January 22, 2011
20 Things I Learned About Browsers & the Web
January 21, 2011
Ohio Supreme Court Says Too Much Debt Is a Character and Fitness Issue
Did you hear the one about the Ohio Supreme Court denying a law graduate's bar application because he didn't have a plan to pay back his school debt, some $170,000? That amount included $20,000 of undergraduate cash and $16,500 in unsecured credit card charges. The debts of the student, Hassan Jonathan Griffin, called into question the character and fitness portion of the bar application.
The Ohio Supreme Court opinion concerning his application notes he has contemplated bankruptcy which would have affected the credit card debt but not the student loans. The Court states that Griffin is in default on his obligations. What gets me is this statements from the opinion:
We accept the board’s findings of fact and conclude that the applicant has neglected his personal financial obligations by electing to maintain his part-time employment with the Public Defender’s Office in the hope that it will lead to a full-time position upon passage of the bar exam, rather than seeking full-time employment, which he acknowledges would give him a better opportunity to pay his obligations and possibly qualify him for an additional deferment of his student-loan obligation.
I can understand making sure applicants are responsible about financial obligations. There is no doubt that Griffin's debt load is large. Then again, it's possible that other students will carry large debt loads and just scrape by. Griffin's approach to finding a job is consistent with a lot of internships and other techniques students use to ingratiate themselves with prospective employers. It seems the court is saying to Griffin that he owes too much to try a public service career. At least yet. He will be allowed to apply for the next bar if he shows progress on his debt. Would he do any better with a $50,000 contract job reviewing documents? What kind of career is that going to lead him to? Memo to law grads, make sure you're job prospects match your debt load or you might not be allowed in the club. Here's a trick question: how many lawyers were kicked out of the bar because they defaulted on a loan or declared bankruptcy? ABC News has more coverage. [MG]
New Court Opinions Search Options for Google SLOJ
Hat tip to WisBlawg for calling attention to enhanced filtering for searching court opinions using Google SLOJ. Using the advance search option, you can now limit your search to specific courts and jurisdications and combinations of them. [JH]
Friday Fun: My Blackberry Is Frozen and I've Got a Problem with My Apple
One for tech support staff across this great land of ours. [JH}
An Analysis of Laughter's Function in Supreme Court Oral Arguments
NPR recently featured an interview with litigation consultant Ryan Malphurs at Which Supreme Court Justice Cracks The Most Jokes? The answer to the question is Justice Scalia. The interview covers some of Malphur's findings in “People Did Sometimes Stick Things in my Underwear” The Function of Laughter at the U.S. Supreme Court, 10 Communication Law Review 48 (2010). Malphur's article focuses upon the effect of laughter, not the role of humor, during Supreme Court arguments. From the article:
Most readers would agree that generally the impact of humor is laughter, but I focus upon the impact of the resulting laughter upon the communication environment of oral arguments. So for these reasons, this study emphasizes the role of laughter rather than humor. The delineation between humor and laughter is important in the analysis of laughter’s function during Supreme Court oral arguments, not only to prevent interpretive challenges, but also because, historically, studies of laughter have fallen under the larger canopy of humor theory and readers should not confuse a study on laughter with a study of humor.
Only 28 pages long, Malphur's article might make a interesting Friday afternoon read. [JH]
Solicition for Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition Submissions
AALL's Legal History and Rare Books Section (LH&RB), in cooperation with Cengage Learning, announces the third annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honor of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School. Professor Cohen was a leading scholar in the fields of legal research, rare books, and historical bibliography.
The purpose of the competition is to encourage scholarship in the areas of legal history, rare law books, and legal archives, and to acquaint students with the American Association of Law Libraries and law librarianship.
Eligibility. Students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programs in library science, law, history, or related fields are eligible to enter the competition. Both full- and part-time students are eligible. Membership in AALL is not required.
Requirements. Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., March 15, 2011. The winner will be announced by April 15.
Awards. The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses associated with attendance at the AALL Annual Meeting. The runner-up will have the opportunity to publish the second-place essay in LH&RB’s online scholarly journal Unbound: An Annual Review of Legal History and Rare Books.
