May 17, 2006
New NBER Reports
The Diffusion of the Internet and the Geography of the Digital Divide in the United States
by Shane Greenstein, Jeff Prince
Abstract: This paper analyses the rapid diffusion of the Internet across the United States over the past decade for both households and firms. We put the Internet's diffusion into the context of economic diffusion theory where we consider costs and benefits on the demand and supply side. We also discuss several pictures of the Internet's physical presence using some of the current main techniques for Internet measurement. We highlight different economic perspectives and explanations for the digital divide, that is, unequal availability and use of the Internet.
Buy, Lobby or Sue: Interest Groups' Participation in Policy Making - A Selective Survey
by Pablo T. Spiller, Sanny Liao
Abstract: The participation of interest groups in public policy making is unavoidable. Its unavoidable nature is only matched by the universal suspicion with which it has been seen by both policy makers and the public. Recently, however, there has been a growing literature that examines the participation of interest groups in public policy making from a New Institutional Economics perspective. The distinguishing feature of the New Institutional Economics Approach is its emphasis in opening up the black box of decision-making, whether in understanding the rules of the game, or the play of the game. In this paper we do not attempt to fairly describe the vast literature on interest group's behavior. Instead, the purpose of this essay for the New Institutional Economics Guide Book is to review recent papers that follow the NIE mantra. That is, they attempt to explicate the micro-analytic features of the way interest groups actually interact with policy-makers, rather than providing an abstract high-level representation. We emphasize the role of the institutional environment in understanding interest groups' strategies.
New LIS Journal
Library Student Journal, the new international peer-reviewed online journal edited by students at the University at Buffalo, will feature papers of high scholarly merit and originality from students at the ALA-accredited schools in North America and their peers worldwide, and will be a forum for discussion of issues of current interest to LIS students.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
Opening: Head of Reference, Georgetown
The Georgetown University Law Library is seeking an innovative and energetic librarian to lead its Reference Department.
Responsibilities: Reporting to the Associate Law Librarian for Patron Services, the Head of Reference manages all aspects of the Law Library’s Reference Department to ensure that the library provides high quality research and information service to the Law Center community. Reference programs currently include: the reference desk, both physical and virtual; instructional activities; electronic search services; and interlibrary borrowing.
The Head of Reference directly supervises five reference librarians and indirectly supervises one staff member and student research assistants.
The Head of Reference and the full-time reference librarians teach library workshops, including training first year students in LEXIS and Westlaw, and upper class courses in Advanced Legal Research. The Head of Reference also manages the development of presentations and the preparation of instructional materials for classes.
In coordination with the International & Foreign Law Librarian, the Head of Reference manages and develops reference services for the Law Center community. The Head of Reference also works with the Collection Development Librarian to coordinate the collection development work of the reference librarians, with the Faculty Services Librarian to assist in responding to specialized research requests from faculty, and with the library’s Head of Electronic Services to develop technology-based reference initiatives and projects.
Success in this position requires a strong public service orientation, excellent organizational skills, an innovative spirit, and the ability to work collegially with others. Expected performance includes active participation in the intellectual life of the Law Center, as well as fulfillment of the responsibilities of the position in a superior manner, increasing knowledge and expertise, effectiveness, and where appropriate, scholarship. Some evening and weekend hours are required.
Required: M.L.S. degree from an ALA-accredited library school; J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school; expert knowledge of legal resources in all formats; 3 or more years of progressively responsible reference experience.
Preferred: Administrative and supervisory experience; experience developing content for web-based research guides and tools; experience designing and teaching legal research courses; and ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
To apply: Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Application review will begin May 31, 2006 and continue until the position is filled. To apply, send a resume and the names of three references to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Margaret A. Fry, Associate Librarian for Administration, Georgetown University Law Library, 111 G Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001.
