Friday, 31 October 2014

Supreme Court more accessible (cont): Friday Fun

Serendipitously, a friend sent this YouTube video of the Supreme Court just after the previous post - speaking of how the Supreme Court has become more accessible to the average citizen - was written. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Supreme Court more accessible

The ABA Journal online has an interesting article about how the internet, social media and technology have made the Supreme Court more accessible because of blogs, websites, Twitter postings etc. People interested in the Supreme Court blog and tweet about cases and decisions; one lawyer writes haiku summarizing decisions; and a law professor even runs a fantasy Supreme Court league so participants can predict decisions. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Asimov on creativity

The MIT Technology Review has published an essay titled "On Creativity" that was written by famous scientist and author Isaac Asimov, who died in 1992.  The essay was written in 1959, when Asimov was considering joining an MIT project looking for the most creative approaches possible for a ballistic missile defense system. Asimov never joined the project, and the essay was unpublished until now; but  its contents are as broadly relevant today as when he wrote it. It describes not only the creative process and the nature of creative people but also the kind of environment that promotes creativity.
Asimov says  "It is only afterward that a new idea seems reasonable. To begin with, it usually seems unreasonable...Consequently, the person who is most likely to get new ideas is a person of good background in the field of interest and one who is unconventional in his habits. (To be a crackpot is not, however, enough in itself.)" He also suggests working in groups, "For best purposes, there should be a feeling of informality. Joviality, the use of first names, joking, relaxed kidding are, I think, of the essence—not in themselves, but because they encourage a willingness to be involved in the folly of creativeness. For this purpose I think a meeting in someone’s home or over a dinner table at some restaurant is perhaps more useful than one in a conference room." 

Homeland Security Digital Library on Pandemics

The Homeland Security Digital Library's fall 2014 newsletter provides timely information and links to documents about communicable diseases and pandemics. Potentially deadly communicable diseases require additional vigilance and knowledge not only on the part of our nation’s medical and public health community, but also on homeland security professionals working in border security, customs, immigration, and transportation security.  The links provided include

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Write like an academic

Suffering from writer's block?  The University of Chicago has a webpage called "the Virtual Academic: write your own academic sentence" that can get you started. They provide 4 different dropdown boxes with academic phrases that will string together to amaze your friends and colleagues; for example, "The epistemology of post-capitalist hegemony functions as the conceptual frame for the discourse of the nation-state."
Ta-Dah!

hat tip: Karen Shephard

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Some Federal Judges More Overburdened Than Others

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University has issued a report on the workload of federal judges in the United States. They have found that while the number of criminal and civil filings in federal district court has risen 28 percent in the last 20 years, the number of judgeships has grown by only 4 percent, so that the workload of all federal judges has increased. However, they also found that the increase in workloads and processing times is not evenly distributed, with some districts and judges shouldering significantly higher workloads than others. For example, judges in the Eastern District of Texas received an average of 1,510 weighted new filings each from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 -- almost four times the national average of 388 -- making it the busiest federal court in the nation.
In addition, TRAC has developed individual caseload measures for all active and senior district court judges -- nearly 1,000 judges in all, available in their Judge Information Center. These figures are based on court records and millions of case-by-case data files TRAC has received as a result of 20 years of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests as well as several lawsuits to force compliance with FOIA.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Westlaw webinars

Westlaw is offering the following free webinars during the month of October.  If you are wondering where all of your favorite features and tools on Westlaw Classic are located on WestlawNext? There are webinars that will help you transition from Westlaw Classic to WestlawNext, learn to effectively use the new Alert Center, and discover the uses of Practical Law.

There is also a webinar for anyone who is new to TWEN, the Westlaw course management system. 


Learning from Libraries

There's an interesting article today in the Chronicle of Higher Education called "A Good, Dumb Way to Learn from Libraries" that discusses how data gathered by libraries might be useful, if only we were able to use it (of course librarians know that library usage data is private, very private). The author says that " What (libraries) do know... reflects the behavior of a community of scholars, and it’s unpolluted by commercial imperatives."

