Friday, February 21, 2014

New Service for Rural BC Lawyers

Courthouse Libraries BC has a new 'Book in a Box' service that will deliver print materials to CLBC members, regardless of whether their community has a branch location:
"We Come to You

Or at least, our books come to you.
Even if you don’t have a Courthouse Library in your community, you can still use our books. This new service is called Book in a Box. We send you books using Canada Post, and when they’re due, you mail them back to us—at no cost to you.  Just use the pre-paid postage slip included in the box. We’ve already tested it with real clients, and they found the process quick and easy."
It's hard to imagine a huge demand for this service, given that it targets lawyers in smaller communities. But there are also some related advantages:  1) smaller numbers keeps costs to a minimum, 2) access is enhanced for lawyers who might not engage the CLBC's services otherwise, and 3) boosting print circulation will help to maximize exposure of the collection.

Legal monographs may all eventually be digitized and distributed by easier means. That's a nice thought. As we all know, however, it's harder to make a business case for digitization when demand, and circulation on a per-item basis are limited.

So until that day comes, there's still an incentive for law libraries to optimize their print material circulation numbers. This kind of program is really no different than setting up satellite libraries within law firms in order to get books closer to their most frequent users.

It just makes sense.