David Whelan

Blog Authors

Latest from David Whelan

Reading Time: 5 minutes
One of the struggles public law libraries have is that they were conceived at a time when there was a tight connection between the bench and the bar. Law library governance is often replete with judges and lawyers even though many U.S. law libraries primarily serve people without a law degree.

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Our law library had an open house recently and some of the governing board were there. They reminded me of the first time I met them in person. One recounted that they had driven me home that evening—I had arrived by bus—and I realized that it was essentially the last time

Reading Time: 6 minutes
An issue came up recently that caused some of our library folks to want to help out a colleague. They found links from a third-party site that weren’t going to where they should be. Your website tools can help you manage these backlinks—links that people make to your site—for reasons other

Reading Time: 9 minutes
I was able to participate recently in a professional event involving lots of smart librarians discussing AI and law libraries. At the end, one outcome I committed to was to list what my law library was doing and how AI might impact those tasks. Here’s how that progressed.

Sometimes saying something

Reading Time: 4 minutes
At the turn of the century, I worked at the American Bar Association. We had successfully evaded the Y2K turmoil, dot-com was ascendant, and legal technology was having a bit of a boom. There seemed to be lots of emerging companies (until the dot com bubble burst) and the market was

Reading Time: 13 minutes
One of the things that first drew me to WordPress back in 2012 was that it was a lot of small pieces. Once you installed the core content management system, you could extend and enhance it with a huge array of plugins. It is probably one of the reason that so

Reading Time: 12 minutes
I updated our governance board last month on our last awareness campaign. We have been placing marketing ads on public transit across the county. The idea was that we needed to bolster awareness post-lockdown. I struggle with the purpose of marketing, because I think it tends to be very woolly in

Reading Time: 8 minutes
One topic that my mind cycles back to on a regular basis is incremental income for law libraries. Each of our law libraries has different opportunities to create incremental revenue and I think we have already tapped out the obvious sources: photocopiers, document delivery, and so on. Any time a new

Reading Time: 8 minutes
I was talking with some folks recently and someone asked why our law library hired part-time staff. Was it for financial reasons? It isn’t and the financial rationale—a part-timer saves costs because you cut out benefits and other perqs full-timers get—is one reason I have avoided creating or keeping part-time roles