What To Do About the Developing Skill-Employment Disconnect in Law Libraries
"Law library staff have been somewhat sheltered from the pressures experienced by those in other library sectors and the wider economy because of conditions particular to legal publishing and research; however, these conditions are starting to change (...)"Connie Crosby has commented on Sutherland's text over at Slaw.ca.
"The development of a divide between the skills required for future jobs and the skills of existing staff has implications for both staff who wish to continue to be employable and library managers who wish to develop their libraries. With compromises and willingness on both sides, the best solution is to invest in existing staff in anticipation of developing needs, so that libraries will be able to develop while enjoying the strengths that come with long term staff (...)"
"Part of the solution to this problem is for library managers and organizations to be open to the idea of training staff on the job and being open to providing more funding for professional development. Library staff should also take responsibility to develop this paradigm. Staff members can take the initiative and approach their employers with proposals to develop skills in anticipation of coming needs and changes. This will enable them to remain relevant and take advantage of some of the benefits of employment that are of most value to them in the form of professional development time and funding."
The On Firmer Ground blog is a joint project of the Legal Division of the Special Libraries Association, the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, and the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians.