July 31, 2010
Happy 30th Anniversary (with a Note on the Dark Side of) Post-It Notes
The New York Times recently reported on 3M's marketing campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of Post-it Notes. However,Edward Tenner, a historian of technology and culture, reports in The Atlantic on the dark side of Post-It Notes and similar products:
The verdict is in on Post-it Notes and similar adhesive markers! Though they are easy to use and may be removed from most paper surfaces, DON'T be tempted to use them in books. These seemingly harmless "markers" leave behind their adhesive, even when removed immediately. The adhesive hardens and leaves a film that becomes acidic. This results in eventual discoloration and brittleness of the paper. They were designed for short-term application to expendable documents and have no place being used on permanent records and books.
No word on the consequences of applying Post-It Notes to the screens of Kindles or iPads.
Hat tip to Cocky Law Blawg. [JH]
July 30, 2010
Deeplinking, Westlawnext and the Father of Existentialism.
Prior to Westlawnext being rolled out to the faculty and staff and Duncan School of Law, for my class this coming semester, I created a libguide from which I provide links to a few different articles. For two of the articles, I linked to Westlaw using Westlaw's Linkbuilder. With the semester approaching I checked the links. Good news: they work. Strange news: they link out to Westlawnext. This concerned me so I tried the link on one of our students' computers. It linked to Westlaw. Whew - my students will be able to retrieve even though Westlawnext doesn't get rolled out to them until late September."But what about printing?" I thought. I have been advised that we won't be able to print from Westlawnext to our Westlaw printers until 2011.
So I wonder whether this push was a marketing tool for Westlawnext or just a way for Westlaw to keep their costs down. In any event, when I linked the article to Westlaw, I had no intention of it linking to Westlawnext. It was not what I wanted and that just doesn't work for me. In the words of Kierkegaard, "If I had a humble spirit in my service, who when I asked for a glass of water, brought me the world's costliest wines blended in a chalice, I should dismiss him, in order to teach him that pleasure consists not in what I enjoy, but in having my own way." [DW]
Friday Fun: The 87th Annual Masters of Library Science Croquet Tournament
The brillance of this idea has left me speechless. Cart races, been there, done that. Three-hole putt-putt courses in the library, ditto. [JH]
Protecting Reader Confidentiality in the Private Sector Electronic Resources Marketplace Based on Library Privacy Standards
While librarians have been successful advocates for privacy in library-provided reading, the values for reader privacy are the same in individuals’ subscriptions to Google Books, licensed access to e-reader books, reading on the Internet, and purchase of books through online or brick-and-mortar bookstores. In Library Standards for Privacy: A Model for the Digital World?, 11 North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology 553 (2010), [SSRN], Anne Klinefelter, UNC (Chapel Hill) Law Library Director, suggests that statutory protections for confidentiality similar to library privacy standards are required in this extra-library digital reading environment. From the conclusion of Klinefelter's thoughtful essay:
[L]ibrary standards for privacy are as much about librarians’ ethical commitment and policies as they are about statutory protections. By contrast, the commercial collection and use of reader data is largely unregulated and has only market forces as a substitute for librarian ethical principles for privacy. Since no Constitutional protections are currently recognized to protect information voluntarily shared with a third party, reader data collected by a commercial entity is available to be shared with or purchased by the government without the requirement of legal process, such as subpoena or warrant, as required for access to library patron records. When libraries serve as intermediaries, readers gain protections through the anonymizing effects of library IP addresses, through the libraries’ commitment to procedures that preserve anonymizing structures, and through statutory protections for confidentiality of library use that libraries follow. To achieve a similar level of protection in an extra-library digital environment of Google Books, e-readers, and Internet reading requires new legal protection that achieves the same combined effect.
