The Yirka Question and Yirka's Answer: What should law libraries stop doing in order to address higher priority initiatives?
4 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2009 Last revised: 30 Jun 2010
Date Written: July 1, 2008
Recipient of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Spectrum Article of the Year Award in 2008, Carl Yirka, Library Director and Professor of Law at Vermont Law School, examines decision making processes in law libraries. He urges law library directors to look beyond the library and make informed choices that are closely aligned with a law school’s institutional values and goals. Specifically, he discusses services that law libraries and librarians can forego in favor of programs more reflective of a law school’s institutional priorities. New programs and initiatives and should be designed not only with the law school’s mission and goals in mind but also in consultation with the faculty. For instance, faculty at Vermont Law School indicated that librarians could play a more vital and radically new role in the process of scholarship. As law libraries consider adjusting their priorities and the services offered, they must simultaneously measure progress and outcomes with objectivity and precision. A new metric for analyzing and grading a library’s successes and missteps, which Yirka believes present opportunities, is overdue.
Keywords: Yirka Question, Budgets, value, law school, law libraries, higher priorities
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