by Jessica King, Kentucky and Philadelphia Chapters, Legal Division
Ever since SLA in June the word, “align” has been stuck in my head. I feel like I’ve heard it in presentations, read it in blog posts and I have been using it more than ever. I’m not sure if it is the case or not but I’m going to credit this to some kind of conference osmosis. Aligning what I do with my firm’s goals establishes myself as an essential resource to my firm and is one way I can be Future Ready.
Recently my firm launched an initiative to establish standardized practices and create more efficiencies in workflow in order to provide better service. To ensure that it doesn’t die the way some (most?) initiatives tend to in law firms, management has worked closely with administrative staff, IT, marketing and the library to create and promote new workflows/ideas. I have learned more about how my firm operates and wishes to operate in the future. With this knowledge, I have also taken the advice of more seasoned law firm librarians and have taken steps to align the initiative, named Practice Excellence®, with library operations:
- I use the initiative’s logo in my catalog and in library documents. This is in line with management’s wish to increase signage throughout the firm.
- I have participated in practice group meetings as a representative of the initiative’s original steering committee.
- I organized the purchase and distribution of supplemental materials for the firm related to the imitative.
- I have contributed to marketing materials to be used for internal purposes. I credit this to the good relationship I have with my firm’s marketing department.
I have other projects underway such as keeping a database of related articles to the imitative in our catalog and researching KM trends that relate to the work we are doing. I apply the principles of Practice Excellence® to tasks I already do, such as training and current awareness, in order to establish the library and myself as a resource during this shift in the firm’s practice. The examples I have listed may seem like small things but it is through small changes such as these that I think we can be Future Ready today. In my case I see what I am doing as a literal definition of Future Ready since I am readying myself and others for my firm’s future. I know my firm appreciates the unique skill set I have applied to the initiative and I believe a greater value is placed on the services I provide. Hopefully my experience will get you thinking about how you can be proactive and align your library, and most importantly yourself, with your organization’s larger goals.
Jessica King is a solo law librarian for Barley Snyder, a firm based in central Pennsylvania.