PLL Perspectives Volume 20 Issue 2 (Winter 2009)


Winter 2009 Volume 20 Issue 2

Download the entire issue in Adobe Acrobat format 


by Kellee Selden-Huston, Davis Kuelthau, Milwaukee, WI

reviewed by Christine Sellers, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., Columbia SC

by Michelle I. Mitchell, Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP, Miami, FL


by Reed Nelson, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Los Angeles, CA


by Betsy Chessler, Morrison & Foerster, LLP, San Diego, CA


by Tina Dumas, Nixon Peabody LLP, San Francisco, CA


reviewed by Kevin Miles, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Dallas, TX

reviewed by John Azzolini, Clifford Chance LLP, New York, NY

reviewed by Alyssa Altshuler, Ropes & Gray LLP, Washington, DC


by Byron Hill, Bowditch & Dewey LLP, Worcester, MA, Suzanne Hoey, Massachusetts Trial Court Library, Worcester, MA, Timothy Rivard, NELINET, Worcester, MA


Tina Dumas, Nixon Peabody LLP, San Francisco, CA

As I write this from San Francisco, the economy is in crisis, as are many law firms and corporations (especially in San Francisco). I'm sure all of us are affected by budget cuts, staff cuts, and possibly even dissolution. PLL is hard at work trying to help with some of these issues. Here are some timely events and activities that we are working to provide.

As I write this from San Francisco, the economy is in crisis, as are many law firms and corporations (especially in San Francisco). I'm sure all of us are affected by budget cuts, staff cuts, and possibly even dissolution.  PLL is hard at work trying to help with some of these issues. Here are some timely events and activities that we are working to provide.

December webinar on budgeting

Don't miss the webinar in December on  Law Firm Library Budgeting for Hard Economic Times.  Scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008 from 12:00 - 1:00 (Eastern time). PLL's very own Continuing Education Committee has been working hard on organizing this timely webinar. The cost is very reasonable: $25.00 for PLL members, and $35.00 for non-PLL members. To register, go to:

Thanks to Sara Paul, Chair of the committee, and her team for organizing this, and applying for the AALL/BNA Continuing Education Grant. Also, thank you to Nina Platt for getting the PLL Continuing Education Committee rolling last year with the webinars on Cost Recovery. Nina and her committee were instrumental in getting PLL in on the ground floor of the programming sponsored by AALL's Continuing Education Grants.

PLL project with Lexis

PLL received a grant from Lexis a number of years ago for the main purpose of updating and printing our Toolkit, a primary marketing tool for Private Law Librarians. The Toolkit was ultimately produced electronically, saving us a large amount of the money. Lexis has generously agreed to re-purpose the money in our fund to help with another marketing project. PLL leadership is working with Lexis to produce a white paper (or a series of white papers) that will market librarians and library services with the C-levels within their firms, to enhance the visibility of librarians and library services within law firms, and to demonstrate how librarians, and the services they provide to their law firms, contribute to lawyer productivity and the law firm bottom line.

Our vision is to use the funds provided by Lexis to hire an outside consultant to conduct interviews of C-level people in law firms of various sizes and to write the white paper. We hope that soliciting testimony from C-level people and using an outside consultant for the interview will be an effective way to promote law librarians in private institutions.  Over the next few months, we may be soliciting your feedback and suggestions for people to interview. If you have contacts who would be willing to be interviewed, please let me know. 

AMPC accepted programs

I am pleased to announce that nine programs sponsored by PLL were accepted into the regular programming by the AALL Annual Meeting Program Committee. PLL is also able to sponsor an additional program on Competitive Intelligence. Here is a list of titles; more details will follow soon.

