Tag Archives: Library News

Law Firm Library Marketing: Taking Advantage of Existing Opportunities | Part 1

Unfortunately, good researching alone does not make a law firm library. Though the importance of the library may seem obvious to us librarians, we still must value continually marketing ourselves in the law firm setting. Fortunately, if we recognize them as such, our common day-to-day responsibilities offer ample opportunities to market ourselves. In Part 2 of this series, we will dive deeper into specific examples of existing marketing opportunities, while this Part 1 takes a general perspective towards examining the importance of marketing the law firm library.

Why market?

Continual marketing efforts are essential in the modern law firm library; due to the nature of the firm environment, librarians have an on-going need to market their ability to provide cost-effective legal research. Faced with a constant influx of new associates and a continuously shifting landscape of resources, vendors, and contracts, the library staff’s need to provide training and research assistance is ever-present.

The revolving door of new associates underscores the need for librarians to make themselves known. Certain inefficient behavioral patterns are highly entrenched among new associates; left unchecked, these patterns only become harder to change. Amanda Runyon, in Marketing and Outreach in Law Libraries: A White Paper, explains the following dynamic observed in academic law libraries: “students turn to instructors rather than librarians for assistance because instructors are seen as experts in the field and they grade the assignments”. This pattern is certainly not foreign to law firm librarians: merely replace the term “instructors” with “assigning attorneys”. And,  we habitually observe the effects of this situation: new associates seeking guidance from books that have been out-of-print for years, or using researching terminology that was sunsetted before the associates were born, or simply employing strange/antiquated researching methodology because “that’s what the partner told me to do”. Through marketing the library and improving the visibility of our services, we can change this behavioral pattern.

Expounding the problem and underscoring the importance of marketing the library is the fact that poor researching leads to wasted time and money. Patrick Meyer, in Law Firm Legal Research Requirements for New Attorneys notes “Legal research in the law firm setting is a big deal. Research by ThomsonWest from 2007 found that on average, 45% of the new attorney’s first year of practice and 30% of years two and three will be spent conducting legal research”. Newer associates conduct a lot of expensive research, yet problematically newer associates may not be in the habit of consulting with the library.

Compounding the need for marketing is the ever-changing state of library subscriptions and contracts. Senior associates may be very well-versed in conducting cost-effective research, but their knowledge of what is in-plan and under subscription may be out-of-date. Vendors, of course, are always competing with each other; this creates new research software for the library to subscribe to, and new contracts that can easily result in vendors teeter-tottering with one another over the cost-effectiveness of their products. Long story short, some associates are inefficient researchers and the cost effectiveness of library software is continually changing: the library has a fundamental need to market itself as the solution to these situations. But, how should the library approach the action of marketing?

Simplify The Message

Brevity is king of the busy law firm environment, and this should translate into the library marketing campaign as much as possible. Kristin Cheney states in Marketing Law Libraries: Strategies and Techniques in the Digital Age that library marketing “promotions, as a general rule, should be kept short and to the point”. In my opinion, the real goal is simply to generate awareness of the library; presenting an exposition on every single service the library provides must be avoided. Potential users need to be reminded that the library exists—once a user is in more regular contact with librarians, a more nuanced telling of library services can be conducted.

Simplicity of the message folds in with the classic marketing strategy of AIDA (though existing in some forms earlier, the acronym AIDA is attributed to C.P. Russell, “How to Write a Sales-Making Letter,” Printers’ Ink, June 2, 1921); AIDA is an acronym for the stages of marketing: awareness, interest, desire, action. As we can see, in classic marketing strategy development, the first goal is to generate awareness. And the easiest method of generating awareness is to recognize the potential marketing opportunities available among the usual day-to-day responsibilities of the job. In other words, promote library awareness. And, in my opinion, the easiest way to promote awareness is to be visible; as Woody Allen said “80 percent of success is showing up”. Luckily for us, a lot of the most obvious opportunities for marketing that occur in our day-to-day job merely require us to be visible and to talk about the great job we already doing as librarians. In Part 2, we will discuss these opportunities in detail.

“Librariana Daily” Expands & Rebrands!