Senior Law Librarian, Northeastern University School of Law Library, Boston
The Senior Law Librarian will provide faculty research support, reference assistance, legal research instruction, database and web support and work on collection development. Candidates must possess a Master of Library and Information Science (“MLIS”) or Master of Library Science (“MLS”) degree and either a legal education (J.D. or LL.B.) or 6-8 years experience working as a law librarian. Professional library experience and law library experience are particularly desirable. International subject matter expertise or an interest and willingness to develop this expertise is a plus. You must be able to work with a diverse population and possess excellent public services skills. Excellent research, reference, writing, and bibliographic skills are required. Word-processing, e-mail, basic web publishing, and ability to learn basic Access and Excel skills are also required. A sense of humor is essential. We need a responsible, motivated, creative team player who is also able to work independently. You must enjoy completing a variety of tasks. Some evening and weekend hours are required. You must enjoy teaching: the job requires one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring and teaching groups of 20-60 students. This is a Grade 12 position but individual salary will be determined based on education and experience within this range.
About the Law Library. The newly renovated Law Library is located on five floors in the law school complex. It employs sixteen staff members and works cooperatively with the University Libraries. The libraries share an Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (III) library system and are involved in various consortia including NELLCO and the Boston Library Consortia.
How To Apply
- Copy the following URL and paste it into a new browser window: https://psoft.neu.edu/psc/neuhrprdpub/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/NEU_HR.NEU_JOBS.GBL
- Find the position(s) you are interested in applying for and follow the instructions available on the Careers@Northeastern site.
Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. Northeastern University particularly welcomes applications from minorities, women and persons with disabilities. Northeastern University is an E-Verify Employer.
July 29, 2010
Academic Printing Not (Yet) Available in WestlawNext
As we get closer to the academic year, we have presentations from Lexis and Westlaw as updates on their systems. Today was Westlaw and WestlawNext. Nothing new, except it is my understanding that the WestlawNext interface does not support printing to the dedicated student and faculty Westlaw printers. West is working on the problem, but there is no timetable for solving it. The alternatives are to use the extensive electronic tools built into the system for highlighting, annotating, and saving documents. Maybe company-provided academic printing is overrated in these heady electronic days. Lexis, take note. [MG]
A Day in the Life of a Law Librarian Who Blogs
See Valparaiso Law's Faculty Services and Outreach Librarian Sarah Glassmeyer's Library Day in the Life, Round 5, starting with her alarm clock waking Sarah up at 7:15 AM. Wish I had that two extra hours of sleep but my hunch is Sarah can keep her eyes open past 9:00-9:30 PM.
In her diary of a day in the life of a law librarian who blogs, Sarah writes "in case you were wondering, my head is 53 cm in diameter. Is that big? It sounds big. I have a pumpkin head." If you have a pumpkin head Sarah, what is my 61 cm in diameter head, a watermelon head?
To paraphrase Sarah's closing, and now it is 7:17 AM eastern and "we’re at the point where I’m typing up that I wrote this blog post and I need to stop" because when I start measuring the diameter of my head, well ... Sarah is probably waking up now. Why not comment to her enjoyable and light-hearted post with the diameter of your head. If you are like me, you will need this inches-to-centimeters conversion calculator. [JH]
On WEXIS Making Corrections to Court Opinions Every Year
Joe...do you have any idea how many errors West and Lexis editors correct every year? They work with the courts to actually correct the official versions (judges actually make mistakes!).
Well, yes I do. Didn't TR VP for Legal Editorial Operations, David Spencer, say that in the quote published in the post: "every year our editors work with the courts to make more than 100,000 corrections to cases"? I don't doubt the claim but what does that stat mean?
By asking the question, I am not implying that some corrections are more important than others. Typos are just as important as bad cites and textual errors. All corrections are important in producing an accurate text of a court opinion. We certainly know one opinion can contain many errors but that too isn't the point of my question.
Does this stat just refer to editorial production of new opinions prior to upload? Do it also include uploaded opinions that WEXIS editors found errors? That users have submitted corrections for? Does the stat cover opinions where TR Legal is the official publisher and, in that case, isn't that part of the responsibility of being the court's official publisher? Ah, well, yes it is. Meaning the TR Legal stat is a wee bit self-serving. While no doubt it is accurate, it is neither very specific nor addresses the issue of user-submitted corrections. The point of prior LLB posts had to do with user submissions to TR Legal not being routed directly to editorial staff for editor-user communication -- MacLachlan's attempt to get Scopes corrected in 1997 and Volokh's attempt to get Thorn corrected in 2010.
