August 30, 2006
New Report: Regulating Guns in America
Produced by the Legal Community Against Violence, Regulating Guns in America: An Evaluation and Comparative Analysis of Federal, State and Selected Local Gun Laws is designed for use by state and local officials, law enforcement, and gun violence prevention advocates. It provides a comprehensive, national review of existing federal and state laws on more than twenty topics covering all major areas of gun policy. It also includes a discussion of local laws in ten major U.S. cities. In addition to identifying existing laws in each jurisdiction, the report compares and contrasts different policy approaches used to address each topic, and offers a list of features that characterize the most comprehensive legislative solution in each area.
Hat tip to Michel-Adrien Sheppard, Library Boy, a great source! [JH]
Introduction to E-Resource Management
E-metrics for Library and Information Professionals: How to Use Data for Managing and Evaluating Electronic Resource Collections
By Andrew C. White and Eric Djiva Kamal
List Price: $75.00
Neal-Schuman Publishers Facet Publishing (2005)
Book Description: Is your library getting every dollar’s-worth out of that thousand-dollar database? Should you re-subscribe to that pricey e-journal? Are your indexes serving your users? Collection development and acquisitions librarians are facing new tough questions. Unfortunately—until now—these were tough and, for many, unanswerable questions. White and Kamal show how to utilize e-metrics to measure library performance and value in the digital age. Learn how to effectively use the electronic data captured from various network activities to manage library collections, budgets, and services. Using e-metric, the authors identify expensive and underused digital resources, visualize virtual patron behavior patterns, and construct new collection development strategies. Real-world examples demonstrate how to develop a locally-established library e-metric system and apply it with vendor usage statistics to critical collection management and financial decisions. Practical tips and detailed analysis illustrate the important application of e-metrics to help you better serve your users and run an effective library.
Reviewed in Ariadne, Issue 46, Feb. 8, 2006, by Elizabeth McHugh, Electronic Resources Manager, UHI Millennium Institute who wrote:
The book suggests that to reach a real understanding of how digital and virtual library collections are used and who is using them, generating data on a local level as well as employing vendor-generated data which conforms, or otherwise, to emerging standards, is important for libraries. ... The book is useful for people new to the field of e-resource management. It is not a complete step-by-step "how-to-do-it" manual, which may be a slight concern for the novice. However, it encourages e-resource managers to think why locally produced data is relevant for their libraries (rather than just relying on vendor data), what data could be extracted, and also provides scenarios on how this could be achieved from a technology and personnel standpoint. While this may seem 'old hat' for experienced e-resource managers, this book could nonetheless serve as a useful aide-mémoire.
Professional Reading: Making Sense of the Intellectual Property Clause: Promotion of Progress as a Limitation on Congress's Intellectual Property Power
Dotan Oliar (Virginia) posted Making Sense of the Intellectual Property Clause: Promotion of Progress as a Limitation on Congress's Intellectual Property Power (94 Georgetown LJ 1771 (2006)) on SSRN. Here's the abstract for this very interest work:
The Article elucidates the Intellectual Property Clause by studying the neglected record from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 pertaining to it. This record consists of proposals by James Madison and Charles Pinckney for congressional power to grant patents, copyrights, and encouragements (bounties), and to establish universities. By tracking the textual transition from the initial proposals to the eventual text of the Clause and by putting this transition in its contemporaneous context, this Article makes two major contributions to our understanding of the Clause.
First, the Article takes a stand in a current controversy by providing three direct indications that the Framers intended the first part of the Clause — "to promote the progress of science and useful arts" — to be a limitation on Congress's intellectual property power. It thus refutes a widely held belief that the Framers intended this language as a non-binding preamble. Second, the analysis solves a current puzzlement among courts and commentators about the enigmatic ends/means structure of the Clause. It shows that the Clause's unique text reflects the Framers' intent to have each of the Clause's parts participate in defining and limiting the power it confers.
The Article reviews the applications of its findings for originalism, for different readings of the Clause, and for recent (e.g., Eldred v. Ashcroft) and pending (e.g., Kahle v. Gonzales, Golan v. Gonzales) constitutional intellectual property litigation. It ends by suggesting ways in which the legal community can move toward forming a concept of progress as a constitutional limitation.
