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Showing posts from November, 2015

Nextgen Wayback Machine Slated For 2017

As a big fan of the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (blogged here, here, and here), I was excited to hear that there is a nextgen Wayback Machine in the works.

The Wayback Machine, a service used by millions to access 19 years of the Web’s history, is about get an update.  When completed in 2017, the next generation Wayback Machine will have more and better webpages that are easier to find.

Today, people’s work, and to some extent their lives, are conducted and shared largely online. That means a portion of the world’s cultural heritage now resides only on the Web. And we estimate the average life of a Web page is only one hundred days before it is either altered or deleted.  “The Internet Archive is helping to preserve the world’s digital history in a transformational way,” said Kelli Rhee, LJAF Vice President of Venture Development. “Taking the Wayback Machine to the next level will make the entire Web more reliable, transparent and accessible for everyone.”

Project goals includ…

A Little Thanksgiving Legal Humor

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Polish Copyright Law Accomplishes What US Is Trying To Do Via Litigation

The Polish have figured something out that the United States can't seem to get right. While the United States is slowly allowing digitization of print after long, drawn-out litigation, (i.e., HathiTrust & Google Books), the Polish have revised their copyright law to account for the digitization of materials.

The new Polish Copyright Act enters into force on 20th November 2015 bringing library services in Poland into the twenty-first century.

Major new provisions enabling digitization for socially beneficial purposes, such as education and preservation of cultural heritage, are the centrepiece for libraries of the new law.

The law also implements a European Directive enabling the use of orphan works (in-copyright works where the copyright holder cannot be identified or found to obtain permission), and an EU Memorandum of Understanding on the use of works that are no longer commercially available. In addition, the introduction of public lending right is limited to works in public l…

Libraries In The Year 2100

Libraries have been around for a very long time, and they will continue to be around for a lot longer, albeit in a different form that what we are used to seeing today.

So what will libraries look like in 85 years? Jim O'Donnell from Slate put it into perspective:
That’s not so very far away. The next time you see a tiny baby, bear in mind that she or he has a very good chance of living to see the 22nd century. What will the world of libraries look like then? Nobody can know—but perhaps we can talk about what libraries should be in that imaginable future.
O'Donnell posits three variations of libraries in the future:

1. One Global Library: 
Once an encyclopedia or a book or a journal or a database is in digital form, there is no good reason why it should not be made as universally and freely available as possible, and no good reason why it should not be centrally held and maintained. Right now, major university libraries harbor knowledge riches galore, astonishing things, really—a…

Google Truth Rankings: Vetting or Gatekeeping?

Salon is reporting about a proposed Knowledge-Based Trust score that Google might implement to keep "bad information" at bay.

Google could launch an effort to keep trolls and bad information at bay, with a program that would rank websites according to veracity, and sort results according to those rankings. Currently, the search engine ranks pages according to popularity, which means that pages containing unsubstantiated celebrity gossip or conspiracy theories, for example, show up very high.

New Scientist’s Hal Hodson reports on the proposed Knowledge-Based Trust score:

The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.

Vetting for truth is a good thing. It seems as though people will believe anything on the Internet so long as it gets enough views or …

AALL Rebranding Initiative

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is currently investigating rebranding the name of the Association.

AALL's comprehensive, Association-wide rebranding initiative is steadily moving forward. At its November 7 meeting, the AALL Executive Board voted unanimously to recommend to the membership a new name, "Association for Legal Information." This is our opportunity to redefine and reinvigorate the value of the law librarians and legal information professionals and to shape the brand to align with and support our strategic goals.

From the FAQs:

Why the name Association for Legal Information?

Association
An Association is an organization of people who work for a common purpose (legal information).

For
With the object or purpose of legal information.

Legal Information
Knowledge concerning a particular subject.

Why is AALL undertaking a branding project?

AALL, its members, and the legal profession have undergone significant changes in recent years. Rapid advances in techn…

NELLCO & MALLCO Webinars: Nerd Know How Series

NELLCO & MALLCO are hosing a "Nerd Know-How Series" with Beth Ziesenis.

Author Beth Ziesenis is a technology expert who speaks to 60-plus groups a year about the best free and bargain apps and online resources that will help you Release Your Inner Nerd to become more organized, efficient and awesome at work and home.

Each 90 minute webinar is based on one chapter of Beth's most-recent book, Nerd Know How: The 27+ Best Apps for Work and How to Use 'Em! In each session, attendees will learn about low- or no-cost technology tools to help you maximize your efficiency and effectives in each of the 8 areas. Attendees can register for one or all of the sessions by clicking on the register now button below.

