The Modern Library: The First Step is to Embrace Change 

By Michael Feit | Librarians

Nov 17

It is no secret that the legal sector is in flux. As clients demand better value for the dollars they spend, firms are taking a hard look at how they do business; analyzing their organizational structure, and evaluating the way services are delivered with an eye towards process improvement.

What does that mean for the Modern Library?

The first step in modernizing a law library begins with YOU – the Librarian, Administrator or Attorney   – anyone who has a role in managing legal information resources plays a part in deciding whether your firm or organization’s law library can modernize.

For librarians, it is essential to move away from the mindset of, “But we have always done it that way!”.  Ask yourself, “What can I do differently to offer value to my organization and make them see me and the library in a new way?”. Think about embracing change in a way to work smarter not harder. You need to be flexible in your approach and meet change head on. Think about your own habits and what you can change to facilitate change.

It can be stressful and overwhelming when asked to do more with resources that may already be stretched. Think outside the box. How can you do things differently to take on something that could add more value to the firm/organization. Change is not comfortable and we have no assurance that we will be recognized or rewarded.

The alternative to resisting change or inaction could result in your library being downsized or outsourced. How can you be proactive to addressing the threat of downsizing and outsourcing? Embrace change by being open to the new roles you can play. Consider what new value you can offer. How can you do your job differently?

For Administrators and Attorneys, they must move away from the “stereotypical view” of the librarian and be open to new roles librarians can fill to support the business of law.  A law library cannot modernize unless everyone is committed to advancement. Does the librarian have a seat at the table in making decisions on contracted content, print resources, budgeting, and collaborating with other departments such as marketing and IT? Ask yourself, what can you as an Administrator or Attorney do to promote the expansive role the Law Library and Librarian Team can play.

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