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Showing posts from February, 2016

Revised Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States

The newly revised Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States (2016) has been approved by the ALA RUSA Board of Directors and is now in effect.

All librarians and library staff in the United States who handle interlibrary loan requests or supervise resource sharing operations should read and familiarize themselves with the new ILL Code and its associated documents:

•         Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States
•         Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States Explanatory Supplement
•         ALA Interlibrary Loan Request Form (Fillable PDF)

One of the most notable changes in the new ILL Code is that Due Date has been redefined as the “date by which the material is due to be checked in at the requesting library for return to the supplying library.”  See sections 4.12 and 5.7 of both the ILL Code and Supplement for more information.  Please consider any local implications of this change; for example, supplying libraries should implement a grace period before sending over…

How The Card Catalog Foresaw The Internet

Popular Mechanics posted an article discussing the humble beginnings of classifying information using index cards and how that system foresaw the creation of the Internet.

For thousands of years, if you wanted to find the best and most comprehensive information about anything, you headed to a library. You just had to check two things first: whether the library had the information you're looking for, and, if so, where to find it. These days we can get [a lot of] this information from our computers in seconds, but as recently as the 1990s, online catalogs were new and mostly unavailable, and that meant combing through the card catalog to track down a book.

Librarians originally handwrote the bibliographies on each card. But in 1971, the Ohio College Library Center began printing the text onto the index cards for them. The OCLC distributed about 1.9 billion cards before shutting the service down in 2015—with today's online catalogs, there was little need to make more cards. The las…

LOC's Constitution Annotated & CRS Job Opportunity

The Library of Congress has a great resource in the The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (popularly known as CONAN).

The resource contains legal analysis and interpretation of the United States Constitution, based primarily on Supreme Court case law. This regularly updated resource is especially useful when researching the constitutional implications of a specific issue or topic. The Featured Topics and Cases page highlights recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that demonstrate pivotal interpretations of the Constitution's provisions.

It's a beautiful thing to see the text of the Constitution with the cases that interpret the various provisions.

If you like this resource and may even want to be responsible for it, then look no further than this job posting from the Congressional Research Service.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) American Law Division (ALD) is seeking a Paralegal Specialist to be responsible for updating and publis…

Copyright For Distance Education

Last week, I had the pleasure of hearing Linda K. Enghagen, a national expert on copyright compliance, discuss copyright issues in distance education.

As more law schools enter the distance-education game, these principles are extremely important. Enghagen specifically discussed copyright and fair use in the educational realm but also made sure to mention university policies that come into play.

Her presentation on course design was intriguing and highlighted many important concepts for copyright and distance education, including fair use considerations and the TEACH Act.

She discussed the threshold inquiry for a fair use analysis and discussed each of the four fair-use factors to weigh when deciding if permission must be granted to use a copyrighted work.

A few of many key principles include:
For many things that we do, the qualifying purpose is met through teaching or researchFair use factor 1 generally requires restricted access - make sure to password protect content on a learning …

New RIPS Post - Teaching Connections In Legal Research

My new RIPS Law Librarian Blog post discusses a new paper with recommendations for improving legal research instruction. It also ties in a Chronicle of Higher Education article about tightening connections.

GPO Launches GovInfo To Replace FDsys In 2017

According to a recent press release, The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) launched www.govinfo.gov and ushered in a new, dynamic way for the public to discover and access Government information on the three branches of the Federal Government.

govinfo is user-friendly and provides a responsive navigation system that is accessible on smartphones, tablets, laptops and personal computers. GPO receives information from Federal agencies and organizations in all three branches of the Government.

There are more than 1.5 million titles available on govinfo, with more added daily. Collections on govinfo include:
The Congressional RecordFederal RegisterCongressional Calendars, Hearings, ReportsBillsThe U.S. CodeCode of Federal RegulationsU.S. Courts OpinionsThe Federal Budget Some key features on govinfo:
Mobile-friendly optimized for screen sizeAn ABC list of collectionsQuick Links to popular publicationsRelated DocumentsSearch by CalendarShareable social media content Its content feeds Th…

Remote Law Library Specialist Wanted

There is a current job opening at the University of Georgia seeking a Remote Law Library Specialist.