  • A-4 The Changing World of Information Access at the USPTO
  • B-PLL Nuts & Bolts of Competitive Intelligence: CI in the Small Firm Environment
  • C-6 Running a Business: Practical MBA Solutions for your Library
  • D-2 Nuts and Bolts of Competitive Intelligence: Librarians & Marketing Side by Side
  • E-5 Working Smart: Innovative Ways To Do More With Your Day
  • F-5 Taming Information Overload: Addressing Law Firm Current Awareness Needs
  • G-5 What's in a Name? - Trademark Searching, Services, and Domain Names
  • H-2 Web 2.0: Driving Innovation in the Law Firm Library
  • I-3 Next-Gen Integrated Library System (ILS) Features Relevant to the Private Law Firm Library
  • K-5 Law Librarian: The New Private Investigator

Leadership Summit - AALL Management Institute 

AALL is hosting a Management Institute March 19-21, 2009, in Tampa, Florida.  From dealing with difficult people to developing a strategic plan for the library to building partnerships, new law library managers have a lot on their plates. The AALL Management Institute will provide new and aspiring managers from all types of law libraries the opportunity to collaborate in small groups and learn from their colleagues as they develop the skills to manage with confidence today.

I am encouraging private law librarians to apply.  The cost of attendance is $250. Institute materials, continental breakfast, breaks and lunch each day are included. Participants are responsible for covering transportation and housing. The application deadline is December 15. See  for more details .

Wishing you all happy holidays!


by Kellee Selden-Huston, Davis Kuelthau, Milwaukee, WI

What do law libraries and the Great Wall of China have in common? They combined for a great trip that included professional and cultural learning for a group of Special Libraries Association (SLA) members.

From October 12 to 24, , 2008, fourteen delegates and four guests, led by SLA's past president Rebecca Vargha, traveled to China for an exchange of library information. Our trip included stops in Beijing , Nanjing , and Shanghai . During these busy days, we met with other librarians and professional groups. We visited large modern public libraries, a library association, two corporate libraries, one legal institute, and several academic libraries.

Meetings lasted about two hours, a fairly standard length in the Chinese business culture. They were comprised of an hour discussing background information about the participant organizations, a question and answer session, and exchanging business cards and gifts. Afterwards, we toured the host library or institution. I gleaned something new from all of the sessions with our Chinese counterparts. The hosts were truly interested and excited to have us there, as we were excited to be visiting.

I was particularly interested in our visit to the Institute of Law , Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The Institute originated as a reading room in 1956 and was formally established in October 1958 as part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 1979, the Institute moved under the departmental umbrella of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). CASS celebrated its 50 th anniversary this year and is the oldest and largest institute of its kind in mainland China . The Institute has 116 staff members, comprised of four Professors for Life, 53 Professors, 34 Associate Professors, with the rest being staff and visiting or honorary Professors.

The focus of the Institute is split into three areas. The first is research in public, private, and social law. Second, the Institute provides legal education to nationals and foreigners, offering both masters and doctorate degrees in law. It also offers advanced educational programs for lawyers, judges, and government prosecutors. Third, the organization assists the state legislature and judicial bodies in the policy-making process. They produce three journals�two in Chinese and one in English.

The library focuses on collecting law books in several languages. Its collection of Russian legal materials is the largest in mainland China . Japanese and English materials also have a strong presence within the library . The librarians struggle with the right balance of what to purchase in these languages. As we know, law books are very expensive and it's hard to know which are the most authoritative. Digital formats are not always available. Because space is also expensive, that contributes to the difficulty of purchasing decisions.

Legal studies are so popular in China that they are having a hard time deciding which books to purchase in all languages. CASS wants to improve and increase services to its patrons, but with a limited budget, finding authoritative titles can be daunting.

The Institute also struggles with copyright issues. In China , an author gives up their copyright when a publisher agrees to produce their article or book. Publishers divide the profits with the author, but it does not appear to be a set amount. Altered and illegal copies are common in China , in the legal as well as non-legal fields. It can be difficult to tell if the Institute is receiving original copies of materials.

As materials move from print to online, the Institute is trying to figure out who will be the keeper of the �last copy� of the print material. The Institute believes the government should create a system that would help determine this type of preservation. But there aren't any guidelines yet. This makes it more difficult for them to decide what to keep and what to discard. The directors say electronic databases have not helped them solve this problem. CASS has access to Lexis and some other Chinese databases, but does not offer them by remote access. The oldest materials are from the Later Tang Dynasty which dates back to the seventh century. Ancient materials like these may not be in good enough condition to scan or change into digital format.

The tour portion of our visit included going to the archived collection. There we were allowed to handle books from various dynasties. The oldest materials are from the Ming and Xing Dynasties (17th �19th centuries ). None of these materials are available in digital format. The books I handled were in great shape.

