1 AALL Volume 17 No. 5 March 2013 AALL: Spectrum Maximizing the Power of the Law Library Community Since 1906 In This Issue How are law libraries using and managing social media? A firm library s gradual move to all electronic Making research easier with linked citations 14 Using an RFP to Select the Best Technology System for your Library
2 Selected as the 2011 New Product of the Year by the American Association of Law Libraries. WE DELIVER ANSWERS ON A MOMENT S NOTICE. MARY ELLEN KAAS LIBRARY DIRECTOR MCELROY, DEUTSCH, MULVANEY & CARPENTER, LLP NEW JERSEY As client demands change, legal research needs to change. That s why MDM&C chose WestlawNext. Mary Ellen Kaas, the firm s library director, says, The folders enable my library team to save and access cases, articles, and materials that we use frequently and then share them on a moment s notice usually for that three o clock meeting that s happening in five minutes. Hear what Mary Ellen and others are saying at Customers.WestlawNext.com or call for a demonstration. Learn more about McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter at mdmc-law.com Thomson Reuters L /10-11 Thomson Reuters and the Kinesis logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters.
3 Vol. 17, No. 5 March 2013 from the editor By Mark E. Estes AALL Spectrum Fresh Bread Editorial Staff Marketing and Communications Manager Ashley St. John Editorial Director Mark E. Estes Copy Editor Graphic Designer Law Library Journal and AALL Spectrum Committee Chair Vice Chair Members Judy K. Davis Deborah S. Dennison Shaun Esposito Timothy Gallina Ryan Harrington Robert B. Barnett Jr. Kathy Wozbut Linda C. Corbelli Amanda Runyon Marguerite I. Most Alyssa Thurston Mark E. Estes (Ex-Officio) Janet Sinder (Ex-Officio) Deborah L. Rusin (Board Liaison) AALL Executive Board President Vice President/President-Elect Secretary Treasurer Immediate Past President Executive Director Members Kathleen Brown Amy Eaton Lucy Curci-Gonzalez Jean M. Wenger Steven Anderson Deborah L. Rusin Susan J. Lewis Darcy Kirk Kate Hagan Gregory R. Lambert Suzanne Thorpe Ronald E. Wheeler Jr. AALL Spectrum (ISSN: ) is published monthly except January and August with a combined September/October issue by the American Association of Law Libraries, 105 W. Adams Street, Suite 3300, Chicago, IL Telephone: 312/ , fax: 312/ , Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to AALL Spectrum, 105 W. Adams Street, Suite 3300, Chicago, IL Writers wanted contribute to your Association s magazine. For guidelines, visit spectrum/policy-spectrum.html or contact Editorial Director Mark E. Estes at AALL Spectrum Submissions Article ideas for the following issues must be approved by the editorial director by the following dates: 2013 Issue Approval Deadline Vol. 18 No. 1 Sept./Oct. June 13 No. 2 November July 11 No. 3 December August 8 AALLNET: Advertising Representative Innovative Media Solutions 320 W. Chestnut Street P.O. Box 399 Oneida, IL Telephone: 309/ Fax: 309/ AALL Spectrum is a free benefit of membership in the American Association of Law Libraries. Of each year s dues, $42 is for one year of AALL Spectrum. Nonmembers may subscribe to AALL Spectrum for $75 per year. For membership and/or subscription information, please contact the American Association of Law Libraries at the address above. AALL Publications Disclaimer This publication is provided for informational and educational purposes only. The American Association of Law Libraries does not assume, and expressly disclaims, any responsibility for the statements advanced by the contributors to, and the advertisers in, the Association s publication. Editorial views do not necessarily represent the official position of the Association or of its officers, directors, staff, or representatives. All advertising copy is subject to editorial approval. The Association does not endorse or make any guarantee with respect to any products or services mentioned or advertised in the publication. All content copyright 2013 by the American Association of Law Libraries, except where otherwise expressly indicated. Except as otherwise expressly provided, the author of each item in this issue has granted permission for copies of that item to be made for classroom use or for any other educational purpose, provided that (1) copies are distributed at or below cost, (2) author and AALL Spectrum are identified, and (3) proper notice of copyright is affixed to each copy. For items in which it holds copyright, the American Association of Law Libraries grants permission for copies to be made for classroom use or for any other educational purpose under the same conditions. Ibake bread and brew beer. I began baking in college to save money, starting with a 100-pound sack of wheat from the granary, adding a grist mill from an antique store, and using a sourdough starter from a friend. Each loaf, excluding electricity or gas and my very inexpensive time, priced out to less than a dime a loaf. Now I bake because I prefer my own sourdough whole wheat, basil sourdough, and even gluten-free bread to almost any commercially available loaf. I save time by using a bread machine, buy whole wheat flour instead of grinding it myself, and use a starter from an Alaska sourdough kit, the original depression-era sponge having been mistakenly tossed during one of our moves (heartbreaking, but it was my own fault). Making bread involves kneading the dough, letting it rise, punching it down, letting it rise again, and then rolling it out and finally baking it. Although the three- to four-hour process involves less than an hour of actually touching the dough, it must be touched at specific intervals. I began using a bread machine to bake bread when my schedule made it exceedingly difficult to schedule those necessary blocks of time. I chose to use technology because it promised to save me time while enabling me to have other things I wanted: the smell of homemade bread coming from the kitchen but also the ability to be away from the kitchen while the bread rose and baked. The total time required for making the bread remains the same it still takes three to four hours. But now I can start the process and not worry about returning to the kitchen to punch down the dough and shape it into a loaf. Instead, I press the start button (and even program a delay) and return hours later to fresh-baked bread. That acceptance of and transition to technology came slowly. First, I stopped grinding my own flour. Later, during the heat of a non-air-conditioned summer, I began debating the pros and cons of using a bread machine: not heating up the kitchen, the time and enjoyment of kneading dough, cost of the machine, etc. When my parents offered the bread machine as a present, I concluded that the greater scheduling flexibility and not having to heat the oven (and the kitchen on a hot summer day) made sense. Following the recipes in the extensive owner s manual, I successfully baked many loaves while experimenting and adapting my sourdough recipe with the guidelines in the manual. I logged the failures and successes and each change I made to the recipe. Eventually, I found a combination that consistently produces good loaves for my lunches. Even better, in the morning I can program the machine to produce a loaf of fresh, hot, Italian herb bread just in time for a dinner of fresh crab or salmon from my grill. Or I can program it to bake a loaf of chocolate chip bread overnight for the library staff to enjoy the next morning. I adopted technology to save myself time. As law librarians, we adopt and adapt technology to save our own time and the time of our users. We also do so because our professional competencies call on us to understand new technology and to promote the effective use of technology to solve information problems. More and more users visit library websites via mobile devices because they want immediate and convenient access to our services. Accordingly, we apply technology in order to meet some or all of our users legal information needs through their mobile devices. Successfully applying technology may mean that we must personally invest in some of the technology devices so that we can experience what our users experience. That investment enables us to apply our unique empathic skills to understand how a person interacts with the technology. With that understanding, we refine the technology developed by our libraries or delivered by our information vendors. We improve the user s experience and thus fulfill Ranganathan s Fourth Law: save the reader s time. While satisfying the growing demands of mobile users, we still attend to the traditional user who wants hard copy. We learn how to balance the new demands and the traditional demands. We use the new technologies so that we can model, coach, and teach the interested traditional user how to use the new technologies. For Spectrum, we continue to explore how to improve the magazine s digital delivery while also improving the print version of the magazine. In short, I m pleased with what bread-baking technology has done for me: it has saved me time and led me to brewing liquid bread beer. I m generally pleased with what information technology has done for law librarianship too. Certainly, technology hasn t always made our work lives easier, but when we use opportunities to experiment with improving service, we can learn how to deliver quality services in new ways and in new places. AALL Spectrum March
4 contents FEATURES 07 Public Relations: Digital Signage A new tool in your arsenal of knowledge By Deborah Schander 12 The Social Side of Law Libraries How are libraries using and managing social media? By Ashley Ahlbrand 10 How Can We Make Our Discovery Layer More User-Centric? Using Banned Books Week to reconnect with our users By Christine Korytnyk Dulaney 14 Request for Proposal: a Requirement for all Professionals Using an RFP to select the best technology system for your library By Richard Jost 17 Cheaper Online? Our firm library s gradual move to all electronic By LaJean Humphries 21 Attitude is Everything Surveying the perceptions and attitudes of embedded law librarians By Andrea Alexander and Jordan Jefferson 23 The Missing Link Making research easier with linked citations By Nick Harrell Read more Spectrum articles online 2 AALL Spectrum March 2013
5 AD INDEX Bloomberg Law/ Bloomberg BNA inside back cover Brill 09 LexisNexis back cover 10 The New York Law Institute 06 Thomson Reuters inside front cover COLUMNS From the Editor 01 From the President 04 Washington Brief 05 The Reference Desk 26 DEPARTMENTS Next Month in Spectrum 27 Member to Member 27 Views from You 28 ANNOUNCEMENTS Financial Assistance Available AALL Spectrum March