ABA Seeks Law Library Legal Specialist to Evaluate Collections at 3 Jordanian Law Schools
Job Opportunities: Amman, Jordan
Position: Law Library Legal Specialist
Location: American Bar Association, Amman, Jordan
Start Date: Fall 2006
The ABA seeks a law library legal specialist to evaluate existing law library collections and processes at 3 Jordanian law schools. The law library legal specialist will assess current library collections, processes and research resources. They will also be asked to make recommendations on ways to introduce new research resources, to better utilize online sources and to enhance existing collections and systems with the end goal of enhancing student performance.
A law degree is not necessary, but helpful. Candidates must have a minimum of 5 years experience with law libraries. Arabic speakers preferred but not required.
This legal specialist position is for a short-term 10 day assignment and is on a pro-bono basis. A generous support package is provided which covers all living costs and business expenses. Please see the instructions below to apply.
- Go to www.abaceeli.org and visit the “Opportunities” section of the CEELI website accessible from the left-side menu. Click on “Liaison and Legal Specialist Positions Available” and scroll down to review current openings and position requirements.
- To apply, visit the ABA’s International Legal Reform website at www.abanet.org/intlegalreform and fill out the Online International Volunteer Application. You may access the form directly at http://portal.abaceeli.org/ilrp/registration.asp.
- Once you submit the online application, you will be requested to e-mail an electronic version of your resume to email@example.com. Please note that your registration will not be processed if you do not complete this step of the application procedure.
- You should receive notification of our receipt of your application within 2 weeks. If you do not, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All registered participants remain active unless we are notified that you no longer wish to be considered for positions, or until several attempts to contact you have failed. Please contact us if any of your information changes.
Posted by request of the American Bar Association. [JH]
August 29, 2006
Does Pluto Have a Cause of Action?
From the WSJ Law Blog:
"We posed the question to Dan Hull of Hull McGuire, who writes the “What About Clients?” blog and has always, well, seemed a little out there. Here are his thoughts:
I think Pluto’s claim sounds in equity: quantum meruit. If Pluto no longer is part of the celestial contract, and apparently never really was, it at least has a beef for services rendered all these years.
Eminent domain: “Cosmic taking” damages under the Fifth Amendment is another theory since Pluto got bulldozed out of a long-standing scientific model.
Fraud, misrepresentation, or at least a detrimental reliance theory under the Restatement of Ks (2nd).
- Even Justice Scalia might give standing to an aggrieved planet. We wait for Pluto’s phone call.
Supreme Court Clerkship Placement 1996 through 2006 Terms
Texas Law Prof Brian Leiter has published his latest survey of Supreme Court clerkships at Leiter's Law School Rankings. The survey ranks law school success rates at placing their grads as clerks on the Supreme Court from the 1996 term through the current 2006 term. In absolute numbers, Harvard ranks first but law students have a better chance to grab a SCOTUS clerkship if they graduate from Yale because of Yale's substantially smaller class size.
Scholarship and Academic Libraries (and their kin) in the World of Google
Paul N. Courant (Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Professor of Economics and of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and Distinguished Fellow at the Council of Library and Information Resource) delivered the keynote address at the Seventh Annual Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World, Feb. 15-17, 2006. The address, Scholarship and Academic Libraries (and their kin) in the World of Google, is published in the August 2006 issue of First Monday. Here's the abstract:
The prospect of ubiquitous digitization will not change the fundamental relationships among scholarship, academic libraries, and publication. Collaboration across time and space, which is a principal mechanism of scholarship, ought to be enhanced. Reforms in copyright law will be required if the promise of digitization is to be realized; absent such reform, there is a serious risk that much academically valuable material will become invisible and unused. Ubiquitous digitization will change radically the economics that have supported university–based collections of published material. Scholars and scholarly institutions (including libraries and university presses) must assert vigorously claims of fair use and openness.
The August 2006 issue of First Monday includes several other conference papers. Check them out. [JH]
50 State Bluebook Guide
Compiled by Daniel Cornwall, these "blue books" are directories to each state's government, with material on topics such as branches of government, departments, and elections. Check it out. [RJ]
Stu's Views: Free Use of Law Cartoons Based On Major Cases
Almost 500 Stu’s Views cartoons based on the facts or law of major cases taught in law school can be found at www.stus.com. The cartoons are in the fields of Constitutional Law (143 cases), Criminal Procedure (164 cases), Evidence (103 cases), and Corporations (79 cases). The cartoons are searchable by black letter law, so it’s easy to pull together all the cases on particular topics. Also, most of the Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure cartoons are linked to the actual case for reference.
