SLA and a Philly Cheesesteak on the Side

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By , June 30, 2011 5:02 pm

by Jan Lawrence

I was lucky enough to attend SLA in Philadelphia this year. It came smack in the middle of visiting family and a work trip to our So Cal office, so though I was a bit bleary-eyed, it was a worthwhile, stimulating conference. There seemed to be much franker talk about changes in our profession and adapting (or not) to those changes than I remember in past conferences.  

Here is a potpourri of session tidbits:  

Stephen Abram Looks to the Future: Getting out in Front of the Curve: Stephen Abram is a lively speaker, and he discussed knowledge and judgment. In making good decisions, knowledge is not always the most important thing. Good organizational judgment includes being open to different forms of knowledge; making organizational decisions using “cognitive diversity”; and drawing on people with different approaches to understanding information, with different mental toolkits. More good judgment includes living with the shadow of the future: Stephen gave the example of Norway’s and Dubai’s reactions to oil windfalls in their countries. Norway invested the money for the future; Dubai built a ski slope with artificial snow. Continue reading 'SLA and a Philly Cheesesteak on the Side'»

Another Perspective on SLA

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By , June 29, 2011 4:23 pm

by Eli Edwards

I’ve been attending SLA conferences regularly (with the exception of one year) since 2002, in my hometown of Los Angeles, CA. I usually balance my schedule with both theoretical and practical discussions of the things that interest me in librarianship (online research, intellectual property, digitization, information ethics, the state of the profession), as well as the social aspects (Parties! Happy hours! Raucous “silent” auctions! Meet-ups and tweet-ups!). I learn, I network, I walk my feet off, and I come back edified and excited.

This year was slightly different. Continue reading 'Another Perspective on SLA'»

Fastcase App

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By , June 27, 2011 4:38 pm

by Karen Helde

I’ve been investigating apps for the iPad-toting attorneys in my office. One legal research app has really impressed me with its coverage (national), interface (clean) and cost (free!). Fastcase is the app you’ll wish you had on your desktop–and if you happen to be a member of the Oregon Bar, you do (see the OSB site for more information). It’s a great option when you want to take a quick look at a case or statute without incurring client charges. The interface is intuitive and streamlined, with no cluttered screens to navigate or commands to memorize. You can pull up state and federal cases using keywords or a citation. Too many hits in your search result? Narrow the field by jurisdiction or date, or change the sort order to browse more efficiently. The US Code and most state statutes are available too–get what you need by browsing, searching, or a entering a citation. Tap “Save” if you pull up a document you want to refer to later.

The basic Fastcase app is free to download and use, and works on iPhone or iPad. You’ll need to register for an account, but it’s painless. I’m not the only librarian to be impressed. The Fastcase app won AALL’s New Product of the Year Award  in 2010.

SLA in Philly: One Librarian’s Perspective

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By , June 22, 2011 1:19 pm

by Kama Sue Siegel

One of the first things that struck me about this year’s Annual Conference v. last year’s (in New Orleans) was the milder weather. No! I’m just kidding! It was actually the atmosphere of positivity. Everywhere I looked I saw information professionals engaging each other animatedly, asking thoughtful and pointed questions, and encouraging–and enabling–their peers to better serve their organizations and communities. There was a complete difference in attitude between 2010 and 2011. Everyone was freaking out in 2010 about the economy, but in 2011 we’ve had time to adapt and strategize.

I believe that SLA 2011 President Cindy Romaine’s “Future Ready” campaign had a lot to do with the much sunnier outlook of our colleagues. If I could have made a word cloud out of the discussions I had with my fellow info pros last year, and compared it to one created this year, I believe there would be a marked difference. People were energized as opposed to discouraged, optimistic rather than pessimistic, and putting their words into action instead of complaining. Continue reading 'SLA in Philly: One Librarian’s Perspective'»

LLOPS Executive Board Meeting Minutes 6/2/2011

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By , June 17, 2011 8:21 am

LLOPS Executive Board Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Mort Brinchmann (President), Robyn Hagle (Past-President), Crystal Norton (Vice President/President Elect), Christy Leith (Treasurer), Judy Davis (Secretary)

Where: Riddell Williams, Seattle, WA

Time: The meeting was called to order by President Mort Brinchmann on June 2, 2011, at 12:15 p.m.

The following items were discussed:

  1. The Board decided it would be better not to have a chapter table at the AALL conference this year as there would be a few members to staff it given low LLOPS attendance in Philadelphia.
  2. Discussed a number of issues related to committees:
    a. Marketing Committee – Crystal will solicit member feedback regarding retaining the Marketing      Committee as she recruits committee volunteers.
    b. Some committees are part of the bylaws (“Standing Committees”) and can only be removed by a vote to change the by-laws by the membership, for example: Marketing and Grants.
    c. Some committees (“Special Committees”) have been established by the Board and are listed in the Handbook; these committees do not require a vote by the membership to remove them.
    d. Mort will confer with Rick Stroup about possible changes to the by-laws arising from committee changes and the transition from the newsletter to the blog.
  3. We talked about updating the look of the letterhead to match the blog. Robyn will forward the template.
  4. Discussed whether LLOPS should be doing more student outreach/mentoring. Suggestion was to have the Social Committee hold a Happy Hour in the University District and make an effort to invite both regular I-School students and students in the Law Librarianship program.
  5. Discussed archiving of the blog. Robyn will talk with Phillipe about the options. The by-laws do not address the archiving of the Newsletter (which has been replaced by the blog) but does address other records which are deemed permanent.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Judy A. Davis, LLOPS Secretary

WestlawNext: Everyone’s Got It?

