ILTA White Papers

The New Librarian

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XXXX sure there "isn't much" duplication rather than saying we eliminate duplication. You'll find the answer to this question by looking at the law firm staff's client base: the lawyers. The way lawyers use information varies depending on their habits and the way they were trained. As it turns out, both of these factors often are strongly related to the era in which they were in law school. Online or On the Shelf? The lawyers we work for are a diverse group in terms of age and comfort with technology, and this shows up better in the library than almost anywhere else. For every young associate that wonders, "Why do we need these books? Isn't everything online?," there is a senior litigator who says, "Paper books are easier to use, I don't have to remember a password, and the index makes sense! And I don't know how much my online searches on paid sources cost my clients in the long run; I know exactly how much it costs them when I use a book." The older attorney has a point. There are a lot of reasons that print materials work well for law firms. However, there are also hidden costs to print materials that these attorneys don't think about: yearly updating costs, processing time by library staff, filing costs, the cost of the shelf space to store the books and the need for multiple copies for multiple offices or attorneys if the source is heavily used. Whatever reasons the attorneys give for their preference (print or online), it's often the case that the AALL/ILTA White Paper 55

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