September 8, 2007
The Virginia Tech Review Panel Report-August 2007
"The Panel's mission is to provide an independent, thorough, and objective incident review of this tragic event, including a review of educational laws, policies and institutions, the public safety and health care procedures and responses, and the mental health delivery system." [RJ]
Google Book Search in Google Earth
"Did you ever wonder what Lewis and Clark said about your hometown as they passed through? What about if any other historical figures wrote about your part of the world? Earlier this year, we announced a first step toward geomapping the world's literary information by starting to integrate information from Google Book Search into Google Maps. Today, the Google Book Search and Google Earth teams are excited to announce the next step: a new layer in Earth that allows you to explore locations through the lens of the world's books.
Now when you turn on the "Google Book Search" layer in Google Earth (found in the "Featured Content" folder in the "Layers" menu), you'll see small book icons scattered around the globe. When you click on one of the book icons, a pop-up balloon will display a snippet of text from one of Book Search's public domain books that references that location. You'll also find links to the Google Book Search page for that snippet so that you can learn more about what it has to say about the city or town." Check it out! [RJ]
Education 2.0: The College Student's Guide to File Sharing
'"College: You finally made it. But now that you're here, how should you spend your first few weeks at school?
By filling up the hard drive of your brand-new Toshiba R500 with loads of music and video files, that's how. By harnessing the full file-sharing power of a high-speed, university-class network.
But how? Is it safe? Legal? Faster than asking your parents to burn a few DVDs and put them into their monthly care package?
Excellent questions -- the mark of a true student. Welcome to File Sharing 101."
This story is part of a weeklong Wired News series on educational tools for the digital age:
September 7, 2007
Friday Fun: World Beard and Moustache Champions, Which One is the Librarian?
Hat tip to Cornell Law Library's Julie Jones who writes, "don't miss the official beard and moustache judging categories."
Besides the great Melvil Dewey (image above left), who's your favorite librarian? Send your photos with comments, using the applicable categories if you like, to me for posting. [JH]
New Blog Takes a Satirical Look at Working in a Library
Dutch librarian Dennie Heye has started a new satirical library blog named Obnoxious librarian from Hades. And why not! [JH]
Professional Reading: Reining in the Data Traders: A Tort for the Misuse of Personal Information
Duke law prof Sarah Ludington has deposited Reining in the Data Traders: A Tort for the Misuse of Personal Information in SSRN. Here's the abstract:
In 2005, three spectacular data security breaches focused public attention on the vast databases of personal information held by data traders such as ChoicePoint and LexisNexis, and the vulnerability of that data. The personal information of hundreds of thousands of people had either been hacked or sold to identity thieves, yet the data traders refused to reveal to those people the specifics of the information sold or stolen. While Congress and many state legislatures swiftly introduced bills to force data traders to be more accountable to their data subjects, fewer states actually enacted laws, and none of the federal bills were taken to a vote before the election in 2006. In large part, individuals remain powerless to discover the information a data trader holds about them, to discover what information was sold or stolen, to prevent data traders from using their personal information in unauthorized ways, or to hold data traders accountable for lax security.
The Article argues that a new common law tort should be used to force reform and accountability on data traders, and to provide remedies for individuals who have suffered harm to their core privacy interests of choice and control-choice about who may receive their information, control over the information revealed, and how the recipient of that information may use it. The Article examines the current legislative and common law regimes, concluding that there are no effective remedies for individuals who have suffered harm from data misuse. Given the ineffective legislative response to the security breaches of 2005, the Article argues that the existing scheme of common law privacy torts should be expanded to create a new tort for information misuse. The new tort borrows from existing privacy torts-in particular, the tort of appropriation-and existing privacy statutes, importing the Fair Information Practices from the Privacy Act of 1974 as a standard of care.
