Monday, June 14, 2004

Are law books becoming obsolete?

I question the article "Books Checked Out: Online legal research more popular than old-fashioned book research" by Lyndsey Shinoda in Law Office Computing, June/July 2004 issue (pages 32-33). It talks about CD-ROMs being obsolete except for certain applications (I agree with this) and how books are also becoming obsolete (with which I disagree). Among those interviewed are a law student and two representatives from West. Others interviewed are a lawyer in a firm, and a director of a U.S. law school. I wonder if the librarians these people work with are in agreement?

While I think on-line services can replace some types of books such as statutes and case law reporters, there is no good substitute for a good textbook on the subject with overview of the law in an area and more thorough analysis than that found on a website or in an article. These will not become obsolete any time soon.

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