July 16, 2008
Baby Boomers Closing the Digital Divide
A new study released by The Center For The Digital Future and AARP shows older (50+) Internet users are rapidly closing the digital divide. The following are some of the key findings AARP identified in its press release:
The Internet as news source – Users 50+ go online more frequently to check for news compared to those under 20. Forty-two percent of users 50 and older check the Internet for news daily or several times a day, compared to 18 percent of users under 20.
Importance of online information - A larger percent of users under 20 compared to those over 50 (85% vs.76%) said that the Internet is an important or very important source of information. However, the percentage of those over 50 who state this has grown substantially in five years (2002 to 2007), up slightly more than half (51%).
Social activism – Thirty-six percent of members 50 and older said their social activism has increased since they began participating in online communities for social causes, compared to 29 percent of members under 20.
Participation in and importance of online communities – A large percentage of Internet users 50 and older who are members of online communities report extensive involvement in their communities and benefits from their participation. Fifty-eight percent of members 50 and older log in to their online community daily or several times a day, compared to 47 percent of members under 20. Both 50+ and under 20 online community members say their online community is very important or extremely important to them: (70 percent of members 50 and older, and 68 percent of members under 20).
July 15, 2008
CRL and Readex Partner to Create the World Newspaper Archive
Readex and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) have announced that they will create the world's largest, fully searchable digital archive of international newspapers. The World Newspaper Archive will provide researchers unprecedented access to historical newspapers published outside the United States.
The venture will first offer Latin American newspapers published between 1805 and 1922 in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and other countries. The initial Latin American series will offer approximately 35 titles, encompassing nearly one million pages. Among the newspapers expected to be included are La Prensa (Buenos Aires), O Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo), Mercurio (Santiago), La Prensa (Havana), Diario de Centro America (Guatemala City), Daily Chronicle (Georgetown, Guyana), Mexican Herald (Mexico City), El Peruano (Lima), Port of Spain Gazette (Port of Spain), and the Venezuelan Herald (Caracas).
Further series will focus on historical newspapers published in Africa, South Asia and other areas. [JH]
First Guantanamo Bay Interrogation Video Released
Filmed secretly through a ventilation shaft, the video shows a 16-year-old Canadian citizen, Omar Khadr, being questioned by Canadian Security Intelligence Service agents in 2003 about events leading up to his capture by US forces. The teenage was accused of throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan in 2002. The footage was made public by Khadr's lawyers following a Supreme Court ruling in May that the Canadian authorities had to hand over key evidence against him to allow a full defense of the charges he is facing. Now 21, Khadr faces multiple terrorism-related charges. BBC story and video link. [JH]
Professional Reading: America's First Jim Crow Law School Library
Ernesto Longa's (University of New Mexico School of Law Library) award winning article, A History of America's First Jim Crow Law School Library and Staff, has been published at 7 Conn. Pub. Int. L.J. 77 (2007)[Westlaw]. In it Longa provides a history of Lincoln University Law School (1939-1955), profiling its law library staff, and documenting the library's relationship with the AALL. Highly recommended. [JH]
Congratulations to Mark Wojcik
Mark Wojcik (Professor of Law and Director of the Global Legal Studies Program at John Marshall Law School (Chicago)) has been appointed the ABA's Alternate Observer to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Mark co-edits International Law Prof Blog and contributes to Legal Writing Prof Blog, both members of the Law Professor Blogs Network.
Hat tip to Coleen Barger, Legal Writing Prof Blog. [JH]
A Quick Look at Speechology
From the site: "Speechology archives key political speeches — debates, speeches, campaign ads, etc. — and lets you critique our leaders’ words. Live television won’t tell you who’s being dishonest. Speechology will." You can browse by politician or video sets. RSS feed available. [RJ]
Openings: Two Positions, Los Angeles County Law Library
The Los Angeles County Law Library (LACLL) is seeking qualified candidates for Senior Librarian - Branch Manager and Librarian - Reference and Research. LACLL offers an excellent benefit package. To apply, send resume, cover letter, and names, addresses, and phone numbers for three professional references to:
Susan Niemeyer, J.D.
Manager, Human Resources
Los Angeles County Law Library
301 W. 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Senior Librarian - Branch Manager
Working with the Division Director, this position will help to develop and implement divisional goals. Must supervise and manage seven remote library branches, and will participate in community outreach programs throughout Los Angeles County. Will be involved in marketing the Law Library’s services, beyond traditional Library activities and resources, to current and potential users.
- Supervise, direct, and evaluate branch staff through hiring, training, overseeing work product, counseling, disciplining, and completing performance evaluations.
