Recently The New York Times published an article by David W. Dunlap called 'So Little Paper to Chase in a Law Firm's New Library' about how a major law firm's relocation resulted in "leaving behind" nearly 95% of their physical library collection.

The article has lead the President of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), Holly M. Riccio, to write a Letter to the Editor pointing out that the article failed to understand the shift to digital that has allowed for such a large discard of print material.

Riccio writes:

“Given the author’s rhetorical strategy, one might conclude that Kaye Scholer’s library was “left behind” in the firm’s move. To the contrary, the law library was transformed into a comprehensive, firm-wide digital repository of legal information and resources.

Law libraries, like newspapers, are going through major transitions as they adapt to changes in technology and culture. Our members are helping to lead the way—reconceiving the library as a service, a virtual clearinghouse of legal knowledge, not just a physical space.”

Dunlap's article does note that a partner of the Firm does still have a print copy of a key text in his new office, and points to the location shift of the library from "the heart of the firm's headquarters" to "the basement".

What do you think? Was Dunlap too negative about the move? Was he too focused on the decorative nature of the physical editions "beloved of any photographer, videographer or cinematographer"? Do you agree with Riccio that "these transformations are necessary"?

In September, Women Lawyers of Western Australia (WLWA) announced the completion of its 2014 Gender Bias Review Report, which reviews the 1994 Chief Justice's Gender Bias Taskforce Report.

According to the forward:

The 2014 Report provides a contemporary perspective on the gender bias issues facing women today. Not only do such issues prevent women from participating fully in the community and accessing the law and justice system, but they also present a fundamental impediment to equality before the law, and for these reasons must be addressed. We encourage members of the profession, government, private and community associations to familiarise themselves with the findings of this 2014 Review Report, and take immediate action to implement the Recommendations contained within it

The report runs to over 700 pages with references and appendices, but for anyone involved in (or involved in supporting) the legal profession, it's worth having a skim of the recommendations.

Reports on LIS landscape from ALIA

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) recently published a couple of reports that offer insight into the state of library and information professionals in Australia:

The ALIA LIS Education Skills and Employment Trend Report 2014 provides an overview of developments within Australian LIS education over the last five years as well as employment prospects.

The ALIA LIS Research Environmental Scan report, by Michael Middleton and Christine Yates, is an environmental scan of the research currently being conducted into LIS from 2005 to 2013. The report includes research priorities of other library and information organisations, topics of research undertaken in Australia, types of research, persons/organisations undertaking research, and how research activities are funded, communicated and applied.

2014 ALLA Conference Wrap-up

ALLA(WA) invites members to a brown bag lunch: 2014 ALLA Conference Wrap-up.

Come and hear Lisa Webb from the Law Library at the Supreme Court of Western Australia report back on the 2014 ALLA Conference, which took place in Adelaide in September.

Date: Thursday, 23 October 2014

Time: 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Venue: Jackson McDonald, Level 17, 225 St Georges Terrace Perth

RSVP: Jenny at J.Copestake @ by COB Tuesday 21st October

IFLA at the World Bank Transparency and Information Management Open Discussion Forum

This was recently sent around through IFLA-L and WAIN and may be of interest to you.


Dear all,

The World Bank invited IFLA to speak on The Role of Libraries in Access to Information Development as part of its Transparency and Information Management Open Discussion Forum on the 2nd of October 2014.

IFLA Deputy Secretary General Stuart Hamilton discussed why IFLA is involved with the United Nations post-2015 development agenda and why libraries are important supporters of development. He introduced the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development, IFLA’s new major advocacy initiative and highlighted the impact this can have on the post-2015 development discussions. As the United Nations reflects on the future of global development and the post-2015 agenda, access to information must be recognised as critical to supporting governments to achieve development goals, and enabling citizens to make informed decisions to improve their own lives.

You can listen to the whole recording.


IFLA launched the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development during the World Library and Information Congress in August of 2014, and now has over 350 signatories.  The Lyon Declaration, information on how to sign and the list of signatories are available

IFLA also launched the Toolkit on libraries and the post-2015 Development Agenda on the 6th of October. The toolkit supports library institutions and associations and other civil society organisations to advocate for access to information in the post-2015 Development Agenda. 

Please also see the webversion.

Julia Brungs
Policy and Projects Officer
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)

P.O. Box 95312
2509 CH The Hague
Phone: 0031703140884