September 22, 2007
College and University Ranking Systems: Global Perspectives and American Challenges
"Supported by Lumina Foundation for Education, this new report by the Institute for Higher Education Policy highlights the ongoing global phenomenon of college and university ranking systems and the urgent need for constructive dialogue about ranking. College and University Ranking Systems: Global Perspectives and American Challenges acknowledges that while college and university rankings are growing in their frequency and popularity, greater understanding about how these ranking systems function is needed to ensure accountability and greater transparency." [RJ]
20 Tools to Convert PowerPoints to Flash Presentations
Identifies reasons why you might want to make the conversion and is very helpful because it includes list of known problems. Check it out. [JH]
10 Must Have Online Office Apps
September 21, 2007
Friday Fun: Conan The Librarian
Weird Al Yankovic, not one of my favorites, admits to "borrowing" part of this bit from Monty Python.
Reminder: Teaching the Teachers: Effective Instruction in Legal Research Conference, Oct. 18-20
Hosted by Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas. Excerpts from the website:
In 2006, the National Conference of Bar Examiners announced an initiative to explore the development of a stand-alone component of the national bar exam that would test legal research methodology and skills. Implementation of a legal research component of the bar exam would necessarily increase demand for legal research instruction. In my opinion, it will also change how we teach legal research but
Informed by these events, Tarlton's fall 2007 conference will include prominent lawyers and judges, law professors, and law librarians as speakers. Presentations will focus on widely applicable principles of effective teaching and communication, rather than on the nuts and bolts of legal research. Speakers will explore diverse topics, including the use of technology in the classroom to engage the emerging generation of students, the role of librarians as teachers, what it means to be an effective teacher, and the impact of ongoing changes in legal publishing.
Overbrook Foundation Report on Web 2.0
"The Overbrook Foundation is interested in assessing the extent to which its human rights grantees are adapting to this new digital “Web 2.0” world. The phrase Web 2.0 is used to describe the next generation of wireless and web-based technologies (or social media) that will continue to enhance the ability of social change organizations to engage, educate and mobilize large numbers of people in support of their causes. The findings of this report are based on the responses of The Foundation's US based human rights grantees to an online survey and on the results of two discussion groups held with current grantees.
The key findings of the report include the following:
• Overall, the grantees are firmly entrenched in the Web 1.0 world, meaning that they use the web largely as a source of information rather than a tool for interactivity.
• A small handful of grantees, such as WITNESS, the ACLU, Breakthrough, and WYNC Public Radio, are using social media in spectacular ways to engage their constituents in conversations.
• Most grantees are not taking advantage of easy-to-use social media tools effectively. For instance, only half of them have blogs, and only half of these groups allow comments on their blogs.
• Survey respondents and group discussion participants often felt a “common struggle” in understanding which tools are critically important to their work and were at a loss as to where and how to get help for selecting and using new social media tools. [RJ]
Professional Reading: Lapdogs, Watchdogs, and Scapegoats: The Press and National Security Information
Mary-Rose Papandrea, Boston College Law School, has deposited Lapdogs, Watchdogs, and Scapegoats: The Press and National Security Information in the bepress Legal Repository. Here's the abstract:
In the United States, the Executive branch possesses virtually unbridled classification authority to keep information from the public. Although the Freedom of Information Act and whistleblower protection laws serve as some check on the Executive’s power over national security information, these tools remain largely ineffectual. Because the desire for tight information control competes with the demands of newsgathering, a “game of leaks” has developed among government officials and reporters in which the press alternatively serves as lapdogs, watchdogs, and scapegoats for the Executive branch.
This Article demonstrates that the government has been communicating information to the public through leaks ever since the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt. Legal developments in the current climate, including the on-going prosecution of two lobbyists for violations of the Espionage Act in the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee case, have the potential to establish precedents that could pose dire consequences for this crucial information flow. This Article scrutinizes the constitutionality of prosecuting the non-government parties for the publication of classified information by examining the long and complicated history of the relationship between the press and the Executive branch and the role leaks play in the dissemination of classified information to the public today.
