March 18, 2009
AALL's Advocacy Toolkit for the 111th Congress
AALL's Advocacy Toolkit for the 111th Congress: 2009-2010 offers a review of the issues and bills AALL is currently working on, making it an excellent resource for familiarizing yourself with AALL's information policy priorities. It also provides advice on the advocacy skills one would need to make a difference for law libraries on the federal and state levels.
There's a web and PDF version of the Advocacy Toolkit with an RSS feed to track latest alerts and bills of interest to information professions. [RJ & JH]
Opening: Law Library Director, Univ. of the District of Columbia
The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law is seeking candidates for the position of Director of the Law Library for the Charles N. and Hilda H.M. Mason Law Library. The Director reports to the Dean of the School of Law and is responsible for the operation of the Law Library and Information Technology Department including long-range planning, budget, procurement, and personnel management. The Director oversees educational, informational, bibliographic, technology, and collection development. The Director must have a demonstrated track record of good judgment, vision and leadership.
Applicants must hold both J.D. and M.L.S. degrees from accredited institutions and have at least five years experience in Law Library administration. The successful candidate will demonstrate outstanding knowledge of the research, teaching, educational, and technological needs of the Law School faculty and its student body, and possess a strong service orientation and excellent organizational and interpersonal skills. This position is a faculty appointment. The search will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.
The Law Library is a welcoming place of study and Internet access via Wi-Fi is available at every seat. The IT Department provides the technological and educational support for the School of Law. Together the staffs of the Law Library and Information Technology Department total 13 FTE. The Law Library collection includes over 253,000 volumes and volume equivalents and is housed in a modern, state-of-the-art Law Library that occupies approximately 21,400 square feet. The Law Library also subscribes to a number of electronic services and databases. The Library staff is service-oriented and vigorously participates in the educational life of the Law School. The law library works cooperatively with the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area University Libraries and other Law Libraries to provide information services in support of the curriculum of the Law School and faculty and student research needs. The salary will be based on education, qualifications and experience.
The Law Library uses the Innovative Interfaces integrated library management system. The School of Law currently operates a full-time program with a total enrollment of 240 J.D. students. Planning has begun to add a part-time program. The Law School, which has 21 full-time faculty members, is located on the University of the District of Columbia’s main campus in beautiful upper N.W., Washington, D.C. It is located on the Metro’s Red Line (Washington, DC’s subway system) at the Van Ness/UDC Metro Stop, a short ride to the District’s many judicial, legislative, cultural and commercial centers.
Please send a cover letter, resume, list of references to:
Dean Shelley Broderick
The University of the District of Columbia
David A. Clarke School of Law
4200 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
EEO Statement: The University of the District of Columbia Government is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, physical handicap, or political affiliation.
March 17, 2009
Trials Tainted by Twitter
It was just a matter of time, really. As many as nine jurors in a recent federal drug trial disregarded a Florida judge's instructions not to do their own research. Today's NYT has the story, Mistrial by iPhone: Juries' Web Research Upends Trials. [RG]
Mediator in the 9/11 Victim Settlements Interviewed
Settlements in 92 of the 95 lawsuits brought against airlines and aviation-related companies filed on behalf of those injured or killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks were recently approved by federal judge Alvin Hellerstein. [Text of order with mediator report attached]. The total amount paid was close to $500 million, according to the mediator in the case, Sheila Birnbaum, of Skadden, Arps. Ashby Jones has interviewed Sheila Birnbaum for the WSJ Law Blog. [JH]
March Madness is Upon Us
March Madness is about to take control of offices all across this great land of ours. With 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 possible ways to fill out a tournament bracket, it's by no means a simple task. So if you're looking for some insight or if you just want to copy off the experts, here are a few sites to help you out:
Law School and Law Library Twitter Feeds
"Rex Gradeless" at Social Media Law Student has identified some law schools and academic law libraries that are using Twitter feeds to communicate with students. Mr. Gradeless reports that the feeds are used to inform students about snow delays, on campus events, website updates, and student accomplishments. Law professors are even jumping on adding announcements to these Twitter pages. Good idea.
Here's the list of Twitter feeds.
