September 5, 2007
Guide to Sources in International and Comparative Disability Law
Check out Wendy Scott's excellent Guide to Sources in International and Comparative Disability Law, 34 Syracuse J. Int'l L. & Com. 621-671 (2007) [Westlaw]. From the scope note:
Because the resources described in this guide were originally *624 selected to support disability law and policy (and related) courses offered at Syracuse University, resources on topics not emphasized in these courses may be excluded here. Print materials listed in this guide have been selected because of their availability in the H. Douglas Barclay Law Library or the Syracuse University Library at the time of this writing. Emphasis is on open access internet materials, and sources may be available in formats or collections not addressed in the guide; no effort has been made to be exhaustive. With a few exceptions, only English language sources are included.
Part I of the guide is devoted to major documents and research resources in international, regional, and national disability law. Links are provided to sources available on authoritative web sites. A selection of print or electronic historical and background sources appears at the beginning of some sections. Some sources listed in this guide cite to the relevant sections in the Disability Law Web Resource. In these cases, references retain the numerical designations of the web resource's organizational system for the convenience of the researcher.
Part II of the guide encompasses secondary source material to support research in international and comparative disability law. This part addresses print and electronic reference sources and texts, relevant Library of Congress Subject Headings, a selection of journals, specialized databases and indexes, and news and current awareness sources.
Federal Agencies Modify Wikipedia Entries for Dubious Purposes
Ralph Smith at fedsmith.com writes about federal agencies modifying Wikipedia entries:
Searching through the changes made on equipment within several agencies, it is obvious that public affairs offices or agency experts are working to keep name changes, organizational changes or descriptions of agency programs and projects up to date. That, presumably, is part of their job and useful to the public. But what other changes, if any, are being made through the use of government computers?
Read Using Federal Government Equipment to Modify Wikipedia for the "other changes" he uncovered.
Hat tip to Dru Stevenson, editor of Administrative Law Prof Blog. [JH]
Law Firms One-Up Each Other Behind the Scenes Through Wikipedia Edits
Interesting article from Law.com: "Biglaw firms may seem genteel and respectful of each other on the surface. But behind the scenes, they're secretly trying to one-up each other. Concurring Opinions breaks the story in this post, A Slow Day at the Office: Lawyers Editing on Wikipedia. " [RJ]
Launch of study for/law
Adjunct Law Prof Blog editor Mitchell H. Rubinstein has called attention to a new web service called studyfor.com [About Page |Company's press release ]. The site is currently being launched in Beta with a focus on the legal education process and the Bar Exam. Check out studyfor/law.
In his blog post, Mitchel Rubinstein notes that he checked out some of the bar exam questions on the studyfor/law site and found that students may find the tips there helpful. Don't let the graphics distract you. [JH]
In their own words: Search engines on privacy
"Trying to learn how your favorite search engine protects your privacy can be as frustrating as a Where's Waldo book: it's not easy to find what you're looking for, and doing it on multiple sites is even more irksome.
To help our readers evaluate the privacy differences between AOL, Ask.com, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, CNET News.com sent them a survey on August 6. We've published their answers--in the companies' own words." Check it out!
See also: How search engines rate on privacy, CNET News. [RJ]
Opening: Collection Services Director, Law Library, U.C. Berkeley
The Law Library at the University of California Berkeley, Boalt Hall is seeking applicants for the position of Collection Services Director:
Collection Services Director, at the G. W. McEnerney Law Library at the University of California Berkeley, School of Law, Boalt Hall (Assistant Law Librarian Rank; $60,000-$110,000 100% time)
Law Library at the University of California, Berkeley
The Law Library comprises one of the largest law collections in the world. It houses an extensive collection of Anglo-American, international, civil, comparative, and human rights law. In addition, the Law Library is home to the prestigious Robbins Collection of rare and religious materials. The Law Library’s Reference Desk is one of the busiest in the nation, serving a faculty of more than 60, numerous adjunct and visiting professors and lecturers, 900 JD students, 100 LLM students, graduate students from the School of Jurisprudence and Social Policy, and approximately 100 visiting scholars each year. The Reference Desk also supports the Law Library’s Advanced Legal Research course, which is taken by approximately 90 students each semester, and a seminar on international legal research, which is taught each spring, and provides legal research training for a variety of other law school courses. The Reference Librarians also provide assistance to undergraduate researchers from the UCB campus (including students in the Legal Studies major) and faculty from other campus departments. In addition, the Law Library is a public library, serving a significant number of attorneys, pro se litigants, and members of the public who are engaged in legal research for a variety of purposes. The Law School is working on expanding the breadth of some of the existing research centers and creating new centers, all of which may have an international or comparative law component. The Law School is situated on the beautiful University of California, Berkeley, campus, which is home to a wide variety of libraries, including the Doe Memorial Library and numerous subject area and affiliated libraries.
