Tricia Thomas, Georgia Chapter, Legal Division Chair Elect-Elect
The Green movement and measures to be more environmentally conscious have been around for several years. The concept is certainly not a new one. But the Alston & Bird library decided to take a look at our some of our processes and discover ways that we could “green things up” around here. This review has ranged from examining some of our day-to-day processes to giving our physical book collection a closer look.
The Alston & Bird Atlanta office will soon be consolidating operations from two high rises into one. Currently, the Atlanta library collection exists in a main library and 15 different satellite locations. We are looking to eliminate those satellite libraries and consolidate the Atlanta library collection into a single location, which will likely mean reduced floor space. This possible consolidation means we need to decide which texts are no longer used, out-of-date, or no longer published and eliminate those texts from our collection. For those texts that take up a lot of physical space, we need to consider exclusive online options such as eBooks and online databases. At the moment, we are looking at the possibility of moving several LexisNexis and Law Journal Seminars Press texts over to eBook access only. Of course, this may open up a whole can of pricing and licensing worms, but we feel it’s a move in a more green direction since we’ll be using less paper and space. Plus, moving more resources online gives our attorneys and staff more opportunities to do their legal research remotely. The ability to do more at home, at a client site, or at a professional conference means less commuting into the office resulting in less vehicle emissions polluting our atmosphere.
Another process the Alston & Bird library is looking to change is our Bluebooking and cite checking services. The Alston & Bird library takes pride in our years of experience cite checking briefs, memos, client letters, and other firm work products. For years, when a document has been submitted to the library for cite checking, we have printed that document, penciled in our suggestions and changes, and scanned a copy back to the attorney. Sometimes, we are also printing a copy of a Westcheck report which would identify any negative history associated with the cited cases. Recently, we have started testing a product by Microsoft called OneNote. OneNote has been around for several years but we have found a way to integrate it into our cite checking processes without disrupting any versions of the attorney’s document. OneNote allows us to draw, highlight, type, link other documents, and collaborate with our team members without ever having to print the first piece of paper. Not only is OneNote helping us kill less trees, it’s yet another example of how technology is allowing us to work and collaborate more efficiently in and out of the office.
These are just a couple of examples of how the Alston & Bird library is Future Ready. How is your library preparing for the future?
Tricia Thomas currently serves as the Legal Division’s Chair Elect-Elect. In addition to SLA, Tricia is a long-standing member of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the Atlanta Law Libraries Association (ALLA), and the Southeastern chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries (SEAALL). From 2006 to 2008, Tricia assisted the chair of SLA’s Legal Division by serving on the division’s planning committee for the 2008 annual conference in Seattle, Washington. Most recently, from 2010 to 2011, she served as SLA Legal Division Director. Additionally, Tricia has co-authored several articles on legal research and knowledge management in law firms and has participated in presentations on these topics throughout the United States.
Tricia has worked in law firm libraries for nearly 20 years and serves as the Library Manager for Alston & Bird’s Atlanta office. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oglethorpe University and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Valdosta State University.