Holly Gale Wins SLA Scholarship

By , May 27, 2010 2:00 pm

by Robyn Hagle

Please join me in extending a big congratulations to LLOPS’ own Holly Gale. Holly recently won a SLA Scholarship for graduate study in librarianship leading to a master’s degree at a recognized school of library or information science. The competition was fierce (up to 3 awards are given annually) and this is a huge win for Holly and for LLOPS!

For the past two years, Holly has served as the LLOPS liaison to the University of Washington Information School. In this role, Holly acts as an ambassador for LLOPS, encouraging fellow library students to consider special librarianship and advertising and promoting LLOPS events. Holly has served in this role with aplomb and a demonstrated commitment to the profession, going above and beyond the expected responsibilities by independently organizing library tours and social events involving LLOPS members and library students.

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What Are You reading? Rick Stroup Tells All

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By , May 25, 2010 3:36 pm

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.

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Cheryl Nyberg's Latest Opus

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By , May 25, 2010 1:43 pm

That handy little black book that you love (no, not that one), has been updated again. That’s right the 2008-2009 Subject Compilation of State Laws: An Annotated Bibliographyis now available, both in print and via HeinOnline. Check out Gallagher Blogs’ article for more detail.

The Tweeting AmLaw 100s

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By , May 21, 2010 5:22 pm

Turns out Tania Schriwer’s prescience in penning a follow-up article to the infamous myCorporateResources chart was well-played. Looks like myCorporateResources decided to do the same thing and follow-up on their original piece with a Twitter bent.  A recent article tracks which of the AmLaw 100 firms are using Twitter and with what kind of regularity. The article also provides “101” level tips for best tweeting practices.  Check out their analysis and see how it jives with your firm’s efforts.  (via Above the Law)

Judges Don’t Make Law?What’s That All About?

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By , May 21, 2010 3:34 pm

by Laura Orr 
Laura Orr is this week’s guest blogger. You can read more of her intrepid legal research reporting on her blog, Oregon Legal Research.

Don’t get me started on the “Judges Don’t Make Law” statements one hears so often at judicial nominee hearings. Were legislators and judges out the day law-making was taught in school?

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one whose eyebrows shot up during the last Supreme Court nominee (now Associate Justice) Sotomayor hearings whenever someone (quite a few someones, in fact) said: “judges don’t make law.” I suppose the point was that judges don’t legislate, but it sure wasn’t coming through very clearly that yes, judges do make law. Really! They do!

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PACER’s Stylin’: No More 80s Purple

By , May 18, 2010 3:53 pm

by Kristine Lloyd

It’s been a long time coming, renovations to the look and feel of PACER. Didn’t we all love the pastel color schemes, like an Easter egg surprise every time you clicked on a court’s homepage? Well, thankfully, all the spirit and personality of the individual court homepages are still there, but the PACER landing page and the US Party / Case Index, now called the PACER Case Locator, have been updated to a chicer, more mod look. Even the url is now pacer.gov: simple as a little black dress.

The PACER Case Locator:

No one besides a librarian gets too excited about an Index, so the name change was a good decision. The tabs across the top are handy and alleviate clicking through multiple screens to get to a page where you can actually do something. Get out your “Marion the Librarian” reading glasses though, because the font has gone from Large Print Books to micro-fiche sized. Here are a few pros and cons about the new PACER Case Locator:

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The Rise of the E-Book

By , May 17, 2010 5:20 pm

by Philippe Cloutier

It all started with the Kindle and Amazon, now the flames are fanning with Apple and the iPad, and this summer an enveloping cloud of smoke and fire will take shape with Google’s e-book endeavor. A significant difference between these competitors is apparent, Amazon and Apple sell hardware and content, where Google looks to sell only content. Google tried their hands in the physical realm of cell-phone devices with the Nexus One and in short: flopped. Their business model rests in the clouds of data they control on the Internet (thanks in part to libraries around the world who offered their collections for scanning). With a hardware lesson and a digital book archive like no other in hand, Google will become a powerhouse in the e-book era.

While a new age of e-books is beginning, we must remain aware of existing privacy issues with Google in general, and specifically, with Google Books. The policies surrounding their upcoming foray are unknown. However, we do know Google’s privacy/copyright history leaves room for improvement. We’ll find out this summer, as Google rolls out their book market, if the right privacy pieces and policies are in place. Yet, no matter how the legal battles take shape or are resolved, e-books are shifting out of niche markets and towards more accessible and easier to use forms. More importantly, consumer options are abounding from proven tech companies with billions to spend. E-books may not affect us today but tomorrow will be a different story.

Occupational Therapy for LawLibrarians: 2010 LLOPS Workshop

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By , May 13, 2010 4:51 pm

by Brenna Louzin

The LLOPS PDC has once again wowed me with their creativity, seamless planning, and relevance, mix of cerebral and “in-your’s-face” topics. The 2010 seminar, held Thursday, April 29 at the US Courthouse, opened with Kevin O’Keefe of Real Lawyers Have Blogs fame. O’Keefe, CEO of LexBlog, Inc., delivered an engaging talk that might have been a chat in a coffeehouse.  He emphasized the importance of establishing, feeding and sustaining the human side of relationships when using electronic social media technologies. Of course, the fact that he dressed in blue jeans and cowboy boots also supported his down-home message. How refreshing to hear a lawyer say that while it is professionally important to use Twitter, to know how to create and maintain fresh and well-researched blogs, it is vital to listen, to “engage” and to teach others. Sound like good advice for law librarians?

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Springtime at the ASIL Conference

By , May 12, 2010 12:56 pm

by Barbara Swatt Engstrom

Where to begin with a review of this spring’s American Society of International Law conference? Maybe with how hard it is to choose just one program to attend for any given time slot when two others look equally interesting; or the keynote speech that made major national news; or how the panelists engage in real debate on issues; or maybe how nice it is to be in Washington D.C. in the springtime?

Well, it turns out that springtime in D.C. was a lot like springtime in Seattle. Cold and rainy. Maybe it was the all the snow they got this winter, but the cherry blossoms weren’t quite there yet. In the long run, I didn’t have much time for wandering around among the cherry blossoms anyway because the conference schedule was packed.

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To be too big to fail,or not to be too big to fail . . .

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By , May 10, 2010 1:41 pm

by Karen Helde

I was charmed by a recent NPR story on Senator Dodd’s financial reform bill.

Yes, I just typed “charmed” and “financial reform” in the same sentence. Intrigued? Go ahead and listen. No, don’t read the transcript – you need to listen.

Reporters Adam Davidson and Chana Joffe-Walt must have realized that their topic had the potential to glaze the eyes of even their most dedicated listeners. So Davidson invited his dad, a professional Shakespearean actor, to read excerpts from the bill. The senior Mr. Davidson does a beautiful job of giving both gravity and grace to the language. To his credit, he resists hamming it up (but does sound like he’s having fun).

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