Friday, April 1, 2011

Late-breaking news - severe budget woes hit U. Washington law library!

This just in:

In response to the state's unprecedentedly stark budget crisis, the law library is cancelling nearly all of its online subscriptions. Associate Dean Hazel Pennyton explains, "The materials available free on the Internet have grown so much that it really makes sense to prefer them to the ridiculously high-priced subscription databases. In any event, many of our students prefer Wikipedia to scholarly treatises and practice guides on LexisNexis and Westlaw, so we expect this change to make little difference in the quality of their research."

Here are some pointers for the transition.
  • For caselaw from U.S. states, formerly available on Westlaw and LexisNexis, visit each state court's website. You'll find that many of them have a few years of recent cases posted. In addition, Google Scholar gives you access to many states' cases.

  • For state statutes, visit the state legislatures' websites. If you miss the convenience of annotated state codes on LexisNexis and Westlaw, get over it.

  • Instead of the reliable reporting by experienced, specialized journalists found in BNA newsletters, we recommend you keep an eye on Colbert Nation.

  • For comprehensive coverage of the back runs of law reviews, formerly available in PDF from HeinOnline, we recommend our bound periodicals in the Compact Stacks on L2. If you need a PDF, a scanner is available in the Reference Area. Please be patient if the person ahead of you has a couple of hundred pages to scan.
Dean Pennyton remarked that the cancellation of the online subscriptions will bring other benefits. Training time will be greatly reduced. Printer jams in the dedicated Lexis and Westlaw printers will be a thing of the past. And students and faculty will no longer have to keep track of passwords.

The next phase of budget cuts will involve cancellations of most major print subscriptions. Says Dean Pennyton, "We have plenty of matched sets to serve as a backdrop for photographs, and the new cases and statutes will be somewhere on the Web, so we'll be able to save a bundle here."

April fools, everyone!

Hat tip to librarian extraordinaire, Rob Hudson.


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I got through almost one whole paragraph before realizing I was being punked.

Posted by: Anna Blaine | Apr 2, 2011 8:48:28 AM

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