User-Submitted Corrections. Ignoring user submitted corrections to primary source material by any of our very expensive legal search vendors because of "cost" or because that isn't a mechanism in place to submit such alerts to the editorial staff with a reply-back feature that informs the user that the correction has been made or cannot be made because the heads-up cannot be verified is in my opinion irresponsible on the part of the vendor. Do note the problem extends beyond just court opinions to include federal regulatory content in Westlaw based on law librarian emails I have received
While we can say that this is a matter of principle, I am speaking from first-hand publishing experience, too. While working for CCH's Standard Federal Tax department, submitted corrections for source material and submitted solicitations for clarification of substantive editorial analysis went directly to the head of the product's editorial staff. (This was before the days of emails so they usually came in by way of snail mail or telephone calls.) They were taken seriously. By that I mean they were routed to the legal editor responsible for that section of Standard Fed if it questioned the editorial analysis published or to a production editor for checking the primary source republished in Standard Fed. The matter(s) was addressed, resolved and generated an updated page for filing promptly. In other words, CCH was responsive to its user inquires with respect to corrections and clarifications. Cost was not a factor. The quality of the product was. I know this was also the case in the department that produced estate and gift tax products and assume it was corporate policy for all services CCH published at the time (e.g., early 1990s.)
Again speaking from first-hand experience, this time while working at the Chicago Tribune. The editorial board wanted to get the stories the paper published right. If a reader or a reporter spotted something that needed correction or clarification in the print version of the daily, a later edition of the Chicago Tribune would include a list of corrections and clarifications that referred to the original stories. At the Trib, I was working on the electronic redistribution of stories to DIALOG and NEXIS and we would add the relevant information to the previously uploaded version of the original story at the end of the original text and then upload the file to the DIALOG and NEXIS servers so that the electronic version of the story was accurate. The original text was preserved but the correction or clarification would appear at the end of the text. Once again, cost did not trump the value of accuracy and reader submissions were not ignored. They were investigated and produced amended, accurate content.
Sure TR Legal works with judges to get opinions right before upload, but there appears to be a serious problem when users call attention to potential inaccuracies to the Company compared to my CCH and Tribune Company experience. And based on my experience, a direct line of communication with TR Legal's editorial staff needs to be established (with a feedback loop to the user who submitted the potential correction). It really isn't that hard to do if a legal publisher is dedicated to ensuring the quality of what it publishes. We have no evidence of this because we have no audit trail that documents changes are made to the eText in the file display -- original update date plus what corrections were made and when in a note filed at the end of a file.
If TR Legal is thinking ahead to Congressional review of LAW.GOV, the Company might want to demonstrate the editorial work it does in the above manner, particularly in those instances when it was the official publisher of court opinions. Just tossing out correction stats without specificity probably won't cut it. Hell, it might even lead to TR Legal (and/or Lexis) becoming the contractor for electronic editorial production of authenticated court opinions under LAW.GOV in such instances! Tech specs for LAW.GOV may have to require a production processing audit trail at least at the metadata level in file header information.
Scopes Corrected in Westlaw? In another comment to LLB's Scopes post, JohnM reports that the text has been corrected on Westlaw: "I guess all you have to do to get a correction is post a blog entry about it. The error has now been fixed on Westlaw." Maybe LLB should start publishing a regular Fix This Now feature. Instead I suggest law librarians email corrections to AALL's entire executive board. Perhaps our association's leaders will allow CRIV-lite to communicate directly with the vendor about them. [JH]
Electronic Resources Librarian, Alyne Queener Massey Law Library, Vanderbilt University
The Alyne Queener Massey Law Library at Vanderbilt University seeks applicants for the following position of Electronic Resources Librarian. The librarian in this position, under the direction of the Law Library Director and working collaboratively with the library staff, will take a leadership role in the following areas of responsibility:
- Evaluation, coordination, and promotion of the library’s electronic resources, including databases, journals, books, and reference sources;
- Design and development of the library's online presence, including coordination of content on an electronic resources web page;
- Development and implementation of online legal research instruction, including training tailored for faculty, students, and librarians;
- Identification and monitoring of new and emerging technologies and trends of interest to the library, including recommendations for the purchase of electronic resources;
- Development of instructional materials;
- Vendor relations, including scheduling and coordinating online training with account representatives.