Our daily Twitter newsletter, formerly known as the Librariana Daily, is growing, getting better, and taking on a new name. We are excited to announce the launch of The Daily INFOrmant!

Collecting news and opinions from hundreds of sources every day, The Daily INFOrmant is designed to help you keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening in our industry. This new take on our old newsletter is more focused and accessible than ever before. Even more importantly, it IS CURATED! That means that we will be watching daily to make sure that what you are getting speaking directly to what you do as information professionals. We will be constantly adding, eliminating and tweaking the feeds that make up our content. The Daily INFOrmant is also now being published in a much more visually appealing format. So please let us know what you think.

You can subscribe to The Daily INFOrmant via e-mail or follow our RSS feed. Of course, all new editions are announced via the iBraryGuy Twitterfeed as well.

Please note: If you find your feed showing up in The Daily INFOrmant and do not wish to do so, please let us know right away and we will immediately block it from being culled.

Netvibes + iBraryGuy = LibraryVibes, News for the Info World!

The iBraryGuy team knows how much our audience loves being on top of the latest developments in the world of libraries and information technology.  So we are always hard at work trying to find new and enjoyable ways of bringing the latest and greatest to you.  One of our side projects designed to help you keep your finger on the puls of our profession is a blog and news aggregator that we have lovingly dubbed “LibraryVibes“.

Created on the powerful NetVibes platform, LibraryVibes brings you some of the best library, technology, and news feeds in a format that is as easy on the eyes as it is to navigate.  The tabbed interface lets you choose between library blogs, tech feeds, and news with a quick click of the mouse.  LibraryVibes currently features 27 popular blogs by and for librarians, 17 tech sources, and 12 newsfeeds.  That’s more than 50 top sources to keep you informed throughout the day!

As with all iBraryGuy offerings, LibraryVibes is free.  You do not need to be a member of Netvibes to use the site or enjoy its content.  Of course, we could not have created it without the hardwork and dedication of so many excellent bloggers out there.  To them go the real thanks!  We are just the eager middlemen in this great information economy.

We hope you enjoy LibraryVibes and will share it with your colleagues!

iBraryGuy’s news offerings have you covered! Check them out!

Here at iBraryGuy, we are news hounds.  Our days begin and end with the latest headlines from across the library and information world.  We literally live on our newsfeeds!  As such, we know just how difficult it can be to sort through the crush of internet news services to find the truly “good” stuff.  Thus, we have been on a mission to make it easier for you – our fellow information professionals.  Regardles of where in the spectrum of this industry you fall, iBraryGuy’s customized news services have you covered.  Librarians, information professionals, publishers, knowledge managers, archivists, and so on . . . we have striven to bring you the best of news and blogs with the following offerings:

Libraries, Information, and Knowledge Management News at Google News:  Using the pioneering news customization functions at Google, iBraryGuy’s editors sat down and customized a news section especially for librarians and information professionals.  This section is designed to search across Google’s wide array of news sources to bring you articles of interest to our profession.  Articles, videos, and even images . . . it is all there.  All you have to do is subscribe!

LibraryVibes at Netvibes.com:  Netvibes is an awesome service for tracking the blogs and news sources you enjoy most.  The iBraryGuy editing team recently sat down with lists of the top rated blogs and sites for library, information, and technology news and created a central Netvibes site to hold them all.  Check out LibraryVibes for all the best blogs and news sources in our industry.  There is a tab for library news, one for tech news, and even one for more general news.  A truly unique one-stop shop!

Books at AllTop.com:  While this is not one of our creations, the Books topic list at AllTop is still a resource we like to share.  Yes, iBraryGuy is on AllTop’s list of best blogs for readers and book lovers.  However, so are many other great sources for the latest goings-on in the book and publishing world.  The iBraryGuy team is working to convince AllTop to create a topic for libraries and information.  In the meantime, we are honored to be featured here.

A great deal of work and library-love have gone into creating and maintaining these resources.  We hope you will enjoy them and invite your feedback on how we can make them even better!  Please let us know what you think.  And please SHARE these links with your colleagues.  In our profession, USE is the highest form of flattery!