Public Internet Web Site Publication Priorities and Schedules
Our priorities and schedules for making National Archives information available and accessible on our public internet are as follows:
Priority 1, as required by law, regulation, Presidential directive, or other official directive or national security:
- Agency reports and plans including Strategic Plans, Customer Service Plans, Annual and Performance Reports, Performance and Accountability Reports, FAIR Act reports, and NOFEAR Act Reports
- Privacy and accessibility notices
- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reading room
- Links to USA.gov, Regulations.gov and other required destinations
Priority 2, mission-critical and essential for program operations but not required by law, regulation, or Presidential directive (i.e.: information or services tied directly to NARA's mission and/or strategic plan):
- Guides identifying and locating archival records
- Interfaces to databases identifying and locating archival records
- Interfaces to electronic records and digital copies of records
- Records management guidance
- Job vacancy announcements
- Grants announcements and project reports
- Procurement Requests for Price (RFP) / Requests for Quote (RFQ)
- Information about major initiatives
- Resources supporting archival research and processes as available through our Archives Library Information Center
Priority 3, frequently requested information or services that would improve organization business processes and/or customer service to the public:
- Customer-centric orientation to information and services
- Publications and Calendar of Events
- Museum exhibits
- Forms and other "contact us" methods facilitating public requests for information and services
- Press releases and press kits
- Archival records preservation guidance
- Archives use and records request guidance for genealogists/family historians and veterans
- Lesson plans and other teaching materials
- Guidance and resources for information security professionals
- Resources for archives professionals
Priority 4, other information:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and other information intended to supplement or further explain information presented in more detail elsewhere on the site
- Site maps and other web site navigational aids
All content noted above currently exists on our public internet except for "customer-centric orientation to information and services" (priority 3). This information will be available as part of a new web site design and information architecture that will launch by May, 2005.
Information is posted to our web site as soon as it is ready, unless a deadline applies in which case the information is posted on or before the deadline.
If you have comments about our web publication priorities or schedules, please contact us.
Our web site is accessible to persons with disabilities, per requirements under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220), August 7, 1998.
Shaping the 44th Presidency
"The Twenty-Second Amendment, as ratified in 1951, replaced a question mark with a period. Will the president seek a third term? He or she cannot. Once reelected, a president becomes the present that is tomorrow’s past. The final two years of a president’s term are especially notable given that the second midterm election is the last opportunity, however problematic, for gauging the president’s status with voters. Heads begin to turn, focusing as much or more on “who’s next” as “who’s still there.” As this happens, the new presidency begins to take shape.
Three presidencies—those of Eisenhower, Reagan and Clinton—have experienced this inevitable look forward. Nixon, too, was reelected but resigned before the second midterm election. Of the other post-1951 presidencies, Truman and Johnson could have run for another term but chose not to; Carter and George H.W. Bush (Bush 41) sought reelection and were defeated, as was Ford for a full term. And now Geo! rge W. Bush (Bush 43) is serving in that period when the present is forming the future.
This issue paper will compare Eisenhower, Reagan and Clinton before turning to Bush 43. The first three have several common characteristics that help to explain the type of presidency being formed in the last two years. As it enters its period of termination, the Bush 43 presidency scarcely resembles those of his predecessors and the differences are a cause for concern. The 44th president will inherit a diminished presidency in a system that appears now to be pitted against itself." [RJ]
An expert witness at Abu Ghraib trials analyzes the sociological issues in scandal
Interesting article from the Chronicle: "A professor of sociology who testified as an expert witness for the defense at three trials connected to abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib gives a sociologist's perspective on what went wrong." [RJ] (for subscribers)
September 6, 2007
Kinkopf's Index of Presidential Signing Statements, 2001-2007
The American Constitution Society is making available online Kinkopf's Index of Presidential Signing Statements: 2001-2007 (pdf). The compiler, Neil Kinkopf, associate professor of law at Georgia State University College of Law and former special assistant in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, provides a comprehensive list of every provision of a law objected to by the White House in a signing statement, the reason for the objection, and a link to the relevant signing statement. The Index is a companion piece to an issue brief written by Professor Kinkopf, Signing Statements and the President's Authority to Refuse to Enforce the Law, that analyzes whether and when the President may refuse to enforce a law that the President regards as unconstitutional.
Truly a fantastic resource. Download it now! [JH]
Law Librarian Blog Garners 5th Place in OEDb's Top 25 Librarian Bloggers Ranking
Online Education Database reports that Law Librarian Blog ranks fifth in their Top 25 Librarian Bloggers ranking study. Our blog is also the most popular law librarian blog according to the report. Thanks readers!
In answering the question, "which librarian bloggers have the biggest reach?", OEDb writes "our goal was to show — using objective data from reliable sources — which blogs are the most popular, according to visitor traffic and site backlinks. To this end, we used data for these four metrics to calculate the rankings: (1)Google PageRank, (2) Alexa Rank, (3) Technorati Authority, and (4) Bloglines Subscribers."
The OEDb study apparently excluded blogs by libraries. It would be huge undertaking but hopefully library blogs will be the subject of a future study using the same metrics. BTW, check out OEDb's recently launched Library 2.0-themed blog, called iLibrarian. [JH]
Is the Broken Branch on the Mend?