Case Western Reserve University School of Law - http://twitter.com/case_law
Duke Law Publications - http://twitter.com/DukeLawPub
Hamline Law School - http://twitter.com/hamlinelaw
Harvard Law School - http://twitter.com/harvard_law
Marquette University Law School - http://twitter.com/mulaw
New York University Law School - http://twitter.com/nyulaw
Oklahoma City University School of Law - http://twitter.com/OCULAW
Pace Law Library - http://twitter.com/pacelawlibrary
Pace Law School - http://twitter.com/pacelawschool
Pierce Law School - http://twitter.com/piercelaw
University at Buffalo Law Library - http://twitter.com/UBLawLib
University at Buffalo Law School - http://twitter.com/UBLaw
University of Chicago - http://twitter.com/uchicagolaw
University of Iowa College of Law Director of External Relations - http://twitter.com/jilledy
University of Iowa College of Law News - http://twitter.com/tsnee
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law - http://twitter.com/unc_law
University of San Diego School of Law - http://twitter.com/USanDiegoLaw
University of Toronto Faculty of Law - http://twitter.com/UTLaw
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law - http://twitter.com/sjquinney
Valparaiso University School of Law - http://twitter.com/ValparaisoLaw
Washburn Law School - http://twitter.com/washburnlaw
Yale Law Library - http://twitter.com/yalelawlibrary
Hat tip to Robert J. Ambrogi, Legal Blog Watch. [JH]
E-Discovery Tool Comparison
The E-Discovery Application Matrix s a free resource that enables comparison of e-discovery software tools, and identification of those tools by feature. The matrix is the work of Greg Buckles, a legal information consultant. Hat tip to Law.com’s Legal Technology Blog. [Robert Richards]
What First-Year Law Students Should Learn in a Legal Research Class
Nancy Johnson (GSU) has posted Best Practices: What First-Year Law Students Should Learn in a Legal Research Class on SSRN. (Legal Reference Services Quarterly, 2009). Observing that 1L legal writing instructors rarely have "adequate class time to teach students the print and online sources needed to complete a research task successfully," Johnson identifies core legal research principles every 1L should learn. She proceeds to discuss best practices in teaching the legal research process, along with the important research sources that must be covered, including judicial opinions and reporters, digests and finding cases, statutes, administrative publications. Well done.
Hat tip to Jan Novak, Associate Director, Cleveland-Marshall Law Library, What Do You Know About Legal Research, Anyway? [JH]
Claims Agent to Be Acquired
Kurtzman Carson Consultants, a major claims agent in the U.S. bankruptcy field, announced on March 16 it has agreed to be acquired by Computershare Limited an Australia-based provider of computing services to financial market participants. See the press release here and the New York Times Dealbook story here. Kurtzman Carson has been an innovator in providing Web-based services in large bankruptcy cases, such as its docket services. [Robert Richards]
Opening: Law Library Director, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law Library
Texas Wesleyan University, founded in 1890 in Fort Worth, is a United Methodist institution with a tradition of integrating the liberal arts and sciences with professional and career preparation at the undergraduate level and in selected graduate areas. The University’s Law School is currently seeking applicants for a Director of Law Library.
Responsibilities include management, initiation, and implementation of library operations, programs and services, including budgeting, selection and supervision of library personnel, collection development, research, reference, and long range and short term strategic planning. The Director must be able to assess the current and anticipated needs of the law faculty and students. The roughly 30,021 square foot library houses nearly 269,000 volumes and volume equivalents and close to 51,500 hardcopy titles. The library staff of 7 full-time librarians (excluding the Director) and 6 full-time equivalent paraprofessionals serves a day and evening student body of approximately 760 students and 34 faculty members. The school and the library staff are committed to maintaining excellence and service. Substantial emphasis is placed on supporting and promoting faculty scholarship, development, and teaching. The Director reports directly to the Dean of the Law School and is a tenure-track member of the law faculty.
Applicants must have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, and an MLS from an ALA-accredited institution. The candidate must have significant law library administrative experience, be committed to service, and demonstrate strong leadership, organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills. Law school teaching experience and an interest in academic publication, or a demonstrated potential for excellence in these areas, are required.
Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. To apply, send a resume, cover letter indicating position desired, and references to the Director of Law Library Search Committee: Office of Human Resources, Texas Wesleyan University, 1201 Wesleyan, Fort Worth, Texas 76105, or HR@txwes.edu. Visit HR.txwes.edu for full job description. EOE
March 16, 2009
Opting Out of Google's Behavioral Targeting Ad Program
Google has launched its behavioral targeting ad program, which the Company likes to call "interest-based" advertising. Opt-in is not an option but Google does provide an opt-out choice, one that to its credit is open source. For more, see EFF's Deeplinks Blog post. [JH]
Which Are the Highest Quality Legal Journals?
Libraries & Facebook: What do students want?
Many academic law libraries have created Facebook profiles in an effort to reach out to students, but is this an effective way to reach students? Until now, there has been little if no published research on this topic. Portal: Libraries and the Academy recently published a study by librarians at Valparaiso University who surveyed first-year students about their usage of Facebook and attitudes about the library’s use of Facebook. While these results should not be blindly generalized to the law school environment, this article provides some suggestions for using Facebook as well as ideas for further research.
Most students in this study were accepting of the library having a Facebook page and contacting them via Facebook; however, a significant minority of students reacted negatively. The authors recommend libraries "proceed with caution" when implementing online social network profiles to avoid infringing on these students “sense of personal privacy.”
The survey indicates that if we want to use Facebook as a tool to communicate with students, we’re going to have to reach out to them. The majority of students in this survey would become the library’s friend on Facebook. (17% would invite the library to be their friend; 58% wouldn’t seek the library out, but would accept an invitation; 25% wouldn’t accept the library as a friend.)
