Law Library Development Plan*
I. Policy Statement
Development of the law collection and library services must coincide closely with student needs, curriculum development, faculty research interests and anticipated revenues. Library objectives must reflect the Law School educational mission as identified in its self-study and other planning documents.
In performing its role the library must meet a continuing challenge to provide faculty and students with access to an ever-increasing body of legal information in multiple formats at ever-increasing costs. The answer to this challenge lies not in efforts to achieve complete "information independence," but to develop effective means of "information interdependence" through local, regional and national library networks.
The Law Library intends to establish an in-depth American collection with library policies designed to give life to the law school assertion that we provide a personal and educationally sound program. Policies which provide easy access to librarians, legal materials and study carrels foster a positive student attitude in meeting the challenge of law study. The emphasis is on individual rather than institutional needs. Therefore, our students must have access to the library facilities for extended hours, access to materials when needed and access to personal assistance from library staff members.
The Law Library in its entirety must meet and should exceed the minimum accreditation requirements promulgated by the American Bar Association and the American Association of Law Schools.
II. Collection: Content And Growth
A. The Director shall:
1. Maintain in writing and posted on the library webpage a current Collection Development, Information Access and Resource Sharing Network Policies plan which states collection objectives and establishes information priorities.
2. Consider the collection strengths of the Oregon State Library, State of Oregon Law Library and the University's Hatfield Library with whom we share an online catalog and which are within a five minute walk of the Law School, as well as the resources of the Orbis-Cascade Alliance.
3. Control collection growth to coincide with anticipated support revenues.
4. Provide a written annual assessment of needs to accompany budget requests.
5. Coordinate short and long term library planning with the Law School development plan.
6. Analyze annual expenditures in relation to the component print and electronic elements of the collection.
7. Utilize online databases such as Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, HeinOnline and other web products.
8. Utilize microforms for necessary but little used materials not readily available in print or online.
9. Participate in local, regional and national network resource sharing.
For the next five to ten years, the Law Library must continue a multi-format approach to collection development and information access. The transition to what many predict will be an all-electronic library is dependent on a number of factors, including our technology infrastructure, the availability of retrospective materials in digital form, copyright issues, convenience as measured by the number of workstations available to students without laptops, archival issues, printing, publisher profitability, knowledge organization (menu structure), effective search software and user preferences. Our challenge is to understand our mission and move with the times - neither behind nor in front.
III. Personnel Requirements
A. Public Services Department
1. The Public Services Department currently consists of a full-time Dept. Head for Public Services, several part-time Law Reference Librarians, and the Circulation Manager. Willamette Integrated Technology Services (WITS) provides a User Consultant who is housed in the library.
2. The Law Reference Librarians shall provide reference and research assistance to students and faculty.
3. Other library personnel will be given on-the-job training such that regardless of position they will be able to answer basic questions.
B. Technical Services Department
1. Maintenance of the law collection requires library expertise in law cataloging, Library of Congress Classification, online searching, automated systems, acquisitions, interlibrary loan procedures, binding, federal documents and customs of the publishing trade.
2. We currently have a Dept. Head for Technical Services and four paraprofessionals to accomplish the tasks associated with the Technical Services Department.
3. Inplementation of the Orbis-Cascade Alliance Shared Integrated Library System (SILS) in 2013 will impact technical services in a manner yet to be determined. The expectation is that after the transition, technical services staff will hold steady or shrink.
4. Outsourcing various components of technical services, such as cataloging for electronic titles, is another factor that will impact staffing needs.
1. Law Library administration requires expertise in collection development, library services, library technology, management, planning, library organization and legal education.
2. We currently have one Director (MLS, LLB) and one Library Accounts Manager and Web Specialist.
3. Addition a of an Associate Director is dependent primarily upon whether the responsibilites of the Director are increased to include teaching and scholarship.
No other aspect of legal education has changed more during the past two decades than law school libraries. Personal computers, integrated library systems, online bibliographic and research databases, webpages, computer networks and the internet have dramatically increased the amount of available information and how we perform our daily research and materials-processing tasks. In short, all law school libraries have experienced technological change equivalent in magnitude to the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution. There is little resemblance between our current automated library with access to millions of titles through consortial online catalogs and our library of the recent past with 3"x5" catalog cards with access to 20,000 in-house titles. Our current staff consists of professionals and para-professionals grounded in a variety of library, law, computer and information science skills. Implementation of our integrated library system has moved us toward greater integration of work processes and greater reliance upon skilled staff. Each new vacancy will be used as an opportunity to review how we conduct our work and whether the end product meets the current and anticipated needs of our faculty and students.