On the day the 110th Congress return from its August recess, September 4, The Brookings's Mending the Broken Branch Project hosted an event to assess Congress's performance to date and what to expect in the coming months. Panelists included Thomas E. Mann, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, Sarah Binder, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, and Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, AEI. You can view of video of each panelist's presentation and download a copy of the event material from the below links:
The Mending the Broken Branch Project examines policy-making and oversight activity in the 110th Congress as well as action on key issues to provide a complete picture of the legislative branch's efforts to mend itself. The project's origin can be traced to Mann & Ornstein's The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Oxford UP, 2006). [JH]
ACS Launches ACS Research Link
ACS ResearchLink collects legal research topics submitted by practitioners for law students to explore in faculty-supervised writing projects for academic credit. Topic authors will receive a copy of the resulting student papers, which ACS will also post in a searchable online library. By connecting law students and faculty with the research needs of public interest organizations and advocates, ACS ResearchLink will become an increasingly comprehensive and powerful engine for change, while also enhancing the relevance and influence of student academic scholarship.
Hat tip to Law School Innovation. [JH]
GAO Launches Web Site Improvements
From the press release: "The Government Accountability Office (GAO) [has] unveiled its newly redesigned Web site, www.gao.gov. The updated site makes the agency’s work easier to find, and it better explains what GAO is and what it does. New features on the homepage include a prominent dynamic display of GAO’s latest products, a streamlined “In the Spotlight” section, and a new “Key References” section with links for site visitors." [RJ]
LibVibe for Current Library News
LibVibe is a regularly published audio broadcast of library news and developments. Check it out. [JH]
New Titles from Princeton UP
186 pp., Princeton University Press, 2007
Cloth: $19.95 ISBN13: 978-0-691-11859-8
Book Description: Constitutional Patriotism offers a new theory of citizenship and civic allegiance for today's culturally diverse liberal democracies. Rejecting conventional accounts of liberal nationalism and cosmopolitanism, Jan-Werner Müller argues for a form of political belonging centered on universalist norms, adapted for specific constitutional cultures. At the same time, he presents a novel approach to thinking about political belonging and the preconditions of democratic legitimacy beyond the nation-state. The book takes the development of the European Union as a case study, but its lessons apply also to the United States and other parts of the world.
Müller's essay starts with an engaging historical account of the origins and spread of the concept of constitutional patriotism-the idea that political attachment ought to center on the norms and values of a liberal democratic constitution rather than a national culture or the "global human community." In a more analytical part, he then proposes a critical conception of citizenship that makes room for dissent and civil disobedience while taking seriously a polity's need for stability over time. Müller's theory of constitutional patriotism responds to the challenges of the de facto multiculturalism of today's states--with a number of concrete policy implications about immigration and the preconditions for citizenship clearly spelled out. And it asks what civic empowerment could mean in a globalizing world.
Cass R. Sunstein
272 pp., Princeton University Press, 2007
Cloth: $24.95 ISBN13: 978-0-691-13356-0
Book Description: What happens to democracy and free speech if people use the Internet to create echo chambers--to listen and speak only to the like-minded? What is the democratic benefit of the Internet's unlimited choices if citizens narrowly limit the information they receive, creating ever-smaller niches and fragmenting the shared public conversation on which democracy depends? Cass Sunstein first asked these questions before 9/11, in Republic.com, and they have become even more urgent in the years since.
Now, in Republic.com 2.0, Sunstein thoroughly rethinks the critical relationship between democracy and the Internet in a world where partisan Web logs have emerged as a significant force in politics and where cyber-jihadists have embraced the Internet to thwart democracy and spread violence.
Emphasizing the value of unplanned, unchosen encounters, the original Republic.com provoked a strong reaction from cyber-optimists. In Republic.com 2.0 Sunstein answers the critics and expands his argument to take account of new developments, including the blogosphere, and fresh evidence about how people are using the Internet. He demonstrates that the real question is how to avoid "information cocoons" and to ensure that the unrestricted choices made possible by technology do not undermine democracy. Sunstein also proposes new remedies and reforms--focusing far less on what government should do, and much more on what consumers and producers should do--to help democracy avoid the perils, and realize the promise, of the Internet.
All Politics Is Global:
Explaining International Regulatory Regimes
Daniel W. Drezner
254 pp., Princeton University Press, 2007
Cloth: $29.95 ISBN13: 978-0-691-09641-4
Book Description: Has globalization diluted the power of national governments to regulate their own economies? Are international governmental and nongovernmental organizations weakening the hold of nation-states on global regulatory agendas? Many observers think so. But in All Politics Is Global, Daniel Drezner argues that this view is wrong. Despite globalization, states--especially the great powers--still dominate international regulatory regimes, and the regulatory goals of states are driven by their domestic interests.
