Law libraries have found that institutes, centers, and clinics at their schools often have a strong need to publish materials like reports or white papers. Several great examples of these types of materials can be found in FLASH: Fordham Law Archive of Scholarship and History.
Fordham University School of Law Librarian Todd Melnick initiated the development of these collections by approaching the head of the Leitner Center with an offer to publish mission reports and images from the center’s Ghana Summer Program. Once the potential for a stable web presence with high visibility became known, directors of other centers came forward seeking the same services from FLASH: a secure, findable, good-looking, and persistent location, as well as regular download reports. “It’s important to make the IR known, organize the site well, and be diligent about metadata; but once it gets a reputation people will actively want to participate,” says Todd.
Other IR managers have had similar experiences, in which active recruitment of content from centers, institutes, or clinics eventually gave way to voluntary submissions. Pamela Bluh of UM Carey Law, Anne Burnett of UGA Law, and Janet Fischer of GGU Law all say that reaching out to these groups helped cement support for the IR and establish a steady flow of new content, in addition to providing a much-needed publishing platform for unique documents.
Do any clinics, centers, or institutes at your law school have a need the library could fill?