Tuesday 22 April 2014

Government Relations Office to Host Open House During Federal Depository Library Conference

AALL's Government Relations Office (GRO) will host a special open house during the Government Printing Office's Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library (FDL) Conference on May 1 from 5:30-6:30 p.m., followed by the annual law librarian and friends dinner just one block away at Kelly's Irish Times.AALL's GRO is located next door to the Government Printing Office, offering the perfect opportunity to see AALL's D.C. office and network with colleagues attending the FDL Conference. 

Monday 21 April 2014

Congressional Quarterly database news

CQ.com has announced that "valuable new content and features are being added" to our CQ subscription this week:
 CQ.com will be refreshed with a new look.
 CQ Now, the new, real-time chronicle of the Capitol’s most important developments, will come directly from the intelligence-gathering team embedded in the halls of Congress. You can rely on CQ Now to flag every major floor action and committee markup as the legislative day unfolds.
 The  popular Today at a Glance feature will now be continually updated to reflect changes in the congressional schedule and latest action, with links to news coverage, documents and transcripts of note as they are published.
 Five new blogs will be added featuring expert analysis on key topics: Agriculture & Food, Banking & Finance, Defense, Energy & Climate and Transportation. Morning Take e-newsletters on each topic can be sent to your inbox at dawn at your one-click request. 

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Legislative Research webinar series

ProQuest is hosting a series of webinars on "Using Legislative History to Find Legislative Intent" using the Congressional database meant especially for law students. This 90-minute session is designed for the summer associate, judicial, law firm or government agency law clerk, intern, extern or research assistant. You will learn how to use ProQuest Congressional to:
1. Develop an understanding of the legislative process both procedurally  (how did the language read as first proposed, what committees considered the proposal, when were amendments made and where was the proposal when it was amended)  and as an adversarial process (who was lobbying in support of the proposal and what were they trying to accomplish, who was active in opposition what were their objections, who was responsible for amendments to the proposal).
 2. Become familiar with the documents available pertinent to your issue.
3. Identify where in the process the changes you care about occurred – this provides a mechanism to narrow the scope of your search for explanations for why the language was changed;
4. Learn how to identify both direct and circumstantial evidence of intent.
The live webinar will be held on 6 different dates; click the link to register:
Fri. April 25  10 am
Thurs. May 1 1 pm
Fri. May 16 1 pm
Thurs. May 29 1:30 pm
Thurs. June 12 1 pm
Fri. June 20  9 am

New from the GPO: Baseball!

We just got the latest monthly list of New Titles from the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.  One of this month's new eBooks published by the GPO is Baseball: the national pastime in the National Archives.  It's got a lot of interesting factoids for baseball fans (did you know fan is short for aficionado?).  It also has images of the patents for  the first baseball bats, gloves and balls, filed by John Hillerich of Louisville Ky (his bat company is the maker of the Louisville Slugger); George Rawlings (baseball glove patent from 1885) and Benjamin Shibe, known as the Edison of Baseball (a baseball with a cork center in 1909).  There are also lots of historic photos.  

Monday 14 April 2014

Heartbleed hints: do you need to change your passwords?

"Heartbleed" is a recently discovered internet security threat that has affected many websites.  Mashable has published a list of popular sites and information about whether you need to change your password for these sites. For example, Facebook: yes. LinkedIn: no.  

Friday 11 April 2014

End of year hours

Remember that the law school's calendar is longer than the University's calendar. The University's final exam period is April 21-26; the law school's is April 24-May 7. For the university, the week of Sunday April 27 through Sunday May 4 is called "Interim" and the campus computer labs are all closed except the one in Hillman which has limited hours. So student printing can be an issue if you're not careful. The Barco printer will be working throughout our exam period.
On Sunday May 4 at midnight all the student print quotas reset so our students should have plenty of print quota for last-minute papers etc.  And Barco Law Library begins our summer hours on Thursday May 8; closing at 6 pm M-Th, 5 pm on Friday, open Saturday 9-5 and CLOSED on Sunday.  

Digital Preservation at the LOC

The Digital Preservation Blog on the Library of Congress website posted yesterday about a presentation on the National Agenda for Digital Stewardship and on using the Levels of Digital Preservation (1 page pdf) that have been developed by the National Digital Stewardship Alliance. The National Agenda integrates the perspective of dozens of experts and hundreds of institutions to provide funders and executive decision‐makers insight into emerging technological trends, gaps in digital stewardship capacity, and key areas for funding, research and development. The Levels of Digital Preservation is a tiered set of recommendations for how organizations should begin to build or enhance their digital preservation activities. It is intended to be a relatively easy-to-use set of guidelines useful not only for those just beginning to think about preserving their digital assets, but also for institutions planning the next steps in enhancing their existing digital preservation systems and workflows.
The LOC also has a helpful webpage on "Personal Archiving: Preserving Your Digital Memories" with basic information about best practices for saving your digital photos, audio, video, email, and records.

Replacing Windows XP

For anyone who has a computer that still uses the Windows XP operating system: an interesting article in PC World, titled "Don't Waste Your Money trying to upgrade your Windows XP PC". The author says that basically even IF your computer meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 7 or Windows 8, you are still better off just buying a new computer.
And while you're thinking about XP, here's an interesting little newslet about XP's default wallpaper, called "Bliss"...which is an actual, unretouched, unphotoshopped photograph taken by photographer Charles O'Rear in Pittsburgh  Napa Valley.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

The Flipped Classroom

Last week there was an interesting post on the Chronicle's Wired Campus blog about flipped learning and the flipped classroom, ideas that are slowly making their way into law school education.  This week Robert Talbert, the educator who wrote the post, has another post  on the topic - because the original post elicited a great deal of commentary.  Most of which made him angry.
It's interesting and points to a divide in faculty attitude towards students.  

Wednesday 2 April 2014

April Fool's: funny federal publications

The GPO's Government Book Talk blog had an April Fool's Day post listing the "top ten" funny titles of federal documents. OK, they're only moderately funny.  But still. They're trying.