January 10, 2007
Best Free Reference Web Sites Combined Index 1999-2006
Excellent resource from the ALA's Reference and User Services Association. [RJ]
Too Much Information: Filtering RSS Feeds
- Filtering blog content using Google Blog Search and Feedster
- Filtering other RSS feeds with Feed Rinse
- Combining feeds with Feed Jumbler
- Receiving filtered RSS feeds via email, cell phone or IM using ZapTXT
Check it out. [RJ]
State of the States
Opening: Associate Dean for Library and Information Services, Charlotte School of Law, Charlotte, NC
Charlotte School of Law seeks nominations and applications for the Associate Dean for Library and Information Services. Charlotte School of Law, an institution that aims to establish itself as a leader in outcome-based legal education, admitted its inaugural class in August 2006 and is the first law school in North Carolina’s most populous city. Booming with economic, commercial and cultural activity, Charlotte is a dynamic community that combines warm Southern hospitality with a modern, world-class city.
The Associate Dean for Library and Information Services provides leadership for the effective integration of appropriate information resources and technologies into instructional and bibliographic services. This position is responsible for the efficient operation of the law school's library which is charged with the acquisition, organization, and utilization of information resources in a wide variety of formats. The Associate Dean also serves as a member of the senior management team and participates actively in the development of the law school.
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) an effective role model for transparent interaction and a humility based culture; and (6) motivated by the opportunity for institutional and personal development based on enlightened leadership principles and professional mentoring.
The successful candidate will hold a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and M.L.S. or M.L.I.S. from an ALA-accredited library school. In addition, the candidate will have several years of supervisory experience in an academic law library. A primary task of the Associate Dean will be preparing and guiding the law library through the ABA accreditation process. Salary is dependent on qualifications. Full benefits package. For more information about Charlotte School of Law, please visit www.charlottelaw.org.
The InfiLaw System is a consortium of independent, community-based law schools located in Jacksonville and Phoenix 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 needed for legal practice and achieve true diversity programs aimed at student academic and career success.
If you are looking for a new challenge and a chance to put your expertise to work in a new venture - Charlotte School of Law may be the place for you. Please send a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae and/or resume, and a list of three professional references to:
Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee
Charlotte School of Law
1211 East Morehead Street
Charlotte, NC 28204
Or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
January 9, 2007
2007 AALL Management and Leadership Institute, Register by Jan. 11, 2006
The American Association of Law Libraries is sponsoring a Management and Leadership Institute March 5-8, 2007 in Tucson, AZ. AALL is underwriting a portion of the costs for participants to attend. This is a four day Management and Leadership Institute facilitated by respected organization development consultant, Maureen Sullivan. The institute will present leading edge strategies, equip you with essential tools necessary for management and leadership roles and increase your ability to manage and lead effectively. An action-learning approach will be utilized that includes: lecture, case studies, small group discussion, self-assessment tools, journaling, and skills practice.
Target Audience: All Law Library Professionals with at least three years of professional experience
Deadline: January 11, 2006
Apply Online: For more information and to apply online, please visit the Calendar of Events section on AALLNET at http://www.aallnet.org/calendar/ .
Professional Reading: Sustein's Infotopia
Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge
by Cass R. Sunstein
List Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, (August 24, 2006)
Book Description: The rise of the "information society" offers not only considerable peril but also great promise. Beset from all sides by a never-ending barrage of media, how can we ensure that the most accurate information emerges and is heeded? In this book, Cass R. Sunstein develops a deeply optimistic understanding of the human potential to pool information, and to use that knowledge to improve our lives. In an age of information overload, it is easy to fall back on our own prejudices and insulate ourselves with comforting opinions that reaffirm our core beliefs. Crowds quickly become mobs. The justification for the Iraq war, the collapse of Enron, the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia-all of these resulted from decisions made by leaders and groups trapped in "information cocoons," shielded from information at odds with their preconceptions. How can leaders and ordinary people challenge insular decisionmaking and gain access to the sum of human knowledge? Stunning new ways to share and aggregate information, many Internet-based, are helping companies, schools, governments, and individuals not only to acquire, but also to create, ever-growing bodies of accurate knowledge. Through a ceaseless flurry of self-correcting exchanges, wikis, covering everything from politics and business plans to sports and science fiction subcultures, amass-and refine-information. Open-source software enables large numbers of people to participate in technological development. Prediction markets aggregate information in a way that allows companies, ranging from computer manufacturers to Hollywood studios, to make better decisions about product launches and office openings. Sunstein shows how people can assimilate aggregated information without succumbing to the dangers of the herd mentality--and when and why the new aggregation techniques are so astoundingly accurate. In a world where opinion and anecdote increasingly compete on equal footing with hard evidence, the on-line effort of many minds coming together might well provide the best path to infotopia.