Georgetown University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
May 16, 2006
President Bush on Immigration Reform and Border Security
Here's the text of the Address to the Nation by President George W. Bush on Immigration Reform and Border Security (May 15, 2006). While you may find the President's address on any number of websites, The Policy Council's website includes a number of useful links. Check out the right sidebar for immigration resources collected by the Council. [JH]
WSJ: Rove's Camp Takes Center of Web Storm
In Rove's Camp Takes Center of Web Storm, the WSJ reports on the how the dynamics of blogging feed the Internet rumor mill, using Truthout's claim that Rove had been indicated as an example.
See our earlier posts:
Truthout's recent Rove coverage:
- Rove Informs White House He Will Be Indicted (May 12, 2006)
- Karl Rove Indicted on Charges of Perjury, Lying to Investigators (May 13, 2006)
Spotlight on Law Librarians: David Whelan
Director, Cincinnati Law Library Association
I might be considered a second career law librarian, although I never really had a first career. I was in law school at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and found that there were a number of other things I'd rather do than practice law. SMU's Underwood Law Library gave me a place to start, where the dean referred to me as the "electric" law librarian. While the name was slightly off, the new opportunity gave me a real charge. It was the confluence of the electronic services and technology that lit up some new career paths. I was fortunate to come under the guidance of two fabulous managers, Gail Daly and Gregory Ivy, who gave me a lot of latitude to try new things as well as plenty of advice and support. It's amazing what a difference an excellent manager can be.
I left Dallas for the American Bar Association soon after getting my MLS at the University of North Texas. Anyone in law school had heard of the ABA and the Legal Technology Resource Center sounded like an unusual information center. It became clear quite quickly that "technology reference" wasn't as strange a concept as I'd originally thought. It also highlighted how many information sharing jobs there are that are well off the beaten library track. Here the CFO gave me some more sound guidance: stay in the mix. It doesn't matter if you're not invited to the party, get out there and stay out there meeting decision-makers and other peers. I had never really considered how much work an information center director had to do just to keep the library's profile high in other people's minds. After 5 years at the ABA, I had been acting CIO, manager of the ABA's Web team, and director of the Legal Technology Resource Center.
I contemplated a return to a more traditional library and moved to the Cincinnati Law Library Association. What an amalgam of things! A law library with over 150 years of history. A court library that has survived 4 court houses. A membership library with hundreds of lawyers seeking legal research help and services. In a time when state support of county law libraries is diminishing, where electronic research causes lawyers to skip using print materials, it is an interesting time to be a librarian. My children cheer when we see a car pulled over by a state trooper for a traffic violation in Ohio because, like Clarence and his wings, some good county law librarian is going to get a bit more money.
In a way, I'm back where I started. From the UALR School of Law Library, a.k.a. the Pulaski County Law Library, I'm in a county law library with a mixed audience. It's a niche library, a truly special library. It's the latest opportunity to explore the varied roles a law librarian can have. I have adopted a much looser definition of what it is to be a librarian and what a library should be. Take advantage of, and give others the benefit of, wide latitude and see what can happen. Stay in the mix, and make sure that the library remains an important, viable resource for your organization and patrons. Who needs a first career when you can start a second one instead?
Editor's Note: The Spotlight on Law Librarians feature is edited by Lee Peoples, Law Librarian Blog Contributing Editor and Associate Director for Faculty, Research and Instructional Services, Oklahoma City University Law Library. Please feel free to recommend a colleague for this feature to Lee at email@example.com
Oxford Internet Institute on the Future of the Internet
The Internet has now been around long enough that it is easy to take it as given, rather than question why it is the way it is. In fact, the Internet was invented only about 30 years ago by some designers exploring a very different way of conceiving what a communication network should be. It was very much a clean-slate design, and while the Internet has been wildly successful, there is no reason to think we got it exactly right on the first try. In fact, it is pretty clear that we did not get it right in all respects. Now there are some very powerful forces trying to change it, and shape the future in different ways: not the forces of technical innovation as much as economics and industry structure, social and regulatory concerns, and local values and globalization.
