Your Very Own Bookmobile

By , October 27, 2011 4:13 pm

by Jan Lawrence

This is not quite an action figure like Nancy Pearl, but it’s still cool, and you can make your own bookmobile. Also related is a relatively new national holiday, which will be in its third iteration: National Bookmobile Day. Which will be held April 13, 2011.  It always falls on the Wednesday of National Library Week. Here is a short video, including still photos of bookmobiles, past and present, produced for the second annual  Bookmobile Day in 2011.


If that isn’t enough Seattle Public Library has its own mobile history and services.

How well do you know your judge?

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By , October 26, 2011 4:35 pm

by Susan Schulkin

Just like libraries and librarians, federal judges often have their own preferred procedural practices.  A new Westlaw database (DRFCTG) includes the full text of the Directory of Federal Court Guidelines, a district-by-district publication of biographical information about all sitting federal judges. Most interestingly, it also includes detailed procedural practice conventions mandated by individual judges — on matters such as discovery, scheduling conferences, voir dire, marking of exhibits, and jury participation.  Next time you’re asked for background information on a federal judge, be sure to check this out!

Impending Library Week

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By , October 25, 2011 3:23 pm

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!

Oh Sexy Guybrarian

By , October 20, 2011 8:34 am

by Kristine Lloyd

Librarians are sexy. The bun, the glasses—all items that can be removed and let down in a Victorian-esque style worthy of a romance novel with flowing-maned Fabio on the cover. But what about guybrarians? Unless they’re sporting a mullet or long locks, they can’t exactly do the bun thing. But a group of sexy dude librarians are proving that the librarian sex appeal doesn’t just apply to women. The 2012 Men of the Stacks calendar  is getting all kinds of attention, and with one hottie wearing nothing but a book, poised precariously like Adam’s leaf, it’s not surprising. These guys decided to produce the calendar to dispel the stereotype that all librarians are women. I can tell you that instead of my annual firefighter calendar, I’ll be ogling the Men of the Stacks each month of 2012.

The Librarian Whac-A-Mole

By , October 19, 2011 9:34 am

by Kristine Lloyd

One of the things I love about my line of work is that I get to wear ridiculously uncomfortable high heels on the job. Such is the life of performing e-reference and e-training throughout the day. I especially enjoy presenting at practice group meetings on video-conference. Much like newscasters, hair and make-up are key. Despite my temptations to kick up my legs and show off my shoes, I refrain.

If you aren’t barging your way into practice group meetings on a regular basis, then you’re not doing enough outreach. No matter how many times you tell your attorneys how to get to your homepage on the Intranet, they will forget. And since we’re frequently subscribing to new services from time to time, we’ve got to spread the word. Continue reading 'The Librarian Whac-A-Mole'»

Bar Envy

By , October 13, 2011 11:06 am

by Philippe Cloutier

Pacific-Northwesterners love their beer. We champion and praise our micro-brews for their depth of flavors, array of styles, and  interesting adaptations. Yet we’ve been beaten to the punch and the Philadelphia Bar has taken the not so obvious pairing of legal work and beer to the next level:

Continuing legal education is a requirement of your profession, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix business with pleasure. Now you can earn CLE credits while enjoying a cold one! Continue reading 'Bar Envy'»

Apple iOS 5

By , October 11, 2011 2:11 pm

Apple is releasing its latest iPhone product, the 4s, and with it comes an upgrade to the software on iOS devices. iOS5 will offer an improved notification system, better browser, reminders, right out of the box PC-free usage, a messaging app for communication between other iPhone/iPad users, and about another 200 plus features.

What may stand as the biggest offering though is the voice system known as Siri. A pocket assistant that could really revolutionize the way we compute. The algorithms are supposedly so advanced that it can parse natural language and get to the root of inquiries. Setting reminders, sending emails/texts, taking dictation, finding directions or a restaurant, crunching numbers, playing your messages, and pulling weather information are just a few of things Siri can do for you.

The potential for library usage remains to be seen. Can Siri search catalogs or Worldcat for a title within the Seattle area? Can Siri pull up a Washington bill from the legislative website? I don’t see Siri compiling a legislative history anytime soon but that’s no reason to think that it may never happen. At the moment, this technology might be just the thing to help us with research requests. As it stands we largely write out our research questions and goals. With Siri we can vocalize our tasks and create lists verbally. The combination of writing and voice could prove useful. Siri has a ways to go before it can help us tackle more complex problems. Yet maybe before we get the chance to enjoy a Siri that tackles big problems, we may be living in fear of self-conscious robots.

One Man’s Random is Another Man’s Collection

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By , October 6, 2011 8:48 am

by Stina McClintock

On November 24, 1874, a man named Joseph Glidden was issued a patent for a strain of barbed wire dubbed “The Winner” which would go on to become the most popular form of fencing in the American West.  So monumental was this discovery that Kansas could not let a tool that “tamed the west” go uncelebrated.  Hence, the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum was created to pay homage to the fencing that illustrates the “inventiveness of the pioneers”.  I came across this little gem of a museum while reading Eight Unusual All-American Museums and discovered that I can travel to a retirement community to view (and touch!) a Titan II Missile still on its launch pad, while exploring eight underground floors capturing the Cold War and the Nuclear Threat.  Elsewhere in the US, you can view a museum dedicated to Jurassic Medicine, as well as a museum featuring Ava Gardner. Continue reading 'One Man’s Random is Another Man’s Collection'»

SCOTUS in October

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By , October 4, 2011 2:19 pm

by Stina McClintock

When I was 18, I went to Disneyland for the first time.  It was one of those “I just graduated from high school!  I’m going to Disneyland!” commercial celebratory moments, much like when Peyton Manning wins the Superbowl or Kim Kardashian dominates the cover of every single celebrity gossip magazine at the newsstands in the same week.  And while I had a good time, I had to wait a whole decade to go to what I would consider the happiest place on the earth:  The United State Supreme Court.

Yep, you read that right.  I have a not-so-secret love of the Supreme Court.  And I indulge my love openly at work (under the guise of “professional reading”) by reading the SCOTUSblog on a daily basis.  So it was to my great delight to see that the site has been revamped just in time for the 2011-2012 court season.  Now sponsored by Bloomberg Law, the new site layout still features the court daily calendar and a round-up of court news, along with new features to the site such as a beefed up “community” page for online discussion of the high court and law in general. Also, the site will now feature more commentary and case summaries from legal experts, as opposed to law students.

And for those of you keeping score, the Court has granted 49 total petitions so far this October Term, but one was dismissed under Rule 46 soon after it was granted, so you will want to use 48 as the total if you are like me and keep a score sheet.

HeinOnline 2011

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By , October 3, 2011 11:33 am

Today’s service announcement presents the latest legal app to hit iPhones and iPads: HeinOnline. Hein certainly didn’t rush this out and ostensibly waited to release the app until perfected. The screenshots provide a clean and straightforward presentation, as we’d expect on iOS devices. Many users who have trouble with HeinOnline will welcome the easy-to-use layout. has stuck to their guns on the Web, running/looking nearly the same as it has for years. Maybe app development will lead to Web changes and broaden their base.

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