Please direct questions to Robert Mead at libram(at)nmcourts.gov or Sarah Yates at yates0069at)tc.umn.edu
Editor's Note: See also LLB's Passing of a Giant: Morris L. Cohen, 1927-2010. [JH}
Opening: Digital Collections Librarian, Univ. of Virginia Law Library
The University of Virginia Law Library invites applications for a newly created Digital Collections Librarian. The librarian will manage all aspects of digital content and delivery, supervise graduate students in their production of e-text, evaluate new technologies related to digital content and represent the law library in the development of the University repository. There will be opportunity to work with colleagues on technical aspects of research projects.
Job requirements include: commitment to scholarly research support; MLS or advanced degree in relevant disciplinary field; demonstrated experience in managing digital collection projects; understanding of metadata standards, including EAD, MODS, METS, XML/XSL; knowledge of web development; strong technical skills, including familiarity with PHP, MySQL, Unix. Academic/research background preferred.
Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Apply on-line at http://jobs.virginia.edu (Posting Number 0606957). Include a cover letter, a resume, and the names of three references.
Application deadline: April 15, 2011
The University of Virginia is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer strongly committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The University actively encourages applications and nominations from members of underrepresented groups.
January 20, 2011
Reminder: AALL/LexisNexis 2011 Call for Papers is Underway
Have you been thinking of writing an article of interest to law librarians? Need a push to get started? Well, here it is. The AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers Committee is soliciting articles in three categories:
- Open Division: for active and retired AALL members and law librarians with five or more years of professional experience;
- New Members Division: for recent graduates and AALL members who have become law librarians since July 1, 2006.
- Student Division: Participants in this division need not be members of AALL. To be eligible in this category, you must have been enrolled in law school, or in a library school, information management, or an equivalent program, either in the Fall 2010 or Spring 2011 semester.
The winner in each division receives $750 generously donated by LexisNexis plus the opportunity to present the winning paper at a program during the AALL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia! Winning papers are also considered for publication in Law Library Journal.
Application form and details, including a list of past winners, can be found at the Call for Papers website
Selected winning papers from earlier competitions can also be found at http://works.bepress.com/aallcallforpapers. This list can give you an idea of the range of topics that law librarians have chosen.
Deadline for Submissions:
- Articles in the Open and New Members Division must be submitted by March 1, 2011.
- Articles in the Student Division must be submitted by April 15, 2011.
If you have any questions, please contact a member of the AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers Committee:
Chair, David Hollander, dholland(at)princeton.edu
Vice-Chair, Jennifer Lentz, lentz(at)law.ucla.edu
Connie Lenz, lenzx009(at)umn.edu
Mark Podvia, mwp3(at)psu.edu
AALL's Director of Government Relations, Mary Alice Baish, Appointed Assistant Public Printer, Superintendent of Documents, GPO
From today's GPO press release:
Public Printer Bill Boarman has named Mary Alice Baish Assistant Public Printer, Superintendent of Documents, for the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). This position is the agency's lead in guaranteeing permanent public access to Government information published by the three branches of the Federal Government. Baish will oversee GPO's Library Services & Content Management unit, Publication & Information Sales unit and the management of GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys www.fdsys.gov), which is a one-stop site to authentic, published Government information. In her role, Baish will work with more than 1,200 Federal depository libraries nationwide, through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), to ensure Government information is available in all forms to the public.
"Mary Alice has been a strong advocate for GPO and the library community throughout her entire career, which makes her a natural choice to assume this important position for the agency," said Public Printer Bill Boarman. "Her vision and experience with open Government initiatives will be an asset to the FDLP and GPO's effort through FDsys in making Federal Government information open and transparent for the American people."
Throughout Baish's career, she has worked with all sectors of the library community, testifying before Congressional committees on behalf of GPO, and has been a leading voice in developing electronic systems to disseminate Government information. Prior to her appointment at GPO, she previously served as the Director of Government Relations for the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), a nonprofit educational organization that serves the information needs of the legal community. Baish has worked closely with Congressional committees, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Federal agencies and the Administration in developing policies and legislation that promote the needs of libraries, the legal community and the American public. She is among the founding members of OpenTheGovernment.org (OTG.org), an organization created to promote democracy and end Government secrecy. She has worked with OTG.org, the White House and Office of Management and Budget in implementing President Obama's Open Government Directive and with auditing agency Open Government Plans. She has written and spoken extensively about e-government information policy and is a past member of the Depository Library Council to the Public Printer.
