I am privileged to be working with the San Diego County Public Law Library as they plan a major renovation of their main library. They launched a campaign this week called Rebuilt. Reinvented. Reinvigorated. The campaign is to raise awareness about their plans to better serve the legal community and the general public.
The changes include conference rooms and technology areas that will make it possible for lawyers to use the library as a satellite law office. They include creating new public spaces that will bring together legal organizations and community groups to better serve the public. They are revisiting their membership program to ensure they are providing value to their patrons. They are even developing a virtual community that will make legal information accessible beyond the physical walls of the library.
Why are they doing this? Because the needs of their patrons and the way legal information is delivered has changed. The San Diego Law Library understands that if they don’t find new ways to add value to their “clients,” they risk extinction.
Law firms should take notice. Instead of clinging to the old ways of doing business, they need to find new ways to add value to their clients and improve the way they deliver their services.
These changes are not easy. Some traditional services may have to go away. The professionals working there have to develop new skill sets. There is a risk that it may not work.
But what is so impressive to me is that the staff and the board are willing to take the chance to make the library a more relevant and vital part of the community. They may not have all the answers, but they recognize that the status quo is not good enough.