What's in a name? "Library" doesn't say it all. Time to Rename PLL?
I personally have always wondered why PLL is an organization of libraries rather than an organization of and for librarians and other legal information profession. Libraries have no strategies, develop no plans, do not innovate, perform no research, teach no classes, do not lead change, and are not self-organizing. It is people, information professionals, who lead, plan, strategize, teach, research, and organize. The legal industry is undergoing a seismic change which has already begun to impact how many firms view administrative support services. We need to acknowledge the possible impact of these changes on our membership.
Many of our members provide "non-library" services, in Competitive Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Knowledge Management, records, docket, web development, and other emerging digital roles. Members are intentionally embedding information professionals in practice groups outside of the library. The word "library" understates and implicitly excludes members from being considered for emerging opportunities outside "the library."
Now that libraries are shrinking and indeed at least one Amlaw 100 firm has no physical library, I think it is downright dangerous to remain identified with the word "library." It is time to reexamine the name of the Private Law Libraries SIS and to consider whether it is time to find a new name that more accurately describes our value in supporting the practice and business of law. During our July Board meeting, the PLL Board was in unanimous agreement, that we should raise this issue with the membership. We want to know if you agree that we should change the name of PLL to a name which more broadly describes the diverse range of our members activities and contributions to their organizations.
I am sure this will spark a lively discussion. The PLL Board plans to undertake an examination of this issue over the coming months and it is important to get a sense of how our members would view such a change. We look forward to hearing your suggestions and comments.