Thursday, November 3, 2016

AALL Releases Digital White Paper: Defining ROI: Law Library Best Practices

AALL  has released  a digital White Paper:  Defining ROI: Law  Library Best Practices.
The white paper provides practical advice on measuring and defining value in  private law firm, academic and government funded law libraries. 


The role of the legal information professional has never been more critical to the institutions they support, yet it has never been more at risk. Success of both lawyers and law firms ride on access to the right mix of precedent and predictive insights. Information professionals act as ”Connectors" digital cartographers who help law students, judges and lawyers surface and synthesize both precedents and predictive indicators..... Today information is so ubiquitous and information professionals deliver it so seamlessly that the complexity of balancing the budgets, the workflows, the technologies, the formats, the user preferences is often invisible to our organizations.  Librarians must track and evaluate a flood of emerging technologies and select and configure tools which change workflow and research methods while supporting the existing infrastructure. More than ever before librarians need the right tools and methods for monitoring the pulse of their constituencies while carefully selecting and managing complex changes in platforms, learning styles, client expectations and budget constraints.

The AALL “White Paper” was written to encourage all  AALL members take on the “value challenge.”  This project is a journey not a destination. Law librarianship cannot expect to survive as a profession if members do not engage in honest reassessments of the typos of professional skills they need to learn and the platforms and services they provide. They must embrace the need to continuously reassess and recalibrate services to  optimize  value at the highest strategic level – all while maintaining an eye on the bottom line. Measuring value across each environment will not be easy, but it is a task we undertake. Contributors include thought leaders from across the AALL spectrum, who have mined their own experience and
Chapters cover issues adapted to each type of library environement addressing key issues such as:   
·         Creating effective self-assessments and user surveys 
·         Modeling value metrics and methodologies 
·         Identifying new opportunities
·         Communication skills and methods for effectively impacting the pain points of    stakeholders.  


Contributors include thought leaders from across the AALL spectrum who have mined their own experience to share their  methods and metrics of success.  Authors include: Roger V Skalbeck, University of Richmond Law School. Joan S. Howland,  University of Minnesota Law School; Martin Korn,  Sheppard Mullin; Coleen Cable, Orrick; Steve Lastres, Debevoise; Jean Wenger, Cook County Law Library;Katherine M Lowry, Baker Hostetler; Mark E. Estes, Alemeda County Law Library  and Kevin Iredell, Greentarget.

The publication  was edited AALL  members Holly M. Riccio, director of knowledge management, Nossaman LLP; Jean P. O’Grady, director of research and knowledge services, DLA Piper; and Gregory R. Lambert, chief knowledge officer, Jackson Walker LLP.


Fastcase, a provider of next-generation legal research,  provided support for production of the white paper.  Ed Walters CEO of Fastcase is quoted in the press release "It’s not enough that the guidance of library professionals is ‘invaluable’—we have to quantify and demonstrate that value. Our team at Fastcase is proud to support this pioneering report that measures the real  returns on investing in libraries and library professionals."

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