February 21, 2006
Minutes of the Legislative Reference Service, 1947-1953
Once again the Memory Hole has uncovered interesting government documents that shed light on the operation of the federal government. This time it is the Minutes of the Legislative Reference Service, 1947-1953 (pdf).
The Legislative Reference Service was the precursor of the Congressional Research Service. The former operated by the same rules CRS does. The minutes reveal that the Legislative Reference wrestled with the same problems CRS (and the library community) does - distribution of the reports; avoidance of controversy; whether the reports should contain analysis and recommendations or simply state facts; whether reports should arrive at conclusions; etc.
Kudos to Michael Ravnitzky for obtaining these documents. Hat tip to Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library and Sabrina Pacifici at beSpacific for the tip.
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State Department To Launch New Website Design
From the press release:
The new design [of the US State Department website] streamlines the number of content sections from nine to four:
- Issues and Press,
- Travel and Business,
- Youth and Education, and
- About the State Department.
The redesigned homepage will feature the main news story of the day, along with other important news. The homepage also will provide easy access to information about Secretary Rice, multimedia resources, and interactive options for users to subscribe to state.gov content as well as quick links to key topics in each of the website sections.
In addition to state.gov homepage updates, the banner of the new design will link to the top news story, daily press briefings, and other news from anywhere in the website. Enhanced search capabilities will allow users to search individual sections of the website, rather than the entire site.
Final Report of the (House) Select Bipartisan Commitee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina
From Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina:
On September 15, 2005, the House of Representatives approved H. Res. 437, which created the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert named Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), the Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, to serve as the Chairman of the Select Committee.
According to the legislation creating it, the Select Committee is charged with conducting “a full and complete investigation and study and to report its findings to the House not later than February 15, 2006, regarding-- (1) the development, coordination, and execution by local, State, and Federal authorities of emergency response plans and other activities in preparation for Hurricane Katrina; and (2) the local, State, and Federal government response to Hurricane Katrina.”
Check out the final report.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
Opening: Reference/Electronic Services Librarian, San Antonio
St. Mary's University Law Library is pleased to announce an opening for a new position of Reference/Electronic Services Librarian, available on or after June 1, 2006. Applications will be accepted and reviewed immediately. The position will remain open until filled. Please contact Robert H. Hu (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: 210-431-2056) for any questions or information. St. Mary's University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
Primary responsibilities: Provide reference, research and instructional services to students, the faculty, staff and other users; identify, evaluate, and recommend electronic products, audio/visual items and other electronic resources for purchase or subscription; organize and maintain electronic products and resources; contribute to and manage the contents of the library’s website; develop and coordinate library publications; publicize library programs and services to users; participate in collection development and other projects. The position will report to the Director and may supervise student workers assigned.
Status and rank: This position is a tenure-track faculty position of St. Mary’s University at the rank of Assistant Professor.
Required qualifications: A JD and MLS from ABA/ALA accredited schools; a minimum of one year’s work experience in a law library with sound knowledge of online resources and technologies; strong service orientation, ability to work well independently and with others, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills; strong public speaking and writing skills.
Preferred qualifications: Knowledge of traditional legal bibliography as well as electronic resources; experience in teaching, delivering legal reference service, and managing electronic products and resources; experience with website development.
Salary and benefits: Salary is competitive depending on qualifications. Comprehensive benefits include medical and dental insurance, employer retirement contributions, partial or full tuition waiver for employee and dependents, vacation, free parking and admission to the University recreational facilities, and strong support for professional development.
How to apply: Send a cover letter, along with a current resume including three references, to: Robert Hu, Director, Sarita Kenedy East Law Library, St. Mary's University, One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, TX 78228.
