Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Cornell Law offers "legal research clinic" opportunity for law students

Cornell Law School has a new legal clinic called the "Cornell Legal Research Clinic," a three credit course offered through their Law Library. Students enrolled in the clinic help local residents, nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurs who have specific legal research questions but do not require full legal representation. Students also work with public-interest lawyers who need legal research assistance, and regularly staff tables at local Startup locations. The Cornell Chronicle has an article with more information about the clinic.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

MIT report on the future of libraries

Inside Higher Education reports that MIT has published a preliminary report that is the culmination of a yearlong initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study "how the MIT libraries ought to evolve to best advance the creation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge; and to serve as a leader in the reinvention of research libraries. "The MIT libraries should focus on its four "pillars" -- community and relationships, discovery and use, stewardship and sustainability, and research and development -- to reimagine itself as an "open global platform," according to a preliminary report published Monday. Chris Bourg, the MIT Libraries' Director, says “What the report and the work of the task force say is that libraries aren’t just about buildings, and they’re not just about books. Providing access to credible information and the tools to assess, use, understand and exploit it is what libraries, librarians and archivists have always done. It’s more important than ever now.”
The full report is available on the MIT website (28 page pdf).

Monday, 28 November 2016

BIG changes at the GODORT State Agency Databases Project

Daniel Cornwall, who initiated the State Agency Databases Project back in 2007, has announced a number of changes in the website. The project is managed by volunteers from the government documents section of the American Library Assn. Daniel says:
"We have instituted two major changes that I think will benefit you, your patrons and anyone else who needs to deal with publicly searchable databases from US States.
 1) We are migrating to LibGuides! We feel this will allow for easier reuse of our material and will give us better usage statistics and control over how things look. Effective immediately please use the following URLs: a. Main Project Page b. State Blue Books/Encyclopedias
 2) Our state pages are now being organized by subject, rather than by agency. This change has also allowed us to offer more cross-state subject guides - though these are embryonic at the moment.
 To see how the subject organization looks in LibGuides, visit the Alaska page.
The switch to move all content from the GODORT Wiki and organize it by subject will take a while. We anticipate being finished by 3/31/2017. You can follow our progress on our migration dashboard at http://godort.libguides.com/statedatabases/dashboard. We will also offer periodic updates on our progress. We have set all LibGuides content to share with the entire LibGuides Community, so please let anyone you know working on LibGuides that our content is available for their use. Permission not required, attribution appreciated.
 Finally, we'd like your help in deciding whether to keep several of our current subject guides. If you care about cross-state guides in history and related fields, please visit this page and vote whether these should  be moved into LibGuides or let go. Voting will continue until 2/1/2017. To be migrated into LibGuides, a subject guide must receive at least 50 votes and a majority of those votes have to be yes. "

Friday, 18 November 2016

New Director of University Library System

Pitt News Service has the announcement:
"Kornelia Tancheva, associate university librarian for research and learning services at Cornell University Library, will be Pitt’s Hillman University Librarian and director of the University Library System effective May 1 of next year, Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson announced today.
Tancheva, whose association with Cornell University dates back to 1993, holds a PhD in American drama and theatre from Cornell as well as three master’s degrees—one in library science from Syracuse University, one in history and theory of drama and theatre from Cornell, and one in English language and literature from Sofia University in Bulgaria.
Her career has included planning and implementing a number of key projects and initiatives, including partnership programs within Cornell and beyond."

hat tip: Pat Roncevich & Tracey Olanyk

ABA puts law school on probation

The ABA Journal reports that The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is placing the Charlotte School of Law on probation and publicly censuring Valparaiso University School of Law because both schools were out of compliance with ABA accreditation standards. The two schools were disciplined for violating ABA admissions rules by failing to maintain sound admissions policies and admitting students who "(do) not appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.” Law.com reports that "The ABA has now publicly sanctioned three law schools for violating admissions rules since August, unusual moves considering such actions historically are rare. Ave Maria School of Law is the other campus that has run afoul of the rules."

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

PACER revenues

The Free Law Project blog has a post titled "How much money does PACER make?" and answers the question with statistics that are quite eye-opening: PACER has brought in $1.2 billion over its 21 year existence, including $145 million in 2015 (the latest year available). Which leads the Free Law Project to conclude that:
"These are remarkable numbers and they point to one of two conclusions. Either PACER is creating a surplus — which is illegal according to the E-Government Act — or PACER is costing $135M/year to run. Whichever the case, it’s clear that something has gone terribly wrong. If the justice system is turning a profit selling public domain legal documents through its public access system, that’s wrong. If the judicial branch needs $60M/year to run a basic website, that’s gross waste, and that’s wrong too. Something needs to be done to rein in PACER, and again we ask that public citizens, Congress, journalists, and the courts work to develop a solution."

