Strategic Librarian

Using strategy to develop the law firm library.

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.

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