Monday, March 15, 2010

Have Baby Boomers Destroyed Law Libraries?

You be the judge:

  • This Isn't Your Daddy's Law Library! - Time For a Law Library Revolution! (3 Geeks and a Law Blog, March 12, 2010): "I've had some 'off-line' conversations with other law librarians at big firms and there is a question that has been raised whether the people that have run the law libraries at firms over the past 15-20 years (basically the baby-boomers that are about to retire) have screwed the law library field (add in the law library associations to this, too). Whenever the law library gets progressive and starts promoting new ideas, those ideas get spun off into their own departments and the creative law librarians leave the library field to join these departments. Things like Knowledge Management, Competitive Intelligence, and even some Marketing and IT ideas that were created in the library now exist outside the library. So it seems that the general direction the law firm libraries have taken in the past 15-20 years is to get us back to what we were doing in the 1980's."
  • Carpe Diem Gen X and Y Law Librarians: You, Too, Shall Practice the Art of the Possible One Day (Law Librarian Blog, March 15, 2010): "I don't know if the general direction of law firm libraries is headed back to the 1980s -- I take Greg's word for that -- but if we boomers screwed up because innovations that started in law libraries has led to the creation of separate departments instead of remaining in law libraries, then what Greg is pointing to is a ages-old matter -- the art of the possible as practiced by each generation of law librarians (...) I'm satisfied knowing that many of these accomplishments started in the law library. The fact that they no longer are part of law library administration is substantially less important to me. It's the results that matter. As for credit for those results, if there is one thing I have learned in life, it is that it is an utter waste of time looking for someone to give you the credit you think you might deserve. Forget about it and just move on. Indeed it is time for Gen X and Y law librarians to prepare for seizing the moment, or at least to try to leave their mark on the profession. Good luck with that -- like the T-shirt slogan says, 'Youth and Skill are no Match for Age and Treachery.' Some might thing that 'age and treachery' refers to us boomer law librarians. It does not. It refers to the reality that law libraries don't have free reign over their own destiny. They exist in a broader institutional setting complete with limited resources, myopic perceptions and mixed motives. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:26 pm

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