6 from the president by Jean M. Wenger Strategic Directions: Mission Based, Goal Oriented The Executive Board approved the AALL Strategic Directions on December 13, In this column, I would like to introduce the Strategic Directions and encourage each of you to read the new plan. Our new directions are authority, advocacy, and education, and, as goals, each has objectives that will position our members and the profession for the future. The new plan was developed with input from members and other stakeholders and builds upon our current plan. As a board member and recently as vice president and now president, I have had the privilege to be involved in the development of two strategic plans for AALL. As chair of the board s Strategic Planning Committee from , I worked alongside the Executive Board, AALL membership, and headquarters staff to draft and adopt the Strategic Directions, our current plan. This plan will conclude on July 16 with the adjournment of the Annual Meeting in Seattle. The Strategic Directions will then become effective for the next three years. Observing the progress and evolution of the strategic planning process and the resulting plans from these two cycles has been a very informative and positive experience. Because the Association still needs to close out our current plan, I have asked the Executive Board s Strategic Directions Committee, chaired by AALL Vice President Steve Anderson, to assess our achievement of the objectives in the Strategic Directions. The committee will submit its report to the Executive Board for the 2013 summer board meeting. Preparation Although we are still working to complete goals from the plan, the Executive Board believed it was necessary to draft and adopt the new plan well in advance of its commencement. This provides ample opportunity to communicate the plan to the membership and position the Association to begin implementation at the start of the new association year in July. Early in the process, the board decided that a three-year plan was the appropriate length. Conditions were changing too quickly to contemplate anything longer, and three years ensured that we would have reasonable time to achieve our objectives. During the 4 AALL Spectrum March 2013 three-year cycle, the board may conduct an environmental scan so that if anything has changed significantly, the current plan can be amended in some manner. To this end, the Executive Board met with Paul Meyer of Tecker International for a planning day immediately prior to our 2012 spring board meeting. Our planning discussion focused on building upon AALL s historical success, responding to future challenges, and taking advantage of future opportunities. Our discussion was informed by results from the 2011 Membership Survey. (AALL conducts a biennial survey of it membership to track and benchmark member satisfaction and participation.) AALL members and stakeholders were also interviewed about the future of the profession. With research in hand, we were asked to review our core purpose (our reason for existing) and our core organizational values (the essential and enduring principles that guide the behavior of our organization). Did they accurately state what we need to convey? We believed they were solid but decided they could be more focused on our role as professionals in a quickly evolving environment. Our core purpose is as follows: AALL strengthens the profession of law librarianship and supports the individual efforts of its members. Our core purpose is as follows: AALL advances the profession of law librarianship and supports the professional growth of its members. We also updated several of our core organizational values, as the figure below shows Lifelong learning and intellectual growth The role of the law librarian in a democratic society Equitable and permanent access to legal information Continuous improvement in the quality of justice Community We next moved to a discussion of AALL s long-term envisioned future. An envisioned future is a concrete yet unrecognized goal. This future has two components: a big (hairy) audacious goal (BHAG) and a vivid description that captures what it would mean to achieve our BHAG. These activities are recognized components of strategic planning and were helpful as the board later developed our three-year goals and objectives. Our BHAG: AALL and its members will be the recognized authority in all aspects of legal information. Authority, Advocacy, Education The board held a retreat prior to the 2012 fall Executive Board meeting. Paul Meyer again facilitated our discussions. His assistance was valuable in helping the board distinguish strategy from operational goals and objectives. We reaffirmed our core precepts and envisioned future as approved at the spring board meeting. We worked intensely on refining our goals and objectives. Association directors from headquarters also participated and helped the board evaluate objectives in terms of financial and personnel resources. The board reviewed the current directions of leadership, education, and advocacy. We believed that progress had been made on leadership objectives and that we could move to the next level authority. We defined the goal of authority as follows: law librarians will be recognized as an essential part of the legal profession. Authority is more targeted and specific to our relationships within our institutions, with allied professionals, and with our evolving professional environments. (continued on page 20) AALL s core organizational values for and Lifelong learning and intellectual growth The essential role of law librarians within their organizations and in a democratic society Equitable and permanent public access to legal information Continuous improvement in access to justice Community and collaboration
7 washington brief Opening the Government WASHINGTON, D.C., January 4, 2013 Much has been said about the promise President Obama made on his first day in office to make transparency one of the touchstones of this presidency. As a candidate and first-term president, Obama pledged unparalleled openness, issuing a Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government and a Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which ordered federal officials to usher in a new era of open government and act promptly to make information public. Subsequently, though, the executive branch has failed to create real reform, inciting disappointment and skepticism that the long legacy of government secrecy will ever be overturned. Still, the president s second term provides an opportunity to return to the openness pledge of his first day, bringing agencies up to speed and standardizing best practices for open government. With moderate successes in the 112th, we are also optimistic that the 113th Congress will bring new opportunities for legislation supporting government openness, increased oversight, and more attention to the need to provide permanent public access to official government information in the everevolving digital environment. Here s a look at the current status of open access to government information, especially through FOIA, with opportunities for greater improvement we hope to see this term. Sunshine Week 2013 The 9th annual Sunshine Week will take place March with events held around the country and webcasts sponsored by OpenTheGovernment.org and AALL from Washington, D.C. Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools, and others interested in the public s right to know. Visit the Sunshine Week website (sunshineweek.org) for information about events in your area, some of which may be sponsored by your local chapter or League of Women Voters. The site is also designed to help continue the dialogue on open government year round. You ll find a Reading Room with some highlights from reports and commentary, a Toolkit and Idea Bank to facilitate brainstorming, and a helpful Freedom of Information Resources section offering information on a wide range of open government topics. Although it s probably too late to plan an event this year, if you re inspired to host a Sunshine Week event next year, please see Planning a Local Sunshine Week Program by Northern California Association of Law Libraries Government Relations Chair Michele Finerty at Government-Relations/sunshineweek planning.pdf. FOIA in Agencies When President Lyndon Johnson signed FOIA into law on July 4, 1966, he said, This legislation springs from one of our most essential principles: a democracy works best when the people have all the information that the security of the nation permits. In theory, FOIA serves as the public s gateway to information about its government. In practice, however, unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles, as Attorney General Eric Holder described in his 2009 FOIA memorandum, have prevented FOIA from being the strong right-to-know law our democracy requires. The National Security Archive recently released its government-wide FOIA audit, where it found that 62 out of 99 government agencies have not updated their FOIA regulations since Holder s 2009 memo. In fact, 56 agencies have not updated their FOIA regulations since the OPEN Government Act of 2007 mandated reformed fee structures and request-tracking numbers. After President Obama s second year in office, only 49 agencies had taken concrete steps to improve their FOIA practices. The report cites the inability of Congress and the White House to find a way to compel recalcitrant agencies to comply with FOIA as the chief source of this lackluster performance. Still, the number of processed FOIA requests has increased in the last year, bringing down the average cost of fulfilling a FOIA request by more than $2. The number of FOIA requests has also been steadily on the rise, increasing by 5 percent from fiscal year 2010 to On October 1, 2012, FOIAonline was launched to the public, making it easier to make and track requests for government information made under FOIA at participating agencies. To date, six agencies are using FOIAonline: the Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Labor Relations Authority, Merit Systems Protection Board, and National Archives and Record Administration. Users of the site can search a database of all agency documents released to the public via the FOIA portal, and requesters are able to track multiple requests at once by creating a streamlined account. The open By Emily Feltren government community has had high hopes that the system will reduce delays and backlogs, making information released under FOIA more publicly accessible and ultimately saving considerable taxpayer money. FOIAonline is not without problems, as the OpenTheGovernment.org