Congratulations and good luck. [JH]
An OpenCongress Version for State Legislatures: OpenGovernment Launched
"OpenGovernment.org is a joint project of the Participatory Politics Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation. The beta version has launched with information for legislatures in California, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas, and Wisconsin. The nonprofit is actively seeking funding to expand to all 50 U.S. states and major cities" writes Alex Howard on O'Reilly Radar. See OpenGovernment.org connects state government to citizens: A new site collects government data and news in a lightweight interface. OpenGovernment.org was launched on Jan. 18, 2011.
Hat tip to ResourceShelf. [JH]
The State of Open Data in Europe
CSC's Unchartered Waters—The State of Open Data in Europe (2011) presents an analysis of the current state of the open data policy ecosystem and open government data offerings in nine European Member States (Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Italy and Spain). Besides the policy level, the study assesses existing data portals from an end-user perspective and checks their compliance with a selection of open data principles.
Hat tip to DigitalKoans. [JH]
Law Librarian Leaders Who Set an Example: Bill Murphy
In another stimulating 3 Geeks Elephant Post, Who Is Your Professional Hero? Tell Us Why, the question asked and answered by contributors was
Who are the heroes in your profession that have changed how you look at your profession? Perhaps it isn't even a person, but maybe some event or act from a group of people that makes you proud to call your self a professional.
Ah, sorry Greg. While several said "you," you may know who mine is. In the context of why it is damn important to find a way to re-engage and re-energize private sector law librarian involvement in official AALL business because many have just given up on AALL, I mentioned someone you are too young to know but who set an example for this newbie BigLaw firm librarian some 30 years ago. That would be Bill Murphy, director of the law library at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago. Who?
Back in the dark ages of circa-1980 in the Chicago law firm library community, K&E's library set the standard, the example, by what other BigLaw firm libraries and the services provided therein used as a measure. Sure there were other firms in other cities, most notably in NYC and DC that were also doing what K&E did, so this is a geographic-specific reference point. That being said, K&E was an law library environment and law firm culture that perceived the value of professional law librarianship as one beyond making sure books were shelved properly. Here was a firm that expected excellence regardless of the time and $$ it took. Here was a firm that provided print and online resources and use of outside information brokers to do the assignment at hand. As a long-serving law firm director Murphy did not ignore the transformation that was taking place and the response needed. He had taken care of all the internal wrangling to create an institutional expectation that the law library and its staff would be on top of its game.
I think it is fair to say the Chicago law firm librarian community looked up to Bill as our example, particularly we newbie professional law librarians, with respect to what was the then "new normal" for practicing our profession in BigLaw. By the time I entered the practice of BigLaw librarianship right out of library school in 1980, it had been some 13 years since Bill's leadership had been recognized by being elected president of AALL.
Bill is no longer on the scene but his contributions ought not be forgotten. In fact, it is long past due to remember them. There's no official AALL award given in his honor and most law firm librarians don't even know who the hell he is. No matter. I doubt Bill would care if an AALL award was named in his honor. Law firm librarians tend to focus on the proposition that what matters is "results." excellence produced in a timely matter, not officially sanctioned AALL pats on the back.
Bill was only the second law firm librarian elected to the office of AALL President for the 1967-1968 term, preceded by Elizabeth Finley, Covington and Burling, Washington, D.C., (1961-1962). Part of that is certainly because he stood on the soulders of others who led to the professionalization of law librarianship generally. But over the last 50 years, meaning since the professionalization of law librarianship in Big Law was well established, Bill is only one of six law firm librarians to serve as AALL president.
I bring this up because the driving forces in play in the provision of legal information commercially and in-house developments and innovations at least as long as I have been a professional law librarian, are and continue to be private sector law libraries. This has not been represented by the metric of AALL past presidents as long as I have been practicing this profession. It is not that I have an institutional bias to other sectors of our professional community -- hell my so-call career extended to all major sectors. Cetainly many non-private sector law librarians deserve this recognition, too.
As the below institutional demographics show (dates indicate start of term; in days long past, AALL served two-year terms, perhaps not a bad idea to reconsider), the trend is to recogniize by way of election to the post of AALL president past members who have had the time to commit to AALL activities regardless if this serves the entire membership well. That tends to be members of the academic library community despite the fact that their number based on membership in special interest sections is about the same as private law librarians. During the past 50 years, 64% of AALL presidents were academic law librarians while only 12% were from the private sector. Do note, the last firm librarian to serve as an AALL president ended her term of office in 1994. (Kay M. Todd, Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walter) I think it is a time to change this.