As Drezner shows, state size still matters. The great powers--the United States and the European Union--remain the key players in writing global regulations, and their power is due to the size of their internal economic markets. If they agree, there will be effective global governance. If they don't agree, governance will be fragmented or ineffective. And, paradoxically, the most powerful sources of great-power preferences are the least globalized elements of their economies.
Testing this revisionist model of global regulatory governance on an unusually wide variety of cases, including the Internet, finance, genetically modified organisms, and intellectual property rights, Drezner shows why there is such disparity in the strength of international regulations.
2008 Searchable Edition of the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools
Opening: Reference Librarian, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law Library
Barry University School of Law Library in Orlando, Florida has a Reference Librarian position open. Please see the job description below. We will soon have a second Reference position open as well.
Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law Orlando, Florida
Duties: Reference librarians provide information services to law school students, faculty and staff using print, electronic, microform and online resources. Librarians must be service oriented and possess and maintain a positive attitude. Conducts reference interviews and provides appropriate assistance to all library users. Requires knowledge of all types of legal materials, including books, databases and microforms, and the ability to choose when to use which resources. Teaches legal research and other classes as required, including preparing and presenting appropriate lessons. May help maintain and create internal and external web pages. Develops and updates bibliographies, library guides, and other library publications, in print or online. Serves as liaison to assigned law faculty members. Anticipates and monitors the research needs of law faculty members.
Requirements: Masters degree from an ALA accredited library school and Juris Doctor degree from an ABA accredited law school. Knowledge of print and electronic legal research techniques. Computer skills. Three years law library experience and teaching experience preferred. Demonstrated abilities in written and oral communication. Ability to meet the requirements for promotion and tenure. Strong service attitude, ability to work independently and as part of the Public Services Department, and pride in one's work product.
Barry Law Library: The Law Library has seven professional librarians and nine staff members. Of these, four librarians and three staff members are in Public Services. The Library occupies its own building with 36,000 square feet on three floors. The Library holds over 250,000 volumes and equivalents. The Barry University School of Law has a student body of over 700 and offers both full-time and part-time curricula.
Rank and Salary: The position is tenure track with Law Library faculty rank. Salary is commensurate with experience.
Applications: Review of applications will begin immediately. Please send letter of application, curriculum vitae and contact information for at least three references to:
Nancy L. Strohmeyer
Associate Director and Head of Public Services
Barry University School of Law Library
6441 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32807-3650
Or by email to: email@example.com (email application preferred).
Barry University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer dedicated to creating a diverse community.
September 5, 2007
Professional Reading: The Results of a Survey Studying the Information Literacy of Incoming Law Students
Check out Ian Gallacher's (Syracuse) very interesting study, 'Who are Those Guys?' The Results of a Survey Studying the Information Literacy of Incoming Law Students, which is available on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
This article presents the results of a summer 2006 survey of students about to begin their first year of law school. In total, 740 students from seven different law schools responded to the survey. The survey gathered general information from the students, as well as self-evaluative data on student reading, writing, and research habits in an attempt to understand how the students perceive their skills in these crucial areas. The survey data suggest that while there is some positive news to report, incoming law students overestimate their writing and research skills and come to law school inadequately trained in information literacy. The article concludes with an analysis of some of the broad conclusions suggested by the data from this survey and from other studies of law student and new lawyers, and proposes some possible remedies for the skills deficits displayed by incoming law students.
Emphasis supplied. [JH]
Top 35 Law Faculties Based on Scholarly Impact for 2007
Texas law prof Brian Leiter has published Top 35 Law Faculties Based on Scholarly Impact for 2007 in Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings. Leiter's study, which compiled citation data for all tenure-stream members of the academic faculty (for 2007-08) from 2000 to the present, is a ranking of the top 35 law faculties based on a standard "objective" measure of scholarly impact, namely, per capita citations to faculty scholarship. Leiter cautions that "scholarly impact as measured by citations has important limitations as a proxy for scholarly reputation." In this report he identifies six kinds of phenomena which may skew the correlation between citation and quality.
Top 35 Law Faculties Based on Scholarly Impact for 2007 is one those rare citation studies coming out of the legal academy that exemplifies the precision of infometrics, not the carelessness of "info antics." [JH]