coalition has documented in its blog, Managing FOIA (managingfoia.wordpress.com), and as I have found in my own testing. Search functionality on the site is often limited due to insufficient metadata. Status updates to the site can be slow. However, the system is still a significant step forward that simplifies, speeds up, and provides greater access to requests for government information. AALL encourages all agencies to adopt FOIAonline as soon as possible, and FOIAonline s developers should continue to consult with requesters and FOIA processors to improve the system s functionality. Save the Dates: Chapter Lobby Day in D.C. and Advocacy Training in Seattle Be sure to mark your calendars for two exciting upcoming events from the Government Relations Office (GRO)! On Thursday, April 18, local chapter members and advocates are invited to Capitol Hill for a lobby training and day of action. AALL members will practice the basics of successful advocacy and then meet with their representatives and senators to discuss timely issues in law librarianship. AALL Public Policy Associate Elizabeth Holland at to register for this free event. On Saturday, July 13, the GRO and Government Relations Committee will host our annual Legislative Advocacy Training at the AALL Annual Meeting and Conference in Seattle. For more than 10 years, our advocacy trainings have offered a special opportunity for beginner and experienced advocates alike to learn how to effectively promote AALL s important public policy priorities at the state and federal levels. The halfday training session (8:30 a.m. to noon) is available at no extra cost to members. More information on the Chapter Lobby Day and Advocacy Training will be forthcoming. Stay tuned we hope to see you there! Emily Feltren, director, AALL Government Relations Office, 25 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C / fax: 202/ AALL Spectrum March
8 Public Relations Digital Signage A new tool in your arsenal of knowledge By Deborah Schander MY ARSENAL OF KNOWLEDGE INCLUDES ROCKET LAUNCHERS, TRACKING DEVICES, ELECTRO-MAGNETIC FIELD GENERATORS, FREEZE RAYS, AND THE USUAL ASSORTMENT OF AUTOMATIC WEAPONRY YOU D EXPECT IN YOUR TYPICAL LIBRARY. Thus proclaims Rex Libris, the eponymous star of James Turner s comic book series about a man who once worked at the Library of Alexandria and who now uses any means necessary to collect late books and fight ignorance. As Rex has discovered, modern librarianship often requires us to embrace technologies and resources that do not automatically scream library service! So while freeze rays may not, sadly, be standard issue for law librarians, we still have the opportunity to assemble our own arsenals of knowledge. In the case of library marketing, we already have print newsletters, web pages, and word of mouth as proven methods of promotion. With the space-saving advent of flat screens, we now also have the opportunity to broadcast announcements to students who simply walk through the door. Digital signage creates a new opportunity to reach your library patrons. Using TVs and computer monitors to inform building visitors is not a new concept. Law schools have been using them for years to tell students about on-campus interviews, class cancellations, and more. Thanks to screens that don t require an excessive amount of space and even open source software, libraries can now do the same. Choosing Your Location A digital display can be an invaluable marketing tool for any library, but where do you start? Your first concern will probably be where to put it. Placement is actually a fairly easy question to address. Perhaps you have a public computing area or a good space near the circulation desk. The exact location will depend on your library s layout, but the important thing is that the display be placed in a heavily trafficked area where your visitors can see the screen without a lot of effort. If possible, it is also best to place the screen at eye level, five or six feet above the ground. This way, the display is in your patrons direct line of sight as they walk by. Although you can mount the screen higher on the wall, you may find that people don t notice it as readily or don t want to crane their necks to see your announcements. Setting Up Your System Closely related to the question of where to mount your screen is how to display items. You have two basic options here. The first option is to use a flat screen computer monitor and run your announcements as a PowerPoint presentation or screensaver. The advantage of this option is that it will not require any new software. You may even be able to use some existing hardware. On the other hand, you ll also need to have the CPU nearby. This may require a locked cabinet or similar piece of furniture to protect the tower. Your second option is to purchase a flat screen TV, receiver, and software specifically designed for digital signage. Some of the advantages of going this route include the option for a much larger screen and the ability to run your software from a remote location rather than a connected CPU. However, this software can be expensive and comes It can never hurt to remind patrons of some of your basic services, such as offering guidance on their research assignments. with a learning curve. You may also decide to purchase only one license, and updates would need to be done from one specific computer on which the software is installed. There are a number of companies that offer digital signage software, including Scala (scala.com), Symon (www.symon.com), and the free, open source option Concerto (www.concerto-signage.org). Designing Your Signage Although your slides can be as plain or as fancy as you d like, you will find that having some knowledge of design principles and software will be incredibly helpful. And while some digital signage software allows you to create your slides within the program itself, it can often be easier to do so in another program and just upload a final product for display. Microsoft products such as PowerPoint and Publisher tend to be readily available on office computers and are a good place for the casual designer to start. You can then save your design in various formats such as JPGs, PPTs, or whichever format your digital signage software prefers. You can also use more high-powered programs such as InDesign, Photoshop, or The Gimp for advanced editing options Deborah Schander AALL Spectrum March
9 Digital signage can be used for advertising library events or offerings, such as Law Library Week or free coffee during finals. The internet provides a wealth of free tools to enhance your designs. For attractive new fonts, try dafont.com (www.dafont.com) or Font Squirrel (www.fontsquirrel.com), which boast a wide variety of options. If you d like some help with color selection, Some of your slides may stay up on an ongoing basis. For example, this slide alerts patrons to a quiet area of the library. other slides: new databases, free coffee days, or highlights from your special collections. Digital signage can even be a creative way to lighten the mood of the library. For example, at Georgia State University, our students requested the increasingly popular stress animals during exams; when we determined that our library didn t have an adequate place to house the animals, students requested pictures of them on the digital signage instead. Throughout exams, we d see students walking by, grinning because a puppy had come up on the screen. Some would even camp out in front of the screen for a few minutes as the display cycled through lambs, cats, and even a tiger. Scheduling One final factor to consider with your digital signage is the schedule and variety of content. There will probably be some slides you choose to display throughout the semester, ongoing pieces of information that are useful for one-time visitors and that serve as reminders for your frequent users. But you will also find that your patrons start to ignore the signage if content gets too stale. To prevent this, plan to change out the majority of your content every week or two; any longer, and people tend to ignore it. With a good mix of changing informational screens, lighthearted content such as movie or book quotes (also often popular with visitors), event announcements, and your ongoing slides, your digital signage will remain fresh and informative for your patrons. Seeing the Results Adding digital signage to your library can require an investment of both money and time, but you can also expect your patrons to become more informed about upcoming library events, services, and the collection. Whether it s a student confiding that they didn t feel comfortable asking a class-related question until they saw a sign urging them to do so or a public patron taking note of your holiday hours, you will see a change in how your patrons start to get their library news. Although a digital sign cannot (and should not) replace other traditional forms of library marketing, it can still enhance your outreach efforts in a noticeable way. Deborah Schander gsu.edu) is reference/student services librarian at Georgia State University College of Law Library in Atlanta. COLOURlovers (www.colourlovers.com/ palettes) has a fun and inspiring selection of user-created palettes. For eye-catching art, run a search on Flickr (www.flickr. com) for Creative Commons-licensed images; from straightforward to wacky, these Flickr images are often available for use with just an artist attribution. Content Ideas Choosing your display system and design software are probably one-time decisions, but you are also going to face the ongoing decisions of what to display on your digital signage. Some of this content will be self-evident: upcoming library events, reference desk hours, and that handy quiet zone sign. Other signage may be tied to a particular time of year, such as orientation or exams. Your digital signage can also feature Quotes from books and movies are often popular slides (not to mention easy to create for filler content). 8 AALL Spectrum March 2013
10 How Can We Make Our Discovery Layer More User-Centric? Using Banned Books Week to reconnect with our users By Christine Korytnyk Dulaney How do we capture the attention of library users who Google first, ask questions later, and don t even consider the catalog a resource? 10 AALL Spectrum March 2013