I also know that law firm librarians do not have the time to commit to moving up the food chain of AALL's officialdom by years and years of association contributions at the national level but that does not mean they do not make professional contributions. We expect valuable contribution from the academic community. Being elected AALL president is not a reward for such involvement; professional service is part of their job description! It is not, however, an essential requirement to lead AALL. I do not minimize the contributions made by academic law librarians over the long-term but their institutional experience is not as relevant as it was decades past. The era of the academic law librarian-scholar-bibliographer is over. Once cutting edge, the bleeding edge for contemporary developments that will spill over into the academic and public sectors is the private sector. This is the base from which our profession's leadership should come from in increasing numbers. We need more leaders like Bill Murphy. I believe they are "out there." I just hope they are not too discouraged by the dynamics of AALL politics to think they would be wasting their time.
BTW, would someone remind someone in AALL to update the list of AALL Past Presidents. It's only been six months. Time for another Boomer-gen reference point, Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall. [JH]
Opening: Head of Reference and Teaching Department, Univ. of Iowa Law Library
Employer Information: The University of Iowa Law Library is part of the University of Iowa Law School. The University of Iowa Law School, founded in 1865, is the oldest law school west of the Mississippi River. It is located in Iowa City, Iowa, and is one of eleven colleges of The University of Iowa. The Law School has a student population of about 600 students in its JD program and about 15 in its LLM program, and has a faculty of about 45. According to the most recent ABA figures, the Law Library collection of information resources contains the second largest number of separately cataloged on-site accessible different titles in all formats, and the second largest collection of volumes/volume equivalents, among all academic law libraries. The collection is very strong both in American Law and Foreign, Comparative, and International Law. The Law Library has a staff of 32 FTE, including 8 librarians with both library and law degrees. For more information about the law library visit the website. See also information about the University of Iowa.
Responsibilities: The Head of the Reference and Teaching Department will work collaboratively with eight other law and library trained reference librarians and will lead, coordinate, supervise, and participate in all of the work of the Department. The Head will ascertain and seek to support faculty and student research, support the teaching and effective use of electronic and hard copy information resources, and supervise the training of student research assistants. This position will schedule the reference desk; plan, implement, evaluate, and supervise programs to increase and improve all kinds of reference, legal research, and teaching services; and supervise the development, creation, and maintenance of web-based instructional materials. The successful candidate will meet regularly with all persons supervised by the Head of Reference and Teaching; conduct annual performance reviews of the time of all personnel assigned to the Reference and Teaching Department; compile monthly and annual statistical reports of activities in the Department; personally perform reference, teaching, and some training functions, as well as some of the other services rendered by the Department; and perform other duties as assigned. The Reference and Teaching Department is part of the Public Services Division, and its Head will meet regularly with both the Head of Public Services and the Executive Law Librarian.
Qualifications and Experience: Candidates should have substantial reference experience in a comprehensive academic research law library, extensive knowledge of current information technologies and publishing formats, database and Internet searching proficiencies, and a mastery of legal research sources and techniques in all media. Successful experience in teaching legal research methods is necessary. Excellent communications and organizational skills, dedication to the timely accomplishment of Department objectives, a strong commitment to high quality service and innovation, proven ability to successfully manage a group of professionals, a proactive orientation, and a demonstrated capacity to contribute to and lead in a cooperative and collegial environment are essential. A masters degree in library science and a law degree from accredited institutions are required.
Salary: Salary dependant on qualifications and experience.
Applications: Please apply online via JOBS@UIOWA (http://jobs.uiow.eud/)/ One must register on the site before beginning the application process. Once registered, click on “Search for Jobs” and check the box next to “Librarians/Library Science” then “Enter.” This position is Requisition #58931.
The University of Iowa is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
January 19, 2011
California Court Says Company Emails Can Waive Attorney-Client Privilege
There is a case out of the California Appellate Court for the Third District (Sacramento) that held that and employee's communication with a lawyer would not be covered by attorney-client privilege if the communication were made on a company computer and email account. It doesn't help if the employee is suing the employer for multiple counts of discrimination and invasion of privacy. The case is Holmes v, Petrovich Development Company (C059133).
Gina Holmes became pregnant while working for Petrovich, considered a small business, and communicated by email with the owner of the company, Paul Petrovich, about her condition and how it would impact her ability to work. Their email exchanges were blunt, though Petrovich expressed a desire to work things out for maternity leave and other related circumstances. Petrovich forwarded some of the unedited emails to individuals within the company, such as those dealing with human resources issues, to move forward with that accommodation. These emails contained highly personal information disclosed by Holmes to Petrovich. Forwarding them on became part of the invasion of privacy claim.