IV. Physical Facilities
Maintain seating and study space for 85%+ of the student body. We currently have:
1. 209 carrel seats
2. 124 table seats
3. 16 conference room seats
4. 12 computer lab seats
5. 17 online room seats
6. 2 microform room seats
7. 8 video room seats
8. 97 non-study seats
9. 16 seminar room seats
Shelving space is adequate for the near future (10 years) as long as:
1. Microforms and/or online access are used to replace little-used hardbound materials.
2. Hardbound volumes grow at a rate of less than 2,000 volumes per year.
3. We continue our transition to digital resources.
We currently have adequate work space for a total of ten staff. However, continued growth and faculty/student service expectations for an academic law library are such that we eventually may need additional office space to accommodate several more staff members.
Carrels accommodate individual task lighting if required by a particular user.
E. Computer Labs
Twelve Gateway computers with two laser printers are available in our computer lab. An additional 6 Gateway computers and two printers are available in our two online rooms.
F. Rare Books
We have a small but impressive collection of rare books currently on display in secure wall cabinets. Additional secure shelving may become necessary.
G. Technology Infrastructure
The library benefits from a University-wide computer network and a building-wide wireless network.
Since 1992, law faculty and students have enjoyed a functional, aesthetically pleasing work/study environment characterized by natural light, a high percentage of seating relative to FTE students and adequate computer access through a university-wide network. In the short-run the way to improve a good thing is to provide more of it. In particular, more conference rooms and more carrels.
In the long run our facility needs are dependent on enrollment, collection growth, service expectations and the effects of technology - all of which are difficult to predict.
V. Bibliographic Order, Physical Control, Resource Sharing And Access To The Collection
A. Bibliographic order.
1. Maintenance of Library of Congress classification system for treatises.
2. Maintenance of the online catalog.
3. Maintenance of electronic bibliographic information.
4. Acquisition of indexes and abstracts.
5. Maintenance of online check-in procedures for all materials.
B. Physical Control
1. Maintenance of online circulation and reserve procedures.
2. Distribution of written rules.
C. Resource Sharing
1. Maintain collection sharing arrangements with Lewis & Clark and U/O Law Libraries and through the Orbis-Cascade Alliance.
2. Participate in consortia utilizing shared electronic databases and online catalogs.
D. Access to the collection.
1. Maintain open stacks.
2. Maintain 24 hour access for faculty and law students.
3. Maintain liberal use policy.
4. Maintain multiple copies of high use materials not available online.
5. Maintain a small number of desk top computers for student access to online databases.
Implementation of the Innovative Interfaces, Inc. integrated library system in 1994 required the library staff to adopt radically new methods to provide law faculty and students with information access and research support. It placed the library in a position to provide faculty and students with the power of online boolean subject searching of not only our own bibliographic holdings, but also those of the University's Hatfield Library, regional academic libraries in the Orbis Cascade Alliance (combined with a courier service for direct loans to users) and online libraries wherever located. The College of Law electronic environment, spearheaded by the library, also makes it possible for faculty to receive information tailored to meet their specific subject profiles. We now provide information on demand in an electronic environment 24 hours a day, 365 days per year from any location connected to the internet. In the short term, the challenge will be to continuously upgrade the technology infrastructure to keep up with expanding databases, multi-tasking software and user expectations in terms of speed, ease of use and results.
Prior to 1988-89 the library had a long history of under-funding which, in conjunction with rampant inflation for book materials during the late 70's and early 80's, left its mark on the collection and library services. However, a consistent effort has been made since 1976 to strengthen the periodicals collection and acquire retrospective treatises in order to provide continuity in subject development. Library services have also been expanded to include a Public Services Department and a computer lab.