11 These are users who have no patience for inconvenience and believe that no content is worth more than two or three clicks. Can a user-centric discovery layer generate a renaissance for our catalogs and create a new generation of users who value the information in our online and print collections? How can catalogers contribute an enhanced user experience of our library discovery layer? As a technical services librarian, I spend most of my days working in the back room, creating bibliographic records, checking access points, and ensuring that users have access to our resources via our library discovery layer. And I wonder if our meticulous adherence to standards of resource description is at odds with a comprehensive, user-centric approach to creating and maintaining metadata in our catalog. From my vantage point behind the closed doors of technical services, I can t see our users, and I worry that I don t know them or understand what they want. I don t know when they ve become frustrated or had success finding resources. Mostly I know our users from the intriguing tidbits of information that our search logs expose about user searches. But if I had more direct communication with library users and knew their needs and how they are searching, could I organize and describe our resources more effectively? Since the opportunities to interact with students are few in technical services, I decided to seize the next chance to work directly with library users. In the fall of 2012, Pence Law Library at American University in Washington, D.C., completed implementation of the Innovative Interfaces product Encore/Synergy. Encore serves as our discovery layer, and Synergy integrates article discovery into this interface. We wanted to roll out this new feature to our users, but we knew that we needed more than just a new catalog interface to attract students. Banned Books Week felt like the perfect opportunity. Our law school has a long tradition of research and promotion of human rights, so a display highlighting censorship in the United States was a natural fit for many students. Seizing Opportunity For Banned Books Week (September 30- October 6, 2012), we decided to bring the library into the direct path of the students. We set up a table in the firstfloor law school lobby, which everyone entering the building would notice. From the American Library Association (ALA), we purchased promotional and educational items for our exhibit about banned books. Posters, book marks, and buttons with the Banned Books Week logo promoted the event. We gave students an ALA educational brochure that listed banned or challenged titles. Our integrated library system vendor, Innovative Interfaces Inc., provided a poster, T-shirts, brochures, bookmarks, and desk tents for giveaway to students. Our metadata and digital resources librarian created a video on how to search the new interface, which we played in a loop on a big screen in the lobby. During a two-hour period each day, two librarians with laptops provided ongoing demonstrations of our new discovery tools. Finally, as added incentive to draw students in, we gave away brownies and lemon bars. Over the course of the week, 224 students stopped by our display approximately 15 percent of our student body. In the process, I heard a lot about how frequently they use the library, how they still study in the library, and how much they like the library. Many students left our exhibit and directly entered the library, intending to get more information about using our new interface from the reference desk. Some left with scheduled appointments to see a reference librarian for further assistance with their research. WE MUST BALANCE THE TRADITIONAL TECHNICAL SERVICES MISSION AGAINST THE EMERGING IMPERATIVE TO CREATE SEAMLESS ACCESS TO LIBRARY CONTENT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR DISCOVERY LAYER PROVIDERS. From a technical services perspective, that week proved to be the perfect opportunity to probe our students for their thoughts about the usability of our catalog. I was able to ask students directly how they search for library resources, which features of our interface are most helpful, and which aspects of our bibliographic records are most useful. I asked students how they begin research, where they go to find resources, and through which portal on our homepage they enter the library catalog. Their perceptions of our bibliographic records were illuminating. What do they think of subject headings? Love them! Call numbers? Useful! Facets? Great way to narrow a search! Bibligraphic record display? Too much information. How about the database list? Too complicated! Related searches? What s that? If getting to the content requires more than three clicks, many students give up. Not surprisingly, these interactions validated the importance of clear, simple bibliographic records represented by an intuitive, uncluttered interface. Although the library literature has clearly identified the importance of convenience, simplicity, and ease when it comes to our catalogs, this message becomes more urgent and powerful when hearing it directly from students. Lessons Learned According to Gillian Mitchell and Patricia Dewdney s 1998 article Mental Models Theory: Applications for Library and Information Science from Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, a mental model is a construct that individuals construct in their minds to facilitate interaction with the environment, other individuals or technology. In technical services, we have a mental model about our libraries that has led us to develop standards and best practices representing the complexity of the research process, our library collections, and our resources. But this mental model does not accurately reflect the priority our users place on convenience, simplicity, and ease. We need to redirect our focus toward creating systems for uncluttered and flexible catalogs, as well as developing standards of bibliographic description that our users understand and find useful. The powerful immediacy of student feedback on our discovery layer s interface and the bibliographic information that organizes, describes, and provides access to our library collection confirmed for me the importance of stepping out of the library s back room. By watching students search our catalog, ask questions as they tried new features, and express their opinions as they used these library tools, I understood how urgently we need to rethink how we describe and catalog our library resources. We must balance the traditional technical services mission of providing descriptions of resources against the emerging imperative to create seamless access to library content in partnership with our discovery layer providers. Formal usability studies or even targeted interactions with students are a critical first step in achieving a more user-centric library experience for our students. Christine Korytnyk Dulaney is associate law librarian for technical and metadata services at American University s Pence Law Library in Washington, D.C Christine Korytnyk Dulaney image istockphoto.com AALL Spectrum March
12 The Social Side of Law Libraries How are libraries using and managing social media? By Ashley Ahlbrand Social media is an odd phenomenon, having taken the digital world by storm in a little more than a decade. What began with basic networking platforms (MySpace, Facebook) has become increasingly diversified, with networking for specific purposes (LinkedIn, Mendeley.com) and socializing in different forms (Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit). These days it seems that everyone has joined the social media frenzy. Initially the realm of college students and teenagers, today it s almost rare to find a business or organization that is not asking you to like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. However, the question of whether libraries should engage with social media commonly produces mixed reactions. Social media can be an excellent means of advertising and outreach, blending the formal and informal. It has become such a commonplace activity that many patrons spend routine parts of their days immersed in their social media accounts and if that s where they spend their time, why not try and integrate the library into these routines as well? This is not to say that social media is without flaws we all certainly know that person who tweets 20 times a day, to the point that the tweets lose any informative value, or that blogger whose level of informality is so extreme as to seem immature and utterly unprofessional. To be certain, if a library is going to invest time and efforts in social media, a balance must be found that achieves the approachability of social media without losing the professionalism expected from a library. In a survey conducted for the purposes of this article, AALL members were invited to tell us about their libraries interaction with social media. In all, 183 members responded, representing everything from academic to corporate law libraries, and their responses showed some interesting results. Survey Results In answer to the question of what type of social media tools their libraries use, nearly half of respondents indicated Facebook (45.9 percent) and blogs (43.7 percent), one-third indicated Twitter (33.9 percent), and nearly 40 percent (39.9 percent) indicated the use of no social media. Google+ and Pinterest were also included in the question, but each is only used by about 3 percent (2.7 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively) of respondents. We offered an other category, in which respondents were asked to indicate other social media tools they utilize; these responses identified several additional tools, most notably YouTube, but also Flickr, LinkedIn, Paper.li, Scoopit, FourSquare, and HistoryPin. Nonspecific tools, such as instant messaging and wikis, were also noted. (See Figure 1.) In addition to the types of social media used, I was interested to know what levels of resources libraries are dedicating to social media use. Nearly Figure 1: Survey respondents indicated what types of social media tools their libraries use. two-thirds of respondents indicated that a specific person, position, or team is responsible for coordinating their library s social media. More than 75 percent of respondents indicated that the person or persons responsible spend less than five hours per week devoted to social media (though 3 percent indicated this position requires more than 20 hours per week). Yet nearly all respondents (98.4 percent) indicated that no library services or offerings were eliminated to make time for social media responsibilities, and nearly the same percentage (97.4 percent) indicated no immediate plans to assign a social media coordinator. Thus, it appears that many member libraries are devoting time and resources to social media interaction while maintaining the same levels of staffing and services. (See Figure 2.) Although the majority of respondents did