From the introduction to Taking a closer look at the changing role of today’s law librarian:
The legal profession has undergone nearly a decade of fundamental change, and perhaps no single role has seen greater impact than the law firm librarian. Budget pressures, shrinking law library footprints, a decreasing reliance on print, a greater push for online resources, and the advent of new job responsibilities are just a few of the factors that have combined to push law librarians into new territory.
As one reflection of this change, the American Association of Law Librarians has explored a “rebranding initiative,” as an attempt to “redefine and reinvigorate the value of law librarians and legal information professionals.” A decade ago, such an initiative would likely never have taken place. According to a recent survey of law librarian’s completed by Thomson Reuters, however, the evolution of the law librarians’ role may provide cause for such a discussion.
According to the survey’s 123 respondents from a combination of large and medium law firms, more than half of respondents said their role had undergone substantial change within the past three years, with 15 percent reporting “extreme change.” How much has changed? Forty-eight percent of respondents reported spending more than three-quarters of their time on activities that were not part of their job descriptions three years ago. That’s a staggering degree of change.
H/T to On Firmer Ground. — Joe