B. Annual Funding
1. Acquisitions - During 1976-77 the library had an acquisitions base budget of $71,400. During that year, it required $75,128 to pay for our continuation costs. Development fund monies in the amount of $23,400 made it possible to cover the cost of the continuations plus spend $18,348 on new titles. We have moved forward from that point such that for 2010-2011 our acquisitions base budget (includes all online databases) was $714,000. Our plan is to continue our emphasis on acquisition of scholarly treatises, electronic treatises, and electronic databases.
2. Personnel - In response to growth of both the collection and library services, the staff has been increased from 7 full-time employees in 1976 to 9.6 full-time equivalent employees.
3. Professional development - In order to meet the challenges of the information age, the library profession - similar to the legal profession - has become quite active in demanding and providing for continuing library education. We must continue to fund professional development for all library staff on an annual basis.
4. Computer Assisted Legal Instruction - We will continue to maintain our CALI membership and investigate other means of supplemental legal instruction as they become available.
5. Equipment - We have nearly 36 student and staff PC workstations and associated printers that require replacement on a three to five year cycle.
6. Online databases - We will continue to expand our offerings of online databases.
C. Capital Expenditures
1. The library was doubled in size to 38,500 square feet with the building addition and remodel in 1992.
2. In 1994 the Innovative Interfaces Integrated Library System was installed.
3. Future capital expenditures would most likely be associated with reallocating existing library floor space for carrels, study conference rooms, and office space.
Resources must be considered in relation to library objectives and costs. The objectives are identified in the College of Law and Library Mission Statements; College of Law Self-Study; Library Collection Development, Electronic Access & Resource Sharing Network policies; and other related planning documents. Costs are largely determined by external factors such as the monumental consolidation of the legal publishing industry into three monopolistic foreign conglomerates (Thomson/Reuters, Reed Elsevier and Wolters Kluwer), the labor market, library personnel and the development of technology in a highly competitive market. Hopefully, tuition dollars and annual gifts will be sufficient to maintain a service-oriented institution in an electronic environment. Reductions in expenditures (whether measured in absolute dollars, as a rate of annual increase, or as a percentage of the total College of Law budget), are difficult given fixed annual Innovative Interfaces maintenance/service charges, the necessity for online legal database subscriptions to Westlaw, Lexis, HeinOnline and other web products, near absence of staff/services that can be reduced and the need to maintain current legal information (continuations cost). Resource sharing of heavily used (primary) materials is not a reasonable option. For planning purposes the trick is to clearly identify the library mission (responsibility) in the context of educational needs and available resources and then to achieve the desired result by marshaling human and economic resources in as efficient a manner as possible.
A. Current status.
Over the past 15 years we have experienced vastly changed circumstances in the library, education and legal professions, the legal publishing industry and the use of technology. The new landscape in which we find ourselves is characterized by the relentless advance of technology to which the following can be directly attributed:
1. Rapidly rising print and electronic costs due to the mega mergers within the legal publishing industry as Reed-Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer and Thomson/Reuters invest billions to secure market share for value-added titles which combine primary and secondary legal sources in a world where electronic dissemination is now the norm.
2. Substantial library technology infrastructure costs associated with implementation and maintenance of library integrated systems which combine automated circulation, cataloging, serials check-in and acquisitions with online catalogs.
3. Substantial library equipment costs associated with providing library users with computer access to electronic databases and providing users with print capability.
4. Costs associated with the telecommunications necessary to provide Internet access in conjunction with local, regional and national electronic/print resource sharing arrangements and OCLC.
5. Costs associated with database licensing and access by simultaneous users.
6. Increasing labor costs as librarians/information specialists and library para-professionals acquire the technology skills required to operate a modern library.
7. Regardless of cost, faculty and students expect, and indeed must have, access to current information in an electronic environment or face embarrassment or, at worst, legal malpractice.
8. Effective resource sharing today and in the foreseeable future requires at a minimum that we maintain an online catalog and have Internet access. This permits:
a. access to thousands of websites, including those that provide state and federal court decisions, state and federal agency information, foreign law, etc.
b. access to online catalogs throughout the world; more to the point - law library catalogs can be searched by the library user and materials borrowed through interlibrary loan procedures. In Oregon and Washington, 36 academic libraries, including Willamette, have gone one step further and permit the library user to not only search the combined holdings of those libraries, but also to directly borrow the items and have them delivered by courier service.
c. collection development cooperation by simply not purchasing a title if another library from whom you can borrow the item already has ordered or acquired it. For example, because we share an integrated library system with the Hatfield Library and are a member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance and the Hatfield Library Consortium, we can easily determine who has a particular title and act accordingly.