indicate the use of social media in their libraries, as noted, nearly 40 percent indicated no social media use. This reflects the mixed reaction the general population has toward social media. Anticipating some sort of divide on the question of social media use, the survey s final question simply asked for any additional comments. As expected, we received a mixture of positive and negative comments. On the negative side, many comments related to lack of time to fully commit to social media efforts and lack of investment by the entire library staff. One respondent questioned the usefulness of social media in libraries: I believe social media to be just that... social. Use of these outlets for work or to promote work simply reflects the further dumbing down of America and its populace. Libraries (and other businesses) should stay as far from social media as possible. In contrast, one of the more positive comments offered the following advice: I think that social media is great, but only when it is used well. I follow so many law library Twitter feeds and Facebook pages that are not updated regularly. Social media needs to be dynamic in order to work. That being said, there are some very impressive users as well. This range of comments seems to quite accurately reflect the overall sentiment about social media there is a proper way to use it, but there are certainly many wrong ways to approach it, as well. My Experience Consider my personal tale: I began work as the educational technology librarian, a new position at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, in July AALL Spectrum March Ashley Ahlbrand
13 My position is flexible, going beyond library technology projects to helping faculty integrate technology into their courses. Like many of the respondents libraries, my position did not eliminate any other library services, nor was I an addition to an already full staff. I cannot even claim to be the sole user of social media in our library: prior to my position s creation, our outreach librarian created a YouTube channel for our library, and she continues to create videos highlighting our services and collection. Additionally, all public services librarians are encouraged to contribute posts to our blog. However, as the need arose for greater attention to be paid to technology in the library, so did my position. One of my first missions: to establish our library s presence on Facebook and Twitter. This I accomplished in my first week. Setting up our accounts on Facebook and Twitter was simple. With little more than an address, I was able to create a user name, fill in basic information about our library, and we were set. I was familiar with the layout and capability of these social media through personal use, so I started posting and tweeting right away. However, I quickly learned that one s expectations will not always be one s reality. Just for fun, we decided to hold a contest to help us reach 100 likes on Facebook. Advertising this contest through Twitter, our blog, our digital sign, and, of course, our Facebook page, we still hadn t met this goal after a full semester. Rather than pouring in, our likes came in at a steady trickle. Initially downhearted about this, I realized that most of these likes were first-year students, the group to whom we most heavily advertised. The irony is that when your advertisements about social media are primarily made through other social media, you are dependent on patrons paying attention to your social media in the first place! The librarians talk to the first-year students during their orientation and in the legal research and writing program, so we had more opportunities to directly advertise our social media to this class; we have less contact with the second- and third-year students, so our direct advertising tends to become more one-on-one. Thus, I anticipate our user base growing much more rapidly with each incoming class. Despite our initial following failing to meet my expectations, our social media presence has been positive. Each week I receive insights from Facebook about our page s statistics. Although we have had a few down weeks in the semester, the vast majority have shown growth: new likes and people sharing and liking our posts. During some weeks, our posts are reaching hundreds of people. Shortly after creating the account, in fact, we already had a follower asking us questions about the library via the Facebook page. This is exactly what I was hoping to accomplish new means for patrons to interact with the library. Midway through the semester, we forayed into the vastly different social media world of Pinterest. Pinterest is an entirely different breed of social media Figure 2: More results from the social media survey. Image courtesy of Matt Hamm. from Facebook and Twitter. It allows the user to create digital pin boards on subjects of one s choosing. Most Pinterest users are individuals, and common boards, therefore, pertain to do-ityourself projects, recipes, and photographs. Libraries are just starting to discover uses for Pinterest; when we decided to go down this road, my initial thought was that this was a terrific way to advertise our new acquisitions. As I began pinning, however, I started to think of many more ideas for boards, among these a board to advertise our research guides and a board to highlight sources for government information. Truthfully, the ideas just continue to grow. Another fortunate asset of social media is the interconnectivity it allows. For instance, I have connected our Twitter and Facebook accounts so that each tweet also shows up on our Facebook page as a new post. Likewise, when I pin something new on Pinterest, I have the option to tell people about it on Facebook and Twitter. I have even added interested colleagues to our Facebook page and Pinterest account so that they, too, can post and pin for the library. Just because patrons are using social media does not necessarily mean they are using the same outlets. By connecting our Twitter and Facebook accounts and advertising our pins on Facebook and Twitter, we have a better chance of reaching the largest patron base possible. Establishing a Social Media Presence Although setting up and connecting our social media accounts was relatively easy, setting up social media accounts, I have found, is not the same as maintaining a social media presence. It is painfully obvious when a business has established a social media account of any kind just because they think they have to have one. No updates, no posts, no tweets no point! Social media is just that social. It is constant. It is changing. It requires regular attention. Do you need to tweet 10 times a day? Probably not, but it is important to have a plan. For our accounts, I make it a rule to produce at least one original tweet (as opposed to re-tweeting someone else s tweet) per day. This is not always easy. The library does not always have announcements to make, for example; however, I find I can always locate an interesting news story, digital exhibit, or court case that might interest our followers. Likewise, whenever a colleague or I publish a new post on our blog, I make it a point to advertise it through Twitter and Facebook. Coupling my original tweets with any re-tweets throughout the day, I find that our Twitter feed remains consistently active. Tips This brings me to my words of advice. When starting out (or starting over) with social media, here are some tips to consider: Have a plan, but only if you have the time and willingness to commit to it. This doesn t necessarily mean you need one person whose sole responsibility is maintaining social media, but it does mean you need a plan in place for what to post, how often to post, and who will post on each platform you (continued on page 20) AALL Spectrum March
14 REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: A REQUIREMENT FOR ALL PROFESSIONALS Using an RFP to select the best technology system for your library By Richard Jost 14 AALL Spectrum March 2013
15 The library world is awash in acronyms, but there may be one that is less familiar to many people RFP. In the world of library system migration, it is an important acronym to understand because it can be the building block in developing a project to migrate to a new library system. RFP stands for request for proposal, which is a document that lays out the library s needs and requirements. In addition, it details specifications for how the vendors should respond to the RFP, including deadlines, communication methods, and project scope. Unlike an RFI (request for information), which seeks information about hardware or services that might be available, an RFP signals the organization s intent to purchase new hardware or services if the requirements can be met. In principle, an RFP: Informs vendors that an organization is looking to procure a product or service Requires the library to specify what it proposes to purchase Allows the library to advertise its library system requirements to a large audience of vendors Ensures that vendors respond factually to the identified requirements Establishes a structured evaluation and selection procedure so that an organization can demonstrate impartiality (a crucial factor in public sector procurements). My recent experience with an RFP was due to my participation as a member of the Orbis-Cascade Shared ILS Team in The Orbis-Cascade Alliance, a consortium of the four-year academic colleges and universities in Oregon and Washington, was embarking on a project to purchase a new library system for all 37 member libraries. To accomplish this task, a Shared ILS Team (SILST) was recruited from the staffs of member libraries with the intent to build a team with a wide variety of backgrounds from both public and private institutions. The SILST s mission was to draft an RFP, send it out to a wide variety of library system vendors, evaluate the vendor responses, and make a recommendation to the Orbis-Cascade Board on which system (if any) would best meet the needs of the Alliance. The RFP Process Although each library may follow a different procedure or process for developing an RFP, there are many common elements across all library types. Before beginning the process, library administrators must determine whether or not their library is required to use an RFP. Most public sector organizations are required by state law to use an RFP to ensure that a competitive price is obtained for all products or services. If this is true for your organization, a format and process may be required by your state, university, or campus for writing and advertising an RFP. But if an RFP is not required by law, libraries should still consider using