meetings and informal discussions.