Innovation and Value: The Modern Library

By Michael Feit | Modern Law Library

Sep 18

Cutting-edge… State-of-the-art… Unconventional… Using the most up-to-date techniques, technology and metrics…

While all these ideas are traits of the Modern Library, the first step to modernization really starts with you, the administrator. Flexibility and an openness to change are necessary traits. Ask yourself: How can I change my habits to actually facilitate change? How can I move out of my mindset of “but we have always done it that way? What can I do differently to steer the law library team in a new way? Can I provide the space/opportunity for the law library team to innovate and transform?

While law firms have always depended on library and information professionals to support the research needs of their lawyers, the Modern Library is undergoing a paradigm shift. Success now depends on the library taking a more active role in the organization to help support the day-to-day business of law. The law-firm administrator is instrumental in paving the road for that new role.

It is no secret that the legal sector is in flux and change, which is the only constant in our organizations. There are changes we can forecast, and there are those we must be able to react to in order to function as a fiscally responsible unit in our organizations. The Modern Library, a business within a business, is not passive in its approach, but rather utilizes metrics and analytics to forecast, predict and analyze data as changes occur.

Rather than be a target of downsizing or outsourcing, the Modern Library is innovative and forward-thinking. Librarians have a variety of skills that can be utilized in innovative ways such as:

  • Conflicts support for new business intake
  • Partnering with marketing to provide competitive intelligence to support the RFP process
  • Partnering with IT to identify and beta-test software
  • Driving Knowledge Management

Allowing the law library to collaborate with other departments is a win-win for the library and the firm.

The Modern Library is a trend-setter, evaluating and embracing new techniques, ideas and technology to help support business processes. It strives to carve out new roles within the organization while showcasing the value of resources and staff.

Feit Consulting is interested in learning how modern you see your law library, and what obstacles stand in the way of modernization. Click here to get started on our 10-minute survey.

About the Author

Michael Feit earned his J.D. from the Loyola University School of Law in Chicago and was an executive at Westlaw before founding Feit Consulting 16 years ago. Feit Consulting partners with law firm administrators and legal information professionals to optimize vendor contracts and the management and delivery of legal information resources by providing leading-edge, customized solutions. Contact Michael at