one when trying to procure a new library system because it has a methodical structure and is an excellent tool for organizing the vast amounts of information that are required when contemplating the purchase of a new system. Following the outline in an RFP process will ensure that no steps are forgotten. In an ideal world, once a library has decided to purchase a new library system, a team should be set up to Working group Cataloging/acquisitions Circulation and resource sharing Discovery and user experience Systems manage this process. Here are the steps to consider as a team begins the RFP process: 1. Membership Once the decision has been made to proceed with the project, a project manager should be chosen to lead the project and be the direct liaison to the library administration. The project manager then needs to decide what staff should be included as part of the RFP team. Staff can be encouraged or invited to participate in the process, with the goal of finding the ideal mix of skills and library knowledge. Soliciting people with different talents and backgrounds user interface design, systems, resource sharing, reference, instruction, communication, cataloging, administration, and acquisitions will help balance the team and provide a broad perspective. Because the implementation of a new library system affects nearly every department or unit, having broad representation on the RFP team will ensure that the chosen system works for all staff members and not just a few. Before finalizing a project team, staff volunteers must have a clear understanding of the time commitment the project will require. They also must be assured of the support of their supervisors. Losing key members of a project team due to a misunderstanding of the workload and time required can be disruptive. Areas of responsibility Acquisitions management, serials management, electronic resources management, collection maintenance, description and metadata (cataloging, holdings management, authority control, etc.) Borrowing and lending processing, circulation (billing and payments, course reserves, patrons, etc.) statistics and reporting, communication and notification, circulation/ill integration Discovery, user-system interaction, interface design and integration, APIs and usercentered data Reliability, scalability and performance, architecture, data security and data access, authentication, integration and extensibility, migration, vendor support The Orbis-Cascade SILST divided its RFP into separate working groups to make it manageable. 2. Organization Because an RFP is a detailed and lengthy document, assigning different portions of the RFP to different staff members to make it more manageable might be advisable. For example, the Orbis-Cascade SILST divided the RFP into separate working groups (see figure). Each working group can be responsible for drafting the RFP in its areas of responsibility, which can later be stitched together into the final document. The working group members can use a tool like Google Docs or 2013 Richard Jost image istockphoto.com AALL Spectrum March
16 Dropbox to facilitate sharing the sections of the RFP that they are responsible for producing. Various drafts can be reviewed and shared not only among the working group members but also with all members of the RFP team (or any other outside staff who might be experts in a particular area but are not part of the official RFP team). 3. Elements included in an RFP The major sections of an RFP are outlined below. Although the format may vary, most of these elements will be found in a standard RFP. Purpose and general information. The information in this section will usually include an overview and scope of the project, as well as information about the library (staffing, current library system, number of patrons, circulation, transactions, size of collection, etc.). RFP process and key dates. This section will detail the RFP process for the vendors, including the project timeline, the deadline for RFP responses, and how the vendors should communicate their responses to the library ( , fax, mail, etc.). Evaluation and scoring. This section will inform the vendors of how the responses to the RFP will be evaluated by the RFP team. The guidelines that the team will use to evaluate and score the responses should be listed so that every vendor will see which elements of the RFP response will be scored the highest. Staff functions. This is the longest and most detailed section of the RFP because it provides an outline of the requirements that the library needs for a new system to be successful. Usually divided by library operation or departments, this section will include: any national or international standards that must be observed; the range of record file sizes that must be accommodated (number of patrons, bibliographic records, check-in records, etc.); scalability and performance requirements; customer support requirements; data security and passwording; data structure (MARC, Unicode); support for foreign languages; statistical reporting; ability to customize interface design; and ADA compliance for discovery layer. In addition, this section may also ask vendors to describe their workflows. Is the system composed of many stand-alone modules or is it integrated across modules? Can a library staff member be assigned to multiple functions (for example, receiving acquisitions orders and copy cataloging) with one set of passwords? Is it easy to switch between tasks in the system, or must one have multiple open screens on the desktop? Most libraries seek the greatest efficiency possible with new systems due to limited staff and resources. Purchasing a system that will be cumbersome or inefficient to operate would not be in the library s best interests. 4. Evaluation Because the team will often receive multiple responses to an RFP, it is imperative that the tool used for scoring be as fair and accurate as possible, allowing for multiple systems to be compared on the same set of metrics. In the Orbis-Cascade process, participants devised a ranking system that assigned a numerical value to different components of the RFP and the RFP process itself (format of response, adherence to deadlines, etc.). The point system developed was the result of many discussions among the whole team. Working groups suggested the number of points that they thought were appropriate for their sections based on how critical each piece of the RFP was to the eventual success of the system that was selected. All members of the SILST were invited to give their opinions on the suggested rankings, and the rankings were often adjusted up or down based on the consensus of the group. 5. Communication Although the members of the RFP team are immersed in the details of the project, it is critical to remember that some other library staff may have questions or concerns about migration to the new system. Although not strictly part of the RFP process, an essential component for the success of the RFP project is to keep the library informed of developments and important milestones. This can take place through s, staff meetings, or department meetings, but it is important to keep everyone current on what has been happening. And communication should not be a one-way street the members of the RFP team have to provide a forum for staff members to ask questions about the process and their part in it. Gaining staff support for the new system will be much easier if staff members have been kept up to date on the entire process. 6. Product demonstrations Because the purchase of a new library system is expensive in terms of fixed costs, disruption, and staff training time, the ability to preview a new system is essential before making a final decision. Most vendors will have a sample database that they will provide staff to use, and they are usually willing to visit a library to provide a live demonstration. It is important that these product demonstrations be scheduled at a time when the majority of staff can attend, with sufficient time planned for audience questions. It is at this point that many staff members will tune into the process and may have questions not only for the vendors but also for the members of the RFP team. To avoid having the vendors put on a standard sales presentation that might not address the specific issues of your library, it is wise for the RFP team to develop a set of questions or sample workflows to be demonstrated. This will show how the system will work in a real library situation and how responsive the vendor will be to any concerns. If possible, a recording should be made of the product demonstration to show those staff who were unable to attend or who would like to review the demonstration again. 7. References Another common element included in an RFP is a requirement that each vendor supply several recommendations from other libraries that are current customers. Members of the RFP team should be assigned to call their counterparts at these other libraries and ask for their comments on customer service, system performance, and general satisfaction with the system. Once the answers have been collected, they should be organized and shared with the other members of the RFP team and the library administration. The Decision Once a team has written an RFP, the RFP gets distributed to the library vendor world, usually with a set time limit for responding. Librarians should encourage multiple vendors to respond to the RFP to allow for the ability to compare different products, prices, and services. However, the specifications in an RFP must be clear enough so that a vendor that is either too large or too small does not respond when it clearly would have no chance of winning the contract. A well-written RFP will target the vendors that are most appropriate for an individual library and offer the library a range of systems from which to choose. Once all the vendor responses have been received, the RFP team should begin the review and ranking process using the evaluation tools that were developed and included in the RFP. It is at this stage that the team may want to narrow the field of potential vendors and develop a smaller list of vendors to pursue. Inviting this smaller group of vendors to provide a live demonstration 16 AALL Spectrum March 2013 (continued on page 25)