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Help! I'm an Accidental Gov Docs Librarian webinars

"Help! I'm an Accidental Government Information Librarian" webinars are sponsored by the Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association.  The webinars are designed to help librarians do better reference work by increasing familiarity with government information resources and the strategies for navigating them.  Upcoming webinars include "The Bureau of Labor Statistics" on October 22 and "Data and Statistics for Researching Education" on December 3.  Their website has information on these upcoming webinars as well as links to webinar recordings of past webinars including "Regulate This! Federal Regulations",  "Geocoding for Beginners", "Historical Economic Data Sources", and "British and Commonwealth Legal Materials." 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

JSTOR launches daily magazine

JSTOR, the academic database used by scholars across the disciplines, has launched a new daily magazine called "JSTOR Daily: Where News Meets Its Scholarly Match" (still in beta). It already features over 100 blogposts and articles, including a post about Pitt's 2014 MacArthur fellow Terrance Hayes. The website says that "JSTOR Daily offers a fresh way for people to understand and contextualize their world. Our writers provide insight, commentary, and analysis of ideas, research, and current events, tapping into the rich scholarship on JSTOR, a digital library of more than 2,000 academic journals, dating back to the first volume ever published, along with thousands of monographs, and other material."  Catherine Halley, the magazine's editor, adds  "“Humankind’s best thinking is taking place at universities and scholars are helping develop this collective wisdom, and that’s what’s important about it.. Finding a way to take those thoughts and make them accessible to the public makes us all smarter.”
You can sign up to receive the email newsletter on the website.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Congress dot gov out of beta

The Library of Congress has announced that the Congress.gov website is officially out of beta. There are also several new features and improvements:
Congress.gov Resources A new resources section providing an A to Z list of hundreds of links related to Congress
An expanded list of "most viewed" bills each day, archived to July 20, 2014
House Committee Hearing Videos Live streams of House Committee hearings and meetings, and an accompanying archive to January, 2012
Advanced Search Support for 30 new fields, including nominations, Congressional Record and name of member

Friday, 26 September 2014

Bestlaw extension for Chrome browser

A new browser extension for the Chrome browser has been developed by a Berkeley law student. It's called Bestlaw and it "adds features to Westlaw Next to make legal research more efficient, cost-effective and enjoyable".  Once you install it on your Chrome browser, it adds an unobtrusive toolbar to your Westlaw Next.  Then when you pull up a case, it offers some features that are useful:
Copy a perfect Bluebook citation with one click
Clean, readable view
Automatically-generated table of contents
Quick link to jump to footnotes
One-click copying for citations, titles, and full text
Collapse and expand statutory sections
Find the document on free sources like CourtListener, Cornell LII, Casetext, and Google Scholar
Prevent getting automatically signed off
Share the document by email or on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
It's a neat little extension and the creator, Joe Mornin, says he is working on one for Lexis.

hat tip: Sallie Smith

Fastcase partners with Clio

Fastcase, the legal research database, has announced that it is partnering with Clio, the time tracking practice management software.  By integrating the two,  legal professionals can track time spent researching without focusing attention away from the task at hand. From inside Fastcase, you can now select from clients and matters in Clio, start a timer for your research session, and record the activity automatically in Clio. According to the announcement, "In addition to the smarter research already provided by Fastcase, this partnership means more billable time and less administrative time, more accurate invoices, and more time for you".

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Title 52 of the US Code

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel recently announced new Title 52 of the United States Code (U.S.C.),  Voting and Elections. According to the OLRC, provisions relating to voting and elections are being transferred from Titles 2 and 42 into the new Title 52. The transfers are necessary and desirable to create a well organized, coherent structure for this body of law and to improve the overall organization of the United States Code. No statutory text is altered. The provisions are merely being relocated from one place to another in the Code. The transfers in the online version of the US Code occurred on Sept. 1, 2014. For the printed version, the transfers will occur with supplement II of the 2012 edition of the US Code. Westlaw's US Code Annotated included the changes online on Sept. 3, and Lexis and Bloomberg Law online also have the new Title 52. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

More on laptops in the classroom

The Chronicle of Higher Education Conversation blog has an interesting post titled "Don't Ban Laptops in the Classroom."
The theme of the post is this:   "In the classroom as everywhere else, we must learn how to exercise control over our distraction impulse—not by some imposed rule, but by our own choice. Banning laptops—removing our choice to distract ourselves—is giving up on students, isn’t it?"

