The Legal Division is proud to feature Constance Ard in its August Profiles in Law Librarianship feature:
A Little Bit About Constance:
Constance Ard is an Independent Information Professional with 14 years experience and expert research skills. Ms. Ard offers on-demand research and information and content management business consulting services. Ms. Ard specializes in e-discovery preparation and project management. Past employment includes a variety of positions at a large regional firm in Kentucky, Greenebaum Doll and McDonald.
Constance is an active information professional organization volunteer. She served as the Chair of the Legal Division of the Special Libraries Association for 2010 and is a member of the New Member Outreach Committee for AIIP. She has served in many leadership roles throughout her career. Constance also volunteers with the Kentucky Library Association and has held a number of leadership roles with this state level professional library organization. She is currently running for the position of Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect in SLA.
Constance offers training and learning opportunities by being an active speaker. At SLA Annual she was a member of the Capitalizing on Content to Grow Competencies Spotlight panel. Later in August she will be a part of the Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Webinar Lunch Series, leading a discussion about the Value of Information Professionals.
Ms. Ard is a sometimes writer as well. She offers up her viewpoints in the Legal Division Quarterly through the Water Cooler column. More serious publications include Legal Research in the Age of Open Law published in the September 2010 issue of Online. In October 2009, Ms. Ard completed her first published book: Next Generation Corporate Libraries and Information Services. She is currently working on her second book that is planned for release in January 2012.
A Few Questions for Constance:
What brought you to the legal information industry?
Luck! My partner was working at a law firm and heard from the firm law librarian that there was a position open at another firm in town. It just so happened that the Kentucky Library Association meeting was in town and the hiring librarian was in the audience of a session I attended. I went up, introduced myself, and handed my resume to my future boss and mentor. I was interviewed within a matter of what seems like hours although I think at least a day passed. I was offered the job and accepted.
Where do you see our industry in 10 years?
I think our industry is in for some serious shifts. We will no longer be conducting the routine research. Our work will be in line with more knowledge management and competitive intelligence. We will work closely with the attorneys, business developers and others responsible for “growing” the business. We will not be researcher alone, we will offer high value intelligence. Our analytical skills will be critical.
Managers will require a higher level of negotiation skills than they ever have. Maximizing investments will be an essential ingredient of longevity.
We will be creating information of high value. We will create the databases used. Our firm’s collections of special materials from agencies are a prime ingredient for law librarians to excel.
I think our court and academic librarians will shift into new roles as well. I think the educational shift will require our academic colleagues to create more learning opportunities in a variety of ways that will be delivered through an ever-evolving roster of technology.
I’m not sure what the shift in the court libraries will be, I just feel certain that as the rest of the profession shifts so will the roles of these valuable professionals.
What are you doing to get Future Ready?
I think being future ready requires a strong knowledge of the here and now. I think our experience and knowledge provides an essential foundation. With that foundation I am prepared for any opportunity that presents itself in any environment.
Do you have any advice for people looking to break into the legal information industry?
Join, volunteer, write and network. Becoming visible is the biggest hurdle in an economy with too many high value information professionals seeking better opportunities. Set yourself apart by sharing your knowledge, volunteering and meeting people and growing your network. When people know you, they will remember you.