The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant for some of the claims and the jury held for the defendant on others. Holmes did not prevail on any counts. One of her issues on appeal involved emails exchanged between her and her attorney. Some of the contents of these were used in deposition questions and at trial. Holmes objected as these should be covered by attorney-client privilege as defined by the California Evidence Code.
Both the trial and appellate court examined the circumstances of these communications and concluded that the company policy about work email essentially waived that privilege. Holmes was told that the email system would be monitored and that there was no privacy in the content. The court held on this basis and by the language of the Evidence Code that the confidential nature of the communication was effectively waived:
However, the e-mails sent via company computer under the circumstances of this case were akin to consulting her lawyer in her employer‟s conference room, in a loud voice, with the door open, so that any reasonable person would expect that their discussion of her complaints about her employer would be overheard by him. By using the company‟s computer to communicate with her lawyer, knowing the communications violated company computer policy and could be discovered by her employer due to company monitoring of e-mail usage, Holmes did not communicate “in confidence by means which, so far as the client is aware, discloses the information to no third persons other than those who are present to further the interest of the client in the consultation or those to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for the transmission of the information or the accomplishment of the purpose for which the lawyer is consulted.” (Evid. Code, § 952.) Consequently, the communications were not privileged.
Other significant cases this year that addressed similar issues are City of Ontario v. Quon (2010) ___ U.S. ___ [177 L.Ed.2d 216, 231] and Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc. (N.J. 2010) 990 A.2d 650, 659, 663-664. Quon involved a police officer who claimed he had a privacy right in personal messages sent on department issued pagers. The Supreme Court said no to that. The Holmes case distinguished Quon as inapplicable because it involved public sector employees and the Fourth Amendment. Stengart, though from New Jersey, might have supported Holmes' position. It too, was distinguished. Stengart involved email sent from company computers but using a private web-based email account. The New Jersey court held the company policy on computer use to be vague. The Stengart case suggested that a cleared policy might not breach the attorney-client privilege. No subsequent case in New Jersey has tested that suggestion.
The opinion is some 40 pages and worth reading. The Court paints Holmes as a litigant who's subjective view of the law and circumstances giving rise to her claims as subjective and unrealistic. I've had a few encounters at the reference desk in my day where I can describe individuals in similar terms. Might I suggest to anyone out there contemplating suit against an employer to not use company facilities or systems to further that suit. Then none of this would be an issue. [MG]
CJ Roberts Highlights Contributions of Senior Judges in 2010 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary
Calling attention to the persistent problem of judicial vacancies due in no small part to partisan politics in the Congress, the Chief Justice wrote:
There is no better example of [selfless commitment to public service] than the work of our retired senior judges. Although they are under no obligation to do so, many of them continue to carry substantial caseloads. They do this for no extra compensation. We would be in dire straits without their service, and the country as a whole owes them a special debt of gratitude.
From 10:30 AM to 10:44 AM on Jan. 12, 2011 CE from the law-lib list
Some time ago, I suggested that invoice-paying law librarians should continue their practice of posting to AALL lists issues and problems they are experiencing with vendors because it is the only timely way to inform members (and those vendors who by virtue of being members daily read our list messages) Later, I suggested that the AALL Executive Board should unleash CRIV to do the job the membership expects from CRIV without being censored by the the E-Club or mediated by a Board-appointed, compensated Vendor Liasion by publishing a blog. This to introduce transparency in and accountability for the vendor-AALL relationship in the open instead of behind the many and varied AALL walled gardens for the membership and also readily available to the consumer buying public since we also have a responsibility to them, too.
Well, until that happens (or until a stand-alone organization of institutional buyer representative comes into being), here's two examples why AALL officialdom flunks the vendor relations test. One involves private exchanges between law librarians, the other between law librarians and CRIV responses to them. Both by way of that walled garden known as law-lib.
How and when to cancel a single title. On Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 CE, a private sector law librarian posted on law-lib the following heads-up about American Bench at 10:30 AM:
Just wanted to give everybody the head’s up that if you are on standing order for [American Bench] you must cancel your subscription early in the year for the following edition if you no longer need. I was told by the owner that the order for the books goes in before the invoices are issued so by the time you receive the invoice it is already too late to cancel.
