13 December 2007


Bria O’Brien
[Littler Mendelson, P.C., San Francisco, California, USA] wrote an interesting article in the quarterly publication of the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section, American Association of Law Libraries.

“If law firms are moving in the direction of modeling their business practices on the clients for whom they work, perhaps it is time for law librarian to consider modeling law firm libraries on the special libraries of such corporations.” She did a quick survey of special librarians and found that nearly all have over 20 business books in their libraries. While this is not news to most of us, it was to her—and probably to other law librarians as well. She suggests the “librarians must partner with professional development staff to create a small library of such texts and house them in the physical library as well as in other formats, such as podcasts and e-books. (emphasis mine) By doing this, we will show that we are paying attention not just to the legal information needs of the attorneys, but that we understand our company’s business as a whole.” She lists several “advantages of books,” such as “inexpensive, about US$6.00 to $60.00” (most of us would not think $60 is inexpensive, but it is to a law librarian); “catchy items as part of a new books display;” “generally small and easy to read.” She has a nice list of “classic” business books and legal business books, too.

O'Brien, Bria, Exploring our Corporate Identity through Collection Development; Executive Reading in the Firm Library, PLL Perspectives 19(2): 5-7, http://www.aallnet.org/sis/pllsis/newslett/winter08.asp#feature_2

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