Catherine Sanders Reach,
American Bar Association
Legal Technology Resource Center
Joint CALL and SLA-IL Business Meeting
January 13, 2005
The Digital Library: We've Come a Long Way, Baby?
In Summer of 2002, 300 law librarians participated in a survey to inform a larger study on the feasibility and viability of the digital library.
They identified many concerns and barriers to realizing a truly digital
environment, one almost devoid of print materials. Many of the problems that were identified then still plague librarians today. Cataloging
online resources, training needs, cost recovery and collection
development for online resources, password management, and access versus
ownership are just a few of the impediments mentioned. We will look at
how to deal with some of these problems, why the digital library is the
future, and identify challenges that demand that libraries work together
to transition into the future while preserving the past.
Catherine Sanders Reach (MLIS) is the Associate Director of the American
Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. She has a masters
degree in library and information studies from the University of
Alabama. The Legal Technology Resource Center provides substantive
information on the latest technology developments affecting the practice
of law. There she has focused on technology and the information seeking
behaviors of lawyers. Professional activities include articles published
in Law Technology News and GPSolo Magazine, and her continuing research on the digital library most recently appeared in the AALL Law Library Journal. Her presentations on the use of technology in law firms include the Iowa State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the ABA Legal Techshow and the Bar Leadership Institute.