CASS hopes for more visiting scholars from academic libraries in the United States . I think our initial meeting opened the door to future exchanges with SLA librarians. Fostering this relationship would be helpful since most Chinese librarians do not receive any specialized training in special librarianship when earning their degrees. There are two main branches of library studies�public or academic.

I would highly recommend taking a professional trip that SLA might offer in the future to China or another country. These tours make you step outside the profession in the U.S. to see how other cultures handle their libraries. They create good relations with international professionals and offer a chance to network and have fun with fellow SLA members.

reviewed by Christine Sellers, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., Columbia SC

The first American Association of Law Libraries Leadership Academy was held October 3-4, 2008, in Oakbrook , Illinois . The Leadership Academy was intended to provide a unique opportunity to attending fellows to nurture and enhance their unique leadership abilities. Thirty-five fellows, chosen from a larger pool of applicants, attended. The program and activities over the course of the two day academy allowed the fellows to increase their self-awareness and to try to use their strengths in order to solve problems, both at the academy and in the future.

The academy was taught by Barbara Mackoff, an expert in the psychology of effective leadership. Her philosophy is that leadership is a unique point of view to each person. To help each participant understand their unique leadership point of view, she organized the academy around what she called her eight signatures of a leader: self-appraisal, inquiry, invention, connection, resilience, persuasion, intention, and conviction. Each signature was covered in a separate section. Throughout most of the sections, participants were asked to add key leadership attributes to a large piece of white paper hung on the wall. In the end, the participants were allowed to take these home to look at them later and reflect on what they had learned about themselves. As much as I thought I might not, I actually liked adding to my white piece of paper. It broke the monotony out of sitting down and it was funny to compare how each participant structured and wrote on their paper.

Each signature had a purpose. Self-appraisal (signature #1) was meant to apply self-knowledge to discover leadership strengths. Inquiry (signature #2) meant framing productive questions to drive solutions. Here, participants learned the art of appreciative inquiry, which involved asking positive questions to get better answers. I found this to be one of the most helpful pieces of the academy, as it really made me think of the approach I use in asking different people questions and how to change it if the one I was using didn't work. During this section, the participants opened two appreciative letters they had solicited from someone who could speak of their leadership experience. It was very affirming to read the letters and analyze them for my strengths and values.

Invention (signature #3) was intended to enhance the capacity for creativity and innovation. Four different methods or styles of problem solving were introduced to encourage participants to identify the one they used the most and to try others that were not so comfortable. Connection (signature #4) built our capacity to work with various personalities and ages. During this signature, the participants examined their Myers-Briggs preferences and strengths in light of the preferences and strengths of others. Of all the times I have taken the Myers-Briggs, I think this workshop provided the most helpful framework in which to look at the test results.

Resilience (signature #5) emphasized what can come from experience, whether good or bad. Persuasion (signature #6) was intended to make us think about increasing our visibility to show the value we bring to our organizations. Exercises encouraged the participants to think about the way they speak and to come up with an elevator speech about themselves. I find it is always helpful to be reminded of the necessity of having an elevator speech prepared just in case.

Intention (signature #7) was meant to enrich our capacity for �big picture� thinking and decision mapping. The six thinking hats was a fun exercise, especially for those who participated, that encouraged varied ways to approach and think about a problem in order to solve it. Conviction (signature #8) built trust by translating our values and aspirations into a vision for our leadership and organization. We created a purpose statement for ourselves that encouraged us to think about why we existed, work-wise. I found this an excellent way to end the academy as it tied into a lot of what we had worked on together.

Overall, I thought the AALL Leadership Academy was useful and interesting. I enjoyed working with a different person in each exercise and making connections with other law librarians I might never have met otherwise. There was a lot of information and self-reflection packed into two days, however, so I think my only criticism would consist of its short length. It's hard to process information when it is given so quickly � and it is hard to apply information and learning that is not processed. I've tried to think about what I've learned since then and apply it to both my professional and personal life.

by Michelle I. Mitchell, Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP, Miami, FL

Librarians tend to give everything to their jobs. This may be good for their careers but maybe not so good for living a balanced life. At some point we find ourselves in a position where we have given so much to our jobs that we begin to resent our work, or worse, our clients. This is especially true if we are in law firms that do little to recognize, praise, or support what we do. However, even in the most supportive law firms, librarians can suffer burnout. The first suggestion most people offer when you tell them you are tired of your job is to get another one. In today's economy that is not always a viable option. Yet there are other ways to deal with the problem. The following suggestions help prevent burnout before it occurs and can also help reduce it if you are suffering it now.