As part of the public services department, the Electronic Resources Librarian will provide research assistance to faculty, students, attorneys, and the general public. This librarian may also assist with instruction in the first year Legal Research & Writing program and in the Advanced Legal Research course. All librarians are expected to assist in collection development, including close examination of the print collection for possible replacement by electronic equivalents.
Minimum Requirements: a J.D. from an ABA accredited institution and an M.L.S. from an ALA accredited institution.
Preferred Education, Skills and Experience: experience with current information technologies, including web authoring tools; experience in legal research and legal research instruction; effective communication skills; and the ability to work collaboratively.
Applications should be received by September 3, 2010. Applicants should include a statement of interest, a curriculum vitae and a list of confidential references. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the Electronic Resources Librarian has been selected. Qualified individuals should also complete the Vanderbilt University application form at http://vanderbilt.jobs/. Refer to requisition number SC23256.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Minorities, persons with disabilities and women are particularly encouraged to apply
July 28, 2010
Federal Judge Blocks Parts of the AZ Immigration LawThe New York Times reports that Judge Susan Bolton issued a preliminary injunction against key parts of the law, including the parts that officers check immigration status when enforcing other laws, and the requirement that immigrants carry papers with them at all times. The article has links to the opinion via an NYT server. [MG]
Is the ABA Trying to Dilute Tenure for Law Faculty and Job Security for Legal Skills Profs?
The Standards Review Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education & Admission to the Bar is considering two controversial subcommittee proposals: (1) to clarify that law schools are not required to offer tenure while still requiring law schools to protect academic freedom and (2) to eliminate a requirement that law schools give clinical professors and legal writing professors job security protections that are similar to those afforded other members of the law faculty.
From the National Law Journal report:
Standards Review Committee Donald Polden, dean of Santa Clara University School of Law, said that critics have rushed to judgment and that the committee still has months of work before it will produce a final draft.
"There have been a few people who have argued that what we are doing is an attack on tenure," said Polden. "The reality is that the current standards do not require law schools to have tenure." He noted that the authorities that accredit medical schools and pharmacy schools do not require tenure."
See also Inside Higher Ed. For an excellent round-up of resources, see TaxProf Blog's July 25 post which includes links to documents released by the Committee in advance of the meeting that concluded on July 25 (see, e.g., Draft Chapter 6 - Library and Information Resources Standards) and documents submitted in response to the proposed changes to tenure and job security. [JH]
Exploring Court Reengineering at the State Level: NCSC Releases Future Trends in State Courts 2010
Court reengineering is the central theme of Future Trends in State Courts 2010. From the Preface by Mary Campbell McQueen, President, National Center for State Courts:
“How Courts Are Weathering the Economic Storm” was the major theme of last year’s edition of Future Trends in State Courts. Unfortunately, the economic storm, while slowly abating, will continue to disrupt court operations for the near future. The National Center for State Courts closely monitors the economy’s effects on the administration of justice. So far, courts have taken all the usual steps for coping with reduced budgets in the short term, such as furloughing or reducing staff, shortening operational hours, and even closing some courthouses entirely. In the past, these and other actions have helped courts to survive.
Unfortunately, “coping and hoping” are simply not enough. Courts must make a commitment to examining and changing the ways they do business—and demonstrate this commitment to the public, as well as the other two branches of government. Future Trends in State Courts 2010 is a logical extension of last year’s edition, going beyond budgets and into reengineering court operations to improve their service to the public at a lower cost over the long term.
The press release adds
In an ongoing effort to help the nation’s courts weather the current economic storm and prepare for an uncertain financial future, NCSC either has worked with or is currently working with 10 states to reengineer their court systems, and the experiences of seven of those states — Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont — are outlined in Future Trends 2010. Additional articles explore areas examined during the court reengineering process, including court culture, specialty courts, e-filing, and social-networking tools.
Openings: Two Reference Librarians, Moritz Law Library, OSU
The Moritz Law Library at The Ohio State University is currently seeking two reference librarians to join an active and innovative library team. 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. The position description is below.