Free Use Conditions: Bloggers, law schools librarians, government library librarians and legal aid organizations may use up to twenty cartoons per calendar year on their blogs and web pages (but not elsewhere) for free under two key conditions: (1) they send Stu Ress a one time email with their name and blog or internet address and (2) they include with each post or use a hyperlink to www.stus.com or a relevant sub-page of their choice. More license details will follow in the confirmation email. Stu's email is email@example.com
The 500 case cartoons are about half of what Stu Rees created for West (http://www.westhighcourts.com/index.asp ) over the last two years. In an email to me Stu indicated that he will be adding more cartoons soon. He also plans to add more Stu’s Views law cartoons to www.stus.com that are not based on specific cases. [JH]
Webcast by Peter Morville Covers His Ambient Findability
"Peter Morville, widely recognized as a founding father of information architecture, discussed his recent book, "Ambient Findability," in a program sponsored by the Science, Technology and Business Division. Morville describes Ambient Findability as a safari of how people search for information and how they now find their way through a world of information overload. His previous book, which he co-authored with Louis Rosenfeld, "Information Architecture" was named "Best Internet Book of 1998." Morville's work has been featured in many publications including Business Week, The Economist, Fortune, MSNBC and The Wall Street Journal. He blogs at findability.org."
Ambient Findability by Peter Morville
List Price: $29.95
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly (2005)
August 28, 2006
EPA Jumps the Gun, Begins Closing Libraries Before Congress Approves Budget
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is reporting that the EPA is "moving ahead this summer to shut down libraries, end public access to research materials and box up unique collections on the assumption that Congress will not reverse President Bush’s proposed budget reductions." (emphasis added). Read more about it at PEER.
Why should the EPA respect the rule of law if the President doesn't? [JH]
Louisiana Public Colleges Agree to Meet with AAUP Investigators; Tulane and Loyola Still Refuse to Participate
Two weeks after refusing to meet with the AAUP, Louisiana public college officers have changed their position according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. They now agree to meet with a special committee of the AAUP that is investigating layoffs, program cuts, and other moves at the colleges in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Chronicle reports that he committee's goals are
to examine whether the institutions followed their own policies and procedures, as well as AAUP guidelines, in laying off tenured faculty members and cutting academic programs following last year's devastating hurricane. Committee members are also looking into whether faculty members had enough say in the changes and whether some academic policies and procedures can be ignored in such extreme circumstances.
As reported earlier, two private universities, Loyola and Tulane, still refuse to meet with the committee.
Our concern with layoffs at Tulane Law Library and its administration began in January 2006:
- On the Current (and Future) State of the Tulane Law Library (January 12, 2006)
- Damage Control at Tulane Law Library (January 23, 2006)
- AAUP Investigating Tulane Layoffs (February 2, 2006)
- One Law Prof's Perspective on Post-Katrina Tulane Law School (February 10, 2006)
- Nine Tulane law profs leaving, 3 permanently, 6 visiting other schools, X-number returning after their visit (March 28, 2006)
Revised Chinese Bankruptcy Law and Partnership Law Adopted
The Chinese Law Prof Blog has the details, including links to the Chinese texts. [JH]
A View from the Stacks: How Do You Cast A Podcast? (Part Deux)
A while back, I mentioned that King County Law Library was working toward producing a semi-regular podcast for our website.
Well, this past Saturday, Rita Kaiser (the brain-trust behind this whole project) and I decided to take this project by the horns and record some content. This is the conversation, verbatim, on the process of recording:
Rita: “Press ‘M’ to turn on. Why isn’t it turning on?”
Stina: “I don’t know, it says press ‘M’ to turn on.”
Rita: “Well, it is not turning on. Is there a battery in here? Where is the battery?”
Stina: “On the back? Wait, it just turned on.”
Stina: “I think you pressed the button below.”
Rita: “Well, that is dumb. That is not the ‘M’ button.”
And so it went, for about three hours, a conversation that, in itself, was podcast worthy. Finally, we stopped reading the directions and just looked at the pictures (much like the directions that come with IKEA furniture that needs to be assembled). Thankfully, after threatening to throw the recorder across the room, we had enough of an introduction recorded to warrant some editing and music.