The eight sessions are:
Webinar 1: Organize - Tuesday, December 1 - The webinar series kicks off with the building blocks of organization. Learn how to get your ducks in a row with in-depth looks at Dropbox, Evernote, IFTTT and LastPass.

Webinar 2: Collaborate - Thursda…

Legal Writing Institute: Program On Teaching International Law Students

As my first semester teaching legal research and writing to international LL.M. students comes to a close, I am excited to review my course materials to improve for the next go-round.

The Global Legal Writing Skills Committee of the Legal Writing Institute provides invaluable resources for teaching research and writing to international law students.

In addition to their bibliography of resources, they also have a video series on Teaching International Law Students that is hosted by Michigan State College of Law.

At the website you will find presentations such as:

Adapting Classroom Techniques & Materials for International LL.M. StudentsIntegrated International Writing and Oral Presentation AssignmentBeyond Contrastive Rhetoric: Helping International Graduate Students and Legal Professionals Use Cohesive Devices to Support Coherence in U.S. Legal WritingUnderstanding the Needs and Abilities of International Law StudentsTeaching International Graduate Students at U.S. Law SchoolsTeac…

New RIPS Post - LMAs Are Too Restrictive

Show Love On 'Love Your Lawyer Day'

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Lawyers throughout the nation are urged to celebrate ‘Love Your Lawyer Day’ to help promote a positive and more respected image of lawyers and their contributions to society.

It's interesting that the public perception of lawyers seems to be making a positive change.

According to the WSJ, a recent Gallup poll found that the percentage of Americans who think lawyers have high ethical standards is greater than it has been in more than two decades—21%. Interestingly, public opinion has improved at a time when fewer young people are deciding to become lawyers.

As noted:
Friday is also national Nacho Day and national Saxophone Day so sharing some nachos with a lawyer while listening to some Coltrane or Charlie Parker sounds like a good time.

Learners Need To Consider Value Over Use

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A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article got me thinking about students taking responsibility for their learning. 
The author of the article laments the questions, "When am I going to use this?" There’s one question that we should all put down immediately, and rage against with the last shreds of our academic freedom: the old refrain, "When am I going to use this?"
This question, I think, manages to embody the worst of our cultural situation. It is a complaint, a subterfuge, an insult, a lazy way out. And before you think I am simply railing against the generational deficiencies in our current crop of students, I’m not. I’ve heard versions of the theme from parents, administrators, politicians, and even, I am chagrined to add, esteemed colleagues. We must put an end to it all. Our obsession with utility — and our childish demands for it to reveal itself immediately lest we "waste" a precious second of our time that could be better spent watching Netfl…

Librarian Cultural Representation

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American Libraries Magazine ran a wonderful work outlining the rise of the librarian stereotype.
There are numerous librarian stereotypes, with the most recognizable being the middle-aged, bun-wearing, comfortably shod, shushing librarian. Others include the sexy librarian, the superhero librarian, and the hipster or tattooed librarian. These stereotypes are all characterized predominantly as feminine, white women. Newer librarian stereotypes, particularly those proffered by librarians themselves, tend to be depicted as younger white women. The original librarian stereotype, which was superseded by the introduction of his prudish sister, was that of the fussy (white) male curmudgeon.

As noted in the article, the stereotypes do not fall far from history.
Early American librarians almost exclusively came from New England gentility or, by virtue of their educational background and politics, became accepted as part of that class. They believed in the possibilities of moral uplift for the po…

Nearly 1/3 Of Adults Didn't Read A Book Last Year

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A new survey on American reading habits reveals a statistic that's all too real: 27 percent of U.S. adults didn't read a single book within the last 12 months.

The survey, which was conducted by Pew Research, asked adults if they had read a book in any format. The number of people who answered "yes" has fallen in recent years, from 79 percent in 2011 to 72 percent in 2015.

Though the survey reports that the average American adult read 12 books in the last year — a number that seems to be skewed high by book lovers, as the median is only 4.

The news comes on the heels of mixed information about the book publishing industry. While print seems to be enjoying a resurgence, ebook sales are waning. That’s reflected in the survey data, too: 63 percent of respondents said they read a print book during the last 12 months, but ebook readership flattened during the same period.

In all honesty, I would've expected the percentage of non-readers to be higher. And it could be hi…