What does the future hold for law librarians?
Our friends to the north, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL), hosted a Twitter chat recently on future opportunities for law librarians. Fred Headon, Past President of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and Chair of the CBA Legal Futures Initiative, led the discussion.
To promote the event, Connie Crosby–law librarian, writer, teacher and speaker–posed questions that are similar to questions we have been asking of the law library profession ourselves:
- What initiatives have you undertaken to position yourself and your library for the future?
- Do law library professionals need new skills to optimize opportunities…?
- What are strategies you use to remind decision-makers of work that the law library could be doing?
- Should we be doing more to assist our employers with data collection and analysis?
Following are succinct points (thanks to Twitter’s character limitations) made by some of the participants, ending with relevant links for those who want to explore this topic in further detail. While pertaining to the future of law librarianship in Canada, the topic is relevant in the US, the UK and around the globe as profound changes transform the profession.
Law Librarianship Opportunities and Ideas
Highlights from the Twitter Chat #CALLFuture
Following is a sampling of responses from chat participants as to their assessments and beliefs on future opportunities for law librarianship:
- Futures report is about lawyers surviving because of value, not about lawyers being kept employed. Same holds true for law librarians.
- Librarians must be sales people, not hide in the stacks.
- Selling ideas: leverage, efficiency, effectiveness.
- Maybe need to communicate value includes deciding what is most allied with organizational success – need to decide what not to do.
- Lawyers value stories: Data will only go so far.
- They (lawyers) don’t necessarily know how we (librarians) have evolved and what we can do. We need to tell them.
- We have to keep telling them the most important part of what we do for them for acceptance of our partnership.
- Lawyers need to be educated on what librarians can do in info management. This starts in law school.
We expect to see more on this topic of future opportunities for law librarians and we will continue to share them.
Read Ms. Crosby’s articles on Slaw, Canada’s Online Legal Magazine.
Learn more about the CBA Legal Futures Initiative.