Overview of Responsibilities
The Collection Services Director works with the Associate Law Librarian and the other departmental directors to function as the library's management team and to participate in all aspects of library administration including budget administration, facilities planning, programmatic initiatives, personnel management and technology matters, and assisting in long-range planning for the library. Department directors' responsibilities include the development, implementation and monitoring of their department's programs, services, policies, and procedures as well as organization, allocation and supervision of personnel and fiscal resources in the department and coordinating those programs, services, policies and procedures with those of the other law library departments, programs and sections.
In addition, the Director is responsible for the overall administration of the Collection Services Department which includes overseeing and integrating the daily operations of monographic and serials acquisitions, cataloging, retrospective conversion, reclassification, bindery, government documents, and updating/superseding of library materials. Collection Services has a staff of 4 FTE professional librarians (including the director) and 9 FTE staff personnel as well as 6 FTE part-time student employees.
Staff in Collection Services have extensive interaction with staff in other departments of the Law Library, including the Reference and Research, Patron Services, the Collection Development team, and Administrative Office staff. They interact with faculty, student law reviews' staff, and other Law School personnel. They have extensive vendor contact through ordering, claiming, invoice problem resolution, etc. In addition, the Law Library has an extremely strong service mission to the School of Law and provides an active and expanding program of services for School of Law faculty and students, including many instructional sessions for students and extensive research and document delivery services to law faculty.
The Director is responsible for departmental planning, including space, personnel, budget, statistics, workflow and allocation of workload. The Director assigns priorities to the work to be accomplished. Until recently the Director reported directly to the Law Library Director, but now reports to the Associate Law Librarian. The Collection Services Director meets weekly with the Associate Law Librarian to discuss operational requirements of the department in the context of the mission and goals of the Library and the Law School , and to advise her on matters of policy, procedure, technology, and personnel related to Technical Services.
Working with the Associate Law Librarian and with the Collection Development team of reference librarians, the Collection Services Director makes final decisions on the purchase of all US legal materials. The Director administers the allocation of a $1.6 million book and database budget. Manages all library monograph and serials orders, selects vendors, negotiates and evaluates purchase agreements and assures the accuracy and completeness of all library book and database transactions.
The Director is involved with issues relating to cataloging and classification of serials and monographs in all formats received in the Law Library, and works with library staff to plan and manage reclassification projects and bar-coding of older library materials. The Director also works with the library's special collections, archival and preservation initiatives.
The Director works closely with all other departments of the Law Library and keeps the Law Librarian and Associate Law Librarians informed of all collection services issues, both local and national. The Director is responsible for keeping abreast of new developments in collection services and encouraging innovation where appropriate.
Experience and Training
Required: Graduate degree in librarianship from an ALA-accredited library school or equivalent. A JD from an ABA-accredited law school preferred. Requirements also include successful administrative experience at a high level in an academic law library including a demonstrated ability to manage staff, collection services and management, and budgets in library setting and strong leadership skills. Candidates must have knowledge of legal bibliography and a good understanding of the scholarly needs of faculty and students.
Candidates must also have the ability to balance priorities and meet deadlines; a strong commitment to enhancing service through teamwork; and a proactive approach to library and Collection services. This requires the candidate to demonstrate excellent interpersonal, communication, problem-solving, and mediation skills and the ability to provide leadership for and work effectively with library, faculty, students as well as members of the UC Berkeley community. In addition, candidates must have an understanding of contemporary issues facing law libraries and Collection services departments. Candidates must be willing to support the School's overall goals and ambitions and to offer the highest level of services in support of the Law School 's mission.
The Law Library at the University of California , Berkeley is committed to the support and encouragement of a multi-cultural environment and seeks candidates who can make positive contributions in a context of ethnic and cultural diversity.
Salary is commensurate with training and experience. A description of UC benefits and compensation can be found at the University of California , Berkeley , Office of Human Resources website: http://hrweb.berkeley.edu. Note that the pay range for Assistant Law Librarian is the same as Assistant University Librarian.
Applicants should apply via email (preferable), including a cover letter discussing qualifications, a full resume of education and relevant experience, and three references to:
Associate Law Librarian
University of California , Law Library
Berkeley , CA 94720-7200
Applicants may also use the above email address and telephone number if they have inquiries about the position. Position is open until filled, but we will begin reading files as of October 1, 2007.
