Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals Group Publishes Resource Guides For Strategic Planning, Intranets and Legal Research on the Internet

The Private Law Librarians and Information Professionals Special Interest Section of AALL has released two new Resource Guides on strategic planning and intranets. They also reissued a major revision of a previously published guide on internet research.The Guides are free and available to law librarians and legal information professionals as well as law firm administrators who are interested in learning about best practices for managing information services. These guides are "slick" professional publications which combine high quality content with a visually polished presentation. Steve Lastres, Chair of the PLLIP Communications Committee, Natalie Lira, Communications Committee Member and Cheryl Niemeier, Chair of PLLIP deserve special credit for sheperding these Guides from concept through publication.

Strategic Planning for Law Firm Libraries.” was written by PLLIP members Anna Irvin, Natalie M. Lira, Saskia Mehlhorn and Lindsay Carpino. Since 2007 the law firm market has been in a continuous state of reinvention. Firms are  facing competition from alternative service provides, increased pressure from clients to control costs and offer alternative billing arrangements, Firms are exploring offshoring, onshoring, outsourcing and new types of partnership structures. It is more important than ever for information professionals to reassess their mission, goals, structure and services to maintain alignment with the strategic goals of their organization. The resource guide highlights some of the non-traditional initiatives which information professionals are undertaking to improve strategic alignment including centralization, collaboration with other departments, embedding practice specialists, competitive intelligence, knowledge management, practice portal development, risk management and non-traditional outreach. 

 The Strategic Planning Resource guide provides a step by step outline for the strategic planning process which can be used as a tutorial for newer managers and a checklist for more experienced professionals. 

Law Firm Library Intranets was written by PLLIP members  Julia Berry, Emily R Florio, Catherine Monte and Nola M.Vanhoy.Law Firm intranets have become important knowledge sharing platforms which provide access to key firm, client, administrative and staff data. As law libraries are going digital, intranets provide access to full text treatise libraries, online databases, knowledge repositories, and educational platforms. The resource guide addresses key issues facing information professionals who want to develop the firms first intranet or enhance an existing intranet,  Topics include: selection and design, collaboration, project justification, content creation, Sharepoint tools, alternatives to intranets. Extranets and continuous improvement.

 The Internet as  a Legal Research Tool was revised by  PLLIP members Andrea Guldalian and Cheryl Niemeier.  According to an ABA study 50.8% of lawyers begin their legal research using free internet resources. Information professionals are the uniquely qualified to assess the risks of  free legal research resources. They are often the only professionals at the firm  engaged in training lawyers on internet “hygiene” and creating resources and intranets which direct lawyers to the most cost effective and reliable internet resources. The guide includes an important discussion on authority and guidelines for assessing reliability of resources. There is guidance on best practices for legal research on the internet as well as using mobile apps for legal research.

Earlier guides cover: how to hire a law librarian, new roles for law librarians, competitive intelligence, collection rebalancing, negotiations and space planning.

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