August 13, 2015 – “Last month, Bloomberg Law surveyed 80 librarians from large and medium sized law firms about their respective roles. The result? Law firm librarians feel underutilized as analysts and underpaid for the analytical work they’re already doing. Ninety-three per cent of respondents said their library resources and training could be put to greater use servicing their firms’ business development functions, and 77 percent felt their compensation was not commensurate with analysts in similar industries. The survey was occasioned by the annual conference of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), where Bloomberg Law representatives polled some librarians in person, and others later, over email. Bloomberg Law, a legal and business intelligence tool, is owned by Bloomberg BNA. BNA is also the publisher of Big Law Business. Bloomberg Law President David Perla said librarians have a competency and expertise that lends itself to business development — they have the research skills to dig into business and industry information, and the analytical skills to forecast trends and their impacts on various areas of law. “Librarians are saying, ‘We can help a firm anticipate what a client is going to need. We can be ahead of the client,’” Perla said. The proposal pairs nicely with what Fortune 500 general counsel, in interviews with Big Law Business over the last several months, have been saying they want from law firms: better understanding of clients’ businesses and industries…”
- Comment – The results of this survey are not new nor are they news to law, corporate and special librarians throughout the country. Proactive, ongoing, comprehensive, expert and actionable research has been and remains a key deliverable in the daily performance of librarians who perform the roles and have the responsibilities of positions that comprise: competitive intelligence, business intelligence, marketing, communications (internal, and external – social media, blogs, websites), and knowledge management. Including the Librarian in business decision making processes and programs that deliver value added services to the enterprise and to external clients has been a mantra for a very long time. Call your Librarian(s) – please. We are always prepared, we have the tools and the know how to serve the mission. Thanks!