- Assist in implementing a marketing plan that will effectively carry the Law Library’s services to the legal community and public libraries throughout LA County.
- Maintain professional memberships and represent the Law Library in local, state and national library associations.
- Supervise all branch assistants and branch functions.
- Review and analyze multiple areas of collection management and recommend new materials, formats, additional or replacements copies; weeding.
- Ability to communicate to many audiences including the Director of Access Services, the Executive Director, other Division Directors and Supervisors, and staff.
- Promote high quality customer service through training and leading by example.
- Professional and efficient handling of complex references inquiries.
Minimum Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
- Ability to assist in the development of marketing plans.
- Ability to speak well and knowledgably about available Law Library programs and resources before small and large groups of legal professionals.
- Exercise sound business judgment and make independent decisions in keeping with Law Library policies and procedures.
- Knowledge of legal print and electronic resources in order to share legal information with users having diverse backgrounds and a range of research skill levels.
- Must be able to effectively supervise all branch operations, deal with difficult users, explain and fairly enforce Law Library procedures as they apply to staff and users, and demonstrate use of Law Library equipment.
Education/Training Requirement: Graduate degree from a school or institution accredited by the American Library Association.
- 5+ years of direct experience managing a department within a public/academic library or the library of a law firm.
- 2+ years of demonstrated supervisory experience, preferably in a multi-site organization.
Librarian - Reference and Research
The Librarian – Reference and Research is responsible for providing information, direction, general reference, and in-depth research in response to inquiries from Library users. In addition, this position participates in collection development and in the development of web-based content, pathfinders, guides, and instructional materials. The Librarian – Reference and Research participates in Library seminars both within and outside the Library, tours, projects, and programs.
Major Duties & Responsibilities:
- Conduct reference interview and respond to inquiries using all available print and online resources.
- Ability to work effectively in a busy reference environment.
- Develop and maintain bibliographic guides and research pathfinders including print and online resources.
- Create research materials for distribution and/or sale in specific areas of legal research.
- Provide bibliographic instruction to users with varying levels of knowledge and experience.
- Provide instruction and training for new products and services for both the staff and users.
- Stay current on library trends, general legal processes, and new literature.
Minimum Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
- Must possess excellent verbal, written, and customer service skills.
- Good computer ability in order to provide access to legal information using Westlaw, Lexis-Nexis, digital databases and the internet to users.
- Ability to effectively handle difficult customers, exercise sound business judgment, explain library procedures, follow all policies and procedures; demonstrated use of all library equipment.
- A graduate degree from a school accredited by the American Library.
- One to three years previous experience as a reference law librarian preferred but willing to train a recent graduate with no prior library experience.
- Working knowledge in one or more foreign languages helpful but not required.
July 14, 2008
Free Aspatore Titles to AALL Attendees
Stop by the West Print/CD booth to pick up your copies. Details on WestBlog. [JH]
Mediterranean Union Officially Launched
Heads of state from 43 countries launched the Mediterranean Union in Paris on Sunday. [Joint Declaration of the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean (July 13, 2008)]. Officially, the new body is called the "Barcelona Process: Union of the Mediterranean" in order to counter fears that the Med Union would become a rival to the EU's existing Barcelona Process. See The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership; Twelve Questions about the Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation: The Barcelona Process Explained; and Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean (Communication from the Commission to the European Parlament and the Council).
The Union's members include all 27 EU nations, the 12 Mediterranean countries which are members of the EU's Barcelona Process and the four Balkan countries bordering the Mediterranean. The main focus of the Med Union will include the following areas:
- Improving energy supply;
- Fighting pollution in the Mediterranean;
- Strengthening the surveillance of maritime traffic and "civil security cooperation"; and
- Creating a scientific community between Europe and its southern neighbors.
See also: Lee Hudson Teslik's A Mediterranean Rendezvous (Council on Foreign Relations). [JH]
Kudos to Thompson Hine's Barbara Silbersack
Barbara Silbersack, associate director of library operations at Thompson Hine LLP, was recently elected to the board of trustees of the Cincinnati Law Library Association. She is the first non-lawyer to serve as a trustee since the association began in 1834. Read more about it. [JH]
Linda Greenhouse Reflects on Her New York Times Career
After nearly 30 years covering the Supreme Court for the New York Times, Linda Greenhouse is retiring. She reflected on her distinguished career in yesterday's New York Times: 2,691 Decisions. Her next gig, Journalist-in-Residence at Yale Law School [Yale press release]. [JH]
Just Released, Bhagwati's Termites in the Trading System Critiques the Use of PTAs
List Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (July 14, 2008)
From the blurb: Writing with his customary wit, panache, and elegance, Bhagwati documents the growth of these PTAs, the reasons for their proliferation, and their deplorable consequences, which include the near-destruction of the nondiscrimination that was at the heart of the postwar trade architecture and its replacement by what he has called the spaghetti bowl of a maze of preferences. Bhagwati also documents how PTAs have undermined the prospects for multilateral freeing of trade, serving as stumbling blocks, instead of building blocks, for the objective of reaching multilateral free trade. In short, Bhagwati cogently demonstrates why PTAs are Termites in the Trading System.
