Law libraries are observers of information access, connecting researchers with licensed online content. What happens when those resources cause researchers to draw back from library services?
Freegal is a free-to-use service licensed through public libraries for music streaming and 5 tracks-a-week downloading. It unveiled a new look on its web site and a revised app, both of which are huge improvements. Not perfect, but public library patrons will find it much easier than before.
When a law library has uncertainty around what staff or customers can do, a policy can help to clarify roles and expectations. In particular, collection development and circulation policies can help oversight groups understand why law libraries act the way they do.
I’d like an easy way for law libraries to publish legal information provided by lawyers or law professors. The simple way to convert a Microsoft Word document to epub format is deceptive. Unfortunately, clean up is necessary that may be beyond the ability or interest of the author and the time resources of the library. But the next step may be simple behind-the-scenes automation tools.
Law libraries can adopt a library-as-publisher to turn free government information into more useful resources. Here’s a simple example of how I took a relatively flat but very rich government research tool, added hyperlinks and turned it into an ebook for free distribution.