Saturday, 4 April 2015

The law school library/laboratory

Sarah Glassmeyer (CALI) has written an excellent blog post for Slaw, the legal online magazine from Canada. Titled "The Law School Laboratory", she wrote it in response to an article on Above the Law that basically dissed law school libraries as obsolete money sinks. Aargh!
Sarah's response includes some basic facts:
- "While, in the above example, the library budget is increasing by 2%, I can almost guarantee that its material costs are going up 10% or more. Annually.
- The subscription databases that are “replacing libraries” are actually paid for from the library budget. They are not a competitor to the library, but rather they are a digital branch of it.
- Yes, even books are on the databases. But not all are. Also, depending on the agreement with the database vendors, they may or may not be accessible to members of the public. As many academic law libraries are open to the public and are a filler of the Access to Justice, it’s important that the library has resources available to them.
- Everything is not on the Internet. Not even close."
She also points out that librarians work very hard to make legal research as smooth and seamless as possible - which unfortunately means what we do doesn't get noticed - because we want it to be invisible!

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