To apply for the position, please go to http://www.jobs.osu.edu/ to View OSU Job Opportunities and then Search Job Postings (if searching by University Title, choose Law Librarian; if searching by Working Title, choose Reference Librarian). The application deadline is Aug. 15, 2010.
An important note for those applicants still pursuing an MLS degree: the OSU application system will respond with a message that the minimum qualifications are not met. Please disregard this message. We encourage applications from individuals currently pursing their MLS degree and, despite the message, will still see and consider those applications.
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, and teaching in the first year legal research and writing program, teaching advanced legal research courses, and lecturing on legal research to classes within the Moritz College of Law and throughout the university.
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 committees. 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.
In-depth knowledge of legal sources and legal research in electronic and print formats. Strong customer service orientation. Excellent oral and written communications skills. Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
Preferred: Experience working in an academic law library. Experience teaching at the college level or above, especially courses in legal research and related areas. Knowledge of sources and research in non-law disciplines.
July 27, 2010
It May Be Just One Letter But … When West Refuses to Correct Scopes v. Tennessee Because of “Cost,” I Think We Have a Problem
After reading LLB’s recent 1-800-FIX-THIS: Thorn v. Blanchard in Westlaw, Corrected Now?, Lawrence D. MacLachlan, Director of Research & Instructional Services, University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, emailed me because it reminded him of an error he discovered in a West reporter.
Many years ago I was preparing a bibliography of the Scopes v. Tennessee Creationism/“Monkey Trial” for Prof. Doug Linder’s Famous Trials website
Reading the opinion at 289 SW 363, in the concurring opinion at 368 is the following statement:
“…the story taught in the Bible as interpreted by those liberalists who hold to the instantaneous creation view.”
It didn’t make sense to label the instantaneous creation view as “liberalists” so I went to 154 Tenn. 105 and the exact same passage at 124 is “…the story taught in the Bible as interpreted by those literalists who hold to the instantaneous creation view.”
The difference between liberalists and literalists and the juxtaposition of the letter “b” for “t” makes it diametrically opposite in meaning based on one letter in one of the most famous court cases in American history. I thought that was sort of significant.
So….I called our friends in Minnesota and a very exasperated rep asked me if I had any idea how many copies of that volume of SW was “out there” and what it would cost to recall them all or send an errata to fix just one letter.
Now, I agree, replacing bound volumes of SW is expensive but refusing to make a correction by shipping an errata page, something that is pretty damn cheap, is simply ridiculous. Cost should never trump accuracy. Remember we’re talking about the written opinion for Scopes, 1 Smith (TN) 105, 154 Tenn. 105, 289 S.W. 363 (1927). The official reporter got it right. (Image right, click to enlarge). Imagine if it had been a West off-print.
MacLachlan informed West of the error in 1997. So I got a little curious to see how the text of the concurring opinion appeared in Westlaw. Yup, still wrong. Download Scopes from Westlaw Lexis version? Yup, correct. Download Scopes from Lexis
So here’s the moral of the story. When one of our very expensive legal search vendors ignores submitted and verifiable corrections, they are simply not doing their job of providing reliable resources. There is no doubt in my mind that West strives for accuracy, particular for current primary resources, but regardless of date, when a correction needs to be made the cost associated with that correction is nominal compared to the injury to the vendor’s reputation as a legal publisher by refusing to make it. Ah well, maybe when TR Legal's profit margin is 23% instead of 32% the Company will pay a little more attention to details.
The above-referenced LLB post cites to UCLA law prof Eugene Volokh's experience with trying to submit a correction to West. See his original blog post. He has since published a follow-up post, Westlaw Makes Clear That Its Policy Is to Correct Transcription Errors, Even for Old Cases, that quotes the following message from David Spencer, Vice President, Legal Editorial Operations, Thomson Reuters, Legal in response to his initial post:
Thank you for bringing the error in the Thorn decision to our attention. While West processes are designed to ensure the accuracy of opinions in its collections, Thorn reminds me that there is no substitute for an extra set of eyes (or many extra sets of eyes, as provided by your readers), in reviewing legal documents. We appreciate that you, and your readers, provided input: whenever a researcher calls an issue to our attention, we look to the source data. For older materials (and for new materials that have been modified), this can be problematic as there may be discrepancies in source data. This is particularly true with respect to older text published in variant reporters.