14 minutes later a law-lib reply-back from another law librarian appeared:
Thanks for the heads up. I've been trying to cancel this for two years!
Unfortunately, not all invoice-paying law librarians subscribe to law-lib but my hunch is they would take a CRIV-Unleashed blog's RSS feed if they perceived it as a timely and uncensored blog coming from CRIV.
Addressing issues involving a publisher that has migrated to being "digital first." Here's information provided on law-lib by CRIV chair, Rob Myers' Jan. 10, 2010 CE response to another law-lib message that damn well should be readily available for all, those beyond law-lib subscribers and including those who do not even belong to AALL to read by way of a CRIV-Unleashed blog post because individual consumers are also dealing with issues arising from "digital first" legal publishers as well as purchasing law eBooks from vendors generally.
A Note to Law Journal Press Subscribers Who Wish to Remain Print-only Subscribers
Please see the following notice from Larry Selby, Vice President of e-Products at ALM. I believe this goes a long way to help mitigate the roll-out of the print/online combination for those libraries who do not have the ability to handle online at this time.
I am also attaching the price list for LJP titles that are renewing during the period Nov. 2010 through Jan. 2011. Mr. Selby was very accommodating in supplying the price list. The purpose of providing this list is so that those who received incorrect invoices followed by corrected invoices can identify which is the correct invoice for submitting payment.
Over the next eight months all of Law Journal Press’ publications will be digitized and made available online. Law Journal Press is timing the launch of the online products to coincide with the release of the next updating release for each product. While Law Journal Press is encouraging the conversion to online, it certainly understands that libraries serve a variety of users and may not have the ability to handle online at this time.
Subscribers will be offered two options once a book is available online: (1) online-only format; and, (2) an online/print bundle priced slightly higher than the online-only option. Please note, however, that if subscribers are not in a position to handle online access in their facility at this time they should contact one of Law Journal Press’ Account Representatives (email@example.com, 877-807-8076) to discuss their needs. Law Journal Press is willing to work with all subscribers through this transition and can provide a discount on the annual renewal price to those subscribers requiring a print-only subscription.
AALL Committee on Relations with Information Vendors, Chair 2010-11
Associate Director for Collection Management, Acquisitions and Planning
The Judge Ben C. Green Law Library
Case School of Law
Case Western Reserve University
See also Beth Adelman's (Associate Director & Head of Collection Management, University at Buffalo Law Library and LLB contributing editor) rely-back to Rob's post and Rob's response to Beth in the law-lib archives.
Both matters are exactly the sort of exchanges that are CRIV-Unleashed blog worthy for all to read. Hell, I recently wrote about how I liked where LPR was heading in eBook distribution in principle. But in practice, our little county law library is not ready or willing to go this route for the few remaining LJP titles we have at this time. They would be "history" if our current choices were online-only or online-and-print. See also Rich Leiter's Jan. 14, 2010 post, Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop ("We're canceling all Law Journal Seminars Press titles.") Rob's law-lib post is helpful; I will be calling the phone number. But I wonder how many missed his law-lib message. Rich?
Rob's list message does illustrate the point that CRIV can respond quickly to issues as they arise. I wonder if Rob had to call someone in AALL officialdom before being permitted to send the message to the list. I wonder if the fact that the publisher was neither TR Legal nor Lexis came into play. Needless to say, I'm a bit worried that by republishing his list message, Rob might be banned from doing so again. On that score, four points:
- I did not upload for download purposes the provided price list.
- Life is too short to republish all the invoice-paying law librarian law-lib traffic about vendor issues taking place.
- I did not ask Rob's permission to republish his law-lib post.
- The purpose here is to illustrate that what goes on within the walled garden of AALL lists should be made more readily accessible to all consumers of legal publications by way of the blogging platform.
Another Example of What Could Have Been a CRIV-Unleashed Blog Post.
Heads-up on FOIA Requests for Lexis Agreements and Invoices from West
CRIV recently received reports that TR Legal has FOIA-ed public sector Lexis agreements and invoices in Michigan and Ohio. This is not the first time the Company has done this. TR Legal is well within its legal rights to make such open records requests in the public sector. However, to the best of the Committee's knowledge, Lexis has never requested public sector Westlaw agreements and invoices. We may be wrong about that, we may see Lexis engaging in this practice, and we do not know if other vendors have been doing this lately.
