I moderated a fantastic panel at the annual SLA conference last week, and wanted to share the tips that were developed during the discussion. These tips are not difficult or costly; however, the impact on the bottom-line of the firm can be huge.
To focus more on cost prevention instead of cost recovery is to shift from a reactive environment to one that is proactive. This is something that can be undertaken by every librarian, no matter their influence or clout within the firm. Additionally, if the impact of these changes is being measured, the potential to raise the profile of the library is tremendous.
Our 5 easy tips:
- Get to know Accounting. If the librarian does not have full access to any and all of the data that impacts the library, how can informed decisions be made? The librarian cannot take ‘no’ for an answer when it comes to developing this relationship, and accessing this data.
- Manage and control the conversation around the firm’s contracts with large vendors. Another benefit to a relationship with Accounting, is finding out how much the firm spends with some of the large vendors. Imagine the bulk discounting that might be possible if the librarian could leverage the entire spend, and not just that of the library. Talk about a direct savings to the bottom-line!
- Education/Training. Controlling the training and education of your users is a great way to prevent unnecessary costs. Vendor representatives only train on their own products, and promote new content and services. This probably isn’t the most cost effective use of all the research resources purchased by your firm. It is imperative that training sessions be vetted by the library or conducted by a librarian, if possible.
- Using knowledge management (KM) to leverage internal and external resources. This doesn’t mean you have to implement some complicated KM software, it just means that you need to look for efficiencies in everything that you do. For example, the library could create an internal wiki to share answers to regularly asked questions, contacts, and/or frequently accessed internal content. This is KM, and once a small step is taken, more will follow.
- Creating innovative and simplified contracts. Vendors have been using the same contracts since they started offering their online services. Has anything else in your library stayed the same over all these years? How about exploring contract structures that reflect how you use the product, instead of accepting the same old, one-size-fits-all contract. Work closely with your vendor before you are even presented with a contract to let them know that the status quo isn’t going to work for you anymore.
Cable&Clark have a busy October and November speaking schedule. We hope to see you at one of the following events:
- October 8, 2010: Law Librarians of Wisconsin Educational Institute “The Strength of Change”
- Colleen Cable will be speaking in two sessions:
- Documenting Change: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why It Matters
- Where do we go from here? Changing Ourselves
- October 16, 2010: Association of Legal Administrators Region 3 Conference & Expo.
- Sarah Clark Kavanagh will be speaking
- The Law Library: Moving Ahead Without Fear
- November 17, 2010: Chicago Association of Law Libraries
- Colleen Cable will be speaking at an upcoming business meeting
- Delivering Value: Making an Impact at Your Firm
I traveled to Milwaukee this week to speak to a group of librarians on the topic of law library management and today’s reality. The presentation I put together is a summary of my experiences as a consultant, librarian and vendor, covering such topics as the role of the librarian, the library as a business unit, preferred vendor, management tools and more.
What a great group and a wonderfully interactive session we had together!
If you are looking for a speaker for your next meeting or conference, please contact Cable&Clark.
Sarah Clark Kavanagh will be speaking at the September 23 meeting of the Orange County Chapter of the ALA. The group has opened its doors to all of those in firm management, and not just administrators. To make reservations, click here.
Sarah Clark Kavanagh will be speaking at the September 23 meeting of the Orange County Chapter of the ALA. To make reservations, click here.
See You Soon…Cable&Clark is Headed to the AALL Annual Meeting with a Special Offer
Cable&Clark will be attending the upcoming AALL Annual Meeting being held in Washington DC, and we hope to see you there!
Looking for something to share with your firm’s business leaders when you return? Then meet with us for a no-cost analysis and review of your online contracts on site in Washington DC. You will return from the meeting with a customized “dashboard” of powerful information and an overview of your information spend.
Not attending AALL? We would be happy to provide the same service, through the power of the web.
Contact us today to schedule a review.
AALL Upcoming Webinar: Determining the “Real” Value of your Information Contracts
Cable&Clark will be presenting an educational webinar for AALL titled Determining the “Real” Value of your Information Contracts to be held on September 16, 2009, 12:00p.m. EST. This program will cover how we got where we are today, factors used to evaluate contracts, vendor justification tactics, and ways to review your own contracts.
Mark your calendars for this must see event. More information will be coming soon.