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

law student annual technology survey

Every year for the past 11 years Rich McCue at the University of Victoria (BC) law school conducts a survey of law students asking about their use of technology. Here are this fall's results:
• Smartphones: 100% of incoming law students surveyed own "Smartphones" that can browse the internet (up from 96% last year and 50% four years ago), with 56% of the total being iPhones, 30% Android and 0% Blackberry. New law students are primarily using their mobile devices for directions, email, and looking up schedules & contact information.
• Tablet & eBook ownership has doubled in the past two years with 59% of students owning tablet devices or ebook readers, up from 31% two years ago. iPads make up 53% of those tablets. 35% of tablet owners bring it to school every day. Faculties should endeavour to provide course pack and textbooks in eBook formats for students.
• Videoconferencing: 100% of students use Skype for real-time audio/video calls and collaboration. 48% use Apple Facetime and 17% use Google Hangouts.
• Email: 62% of students use Gmail as their primary email account, and 4% use UVic email. To check their @uvic.ca email, 56% forward their email to another service, and 28% use the UVic webmail interface. Over the past few years many students have complained at lack of storage space and antiquated @Uvic.ca email interface for students.
 • Document Sharing: 77% of students use Google Drive for collaborative document editing, and 62% use Dropbox, both up significantly from last year.
• Social Media: 92% of students use Facebook (down from 97% two years ago), 31% user Twitter, 19% LinkedIn, and 3% don’t use online social networks. In spite of some negative comments about social media, 79% of students used social media to connect with other students before the start of the school year.
• Laptops: 100% of students own laptops. 54% of laptops are Macs, up from 49% two years ago. 46% use Windows. 54% of students bring their laptops to school on a daily basis and 8% never bring them to school.
• Note Taking: 71% of students use laptops to take class notes, 92% use pen and paper, 8% use tablets and 8% use cell phones.
Consideration should be given to discussing the potential drawbacks associated with using laptops for transcription style class notes in a first year class, and faculty members should explore ways to creatively use personal technology to engage students more deeply during class time.
The full report is available online. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

First digital-only Federal Depository Library

The Government Printing Office and the Federal Depository Library Program recently welcomed the newest Federal depository library, Sitting Bull College, of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, serving the people of North and South Dakota. The library is the Federal Depository Library to opt for digital-only publications. Sitting Bull College is building a digital collection to meet their community's need for access to Federal information. Any selective depository now has this same option. GPO recognizes the number of libraries interested in hosting and providing access to digital content continues to increase as the information community moves toward more digital collections. Libraries that participate in the FDLP are required under law to provide free public access to and assistance in using depository resources.

PACER documents news

The Washington Post reports  that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has a plan to restore online access to the PACER documents that were removed. The AALL is following this closely and will be following up to clarify the Post's information, including whether or not the restoration will include entire case files or just the docket sheets. 

PA legislators pass UELMA

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved SB 601, a bill adopting the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA). The bill's purpose is:
"Amending Titles 44 (Law and Justice) and 45 (Legal Notices) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, modernizing publication of Commonwealth legal materials; providing for uniformity in electronic legal materials in the areas of designation, authentication, preservation and access; conferring powers and duties on various Commonwealth agencies; and, in publication and effectiveness of Commonwealth documents, further providing for definitions, for the Joint Committee on Documents, for general administration, for payment for documents, for distribution of publication expenses, for effect of future legislation, for publication of official codification, for deposit of  documents required, for processing of deposited documents, for preliminary publication in Pennsylvania Bulletin, for permanent supplements to Pennsylvania Code, for pricing and distribution of published documents, for automatic subscriptions, for required contractual arrangements, for official text of published documents, for effective date of documents and for presumptions created."
The bill is now on to Governor Corbett's desk, where hopefully it will be signed into law. Kudos to Patricia Fox, the Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association (WPLLA) and the Greater Philadelphia Law Library Association (GPLLA) for their successful advocacy.
 To keep up with the status of UELMA bills in the states,  see AALL's bill tracking chart.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

CALI Time Trial II

Did you enjoy playing with your CALI Time Trial cards last year? Or did you go directly to the fiendishly captivating online version, available on the CALI website?  Well there is an all new set of Time Trial cards - available for free at the Barco Law Library desk. And it's also available again online.  From the description:
Each card represents a significant case, amendment or Supreme Court Justice. From the clues on the card determine the year of the case or the year the Justice was first appointed. Put the cards into ascending date order from left to right by dragging and dropping them to the left, right or between the cards in the top row. If a card turns red you've put it in the wrong spot. Shift it to the correct spot before placing the next card. The oldest played card will be discarded once there are five cards in play.
It's Educational and fun! And the music is pretty good too. 

