Friday 19 July 2019

GPO & DPLA Partnering to Make Government eBooks More Accessible

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) has announced that the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) are partnering to make Government eBooks more accessible. DPLA has created Open Bookshelf, a platform for eBooks where open-licensed eBooks are available to the public. GPO is going to use this platform to make its books available.
"Through Open Bookshelf, GPO can provide a service model to meet the needs of modern-day users. There are over 500 eBooks available on the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP); partnering with the DPLA eBook program will help GPO to continue to achieve its goals."
Learn more about the project on the FDLP/DPLA eBook Pilot Project page.

hat tip: Pat Roncevich

Thursday 18 July 2019

Dean Wildermuth discusses Justice Stevens

Pitt Law Dean Amy Wildermuth clerked for U.S Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens who passed away recently.  She was interviewed about her time as Justice Stevens' law clerk on Pittsburgh's public radio station WESA. Interviewer Kevin Gavin spoke with Dean Wildermuth on his program called "The Confluence." You can read about the interview on the WESA website where you can also listen to a recording of the program; the interview with Dean Wildermuth begins at minute 12:23.

Thursday 11 July 2019

GPO has digitized the Public Papers of the Presidents

The Government Publishing Office has announced that the GPO and the National Archives' Office of the Federal Register have digitized The Public Papers of the Presidents for Presidents Herbert Hoover (1929) through George H.W. Bush (1990), with the exception of the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency. (The papers of President Franklin Roosevelt were published privately before the commencement of the official Public Papers series.) Each volume of The Public Papers of the Presidents is comprised of a forward by the President, public writings, addresses, remarks, and photographs.
This digitization effort joined the already digital version of Public Papers for Presidents George H. W. Bush (1991−1992), William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack H. Obama.
The compiled and published Public Papers of the Presidents began in 1957 in response to a recommendation of the National Historical Publications Commission. Noting the lack of uniform compilations of messages and papers of the Presidents before this time, the Commission recommended the establishment of an official series in which Presidential writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature could be made available. This recommendation was issued under section 6 of the Federal Register Act (44 U.S.C. 1506).

Westlaw and ICE?

Two listserv posts came in yesterday alerting us to this interesting topic. The first offered a link to this article in SSRN titled "When Westlaw Fuels ICE Surveillance: Ethics in the Era of Big Data Policing." The abstract opens with this:
Legal research companies are selling surveillance data and services to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and other law enforcement agencies. This Article discusses ethical issues that arise when lawyers buy and use legal research services sold by the same vendors responsible for building ICE’s surveillance systems.
The second post followed with a link to a blogpost by law librarian Tom Boone titled "Why I'm Boycotting Thomson Reuters at AALL19." Tom adds that:
"I’ve written this post to share information with other AALL attendees so they’re aware of TR’s business relationship with ICE and its non-response to Privacy International’s inquiries. Each person can then decide for themselves—on an informed basis—whether to take any action."