by Amy Eaton
I confess that I am sometimes slow to join the technology train. I have a smart phone but really don’t know how to use the apps; it took years before I started using Netflix streaming and although I have a Twitter account I don’t really tweet. So you can appreciate how proud I am that I recently figured out how to use Overdrive and my King County Library card to download eBooks and audio books to my phone. This involves both learning how to use an app on my phone, Overdrive, and linking my KCLS account to my Kindle account. I can now listen to audio books while I run which I find much more interesting than music. Focusing on the book allows me to ignore the fact that I find running very, very boring. The Kindle app on my phone is great for the days when I forget my Kindle or find myself waiting for a meeting to start. Everyone thinks I am checking email but no, I am reading about the battle for control of Westeros.
I never thought that online databases would replace printed materials. The costs are too high and there is value in leafing through an index or perusing a table of contents. But after using eBooks in my personal life, I can see a place for them in the law firm library. LexisNexis announced a partnership with Overdrive which will allow law firm libraries to subscribe to over 1,000 of LexisNexis’s titles. Attorneys can check out titles and librarians can set lending periods. Coming from a multi-office law firm, I can see how much benefit this would provide to our smaller offices without large collections or direct librarian support. If we were to also cancel print we could save on staff time related to processing, shelving, filing and tracking down missing volumes. And space, the final frontier. I know law firm administrators would dearly love to see us reduce our space in the law firm. Of course, a fundamental issue will be pricing. I will be very curious to see how this all plays out but I am interested in seeing where it may go!