Developing In-House Digital Tools: Case Studies From the UMKC School of Law Library

Developing In-House Digital Tools: Case Studies From the UMKC School of Law Library

Ayyoub Ajmi (University of Missouri, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2676-6.ch006
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The author describes his experiences working in the Leon E. Bloch Law Library designing and prototyping in-house digital tools to improve communication among internal and external stakeholders. The projects discussed include a custom study room schedule application syncing university calendar to affordable tablets to increase staff productivity, an online data visualization dashboard to help digest large and complex sets of data for better understanding and decision making, and a mobile application to offer students and community an easy access to library resources and services. In addition, the author calls for the need to engage in innovative and experimental practices in libraries by encouraging collaboration with external partners to help develop new services and improve existing ones.
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About The Leon E. Bloch Law Library

The Leon E. Bloch Law Library is located within the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, the urban law school of the University of Missouri System. It supports the School of Law’s mission of providing students with a comprehensive and affordable legal education. It aims at improving the legal information and technological literacy of law students and faculty while also providing access to its legal resources to members of the public. The law librarians are heavily involved in the educational programs by supporting the pedagogical needs of law school faculty curriculum and teaching in the first-year program and upper-level advanced research courses. Facing a rapidly changing landscape of library services and infrastructures, the library created in 2013 a new librarian position, the Digital Communications and Learning Initiatives librarian, to be responsible for the law school’s website and intranet, its digital collections, and facilitating students, faculty and staff access to various educational technologies.

Although the law librarians have a strong relationship with the university library system in term of continual collaboration on ideas addressing common challenges, the Leon E. Bloch Law Library is autonomous from the main library and is governed entirely by the Dean of the School of Law and the Director of the Law Library. Its budget is part of the law school’s budget and the Dean and the Director of the Law Library determine library policies with the advice of the Faculty Library Committee.

The UMKC School of Law declared 2016 the Year of Technology highlighting several initiatives and programs to support and train tomorrow’s lawyers by introducing them to top of the line technologies, new technology-based courses, and opportunities to engage in events and conferences that connect our faculty and students with legal technologists, other law schools, and cities.

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