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The Law Library in an Information Age: It is Time to Do Away with the Local Online Catalog and Focus on Research Guides and Digital Content

24 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2014 Last revised: 10 May 2015

Jonathan Germann

Irell & Manella LLP

Date Written: June 22, 2014

Abstract

This paper explores the relevance of the local public library catalog as a finding aid when information is digital.

The current library catalog cannot compete with other online solutions. For law libraries, this is especially true as legal content providers like Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg offer integrated legal resources as well as 'smart' data and linked citations.

Libraries should abandon local control of the catalog and use centralized locations. Central locations will allow for linking and the eventual inclusion of 'smart' data. In short, libraries must must move from an integrated library system to a distributed library system to service digital patrons.

Libraries must also create new solutions for finding, evaluating, selecting, and hosting resources. Possible pursuits include focusing on robust research guides and hosting valuable digital content with rich metadata that can be manipulated by computer algorithms.

Keywords: Library, Catalog, Law Library, Research Guide, Semantic, Metadata

Suggested Citation

Germann, Jonathan, The Law Library in an Information Age: It is Time to Do Away with the Local Online Catalog and Focus on Research Guides and Digital Content (June 22, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2457638 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2457638

Jonathan Germann (Contact Author)

Irell & Manella LLP ( email )

1800 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067
United States

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