NARA Restores John Huston’s Documentary

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By , May 30, 2012 11:17 am

by Philippe Cloutier

Memorial Day brings moments of solace and contemplation. We take the day to observe the greatest sacrifice anyone can make. While in Seattle we have the Veterans Memorial Cemetery and the WWI Doughboy Statue,  but available to a greater audience (and offering deeper examination) comes the following film:

The National Archives and Records Administration’s restoration of Let There Be Light (1946), John Huston’s controversial World War II documentary about the rehabilitation of psychologically scarred combat veterans can now be downloaded online.

The third in the World War II trilogy commissioned from Academy Award-winning director John Huston by the US Army Signal Corps, Let There Be Light follows the treatment of emotionally traumatized GIs from their admission at a racially integrated psychiatric hospital to their reentry into civilian life.

…The War Department pulled the film shortly before its premiere at the Museum of Modern Art and commissioned a replacement in which white actors took all the speaking roles and the GIs upbringing was blamed for their psychological condition instead of war trauma. Let There Be Light was first shown publicly in December 1980, after a chorus of Hollywood leaders, joined by Vice President Walter Mondale, persuaded the Secretary of the Army, Clifford Alexander, Jr., to authorize its release….

My thanks to the Free Government Information blog and infodocket for posting the information.

Punk is Dead, so is the Library

By , May 25, 2012 1:31 pm

by Philippe Cloutier

A few years ago Punk and Librarian comparisons gained some traction. At the heart of this argument are some simple points, in particular:

Neither cares too much about packaging or exteriors—it’s what’s on the inside (your heart, your need) that counts.

Libraries (public, private, and academic), tackling 21st Century access and patron needs, are constantly striving to deliver quality information and reliable resources- no matter the format or space. A no brainer, society is constantly changing and the library with it. Librarians across the world are working diligently, especially in the face of a recession and booming circulation and electronic needs:

Public libraries in many major U.S. cities continue to see circulation rise, with Seattle leading the way with a whopping 50% increase in the past six years. Continue reading 'Punk is Dead, so is the Library'»

Summer Legal Research Refresher at Gallagher Law Library

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By , May 24, 2012 9:19 am

Gallagher Law Library is hosting a casual “Summer Legal Research Refresher” on two dates — June 18 and July 2, from 5-7pm, at the University of Washington School of Law, William H. Gates Hall. All law students working in Seattle this summer are welcome.

Students may choose a date that is most convenient, and register by submitting their specific questions and topics of interest that they you would like to discuss. Reference librarians will be on hand to suggest research strategies and recommend useful resources, specifically tailored to these topics. Snacks and summer refreshments will be provided.

Please see the flyer for details, and a link to the Registration Form.

Questions? Please contact Sherry Leysen (206.685.4476)

Names, Popular and Not So Popular

By , May 23, 2012 8:34 am

by Mary Whisner from Gallagher Blogs

The Social Security Administration has released its list of the most popular baby names in the last year, with Sophia and Jacob at the top. Reality TV, religion give birth to top baby names, Seattle Times, May 14, 2012.

Why stop with the most recent year? The curious can visit the Social Security Administration’s Popular Baby Names site and find out how a name has ranked going back to 1922. (The first Social Security card was issued in November 1936.)

My own name, Mary, was #1 the year I was born. It was in the top 5 from 1922 through 1967, but has now toppled to #112. Continue reading 'Names, Popular and Not So Popular'»

My Apologies to the Wine Drinkers…

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By , May 17, 2012 10:10 am

by Stina McClintock

…The following information is not of interest to you. I apologize and give you this to read instead.

I’m going to deviate away from the topic of law librarianship and let you all know that it is Seattle Beer Week! And in order to talk about something very near and dear to my heart, I had to find a way to make it relate to this blog…so here goes.

Did you know that beer has its own classification system? Before I went through the training to become a Certified Beer Judge in 2005, I thought of beer as either “tasty” or “not as tasty”. Never did it occur to me that a specific type of beer was SUPPOSED to taste like bacon. Or grass. Or green apple (I’m looking at you Bud Light). It was only after 16 weeks of beer drinking, or should I say “tasting”, that I realized that like every other science, beer has its own language and its own system of organization.

Over the next week, a variety of venues in the Seattle area will be pouring up some of the best that breweries have to offer. This is our opportunity to get out and try something new. Check out a sour ale (tart and refreshing) or a dry hopped cider (from Finn River). And if you need to attach something “headier” to your tasting exploits, tell yourself that you are learning a new classification system in the name of professional development.


*editor’s note: hic!

Why Yes, We Have Had Some Work Done

By , May 16, 2012 10:36 am

by Stina McClintock

Every morning I watch the Daily Rundown on MSNBC because I have a crush on Chuck Todd and because I have an even bigger crush on Luke Russert. At the end of each show they go around the table and do a “shameless plug”, which is the main motivation for this post. That and because Kim Kardashian has taught me the fine art of self promotion.

