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“In the ‘new normal,’ there are two things libraries should view as their primary stock in trade; special collections and service.” So said Tracy Thompson, Executive Director of NELLCO, an international consortium of law libraries, at last fall’s meeting of LLNE, Law Libraries of New England.

In this blog post, we will speak to the later activity, service. Robert Ambrogi spoke at the most recent meeting of LLNE held at Boston College’s Connors Center in Dover. He titled his remarks “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: New Directions for Legal Information Professionals” Speaking to a group of court, academic and private firm librarians, he said “No doubt, the library, the physical space in which many of you work, is already evolving and could someday disappear. But the work you do, the value you provide, will never disappear. . .Your skill set is not about shelving, but about knowing how to find and manage information.”

In a publication called “Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space”, the Council on Library and Information Resources addressed the issue of redesigning space to accommodate the change from print to electronic resources. While this report addresses change in academic libraries, the same would hold true for special libraries, like law libraries. “The library is the only centralized location where new and emerging information technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user-focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching and research.”

While physical spaces may change, the law library’s mission going forward is about service. Law Libraries are no longer warehouses for books. Service, providing access to, preservation of, and organization of information is what we are about.

The homepage of the Mass. Trial Court Law Libraries can function as a gateway to information about Massachusetts law. More information about specific Law Library Services and Policies points to both brick and mortar and electronic access to the law, provided to you by the information professionals of the Trial Court Law Libraries.

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