The first thing most librarians need to realize is that the more they take care of themselves, the more they will be able to accomplish. Eating right and exercising always top the list of best things to do for yourself. However, we tend to put that off in lieu of working. An easier task may be getting out of the building each day, even for a few minutes. This will help you clear your head so you can think better and get a better perspective. Think about adding some stairs into the trip.

The next suggestion will require a little work on your part, but librarians need to set limitations on their work. Answering your Blackberry 24 hours a day leaves little time for you to fulfill the other roles in your life, so for the next week, answer your emails until dinner time. When you sit down to eat, take the electronic leash off and enjoy your evening. If you are the librarian who has the electronic leash under control but works tons of overtime, then set a particular time to leave each day and do it. We will never catch up on our work no matter how long or how hard we try. Don't worry; it will still be sitting there the next morning.

All librarians learn how to network within their own firm. Sometimes it is harder to reach out to librarians outside the firm. Reaching out takes time and energy but the effort is well worth it. Set up an email group or a lunch group with the librarians in your area. More experienced librarians can tell you that no matter how big the city is, the librarian world is smaller. You will learn who is who and find kindred spirits quickly if you reach out to the librarians in your area. The best way is to join your local library group and attend the meetings.

When all else fails and you find yourself in the midst of a burnout period, then you may need to regain your focus in order to push your way through. Find what you love about your job and concentrate on that aspect. You could find a goal that would make your time in your job worth it to you. Then put everything you have into working towards that goal. You could also take on another or additional role at your firm that might shake things up enough to fight off the burnout.

Another way to combat burnout is to expand your personal life. Start a new hobby, take some classes, or join a new group. All of these ideas will help you to recover a little at a time from your daily grind. You will be able to bring a fresh or different view to your daily work. For instance, if you joined a garden club, you might add plants to your workspace that were never there before.

The best thing to do during a burnout period is to keep everything positive. Tack up positive sayings in your office and repeat them to yourself on the drive or commute into work. Exercise more and eat right. Take time for yourself to recuperate so you can once again give 110% to your job.

If all else fails and you find you need to change jobs, please do so with grace. Remember the world is always smaller than we think it is and the boss you irritate today may be the best friend of the employer you interview with tomorrow.

Burnout is a natural cycle in the life of a career librarian. The degree that you suffer from it will depend on a variety of factors. However, you can minimize its effects by taking care of yourself, maintaining a fresh approach to your job, and keeping positive about your work.

by Reed Nelson, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Los Angeles, CA

Ah . . . , the end of another glorious summer day. Perhaps you've been especially productive today? You finished the budget project early, miraculously negotiated a significant discount on the new current awareness resource your litigation department just had to have, and hammered home cost efficient online search techniques in a training session with the lateral associates who just joined the firm. You're feeling very self-satisfied, smug even, as you make your way to the exit.

And then it happens! A panicked summer associate rushes through the library doors and says she's been asked to determine the regulatory history of a particular regulation on behalf of the firm's biggest client, and that the assigning partner is hoping to discover the intent behind this spectacularly poorly-written piece of rulemaking. Oh, and it's a rush.

You smile bravely and nod and tell the young summer that you'll work on this and get back to her. Once the grateful summer associate has disappeared, you curse your luck and slowly come to grips with the fact that you haven't done this in a very long time and your memory isn't what it used to be. And then the panic sets in!

Very few legal reference requests can equal a regulatory history project for causing stomach-churning anxiety. But it doesn't need to be this way. For starters, there is a finite number of resources one must check when compiling a federal regulatory history. I always find it comforting to tackle projects when I have a set list of resources to check as opposed to assignments which require that multiple databases or resources be searched since it is not possible at the outset to determine where the answer will ultimately be found.

