Friday, January 29, 2010

Legal iPhone Apps - Is there a Librarian for that?

The answer unfortunately is no. At least not so far, or to my knowledge... but there should be!

You see, after reading Bob Ambrogi's post this AM critiquing FR Evidence, a (U.S. based) iPhone app, which promised "to provide the complete text of the Federal Rules of Evidence" but is missing a rule (502) that was added in Sept. 19, 2008, I am concerned.

My concern is that law librarians, who have historically played an important role in reviewing reference materials, especially with issues like accuracy & currency, seem to be lagging when it comes to the evolving mobile-web space.

Over the next couple years, the rate of new delivery devices is going to simply explode: Kindles & other e-book readers, Apple's new iPad and other tablet-like devices, smart phones, etc. Getting beyond these gadgets and knowing which tools (and publishers) can be trusted is going to be a huge issue!

So I'm just putting it out there. If law librarians were willing to review CD-Rom products 10 years ago, why hasn't anyone stepped forward to review mobile legal information products?


Blogger Tom Boone said...

So far I've seen nothing on the iPhone platform to warrant the attention of law librarians, because nothing available provides the content and functionality necessary for due diligence research. Though I suppose it should be our job to say that louder and more often.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Steve Matthews said...

Tom: I agree. It's the silence that seems odd for this profession. We're usually pretty vocal.

8:45 AM  

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