About the Law Library
The Sarita Kenedy East Law Library is the largest legal information center in San Antonio and the surrounding area. Built in 1984, the Library is a spacious, beautiful facility equipped with advanced information technology. A federal depository library, the Library’s collection consists of over 400,000 volumes (and equivalent) with an extensive number of microfiche. The collection covers a wide range of subjects, including U.S. federal law, state laws, and foreign, comparative and international law. Among the Library’s resources is a special collection housed in the Rare Book Room. The Library also subscribes to numerous online databases and electronic products. The Library is staffed with eleven employees, five of which are professional librarians. The Library facility provides ample spaces for study tables, carrels, conference rooms, and training rooms for students and the faculty. Both wired and wireless access to the university network is supported throughout the building. The Library features a collection of period/antique furniture and art work. The bright, beautifully decorated Alumni Room serves both as a classroom and a reception room for the law school. To tour the Library, visit our website at: http://www.stmarytx.edu/law/library/?go=lawlibflash_tour
About St. Mary’s University Law School
St. Mary's University School of Law was originally founded in 1927 by the San Antonio Bar Association, and became associated with St. Mary's University in 1934. The law school currently enrolls nearly 800 students with a faculty of about forty full-time professors. Besides the J.D. program, the law school offers a LL.M. degree program for International and Comparative Law, and American Legal Studies. In addition, the law school operates a legal clinic and two centers - the Center for International Legal Studies, and the Center for Terrorism Law. The law school also runs a summer law institute in Innsbruck, Austria. The law students publish two journals: St. Mary’s Law Journal, and The Scholar. For more information about the law school, visit the website at: http://www.stmarytx.edu/law/
About San Antonio
Beautiful in nature, diverse in culture, and hospitable in people, San Antonio is a very livable and affordable city. With a population of 1.3 million and growing, the city is the 8th largest in the United States, offering a wide range of options for living, education, arts and museums, health care, entertainment, sports, and tourism. The city draws nearly 20 million visitors each year around the nation, ranking as the most visited city in Texas. For more information about San Antonio, read the AALL Spectrum (April, May and June 2005 issues), or visit the website at: http://www.sanantoniocvb.com/
February 20, 2006
Looks Like Chinese Government Has Started Blogging
The Information Office of the (Chinese) State Council has launched Strong Nation Blog according to the People's Daily. I say "looks like" because I can't read either site but the China Digital Times is reporting the story.
Tax Court Rejects Turbo Tax Defense
Garbage in, garbage out. TaxProf Blog has the details.
House Hearing on the Internet in China
On February 15th, House Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations and Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific conduct a hearing titled The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression? From this link, you can view the webcast of this important hearing and read the submitted comments of the following participants:
- Mr. James Keith, Senior Advisor for China and Mongolia, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- The Honorable David Gross, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Communications and Information Policy, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- Mr. Michael Callahan, General Counsel, Yahoo! Inc.
- Mr. Jack Krumholtz, Managing Director of Federal Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation
- Mr. Elliot Schrage, Vice President for Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Google, Inc.
- Mr. Mark Chandler, Vice President and General Counsel, Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Ms. Libby Liu, President, Radio Free Asia
- Mr. Xiao Qiang, Director, China Internet Project, University of California-Berkeley
- Ms. Lucie Morillon, Washington Representative, Reporters Without Borders
- Mr. Harry Wu, Publisher, China Information Center
- Ms. Sharon Hom, Executive Director, Human Rights in China
The Great Firewall of China
And don't miss the Washington Post's Great Firewall of China series covering this topic, including the Post's Sunday article about the House hearing, U.S. Firms Balance Morality, Commerce, Critics Say Companies Overlook Human Rights.
Federal Forms Catalog
The Forms Catalog provides citizens and businesses with a common access point to federal agency forms. All forms and instructions searchable by agency, title, or form number. Check it out.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
U.N. Report Calls for End to Guantánamo Detentions
From the New York Times:
The United States should release all detainees being held at its detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or bring them to trial and shut the facility down, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.
The report, summarizing an investigation by five U.N. experts, called on the U.S. government ''to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention center and to refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.''
In a response included at the end of the report, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. offices in Geneva said investigators had taken little account of evidence provided by the United States and rejected an invitation to visit Guantanamo.
Read more about it.
Read the report.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
Opening: Law Library Director, Charlotte School of Law
Charlotte School of Law seeks nominations and applications for the Director of the Law Library and Technology Center. Charlotte School of Law, an institution that aims to establish itself as a leader in outcome-based legal education, received licensure from the University of North Carolina Board of Governors in March 2005 and will open in the fall of 2006. Charlotte School of Law is the first law school in North Carolina’s most populous city. Charlotte is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation and is also the second-largest banking center in the country, trailing only New York City in terms of headquartered assets. Booming with economic, commercial and cultural activity, Charlotte is a dynamic community that combines warm Southern hospitality with a modern, world-class city.
Charlotte School of Law recently announced the appointment of Dr. E. Eugene (Gene) Clark as its founding dean. Dean Clark is a renowned author and legal scholar. He has served as dean and head of law schools in Darwin and Canberra, Australia, and has extensive experience guiding international law programs. The school is a member of The InfiLaw System, a consortium of independent law schools, which operates law schools in Jacksonville, FL and Phoenix, AZ.