Guide for Cataloging Legal Websites
Check out LaTisha D. Lankford's Master's Paper, Guide for Cataloging Legal Websites: Using MARC and Dublin Core. Here's the abstract:
For many catalogers, web sites that are pertinent to their users’ needs are particularly challenging to catalog. While AACR2 has addressed the standards for cataloging electronic resources, including web sites, the structures and constantly changing information within web sites makes cataloging them problematic. This guide provides new catalogers who are not familiar with cataloging web sites with strategies for effective copy cataloging using the OCLC Connexion cataloging tool. Some of the topics explored are the development of the Internet, reasons for cataloging web sites, problems with cataloging web sites, and maintaining web addressing, using AACR2 rules or Dublin Core metadata schemes and the fields and code typically used in catalog records for web sites.
Coming Soon...The Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship
"The Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship is a peer-reviewed journal concerning issues in electronic resources librarianship. The journal is published quarterly by The Haworth Press (Taylor & Francis). Submissions are being accepted for the inaugural and future issue of this journal.
This journal aims to inform librarians and other information professionals about evolving work-related processes and procedures, current research and the latest news on topics related to electronic resources and the digital environment’s impact on collecting, acquiring and making accessible library materials."
Newly Designed Law Library of Congress Web Site
The Law Library of Congress is pleased to announce the release of its newly designed web site (http://www.loc.gov/law). The web site includes information on a range of legal issues and research topics as well as our services and logistics of using the Reading Room. In addition to established products such as the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN), Guide to Law Online and the Global Legal Monitor, new Law Library products are available as well. Highlights include:
Congressional Hearings Project: Full-text access to selected historical Congressional committee hearings on a variety of topics.
Foreign and International Law Guides: Provides a starting point for researching foreign, international, and comparative law with analysis and references to official printed and online resources.
Pakistan: Crisis in the Judiciary
Find information and analysis of the suspension and subsequent reinstatement of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
We hope you will explore what we have to offer and look forward to presenting new information and products via this web site in the future.
Public Services Division
Law Library of Congress
Announcing the New Political Science Network (PSN)
"The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is pleased to announce the creation of the Political Science Network (PSN). PSN will provide a world-wide, online community for research in all areas of Political Science, following the model of the other subject matter networks within SSRN (http://www.ssrn.com).
We expect PSN to become a comprehensive online resource for research in Political Science, providing scholars with access to current work in their field and facilitating research and scholarship." [RJ]
Opening: Electronic Resources Librarian, Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Columbia University
The Arthur W. Diamond Law Library of Columbia University invites applications and nominations for the position of Electronic Resources Librarian. This position has primary responsibility for the acquisition and management of the Law Library's electronic resources. Reporting to the Head of Technical Services, the Electronic Resources Librarian will:
- Provide leadership and vision for the effective acquisition, management and use of the Law
Library's electronic resources and services.
- Develop and implement strategies and procedures for ensuring uninterrupted access to and
seamless use of e-resources.
- Participate in processing activities associated with electronic resources including updating and
maintaining linking capabilities, ensuring appropriate bibliographic control for e-resources,
communicating with vendors/publishers/aggregators to initiate and sustain access to e-resources.
- Coordinate the development and maintenance of a library website that responds to the need of
library patrons for the dynamic delivery of library content and services.
- Work with the Library Systems Coordinator to ensure the effective administration, coordination,
and provision of support for existing library automation and operating technology.
- Educate and assist the Law Library staff in implementing appropriate technology to enhance
fulfillment of its mission.
Preferred qualifications: Professional work experience in an academic law library using III; JD or
equivalent experience with the unique content and research needs of the law school community.
For immediate consideration please e-mail your resume and the names/contact information for 3 references to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to Human Resources, Columbia University, Box 18, Butler Library, MC 1104, 535 West 114th Street, New York, NY 10027. Please reference Search #70107018 and includeyour e-mail address. Applications will be accepted immediately and until the position is filled; however, applications submitted before September 30, 2007 will receive priority consideration.
Columbia University is An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Minorities and women a re encouraged to apply.
September 20, 2007
Professional Reading: Should Online Defamation Be Criminalized?
University of Dayton law prof Susan Brenner has deposited Should Online Defamation Be Criminalized? in SSRN. Here's the abstract:
In 1961 the drafters of the Model Penal Code decided that defamation should not be criminalized, even though libel was a common law crime. They based their decision on two assumptions: One was that defamation does not inflict “harm” of a severity comparable to rape or murder; the other was that while defamation concededly inflicts a lesser “harm,” the likelihood of its being inflicted was too slight to justify the imposition of criminal sanctions. This article argues that our increasing use of cyberspace makes the second assumption increasingly problematic, and therefore requires that we revisit the need to criminalize online defamation.