Top Law Schools Based on AAAS Membership
Texas Law Prof Brian Leiter has added a new study to his law school rankings website. This one assesses faculty quality based on American Academy of Arts & Sciences membership. As always Leiter's introductory paragraph discusses the significant limitations of this measure.
Which school is number 1? Yale Law School with 36% of the academic faculty elected to AAAS.
ATRA Releases Judicial Hellholes 2006
From the press release:
"Naming the entire state of West Virginia, South Florida,Southeast Texas and three notoriously plaintiff-friendly counties in Illinois, the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF) this week released its annual Judicial Hellholes report, shining a bright spotlight on America’s worst jurisdictions in which to face a lawsuit.” [RJ]
Google Vulnerability A Sign Of Web 2.0 Weakness
From InformationWeek: "A design flaw discovered earlier this week in Web-based Google applications spotlights a troublesome security trend for IT departments: what to do about protecting internal systems and data as workers access Web-based e-mail and collaborative applications using their employer's PCs." [RJ]
2005 ARL Statistics Now Available
The ARL Statistics Interactive Edition has been updated with 2004-05 Data. [RJ]
Opening: Reference Librarian, University of Dayton Zimmerman Law Library
Requirements: Master's degree from an ALA-accredited library/information science school. JD from an ABA-approved law school. Knowledge of legal information creation, delivery, and organization. Working knowledge of personal computers and networked environments. Strong communication skills and a commitment to patron services. Ability to work independently and as an effective team member.
Preferred: Thorough knowledge of legal systems and legal profession. Understanding of the diverse nature of a law library's services. Familiarity with the full range of print and electronic legal resources. Working knowledge of web page evaluation and other educational technologies. Experience in the training and instruction of groups.
Duties: Promote and provide legal research and reference services for students and faculty of the University of Dayton School of Law and others. Provide instruction in the use of legal resources and legal research methodology. Assist the Head of Public Services in the creation of effective reference and public services policies and publications, including the Law Library web page. Keep current with available library materials and online sources in order to serve as a member of the Collection Development Committee. Maintain currency in law librarianship and information technology. Perform additional duties and special projects as assigned. The position may involve early evening hours and may involve some weekend hours. May assist with Circulation functions and supervision.
Salary: Dependent upon qualifications.
Deadline: January 31, 2007
The successful candidate for this position will join the law library staff in a newer, state-of-the-art building. Every staff workstation is networked and every seat in the law library has power and data connections or wireless access to allow network access to student, faculty, and staff laptop computers from anywhere in the library. Classrooms in the building accommodate advanced audio-visual presentations, as well as complete network access.
Send letter of application and resume to:
Thomas L. Hanley, Director of the Law Library
University of Dayton Zimmerman Law Library
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-2780
The resume should include the names and contact information for three persons you have requested to provide complete information to the Search Committee regarding your qualifications and suitability for the position for which you are applying.
Telephone: (937) 229-2444. email: email@example.com
Founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary (The Marianists), the University of Dayton is Ohio’s largest independent university and one of the nation’s ten largest Catholic universities. The University of Dayton is strongly committed to increasing diversity.
The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. W/M/D/V/DV are encouraged to apply.
January 8, 2007
A View from the Stacks: If you hit that bell one more time…
I have a theory about service bells: when a person sees a service bell, they are almost certainly compelled to ring the service bell. This is the case no matter what the circumstances of the situation, including life and limb.
This theory was developed in the most scientific method of ways. My hypothesis was born one afternoon while on the reference desk. I got to thinking that even after making eye contact with me, a person would still ring the bell in order to get my attention. Of course, my null hypothesis was that this would not be the case. After an exhausting hour (hour!) of data collection, I determined that my hypothesis is correct. People love to hit the damn service bell, even if I happened to be two feet in front of them. (I am excluding children from this data set since I believe that the shiny nature of a service bell is like a beacon to the under 9 years of age crowd).
To make matters a little more annoying, these same people have the utmost look of satisfaction after hitting the bell that leaves me slightly uncomfortable. Why so smug? It is not as though you have outsmarted me with your invisible ways and I only can now see you once the bell has been rung. Chances are, I saw you and was about to get up when you hit that bell (My apologies to anyone who can only become visible after ringing a service bell).
Because I do not want to leave anyone with the impression that I am just complaining about an issue to complain, I polled the other employees here at my workplace, and of those asked, 50% said they hated the bell and 50% said there needed to be a buffer time between when a person arrives at the reference desk and when they can ring the bell. This has led me to the conclusion that the bell is a serious issue of workplace morale. What can be done to balance the use of the service bell with the sanity of the service provider?