The first step in your federal regulatory intent search is to locate your rule in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The CFR is the codification of the final rules which have been published in the Federal Register . The cost-efficient online searcher can locate a set of the CFR at . Lexis and Westlaw also offer fee-based access to the CFR. Zimmerman's Research Guide on Lexis notes that the electronic version of the CFR at is updated on the same quarterly basis as the print CFR. The Lexis and Westlaw versions are more current.

The next step is to locate the source note which tells the researcher when the final rule or rules were published in the Federal Register . The source note is located at the beginning of a "Part" in the CFR, or in brackets at the end of a particular section when the section pertains to amendments made within the "Part." The Federal Register is available from 1994 on . Older editions of the Federal Register are available on fee sites Lexis and Westlaw; Hein Online has PDF versions of the Federal Register from 1936 as well.

Armed with the definitive Federal Register citation, locate the final regulation. The preamble to the final regulation will indicate where in the Federal Register the proposed regulation and the request for public comments were printed. Both the final rule and the proposed rule in the Federal Register contain a reference to a docket number issued by the rulemaking agency; the docket number is often preceded with an abbreviation standing for the name of the issuing agency.

Nearly all agencies currently make their regulatory dockets available online. Public comments submitted during the proposal process, analyses, and materials consulted in the rulemaking process are included in the docket and will assist in fleshing out the regulatory intent of the rule. Agency docket materials can be searched by keyword, phrase, or docket ID at .

Even if the docket is available online, it may still be helpful to contact the agency individual identified in the rulemaking materials. This individual can often provide context to the documents identified in the course of regulatory history research.

Now that you've saved the young summer associate's bacon, you are entitled to your evening of relaxation. And you'll need it, because tomorrow she'll be back asking for your assistance in determining just what the purpose was behind the issuance of your particular state's version of the rule!

by Betsy Chessler, Morrison & Foerster, LLP, San Diego, CA

I have used Dialog for at least a decade, mostly using the old-fashioned command language that frustrated me as a library school student, but that I have since come to appreciate for its precision.  Dialog has let me find the proverbial needle in a haystack.  More than that, it has helped me find the haystack. Dialog has become my favorite tool for �scorched earth� searches, even if it lacks the friendly interface of Google or Yahoo. Dialog's content goes back to the late 1960s, something that Internet search engines can't duplicate. It is also meticulously indexed.

Now Dialog has a new owner, ProQuest. What lies ahead for Dialog under its latest owners?

Established in 1966, Dialog was the world's first commercial online service.  Since then, Dialog has passed through many hands: Lockheed, Knight-Ridder, Thomson, and now, in July, 2008, ProQuest.  ProQuest is another long-established information provider. ProQuest was founded in the 1930's as a dissertation publishing service (if you've ever gotten a copy of a dissertation, it was likely from ProQuest's forerunner � University Microfilms, (UMI)). In the 1940's, the company started microfilming newspapers. In 1962, it was purchased by Xerox, then by Bell and Howell in 1985. In 2006, it was acquired by its present owner, Cambridge Information Group (CIG). CIG is probably best known for its Cambridge Scientific Abstracts. Now ProQuest has folded Dialog into its portfolio.

Libby Trudell at the Marketing & Knowledge Center of Dialog gave me a list of action items ProQuest is working on to make Dialog work better. It is true that Dialog allows very precise searching (at least in the �classical� command mode) and has an amazing depth of coverage. Where else would I find an abstract for a twenty year old Croatian article on poultry disinfectants? But the search interface is difficult, the results usually have to be edited before being handed over to a non-librarian, and searching can be slow (sometimes I feel I could finish brewing a pot of coffee while Dialog sends me endless �processing� messages).

The good news is that ProQuest has invested in a brand new data center and is consolidating many back end administrative systems. They are also investing in a new technology platform for Dialog that should come online in 2010. That means they will replace the out-of-date architecture that currently underlies Dialog, which has grown a little rusty. I hope this will speed up my searches.

ProQuest will also work to add more full text articles and PDF documents to Dialog, including new content from ProQuest's other products, such as Cambridge Scientific Abstracts. (ProQuest has a number of products in its arsenal, including UMI, RefWorks, and Serial Solutions.) They will focus on adding more third party content in intellectual property, including full text patents from Asian, Pacific, and South American countries, and pharmaceutical and biomedical research. They also plan on significantly increasing full text coverage of non-patent literature, always useful for prior art searching. This is all good news for me, as I do a lot of patent searching in the biomedical field.