More on the PACER brouhaha

There has been a fair bit of negative commentary about the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts recent announcement that a whole bunch of case dockets have been removed from PACER in preparation for their move to a new, updated system.  Jim Jacobs of FreeGovInfo has pointed out that "Neither PACER nor the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, which runs PACER, claims that the removal of court cases from PACER was accidental. There are always reasons and excuses and these are usually used to make it sound as if the agency responsible for the removal had no choice (or intention), but that is rarely the case. So far, we have heard two excuses from PACER: The "backwards compatibility" excuse and the "reason" that "the cases that were removed were closed and that many had not been accessed in several years.""
He also provides a link to an interesting article in Tech Dirt titled "PACER Officials Give Weak, Nonsensical Excuse For Why PACER Deleted Tons Of Public Court Records With No Notice" .  He closes by saying
Although digital preservation certainly does require attention and resources and skills, it is not *only* a question of skills or technologies. It is a question of who wants to save information and who does not. This is often a question of who will use the information. Agencies may have a different perspective on who their users are (or who their users might be) than libraries do. For me, and I hope for all of us, there should be one simple lesson from the removal of the PACER court case files: If a library wants to ensure preservation and access for digital information it can do so (can *only* do so) by getting that information and preserving it. Relying on the government to provide perpetual, free access to everything our users want is always going to fail at some point. The question is not "when" or "if" it will fail. The questions are "how much?" and "how soon?" and "who will be hurt by the loss?"

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Free Federal Rules books from LII and CALI

CALI has announced that 2015 versions of the Federal Rules of Evidence, Criminal Procedure and Civil Procedure are now available. These books are powered by the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School and distributed by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction's eLangdell Press. The books come in .epub format, which is compatible with iPads, Nooks, Android devices and basically everything but kindles.
 These editions of the books include:
• The complete rules as of December 1, 2014 (for the 2015 edition).
• All notes of the Advisory Committee following each rule.
• Internal links to rules referenced within the rules.
• External links to the LII website's version of the US Code.
And yes, all totally free. You are more than welcome to download as many copies as you'd like and add to digital collections.
 Here are the direct links to the books:
 2015 Federal Rules of Evidence 
2015 Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
2015 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

hat tip: Sarah Glassmeyer

PACER news

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has cause an uproar with the recent announcement that many previously available dockets in the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system are no longer available electronically. This is due to an upcoming upgrade in the electronic file management system that they are using - according to the announcement, "the locally developed legacy case management systems in the five courts listed below are now incompatible with PACER; therefore, the judiciary is no longer able to provide electronic access to the closed cases on those systems." No longer available are: 
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit: Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit: Cases filed prior to January 1, 2008
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit: Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit: Cases filed prior to March 1, 2012
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California: Cases filed prior to May 1, 2001
Stosh Jonjak, a Pittsburgh law librarian at Reed Smith, has blogged about the news and included links to the major news reports on the topic.  Ars Technica, in a scathing article titled "US courts trash a decade’s worth of online documents, shrug it off", points out that the dockets were removed without any warning, and the announcement came afterwards.
The American Assn. of Law Libraries is monitoring the developments and is considering a more detailed response to the AOC (comments from members to the Govt. Relations Office are welcomed).
Meanwhile, some of the dockets are available from Bloomberg Law, depending on whether they were ever requested by a Bloomberg account holder.  The same is true for Lexis and Westlaw.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

back-to-school shopping tips for law students

Above the Law has a post titled "The Essential Law School Shopping Guide" with lots of information on what every law student needs - or maybe not necessarily needs, but might want to pick up - before heading back to law school. It includes all-important tips on buying highlighters and post-it flags for marking up casebooks; buying a good bookbag; useful law student books; and some good sources of caffeine.

Hat tip: Karen Shephard

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

New website with Presidential Documents & information

The Legislative Research Special Interest Section of the Law Librarians Society of Washington, D.C., Inc. (LLSDC) is pleased to announce the availability of a new website entitled “Executive Orders and Other Presidential Documents: Sources and Explanations". The site attempts to briefly lay out and link to all major sources for these materials which includes Presidential directives, proclamations, signing statements, executive orders, memoranda, and other documents. In addition the site links to many sources, such as CRS reports, that explain these documents. Members of the Special Interest Section have also recently updated their publication, “Questions and Answers in Legislative and Regulatory Research”, which is now only available in (a 21 page) PDF. It's got answers to lots of frequently as well as infrequently asked questions about legislative research. 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Dept. of Energy to provide access to publications

