|Image [cc] Bobby Cromick|
[Note: I received this guest post last week, but the writer asked to remain anonymous. Quite frankly, this wasn’t the first time I heard someone voice this opinion, so let us know if you think they are on-point with this post, or if you think Bloomberg Law isn’t just a different flavor of Kool-Aid.]
It seems there is a lot of wonder, awe and excitement over the activities of Bloomberg Law as of late. Their pricing structure, the acquisition of BNA and the quest to ‘replace one of the big two’; all sending the library community into a frenzy. But, I ask why?
First, pricing. So an information vendor comes to you and offers “steep discounting” in exchange for a long term commitment. OK, I can get behind that. However, what is happening is not a fair exchange nor is it anything new or revolutionary. Take a look at the pricing practices of the major online vendors. Is Bloomberg really doing anything different? No.
Next, a number of fellow Library Professionals seemed downright giddy when the BNA purchase was announce. Why? Haven’t most of us cancelled a majority of our BNA publications? What does the purchase of BNA by another publishing behemoth do to improve a product already fading from the interest of our attorneys.
Finally, who really thinks that a year, two years from now any law firm will have to have TWO major online vendors? And, conceivably, that Bloomberg Law will edge out one of the “Heavies” for the long-sought-after 2nd place. Really? Firms can’t afford to dish out triple-digits a month per attorney just to make sure there are two major online vendors available with redundant content.
The associates I work with tell me they just want to be made aware of the resources available and what a client will pay for OR the firm will write off. They don’t care if there are two, three, four sources for primary law. They just want to make sure they can find their print outs from Google Scholar on the network printer.