Nina Platt's Strategic Librarian Blog
Formerly Director of Information Resources at Faegre & Benson LLP, Nina Platt has started her own business offering library consulting services. Check out Nina's Strategic Librarian blog. [JH]
Cornell Law Library's InSITE Website Reviews
Reviews published in the September 3, 2007 issue of InSITE:
- Corporate Accountability International
- Justia Regulation Tracker: Rules, Proposed Rules & Notices
- National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
- Open Society Justice Initiative
- Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal
For 30 years, Corporate Accountability International (CAI), a non-profit organization, has been waging and winning campaigns that challenge irresponsible and dangerous corporate actions around the world. Its website reflects and amplifies its founding principle: irresponsible behavior by global corporations is endangering the health and welfare of people around the world in a myriad of ways. The site’s featured campaign is entitled “Think outside the bottle,” which seeks truth in labeling on bottled water and the removal of corporate control over this key resource. The site’s home page also shines the spotlight on campaigns targeting three other industries: tobacco, oil, and food and agribusiness. The organization engages in more than one activity at a time. Among other things, it is also urging Big Box Retailers to subscribe to its corporate code of conduct. CAI’s website is oriented towards both environmental activists and concerned individuals. The site provides fact sheets on campaigns, take-action suggestions, and campaign resources (papers and reports.) The website provides current news items, annual reports, newsletters, and announcements for speakers and conferences. An interesting public relations feature is the Corporate Hall of Shame, designed to “expose corporate manipulation of public policy and its harmful consequences. …” The CAI seeks nominations for the Hall of Shame and lists the corporate winners along with short descriptions of their foul deeds. However, CAI also removes companies from the Hall when companies change their practices. [JC]
The Justia Regulation Tracker is one of the innovative products from Justia that pipes information from Federal websites into a more easily navigated interface. Still in beta, it provides free access to Federal rules, proposed rules, notices, administrative orders, executive orders, and proclamations. Users may search by department or agency, include keywords, and limit by document type or date; or browse by agency or date. Coverage begins January 1, 2005. Each search retrieves the title and full-text of the document, document number, link to PDF, document type, and agency. The full-text provides hyperlinks to related documents available from the GPOAccess website. Interested persons can subscribe to an RSS feed that will display administrative documents as they are published online. For researchers and attorneys in need of free and easy access to the most recent Federal administrative information, this is a valuable resource. [JJ]
Founded in 1975, The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is a private, non-profit organization of victim and witness assistance programs and practitioners, criminal justice agencies and professionals, mental health professionals, researchers, former victims and survivors, and others committed to the recognition and implementation of victim rights and services. The NOVA website provides comprehensive information on its Crisis Response Team (CRT), which was begun in the early 1980s to evaluate the impact of collective trauma on communities. The information covered is useful to both service professionals and victims or communities wanting assistance. The most extensive section of the site, however, is dedicated to victim assistance. Written in accessible language, these pages describe practical concerns for individuals wishing to prevent crime as well as deal with the aftermath of victimization. From a researcher’s perspective, the lack of source citation (such as statutory authority) can be frustrating. The site is not searchable. [BWK]
The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the Open Society Institute (OSI), pursues law reform activities grounded in the protection of human rights, and contributes to the development of legal capacity for open societies worldwide. The Justice Initiative combines litigation, legal advocacy, technical assistance, and the dissemination of knowledge to secure advances in five priority areas: national criminal justice, international justice, freedom of information and expression, equality and citizenship, and anticorruption. The Justice Initiative's webpage offers visitors news, articles, reports and editorials arranged by topic and by region. Legal researchers will be interested in the site’s “Justice Initiative Legal Resources Database,” which contains over 1100 documents. Results are abstracted and available in full in Word format. The “Legal Briefs, Reports, & Papers” section also contains a large selection of resources. The site’s Program Areas section is available in Portuguese, French, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic. [BWK]
The Federal Research Division (FRD) of the Library of Congress, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School Library, provides online access to numerous military legal resources. One of the collections available on the FRD website is the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal. Originally published in forty-two volumes, the collection is “the official record of the trial of the major civilian and military leaders of Nazi Germany” facing accusations of war crimes. The International Military Tribunal, which was established by the London Agreement in August 1945, directed the original publication of the series. Documents in the collection are available in English, French, or German. Hearings were also conducted in Russian, but none of those documents was able to be transcribed so are not published. Each volume is a separately linked PDF file. Volume twenty-three provides both chronological and subject indexes of the proceedings. Additional volumes contain various exhibits and documents, including correspondence, affidavits, and interrogations. [MM]
InSITE contributors: J. Callihan, J. Jones, B. Kreisler, M. Morrison, J. Pajerek (editor)
About InSITE: InSITE highlights selected law-related Web sites in two ways: as an annotated publication issued electronically and in print; and, as a keyword-searchable database. The law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them.