The University Of California is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
September 4, 2007
The Role of Virtual Worlds in Education
Looks like some of us may need to attend a professional development seminar on how to use a Gameboy, Xbox, PS3, Nintendo, etc. All new to me. The only computer games I've played are The Oregon Trail with my step-son (my wagon train usually starved to death) and Links (used to be able to shoot par); the only online game I once played is Texas Hold'em (win some, lose some; not nearly as interesting as real world play at El Cortez in Las Vegas after CALI sessions).
Check out Sharon Stoerger's It's Not Whether You Win or Lose, but How You Play the Game: The Role of Virtual Worlds in Education: Annotated Bibliography. From the introduction:
"Boring" and "dry": these are two words that today's students often use to describe their experiences in school (Prensky, 2001, 2003). Oblinger (2003) asserts that these new students - individuals "raised on the Internet and interactive games" (p. 44) - may have expectations that are not met by the current "skill and drill" system of learning (e.g., Gee, 2003; Steinkuehler, 2005). They, and more specifically the Net Generation or the Millennials (Carlson, 2005; Oblinger, 2003), come into the classroom equipped with different attitudes toward education, as well as a diverse array of technological skills. These individuals want more than the traditional lecture format; instead, they are seeking out authentic and active educational experiences, like those found in video games.
According to the Entertainment Software Association (2007), the typical game player is 33 years old and has been playing games for more than 10 years; 38% of these games players are women. But, this is not to say that younger individuals are not playing games. They are, and as Lenhart, Madden, and Hitlin (2005) report, the majority of teenagers are now using the Internet; further, 81% of these teens (or approximately 17 million individuals) play games online (p. 35). More importantly, though, the exposure to certain technologies, like video games, may have altered the minds of these students, or "digital natives," in such a way that educational theories that worked in the past may not in today's world (Prensky, 2001).
It is important to emphasize that these technologically savvy students are not searching for an easier path; on the contrary, as Steinkuehler (2005) suggests, these individuals are seeking out cognitive challenges via video games. Gee (2003) continues this line of thought, and argues that in the world of video games, "hard is not bad and easy is not good" (p. 165). Therefore, some educators, like Barab and his colleagues (2005), propose a different type of educational model. This alternative is one that blends together games and learning, while adding one ingredient that is typically absent in education - fun. Despite evidence to suggest that there are benefits to the interactions that take place within these rich, complex worlds, the fact is that the educational community has been slow to adopt the use of new technologies in the classroom (Hitlin & Rainie, 2005).
The articles that are summarized in this bibliography examine a wide variety of topics including immersion, creation (versus memorization), and game innovation, as well as Csikszentmihalyi's (e.g., 1993) concept of flow. Many of the authors take a constructivist rather than an instructivist approach to the topic and draw from the work of scholars, such as Piaget and Vygotsky. One theme that is repeated throughout many of these articles is the lack of empirical research and the reliance on anecdotal evidence that suggests conceptual learning. While the focus of the articles included in this collection is primarily on the positive aspects of educational gaming, references to concerns, such as violence, bias against girls, and game addiction are included, as well. In general, this annotated bibliography is an attempt to pull together and examine a corpus of the available literature on the topic of virtual worlds in educational settings. It is by no means an exhaustive list of resources; rather, it includes some of the more commonly cited sources related to the use of this type of technology for the purpose of teaching and learning.
The Creative Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Authentic Professional Satisfaction
Michael F. Melcher's The Creative Lawyer should be handed out to every graduating class of law school students at their hooding ceremonies. [JH]
The Creative Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Authentic Professional Satisfaction
by Michael F. Melcher
Publisher: American Bar Association
Publication Date: August 2007
Page Count: 192
Pricing: $39.95 (Regular)
Book Description: The Creative Lawyer is a self-help and career-management book for lawyers of all levels of experience. Written by Michael Melcher, one of America's leading career coaches who is himself an attorney, the book is a step-by-step method for imagining and realizing your path to personal and professional satisfaction.
Brilliantly written, consistently practical, and filled with scores of illuminating exercises, The Creative Lawyer is the book that the profession has been waiting for.
"Professional satisfaction," the author writes, "is a question of creating what you want, not just waiting for it to appear. You become the creative lawyer when you take stewardship of your own life and career. This means analyzing your desires, interests, temperament and ambitions. It means designing goals related to things you're sure about and designing experiments about things you're not. It means mastering the present while anticipating the future." This book shows you how, precisely, to do these things.
If you're a young lawyer, The Creative Lawyer will give you a template for envisioning and managing your own professional development, whatever path you choose.