Check it out. [RJ]
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
The Tyranny of Citations
In The Tyranny of Citations (Inside Higher Ed May 8, 2006), Philip G. Altbach argues that the use of citation analysis and bibliometrics for evaluation and ranking the scientific and scholarly work of individuals and institutions does not serve higher education well. Although bibliometrics is a useful technique to trace the history of ideas, Altbach believes that evaluators and rankers need go back to the drawing boards to think about a reliable system that can accurately measure scholarship at the individual and institutional levels.
Hat tip to Brian Leiter's Law School Reports.
State Implementation of the REAL ID Act
The National Conference of State Legislatures has provided recommendations for state implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005.
From the Executive Summary:
This document summarizes a joint section-by-section review of the REAL ID Act by the National Governors Association (NGA), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). This cooperative effort was designed to determine whether the Act could be implemented in a practical, economic and efficient manner and to provide guidance to DHS in developing its regulations. The review includes a detailed section-by-section description of the issues raised by the statute; critical concerns of states stemming from a particular section; states’ recommendations for effective implementation; and identification of federal actions required to facilitate implementation."
Congress Targets Social Network Sites
MySpace and other social-networking sites like LiveJournal.com and Facebook are facing a new threat: a proposed federal law that would effectively require most schools and libraries to render those Web sites inaccessible to minors, an age group that includes some of the category's most ardent users.
Here's a copy of the proposed bill. [RJ]
Google Debuts Four New Products
Google has revealed four new software products to enhance the search experience: Google Co-Op, Google Desktop 4, Google Trends, and Google Notebook.
Check them out. [RJ]
Opening: Reference Librarian, Notre Dame
Research Librarian: The Kresge Library of the Notre Dame Law School is seeking a highly motivated and service-oriented individual to join its research team. The Kresge Library is an integral part of the Notre Dame Law School and offers exceptional opportunities for developing professional skills and contributing to the educational mission of the Law School.
Qualifications: Friendly, talented, self-motivated individual with M.L.S. and J.D. from accredited schools. Knowledge of legal materials and methodology, including traditional resources, commercial online services, and Internet resources. Ability to communicate effectively with faculty, students and staff. Familiarity with foreign and international sources and experience with creating and maintaining web pages is desirable.
Duties: Provide research service to our primary patrons–the faculty and students of the law school. Assist in collection development. Participate in the first-year legal research course as a member of our lecture team and as a small-group instructor.
Environment: The Kresge Library supports a national law school serving approximately 580 students and 35 full-time faculty. The experienced staff of 27 includes nine professionals, with three librarians in the Research Department. As members of the Law School faculty, librarians are welcome participants on Law School and University committees. Construction of a new Notre Dame Law School building will begin in 2007; a major renovation of the Kresge Library will follow in 2009. For additional information about the Kresge Library, see http://www.nd.edu/~lawlib/.
Compensation: The salary will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The University offers a generous benefits package, including medical and dental insurance, liberal vacations, retirement options, tuition benefits for dependents, and access to University events. The Law Library underwrites individual membership in the American Association of Law Libraries and provides generous support for appropriate conferences and workshops.
Available: While the position will remain open until a successful candidate has been identified, applications received by June 1st will be assured consideration.
To Apply: Email applications are encouraged. Please send cover letter, resume and three references to Roger F. Jacobs, Director of the Library ( Jacobs.firstname.lastname@example.org).
Notre Dame is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer
May 15, 2006
Rove Indictment Report Denied
The New York Sun is reporting that a Karl Rove spokesman is denying reports that Rove was indicted Friday. The story contradicts Jason Leopolds' report which alleged that Rove had been indicted. See our post Karl Rove Indicted? See also Capitol Hill Blue's Blog post, A Rove Indictment? Truth or Just Wishful Thinking?
Steve Leser (OpEdNews.org) is standing by Leopolds in Karl Rove Indictment an elaborate Hoax? Did Jason Leopold get Rolled?:
Despite right wing media and blogosphere accusations, Jason Leopold has been a reliable source for some time. For now, I am willing to take it on faith that he has numerous well placed sources that did in fact tell him that Karl Rove had been indicted.
