19 June 2016

Throwback Thursday - The American Law Librarian World in May 1999

What was the American Association of Law Librarians thinking about in May 1999?
The obvious topic of conversation was Y2K preparedness (but hey let’s not be too mean about that). One thing that they were also talking about was the difficulty in creating management support for eLibrary positions.
In Using basic rules to win management support, Judith Meadows (then) Director of the State Law Library of Montana discussed the struggle associated with gaining management support for a eLibrary position and then getting that through State Parliament.
Recognising the increasing dependence of the library on automated systems and services Judith put together a business case for the creation of an electronic services librarian and successfully came out the other side with approval. Looking back on the process Judith made three key hiring strategies which remain relevant today when creating a business cases of technology-focused staff:
  • Be able to identify what library functions are unmet, and how that impacts upon library operations
  • Align the library goals with the organisations technology staff. Make them your ally, a person who can argue your needs not a block to your requests
  • Its easiest not to fight the good fight alone.

By Alex Cato
Research Librarian and ALLA NSW Web and Social Media Co-ordinator.