If you're an experienced lawyer, The Creative Lawyer book will help you to reassess and renew your career. It will aid you in understanding how your own values and passions might have changed over the years, and what to do if they have.
If you are unhappy or stuck in your career, the book will help you figure out ways to ameliorate your problems and gradually get to a place where your work is in synch with who you really are.
If you are happy in your career, The Creative Lawyer will help you to manage your career so that you can stay happy.
If you are not sure what you think about your career, The Creative Lawyer will give you a framework for sorting things out and moving forward amidst ambiguity.
Is the Future of Legal Scholarship in the Blogosphere?
Margaret Schilt, Faculty Services Librarian, University of Chicago Law School Library, writes "if you are looking for the future of legal scholarship, chances are that you may find it not in a treatise or the traditional law review but in a different form, profoundly influenced by the blogosphere." Read the Legal Times article for more. [JH]
New Research Guides and Features on LLRX.com
New on LLRX.com for August 2007:
- Legal Information Management in a Global and Digital Age: Revolution and Tradition, by Claire M. Germain
- IM a Librarian: Establishing a Virtual Reference Service with Little Cost or Technical Skill, by Bonnie Shucha
- Search at the Foundation of the Enterprise, by John I. Alber
- Technology and the Generation Gap, by Genevieve Zook
- E-Discovery Update: Understanding the Consequences of an Unsuccessful Meet and Confer Session, by Conrad J. Jacoby
- A Review of TechnoLawyer's Free BlawgWorld 2007 ebook, by Brett Burney
- The Government Domain: Back to School for Constitution Day 2007, by Peggy Garvin
- Law and Technology Podcasts, by Roger V. Skalbeck
- FOIA Annual Reports: A Diagnostic Tool for Identifying FOIA Administrative Problems, by Michael Ravnitzky
- CongressLine by Gallerywatch.com: Votes and Whips, by Paul Jenks
- LLRX Book Review by Heather A. Phillips
- Burney's Legal Tech Reviews: The Kingston Data Traveler Reader and New Jabra Bluetooth Headset, by Brett Burney
- Commentary: The Protect America Act and Legislation Related to the Domestic Surveillance Program, by Beth Wellington
Anonymous Member of Congress Helps to Build OpenCRS Database
The Center for Democracy and Technology's two-year old project to make Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports available to the public online at no cost got a huge boost this week, when a member of Congress agreed to provide a running list of new CRS reports as they are published.
- CDT has created a list of "fugitive" reports that are not yet in the database.
- OpenCRS is an interactive project that encourages users to obtain and add new reports to the database.
Hat tip to beSpacific. [JH]
WCL to Launch Center on Government Secrecy
Snips from the press release:
American University Washington College of Law has announced the creation of a new Center on Government Secrecy (CGS), a non-partisan academic center devoted to the study of government openness and secrecy. CGS was created in August 2007, and will be headed by former U.S. Department of Justice Office of Information and Privacy Director Daniel J. Metcalfe.
Established under the auspices of the Washington College of Law’s Program on Law and Government, CGS will be the first center of its kind at any law school in the United States. It will operate in conjunction with both the JD and LLM/SJD degree programs at WCL to afford students the opportunity to gain both scholarly and practical experience within this growing area of legal specialization.
Court Overturns Dismissal of "State Secrets" Case
From Secrecy News: "In an unusual move that may signal a new, more discriminating judicial view of the state secrets privilege, a federal appeals court has reinstated (pdf) a lawsuit which a lower court had dismissed after the government invoked the state secrets privilege." [RJ]
Store Owner Burns Books in Protest of Reading Decline
The owner of a Kansas City, Mo., bookstore set fire to hundreds of books Sunday to protest a reported decline in reading. We reported on that decline in One In Four Adults Read No Books Last Year. [JH]
Opening: Reference Librarian, Moritz Law Library at The Ohio State University
The Moritz Law Library at The Ohio State University is currently seeking applications for a Reference Librarian.
The principal responsibilities of this position include:
- Providing, in a service-oriented environment, sophisticated research and reference assistance to faculty, students and other patrons of the Moritz Law Library,
- Teaching Introduction to Legal Research to first-year law students and lecturing on legal research to various classes within and outside the Moritz College of Law,
- Participating in faculty and staff instruction on library resources,
- Preparing library publications and
- Contributing content to the Moritz Law Library's web site.
The Reference Librarian will also take part in the evaluation and selection of information resources, participate in the Moritz Law Library’s faculty liaison program, work on special projects and serve on Law Library, College of Law and University-wide committees. This position may involve reference and collection development in foreign and international legal resources. Some evening and weekend hours are required. This position reports to the Assistant Director for Public Services.
