Design Solutions for the law librarian – June 11th

I have often been amazed at the level of engagement of law librarians during my attendance at CALL.  They have a keen sense of the data that is generated as well as consumed in the firm, as well as the opportunities for tools to improve data information delivery.  This was further underscored when Lesha Van Der Bij and I had the opportunity to host a design thinking session for law firm librarians last week, on June 11th, at Fasken’s Toronto offices.

After a brief introduction, the first step for the audience was to pick three different users that they would be designing for, and they settled on Library, Banking, and Lawyers.  The group then split themselves into three teams, with each working on a user group, based on their interests.  They spent short focused spans on time on each step outlined in the presentation that provided the framework for the session, and available here.  The steps included:

  1. Empathy: The teams started out by describing the tasks involved in their user’s day.
  2. Define: They then went on to pick one of the challenges/problems faced by their user and define the problem statement.
  3. Ideate: Followed by brainstorming solutions to the challenge.
  4. Prototype: Which they then mocked up into a prototype solution.

Each team then presented their solution to the team.


The team that chose the lawyer as their client had a solution of a Microsoft plugin that would push information to the user based on the context of what they were working on.  So automatic contextual information sharing, instead of the user having to manually go into different tools and search for information.


The team that analyzed a banking information problem presented a searchable database platform that would provide multiple sources of information in our system.  The platform would also highlight changes/revisions to information as it becomes available, so that users are aware of the exact updates.  The platform would access controls managed by department contacts, including control of the dissemination of information to the department.


And finally, the library team presented a legislation and regulation monitoring platform, with revision control and concordance.  Additional commentary and notes would support this information.  Sharing through email and social media, along with preference management to control interests, would round out the platform.

IMO, given the common pain between all legal libraries to keep on top of legislation and regulation, perhaps it’s time for a shared framework where the different groups can all contribute to a platform, with each group taking responsibility for a different practice area/area of law.

The session concluded with us mulling over ideas for future sessions. Options include: refining each one of these ideas, one session at a time, using both paid and free tools.  Maybe looking at the Google suite and/or WordPress to create POCs for quick wins.

I’m looking forward to this journey, and where it’ll lead.

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