by Jennifer Hill
The 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath left record numbers of U.S. homeowners facing foreclosure. While the current real estate market seems robust, with reports of bidding wars and rising home prices in the Seattle area, the reality is that as of March 2013, Washington State had experienced a 154 percent increase in foreclosure starts over the previous year. Foreclosures are still happening, and they are accompanied by complicated legal issues that can challenge even experienced legal researchers.
Foreclosure Manual for Judges
Washington Appleseed, a non-profit legal advocacy organization working to solve social and economic problems in Washington, recently published the Foreclosure Manual for Judges: A Reference Guide to Foreclosure Law in Washington State. The manual was written to help guide attorneys and judges through the maze of mortgage servicing, modification and foreclosure law. Although the target users are attorneys and judges, this guidebook is a great resource for anyone researching mortgage and foreclosure law in Washington.
Continue reading 'Book Review of the Foreclosure Manual for Judges'»
By Annette K.
By Anna Endter
Book Review: The Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet, 12th edition, by Carole A. Levitt and Mark E. Rosch
I like research. You probably do, too. I especially like research that requires some creativity and a fair amount of digging for background information on companies and people (in other words, I really like finding the dirt). My love of investigative research probably stems from spending too much of my childhood pretending my name was Harriet and dreaming of a career with the CIA. Alas, I did not become a spy, but I very much enjoy finding information that elicits a “you found this?!” kind of response. The Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet by Carole A. Levitt and Mark E. Rosch should get at least some of the credit for providing a good starting place for planning out a public records or other complicated online search for background information.
Continue reading 'On Digging Up Dirt'»
by Emily Smith
Being my first blog post for LLOPS, I thought I’d start out on a (somewhat) personal note. In my now seemingly long-past life as a practicing attorney, I spent a year clerking for Judge Block of the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn and Long Island to those of you from NYC). The year was not without its challenges, but I’d do it over again in a heartbeat. From the outside a federal court can seem like something of a black box, and my experience from that year has helped to give me a leg up as a new law librarian, whenever I need to deal with docket questions, or pester court clerks or judges’ secretaries or case managers. So I was particularly interested to hear that Judge Block recently published a book about his experiences on the bench (Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge, Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2012), providing some insight into the inner workings of a federal court and the mind of a federal judge.
Continue reading 'Behind the Curtain'»
by Kristine Lloyd
I love to move. Most people find it onerous to pack up their pianos, taxidermied mammals, tea sets, Beanie Baby collections and other various and sundry items. As they near the bitter end, fueled by frustration and migraines, most people just start throwing stuff in the random junk box, no newspaper wrapping—nothing. Wait: is that just me? Continue reading 'How to Put Books on Shelves'»
by Susan Schulkin
Although Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once said that people don’t read anymore, his upcoming biography by Walter Isaacson includes the titles of some of his favorite books. If you’re like me and you’re curious about what other people are reading, you may want to celebrate National Library Week by asking your colleagues what they’re reading. For the past 15 years at my firm, every spring we’ve sent an email to all employees asking for a list of their two or three favorite books from the past 12 months, with a brief comment about each book. The library compiles the list and publishes it during National Library Week. It’s a good way to encourage reading and talking about books, and to get a glimpse at the interests of our colleagues. After all, it is never too early to think about library week!
by Kerry Fitz-Gerald
I buttonholed Cheryl Nyberg recently to ask her what she was reading. After some polite demurring, she allowed as how she had recently read and appreciated an article entitled “Thinking Like A Librarian” by Richard Buckingham, 12 T.M. Cooley J. Prac. & Clinical L. 1 (2010). She was motivated to pick up the article both because of her professional interest in teaching students how to do research and because she’s used the title phrase herself when talking to students. Noting this, she speculated that since the current generation probably doesn’t know Paper Chase, the phrase may have lost some its resonance. Continue reading 'What are you Reading Cheryl Nyberg?'»
by Kerry Fitz-Gerald
For this month’s post, Rick Stroup at the King County Law Library (KCLL) graciously agreed to share what he‘s reading. His print professional reading includes the major law librarianship journals—Law Library Journal and Legal Reference Services Quarterly (LRSQ)—as well as Library Journal. He finds the latter particularly useful because public librarianship is such a big part of KCLL’s mission and because it provides a window into other types of libraries’ developments. Lately, he’s been reading about new technology programs, such as libraries loaning Kindles and laptops, and is always interested to read user study information. While the general tenor, he said, is that user studies are time and labor intensive, most libraries report that the studies are ultimately useful.
Continue reading 'What Are You reading? Rick Stroup Tells All'»
by Kristine Lloyd
A combination of curiosity and disdain piqued my interest and led to my subsequent purchase of This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save us All by Marilyn Johnson. The exceedingly lengthy subtitle is so very librarian-esque, but more importantly, what’s up with the term “cybrarian?” Does anyone actually use this term, without irony? On the cheesy scale, it ranks right up there with Guybrarian.
The cover of the book features a superhero librarian. With her svelte bod, ample bosom, and kindle in hand, she leaps bounds, books and buildings to save us all. Throughout the book, Johnson compares us to navigators, miners, jockeys and Girl Scouts. In sum: we are information saviors, which frankly, may be a lofty load for any of us to bear. Despite the smarmy exhortations about our greatness, Johnson does highlight the heroism of our profession, with inspiring tales of information visionaries creating complex and innovative library services on Second Life, standing up for patrons’ privacy rights, linking students across the globe and fighting to save artifacts of both the commoner and the exalted. Continue reading 'Cybrarians, Seriously?'»
Image from The Library of Congress (March 25, 1941)
by Kerry Fitz-Gerald
When people I meet first learn I’m a librarian, they often respond with “You’re so lucky, you must get to read all the time.” Depending on my mood, sometimes I’ll just quietly say “oh yes,” but other times I’ll point out that a) I work in a law library so I’m not exactly surrounded by scintillating material and b) there’s an awful lot to do in a library before I ever get to reading.
That said, a big part of our jobs as librarians is current awareness. Doing our jobs well means keeping up with new trends in both library science and the law. To that end, we all have those sources we regularly read to keep current.
Continue reading 'What Are You Reading?'»