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By , June 16, 2011 2:20 pm

by Kristine Lloyd

Just like the Guess jeans I used to covet in 7th grade–the ones that all the cool girls wore while I was oppressed by the Lee jeans my mother scored at T.J. Maxx–I sometimes wonder if all of the cool law firms out there already have WestlawNext. There have been some interesting postings to AALL chapter list-servs and blogs lately, summarizing polls tracking stats on who has migrated. Fewer than you might think have made the leap. Out of 11 firms that responded to an informal Dallas area poll, only 2 firms provide access. A NOCALL surveyshows that 4 of the 6 Biglaw firms that responded provide access to WestlawNext. Out of 8 mid- to small-sized firms responding, 5 have it and 3 do not. Another pollwhich doesn’t specify a geographic region shows about a 50-50 split in small, medium and Biglaw firms that are planning to or have already migrated to the product. Continue reading 'WestlawNext: Everyone’s Got It?'»

Inventive Home Libraries: More Than Just a Stack of Books

By , June 14, 2011 10:44 am

by Kristine Lloyd

I don’t know about you, but my books are stacked in nooks and crannies all over my apartment. It’s a step below the crate and plank system I used in college. But I do respect the anal retentive who catalog their home libraries and those crafty souls out there who seem to be touched by the Martha Stewart gene.

People organize their books by color, shape, genre and certainly by other more bizarre and sentimental schemes. More than just a place to house books, a library can be its own artistic statement. I really enjoyed this article with photos of inventive library designs. While I can assure you that any principle of organization is unlikely to affect me, I can fantasize about having a well-curated library. Perhaps someone will do the work for me.

CCH IntelliConnect Updates

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By , June 9, 2011 1:20 pm

by Philippe Cloutier

When CCH made the transition to IntelliConnect there was some uproar. The resistance to change focused on the seemingly dramatic shifts in log-in, interface, navigation, and access. Even though this took place back in 2009, it feels like long ago that weaccessed the Tax Research Network. However, the world didn’t end and our practice groups continue to chug along.

IntelliConnect aimed at a revolutionary legal research step. Whether that has happened or not, the news for now is their next evolutionary upgrade. This update has been sorely needed and will (hopefully) make IntelliConnect a more intuitive system. Interface clutter aside, my issues with IntelliConnect mainly dealt with sorting through research results. The new features help break results up by document type and include jump links to specific document types.  For the last two years the results tray was quite jumbled.

Also available is a CCH mobile appthat might be the best thing for new users and hesitant IntelliConnect adopters. Mobile apps force a minimalistic interface, design, and presentation. The CCH app has a simplicity of use that makes navigating a cinch.  Unfortunately I can’t give a review of the mobile app. I’ve received constant errors when attempting to log-in.

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

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By , June 7, 2011 3:17 pm

by Philippe Cloutier

A few months ago, we reported a story regarding the Woodmont Library’s surveillance camera capturing a crime and local police unhappily having to obtain a warrant for access. In response to this, it looks like the King County Library System will be removing a number of their cameras. details the situation further and concludes that the Downtown Library will be the only library to retain their cameras. The library system views video surveillance as a hindrance to library goals, and the process effectively consumes approximately $30,000 a year.

Unfortunately, the article does not include a weigh-in from Seattle law enforcement, nor does it offer any statistics about footage previously turned over. Although the article has a snazzy quote from a visiting UW Law School Professor, Ronald Collins, (that should make us feel good about ourselves): “The people in the best position to safeguard libraries are librarians . . .” Yet, the situation has the potential to be the start of several back-and-forths, given that cameras were first installed in 2006 to protect the public. If crime were to increase, I can’t imagine the King County Library System being able to hold out.

Bridge the Legal Research Gap: Part 2

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By , June 2, 2011 2:01 pm

by Kerry Fitz-Gerald

It’s that time of year again, when law students head to summer jobs and recent grads start thinking about practicing law, not just studying it. In hopes of providing a little confidence boost (plus some practical research instruction), the librarians at the UW and SU have once again teamed up to present a half-day free training program for interested students. In order to accommodate students’ schedules, the program is offered twice.

Our first session was held May 18. About 40 participants were treated to a series of presentations covering Legal Research in the Real World, Washington and Federal Legislative Research, Lawyer’s Practice Materials and Washington and Federal Regulatory Research. Evaluations were positive, with participants saying that they can certainly see how this material will be useful for their work.

For those unable to make the first offering, the program will be offered again at the University of Washington on June 15 from 12:45 until 5pm.

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