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ACLL Planning for Its Future

Two focus groups were conducted at the Allegheny County Law Library on October 6, 2009. Arnold Hirshon, Chief Strategist and Executive Consultant for LYRASIS, a national library consortium, conducted the sessions. The purpose of the focus groups was to gather information for the library's strategic planning initiatives. The groups provided assessments of current and potential library usage. The focus groups consisted of representative law firm librarians, lawyers, clerks of judges, members of the County Law Department, and the general public. These participants ensured a wide range of insights and contributed ideas for the future development of ACLL.

Focus group feedback provided the following information regarding library services valued by the users.

Appreciated Services

. Staff. The group participants were very pleased with the work of the staff. All ACLL librarians were appreciated for their knowledge of the collection and their ability to connect people to the information they need. Many people cited Dr. Joel Fishman in particular as a major asset.

.  Duquesne University Center for Legal Information (DCLI). The collaboration between DCLI and the ACLL went from being originally suspect to now being considered as "spectacular."

. Community Role. ACLL plays a valuable role for the citizens who are not attorneys who come to look up case law.

. Publication Program. The publication of guides and other books by the ACLL was seen as a valuable service.

. Library Guides Online. A suggestion was made to add to the web site by compiling materials into topical sections.

. Library Location. The current location is generally seen as convenient and positive.

Focus group feedback provided the following suggestions for improving library services.

Desired Services

. Online Services. More online facilities with better access.

. Facilities. Suggested improvements in lighting, clean restrooms, maps, and online resource descriptions.

. User Comforts. Users would like to be able to bring a cup of coffee into the library.

. Orientation. Provide orientation sessions for all attorneys who are new to the area or who recently passed the bar.

. Circulation. Some people would like to have longer loan periods and collection items delivered to their office.

.Treatises. The hard-copy treatise collection needs to be more up-to-date.

. Security. Going through security to enter the building is frustrating. A return bin for library materials located outside of the security gates would be appreciated by users.

. Copiers. Free copying for high-tier members was requested. People would also like more photocopiers in the ACLL.

DCLI and ACLL would like to thank the support from the County Law Department, the ACBA, the bench and bar, and the general public of the Greater Pittsburgh areas. We will use the survey results to develop an effective strategic plan for improving ACLL's services immediately and in the future.

Event Reminder: Upcoming Wecht Institute Conference

9th Annual Conference:

Evidence in the Information Age:  A National Symposium on the Collection, Analysis and Legal Applications of Digital Evidence

October 23-24, 2009

Register via the event web site:

Event email:

Or, contact Jessica Paschke: 412-396-1330

New Pennsylvania Treatises

The following new Pennsylvania collection materials are now available at DCLI/ACLL. Please visit the accompanying links for more information.

Pennsylvania Elements of an Action. (West 2009) West's Pennsylvania Practice Series, KFP80 .W47 V.23 2009.

Speakman, Michael Steven and Joseph E. Vogrin, III. Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence: Law and Practice (Bisel 2009). KFP297.8 .V6 1998  2009.

Summary of PA Jurisprudence 2d Volumes 15-15A Family Law (West 2009). KFP65 .L42.

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