Once a cover page from the print reporter was submitted, the courtline issue for the 1809 Thorn decision should have been reviewed and the decision promptly corrected by West. It has now been modified on Westlaw. Again, thank you for bringing this to our attention....
West continues to strive for 100% accuracy (every year our editors work with the courts to make more than 100,000 corrections to cases), so I take it personally when an error slips through. We truly appreciate that legal professionals care enough to bring these things to our attention.
Perhaps Volokh feels assured that West is dedicated to ensuring the accuracy of the opinions it publishes – don’t know, didn’t ask him, think he is smart enough to know better – but at least one comment to his follow-up post hits the nail on the head:
So, Westlaw’s policy is to correct old cases when they are called out on it by prominent legal bloggers, but not when they think the person notifying them of the mistake is of little significance.
I don’t intend to be mean, but their response provides no explanation as to why they initially refused to fix the error and little reason to think that they’ve implemented any policies to ensure that this won’t happen again.
We law librarians have heard too many of these self-serving policy statements expressed publicly by the folks from the land of 10,000 invoices to take any of them seriously. Why? Because what’s missing from Spencer’s final paragraph is the following commitment to quality:
To expedite user-submitted corrections, we have established a routing system that directs them to our editorial staff. Just send us an email at ... with the information we would need to investigate and make the correction and we will reply back once the matter has been resolved.
MacLachlan submitted his correction 13 years ago. In this Shed West Era, many institutional buyers have tossed SW print volumes into the recycle bin – perhaps, errata page be damn -- but it is even less expensive than publishing an errata page to make the correction to the Westlaw version of the Scopes v. Tennessee text. Might be time to do so…
It's About the Text. OK, I left my undergrad studies in 1974 four credit hours short of a double major in Theology to go along with a major in Philosophy but I still remember enough to know that from the perspective of biblical hermeneutics a literalist interpretation of Scripture is substantially different from a liberalist interpretation. Remember, in the context of biblical exegesis, hermeneutics considers what language says, supposes, doesn't say, and implies. The process consists of several steps for best attaining the Scriptural author's intended meaning(s) starting with an accurate text. If primary legal sources are the law of the land, then in the context of legal hermeneutics, TR Legal better make damn sure it gets the text right.
There is nothing wrong with admitting that mistakes are made in the production process but there is one helluva lot wrong with not correcting them because of "cost." If illustrations like the one publicized by Gene Volokh and this one do not help build a case for LAW.GOV, I don’t know what will. We have absolutely no idea how many submitted corrections are ignored; we have no concrete evidence that after upload, any auditing of databases for comprehensiveness and accuracy is performed at all, let alone routinely. In a civil society governed by the rule of law, the legal text is the basis for interpretation; let's not leave it to the private sector. [JH]
The MBE Musical Mash-up
Tags applied to the YouTube video, "A, B, C, throw some D's vs. 99 Problems [oh crap I forgot] One - The Mind of the Multistate (MBE)," below, include multiple choice, law school, stressed, stress, study guide, practice test, study break, and procrastination. Hat tip to ATL's Kashmir Hill. [JH]
Faculty Services Reference Librarian, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School
Faculty Services Reference Librarian
Lillian Goldman Law Library
CTRank: Librarian I-III
Schedule: Full-time (37.5 hours); Standard Work Week (M-F, 8:30-5:00)
Position Description: The Faculty Services Reference Librarian at the Lillian Goldman Law Library is responsible for significant research, reference, and instructional tasks in a dynamic and challenging environment, as well as overseeing a busy document retrieval and delivery service for a demanding faculty. The Law Library serves the faculty and students of a research-oriented law school with a strong tradition of interdisciplinary scholarship, as well as other researchers from larger scholarly and legal communities. Reporting to the Head of Instructional Services, this position is designed to introduce an ambitious, career-motivated librarian into the work environment of a highly-regarded academic law library.
