Monday 17 December 2012

HeinOnline App

A HeinOnline is now available in the itunes store for accessing HeinOnline on iPad or iPhone. View the image-based PDFs, access content by citation, browse by volume, navigate a volume with the electronic table of contents, and use full advanced searching techniques. Note that HeinOnline account/authentication is required.

Monday 10 December 2012

Federal Court opinions indexed by Google

Courtney Minick over at Justia reports that Google is now indexing the federal court opinions that have been made available via the FDSys database. This is good news if the courts you are interested in are available on FDSys; unfortunately, not all federal courts are available and the number of cases uploaded is very limited.

Legal Education in hard times

Tax Prof Blog has an interesting post called "Stealth Restructuring in Legal Education". The author points out the parallels between recent downsizing in law firms and what is happening now in law school admissions and enrollment. He also points out that the "decline of roughly 8000 in first-year enrollment (across the country, as reported by the ABA) means law schools probably are missing roughly $200 million in first-year revenue for the 2012-2013 academic year as compared to the 2010-2011 academic year. He goes on to look more closely at which law schools lost most enrollment and how they are restructuring; and says that this isn't being reported - hence the title of "Stealth Restructuring". The post says that "almost no one is reporting on what is actually happening at the dozens of law schools trying to deal with significant budgetary distress. In the coming months or in the next year or two, law schools will be leaner – with fewer staff and possibly fewer faculty (if early retirement options are put on the table or if untenured faculty are released). And quite possibly, some law schools may close. While a law school being forced to close likely will be news, it appears that law school restructuring generally is less newsworthy than law firm restructuring."

Thursday 6 December 2012

The Manhattan Project

This is a little off-topic, but there is an interesting new website called "Voices of the Manhattan Project" that is the result of a collaboration between the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society. The Manhattan Project, of course, was the top secret program that produced the first atomic bomb during WWII. The Project was a major human collaboration, with 130,000 people around the country working on it. There are about 26 interviews currently on the site. There is a long list of subjects; some of them do not yet have content but it does give an idea of the types of interviews that will be added. They plan to add add over 100 interviews.

Redesign of American FactFinder

American FactFinder, the U.S. Census Bureau website, is undergoing a redesign that should be available early in 2013. Some of the proposed improvements include:

  • "Community Facts" - the easy tools on the Census homepage and AFF homepage of "Quick Facts" and "Population Finder" will be merged and replaced by a new tool called "Community Facts". Just enter the name of a state, county, city, town, or zip code in the search box to get summary data about that geography.
  • "Guided Search" will be the /new /second choice, and consists of easy-to-work through prompted searches for these choices: "I'm looking for information about people" "I'm looking for information about housing" "I'm looking for information about businesses or industries" "I'm looking for information from a specific dataset" "I want to search for a table number or a table title" The user clicks their choice, then follows prompts to their data. The order is from the most general to the most specific, and can be used by the entire range of Census data users, novices to experts.

"Guided Search" is the topic approach to AFF that the Census Bureau has been promising to develop since the redesign of AFF began in 2010. According to librarians who have been beta testing the new site, "You're going to like it."

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Statutes at Large now on WLNext

Westlaw recently added the United States Statutes at Large to WestlawNext. In order to access the content, click on the link from the Browse All Content tab for Statutes & Court Rules. Then click on the link to United States Code Annotated (USCA). Once you link into the USCA, you will see a link to United States Statutes at Large under Tools & Resources on the right hand side of the screen. When you click on the link to United States Statutes at Large, you will be brought to a template where you can enter your search criteria.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

LLMC Digital Collection now in Pittcat

The LLMC (Law Library Microform Consortium) Digital collection is now cataloged and available via catalog search:  just do a Pittcat search for "LLMC Digital".  As you can see from its name, LLMC used to be a source of microfilm for law libraries. But for a number of years now they have been digitizing their holdings to make them available for subscribers online.  Barco Law Library has been a member of the consortium for a long time and we have had access to their databases, but until recently you had to know what was in the collection in order to access it.   LLMC has a wide-ranging assortment of legal resources, from a large collection of Blackstone and Blackstone spinoffs to the old laws of third world countries.  Since the hurricane that damaged Haiti a few years ago, LLMC has had a project to put all their Haitian materials online.  But they also have plenty of US federal and state materials, it's worth a browse just to see what all is available. Every month they post a Newsletter that tells what they've been up to, and a Recent Online Update that lists the most recently digitized materials.