Experience and Education
- MLS degree from an ALA accredited (or foreign equivalent) school and a JD from an ABA accredited (or foreign equivalent) institution. Persons with a JD who are currently enrolled in an MLS degree program at an ALA accredited school are encouraged to apply.
- Aptitude and experience working with a variety of electronic resources, strong service orientation, excellent oral and written communications skills.
- The ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
- Teaching experience.
- Experience working in a law library.
About the Moritz Law Library
The Moritz Law Library is located on the main campus of The Ohio State University. The staff actively serves the law faculty and J.D. students of the Moritz College of Law in addition to the Ohio State University community and the general public. The Moritz Law Library's collection consists of approximately 800,000 volumes and equivalents and is particularly strong in the areas of dispute resolution, health care law, international law and socio-legal studies.
The Moritz Law Library shares an Innovative Interfaces integrated system with the University and Health Sciences Libraries and works extensively with these libraries on issues of mutual interest. The Moritz Law Library participates in OhioLINK, a state wide library automation project, which links Ohio's major institutions of higher education (including eight law school libraries). The staff of the Moritz Law Library has ample opportunity to participate at the University and state levels in the development and evolution of OhioLINK.
The Ohio State University is located in Columbus, the largest city in Ohio and the state capital. Columbus is a vigorous, growing city which offers a wide variety of cultural, entertainment, dining and recreational opportunities. Ohio State University participates in the full array of Big Ten sports. Quality affordable housing can be found within easy reach of the campus.
This position offers an excellent opportunity for creativity and professional growth to an energetic individual who wishes to work collaboratively with colleagues, students and a research-oriented faculty in a major land-grant university. Law Librarians at Ohio State enjoy generous benefits, twenty-two days of annual accrued vacation, and tuition discounts.
Applicants should send a cover letter, a resume and the names of three references to:
Assistant Director for Public Services
Moritz Law Library
The Ohio State University
55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1391
The review of applications will begin immediately.
The Ohio State University is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. Women, minorities, Vietnam era veterans, disabled veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
September 3, 2007
Happy Labor Day!
The rest of the year belongs to Management. [JH]
Has the Democratic Congress Affected Iraq War Policy?
In The Impact of the 110th Congress on U.S. Foreign Policy, a Council on Foreign Relations Backgrounder, Robert McMahon writes:
Congressional Democrats steadily challenged President Bush but have so far failed to budge policy on Iraq. Similarly, their impact on other foreign policy issues is mixed. Despite an alliance with President Bush, they failed to press through comprehensive immigration reform. On the other hand, they followed through on pledges to bolster homeland security protections and began the process of introducing a new approach to energy alternatives and conservation and use. Experts say the Democratic leadership is unlikely to abandon plans for a timeline for withdrawing from Iraq, in part because of strong anti-war sentiments among party constituents, as well as continuing broader unease about U.S. policy in the region. On its return in September, Congress is expected to face big decisions about funding the Iraq war as well as legislation affecting energy security, immigration, and domestic surveillance.
See also McMahon's Congress, Foreign Policy, and the Democratic Party (November 3, 2006). [JH]
Partisans, Nonpartisans, and the Antiwar Movement in the United States
"American social movements are often bitterly divided about whether their objectives are achieved better by working with one of the major political parties or by operating independently. These divisions are consequential for how social movements and political parties respond to one another. First, differing partisan attitudes shape the structure of activist networks, leading activists to join organizations with others who share their party loyalties or disloyalties. Second, partisan attitudes affect how activists participate in the movement, with strong partisans more likely to embrace institutional tactics, such as lobbying. Third,partisanship affects activists’ access to the institutions of government, such as Congress. Relying on surveys of antiwar activists attending large-scale public demonstrations in 2004 and 2005 and a Capitol Hill Lobby Day in September 2005, the authors argue that some activists integrate into major party networks through the “party in the street,! ”an arena of significant party-movement interaction." [RJ]
September 2, 2007
Terrorism Index, Survey of American Top Experts on the War on Terror and US National Security
The Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy recently issued the latest edition of The Terrorism Index, a comprehensive assessment of the U.S. national security situation and counterterrorism efforts. In the third Terrorism Index, more than 100 of America’s most respected foreign-policy experts see a world that is growing more dangerous, a national security strategy in disrepair, and a war in Iraq that is alarmingly off course. [JH]
Interactive Map of Pakistan's Afghan Border
The Council on Foreign Affairs' interactive map explores the turbulent tribal region along Pakistan's Afghan border, including the North West Frontier Province, Balochistan, and the semiautonomous tribal areas. [JH]