The Alexander Campbell King Law Library at the University of Georgia School of Law seeks a confident, dynamic and service-focused individual to serve as a Remote Law Library Research Specialist.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Remote Law Library Research Specialist will:

Provide a variety of research services for law faculty and administrationAssist in maintaining and updating Digital Commons, the institutional repository of the University of Georgia School of LawCreate and update libguides and video tutorials to assist patrons in using Law Library resourcesSupport the law librarians in their responsibilities, including collection development and creating materials for research coursesPerform other duties as assigned
SALARY: $10.00/hr – Guaranty of at least 20 hours per week.  This is a non-benefit position.

Required:  A J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and a current enrollee (or r…

ABA Adopts Proposal Toward Nonlawyer Legal Services

The Findlaw Blog is reporting that [a]fter contentious debate, the delegates to the ABA's midyear meeting adopted a modest proposal to give states a framework for considering regulation of "nontraditional legal service providers."
The debate over the proposal, Resolution 105, was heated. Some delegates worried that it would take away business from attorneys who are already struggling. Others, that it would lead to the creation a lower tier of less-qualified legal providers, particularly for the poor.
Opponents included the New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Nevada, and Texas bars, according to The American Lawyer, along with the ABA's litigation and solo and small firm sections. Backing the resolution were the South Carolina, Washington State, and San Francisco bars, along with the ABA's business law section.

As noted, Resolution 105 is a fairly cautious step toward nonlawyer legal services.

The resolution does not explicitly endorse nonlawyer legal services, nor does …

An Ode To America's Libraries

James and Deb Fallows traveled throughout the United States on a 54,000-mile journey in a single-engine plane for their Atlantic article Can America Put Itself Back Together?"

The text below on America's libraries accompanies the cover story:

As we traveled around the U.S. reporting on the revival of towns and cities, we always made the local library an early stop. We’d hit the newspaper offices, the chamber of commerce, city hall, and Main Street for an introduction to the economics, politics, and stresses of a town. The visit to the public library revealed its heart and soul.

Technology

Many people rely on libraries for their computer and Internet use. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center report, more than a quarter of Americans who had visited a public library in the past year had used a computer, the Internet, or a WiFi connection there, with the usage numbers higher among minorities and low-income groups.

Education

In Charleston, West Virginia, despite recent funding loss…

AALL Name Change Voted Down

You've probably all heard that the AALL name change initiative failed.

According to the e-briefing delivered by AALL, a record number of members voted:  The proposal to change the name of American Association of Law Libraries to the Association for Legal Information has failed by a vote of 1998 (80.11 percent) opposed, to 496 (19.89 percent) in favor. A record number of members voted on this proposal, with 59.51 percent casting a ballot.
The Board thanked all those who voted and added this: The recommendation to change the name of the Association has started a conversation about the future of AALL, and the profession as a whole, that we hope to continue. We want to spend time this year discussing the future of law librarians in more detail. More information about this will be announced in the near future.  
While I am all for a continued conversation about the importance of law librarians in the new legal information economy, this portion makes it sound as if AALL is still trying to…

Why Johnny & Jane Cannot Research

The State of Legal Research Education; A Survey of First Year Legal Research Programs or ‘Why Johnny and Jane Cannot Research’ by Caroline Osborne is an important study in the legal research deficiencies of law school graduates.

From the abstract:
Dissatisfaction with the research skills of the new associate is an oft-repeated refrain. This article explores the state of research education in the law school curriculum. Questions explored include: whether or not legal research is a required first year class; the number of semester of research instruction; the expertise of the professor; number of credits awarded for legal research, scope of the curriculum and observed challenges. Also considered is the impact of a more vigorous writing focus on research skills education. Survey data collected from the two hundred ranked law schools is used to explore these questions and as the basis for reforming research education.

