Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Balancing Print and Electronic Resources in the Law Library

”Libraries have supported multiple formats for decades, from paper and microforms
to audiovisual tapes and CDs. However, the newest medium, digital
transmission, has presented a wider scope of challenges and caused library
patrons to question the established and recognized multiformat library. Within
the many questions posed, two distinct ones echo repeatedly. The first doubts
the need to sustain print in an increasingly digital world, and the second
warns of the dangers of relying on a still-developing technology. This article
examines both of these positions and concludes that abandoning either format
would translate into a failure of service to patrons, both present and future.”
“Why Print and Electronic Resources Are Essential to the Academic Law Library,” Michelle M. Wu, Law Library Journal, vol. 97:2 [2005-14], p. 233. 

What is true for academic law libraries is also true for court and governmental law libraries, in fact for any library in the twenty-first century. Isn't everything online and free? There is a popular misconception that you can find everything on the web for no charge. The truth is that most of the resources in our law libraries are only available in print or through expensive licensed databases. 
“Libraries serve as gateways, and librarians as experienced and knowledgeable guides in the use of emerging and existing media in the pursuit of information.” – Michelle M. Wu.

 The Librarian
 from Sebastian Brandt's Ship of Fools