Statutes at Large from the LLoC update

Jennifer Gonz├ílez on the In Custodia Legis Blog From the Law Library of Congress informs readers that two years ago the LLoC “added historical Statutes at Large to our Digitized Material page. Years 1789-1950 have been available there in a large PDF download, but we have been working steadily to add more functionality to the website. We continue to add details to each Congress page that show the titles and dates of each statute, along with a smaller download for just that statute. Currently, we have years 1826-1919 (Congresses 19-65) available with chapter details. Years 1919-1923 (Congresses 66 and 67) will be posted by the end of 2016. And then we will continue to fill in the gaps in our coverage…”
hat tip: Pat Roncevich

Friday, 11 November 2016

Government Accountability Office (GAO) transition app

“To help make the upcoming presidential and congressional transitions as informed as possible, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has launched a new mobile app that provides users easy access to the watchdog agency’s priority recommendations for improving government operations."  The app is available free of charge in the App Store or Google Play. GAO has a webpage about the Presidential and Congressional transition with links to the App and other information.
hat tip: beSpacific

President Elect website now available

Monday, 7 November 2016

Beyond Google - Another Look at Finding Government Information

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) through its FDLP Academy is hosting a webiner this Wednesday, November 9th at 2:00 pm called "Beyond Google - Another Look at Finding Government Information." This webinar will cover intermediate and advanced searching techniques, deep web search engines, and ways to find and use "hidden" resources. During the webinar, sample searches will be for statistics, born-digital, and digitized historical publications. You can register for this free webinar here.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Moving to Office 360 email

If you're paying attention you have probably received several notices, both via email and snailmail, about the move to Office 365 email that is going to occur for Pitt faculty and staff really soon.
If you haven't paid much attention, you can get all the info you need at pi.tt/mypittemail, a site that  CSSD has set up. Basically the move should happen seamlessly and there's no need to worry.
Plus Office 365 email is going to be "An improved email experience" with 50 GB of email storage (!) etc. etc. etc. and a new feature called Clutter: "Clutter will be activated for your Inbox. It automatically moves less important messages into a new Clutter folder."
Sounds interesting.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

LLRX updates website

The LLRX.com website was recently redesigned with an all new look. LLRX is a free, independent, one woman published Web journal dedicated to providing legal, library, IT, CI/BI, marketing, communications, Congressional, legislative, academic and administrative professionals, as well as students, with the most up-to-date information on a wide range of web research and technology-related issues, applications, resources and tools. It has been edited and published for 20 years by Sabrina I. Pacifici, pioneering member of the online legal community.

Burgh's Eye View tracks and locates Pittsburgh data

The City of Pittsburgh has launched a new website/app called "Burgh's Eye View" that contains information and maps about Pittsburgh including crime statistics, building code violations and 311 service requests about broken sidewalks, graffiti, potholes and excessive noise complaints. The app contains data the city supplies each night to the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, a website that contains public information, much of which was previously accessible only through Right-to-Know requests.
According to the website, "At first glance, Burgh’s Eye View might seem like some­thing from the dreams of our most “neb­by” neigh­bors... but...We think of it as neb­by for the great­er good." Burgh’s Eye View is an initiative of the Department of the Innovation & Performance’s Analytics & Strategy Team. Who, by the way, say they would "love to hear (via email) your feedback, ideas, and hopes for the future of data in the City of Pittsburgh."

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Charleston Conference live streaming Nov. 3&4

The 2016 Charleston Conference, an informal annual gathering of librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials in Charleston S.C. is running this Thursday, Nov. 3 2016 through Saturday. If you aren't planning to attend the conference in person they will be live streaming several plenary sessions on the conference website, available here.
The events that will be available are:
Thursday, November 3  
8:30 – 9:15 am: You Can’t Preserve What You Don’t Have – Or Can You? Libraries as Infrastructure for Perpetual Access to Intellectual Output. (Anja Smit, University Librarian, Utrecht University)
9:15 – 10:00 am Libraries as Convener, Enabler, Distributor, Advocate, and Archive in the Future Knowledge Economy (Jim Neal, University Librarian Emeritus, Columbia University)
Friday, November 4
8:30 – 9:10 am Reimagining Our World At Planetary Scale: The Big Data Future Of Our Libraries (Kalev Leetaru, Senior Fellow, Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, Georgetown University)
9:10 – 9:55 am Hyde Park Debate – Resolved: APC-Funded Open Access is Antithetical to the Values of Librarianship (Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication, University of Utah; Michael Levine-Clark, Dean and Director, University of Denver Libraries; Alison Scott, Associate University Librarian for Collections & Scholarly Communication, University of California, Riverside).
Recorded video from the sessions will be made available on the Conference website in January.

webinar: International Government Survey Data: How to Find and Use It

"Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian," the webinar series hosted by the Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association, has announced its next installment: International Government Survey Data: How to Find and Use It. The webinar will be held on Monday, Nov. 14 from noon- 1 pm Eastern time.
From the description: What is the difference between international government statistics, aggregate data, and microdata? What is "unit-level" data? How does one discover, evaluate, and utilize microdata produced by international organizations, foreign governments, and nongovernmental organizations? This webinar will introduce the user to tips and tricks for finding, evaluating and using international microdata, and explaining how these sources differ from the statistics and aggregate data many users are more accustomed to working with. Major discovery services will be explored, as well as the essential skills needed to interpret data documentation, study descriptions, and the formats in which these data are provided.
Presenter Jim Church is the librarian for economics, international & foreign government information, global poverty, and political economy at the University of California Berkeley. He serves as the Chair of the IFLA Government Information and Official Publications Section and is also active in the ALA Government Documents Round Table where he writes the international documents column for the journal DttP. His primary areas of interest are in economic development and international and nongovernmental organizations.
You can register for the program here. The webinar will also be recorded and available after the live session from the NCLA GRS web page and on their YouTube channel