We do not know if the recent reports are isolated incidents or more widespread. If you have received federal FOIA or state open records requests from West, Lexis or any other legal publishing vendor in the last 12 months, please comment to this post or email the Committee at ... . Kindly let the Committee know if CRIV needs to submit an official request under applicable law for vendor federal or state FOIA requests you have received. If you start to receive such requests, please let CRIV know.
CRIV will provide an analysis of the scope of the requests (agreements, invoices, email correspondence, etc.) by vendor, the jurisdictions receiving them, and a time-line of this targeted solicitation of competitive information in a later blog post. We will do our best to keep this information updated by way of blog posts as new reports come to the Committee's attention
Frankly I do not know if CRIV is aware of these recent Michigan and Ohio incidents. But an FYI post alerting public sector buyers of legal resources and a not very time-consuming on-going study and monitoring like the one suggested above could be beneficial for all to read in the blogosphere because there is absolutely no reason to assume that vendor information in federal and state FOIA requests are just being solicited from public entities that employ law librarians. [JH]
Opening: Assistant/Associate Dean, Alyne Queener Massey Law Library, Vanderbilt Univ.
Description: The Vanderbilt Law School and the Vanderbilt University Libraries seek applications for the position of Assistant/Associate Dean for the Alyne Queener Massey Law Library. The Assistant/Associate Dean for the Alyne Queener Massey Law Library is responsible for the planning and overall administration of all operations, programs, and services of the law library, including long range planning, budget services, collection development, coordinating legal research instruction with the Director of Legal Research & Writing, teaching an advanced legal research course, external partnerships and collaboration, and library facilities maintenance. The Assistant/Associate Dean works in conjunction with the Faculty and Dean of the Law School and the Dean of Libraries and manages a staff of five professional law librarians and nine paraprofessional staff members. The Law Library has a budget of $2.6 million. The Assistant/Associate Dean is a full-time member of the law faculty and a Vanderbilt Libraries Dean’s Group member.
Qualifications: Applicants must hold both a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and an M.L.S. or equivalent degree from an ALA-accredited library or information science program and have substantial experience in academic law library administration. The successful candidate will demonstrate outstanding knowledge of research, teaching and educational needs of a diverse faculty and student body, possess a strong service orientation, excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, and a proven record of creative work and leadership.
Environment: For more information about Vanderbilt Law School vist the website. The Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University has a staff of over 200, an annual budget exceeding $23 million, over 3.4 million volumes, 3 million microforms, and 55,000 serials, of which some 47,000 are available electronically. The Heard Library includes nine libraries, the campus learning management system and Vanderbilt Television News Archives.
The Library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, and other organizations, as well. Vanderbilt University is ranked as one of the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News, with several programs and disciplines ranking in the top 10. For more, view the vitual tour.
Compensation: This position is an administrative appointment that is accompanied by a term faculty appointment, subject to law faculty approval. The salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. A comprehensive benefits package is provided, including tuition benefits and several retirement plan options, including TIAA/CREF.
Applications: Applications 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 new person has been selected. Vanderbilt is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Expressions of interest from members of underrepresented groups are encouraged.
Send a cover letter, vita, and list of references to:
Professor Mark Brandon
Search Committee Chair
Vanderbilt University Law School
131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
All materials and expressions of interest will be treated confidentially.
January 18, 2011
Pew Internet's Wikipedia Usage, Past and Present
The percentage of all American adults who use Wikipedia has increased from 25% in February 2007 to 42% in May 2010. This translates to 53% of adult internet users, up from 36% of internet users the first time Pew Internet surveyed Wikipedia usage in February 2007. Education level continues to be the strongest predictor of Wikipedia use. Wikipedia is most popular among internet users with at least a college degree, 69% of whom use the site.
Wikipedia is generally more popular among those with annual household incomes of at least $50,000, as well as with young adults: 62% of internet users under the age of 30 using the service, compared with only 33% of internet users age 65 and older. See Pew Internet's Wikipedia, past and present.
Hat tip to Resource Shelf. See also Trust but Verify and Do Not Cite: Wikipedia Turns 10 on January 15th. [JH]
Is California "Governor Moonbeam's" Budget Cut Proposals, Including the Substantial Elimination of Funding for Public Libraries, "Like for Real, Man"?