All these changes are based on customer feedback, according to Libby Trudell. ProQuest has talked to their top customers and has done some market research. Separately from writing this article, I was contacted in October of 2008 by an independent marketing company to discuss what I liked and didn't like about Dialog. My sense is that ProQuest is committed to making Dialog a better tool for information professionals.


by Kevin Miles, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Dallas, TX

Wikinomics is an extraordinary book about the impact wikis, like, make on our lives. Authors Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams have created an interesting perspective on how a collaborative technology can change our work lives. A wiki is collaborative software that allows anyone to contribute or modify content.

The book is approximately 324 pages long. It is divided into eleven chapters with interesting titles such as Ideagoras, the New Alexandrians, and Collaborative Minds, but I wondered why the authors created all the new words to make the case for an open, linkable, and editable bulletin board. Perhaps because new ideas require new labels for new descriptions.

Some of the more interesting chapters are Peer Pioneers, Ideagoras, and Prosumers. The major principles about wikis are found here. Peer Pioneers explores ways to get things done without a hierarchy. There are seven key benefits of peer production for business, which are briefly described here. Harnessing external talent is something that should be done, and later in the book the authors describe a way to do this. Keeping up with users so that you can stay competitive and not be left behind. Boosting demand for complementary offerings generates new ideas and new markets. Reducing costs can be achieved when companies collaborate with open source communities. Shifting the locus of competition can mean changing the focus from operating systems to applications. Taking the friction out of collaboration can present an ownership problem, which the authors resolve by promoting the idea of open collaboration. Finally, developing social capital means companies gain more when they openly collaborate.

Ideagoras is a label that represents a marketplace for ideas and innovations. The authors begin their description with a story about Werner Mueller, a retired chemist from Hoechst Celanese. He became involved in solving a problem for a large company. Today, Innocentive ( ) exists to match problem solvers to real problems in an open, collaborative way.

Prosumer , another blended word, has four meanings: a professional consumer, a producer and consumer, a non-corporate producer and consumer, and one who can influence the R&D budget that can benefit them. (see for elaboration). In other words, the consumer and the vendor collaborate on solutions.

In summary, the principles of wikinomics are being open (being open to new ideas and expressions, but there is more to this), and peering (non-hierarchical production, sharing, and acting globally).

Who is doing a wiki? According to the authors, �Everyone.� For example, Best Buy is doing this with their Geek Squad. The Geek Squad uses wikis to communicate, update, and share information. The authors write an Alice-in-Wonderland case study about how everything works better because of the Best Buy wiki. A wiki may work in that particular retail culture because it is high-tech. But would it work in a low-tech retail culture?

According to the September 25, 2008 National Law Journal article Legal Departments, Law Firms Weighing Wikis , (subscription required), some law firms are trying out wikis. The corporate counsel of Sun Microsystems has used a wiki to shorten a legal project timeframe to a few weeks instead of several months. Another example from the law firm of Bingham McCutchen comes from the library. The reference librarians use their wiki to post PowerPoint presentations, handouts, and other documents. Many of us have seen that has some pretty authoritative information about companies. In addition to being a free information center in, wikis can be used for staging ready reference information. Are wikis easy to create? The answer is yes. Very little HTML coding goes into creating a wiki page. The software, for now, is freely downloadable from MediaWiki ( ), but it operates in a Unix/Linux environment. MediaWiki is a package ready to receive your content pages. For more information about constructing a wiki, turn to Mark Choate's practical book Professional Wikis (ISBN 0470126906 ). Choate will get you started from a practical approach.

In addition to MediaWiki, there are other free wiki software packages in the marketplace. Some work very well, and others need further development. One competitor is An excellent comparison chart may be found at .

In conclusion, why a wiki? The reasons are many and varied � editable bulletin board, a place to hold reference documents, or a place to track individual projects. Wikinomics is very much a force to gain your attention. It provides great reasons and motivations to support your arguments to create a wiki. Finally, if you are seriously considering a wiki at your firm, you might want to look at Mark Choate's book mentioned above. If you want to improve the Wikinomics book, go to their website, to collaborate.

by John Azzolini, Clifford Chance LLP, New York, NY

Increasingly, librarians have been grappling with the question of business legitimacy. Confronted with cost-cutting across institutions, changing client expectations about the availability and use of information, and the specter of outsourcing, they are understandably seeking justification for their budgets as well as their own value to their parent organizations. They struggle against the image that the library is not much more than a cost center. They feel the necessity to talk the business talk if they are to advance in an evolving occupational world. However, many librarians are inexperienced with this approach. They usually are not called on to use it in a formal manner, so they are unfamiliar with its vocabulary and underlying dynamics.