Digital versions of this information can be accessed via:
1. Searchable database or by browsing current and archived issues on the web: Click InSITE at www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
2. E-mail subscription. Send the following request: SUBSCRIBE InSITE-L <YourFirstName> <YourLastName> to: email@example.com
3. Readers can subscribe to the new InSITE RSS feed at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/RESOURCES/insite.htm
The contents of InSITE and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University. InSITE is copyright protected by Cornell Law Library, © 2007 Cornell Law Library. Permission to republish InSITE issues on Law Librarian Blog has been granted. For permissions, contact Jean M. Pajerek [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Cornell Law Library URL: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library
White House FOIA Handbook
From the Office of Administration "*whose sole function is to advise and assist the President, and which has no substantial independent authority, is not subject to FOIA and related authorities":
"This handbook is intended to assist you in making a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Office of Administration (OA), Executive Office of the President (EOP). For further details please refer to the OA FOIA Regulations which can be found at 5 CFR §2502. These regulations are currently being updated.
OA is a distinct entity from the other components of the EOP. Please contact the separate EOP entities, that are subject to FOIA, individually, if you would like to make a FOIA request for their records."
The EOP entities subject to the FOIA are:
- Council on Environmental Quality
- Office of Management and Budget
- Office of National Drug Control Policy
- Office of Science and Technology Policy
- Office of the United States Trade Representative
The EOP entities exempt from the provisions of the FOIA are:
- White House Office
- Office of Administration *
- Office of the Vice President
- Council of Economic Advisers
- National Security Council
- Office of Policy Development
- Domestic Policy Council
- Office of National AIDS Policy
- National Economic Council
- President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
New Ashgate Law Titles
Titles released in August include the following:
- Theoretical and Empirical Studies of Rights
- Locke and Law
- Intellectual Property
- Regulation and Regulatory Processes
Theoretical and Empirical Studies of Rights
Edited by Laura Beth Nielsen, American Bar Foundation, USA
August 2007 | 642 pages | Hardback | 0 7546 2581 8 / 978-0-7546-2581-0 | $300.00
This important volume examines rights from an inter-disciplinary law and society perspective, beginning with the premise that the most basic functions of rights requires the empirical study of rights consciousness and claiming behavior. As such the volume includes articles and essays by political scientists, historians, lawyers, and sociologists which place the study of ordinary citizens' understandings of rights, and what actions they take based on that knowledge, at the forefront of an empirical research agenda. This has important implications for law's capacity to achieve social change and can lead to better understanding of how rights can and should operate in a social and legal system. The volume is organized around the social movements and political processes which give rise to rights, the processes by which people come to understand they enjoy a right, the decision to invoke the right either formally or informally, and the organizational and institutional constraints and opportunities for exercising rights.
Locke and Law
Edited by Thom Brooks, University of Newcastle, UK
August 2007 | 520 pages | Hardback | 0 7546 2678 4 / 978-0-7546-2678-7 | $250.00
John Locke is one of the most important figures in the history of philosophy. His Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration fascinate us as much today as they did when first published three centuries ago. Locke and Law presents for the first time in one collection the most important contemporary writings exploring his many contributions to legal theory. These articles and essays deal with a variety of issues, such as natural law, natural rights, property, abortion, constitutional law, the relationship between law and society, punishment, toleration, and civil disobedience.
Edited by William T. Gallagher, Golden Gate University School of Law, USA and Santa Clara University, USA
August 2007 | 648 pages | Hardback | 0 7546 2495 1 / 978-0-7546-2495-0 | $275.00
This book brings together articles by leading international scholars from diverse disciplinary perspectives who focus on the legal, social and cultural dimensions of intellectual properties - including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and rights of publicity. These articles employ a creatively eclectic approach to the study of intellectual property law and policy viewed through the lenses of traditional doctrinal analysis, historical perspectives, critical cultural study, and empirical examinations of intellectual property in action. The volume also directs critical attention to the significance of intellectual property in contemporary processes of globalization and political economy.
