Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Kluwer Study Guides for Pitt Law students

The School of Law administration and the Barco Law Library have been working for the past six months on a pilot program to make available the study guides published by Wolters Kluwer as a digital package available to Pitt Law students. This includes the popular outline/study/Bar prep series Examples and Explanations, Emanuel's, Crunch Time, Siegel’s, Casenote Legal Briefs and many others. The study guides are available for most law school subjects including all the 1L subjects.  All of this material is provided at no cost to students. These ebooks have useful features like highlighting, bookmarking, copying, and download options. The link to the study guides can be found on the Barco Databases page, under K for Kluwer.
 As this is a trial program any decision regarding renewal next fall will be based on this year’s usage statistics. To help you utilize these materials appropriately, the 1L Academic Success Workshop on November 20 and the Upper Level Academic Success Workshop on November 25 will be dedicated to tips and strategies for using the online study guides. The workshops will focus on the appropriate use of the outlines and the other myriad study materials now available to you. Questions should be directed to Mr. Wible at rwible@pitt.edu . Any questions about or problems accessing these materials should be directed to Susanna Leers, our Electronic Services Librarian, at leers@pitt.edu.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Ebola info

The Homeland Security Digital Library is a hub for information about the Ebola virus. Searching the HSDL online catalog for "ebola virus", turns up hundreds of links to government information from the National Library of Medicine, the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and other reliable sources. For example you can find a link to a map and timeline of Ebola outbreaks in every country in the world, including the number of cases and deaths caused by Ebola. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

PacerPro Live Webinar

On Tuesday, Nov. 18 at noon PacerPro is hosting a tutorial that will teach you how to use PacerPro, including conducting a boolean search, batch downloading.  PacerPro provides an advanced, user-friendly interface alternative to the clunky PACER interface.  

Friday, 7 November 2014

Another new database for Pitt Law: Investor-State Law Guide

The Barco Law Library has purchased a subscription to another database that is now available to all University of Pittsburgh students, faculty and staff. The database is called the Investor-State Law Guide and should be accessible both on- and off-campus. Note that when you are on the main page of the ISLG you get into the database by clicking on the gray "Login" button in the upper right; but no login is required. The database contains resources for researching international investment law, including treaties, arbitration rules and decisions and other related documents.
 Reviewers say: “ISLG has been a very useful tool for research in investor-state arbitration. The search engine allows you to research for a very specific topic and obtain a quite comprehensive result of investment disputes dealing with the topic. The best thing is it points directly to the specific paragraph of each case dealing with the topic, and directly provides the excerpt." and "“ISLG is an invaluable research tool, particularly in an area of law that lacks a traditional system of precedent. It enables the user to have confidence that their research is thorough and up-to-date.”

Law 360 now available at Pitt Law

Students, faculty and staff at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law now have access to Law 360, the legal news service that bills itself as "the only news source that covers the entire spectrum of practice areas every single business day". The database is accessible to us via IP range, which, translated to English, means that it is only available when you are working at a computer in the Barco Law Building. However, Law 360 is owned by LexisNexis, and Law 360 content is available in Lexis Advance, which Pitt Law students, faculty and staff have access to from anywhere they have an internet connection.  

Large amounts of university archive sound & moving image media need preservation

There's an interesting - and rather discouraging - article in the Chronicle of Higher Education today that discusses how troves of old recordings are hidden away on campuses and are degrading into unusability because archivists aren't aware of what they have. "At research universities across the country, archivists are painfully aware that large portions of their institutions’ audiovisual legacies are in decay. Old formats must be digitized if they are to be used, but first they must be identified and salvaged."  The article cites to a census that was conducted recently at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - a census that turned up 408,000 items in 101 locations on the campus. These included rare 1920s films; caches of ethnomusicology field recordings; videotaped supercomputer animations; audiotapes for speech-recognition research; film documenting the Nobel laureate Paul Lauterbur’s work on magnetic resonance imaging; and a sociologist's pains­takingly indexed film collections of 1960s protests. A similar census at Indiana University turned up 600,000 audio, video, and film items, in 50 formats that require digitization and preservation.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

ABA ? of the week: How many bound law books do you have? Do you still use them?

The ABA Journal's question of the week is one of interest to law librarians: How many bound law books do you have? Do you still use them?
Anyone can answer the question in the Comments section at the end of the post that asks the question. There are some interesting answers being posted:
"Black's Law Dictionary and a few specialized treatises."
"It's getting to the point where the bound books are almost relegated to part of the office d├ęcor. After all, you expect to see some law books in a lawyer's office, like you expect to see tools in a garage. I do, however, have all of the big green West's Hornbooks, and I do use them. The only bound volumes I still use regularly are the Bluebook, our state search and seizure citator, and the judge's bench manuals for our state."
and: "Anyone who has a set of encyclopedia or other voluminous reference material, e.g., American Jurisprudence, Corpus Juris Secundum, or Williston on Contracts, I will gladly take them off of your hands. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I still love books. My wife has a Nook and I find that I cannot focus or read as long as I can when reading an actual book. It makes my eyes weary."

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Ebola and the Law

Justia's Verdict newsletter has posted an excellent discussion of the legal issues involved in the recent Ebola virus epidemic and how it is being handled. Titled "Travel Bans and Mandatory Quarantines" the article looks at how federal and state governments have been dealing with the threat of Ebola.