Supervises the Library’s busy and demanding faculty research support services so that all requests are resolved in a timely manner. Manages faculty services workflow to ensure that material is retrieved and delivered. Completes substantial research assignments received via the faculty services process and delegates research assignments to subject experts or liaison librarians based on professional judgment. Responds to other research problems that arise. Supervises one clerical employee, as well as student workers. Helps members of the Law School community to collect, organize, preserve, and retrieve legal information, including staffing the reference desk, providing electronic reference service, and providing and other forms of research assistance to users of the Law Library as needed. Assists members of the Law School community in developing legal research strategies. Serves as a liaison to members of the faculty and other Law School constituencies.
Teaches with other professional librarians in the legal research instructional program, including teaching basic legal research in the first-year introductory program, in basic and advanced legal research classes, and in topical legal research seminars. Creates and selects the content for research web pages and guides, and prepares bibliographies, library exhibits, and other current awareness services. Responsible for content development of the Library's web site with other professionals; collection development responsibilities include print, electronic, and Internet resources. Expected to maintain a current awareness of legal research issues. Participates in library planning committees and task forces and engages in campus, regional, and national professional organizations and collaborative activities. Expected to be professionally active and represents the Library and the University in the academic, scholarly, and professional community. Participates in other endeavors to further the research mission of the Law School. May be required to participate with disaster recovery efforts.
Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program for library and information science required; J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school or significant experience working in academic law library preferred; however professional level experience in a law library may substitute for the J.D. Library training and experience should demonstrate an emphasis on public services work. Candidates with more substantial experience are welcome. The successful candidate will be hired at a salary and level commensurate with their experience. Appointment to the rank of Librarian II requires a minimum of two years of professional experience and demonstrated professional accomplishments appropriate to the rank. Appointment to the Librarian III rank requires at least five years of professional experience and demonstrated professional accomplishments appropriate to the rank.
Knowledge of current information technologies and publishing formats, database and Internet searching proficiencies, and a mastery of basic legal research sources and techniques, using both print and digital resources. Ability to function in a collegial, teamwork-oriented environment which emphasizes customer service and delivery of exemplary library reference and research services. Self-motivated, superior attention to detail and organizational skills, superior communication and interpersonal skills, a strong public services orientation, and an ability to work with varied user groups. Ability to use, and provide instruction in, computer applications for legal research, including Lexis, Westlaw, and the World Wide Web, and to maintain an awareness of current trends in legal research and legal education.
Salary and Benefits
We invite you to discover the excitement, diversity, rewards and excellence of a career at Yale University. One of the country's great workplaces, Yale University offers exciting opportunities for meaningful accomplishment and true growth. Our benefits package is among the best anywhere, with a wide variety of insurance choices, liberal paid time off, fantastic family and educational benefits, a variety of retirement benefits, extensive recreational facilities, and much more.
Applications consisting of a cover letter, resume, and the names of three professional references should be sent by creating an account and applying online at www.yale.edu/jobs for immediate consideration - the STARS req ID for this position is 10449BR. Please be sure to reference #10449BR in your cover letter.
Background Check Requirements: All external candidates for employment will be subject to pre-employment screening for this position, which may include motor vehicle and credit checks based on the position description and job requirements. All offers are contingent on successful completion of a background check. Please visit www.yale.edu/hronline/careers/screening/faqs.html for additional information on the background check requirements and process.
Review of applications will begin immediately and posting will close on Monday, August 9.
Yale University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Yale values diversity in its faculty, staff, and students and strongly encourages applications from women and members of underrepresented minority groups.
July 26, 2010
Librarian of Congress Issues DRM Exemptions Under the DMCA
The Librarian of Congress has announced exemptions to the prohibition on circumvention of DRM. The DMCA gives the Librarian the power to conduct a review every three years and grant these exemptions. This year's group has a few surprises in them.
The first exemption grants faculty at colleges and universities the ability to break legally acquired DVDs:
to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:
(i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
(iii) Noncommercial videos.
Wow. The Teach Act granted that power to film school faculty, but this seems to go to general higher education. There had always been a fair use argument for doing so, though the film industry being what it is denied it. The MPAA recommendation was always to tape the film from television and use that version instead. This was not always a satisfacory solution as who knows when something needed is on a convenient broadcast schedule. I wonder if this strengthens the notion of fair use for this kind of use of this material?