Obsorne highlights the two seminal events that lead to the decline in le…

Lexis To Remove Lexis.com From Academic Accounts

The following is a letter received from Lexis on February 9, 2016:

Dear [FIRST NAME],

As you may recall, we released Lexis Advance® to law school customers in 2012 and have continued to provide access to Lexis.com® as well. By giving access to both platforms, we wanted to provide ample time for faculty and students to make the transition to Lexis Advance. Now with 99% of research by students conducted on Lexis Advance, and more than 99% of Lexis.com content available on Lexis Advance, the time has come to retire Lexis.com for law school customers.

We will remove Lexis.com from the law school product menu on December 31, 2016, at which time 100% of Lexis.com content will be accessible via Lexis Advance. It is a top priority of ours to ensure a successful transition and why we’re waiting until the end of the year to remove Lexis.com. This will provide the limited number of faculty and students who use the product plenty of time to become more familiar with Lexis Advance.

Lexis Advance is…

Teaching Connections In Legal Research

A law librarian's role in today's information age is to help students make connections and bridge the knowledge in action gap.

A Chronicle of Higher Education article discusses the connections that are made in everyday life to a given discipline.

Small connections between course material and everyday life pop up all the time. When we are deeply embedded in our intellectual pursuits, the world seems to orient itself around them. New connections form continually. Reading the news, watching our screens, talking with peers or our children — all of those things become moments of potential connections with our disciplinary passions.

That phenomenon, according to research in teaching and learning, is what separates an expert in your field (teacher) from novice learners in your field (students). 

As the authors of How Learning Works argue, "One important way experts’ and novices’ knowledge organizations differ is the number or density of connections among the concepts, facts, and ski…

WestlawNext No Longer

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If you've logged on to Westlaw recently, you've probably noticed that "WestlawNext" is no longer with us.

The database is officially back to Westlaw since sunsetting Westlaw "classic" and going solely to "WestlawNext." Now that there is no Westlaw classic, there is no need for a "Next," and we are officially back to just Westlaw. And we have come full circle.

Here is a screenshot of the updated interface:



The search page is certainly getting more streamlined with each iteration. I just hope our students understand that the streamlined search bar does not mean they should treat it like Google. But I suppose that's where we come in.

The Authors Guild Takes Google To SCOTUS

The Ginger Law Librarian has been following the Google Books case since 2013 - here, here, here, and here.

It's culminated the point where is has finally landed in front of the highest court in the land. The Washington Post reported that the Authors Guild has officially asked the Supreme Court to hear its case against Google for its Google Books service. The group filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court on December 31, 2015.

If you are not familiar with the suit, here's the gist:
Google's free service allows users to search for particular lines or quotes in books through the company's main search engine, and also displays parts of scanned pages of books. The Authors Guild and Google have fought for 10 years over whether that qualifies as "fair use." The Authors Guild first complained in 2005 that this violates copyright and undermines the value of authors' work by providing their books online and for free.  The group has argued that Google Books,…

Office Dynamics In The Jungle

This week, I ran across two articles that are good fodder for The Office or Office Space (or most of our lives).

The first one dealt with imposter syndrome. The article states that [i]t’s estimated that 70% of people have imposter syndrome—the feeling that they don’t deserve to be where they are in life. 

The author linked to an imposter syndrome test for everyone to test their own inner imposters. A score of 80 or higher shows an intense feeling of imposter syndrome, 61 to 80 shows frequent experience, and 41 to 60 shows moderate experience. 

The silver lining is that [t]here is evidence to suggest that imposter syndrome correlates with success—and that those who don’t suffer imposter symptom are more likely to be the real frauds. People with imposter syndrome tend to be perfectionists, which means they’re likely to spend hours working overtime to make sure they excel in every single field. So if you do suffer from imposter syndrome, chances are you’re doing a pretty good job. Althou…

Utah To Allow Licensed Legal Practitioners

In June, it was reported that Washington became the first state to allow limited licensing for legal technicians.

Now, the Utah Supreme Court has adopted a recommendation from its Task Force to Examine Limited Legal Licensing to move forward with a program that would authorize "licensed paralegal practitioners" to perform limited services in specified practice areas.

The 58-page report urged the court to authorize LPPs to perform “a subset of discrete legal services” in three practice areas: family law, eviction and debt collection.

It looks like this is becoming a trend that might actually take hold.