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Department of Energy has developed a plan to give public access to the results of research funded by the DOE.   This is in response to a directive from the Obama administration to plan to make publicly supported research available within a year of publication. The DOE is the first agency to release its plan, which is an online site called "PAGES": Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science. The site is currently in "beta" but you can already search and find articles on the site. The advanced Search function allows you to search by a variety of metadata categories. The resulting documents are, as you might expect, very scientific in nature.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Words you will never hear a lawyer utter

This week's "Question of the Week" on the ABA Journal website is "What is something you will never hear a lawyer utter?" Readers are urged to provide answers in the Comment section. Lawyer jokes anyone? 

Internet Legal Research (on the cheap)

Attorney At Work is a website designed for practicing attorneys that provides "One Really Good Idea Every Day for Enterprising Lawyers".  The site was created by a team of  practice management experts. A recent post, called "10 Must-Know Tips for Internet Legal Research on the Cheap", has some great tips and is provided as a downloadable pdf.
Hat tip: lawlib listserv

Friday, 1 August 2014

Friday fun: Movies!

The ABA Journal has a story today titled "12 movies with pivotal lessons featuring lawyers".  Here's the alphabetical list, with links to the explanation of why each is important.

"Let Me Google That For You Act"

"Let Me Google That For You Act" is the informal title of Senate bill 2206 (summary) (full text of bill), which seeks to abolish the NTIS (National Technical Information Service). The companion bill in the House of Representatives  is H.R. 4382.  A number of library organizations, including the AALL, ALA and ARL have been involved in discussions with Congressional staff about the bill, working to support the NTIS. The Free Government Information (FGI) Blog has more information about the bill, and why these gov doc librarians are opposed to it. FGI points out that the sponsors of the bill seem to lack understanding of how Google works - that Google doesn't actually write the NTIS reports, it just links to them when you are searching on a particular topic. 
"The text of the bill observes that many reports available from NTIS can also be found through publicly searchable websites, such as Google and usa.gov, but fails to appreciate that this availability is often precisely because NTIS had a hand in collecting and publicly distributing them....Furthermore, many of the agencies which published reports in the NTIS collection no longer exist, leaving NTIS as their only surviving source. In fact, over two million of its reports exist only in paper or microform, and are not available in digital form from any source. Alarmingly, this bill makes no provision for the preservation of these reports or the cataloging data which facilitates access to them."

Court says Westlaw, Lexis use of lawyer's briefs not copyright infringement

The White v. West Publishing Company and Reed Elsevier case (S.D.N.Y, available online) begins: "On February 22, 2012, plaintiffs Edward L. White, Edward L. White, P.C., and Kenneth Elan filed a putative class action alleging copyright infringement against defendants West Publishing Corp. ("West") and Reed Elsevier, Inc. ("Lexis")." The plaintiffs were claiming that their legal briefs' inclusion in the Lexis and Westlaw databases was copyright infringement. However, District Judge Rakoff ruled that the use of the briefs by West and Lexis is fair use. Both companies transform the documents to a different purpose and use according to the Judge’s analysis: West and Lexis’s processes of reviewing, selecting, converting, coding, linking, and identifying the documents “add.. something new, with a further purpose or different character.” 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act approved in DE

The governor of Delaware has signed UELMA,the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act, which allows the electronic versions of legal material published by the state to be designated as the official version. The material includes the Constitution, the Laws of Delaware, the Delaware Code, and the Delaware Administrative Code. The text of the new law is available on the Delaware General Assembly website.

hat tip: Cynthia Cicco, Janet Lindenmuth

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Studying law in prison helps convict win freedom

The ABA Journal online has an interesting (and inspiring) article today about Rodell Sanders, a Chicago man who spent 20 years in prison for murder. Sanders decided to learn the law while he was in jail, and committed himself to studying law after his family helped him purchase $1000 worth of law books (titles not mentioned). He was able to secure a new trial for himself based on ineffective assistance of counsel, and then got help from the University of Chicago law school's exoneration project. He was acquitted of the crime and is now suing the Chicago Heights police department. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

.These shoes were made for walking...