Regulation and Regulatory Processes
Edited by Cary Coglianese, University of Pennsylvania, USA and Robert A. Kagan, University of California, Berkeley, USA
August 2007 | 528 pages | Hardback | 0 7546 2518 4 / 978-0-7546-2518-6 | $250.00
As the ever-proliferating rules and enforcement agents of the regulatory state have become increasingly central to contemporary legal systems, they have drawn the close attention of sociolegal scholars who seek to illuminate how regulation actually functions. This volume includes some of the most insightful empirical studies of regulation, both in the United States and in other advanced democratic economies. The articles address the politics of regulatory policymaking and the design of regulatory agencies; patterns of implementation and enforcement; and business responses to regulatory goals and requirements.
New Novel About Clerking
Chambermaid: A Novel
by Saira Rao
List Price: $22.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Grove Press
Book Description: The devil holds a gavel in this wickedly entertaining debut novel about a young attorney’s eventful year clerking for a federal judge. Sheila Raj is a recent graduate of a top-ten law school with dreams of working for the ACLU, but law school did not prepare her for the power-hungry sociopath, Judge Helga Friedman, who greets her on her first day. While her beleaguered colleagues begin quitting their jobs, Sheila is assigned to a high-profile death penalty case and suddenly realizes that she has to survive the year as Friedman’s chambermaid — not just her sanity, but actual lives hang in the balance. With Chambermaid, debut novelist Saira Rao breaks the code of silence surrounding the clerkship and boldly takes us into the mysterious world of the third branch of US government, where the leaders are not elected and can never be fired. With its biting wit and laugh-out-loud humor, this novel will change everything you think you know about how great lawyers, and great judges, are made.
Arts and Humanties Scholars and Senior Faculty Members Embrace New Publication Modes
From the Chronicle: "Faculty members remain as keenly interested in publishing and disseminating their work as ever, but there’s a disconnect between their attitudes and their behavior in the fast-changing arena of scholarly communication. That’s the thrust of [Faculty Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Scholarly Communication (pdf)] by the University of California’s Office of Scholarly Communication. But the report also finds the strongest movement for change in some unexpected places, including the arts and humanities disciplines and among senior faculty members." [JH]
Opening: Instructional Services Reference Position, University of Florida Levin Law Library
Overview: The University of Florida Levin Law Library seeks a Instructional Services Reference Librarian. The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, forward-thinking master educator with a sincere love of teaching. Normal work week will include a weekend day or evening shift, two consecutive days off are standard for weekend work.
1. Researches and develops distance learning alternatives:
- Monitors developments in distance education
- Creates prototype electronic legal research modules
- Supports faculty in the creation of additional distance learning courses
2. Participates in the library’s education program:
- Provides instruction in the use of educational technologies via traditional and non-traditional classes. Designs and prepares instructional materials.
- Teaches basic and advanced general and special subject legal research in all formats.
- Keeps abreast of trends in adult education, bibliographic instruction and electronic media by reviewing the academic literature and through attendance at conferences.
3. Provides bibliographic support to one or more areas of the curriculum. Serves as liaison to journals, as appropriate.
4. Identifies relevant projects for digitization.
5. Serves as a member of the Reference Team.
6. Serves on appropriate committees
7. Contributes to the Libraries, the University, and the profession through substantive involvement in such activities as committee work, research, publishing, and participation in professional organizations.
8. Other duties as assigned.
1. J.D. and Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from accredited institutions.
2. Computer and telecommunication skills, including proficiency with Internet and Web-based information tools. Skilled in use of Lexis and Westlaw.
3. Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.
4. Team player.
1. Entry-level position.
2. Demonstrated teaching/communication ability with a variety of academic audiences.
3. Instructional design skills and experience with technology applications in support of multiple education platforms.
4. Foreign language skills.
Minimum salary: $50,000. This is a full-time, 40 hour week, library faculty tenure track position.
1. Twenty-two vacation days and 13 sick leave days annually.
2. TIAA/CREF or other retirement options, usual insurance benefits. Details at http://www.hr.ufl.edu/benefits/
3. No state or local income tax.
Environment: The University of Florida Levin College of Law Library is one of the largest libraries in the Southeast. The Library serves staff and students in the College of Law, students in law-related courses in other Colleges, the bar and general public. The Library’s principal user population includes sixty-five faculty and over 1,200 students.
To apply: Send cover letter, names and contact information of three references, and resume to Marie Wolfe, Legal Information Center, P.O. Box 117628, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7628.
Applications should be postmarked by September 21, 2007.