The Solo Law Firm Librarian and the "Wildcard" Approach to Service

Image [cc] sjunnesson

Please welcome Guest Blogger Tony Chan

[Note: Tony left a comment on Cindy Adam's post from last week, but I thought it was very insightful to the solo law firm librarian that I asked if I could turn it into its own post. Thanks to Tony for agreeing to sharing this with the bigger audience. - gl]

As a solo librarian managing two locations in different states, the same-floor concept [as discussed in Cindy Adam's post] is simply not feasible.

Face time has its value but people also want convenience. They prefer getting answers and their work done without having to leave their office-- unless they really want to use the paper CFRs in the library or see you in your office but only if you're next door. Time is precious so I only attend non-virtual face-to-face meetings when I have to.

Instead, I take the "wildcard" approach to alleviate staff count, cohesiveness, proximity, or face time issues.

I build rapport through common denominators (things that EVERYONE comes in contact with). And not surprisingly the common denominators are billing and technology. Together they create an opportunity for the library to combine/leverage content delivery, user convenience, and get involved in firm business matters.

Contact opportunities:

  • Got tech skills? 
Use it on the IT front. Become an extension of web development by working with practice groups to build/enhance their websites and work through content delivery/governance issues.
IT's more than happy to put some code-writing/content building on your plate IF they trust you to handle it. After all, librarians are the "I" in the IT. And when you're also the "T", you become the consummate legal technologist!

  • Got curiosity & rigor? 
Help Marketing to research business intelligence.

The CMO will be impressed with your investigative skills.

Like problem-solving? Become an automation specialist by collaborating with Accounting/Records depts. to streamline workflow and cost recovery. Faster collections and better bottom-line for the firm.

I'm on the same floor where the library is and still see people everyday in my office, hallways and the lunchroom.

Out of sight, out of mind? Not me!

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