The Public Law Library of King County has a new website! Have you checked it out yet? It does everything the old site did, but a little bit better. For example, did you know that we have a wealth of information on Consumer Protection on our website? Maybe you didn’t because in the olden days you would not have been able to drill our site “By Topic” from A to Z. Or that we have quick links to Limited Practice Officer forms so you don’t have to click seven pages deep on the WSBA website? That’s right! We have had a virtual facelift.

I was going to sit here and take full credit for the whole thing, but in light of the fact that I am not big into lying or stealing spotlights (a lesson I learned from Snooki) I think this is the appropriate place to send a big ol’ shout out to Kim Ositis and Rick Stroup. Both of them worked exceptionally hard to keep the site development on schedule and delegate tasks to the rest of us here at the library. While a group effort, every big project has a leader, and it was definitely a well run operation. Or as library folks might say “an excellent collaboration.” Now go explore!

A Morning Cup of Librarian

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By , May 10, 2012 9:11 am

by Kristine Lloyd

Nothing says morning better than a cup of Librarian’s Blend coffee, brought to you by the fine folks of Intelligentsia Coffee:

The Librarian’s Blend is named for that person who always told you to keep quiet when you were studying. This blend is representative of the soul of the librarian: steady, reassuring, and always there with that slight edge of eccentricity. It has a bold base with a bit of sparkle. Here’s to good reading.

What baffles me is that it’s decaf. Why would I want decaf when I need to fortify myself to forcefully shush patrons, stamp books with fervor and patrol the stacks for perverts? Honestly, I think the Honey Badger Espresso sounds a bit more apt for our feisty clan:

Honey Badger’s reincarnation is true to the original’s form: assertive and acidic, with excessive sweetness and a syrupy body. Complex, citric, zesty, and well-rounded, this blend is both versatile and exciting, with much to offer both the home user and the ambitious barista.


*editor’s note: If you’re looking for the best coffee downtown check-out Monorail Espresso (cash only). They regularly fuel a number of librarians.

AALL News: Student Caucus

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By , May 8, 2012 8:44 am

by Philippe Cloutier

This just popped into my mailbox and thought it worth sharing:

Sent on behalf of AALL President Darcy Kirk, for the week of May 7, 2012.

AALL Student Caucus Formed

I am very pleased to announce an AALL Student Caucus has been formed following approval by the Executive Board. The purpose of the caucus is to offer a community for students pursuing careers in the field of law librarianship where they can assume an active role in shaping the future of the profession.

Any member can join a caucus, so join the Student Caucus and support the future of our profession. Continue reading 'AALL News: Student Caucus'»

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

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By , May 7, 2012 9:31 am

by Kristine Lloyd

I do so love The New Yorker, but I feel like Lucille Ball on the candy conveyor belt—they just keep coming, and I can barely keep up. That said, I am usually about 3 or 4 months behind, but thankfully the articles are often timeless in their wisdom.

Recently, I read this interesting article about collaboration and brainstorming, and it really made me further consider an earlier post I contributed about embedded librarians. There’s no argument that we need each other, but how often does our tendency to groupthink impede the actual exchange of new ideas? It might be that by stepping out of the library and integrating with different departments and practice groups we open ourselves up to new ideas about our library services.

What I found most interesting about the article was the exploration and exchange of ideas based on architecture. The article describes the bunker-like Building 20 at M.I.T. which was initially regarded as an architectural failure but later turned out to be an intellectual breeding ground for collaborations that resulted in the creation of the Bose Corporation, the first video game and Chomskyan linguistics. With people from different departments housed in proximity to each other, there were lots of interdepartmental exchanges of ideas that led to the creation of new theories and inventions.

It always amazes me when, despite all of our outreach efforts, I encounter an attorney who has no idea that we have a library page on our intranet. Not only am I able to assist the attorney in finding helpful resources, but I also have an opportunity to assess how the attorney processes information and what his/her specific needs are. This often generates new ideas for training classes or outreach for a specific practice group. Whether we venture out intermittently or we go whole-hog and set up shop amongst the attorneys, the exchanges we’ll have will surely lead to the library innovations essential to keeping our services fresh.


By , May 3, 2012 8:45 am

by Philippe Cloutier

The LexisNexis® Librarian Relations Group sponsors an annual program: Teaching Research in Private Law Libraries (TRIPLL). TRIPLL took place this past weekend, in Frisco, TX, and I was lucky enough to attend. TRIPLL’s history spans over 20 years; and past attendees often exclaim its merits and benefits to their careers. My experience was a three-day whirlwind. Here are some quick and dirty notes/outlines.

Our first day, Friday, laid down the groundwork and prepped our minds, diving into law firm dynamics, change, and the business outlook. We were then given a bigger picture, looking at law school operations, goals, and concerns.  Select questions arising on Friday: How do firm librarians fit into these models, how can we improve our services given the range of needs, and where do we go from here?

Continue reading 'TRIPLL Down'»

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