July 1, 2009
2009 Edition of Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual Now Available
Ken Svengalis is every law librarian's best friend. While I buy Bowker's Law Books and Serials in Print once every ten years, I purchase Ken's Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual (Rhode Island LawPress) every year. I always look forward to reading Ken's analysis of legal publishing industry practices and pricing trends -- something AALL should be but isn't doing nearly as well as Ken.
The Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual is the best annual guide for law library collection development work available because of the detailed information provided for every listed title including historical pricing information for supplementation. In my opinion, The Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual is an excellent reference tool too. If you can't get the publication out of your director's or acquisition librarian's hands, reference librarians should insist on buying second copies of this publication for their reference book collection. [JH]
Here's a message from Ken Svengalis, Rhode Island LawPress:
I am pleased to announce the release of the 2009 (13th) edition of the "Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual." It's the book Kevin Gerson, Director of the UCLA Law Library, recently described as "hands-down the most useful book on legal information ever written."
Under our current economic challenges, it has exactly the information your library needs to confront the rising costs of legal information. Its genesis in 1996 was one law librarian's response to the challenges we faced then. Those challenges have grown ever more urgent with each passing year. It contains, among other things, the most extensive annotated bibliography of the legal literature in print, and a buyer's guide useful to lawyers and librarians who are in either acquisition or cancellation mode. Consider this:
Since the merger of Thomson and West in 1996, West's print supplementation costs have risen 304% (1995-2008), reflecting an average annual increase of at least 11.5%. There was not the slightest diminution in the rate of increase for 2008, despite an economy which has brought law libraries from New Jersey to California to dire straights, and threats of closure in a number of states. Moreover, the prices of most West Hornbooks were increased over the past year at rates exceeding anything in the history of that series (generally 35-45%). These price increases have allowed West to achieve an industry-leading profit margin for 2008 of 32.1% on the backs of struggling law libraries. Yet, ironically, West will want us to sit down with them at a variety of receptions, luncheons, and parties at the upcoming annual meeting and pretend that this is not happening. The expense of hosting these functions represents an infinitesimal fraction of the profits they have made off struggling law libraries, most of whose librarians cannot afford to attend the annual meeting because their libraries are so strapped for funds.
In light of the current state of the economy and the perilous position of many law libraries across the country, the current cost and supplementation cost data will no doubt prove an invaluable resource to libraries. Those of you who have been in the profession for many years will remember the former "FTC Guides for the Legal Publishing Industry." Those guides required publishers to provide customers the last two years' supplementation costs in their promotional literature, a requirement that was often ignored. With the demise of the FTC Guides, and the lack of an effective replacement, the availability of this supplementation cost data is virtually non-existent, unless one asks for it specifically. This is where the "Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual" has stepped in to fill the breach. After all, it's all about the supplementation. West, for example, made 86% of its profits off supplementation in 2008 according to its 2008 annual report. Getting a handle on supplementation costs is the primary way in which law libraries can confront these budgetary challenges.
We are now tracking the costs of more than 2,500 publications, including more than 1,700 legal treatises and hundreds of the leading state and federal publications. The 2009 edition now includes supplementation costs as far back as 1993 and up to and including 2008. The initial cost and supplementation costs for the years 2004-2008 are also featured in a 51-page spreadsheet in Appendix H, providing a convenient and time-saving means of conducting comparative product evaluations. There are also reviews of more than 80 of the most significant new treatise titles published in 2008 and early 2009. In addition to substantial new content, and a complete updating of all pricing data, the 2009 edition has also been substantially redesigned inside and out (see attached).
This is what the 1996 Thomson-West merger has wrought. My 2009 edition has, among more than 80 others, a review of Gary Reback's new book "Free the Market" which provides a fascinating examination of the Thomson-West merger as well as expert analysis of the state of antitrust law in the United States from one of its leading practitioners.
Shipments to all standing order subscribers were made last week. If you are uncertain if your library is on standing order, please e-mail us and we will confirm your status.
I also direct you to the PowerPoint of my presentation to the Association of Legal Administrators on May 19th in New Orleans. Go to: www.rilawpress.com.
We have responded to the current economy by pricing our 2009 edition the same as last year's edition--$149.00. The 2009 "Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual" may be ordered on our web site (www.rilawpress.com), by email at email@example.com, or by calling our NEW order line (860-535-0378). We accept Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, or will invoice. Additional copies shipped to the same address are only $130.00. A companion CD-ROM is also priced at $149.00, or $80.00 when ordered in combination with the print edition.
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sometime back I picked it including 'how to find and how to use it' from amazon. really nice books and recently, I landed on http://www.findlawyerdirect.com/ which has equally good info.
Posted by: legal information | Apr 26, 2011 2:09:01 AM