The Director of the Law Library and Technology Center provides leadership for the effective integration of appropriate information resources and technologies into instructional and bibliographic services. This position is responsible for the operation of the law school's Library and Technology Center (LTC) which is charged with the management and development of CSL’s technology as well as the acquisition, organization, and utilization of information resources in a wide variety of formats. Candidates should be (1) committed to a learning experience that is student-centered and facilitates practice-readiness; (2) attracted by the process of institution building; (3) committed to management and faculty development based on best practices and continuous self-improvement; (4) comfortable with change and innovation; (5) contributive to positive group dynamics; (6) an effective role model for transparent interaction and a humility based culture; and (7) motivated by the opportunity for institutional and self-development on the basis of enlightened leadership principles and professional mentoring.
The InfiLaw System is a consortium of independent, community-based law schools that is committed to making legal education more responsive to the realities of new career dynamics. Its mission is to establish student-centered, ABA accredited law schools in underserved markets that graduate students with the skills of a second-year associate and achieve true diversity programs aimed at student academic and career success.
If this mission is one that you feel passionate about and you are looking for a new challenge, a chance to put your expertise to work in a new venture - Charlotte School of Law may be the place for you. Please send curriculum vitae and/or resume with a letter of interest to Jo Ann Czomba, email@example.com.
Charlotte School of Law is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Inquiries welcome from qualified candidates. Women and members of historically disadvantaged groups are particularly encouraged to apply.
Where is your library?
The Dorraine Zief Law Library, University of San Franciso, submitted by Ms. Lee Ryan, Senior Reference Librarian. Check out the Library's blog, ZiefBrief.
Email a image of your library's location using Goggle Earth to me and I'll upload it for everyone to view.
February 19, 2006
Google Argues Against DOJ Subpoena
Google is arguing the DOJ's demand for data about searches would undermine public trust in the privacy of Google's service and expose its trade secrets to competitors. Undermining the public's trust is certainly the case but undermining such trust in China apparently doesn't bother Google one iota. See Google Argues Against Subpoena (Washington Post, Feb. 19, 2006)
Tech Law Prof Blog has more in Google Files Brief in Search Data Case (Feb. 17, 2006).
Everyman's View of the Patriot Act
The following is a letter to the editor posted Feb. 19th on the Daily Record (Morris County, New Jersey) website. I would hope it was Everyman's opinion of the Patriot Act:
To the Editor:
With the impending renewal of the Patriot Act, and the controversy surrounding some of its provisions, I decided it was time to re-read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This is something I probably had not done since high school, and it was an enlightening experience. They both set forth, quite specifically, the rules of governance that would keep this nation free and democratic. Of course, over the centuries, some of these rules have been modified to keep pace with changes in our nation and the world, but the basic substance and intent remain intact. Now it seems, at least to me, that the Patriot Act is, in some cases, chipping away at the edges of our constitutional rights.
It is certainly true that times have changed and the world has changed, but the duties and responsibilities of the president and Congress have not changed. They are elected to represent the best interests of the population. If changes in the Constitution are necessary, it is the duty of Congress to propose amendments and put them before the people of the United States. If I am to give up any of my freedoms or rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I want a chance to vote yea or nay.
Well stated Mr. Hoh.
The Myth of Spending Cuts for the Poor, Tax Cuts for the Rich
From The Heritage Foundation:
During the 2005 budget reconciliation debate, critics trotted out the tired old myth that Republicans were cutting spending for the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Many commentators accepted this as truth and repeated it, including Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, who accused the Republicans of passing a “cut-from-the-poor, give-to-the-rich budget.”
However, the facts simply do not support these overheated claims. Rather than reduce entitlement spending, the budget reconciliation bill merely reduced its projected five-year growth rate from 39 percent to 38 percent. Furthermore, the “additional” tax cuts were nearly all extensions of existing tax provisions that would soon have expired.
Read more about it.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication Application Deadline, March 1
Interested in the ARL/ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication? Have questions? FAQ now online at http://www.arl.org/training/institutes/arl-acrl06faq.html
Find the answers to these questions and more:
Who will be the presenters at the Institute?
What topics will the Institute highlight?
What if I'm not accepted for the Institute? Will there be another offering?
How will applications be reviewed to select the Institute participants?
The deadline for applications is 5:00pm (EST) on March 1, 2006.