Assessing Academic Law Libraries' Performance and Implementing Change: The Reorganization of a Law Library
36 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2018
Date Written: 2017
The confluence of the crisis in legal education and the evolution of legal information presents the perfect opportunity for law schools to actively decide what the role of the law library should be, and to make considered, deliberate changes based on the best interests of the institution. The Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University recognized the opportunity to strengthen the institution by creating, essentially, a brand new law library. When I started at Chapman, I began a comprehensive assessment of law library operations; after six months, I recommended a complete reorganization, including the budget, collection, staff, and services. The reorganization was designed to be budget neutral; it is worth noting that even with hiring additional staff, purchasing new databases, and despite the exorbitant inflation rate for legal materials, our total library expenditures decreased by 16% from fiscal year 2010-11 to 2015-16. The purpose of this article is to provide law school deans with information to help them work with library directors to create the best library possible for their institutions without additional funding.
Keywords: Legal education, ABA Standards, Law Libraries, Legal Research, Reorganization
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