9. Use of electronic databases is governed by licensing arrangements with the publisher and often includes limitations as to use. This is inevitable as publishers protect their profits through password and IP access.
10. To the extent that information becomes solely electronic, we will be unable to accommodate outside users, due to licensing restrictions.
B. Future Directions
The University has taken significant steps to transform the law library into an educational force within the law school. Sound planning for the future remains both a constant and a priority.
1. Physical Facilities. We should avail ourselves of every opportunity to further transform the library into a comfortable and supportive study environment for each student.
2. Library Organization. We should evolve into an organization that reflects the integration of library technical processes in an electronic environment.
3. Library Services. In the context of the revised ABA/AALS accreditation standards emphasizing quality of service over quantitative measurements, we should focus on those services and skills unique to the library which are most beneficial to our faculty and students.
4. Library Resources. Pursuant to the faculty-approved 2006 Self-Study goal, the library will continue to develop and transition to a digital library with remote access for faculty and students.
5. Library Transformation. Continued transformation of the Library will depend in large part on external developments, including:Behavioral
- Faculty and student expectations/Millennial Generation
- Group study/collaboration vs. individual study/competition
- Multi-tasking/time efficiency
- Off-site research/study
- Participatory culture/Social media/Web 2.0
- Professional acculturation initiatives
- Sustainability concerns
- Content distribution agreements; e.g., Google/publishers and authors
- Copyright law reform
- Fair use limitations
- Cost containment efforts
- Curriculum reform
- collaborative/skills courses
- course content
- digital literacy
- online law courses
- technology applications
- writing requirements
- Hypertext learning environment
- Interdisciplinary legal scholarship
- Legal research teaching methods
- Off-site programs
- Tenure/promotion requirements
- Adoption of technology
- Bench and Bar competency standards
- Citation of internet-based resources
- Employment/research skills requirements for new associates
- Malpractice/research methods
- Reliance on electronic research
- ABA accreditation standards as they evolve.
- Consortia purchasing/licensing agreements with major legal publishers
- Existence/availability of regional/national print archives
- Online access to library holdings world-wide through one shared interface; e.g., OCLC WorldCat
- Space needs
- group study
- rare book
- Virtual reference - Web 2.0
- Consolidation vs competition
- Custom-designed electronic casebooks
- Improved public access websites for distribution of federal, state and local legal information
- Individual electronic law publishing; e.g., blogs
- Open access publishing; e.g., scholarly journals, free legal databases, SSRN
- The ascendancy of electronic publishing
- The decline of print publishing coupled with increasing cost
- Availability of "readers"; e.g., Amazon's Kindle, that can download digitized books
- Federated search engines that in one search can collect relevant information from many sources; e.g., online catalogs, webpages, blogs, etc.
- In-house book vending machines/download/print/bind books on demand
- Legal problem solving/analysis software
- Mobile devices that can access online catalogs; e.g., cell phones, PDA's
In the last analysis, it's "adapt or die;" and we intend to survive and remain relevant to the law student educational process. As the future unfolds we will act upon opportunities to develop and strengthen an omnipresent 21st Century Library that at a minimum provides:
- a repository for scholarly monographs,
- a sanctuary for reflection, study, research and writing,
- information delivery
- massive amounts of organized digital content on demand at any time, any place, by simultaneous multiple users through internet protocol (IP) access,
- reference services, both real time and virtual, and
- specialized research instruction;
all of which are consistent with our long-standing library mission of information access and research support.
* AALS Standard 8.6 Planning. A member school, with the participation of the librarian and faculty, shall prepare, periodically review, and implement a written plan of library development, identifying in detail steps appropriate and resources sufficient to achieve its objectives, including appropriate growth of the collection, sufficient personnel to provide services, suitable physical facilities, and an effective system for facilitating access to materials.
ABA Standard 602(b) requires that "The dean and director of the law library, in consultation with the faculty of the law school, shall determine library policy".
ABA Standard 606(c) states that "A Law Library should formulate and periodically update maintain a written plan for development of the collection."
Last updated on 03-16-2012