Strategic Librarian

Using strategy to develop the law firm library.


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Creating your Annual Report

Note:  This post includes a template and video tutorial.  Links to those items are included in paragraph 3.

If you are treating your library, resource center, etc. as a business, then you may have already written an annual report or are preparing to do so.  It can be a one page or many page report that you distribute widely or to your own manager, but it is important that you provide those inidividuals you report to and/or those in leadership, an update of what you’ve accomplished during the year and what your goals are for next year.

I’ve written many annual reports over the year and have a format I use for this purpose.  I’ve changed it over the years but the purpose has always remained the same – communicating news and information to leadership that they might otherwise not know and assisting them in understanding what your department is doing for the firm as well as what you are capable of doing in the future.

As a way of commemorating 2010 and because I decided I needed to learn to create online tutorials, I’ve created both an annual report template and an online tutorial on writing annual reports.  The tutorial walks you through the steps of using features in Word 2007 and the content you might want to include in the report.

I created the tutorial using the free streaming video capture software,  CamStudio, and converted it into the mp4 format using the Moyea Video4Web Converter, which is also free.

Also, the mp4 format is supposed to be one of the best flash formats but if you have problems viewing the video, please let me know.  Finally, be kind.  This is a new technology for me that I am just learning to use and since I have an aversion to reading instructrutions it has been created using the trial and error technique.

I am planning on creating other tutorials if there is enough interest and would love to hear your ideas on what topics you might be interested in.


What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Two More Posts

I am continuing to work on a series of posts for The Law Firm Intranet.  So far I’ve done 7 posts with more to come.  My description of the content of this series is in the first paragraph of Part 1:

As a consulting company, NPCI is often asked what functionality a  law firm intranet should have and what content should it contain.   The answer to those questions is largely, it depends.   This post is the first in a series that tries to answer the questions while keeping in mind that the options for creating an intranet can be limitless.

Most recent posts:

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 6: Client Pages

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 7: Administrative Department Content

Previous parts of the series are listed below.

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 1: Scope

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 2: Site Architecture

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 3: Site Architecture and the Bennett Jones Award

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 4: Role Based Access

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 5: Content


What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: More Posts

I am continuing to work on a series of posts for The Law Firm Intranet.  So far I’ve done 5 posts with more to come.  My description of the content of this series is in the first paragraph of Part 1:

As a consulting company, NPCI is often asked what functionality a  law firm intranet should have and what content should it contain.   The answer to those questions is largely, it depends.   This post is the first in a series that tries to answer the questions while keeping in mind that the options for creating an intranet can be limitless.

Most recent posts:

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 4: Role Based Access

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 5: Content

Previous parts of the series are listed below.

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 1: Scope

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 2: Site Architecture

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 3: Site Architecture and the Bennett Jones Award


Electronic Resource Management and AgentLegal

Electronic Resource Management (ERM) has become a complex task when you compare it to the time when we had fewer electronic resources and we hadn’t yet determined the best way to management them.  As the use of electronic resources have increased, we’ve discovered that the simple set of tasks we used in the beginning doesn’t work.  The days of buying, installing, training and paying for a resource are long over.

In the place of a simple acquisition of a resource as described above, we now find ourselves talking about electronic resource management as a complex set of tasks that ensure the firm or company get the most value for the dollars spent on these resources.

While I was at my last firm, I found myself, like many of you, trying various procedures for managing these resources.  I also decided at that time that ERM isn’t just about purchasing and paying for resources.   Instead, ERM is managing the process from the first inkling that a resource was available to ongoing training of users.

I was lucky to have a great staff who brainstormed how to deal with electronic issues with me on an ongoing basis.  I was also lucky to have a web developer on the library staff who was eager to work with us to figure out the process and develop a web-based workflow that allowed us to manage the resources while giving better access to our end users.  We called it Research Central and were fortunate to receive the SLA Innovations in Technology award in 2003.

Whenever I showed Research Central at various conferences and other venues, I was asked where I got it  by the audience and if they could purchase it too.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t something the firm wanted to sell.  We used it to manage trials, all of our resources,  users, userids/passwords, training and more.  It even had some usage tracking functionality.

Fast forward to today and even though there are library management systems that have ERM modules, none of them manage the entire process.  That is until the AgentLegal products were developed.  You may have seen a press release in November that announced a partnership between my company and AgentLegal.  When I saw there product for the first time, I couldn’t help but think of Research Central.  Selling and supporting it seemed like a good fit for NPCI.

You can learn more about AgentLegal by going to the AgentLegal site or attending a complimentary webinar, Electronic Resource Management – Your Sanity Check,  where I will be presenting on ERM followed by a demo of the products.  It will be brief but should give you an idea of what the product does.  If you would like a personal demo of AgentLegal, you can request it via our contact form on ninaplatt.com or by calling or emailing me, Nina Platt, or Emma Campbell.


What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet

Check out the series of posts I am writing for the Law Firm Intranet.  So far I’ve done 3 posts with more to come.  My description of the content of this series is in the first paragraph of Part 1:

As a consulting company, NPCI is often asked what functionality a  law firm intranet should have and what content should it contain.   The answer to those questions is largely, it depends.   This post is the first in a series that tries to answer the questions while keeping in mind that the options for creating an intranet can be limitless.  Another caveat:  What follows is based on our experience and probably not complete if you want to see the whole picture.

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 1: Scope

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 2: Site Architecture

What Functionality and Content Should I Add to My Intranet: Part 3: Site Architecture and the Bennett Jones Award

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