17 Cheaper Online? Our firm library s gradual move to all electronic By LaJean Humphries much money will we save when we get rid of How the print library after the remodel? our financial manager asked. We had talked about downsizing, but this was the first I had heard about going to a totally online library. Like most law firm libraries, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt has gone through several major downsizings during the past 20 years. By 2011, our collection consisted of approximately 60,000 electronic titles (mostly government documents) and about 5,000 print titles. In the spring of 2011, the firm hired a new chief operating officer (COO). I liked him a lot, and he was very supportive of the library. Although I knew he was a fan of online, I was surprised when he decided that the print library should be eliminated. I had some reservations, but I was willing to give it a try for several reasons. First of all, I think it is important to be seen as a team player. I do not think print will go away entirely, but legal publications are rapidly moving to the electronic sphere. Part of the new tax library The firm already had the Matthew Bender titles included in our lexis.com subscription, and we had extensive CCH IntelliConnect and BNA libraries on the web. Attorneys had been reluctant to move to electronic, but I had been introducing electronic access for a number of years. Now seemed like the time to move ahead. When I learned of the decision to go all electronic, the library had about 3,500 linear feet of shelving. In the new floor plan I received, the library would have less than 300 linear feet. I communicated two things to the COO: (1) going all electronic probably will not work as smoothly as one might expect, but it probably will work better than many attorneys expect, and (2) allowing some attorneys to keep print books but not allowing others is a recipe for disaster. I cautioned the COO, financial manager, and my supervisor that this move would cost more than they anticipated. We would still need to maintain a small print library for those titles not available online, and legal e-books are expensive. The die was cast, however we were going to an allelectronic library. In some ways it was exciting. I d been trying to move toward more electronic access for a long time, and it seemed like we were now on our way. How the Decision Came About The decision to eliminate the print library was part of a larger decision made by firm administration. By 2011, the firm occupied six entire floors of the PacWest Center building in downtown Portland, Oregon. Our lease was due for renewal in 2014, so the big question was whether we wanted to remain in the PacWest Center or move to a new building. After months of debate, the firm decided to remain where it was. However, it was felt that substantial savings could be gained by reducing our footprint to only five floors, which could be accomplished primarily by making all attorney offices the size of the standard associate office (10 x 14 feet) and restructuring the library. Firm administration also decided that glass offices were the new hot item. Attorney offices with large windows generally lined the perimeter of the building, with staff located in interior offices or cubicles. By making the wall opposite the window glass instead of solid, the theory was that more light would reach into interior staff workspace. Although I am not privy to how all of these kinds of decisions are made, it appeared that few attorneys were involved in the process. Glass walls became an issue, as attorneys were concerned about the resulting loss of privacy. The concern about not having a physical library was lost in the general debate about glass walls, though one litigation partner told me that she could hardly talk about it, she was so upset about losing the print library. The appellate attorneys have universally been distraught about losing print. Deciding What Stayed and What Went Several people have asked, How did you decide what to keep? The decision was actually quite easy. State legislative history is a major research topic in our library, and Oregon has limited material available electronically. Librarians use older Oregon laws and regulations on a regular basis. Our local county law library is threatened with closure, and it would be impossible for us to do our job without historical Oregon legal materials. Therefore, Oregon statutes, regulations, and older laws were our No. 1 priority to retain in print. Retaining one copy of each of the federal statutes and regulations took second place. The firm has offices in Washington State, and most of our Oregon-based attorneys are licensed to practice in both Oregon and Washington. Obviously, Washington statutes and regulations were third place. Finally, Idaho and California statutes, a copy of the Restatements, and Uniform Laws Annotated took fourth place. These materials would fill all the space in the new library LaJean Humphries image istockphoto.com AALL Spectrum March
18 I had anticipated losing space for some time but never imagined it would be so dramatic. The library was given a move date of April 2012 to vacate the floor we were on. Before the end of the month I had to store, give away, throw away, or somehow dispose of every single book, periodical, pamphlet, nautical chart, map, cassette tape, CD-ROM, or piece of ephemeral in the library (and I had better know what happened to it when someone asked!). We had long since eliminated print regional reporters, federal reporters, and even state reporters from our collection. We had also eliminated federal digests years earlier and had only two state digests. We did not have long runs of The new coffee bar periodicals. The easy items had disappeared from our shelves a long time ago. Basically, we were faced with cutting heavily used print treatises, state bar desk books, and similar items. We already had a number of items in long-term storage (which for us is fairly inexpensive). I started by reviewing what we had in storage that could possibly be disposed of. Next, I looked at every title we had on the shelf. There were actually a number of titles that went into the landfill. A number of others were offered to attorneys (both in-house and outside the firm) free of charge if the attorney would pick them up (no shipping!). Oregon has many rural counties, and I was able to donate some titles to county law libraries. The mayor s office took some old books (Oregon Reports) to decorate shelves. Some law students eagerly grabbed titles of interest. A local paralegal college initially expressed great interest, but, after spending dozens of hours of my time reviewing titles, shelf space, etc., it ultimately decided it could not take any books. We even managed to sell one treatise. If a title was not available electronically, it was a candidate for either long-term or short-term storage. Schwabe had a large collection of historical standards (building, plumbing, mechanical, and other constructionrelated codes), historical city and county codes (John Schwabe started a land use practice that is recognized as one of the best in the state), and nautical charts (the firm also has an excellent maritime practice). Nautical charts and many land use charts often measure up to 3 x 4 feet or even larger. Our local source for nautical charts closed its doors a few years ago; it now takes several weeks to obtain a print nautical chart. It simply does not make sense to allow these to disappear. We were able to rent storage space on the lower parking garage level for a fraction of the price of prime office rent. We moved some library shelving and industrial shelving to this space, which is under lock and key and hidden from public view. We have this space for two years and use it for short-term storage. This buys us time to see how the move to an electronic library works and allows us to retain those titles most frequently requested in print. New staff workspace The Move During the summer of 2012, we loaded up one copy each of federal and state statutes and regulations onto large moving carts and moved to a temporary floor. It was chaotic, but everyone accepted it in a spirit of adventure it was akin to camping out. The library staff put up posters to cover holes in the walls, and we ignored the green paint on the carpet. Attorneys were in the same situation, so it was not like we were being singled out. Attorneys frequently requested books from storage, and the library staff found themselves making trips to the parking garage storage area several times a day. I felt like I spent half the summer either waiting in front of the freight elevator or riding on the freight elevator (as it was the quickest way to get to the storage area). We still make regular trips to storage. Although we had Matthew Bender treatises included in our Lexis subscription, we had not had a Westlaw contract for more than 20 years. After four or five months of intense interaction, the firm signed a Westlaw contract in early 2012, which included access to West treatises as well as such items as the Rutter Group treatises. Of course, by 2012, the contract included Westlaw primary law whether we wanted it or not. This was a boon to our sole California practitioner who was a heavy Westlaw and Rutter treatise user. As most law librarians know, Law Journal Press (LJP) started combining its print titles with electronic access in recent years. I had hesitated to jump on the bandwagon because the prices seemed a little high and I did not want titles limited to only one specific user. However, in talking with LJP, I discovered that we could create a link to each title in our library catalog and any attorney in the firm could access an LJP title by clicking on the link. Only one person at a time could use a title, but most of these titles are only one volume, so that did not seem like a drawback. If a title got frequent use or an attorney repeatedly couldn t access it because another attorney was using it, we could add another access for a fee. So far, this has not been a problem. The only time we have encountered a problem has been during library orientation when I am demonstrating how it works and several new attorneys try to access the same title at the same time. Even though the decision had been made to go all electronic, management decided that there would be shelving for a few books on each floor. Of course, no one knew exactly how much shelving that would be and, as I write this in December 2012, it s still not certain. One of our maritime attorneys insisted that he had to keep practically the entire maritime collection, so the firm gave him 108 linear feet of shelving for books. We re not quite sure yet where the nautical charts will reside. This particular attorney is an editor of the American Maritime Cases, and he stated that we would NOT cancel our print subscription. To my surprise, the new floor plans showed an employment library. That practice group has never had a large print collection, and I have no idea what they intend to put in that library. The intellectual property and tax practice groups successfully lobbied to keep most of their print. The business/corporate 18 AALL Spectrum March 2013
