Monday 28 March 2016

Upcoming ProQuest Congressional webinars

ProQuest has announced a series of Congressional webinars for April and May:
1. Tuesday April 5, 12:00 noon:  Using/searching ProQuest Congressional Hearings for Expert Testimony : Join this 30 minute webinar for how to search Congressional hearings for expert testimony - including companies, scientists, researchers and more. Register here.
2. Tues. April 19, 12:00 noon:  Legislative Insight Overview :  Join this 30 minute webinar for a quick review of ProQuest Legislative Insight. We’ll look at two legislative histories, one more straightforward and the other more complex, to explore the legislative histories and the functionality of Legislative Insight. Register here.
3. Thurs. April 21, 12:00 noon:  101 Uses for the Congressional Research Digital Collection  The Congressional Research Digital Collection, made up of Committee Prints and CRS Reports, is a rich source of varied content – from pro/con discussions to Democratic and Republican staff papers. Join this appr. 45 minute webinar to explore some of the content types and how to find them. Register here.
4. Tues. May 3, 1:00 pm: Using ProQuest Congressional for Historical Research The ProQuest Congressional Collection, with all of the full text modules, creates a rich source of information for those doing historical research. Join this webinar (45-60 minutes) to explore sources available - the Congressional Record, Committee Hearings, the US Congressional Serial Set, the Executive Branch Documents collection and the Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations and how you might use them for research.  Register here. 

Friday 25 March 2016

Security in libraries

Inside Higher Education recently posted an article titled "Library Access vs. Library Security" in which it discusses security and safety in academic libraries that are open to the public. The article uses the Pitt ULS as an example of how some libraries deal with public access: "The University of Pittsburgh library system, for example, lets everyone in but charges a $100 fee for borrowing privileges for the unaffiliated." Other university libraries have guards and security cameras; Georgia State recently closed the library to the public after a series of armed robberies inside the building - they are upgrading security cameras and improving sign-in procedures during the closure.

AAUP draft report on Title IX enforcement by the Dept. of Education

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has released a draft report, available for comment (56 page pdf), called "The History, Uses and Abuses of Title IX." In the report, the AAUP warns that the manner in which Title IX enforcement dealing with sexual harassment and assault, by the Education Department and campus administrators, is trampling faculty members' rights to academic freedom, due process, and shared governance. It also warns that "colleges’ current focus on eliminating sexual harassment may be contributing to other campus inequities, and may actually be hindering broader efforts to fight sexual discrimination under the gender-equity law known as Title IX." The report concludes that ""The contemporary interpretation, implementation, and enforcement of Title IX threatens academic freedom and shared governance in ways that frustrate the statute’s stated goals," and that by interpreting Title IX "to focus primarily on sexual harassment and assault on campus" the department has been distracted from its duties under that law to protect women from discrimination in other areas, such as access to academic programs and participation in collegiate athletics.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Blue(book)s Wars

Carl Malamud of Public Resource has been on the case of the Bluebook for a couple of years now . The latest salvo came in a recent posting in the Harvard Law Record titled "The Blue Wars: A Report From the Front" written by Mr. Malamud. In the post he refers to a letter he received from attorneys for the Harvard Law Review Association "concerning Mr. Malamud's recent Twitter postings." The post gives the history of the wranglings over the Bluebook that Public Resource has been involved in since 2009.

hat tip: Pat Roncevich

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Google Scholar search button

If you like to use Google Scholar to find free cases and scholarly articles (and who doesn't?) you can add a Google Scholar button to your browser, if you use Firefox or Chrome. This lets you launch the Google Scholar search box from your browser bar. The default is set for articles; if you want to change the default to case law, click on the gear icon at the bottom right to for the "Scholar Settings" page. Then you can include patents, or search for caselaw and articles, and set the results to a max of 20 per page.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Webinar on Government Apps and Mobile Sites

"Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian" Webinars from the Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association is a series of free webinars designed to help librarians do better reference work by increasing familiarity with government information resources, and by discovering the best strategies for navigating them. These sessions are recorded and made available after the live sessions from the NCLA GRS web page.
On Friday, March 18 from 12-1 there is a webinar called "Get App(y): Government apps and mobile sites." You can register here.

Transparency for the Congressional Research Service

Recently, bipartisan bills were introduced in both houses of Congress (S 2639 and HR 4702) that authorize the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) to make reports prepared for Congress freely available to the public. Libraries, educators, and groups advocating for transparency in government support the legislation. An agency within the Library of Congress, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) employs more than 400 policy analysts, attorneys, and information professionals across a variety of disciplines in five research divisions: American Law; Domestic Social Policy; Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade; Government and Finance; and Resources, Science and Industry.  CRS provides policy and legal analysis to Congress, and its reports remain the province of congressional members and their staff. They are released to the public mainly when referred to during hearings. A new website,, was launched in December 2015, and purports to be the “largest free and public collection of Congressional Research Service reports.” The earliest report in the repository is from 1989. The "Search" function is, at present, rudimentary. 

Friday 4 March 2016

We say carNAYgie, you say CARnegie. You're wrong.

Aha! Irrefutable proof that we Pittsburghers (unlike everyone else in the world) pronounce "Carnegie" correctly.

hat tip: CMOA