The second exemption legalizes jailbreaking of the iPhone and all smart phones for that matter. In other words, people can break the phone to run their own applications as long as everything was legally acquired. Steve Jobs need not approve, or even like what people do with their phones. I mention the iPhone because Apple argued against the exemption, according to this story in Ars Technica. But as the Register of Copyrights noted, though Apple may be preserving their application ecosystem, doing so has nothing to do with copyright. That's not to say that Apple can't control its systems with firmware upgrades, etc. Code that gets around this won't violate the DMCA or give Apple (and others) and legal grounds to sue.
The other major exemption allows users to break eBook DRM for the purpose of having a machine to read audio. Amazon had turned off this feature in the Kindle to placate publishers who believed the feature would cannibalize sales of audio books. It's hard to imagine someone would actually want to listen to the equivalent of Steven Hawking reading War and Peace aloud at length. However, even if Amazon doesn't feel the need to reactivate the feature, enterprising individuals can do it on their own. The exemption limits the activity to those situations where audio books or other alternatives are not available. So the publishers get their due except when they have nothing to offer.
Another exemption allows breaking of databases that use dongles if the dongle can't be replaced or repaired through commercial means.
Happy 20th Birthday ADAThe Americans With Disabilities Act was signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. The ADA National Network, funded through five-year DBTAC grants from U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, provides information, guidance and training on the Act, tailored to meet the needs of business, government and individuals at local, regional and national levels. Check out what's available from the Network. [MG & JH]
Hey - You - Get Off of My Cloud
Sorry, I couldn't resist the headline. But if you need to get someone off your cloud, the latest edition of Educause Quarterly will be very helpful when you discuss it with your vendor, managing partner, CIO, dean, etc...
Libraries have varying involvement with cloud computing. Some Library Directors oversee IT for their schools or firms and, I imagine, must meet with other IT folks on IT matters. For those who don't, well, if you haven't already, you will probably be putting your catalog in the cloud in the near future. Even if you don't, it is good to understand Cloud Computing so you can keep an eye on the IT department!What is so great about Volume 33, No. 2 of EQ?
Specifically, I want to highlight the article by Thomas J. Trappler titled "If It's in the Cloud, Get It on Paper: Cloud Computing Contract Issues." Trapper sharpened his teeth on cloud computing services at UCLA. Early on, he briefly goes over the needed negotion skills for securing cloud services. These, by the way, are similar to negotiating deals with publishing vendors. He also identifies the three variations of could computing:
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
- Platform as a service (Paas)
He then escorts you through the important elements of each, offers up a glossary in context, and then brings attention to elements of a cloud computing contract that can cause complications. Examples of contract clauses are provided on the EDUCAUSE wiki.
For the more geeky readers, you might be interested in the article by Roslyn Metz titled Cloud Computing Explained. In the article, Metz reviews five characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models for the cloud as defined by industry standards. She does this using examples and screen captures to accompany her text (think, WOW, wouldn't that be a great way to write a text book?). For example, one characteristic described is On Demand Self-Service. In this example, Metz shows us how she used the cloud based service Heroku to deploy a blogging application using Ruby on Rails, Ruby Gems, and Git. I didn't know what all those things were, but it was cool to watch and I learned important things about cloud computing and some open source tools.
Honestly, I have not gotten through half of the Review yet, and I already feel so much more prepared to negotiate my first cloud contract this month then I ever thought possible.
Cloud computing is for libraries. You should know about it. This review was written to help IT directors but don't let it stop there. These articles are well-written, easy to understand, have plenty of references to learn more, and also have visual aids. More resources are noted on Joe's June 24, 2010 post: In the Cloud by 2020. No excuse. Go learn. (VS)
LLB Poll: Tell Us Your Opinion on AALL Special Interest Section (SIS) Fees
I stated my opinion on what should be done with SIS Fees. Some have suggested it would make a good topic for an LLB poll about the procedure for increasing SIS fees and who should get the SIS fees. So here it is. Thanks in advance for participating. Caren Biberman