19 group squirreled away print books in their offices. The remodel took the greater part of It was accomplished in stages, with one or two floors of people moving to temporary floors for a few months at a time, then returning to their new floor. I never saw floor plans for other floors until the remodel for that floor was near completion. In October 2012, I discovered that the floor housing the tax and corporate practice groups was going to have a huge library space almost as much as their books had occupied before the remodel and bigger than the main library! This library is in an interior space, and I successfully lobbied to have the old library shelving installed. However, part of the shelving was designated for pension and tax files. The business attorneys decided they did not want their books in the nice, bright, clean library, but instead wanted them in three large closets a few feet closer to their side of the floor. We tried inexpensive, nonstandard bookcases on one floor, but the shelves started sagging almost immediately. There is no substitute for standard steel library shelving! Library staff worked many long, hard hours to make everything available electronically through the library catalog. Prior to the conversion, the library catalog was used to determine if we owned a title and where it was located (i.e., in the Portland main library or the Seattle or Vancouver libraries). Now one looks in the library catalog to find and access the title, as most titles are available electronically. For most titles, simply clicking on the URL in the catalog will open the book to the title page or table of contents. Our library catalog is no longer accessible by the public, but one can see what our holdings are on OCLC. EOS International has been our ILS vendor for almost 20 years, and it was very helpful as we moved through the conversion process. Even though we do not yet have e-books that can be downloaded to a reading device, we initially called the URLs connect to e-book online. We have since signed a contract with one vendor for a digital library and are starting to change wording of the URLs to reflect the One of three new low bookcases (one in each floor s lobby area on the 16th, 17th, and 18th floors), which we can use for a few books. individual titles. (See screen capture below.) We anticipate adding e-books that can be checked out during the coming year. I am told that the library can control checkout periods and automatically return books to the catalog at the expiration of the checkout period. We are currently in negotiation with publishers about adding e-books. I look forward to the end of hunting for lost books! Although we have downsized the main print library, we have created numerous small satellite libraries. If you count the short-term storage library, we have actually only downsized by about one-third. Nonetheless, when you consider that we started with no case reporters, we have made significant cuts. So Far Have we been successful in migrating to an all-electronic library? No. When attorneys insist on having print, they are allowed to have it. A few attorneys have been willing to make the switch, but We are in the process of changing the URLs to reflect individual titles. many have not. Will we end up with an all-electronic library? Eventually, I suspect the answer is mostly. Right now we seem to have regressed to where we were 50 or 60 years ago, with attorneys each having small collections in (or near) their offices. Obviously, this is not as efficient as having a centralized library. Materials disappear frequently, and it is much harder to keep track of them. Electronic titles are not less expensive than paper. Our less expensive library clerk has been replaced by more expensive, highly technically skilled, degreed librarians. The budget I propose for 2013 is roughly 27 percent higher than the 2012 budget. For firms wanting to transition to an all-electronic library, I do have several recommendations. First, get a few attorneys in each major practice group involved to support the idea of an electronic library. Without some attorney support, it is going to be very difficult to make a successful conversion. Second, you will need an excellent computer automation/technical services/catalog librarian (or several of them). Third, if at all possible, make lists of which titles you will convert and which you will retain in print. Even though you tell vendors/publishers what you are doing, they will not keep it straight, and you will end up spending a lot of time trying to get correct lists with each publisher. Fourth, if you are getting e-books, you need e-readers. The firm should budget for and plan on how e-readers will be integrated into the firm. The library has budgeted for several e-readers in 2013 with the idea that they will be available for checkout. When I suggested to the new chief information officer that he budget for ipads for all attorneys, he was unaware that e-books were in our immediate future. Like many law firms recently, Schwabe decided to add a coffee bar, which is located in the library space. While attorneys and staff enjoy $1 coffee drinks, the resulting noise is disruptive, making work in the mornings difficult. (The coffee bar is closed in the afternoons.) The glass walls on library offices are attractive but require frequent cleaning. Be sure to budget for this. Every year we specify goals for the coming year. For 2013, our goals are clear: training, training, and more training! Attorneys in every practice group are clamoring for training on how to access library materials. This is a great opportunity for us to show our value. Check back later this year to see how successful our e-conversion has been. LaJean Humphries SCHWABE.com) is library manager at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt in Portland, Oregon. AALL Spectrum March
20 from the president continued from page 4 We next discussed advocacy, which continues to be an important direction for AALL. As legal information professionals, members are focused on the quality and availability of legal information resources and understand the importance of expanding our relationships with stakeholders. We are deeply involved in advocating for passage of the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act in all the states and in ensuring the continued viability of public law libraries as a prong of access to justice. Based on the 2011 survey, education social side continued from page 13 add. If time is a major factor in your decision, consider getting a HootSuite account or something similar that allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. Have a purpose. Web 2.0 technologies seem to emerge on a near-daily basis. Don t feel you have to acquire a certain technology just because it exists. In fact, that s probably the worst reason to do so! Before setting up a social media account, consider why you re doing it and whose interests it serves. Have guts. There is much more to social media these days than just Facebook and Twitter. Explore the various social media platforms, and dare to imagine how your library and patrons could benefit from a certain platform. Have fun! Social media is a great way to bridge formality and informality when reaching out to patrons. announcement is one of the main reasons members join AALL or renew their membership. Recognizing the value of this benefit, the Executive Board sought to develop objectives that would expand our educational opportunities for members and establish our preeminence among information and allied professionals. What s ahead? You will hear much more about the new strategic directions in the months and years ahead. The work of the Association is closely aligned with our strategic Social media has expanded from the realm of the individual to a platform that can connect friends, colleagues, and customers. Blending the formal with the informal, it allows for a different kind of interaction than one might typically see behind a circulation or reference desk. Yet as with any library service, a social media presence should not be established half-heartedly; it takes time and effort to maintain these accounts. Depending on the type of library in which you work, you may find you have no need for a social media presence. If you have the interest and you are willing to put in the work, however, you are likely to find the efforts are well worth your while. Ashley Ahlbrand indiana.edu) is educational technology and reference librarian at Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington. directions. As AALL s governing body, the Executive Board will work to move the priorities of the Association forward. This year, we Rethink Our Value and rethink our future as a member-driven association. Jean M. Wenger cookcountyil.gov) is president of AALL and government documents/foreign and international law librarian at Cook County Law Library in Chicago. Seen it All, Heard it All, Done it All. Is it All Worth it? By Julie Lim tinyurl.com/b8nsuf8 Changes in technology, accreditation standards, and the economy have created opportunities to make a law library more valuable to its institution. Articles have been written about demonstrating the value of libraries and the integration or embedment of librarians into an academic legal environment. This article describes the unique experience of City University of New York School of Law in integrating the law library and its librarians into the law school program from the inception of the law school and its evolution into its current role as an information facilitator and expediter. Financial Assistance Available Every year AALL awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to law school and library school students and AALL members. The following scholarships are awarded annually: Library school scholarships (for those with and without JDs) Law school scholarships (for those with MLS/MLIS and those seeking dual JD/MLIS) Scholarships for library school graduates seeking a nonlaw degree Scholarships for continuing education courses LexisNexis John R. Johnson Memorial Scholarship AALL and West George A. Strait Minority Scholarship Marcia J. Koslov Scholarship. The application deadline is April 1. Visit AALLNET for complete information, instructions, and applications at and spread the word to anyone who might be eligible! For further information, contact AALL Scholarships Committee Chair Jennifer Duperon at or AALL Headquarters at 312/ or 20 AALL Spectrum March 2013
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