The Ten Minute Rule

Each year, the reference librarians try to impress upon students the “Ten Minute Rule.” If you’ve been searching for something for more than ten minutes, please come to the reference desk for assistance. This is why we are here.

Now we have proof in the way of a recently published study by Lexis, which reveals that 70% of American white collar workers suffer from information overload. That number rises to 80% among legal professionals.

Other findings for legal professionals include:

* 90% of legal professionals agree that not being able to access the right information at the right time is a huge time-waster
* 70% say they spend a lot of time sifting through irrelevant information.
* Nearly 50% say that research takes up so much of their time that they occasionally omit billing clients for this work.

* Jason the Content Librarian suggests that law librarians can help lawyers cope:

Law librarians are ideally suited to help individuals and organizations deal with information overload. Training attorneys in personal information management, participating in knowledge management programs, and participating on intranet teams are natural roles for librarians. These areas can greatly alleviate information overload and influence the bottom line of their firms.

Technology is both a blessing and a curse for information overload. In recent years, the growth of new Web content has been practically exponential. A 2007 estimate put the size of the Web at 15 to 30 billion pages. The blogosphere alone is estimated at 70 million blogs. Taken as a whole, that’s enough to overwhelm anyone. Text and Hat Tip from WisBlawg.

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