Oh, and on the topic of music for a podcast…there seems to be a large amount of music out there to choose from, but not a lot of music that works as a viable choice.
By the end of the day this past Saturday, Rita had edited my words (I said “you guys” which is a particularly nasty habit of mine that has been years in the breaking) and made our very first segment of our very first podcast. We listened to it, both proud of our efforts. Rita lauded our initial attempts, and then told me that we needed to re-record the entire introduction as soon as possible.
Never have I given proper credit to radio-personalities, or folks who have existing podcasts. I would like to take this moment to say “hats off.” It is hard to listen to yourself read from a script, even harder to try and sound like you are not reading from a script, and almost impossible to sound relaxed while making a conscience effort to be relaxed. Maybe after we have been recording these podcasts for a few months (or years) we will have a handle on pacing and the tone of our voices.
In the meantime, we have successfully put together (after about 6 hours of time) a good seven minute show that may, someday, make its way to our website.
After it has been re-recorded, of course.
Stina McClintock, Library Technician, King County Law Library (Seattle) and Beer Judge (BJCP)
Editor's Note: Stina has used the word "beer" twenty times in her posts, more than any contributor to the Law Professor Blogs Network. I am certain that if Stina podcasts about beer or while drinking a beer or both, the King County Law Library podcasts will move forward at a very lively pace and replace Check This Out! as the most popular law library/law librarian-related podcast site on the net. Sorry, Jim. You're good, very good, but you're no Stina! [JH]
Lederman on Amending the War Crimes Act
Law Prof and Balkinization blogger Marty Lederman, currently visiting at Georgetown Law, has been kind enough to share information about the draft text of the Bush Administration amendment to the War Crimes Act. Slate has published a version of the closely guarded draft which Lederman analyzes in detail at The CIA Cruelty Authorization Act of 2006.
And please don't miss Professor Lederman's compilation of Balkinization blog posts on this very important topic: The Anti-Torture Memos: Balkinization Posts on Torture, Interrogation, Detention, War Powers, Executive Authority, and OLC.
See our early post on the legislative history of the War Crimes Act as amended, The Law of the Land (Still) Includes the War Crimes Act, now updated in the comment section with a link to the above-mentioned draft amendment published in Slate. [JH]
Is a Search Engine Going to be Your Constant Companion?
Take the trend towards the personalization of results by search engines and add mobile communication with GPS functionality into the mix and the likely answer to the question is "yes."
In Search Engines: Where We Were, Are Now, and Will Ever Be, Phil Bradley writes
[S]earch engines will become more pervasive than they already are, but paradoxically less visible, if you allow them to personalise increasingly your own search experience. Alerting services will become even more commonplace as search engines learn your interests and preferences and can inform you of new developments, news, new Web sites and so on without users having to do anything at all, since the engines can monitor what you do and where you go.
New GlobaLex Legal Research Guides
New GlobaLex Articles (August 2006):
- The Bulgarian Legal System and Legal Research
by Angel Panayotov, Lora Kapelovska, and Nikolay Bebov
- An Introduction to the Czech Legal System and Legal Resources Online
by Michal Bobek
- A Guide to Legal Research in Israel
by Michal Tamir
- Uganda's Legal System and Legal Sector
by Brenda Mahoro
- Research Guide on International Health Law
by Chenglin Liu
Documents from the NSA Surveillance Case
Access As Easy As Tuning In
From the Third Branch:
"The next time you see someone pop on the headphones and get that faraway look in his or her eyes, don't be so sure it's a tune that's beguiling them. It just may be the latest oral arguments from the Seventh Circuit. The circuit is the first federal court of appeals to make RSS feeds of opinions and audio recordings of oral arguments available from its Web site.
August 27, 2006
Xerox redux! Google wants people to stop googling
Great story from News.com:
Google has said it intends to crack down on the use of its name as a generic verb, in phrases such as "to google someone."
The Internet search giant said such phrases were potentially damaging to its brand.
"We think it's important to make the distinction between using the word 'Google' to describe using Google to search the Internet and using the word 'google' to generally describe searching the Internet. It has some serious trademark issues," a representative for the search company said.
Check out the rest of the story. Xerox redux! [RJ]