Our Law Firm Library
At our law firm, we have an extensive library including specialized books dealing with traumatic brain injury, trucking accidents, nursing home and assisted living injuries, medical malpractice, anatomy, search and seizure in criminal law cases and evidence. Our books are carefully categorized and displayed on 21 bookcases. We enjoy our books.
Although we have a large print collection, the overwhelming majority of our research is conducted online. We have access to all federal and state court opinions and can check whether the cases we cite are still good law through a quick and expansive online search. We can see the results of cases involving injuries similar to those sustained by our clients through a national jury verdict and settlement database.
With all of our vast print and internet resources, one might think that we do not need librarians any more. Think again.
Marilyn Johnson’s New Book
This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All has just hit the bookstores and online book sellers. Marilyn Johnson presents a fresh and lively perspective on the role of the modern librarian or “cybrarian.”
Librarians have championed the privacy rights of patrons even in the face of pressure from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after the passage of the Patriot Act (officially known as The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.). She praises visionaries like Frederick Kilgour who developed what has become WorldCat.org, the Online Computer Library Center’s (http://www.oclc.org/us/en/global/default.htm) catalog of a “gazillion” library records and provides guidance on how to find libraries that carry the item you need. You may be surprised what resources are available near you.
Ms. Johnson thanked the cybrarian who taught her to click the option “Save As Web Page” on Google to snap and save pictures she found on the Web. A cybrarian can help you phrase research questions that help you find answers through Google , Yahoo!, Bing and WolframAlpha. A cybrarian even taught her the little trick of how to get rid of the musty smell of old books–a sheet of Bounce will absorb the musty odor (http://www.bouncesheets.com/en_US/index.jsp).
Librarians have stampeded to blogging. Librarians call their corner of the Web the biblioblogosphere. The Annoyed Librarian (http://annoyedlibrarian.blogspot.com), The Obnoxious Librarian from Hades, Shhhh!! (http://olfh.blogspot.com) are blogs where librarians vent. The Inspired Library School Student (http://inspiredlibraryschoolstudent.wordpress.com) and Tame the Web (http://tametheweb.com) provide advice on how a blog can help you have a constructive online presence.
Ms. Johnson closes her book by talking about the new Darien Library in Darien, Connecticut—a prototype of the community public library of the future (http://www.darienlibrary.org). For $300 you can become a friend of the Darien Library and enjoy any and all of the privileges of the library. Their librarians are happy to work for you, the patron.
Libraries have a global perspective in 2010. As Ms. Johnson notes, “Public libraries do, after all, hang signs that say ‘public.’”