About the Author: Jagdish Bhagwati is university professor, economics and law, at Columbia University and senior fellow in international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Information Overload Research Group Is Holding Its First Annual Conference Tomorrow
A typical information worker who sits at a computer all day turns to his e-mail program more than 50 times and uses instant messaging 77 times, according to a study by RescueTime. The company also found that on average the worker also stops at 40 Web sites over the course of the day.
Some of the biggest technology companies, including Microsoft, Intel, Google and IBM, recently formed the Information Overload Research Group because the same communications tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused. IORG's first annual conference begins on July 15th. Check out the Information Overload Research Group website. [JH]
July 13, 2008
The New Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Presidential Politics
On July 10 2008, President Bush signed H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, into law, Public Law No. 110-261. [President's Signing Statement]
Presidential contenders Sen. John McCain abstained and Sen. Barack Obama voted in favor of the bill on July 9th. [Senate Roll Call] Obama initially opposed the measure but changed his position on June 20th. He recently responded to his critics with a long statement on his campaign site.
One senator being vetted for the Vice-President slot on the Democratic Party ticket, Sen. Christopher Dodd, voted against the bill. In a June 24, 2008 speech on the Senate floor -- just four days after Obama announced his support for the bill -- Dodd said the debate over amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was not simply one more dispute over intelligence policy. Rather, he said, it calls into question basic issues of democratic governance and the rule of law. [Text of Speech published in the Congressional Record]. See also Steven Aftergood's Intelligence Abuses and the FISA Amendments Act post on Secrecy News.
Balkinization's David Kris has posted a three-part guide to the FISA amendments: Part I, Part II and Part III. See also privacy law expert Daniel Solove's Concurring Opinions post, The New Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. [JH]
Bugliosi's New Book Argues that Bush Is Criminally Responsible for the Deaths of American Soldiers in Iraq
Listen to an audio clip of Vincent Bugliosi explaining why he felt compelled to write The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder and how he sincerely feels that the United States was led into war on unsubstantiated grounds by the President. More on the book's website. The general public may be tired on "Bush-bashing" books but this one is recommended for all academic law libraries. [JH]
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder
by Vincent Bugliosi
List Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Vanguard Press (May 26, 2008)
Description: In The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, Bugliosi presents a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial in an American courtroom for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers fighting the war in Iraq. Bugliosi sets forth the legal architecture and incontrovertible evidence that President Bush took this nation to war in Iraq under false pretenses—a war that has not only caused the deaths of American soldiers but also over 100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women, and children; cost the United States over one trillion dollars thus far with no end in sight; and alienated many American allies in the Western world.
As a prosecutor who is dedicated to seeking justice, Bugliosi, in his inimitable style, delivers a non-partisan argument, free from party lines and instead based upon hard facts and pure objectivity. A searing indictment of the President and his administration, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder also outlines a legally credible pathway to holding our highest government officials accountable for their actions, thereby creating a framework for future occupants of the oval office.
About the Author: Vincent Bugliosi received his law degree in 1964. In his career at the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, he successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson case, became the basis of his classic, Helter Skelter, the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history. Two of Bugliosi’s other books—And the Sea Will Tell and Outrage—also reached #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. No other American true-crime writer has ever had more than one book that achieved this ranking. His latest book, Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has been heralded as “epic” and “a book for the ages.”
Ensuring Access to Justice for Detainees in the War on Terror
"This panel focused on who should be detained and where, what should happen to the detainees currently being held at Guantanamo, and how detainees should be treated. It included discussion of the rules and policies that should govern interrogation and ensure clear prohibitions on torture. It also considered where and how terrorism suspects should be tried and whether national security courts are necessary. The discussions occurred in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene v. Bush."
- Moderator, Judge Marsha S. Berzon, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Joanne Mariner, Director of Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program, Human Rights Watch
- Alberto J. Mora, Vice President and General Counsel, International Division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- Deborah Pearlstein, LAPA Visiting Scholar, Princeton University
- Benjamin Wittes, Fellow & Research Director in Public Law, The Brookings Institute