With her Business Cases for Info Pros: Here's Why, Here's How , Ulla de Stricker offers a means to engage this untried situation with foresight and well-versed methods. It's a highly practical primer on the whys and hows of applying a business case document in the pursuit of approval for proposed projects and new purchases. Even before the current financial crisis, I would have found this book to be extremely valuable. Now it seems an essential resource to lead one forward through the hard times, where the bottom line and a solid business sense determine organizational priorities.

The author distills her knowledge as an established consultant to the information industry to give the reader concentrated insights and caveats. The book is short (102 pages) and relies heavily on charts and bullet points, but like a good business case document itself, it makes effective use of space. It's succinct and well-informed and keeps the reading eye moving effortlessly. While perusing the guide's eight chapters, I couldn't help but feel that de Stricker knows what she's talking about, and that making this purchase for my bookshelf was an excellent investment.

The Introduction sets down key observations the author has garnered while working with information professionals who sought approval for new outlays. She establishes the reasoning behind the book's coming into being: to assist knowledge workers in making �a convincing case and an attention-getting presentation� so that this will �assure decision makers of the return�financial or otherwise�that they will realize on their approval and investment� (p.viii).

Chapter 1 addresses the decision-making context. De Stricker puts forth a definition of a business case, making it clear that she refers to the document or instrument behind the justification, rather than the justification itself. She explores the why behind the creation of such a document by usefully distinguishing between decisions able to be made by ourselves and those to be made by others, thereby necessitating the crafting of a proposal for approval. As the author emphasizes, when creating a business case for your bosses, you have to pay close attention to the integral WIIFT factor. That is, �What's In It For Them?� How do you get the decision-makers to jump on board? How do you persuade them that your proposal is in the best interests of the organization?

The significance of rationales when making financial investments is touched upon in Chapter 2, �Thinking About Money.� The author cogently uses the scenarios of purchasing a new car and of licensing new information content to underscore the questions and justifications that are implicated when making a non-trivial investment.

In Chapter 3, de Stricker introduces a general approach to the business case. She briefly examines its elements, the overall process, the importance of input from relevant stakeholders, and guiding suggestions that will keep the document's intended audience �comfortable, secure, and oriented every step of the way� (p.25). Chapter 4 offers the marrow of the book, the actual segments of the business case document, from executive summary through appendices. In table format, each section contains key points to include and comments and examples. Here, the book's pragmatic core is evident. De Stricker stresses the importance of paying heed to your organization's distinct culture. A document's style and content will be strongly shaped by the norms, expectations, and complexity of one's specific company. It's also vital to compellingly set down your proposal's drivers - its PNO's - �the problem to be resolved, the need to be filled, or the opportunity to be pursued� (p.31). If your organizational culture is more amenable to shorter formats, Chapter 5 covers the business case memorandum.

Chapter 6 presents three case studies that will be familiar to many readers. In forty pages, the author soundly demonstrates the practical application of her framework. The situations of hiring an outside consultant, hiring a new librarian, acquiring key content, and licensing a news monitoring service are convincingly portrayed to bring out the many operational facets of standard business proposals in the information management context.

Two short concluding chapters offer recommendations for successful business presentations and highlight the sometimes forgotten significance of a document's visual appearance (i.e., its strategic use of fonts, spacing, special effects, and color).