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ducere, a company in India, has come up with a new entry in the "wearable technology" field: the Lechal smart shoe, aka "interactive haptic footwear".  The shoes are bluetooth-enabled so that they can communicate with Google maps and guide your feet on their way to where you want to go. When you are at a crossroads the left or right shoe will buzz to indicate which way to turn. Insoles for shoes will also be available if you don't want to wear their shoes.  I can't find an estimated date of when they will be on sale, but the story does say that the shoes should cost between $100 and $150 which admittedly isn't super cheap but is a lot less than some shoes cost.  

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

New additions to Historical Newspapers database

The University Library System reports new additions to their ProQuest Historical Newspapers database. They have completed the collection of Black Newspapers (9 titles total) and added the 4 titles of the American Jewish Newspaper collection. The new titles added are:
Atlanta Daily World
Baltimore Afro-American
Cleveland Call / Post
LA Sentinel
Norfolk Journal and Guide
NY Amsterdam News
Philadelphia Tribune
American Hebrew and Jewish Messenger
American Israelite
Jewish Advocate
Jewish Exponent

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

New school year, new stapler

The library's new stapler for student use arrived yesterday. It's a Rapid Duax stapler and can handle from 2 to 170 pages at a time.  There's a demonstration video on YouTube.  

Friday, 18 July 2014

Research: reusing bad passwords not necessarily a bad idea

Slashdot has a post that links to a recent Microsoft research paper titled "Password Portfolios and the Finite-Effect User: Sustainably Managing Large Numbers of Accounts" (16 page pdf).  From the abstract: 
We explore how to manage a portfolio of passwords. We review why mandating exclusively strong passwords with no re-use gives users an impossible task as portfolio size grows... Our findings directly challenge accepted wisdom and conventional advice.
Or, as Slashdot explains it, not only do they recommend reusing passwords, but reusing bad passwords for low risks sites to minimize recall difficulty.

Georgetown Law symposium

The Georgetown Law Library is hosting a day-long symposium on Oct. 24 titled "404/File Not Found:Link Rot, Legal Citation and Projects to Preserve Precedent".  The symposium is "live" at Georgetown but you can also register to attend the symposium via webcast.  Registration is free.
From the description:
The Web is fluid and mutable, and this is a "feature" rather than a "bug". But it also creates challenges in the legal environment (and elsewhere) when fixed content is necessary for legal writers to support their conclusions. Judges, attorneys, academics, and others using citations need systems and practices to preserve web content as it exists in a particular moment in time, and make it reliably available.
 BTW the keynote speaker is Pittsburgh's own Jonathan Zittrain.  

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Clever way to create illustrated characters in PowerPoint

Here is a tutorial that shows how to create illustrated characters in Power Point. Clever. Move over Photoshop.

working group: Statistical Resources on the Web Guide

A working group of the Assn. of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is looking into the possibility of "resurrecting" the Statistical Resources on the Web Guide originally compiled by Grace York at the University of Michigan and last updated in 2008. This feasibility project will:
1. Explore feasibility of  ALA/ACRL units adopting and maintaining the site.
 a. Consider possible platforms for site.
 b. Consider how content would be approved, added, and updated.
 c. Explore potential grant funding for project.
 d. Explore overlap with other similar projects and existing sites.
 e. Potentially create a timeline for implementation and maintenance.
 2. Timeline a. Initial meeting by end of July 2014.
 b. Progress check-in by October 2014.
 c. A final report by Midwinter 2015.
Anyone interested in helping with the project should contact Chad Kahl at Illinois State University, stating why you are interested in working on the project and what skills you could bring to the process, by July 11. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Minnesota state documents digitized

The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library reports that it, along with the MN Office of Secretary of State, has completed a digitization project in which 40,000 official state documents were digitized and made available online. Titlted "Secretary of State Documents - 1900 - 1990", the collection includes a wide variety of documents spanning much of the 20th century. The index cards that had been used as finding aids were digitized and can be searched in the database. 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Phone-charging trousers

Microsoft has partnered with Nokia and British fashion designer Adrien Sauvage to create trousers with wireless cellphone charging capability. Woven into the front pocket is the new Nokia DC-50 wireless charging plate, which grants the wearer the ability to charge a phone by simply placing it into the pocket without the worry of having to plug it in. The Nokia wireless charging trousers will be available on Amazon 'soon'. You can read more on IT Pro.
No word on a phone-charging skirt.  Yet.  

New CALI website launched

The Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) website has been completely revamped (upgraded to Drupal 7) and was relaunched yesterday.  You can check it out at www.cali.org.  Kudos to Elmer Masters and Dan Nagy for a job well done.