New York, NY (PRWEB) June 9, 2006
Primary Research Group has published Law Library Benchmarks, 2006-07 Edition, ISBN # 1-57440-079-7. The study presents data from a survey of 84 law libraries; data is broken out for law firm, university, government and private company law libraries, and by size of the library’s content budget. The study has approximately 300 tables of data summarizing a broad range of developments in law library policies regarding personnel and salaries, materials spending, procurement, management, reference services, and information policy. Just a few of the study’s finding are that:
- Close to half of the libraries in the sample have decreased the size of the library within the past five years, and more than half of the law firm libraries have done so. Both small and large libraries have tended to decrease their size.
- More than 70% of the law libraries in the sample increased their budgets in 2005 and only a shade more than 3% decreased their budgets.
- Sixty five percent (65%) of the law libraries in the sample expected their budgets to increase in 2006, while only 8.33% expected a decrease.
Law Library spending for contents and materials:
- The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $561,537 for online databases in 2005. One library spent nearly $7.5 million. The law firm libraries in the sample spent by far the most, spending a mean of $1,036,920.
- Perhaps surprisingly, expenditures on print resources still account for more than half of the materials/content spending for the libraries in the sample. Only law firm and private company law libraries spend less than half of their content/materials budgets for print resources.
Reference and research policies
- About half of the libraries in the sample keep a written log of the reference questions that they receive. University law libraries are the most apt to keep written logs, while government libraries were the least likely.
- Overall, less than 8% of the libraries in the sample say that intellectual property issues are involved in as much as 30% of the library’s research. Indeed, for more than half of the libraries in the sample intellectual property issues are involved in less than 5% of library research projects.
- For about 70% of the libraries in the sample, questions involving mergers & acquisitions were involved in 5% or fewer of their research projects. As might be expected, law firm and private company law libraries were the most likely to be concerned with mergers and acquisitions as a primary research theme.
- The law librarians in the sample spent a mean of 4.23 hours online per day, a figure that is generally and surprisingly low for knowledge workers in highly information intensive industries. Print still matters in the law library world, much more so than in the general corporate library world.
Blogs, Listservs and RSS feeds
- The librarians in the sample spent a mean of 3.93 hours per week reading blogs and listservs.
- Librarians in the sample traveled away from their offices on library business a mean of 7.67 times in the past year (the median was 4.0). Librarians from law firms traveled more frequently than other law librarians, a mean of more than ten times per year, and university law librarians traveled the least, a mean of 3.75 times per year.
Content and knowledge management
- Close to half of the law libraries in the sample have parent organizations that have content management systems through which case materials are scanned and made available to attorneys in digital formats
- Spending on print reporters by the libraries in the sample fell in 2006, with mean spending dropping from $34,815 to $32,819, or by 5.73%. Spending by law firm libraries fell to $40,172 from $46,061, or by 12.8%.
Workstations in the library
- Workstations from Dell were the most commonly used among the major computer manufacturers. More than 40% of the libraries in the sample used Dell workstations.
Use of jobbers and subscription agents
- Close to half of the libraries in the sample used a subscription agent to obtain periodicals, though less than half of the law firm libraries in the sample did so and less than forty percent of the government law libraries did so.
- Less than 9% of law firm libraries use book agents or “jobbers” to obtain their books.
Continuing education for attorneys
- The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $7,878 annually on continuing and degree-related education for the library staff. Law firm libraries spent the most, a mean of $12,510, and one law firm library spent as much as $100,000.
Internet serach skills of attorneys
- Most librarians in the sample characterized the internet search skills of the attorneys in their organizations as “Average” but only a shade more than 17% considered them “Proficient” or “Highly Proficient.”
The study is available from Primary Research Group, Inc or from major book distributors. The price is $119.50 (print version) or $139.50 (PDF). To order, go to http://www.Primaryresearch.com or call Mr. James Moses at 212-736-2316.