Since I am more of a decider than a whiner, I wanted to take this opportunity to ask you all, in the New Year, to resolve to ignore the bell more often. Please only hit the bell if you cannot see anyone behind the desk. This is why the bell has been made available. Think about a service bell like you think about Ben Affleck: only in moderation.
Stina McClintock, Library Technician, King County Law Library (Seattle) and Beer Judge (BJCP)
Who Is ... Sabrina Pacifici?
FBI Files on Chief Justice Rehnquist
The media has had a field day with the recent FOIA released FBI's Rehnquist records but there is much more in them than just what's being reported about the consequences of the Chief Justice's abrupt halt to taking the painkiller Placidyl.
Check out the files at
2006 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary by CJ Roberts
"This is my second annual report on the judiciary, and in it I am going to discuss only one issue–in an effort to increase even more the chances that people will take notice. That is important because the issue has been ignored far too long and has now reached the level of a constitutional crisis that threatens to undermine the strength and independence of the federal judiciary. I am talking about the failure to raise judicial pay." -- Chief Justice John Roberts
A constitutional crisis? Don't think so. However, CNN's recently published chart (above left) indicates that annual federal judicial salaries between 1996 and 2006 only increased by 21 percent. [JH & RJ]
Using Signing Statement Bush Claim Feds Can Open Mail Without Warrant
"President Bush quietly has claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant. Bush asserted the new authority Dec. 20 after signing legislation that overhauls some postal regulations. He then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open mail under emergency conditions, contrary to existing law and contradicting the bill he had just signed, according to experts who have reviewed it."
Legal Predictions for 2007
From the Legal Talk Network: Coast to Coast: "Join co-hosts and Law.com bloggers J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi as they ring in the New Year and welcome back last year’s guests for Coast to Coast’s “2nd Annual Predictions Show.” Bob & Craig take a look back on the year that was and make predictions for the year ahead." [RJ]
Opening: Digital Preservation Librarian, Georgetown University Law Library
Under the general direction of the Associate Librarian for Collection Services, the Digital Preservation Librarian is responsible for the development and implementation of Georgetown Law Library’s digital preservation program. The incumbent will coordinate the Law Library’s participation in a pilot program that will mesh with national programs for preserving digital content.
The Digital Preservation Librarian will administer the Library’s participation in an OCLC Digital Archive Pilot Project, which will include the Maryland and the Virginia State Libraries. He or she will establish policies and procedures related to the preservation of digital material, identify preservation metadata elements for digital materials, develop plans for archiving electronic information, and harvest web sites for electronic information.
This is a two-year term position, beginning from the date of hire. The Digital Preservation Librarian reports directly to the Associate Librarian for Collection Services, who heads one of six sections in the Law Library. The library uses the Innovative Interfaces Millennium module for its integrated library system and uses OCLC for cataloging.
Required: Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library school. Ability to manage projects and accomplish goals. High level of proficiency with personal computers and software, the Internet and library-relevant information technology applications; strong interpersonal skills and communication skills; commitment to librarianship and to a superior level of service to faculty and students in an academic environment. General knowledge of how digital library collections and electronic objects are used in an academic setting. Knowledge of legal materials. Knowledge of MARC formats and/or metadata standards. Knowledge of OCLC systems.
Applications and the names of three references may be e-mailed to Margaret A. Fry at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to her at 111 G Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2007 and continue until the position is filled.
Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
January 7, 2007
SCOTUS Docket Down by Over 15 Percent
Writing for the Washington Post, Robert Barnes observes that the Supreme Court's current term is on track to take its fewest number of cases in modern history. He writes
The justices went on a relative shopping spree when they returned from their holiday break, on Friday, agreeing to hear seven additional cases before this year's term ends. Before that they had accepted only 60 petitions, as opposed to 80 at this point last year.
Read the full artice from today's Washington Post: Justices Continue Trend of Hearing Fewer Cases. [JH]
Word 2007: Coming January 30 Like It or Not
About Microsoft's Word 2007, Jonathan Blum, Fortune Small Business contributor, warns "business users, get ready for #&!? frustration."
Word 2007 is lovely to look at and use. But Word's 450 million global users can expect major, unwelcome surprises from the new code. Everything you've learned about Word over the years is now wrong. The familiar menu names - File, Edit, View, Insert, Format and the rest - are gone, replaced by cryptic new headers: Home, Insert, Page Layout, and Reference.
This can't be good. Check out Blum's review. [JH]