AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum / March/April 2020 / Volume 24, Number 4

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

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44 AALL SPECTRUM | WWW.AALLNET.ORG BUSINESS EDGE AALL Spectrum recently spoke with Sparling and OverDrive CEO Steve Potash about what to expect from the new platform, law librarians' contribu- tion, and a few intriguing tech elements Digital Library may incorporate in the future. How did you develop the new version of LexisNexis Digital Library? Sparling: We spent more than six months conducting customer discovery Image © iStock.com/Rawpixel before kicking off our development work—including surveys, phone inter- views, and discussion groups. User journey mapping was really key—we watched and recorded users as we gave them real-life tasks to conduct. As OverDrive developed the new platform, workflow solutions were continually cre- ated and tested for confirmation that we were delivering on expectations. That process started in 2018 and has been continuing for a year now. How much input did law librarians provide during development? Sparling: Law librarians have been crit- ical to our development process at every step. As seasoned information service professionals, our law librarian contrib- utors offer unmatched feedback. They have unique expertise in anticipating potential usability and support pitfalls, as well as unique needs. Law librarians are also in the most knowledgeable position to evaluate and recommend how our solutions should complement and sup- port their dynamic collection of other information resources. With a large number of librarians from different types of libraries around the country attending, the AALL Annual Meeting is a great opportu- nity for us to schedule special events to invite their feedback. We previewed the new LexisNexis Digital Library in Washington, DC in July 2019, where we conducted hundreds of demonstrations and answered questions from librarians who stopped by our booth. We also conducted two discussion groups and previewed the new improvements in an Exhibitor Showcase presentation. What are some of the most significant enhancements users will see in the new release? Sparling: The relaunch will deliver a completely new interface that features a few key advancements subscribers have been asking for. One is easier access to offline reading. We have had offline reading capabilities throughout the period we've offered the LexisNexis Digital Library, but we were reliant on a third-party software application. We've now developed our own proprietary application with OverDrive, enabling us to deliver an offline e-reader that is highly customized for legal research professionals. Now, whether you are in a federal court building where wireless access is poor, or on a plane or the subway and want to research an issue, your eBooks will be accessible. By having offline access, you'll be more productive in situ- ations where online access is a challenge. Another improvement is a more per- sonalized home page. Previously, when With new e-reader capabilities, legal research professionals will be able to add to and access annotations when offline. The LexisNexis Digital Library home page will feature a more customized feel.

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