Let’s do it!

By , September 30, 2011 9:52 am

by Robyn Hagle

When I first got my current job directly out of library school, I was scared out of my mind.  My first professional job and I land at the biggest law firmin the region.  Despite being confident in the knowledge I acquired in the legal research courses I took during library school, I still felt unprepared.  In the weeks leading up to starting, I stayed up late into the night reading Law 101. One of its Amazon reviews described it as 3 years of law school in 368 pages and I was determined to “graduate” before my first day on the job. The first time an associate asked me about “motions in limine,” I knew the term related to evidence, even if I didn’t know what it meant! Continue reading 'Let’s do it!'»

Links for Evaluating New Electronic Resources presentation

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By , September 29, 2011 1:52 pm

At the September 28 meeting, we were pleased to have Brandi Ledferd reprise a portion of the program she co-presented at the 2011 AALL Annual Meeting: “Best Practices for Evaluating a New Electronic Resource.”

Here are the written materials from the presentation:

Sample Questions for Participants of E-Resource Trials
Electronic Resource Evaluation Checklist Form

You think you know Google? I doubt you know all of this!

By , September 26, 2011 9:23 am

by Robyn Hagle

Last Tuesday, I attended the WSBA sponsored course “Google Powered Law Office.”  I’m always a little skeptical about how worthwhile Google classes are for me as the instructor of two advanced Google classes at my firm.  I’ve been using advanced Google search functionality since the start of library school (now 8 years ago)!  How much more is there to learn?  How often does Google make changes to their core search functionality (not just their menus or page layout)?  Turns out, at least half the day was very worth my while.  I learned a number of new tips I’m happy to share with you.  I’ll also throw in a few of my favorite tips as well. Continue reading 'You think you know Google? I doubt you know all of this!'»

Government Deals

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By , September 22, 2011 2:56 pm

By Philippe Cloutier

T.S. Eliots’ oft praised The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is considered a tenacious beast. Getting to the root of the poem’s themes, allusions, story, and message is no easy task. The same can be said for Government information. Trying to get your hands onto a Government document often proves irksome. Departments within agencies don’t communicate with each other, files are sent to storage or other agencies, and turn around times range from days, to weeks, to months. Apparently, there are no guaranteed answers in poetry or Government data.

The Free Government Information blog posed the following question: “What would you tell a new class of law librarianship students about government information?” Their post, Passing It On, details the orientation of library students at The University of Washington. The students are working on the one-year MLIS program and already hold law degrees. They will learn about the FDLP, record maintenance and storage, types of gov docs, and the issues facing gov docs records in general. Continue reading 'Government Deals'»

Future Considerations

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By , September 21, 2011 1:44 pm

Predicting the future is funny business. As humans we rely on experience, both our own and others, to make decisions. When we wake up tomorrow we don’t expect to find that gravity has flipped a switch and we are now floating in our beds or that the bus system now runs on Martian timetables (sometimes it may feel that way). However, odd things like mysticism and superstition creep in and attempt to help us predict the future. Whether it be Nostradamus or breaking a mirror for 7 years of bad luck, neither are based in reality.

Librarians often ponder the future. We use reason and experience to inform the possibilities. And we certainly hope the same when leaders of our universities, firms, or government attempt to guide us into the unknown. When anyone in the legal field throws out a phrase such as Future Proofing I remain skeptical but open-minded.  The blog post from Prism Legal gets into historical and impending law firm trends; and luckily, much of it applies to the library field. Continue reading 'Future Considerations'»

Library Fire Sale

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By , September 15, 2011 8:29 am

By Kristine Lloyd

I have an alert set up on Google to catch stories about libraries. Like rummaging through a thrift store pile, you wouldn’t believe some of the bizarre gems that come up: Librarian collects belly button lint in a jar, and yes, ladies, he’s single! Or the countless stories of people putting strange and interesting things in book drops. Continue reading 'Library Fire Sale'»

Suffering in the Stacks?

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By , September 12, 2011 8:31 am
By Kristine Lloyd

It’s a fact of life that all of us, discounting those who were raised by wolves, will at some point have to write a research paper. It’s also true that some people get as excited about research as fans at a New Kids on the Block concert (full confession: I did in fact recently attend a “NKOTB” concert). For others, research is about as onerous and painful as a spinning class. And this, my friends, is why we exist.

Maybe it used to be that we were simple stewards of books, but these days, we get to employ our savvy research skills to aid and often impress our patrons. I was the nerd who would spend a Friday night at the library, 20 books splayed open like gutted fish on the library table while my compatriots were boozing it up at a frat party. Continue reading 'Suffering in the Stacks?'»

AALL/BNA Continuing Education Grants

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By , September 9, 2011 10:24 am

The deadline for the first round of AALL/BNA Continuing Education Grants is this coming Monday, September 12.

The AALL/BNA Continuing Education Grant program exists to encourage the development of quality continuing education programs outside of the AALL annual meeting, that can be shared among AALL entities and archived for later viewing. The grant can assist with the costs of program content (e.g., speakers, venue) or the method of wider distribution (e.g., podcast, webinar). Grant requests for educational programming will be accepted four times during the year (September 12 is the deadline for the first round). More information about the requirements and the deadlines for each round is available at http://www.aallnet.org/main-menu/Education/cpe-grants.

If you have any questions about the grant program or the application process, please contact Celeste Smith, AALL Continuing Education Director, at csmith@aall.org, or Elizabeth Outler, Chair of the Continuing Professional Education Committee, at outler@law.ufl.edu.

Apples to Apples

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By , September 8, 2011 4:52 pm

By Philippe Cloutier

Technology in the legal world is funny business. We don’t pride ourselves on being on the cutting-edge or at the head of the line (or the upper middle) for upgrades. In my experience, many firms are squeezing the last bit of value from pre-2003 technology as much as possible. Even though it is often to our detriment- with constant debugging, restarts, freezing, and overall technical service time vacuums. The old adage, we are creatures of habit, largely informs this slow rate of change.  However, I think as our lives require the daily use of blended computers, cell-phones, tablets, etc., and the improvement of software reliability, speedier adoption of new technology will be the norm.
Continue reading 'Apples to Apples'»

Health Law Update: ICD-9

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By , September 7, 2011 11:56 am

Health matters may not be the first thing that springs to mind when considering law librarian roles and tasks. Yet we know better, health research is by no means unexpected and often turns up, depending on the needs of our patrons, professors, or practice groups. State and Federal health laws are in flux as are the cases surrounding them. Staying apprised of new developments can be tricky. The latest trick comes from the reigning system for health condition categorization,  the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. The impending October 2013 shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will be a million dollar (if not billion dollar) wrangle with implementation and compliance. Getting it right will be expensive but getting it wrong will undoubtedly be more expensive.

The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch details online training to assist with the coding changes. The WSJ highlights Health Care Compliance Strategies as they leap into the ICD-10 effort with a digital library, offering training within a range of ICD-10 subjects. As 2013 approaches  we can expect to see other health care education companies throw their materials into the ring. We can also expect to see local seminars and programs popping up with some frequency. Lastly, the adoption of ICD-10 also means that our libraries will have to buy another large reference book.

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