Chicago's legendary newspaper columnist Mike Royko gave Jerry Brown the nickname, "Governor Moonbeam" back in the 1979. It originated in Brown's rock 'n roll girlfriend at the time, Linda Ronstadt, who was quoted in a 1978 Rolling Stone magazine interview humorously calling Brown "Moonbeam." Let's just say Royko was not a fan of the 60s Generation, nor of all things "wacky" Californian. But this grind-out a column every damn day newspaper-"person" schooled in Chicago-style politics regretted publicizing the nickname soon thereafter and, in 1991, disavowed it stating Brown was just as serious as any other politician. Coming from Royko, that was a compliment with a dose of cyncism added for good measure.
I, for one, always liked the "Governor Moonbeam" nickname back then. One couldn't imagine it being applied to Brown's immediate predecessor as Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, and it did represent the yin and yang of California state politics. During his two terms as governor, 1975–1983, Brown demonstrated a strong interest environmental issues and gay and lesbian rights issues at the state level. For example, by the end of his second term he had appointed five openly gay and lesbian judges to the state bench. For readers too young to recall any of this, environmental issues and the appointment of openly gay and lesbians to public office was not the expedient thing to do in politics outside, even inside, of California at the time.
More Fiscal Conservative Than Reagan. During his term in office, Governor Moonbeam refused some perks that when with the job. He lived in a rented apartment instead of the then newly constructed governor's residence and drove to his "day job" in a Plymouth Satellite instead of being chauffeured in a state limousine. Some may view that as staged "man-of-the-people" stunts. However, the American Conservative later noted that Brown was "much more of a fiscal conservative than Governor Reagan." In fact, Brown's fiscal conservatism resulted in one of the largests budgets surpluses in California State history by the time he left office. Did I mention he was and is a member of the Democratic Party?
After losing much, if not all, national political capital and creditability by repeatedly seeking the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States in 1978, 1980 and 1992 with no chance of getting it. Brown sort of dropped off the national scene. But he worked his way back into California state politics, serving as Mayor of Oakland (1999–2007), Attorney General of the State of California (2007–2011) and being elected Governor of California, succeeding Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Upon his inauguration on January 3, 2011, Governor Moonbeam became the State's oldest serving governor at the age of 72. Being born in 1938, he is not a member of the Boomer generation, but many forget that no small number of Boomer-gen leaders were actually a decade or so older their base of support.
So here we have a senior citizen from days long past serving again elected as Governor of California. Someone who was never really a political outsider -- his father, Pat" Brown served as California Governor from 1959 to 1967 -- with a long track record that includes taking what were then percieved as risks on the national political stage while also be a fiscal conservative, one who even someone with a Midwestern sensibility that viewed both left and right coast political and social current affairs, namely Mike Royko, come around fairly quickly to recognizing from his Chicago-style political understanding as a serious politician to the extent that politicians should be taken seriously.
Thanks to Temple University's David Dillard collection of links covering Brown's budget cut-back proposals, we know that Brown is suggesting cutting $30.4 million from three of the California's most important public library programs. Is Brown serious? Is it political manoeuvring? Who knows. Brown has a track record of being a risk-taker, taking issues to the people. His established record of fiscal conservatism helped him get elected. There may be some legal hurdles ahead for his proposed budge. See the Christian Science Monitor's Will Gov. Jerry Brown's California budget run into legal roadblock?
Hopefully those in the California public library community will remind Jerry Brown what his father once told him:
My son asked me what I hoped to accomplish as Governor. I told him: essentially to make life more comfortable for people, as far as government can.
Public libraries are well within what state governments still can do. [JH]
Opening: Reference Librarian, Univ of South Carolina Law Library
The University of South Carolina's Coleman Karesh Law Library seeks a highly-motivated and service-oriented reference librarian to join the professional staff of an academic research library with the primary goal of supporting the work of the 45 faculty and over 700 students of the School of Law, but which also actively serves the University community, state government, the Bench and Bar, and citizens of South Carolina. The Law Library is independently administered with a collection of more than 500,000 volumes, ever-increasing technological sophistication, and a staff of 19.
This position provides reference service to the entire Law School community with particular emphasis on faculty support. Teaches the legal research component of an integrated legal research and writing course for first year law students, may teach Advanced Legal Research, and will conduct library orientation tours and bibliographic lectures. The incumbent prepares research guides and library-related displays, and shares duty on reference desk.
For complete information on duties and qualifications for this position, and to apply, go to the University website (Search for Requisition # 003162). Find out more about the law library and about Columbia, South Carolina.