Lisa Smith-ButlerCharleston School of Law, Sol Blatt Jr. Library SEAALL, Clearwater, FL 2012
Throw It Out or Store It?The Digital Future & Bound Collections• What should we consider when making decisions about the format of materials in libraries? – User preferences; – Need for Preservation; – Costs of Storage in the Cloud or Physically; – Costs of Physical Space & Server Space; & – ABA Standard 606.
Goals• In terms of collections, what are the goals of our libraries?• Are they already established for us, at a minimum level, by ABA Standard 606?• According to the standard, a library should not only maintain a “core collection of essential materials,” but it shall:• …also provide a collection that, through ownership or reliable access,• (1) meets the research needs of the law school’s students, satisfies the demands of the law school curriculum, and facilitates the education of its students;• (2) supports the teaching, scholarship, research, and service interests of the faculty; and• (3) serves the law school’s special teaching, scholarship, research, and service objectives.
ABA Interpretation 606 (5)• According to the Section (5) Interpretation of ABA Standard 606, a core collection consists of the following materials: (1) all reported federal court decisions and reported decisions of the highest appellate court of each state;• (2) all federal codes and session laws, and at least one current annotated code for each state;• (3) all current published treaties and international agreements of the United States;• (4) all current published regulations (codified and uncodified) of the federal government and the codified regulations of the state in which the law school is located;• (5) those federal and state administrative decisions appropriate to the programs of the law school;• (6) U.S. Congressional materials appropriate to the programs of the law school;• (7) significant secondary works necessary to support the programs of the law school, and• (8) those tools, such as citators and periodical indexes, necessary to identify primary and secondary legal information and update primary legal information.
• Do we plan for our library’s goals to exceed the standards?• If so, what funding will we have to accomplish these goals? – What may be the impact of a dwindling applicant pool? – If fewer students attend law schools, classes will be smaller. Revenues will obviously decrease. What will be the impact to library funding?• What importance will and should we attach to user preference when making collection decisions?
Future of Research for Lawyers:What Should We Prepare Our Students to Expect?
In a new library?• Our collection is best described as a hybrid collection with primary and secondary sources collected in both print and electronic formats.• Print is more limited because of the amount of shelf space initially chosen by the founding librarian. The emphasis is on collecting monographs in print rather than serials although serials are collected in print.• There is no microform.• Electronic materials are cataloged individually per title and are accessible via the electronic catalog 24/7.• Electronic materials are also available via the web site.• Electronic materials are authenticated via proxy.
Secondary Sources• Law Reviews – The library keeps two years in print & then tosses the print when the volumes become available electronically via Hein Online, Lexis, & Westlaw. – Except for the school’s own four publications, law reviews are not bound and never have been.• Legal Indexes – Current & retrospective legal indexes are available only in electronic format.• Hornbooks & Nutshells – Hornbooks and nutshells are collected in print format only. West is offering electronic access to nutshells, textbooks and hornbooks for each student but the cost is prohibitive at present.
• Encyclopedias – National encyclopedias are collected in print and electronic formats as is the state encyclopedia.• Words & Phrases – This series is collected in print and electronic formats.• Treatises – A very limited number of print loose leafs are collected. Examples of some print titles collected include MOORE’S FEDERAL PRACTICE, WRIGHT & MILLER FEDERAL PRACTICE & PROCEDURE, & POWELL ON REAL PROPERTY. – BNA & CCH are collected in electronic formats only in order to save shelf space and reduce personnel maintenance costs. The focus is on developing research lectures, programs, and guides for these titles to demonstrate search and retrieval techniques to faculty, staff and students.
Cases• The NATIONAL REPORTER series (federal, regional, CA Rptr. & NY Supp.) is collected in both print and electronic formats. One print copy is collected.
• National Reporter System in Print – Federal – Regional – State (CA, NY) State Official Reporters – South Carolina Reports (2 copies )• Case Finding Tools – Digests in Print Decennial & General United States Supreme Court Federal Practice (5 non-cumulating sets) South Eastern South Carolina – American Law Reports • Print & electronic formats are collected.
Federal Statutes & Public Laws in Print• U.S.C., U.S.C.A., U.S.C.S.• United States Code Congressional & Administrative News (U.S.C.C.A.N.)
State Codes & Public Laws• While also available electronically, the statutes for the following states are collected in print: – CA – DE – FL – GA – MD – NC – NY – SC – VA – W VA• ACTS & RESOLUTIONS OF SOUTH CAROLINA (public laws) are collected in print .
Regulations Collected in Print• Federal – Code of Federal Regulations (Electronic & Print)• State – South Carolina (Electronic & Print)
Collections and/or Services?• Given cost, personnel and space constraints that are becoming more obvious, how should libraries plan their collections?• If the 20th century was the era of the collection, will the 21st century be the era of research instruction and services?• What should we consider?
User Preferences• Who are your patrons?• What do your patrons use?• What do your patrons prefer to use?• How do you determine your patrons’ preferences?• What weight will you give to their preferences?• Does format dictate search strategies?
Costs of Physical Space• Libraries are no longer the only constituent on campus that the dean needs to consider for physical space needs.• Clinics and Career Services are examples of other departments that require extensive space.• Is your library downtown, in the suburbs, or in a smaller town?• What is the law school paying for each square foot of space?• How much does it cost to not only buy books but also to house and maintain print books?
Off Campus? Collaborative Collections?• If you already have an extensive print collection, do you select materials to store off site if you are running out of shelf space?• If so, what is the cost per square foot to store and maintain the materials?• Will the materials be used by patrons? How long will it take to retrieve them? How much will it cost to retrieve? How will you measure patron usage?• Can you share costs by combining collections with other libraries and sharing the cost of off campus space?
Digital• Are there costs in addition to the acquisition of digital materials?• What does in the cloud storage cost? Is that the reason for those pesky hosting fees?• If I host it in house, what are the hardware and personnel costs?
Toss?• It is hard to do.• What if I need it again?• Who am I keeping it for?
Preservation• I need to make sure that future patrons, not yet born, have access to the primary sources of law and secondary sources of law.• How can I best preserve this material?• What format will be best?• How much will it cost for space, storage, maintenance & personnel to preserve the material?
Collaborative Preservation?• If we decide that a library should preserve these materials in print and store off site, can we choose to collaboratively pool and store print collections, sharing the costs?• Is the Library of Congress sufficient to preserve print materials? If not, do we select libraries in each state or will a library in each region be sufficient?• If so, how do we select the library to be the host preserver?• How do we determine costs?• How do we share costs?
Recent Articles• The Internet Archive is not only preserving digital content but also preserving print materials. Why? The organization says that it wants to avoid the loss of everything such as what happened in the ancient world with the library of Alexandria.• Yet the Law Professor’s Blog reported in early March that print subscriptions to law reviews were down to no more than “2,000 paying subscribers” for any one law review since Westlaw, Lexis, and HeinOnline make law reviews readily available in electronic format. See also Ross E. Davies, Law Review Circulation 2011: More Change, More Same published on SSRN.
Conclusion• Difficult choices await us.• If we don’t choose, someone else, with less understanding and knowledge, will make the decision for us.
Power Point Available• This power point is available on SlideShare @ and can be downloaded from there.