Videoconferencing and the Future of Law Libraries

Videoconferencing and the Future of Law Libraries by pendragon David Whelan I was quoted in an article about videoconferencing for lawyers in the Fulton County Daily Report on January 30, 2003, and in the American Association of Law Libraries futures report.

I’m not a big fan of videoconferencing. I think it takes too much away from the client-lawyer relationship because you miss too many of the nuances that make up body language. And those IP-based “egg cam” videoconferencing vendors? Give me a break. Yet it seems like there’s no end to the hype about videoconferencing changing the way lawyers work. It may change the lives of salesmen, but not most lawyers. Not in the near future, in any event. See

I happened to do a riff on virtual law librarians – where the law library and profession might be headed and how we can avoid complete disintermediation in the meantime – and the AALL Committee on the Future of Law Libraries in the Digital Age happened to include a quote from that in their final report. Print-based libraries are going to continue to vanish – and I think the future is bright for librarians who are willing to adapt and take on new skills while they shed current ones.

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David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.