The survey also shows that we need to be thoughtful about how we use Facebook. About 43% of the students surveyed preferred Facebook to other types of communication from the library (e.g. email). About 37% of the students reported that they wouldn’t pay attention to Facebook communications, but wouldn’t mind them. About 12% indicated that they would not pay attention and would resent such communications. Some students specifically asked that the library not write on their wall (which is visible to their friends). Other students were adamant about keeping their personal (i.e. Facebook) and school (i.e. email) accounts separate. Others threatened to defriend the library if it sent messages. One student was convinced that the library was using Facebook only to spy on “our lives.”
Read the full article, including its review of published research on Facebook use in academia, in 9 Portal: Libraries and the Academy 25-36 (2009). [SS]
Editor's Note: I would like to welcome Sara Sampson to LLB. This is her first post as a contributing editor. Sara would like to hear your experiences and suggestions about libraries using Facebook. You can publish them as comments to this post or contact her directly. See the left sidebar for contact links.
Sara is Head of Reference at Georgetown Law Library. Before joining Georgetown Law Library in 2006, she was a reference librarian at The Ohio State University Moritz Law Library where she taught Legal Writing & Analysis and Legal Research. During her time at Ohio State, Sara developed an interest in election law and was part of the Election Law @ Moritz team. Long-time readers of LLB know that I think Election Law @ Moritz is the best web destination on this subject. Among her many other publication credits, Sara is the author of Ohio Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press 2009)(with Katherine Hall), a must-have for Ohio legal research.
Sara received her J.D., with honors, from The Ohio State University and her M.L.I.S. from Kent State University and is a member of the Ohio bar.
National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Training: Call for Papers
A call for papers, with deadline of March 31, 2009, has been issued for the 2009 National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) National Training Event, to be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2009, at the Hilton Baltimore, Baltimore, MD. For more information, please see the complete announcement.
NIEM is an information exchange model being implemented across U.S. federal, state, local, and tribal governments, including courts and justice agencies. NIEM is of interest to law librarians and legal information researchers because court and justice information standards are being revised to conform to NIEM. For example, the Electronic Court Filing specification, was recently revised to conform to NIEM 2.0, and the Court Document specification is being revised to conform to NIEM.
For more information about NIEM, see the information pages.
Hat tip to Court Technology Bulletin [Robert Richards]
New Resources from the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C.
The Law Librarians' Society of Washington D.C., Inc. (LLSDC) is added to its Legislative Source Book (http://www.llsdc.org/sourcebook/) the work by Donald Hirsch entitled "Drafting Federal Law" (2d Ed. GPO, 1989 in PDF) as well as the "House Legislative Counsel's Manual on Drafting Style" (GPO, 1995 in PDF) which updates a 1989 Style Manual (also included). There are number of Federal legislative handbooks, but, until now, there was little available on the free Internet. Hopefully these works will help remedy that absence.
Other titles added to the Source Book in the past six months include "Current Legislative and Regulatory Activity,," updated weekly when Congress is in session; and "Sources to the Text of Congressional Bills and Resolutions." In addition, many of tables on the Source Book have been updated to reflect the current Congress and Presidential Administration.
Opening: Law Librarian, Congressional Research Service
The incumbent serves as a Law Librarian for the Knowledge Services Group of the Congressional Research Service. In this capacity the Law Librarian is responsible for initiating, planning, and implementing unusual and diverse research projects in support of litigation and legal policy issues. The Law Librarian evaluates and solves highly complex research problems in response to existing or anticipated client requests; identifies, examines, and evaluates major publications, electronic resources and trends in preparing in-depth and highly complex research; and provides comprehensive legal and legislative reference services. The Law Librarian serves as an expert in law librarianship and legal reference and information research; organizes and develops projects in his or her field; recommends new collections; organizes, develops, and schedules training projects for a wide variety of subjects; and organizes, develops, and implements plans for specific projects.
CRS works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for nearly a century.
CRS is well known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has immediate access to the nation's best thinking on public policy issues of interest to its Members and Committees.
The Congressional Research Service, within the Library of Congress, is part of the Legislative Branch of the Federal government. As such, all positions are in the excepted service.
Salary Range: GS-13: $86,927 - $113,007.
March 15, 2009
An Encyclopedic History of Dissidence in the United States
Civil Disobedience: An Encyclopedic History of Dissidence in the United States by Mary Ellen Snodgrass will be released by M.E. Sharpe on April 30, 2009. Here's the description:
Throughout American history, people with strong beliefs that ran counter to society's rules and laws have used civil disobedience to advance their causes. From the Boston Tea Party in 1773, to the Pullman Strike in 1894, to the draft card burnings and sit-ins of more recent times, civil disobedience has been a powerful force for effecting change in American society.This comprehensive A-Z encyclopedia provides a wealth of information on people, places, actions, and events that defied the law to focus attention on an issue or cause. It covers the causes and actions of activists across the political spectrum from colonial times to the present, and includes political, social economic, environmental, and a myriad of other issues."Civil Disobedience" ties into all aspects of the American history curriculum, and is a rich source of material for essays and debates on critical issues and events that continue to influence our nation's laws and values. It explores the philosophies, themes, concepts, and practices of activist groups and individuals, as well as the legislation they influenced. It includes a detailed chronology of civil disobedience, listings of acts of conscience and civil disobedience by act and by location, a bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and a comprehensive index complete the set.