Tuesday 27 February 2007

Search all law school websites

The beSpacific email this morning reminded me about the existence of "search law schools" - a Google mash-up created by a law librarian that allows you to search just law school websites. If anybody else has Google mashups that provide added value to Google, please post! One of my favorites is the Google Maps pedometer, which lets me figure out how far I'm walking when I take different routes.

New endowed chair at UCLA Law

A gay male couple have donated more than $1 million to UCLA Law School to endow a chair in sexual orientation law. In a report in the LA Times (registration required) one of the donors explained that their donation will support " legal scholarship, legal research and education that covers a whole area so fundamental to creating change." This is the first time a chair in this budding field has been established in a law school.

Monday 26 February 2007

Searching the NYTimes

Today's "beSpacific" email has a link to an online article about searching back issues of the New York Times. The author compares using the search engine provided (for a fee) on the New York Times website (provided by ProquestArchiver) with the Proquest Historical Newspapers database (available to us through the Pitt digital library).
After discussing the electronic databases, the author cautions that the bound New York Times index "still manages to contain references to articles that the online database misses."

Friday 23 February 2007

Room to Read

There is an interesting article in the WSJ this morning about Room to Read, a philanthropy founded by a former Microsoft executive to build libraries and schools in developing countries. Many of the donors are in the high-tech industry. A new million dollar grant from Goldman Sachs Group is going to be used to build 450 libraries in India, in schools and community centers and other places where children already congregate.

Diplomacy History collection

The LOC has announced a new addition to the American Memory collection that may be of some interest to our faculty: an oral history of 20th century diplomacy. It is searchable and is browsable by Author and Subject. There is also an interesting essay on the interviewing technique used.
You can read the press release about the collection here, and more information about the collection

Sunday 18 February 2007

January acquisitions

I've put the acquisitions for January 2007 on our website and notified the faculty - if they want to check out one of the new books they can email me with the request.
S. L.

Friday 16 February 2007

Westlaw news

I've just learned from our Westlaw representative that the ALR is becoming a Westlaw exclusive.

Prison librarian and comb binding machine

This week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a prisoner in Oregon who claimed that, in denying him access to a "comb binding machine", a prison librarian violated his right of access to the courts resulting in his loss of a legal claim. You can read the story here.

"the tactile pleasures of a great university library"

There's a wonderful paean to libraries in this morning's daily Chronicle of Higher Education. "Thomas H. Benton"* describes his collection of books about libraries. (These are my very favorite books. I love browsing the Carnegie Public Library's collection of books with the LC classification "Z". The library at the Pitt library school has shelves and shelves of "Z" books.)
He talks about how he as a library lover feels about the relentless movement towards libaries without books.
Is there a word for someone who loves libraries? "Bibliophile" refers to a lover of books, but that isn't the same as the love we feel for libraries.

*The name is pseudononymous. Thomas Hart Benton was a great American artist whose painted scenes from the American midwest.

Thursday 15 February 2007

new law journal (quote unquote)

There's a new online law journal called Consortium: the Journal of Legal Nonsense. It looks to be the brainchild of a few law students and recent law grads who savor the irony of law school and the legal life. So far they've managed to produce Volume 1, Issue 1 - but isn't the fact that they numbered it proof that they plan to do it again? Anyway, they offer an online version, a pdf for download, and an RSS feed. And they're looking for submissions for the next issue. They're also looking for an articles editor and a layout and design editor. Obviously they need someone to correct the spelling, especially on the Contriubte tab.
WorldCat has recently added a couple of features to make it easier and more convenient. The first is a more faceted sorting feature: now you can sort search results by relevance, author, title and date. The second is providing proper citation format in five different styles (APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, and Turabian) for every item (unfortunately it doesn’t have Blue Book). OCLC is definitely working on making WorldCat more user-friendly.