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ALM Law Librarians Survey: “The New Normal”

Librarians have gotten accustomed to squeezing more out of their budgets, according to our 12th annual Law Librarian Survey. By Alan Cohen

“By now, it’s a phrase that law firm library directors likely hear in their sleep. “Do more with less” was a mantra through the recession; it guided library strategies and triggered cuts to staff, collections, and physical space. But now it’s become more than just a motto—it’s standard operating procedure in a fledgling, uneven recovery. The American Lawyer‘s 12th annual Law Librarian Survey finds that, financial uptick not- withstanding, the pressure to contain costs continues, clients are even more reluctant to pay for research than they were a year ago, and negotiations with vendors—never exactly a festive occasion—are still often contentious. Yet for all that, the vast majority of library directors who answered our survey are far from discouraged. Of the 82 respondents, 40 percent agreed that they were satisfied with their job—up from 27 percent last year—while another 47 percent “mostly agreed” that they were content.”

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