The library literature seems to be growing with exhortations to embrace quantitative measures of worth. Such articles do extend relevant advice, at least as it pertains to limited work settings. However, Ulla de Stricker's Business Cases for Info Pros goes beyond this, not merely in length, but in applicability and versatility. Its observations and language are flexible enough to be spot-on for most professionals looking for budgetary or investment justification. As a publication centering on �the business case,� one might think it is meant primarily for librarians in the for-profit sector. This would be a mistaken assumption. I highly recommend it as a basic strategic asset for all information pros.

by Alyssa Altshuler, Ropes & Gray LLP, Washington, DC

Billed as the companion to both Antitrust Law Developments (6th edition ) and State Antitrust Practice and Statutes (3rd edition ), the three-volume set Issues in Competition Law and Policy provides both a comprehensive and complementary balance to the statutory and legal material included in those titles. Publication of this book was delayed by almost two years because it grew from one volume to three, which heightened the anticipation by those attorneys and economists who were aware of its upcoming release. Kathryn Fenton, Chair of the Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association, underscores the importance of the inclusion of a wide-range of viewpoints, and notes that the book �reflects a variety of perspectives and approaches � the authors include policy makers, academics, economists, and lawyers.�

The framework of the three-volume set is organized to address the major areas of antitrust law and its evolution as perceived by the editor and authors. The articles address various questions about antitrust law and are categorized under broader themes. The focus of Volume I is jurisprudence and economic foundations of antitrust law. Its articles explore burden and standards of proof, the ideological origins and goals of antitrust, and competition policy. Market definition, structure and power, and the economics of monopsony, price discrimination, and barriers to entry are also discussed. Volume II investigates single firm conduct, cooperation among competitors, and mergers and acquisitions. Proving anticompetitive effects, market power and dominance, collusion, international cartels, and the effects of horizontal, vertical, and conglomerate mergers are explored in-depth by the contributors. Finally, Volume III delves into the fundamentals of distribution, the intellectual property-antitrust law interface, and enforcement issues. While most of the authors concentrate on domestic issues, an examination of international antitrust policies is also included.

While the fundamentals of antitrust issues are deftly and thoroughly covered, there is also a richer social sciences and public policy context in which to read these articles. This title is more compelling and infinitely more readable than other purely technical books that only cover the nuts and bolts of antitrust law, because of the breadth of issues it covers, the wide audience for which it is intended, and the varying backgrounds and expertise of the authors who contributed to the compilation. Collins, the editor-in-chief, should be commended for selecting the right balance of issues and choosing authors whose in-depth knowledge of the subject matter is so well-regarded in their respective fields that the reader has confidence and trust in their interpretations. This title, like Antitrust Law Developments , is destined to evolve into future editions, as its target audience will be eager for more antitrust issues and policies to be addressed in the same thoughtful and insightful manner. This set should be included in the collection of any law firm with an antitrust practice.


by Byron Hill, Bowditch & Dewey LLP, Worcester, MA, Suzanne Hoey, Massachusetts Trial Court Library, Worcester, MA, Timothy Rivard, NELINET, Worcester, MA

As you may know, Elaine Apostola has announced on law-lib that she will be leaving her position as the sole law librarian for the Worcester, Massachusetts firm of Mirick O'Connell. On December 1, Elaine will begin her new position as the Principal Law Librarian at the Maine State Law and Legislative Library in Augusta, Maine.

Elaine has served as the law librarian at Mirick for more than 21 years. During that time, she has made an indelible mark on both the Worcester and the Massachusetts legal scenes. Elaine has been an active and enthusiastic member of AALL, LLNE, and ABLL. She was the driving force in sponsoring the very successful fall, 2004 meeting of LLNE at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA . ( ). If you were lucky enough to have attended that LLNE conference, you remember a packed day of events and fun that didn't end until late evening, after a viewing of �librarian� Katharine Hepburn in �Desk Set.� It was such a successful event that I suspect that most who attended have forgotten it rained that day.

Elaine was involved in the founding of the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System, a very successful central Massachusetts collaboration of public, academic, government, and special libraries. For the past ten years or more, she has taught legal research, including special courses in legal research on the Internet, at Northeastern University , Becker College in Worcester , and at Bay Path College .

Although a very hard worker, Elaine can party with the best of them, as many of you can attest. Her fellow members of WADDLE (Worcester Association of Drinking and Dining Library Executives), a thinly veiled excuse to get together regularly to eat, drink, and vent, will miss her very much. She has proven herself a friend, a colleague, a mentor, an unfailing source of help and support, and � frequently � just the nudge we needed to get something done.

Augusta 's gain is our profound loss.

Elaine, we wish you all the best. We will miss your smile.

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