On May 3rd or thereabouts we take time to recognize the anniversary of an outlandish experiment here at the law library. On that day in 2010, the trustees set in motion “The Experiment” – a cyclone of change that would shake the place up, literally and figuratively.

Identity Change

To begin this significant change, a symbolic act was required. Our name was changed from the SDCPLL (San Diego County Public Law Library) to the crisp and different SDLL (San Diego Law Library). Changing a name is more than just changing a name. It signals a new order, a new promise to our users and the County that we weren’t going to fall backward. Our branding changed with our identity.


Along with our identity, the main facility was badly in need of renovation and, in 2011, the building was given all new infrastructure and interior design. The law library’s new space was hailed, lauded and applauded throughout the nation.

Culture Shift

“The Experiment” encouraged the law library to become a “learning organization.” A learning organization is the term given to a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. The idea is to shift to a more interconnected way of thinking, where the law library becomes more like a community that employees can feel a commitment to, and thus will work harder for. In a learning organization staff are encouraged to constantly learn, bring new ideas to the table, and advocate for better ways to do things.  This idea itself was a significant step toward  the evolution of a stronger, unified team.

New Direction

The reinvigorated service culture became the paradigm with which the law library created a new set of visionary precepts. A new 5 year strategic action plan provides a positive future direction as a digitally-focused research center providing access to justice for the entire community.

New Reality

All has not been smooth or easy or perfect. Law Library funding is down nearly 1/3 of what it was when “The Experiment” began. But we ride the storms that come our way, and each time make it onto the beach with our surfboards battered but intact.   This law library has accomplished more in the last four years than in many years past, and we are justly proud of that.

Hey! SDLL is four years old.  And they said it wouldn’t last!