Stay tuned. [JH]
Northwestern's Chris Simoni Moves to Drexel Law
Dan Filler, a member of Drexel's library committee, reports that Northwestern's Chris Simoni has been appointed to head Drexel's Law Library. Simoni served as Northwestern's Associate Dean for Library and Information Technology and Professor of Law for ten years.
Drexel's controversial law library plans have been a topic of several Law Librarian Blog posts:
The Drexel Law Rewrite: Take Out Left Foot, Insert Right Foot (June 24, 2005)
House Judiciary Committee Overwhelmingly Approves Voting Rights Act Extension
From the press release:
The House Judiciary Committee ... overwhelmingly approved a 25-year extension of the expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). The Committee cleared this bipartisan legislation, H.R. 9, by a 33-to-1 vote.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.), who introduced H.R. 9, stated, “The Committee record shows that while the VRA has been successful, our work is not yet complete. Discrimination in the electoral process continues to exist andt hreatens to undermine the progress that has been made over the last forty years. By extending the VRA for an additional 25 years, H.R. 9 ensures that the voting rights of all Americans regardless of race or color will be protected.”
Ave Maria Faculty & Alumni Vote "No Confidence" in Dean Over Proposed Move of Law School to Florida
According to the Ann Arbor News, the law faculty "no confidence" resolution passed 11-3 on April 12. The alumni association board "no confidence" resolution was approved 7-3, with two board members absent. For additional information, including the dispute over whether the alumni association board has the authority to vote "no confidence," check out TaxProf Blog's post. [JH]
Tracking the Telecommunications Reform Debate
From the Benton Foundation:
This non-partisan fact-filled Benton resource is intended to keep the public informed again. It includes up-to-date:
- Summaries of key bills
- A guide to what public interest and industry groups are saying
- Links to the reports that Congress will rely upon and
- The stories that cover it all
Check it out. [RJ]
Ron Jones to Serve as Co-Editor
I want to thank my Cincinnati Law colleague, Ron Jones, for all the heavy lifting he has performed for the Law Librarian Blog during the last several weeks. He has been covering developments for me while I have been out of town, working my “day job," etc. What's the old adage, those who work, get more work. Well, I am very pleased to announce that Ron, who has been serving as a contributing editor for over a year, has agreed to join me as a co-editor of Law Librarian Blog.
Ron joined the staff of the University of Cincinnati Law Library in 1997 serving as Head of Circulation. He received his MLS from the University of Kentucky in 2000. In 2001, Ron was hired as a Reference Librarian. His responsibilities were expanded to include Electronic Services in 2005. In the fall of 2005, Ron was awarded tenure. Ron serves on a number of law library and university libraries committees. He also help Cincinnati Law Prof Paul Caron by serving as the Research Associate for the TaxProf Blog.
Ron and his wife, Erin, are the proud parents of a six year old daughter and two year old son. They are expecting a second son in late September. Once Ron and Erin stop making babies (and stop changing diapers), Ron plans to go to law school.
-- Joe Hodnicki
New Report on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
From the Harvard School of Public Health:
One popular justification for tort reform is the claim that “frivolous” medical malpractice lawsuits—those lacking evidence of substandard care, treatment-related injury, or both—enrich plaintiffs’ attorneys and drive up health care costs. A new study by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital challenges the view that frivolous litigation is rampant and expensive.
The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine. [RJ]
Section 1227 Report on Iraq
The Department of State has released the first Presidential report to the United States Congress pursuant to the United States Policy in Iraq Act, section 1227 (c) of the National Defense Authorization Act, Section 1227 (c). The report covers current military, diplomatic, political, and economic measures that have been undertaken to successfully complete the mission in Iraq. The report offers an assessment of the current situation in Iraq--paralleling the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq released by the White House in November 2005--and outlines goals and measures on the political, economic, and security progress.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library