June 18, 2012
The 2012 Edition of the Bible Has Arrived: Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual, 16th ed. is now available
Folks on standing order likely received the 2012 edition of the law librarian's best friend, the Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual, late last week (or will soon). It has always been the best buyer's guide available but, because AALL has so utterly screwed up its Price Index by failing to ask for print supplement pricing for its last index, Ken Svengalis's work is also the only guide for estimating print supplementation costs for a law library's print budget.
Quoting from Ken's June 13th law-lib message:
I am pleased to announce the release of the 2012 (16th) edition of the "Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual." It's the book Kevin Gerson, Director of the UCLA Law Library, has described as "hands-down the most useful book on legal information ever written." The book appears annually in June. Because having accurate and up-to-date supplementation cost data is essential to making informed collection development decisions, its release date is dictated by the process of collecting, collating and publishing the prior year’s supplementation costs.
Under our continued 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 acute with each passing year. Page for page, the “Legal Information Buyer’s Guide & Reference Manual” contains more useful and cost-saving information than any legal product on the market. It is the ONLY legal title that tracks supplementation costs, which is why most of our customers prefer to have it on standing order.
It contains, among other features, the most extensive annotated bibliography of the legal treatise literature in print, combined with a buyer's guide useful to lawyers and librarians who are in either acquisition or cancellation mode. It will allow you to carefully consider new acquisitions with full knowledge of the supplementation costs you are likely to incur, or to re-consider existing titles in your collection in light of rising supplementation costs. Consider this:
Since the merger of Thomson and West in 1996 (and the first edition of my book), West's print supplementation costs have risen more than 330% (1995 through 2011), reflecting an average annual increase of at least 11.5%. There has been virtually no diminution in the rate of increase for 2011, despite an economy which has brought law libraries from Maine to California to dire financial straights, and threats of closure in a number of states. Publications in every category have seen double-digit increases.
Consider just the National Reporter System series: Over the past two years, for example, the cost of Atlantic Reporter advance sheets has risen 20% annually, from $1,382.50 in 2010 to $1,659.00 in 2011 to $1991.04 in 2012. A bound volume subscription has increased from $5.407.50 in 2010 to $7,392.00 in 2012, or 36.69% over two years. Thomson Reuters’ maintained an extremely health 27.5% profit margin in 2011 (compared to the corporate average of 8.4% since 1980) at a time when law libraries all over are struggling. 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 ignore these glaring realities. 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 in the “Legal Information Buyer’s Guide & Reference Manual” will no doubt prove an invaluable resource to libraries of all kinds. 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, from which legal publishers derive 80-85% of their revenues. 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 3,000 publications, including nearly 2,100 legal treatises, 128 reference titles, and hundreds of the leading state and federal publications. The 2012 edition now includes supplementation costs as far back as 1993 and up to and including 2011 (or 2012 in the case of LexisNexis Matthew Bender). The initial cost and supplementation costs for the years 2008-2012 are also featured in a 26-page spreadsheet in Appendix H, providing a convenient and timesaving means of conducting comparative product evaluations of all the supplemented titles we cover. There are also reviews of more than 80 of the most significant new treatise titles and legal monographs published in 2011 and early 2012. In addition to substantial new content, the 2012 edition includes complete updating of all pricing data, including West’s Monthly Assured Print Pricing, CD-ROM and Internet pricing, and the cost of used monographs on Amazon.com.
Shipments to all standing order subscribers were made early this week. If you are uncertain if your library is on standing order, please e-mail us and we will confirm your status. The 2012 edition is priced at only $162.00 plus shipping and handling, reflecting our first price increase in three years, and that less than 4%, reflecting increased costs for printing and shipping. The 2012 "Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual" may be ordered on our web site www.nelawpress.com, ... by calling our order line (860) 535-0362, or Faxing us at (860) 535-0378. We accept Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, or will invoice. Additional copies shipped to the same address are only $130.00 each. A fully searchable CD-ROM version of the book is also priced at $162.00, or $80.00 when ordered in combination with the print edition. Libraries have found it to be a convenient means of printing out subject or state bibliographies, or any other material, for attorneys, judges, faculty and students.
We will, again, be at the Basch Subscriptions/Reference Shelf booth at the AALL Annual Meeting in Boston, where we will be raffling off one copy per day. Please stop by and say “hello” and enter the raffle.
New England LawPress
Note to FTC. No free review copy provided. I acquire every annual edition. Keep the current one in my office, the prior year's edition at home and earlier editions in the law library to answer reference questions about recommended publications. [JH]
Ironically, the cost of this title has also risen astronomically. Why in heaven's name should a book designed to save us money cost $162.00???
Mr Svengalis, the law librarians are calling YOU out. Let's talk about affordability...
Posted by: Sue Shark | Jun 18, 2012 1:26:58 PM