Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association

A chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries.


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October Link Roundup

Libraries as Student Success Hubs A link to an Inside Higher Education article identifying the library as the top destination for university students seeking a wide variety of services.  
Unhappy at Work? Persuade Your Boss to Redefine Your Job. Learn strategies that can help you make a “. . . compelling case for change” – perhaps just the jump start you need to feel more satisfied with your job.  
Caselaw Access Project Detailed information linked by beSpacific to define and explain the Caselaw Access Project. In short, it’s a coordinated effort between Ravel Law and the Harvard Law School Library to digitize and make “. . . all U.S. case law freely available online.”  
Impeachment Investigations: Law and Process beSpacific provides the nitty-gritty details about the mechanics of impeachment, via a CRS report.  
How to search within multiple PDF files at once TechBits provides the tricks and tips for searching multiple PDF files at once; read through for a step-by-step primer.  
Here’s how you make your Google Docs secure Many of us use Google Docs or Drive as our primary (or personal) cloud-based service. The Next Web explains how to make it more secure.  
  A reminder email from Linda Tashbook regarding the monthly WPLLA meeting on Monday, 10/28. This month, Pepper Hamilton has graciously offered to host and Lexis will provide a catered lunch.  
News from the Law Library of Congress Chatbot A brief article from In Custodia Legis discusses the Law Library of Congress Chatbot. Talk to it through Facebook Messenger, and watch it answer your questions in real time. Recent revisions have “. . . substantially improved” the user experience!  
  WPLLA President Rita Young asked reviewed an issue on a Council Chair discussion board and asked: “Should we as a chapter sign on to the amicus brief for the above-captioned case? (ASSUMING it is not too late).” The docket to the case can be found here. Oral argument is Dec. 2, 2019. Please contact Rita or reply to the distribution list with your thoughts.  
  WPLLA Member Linda Tashbook sent an alumni survey for graduates of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Library and Information Science. If you hold a degree from this institution, please take the survey here.  
BYU Law creates language database to help interpret Constitution The Daily Universe and beSpacific discuss BYU Law’s Constitutional language and terminology database: Corpus of Founding Era American English (“COFEA”). It helps individuals understand how a certain word or phrase was used in context after computer programs analyzed hundreds of millions of pieces of text from the era.  
A Checklist and Process to Create Daily Success at Work Government Executive contemplates fifteen different checklist questions and/or tasks to help guide you through a calming, genuine, productive workday.  
Is There a Better Way to Have an Argument? Published by Greater Good Magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, Caroline Hopper and Laura Tavares identify “. . . five principles for more constructive and respectful disagreements.” They include “pay attention to context” and “be open to transformation.” Each one is a thoughtful proposal much-needed in our current climate.  
  WPLLA Member Linda Tashbook sent a brief email urging members to attend the October meeting at Pepper Hamilton. By the time you read this on the website, the date will have come and gone. But if you’d like info on Lexis Advance, please reach out to the distribution list and someone will happily fill you in! Brittany Miller, the new Pittsburgh Lexis rep, also attended.  
Congressional Access to Information in an Impeachment Investigation In a CRS Report posted by the Library of Congress, and picked up by beSpacific, experts review congressional committee investigations during an impeachment proceeding.  


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September Link Roundup

U.S. Government Information: Weekly Roundup Editors of this particular LibGuide anticipate weekly updates on the activities of the U.S. federal government, particularly reports and activities. There will be “. . . links to important, news-worthy, or interesting material published during the previous week.”  
The Constitution Annotated Is Now Easier to Search and Browse The latest version of The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (AKA the Constitution Annotated) is available as of September 17, 2019. Created by the Congressional Research Service for the U.S. Senate, the document makes the Constitution “. . . available to all Americans, regardless of their background in law.”  
The Law Prof Twittersphere 2019 In an artful infographic developed by Ryan Whalen for his eponymous website, the connections between law professors’ Twitter accounts is now available in visual format. Whalen identified several data sets, including: law profs by total followers, number of other law profs following, and schools based on the number of law prof follower sums.  
Research Tools: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Officially Launches New IP Portal Taken from a WIPO press release: “WIPO has launched its new IP Portal, a one-stop shop to the Organization’s full range of online intellectual property (IP) services. For users of WIPO’s IP services for patents, trademarks and industrial designs, the IP Portal will provide greater consistency in how they interact with WIPO, while maintaining the underlying business processes.”  
GPO Produces US Code with new XML based publishing technology The U.S. Government Publishing Office will publish the 2018 edition of the U.S. Code through XPub, “. . . the agency’s new digital technology for XML-based publishing.” XPub allows for new functionality, including the ability to “[a]ccept content in any form, including XML sources, as well as digital file formats and hard copy manuscript pages” and “[p]roduce PDF files and digital products that are Section 508-compliant, meaning they are accessible to people with disabilities.”  
How an Impeachment Process Inquiry Works beSpacific provided links with historical, political, policy, and legal information on impeachment process inquiries.  


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August Link Roundup

Millions of Books Are Secretly in the Public Domain. You Can Download Them Free For the book-loving members of WPLLA (LOL! That’s all of us!) – a beSpacific link to a Vice article lauding the efforts of the New York Public Library, which has made hundreds, if not thousands of public domain books available for download.  
Demystifying Blockchain: Katherine Lowry Invites You to Build a Blockchain at ILTA The International Legal Technology Association’s Annual Conference (or ILTACON) will be in Orlando from 08/18-08/22. By concentrating on a single theme (blockchain), the conference aims to educate knowledge professionals about the tech as it’s used now and how it could advance in the near future.  
NYU DC presents “In Conversation: Dr. Carla Hayden and Ray Suarez.”   A YouTube video about public access to some of the most storied works at the Library of Congress.


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July Link Roundup

  A thoughtful email from Cindy Cicco to all WPLLA members:

A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to Lori Hagen for being appointed as Reference Librarian at the Allegheny County Law Library!  
  An equally thoughtful email from Lori Hagen describing changes to the Allegheny County Law Library’s website, including:
– a redesigned site available at http://www.acllib.org (now available on Google Chrome and Safari; kinks still being worked out for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge), and
– a job opening at the ACLL for full-time employment (please follow the link).  
So, Gutenberg Didn’t Actually Invent the Printing Press: On the Unsung Chinese and Korean History of Movable Type Acclaim for Margaret Leslie Davis’ recent book (The Lost Gutenberg: The Astounding Story of One Book’s Five-Hundred-Year Odyssey) notwithstanding, M. Sophia Newman describes other printing innovations from Asia that were developed years before the Gutenberg press. A thoughtful piece on LitHub!  
  In an update provided to WPLLA from member Betty Ward, Vince Deliberato of the Legislative Reference Bureau secured funding so that the Purdon’s site will be up and running again by January. Great news!  
Compiling a Federal Legislative History: A Beginner’s Guide beSpacific links to an Barbara Bavis and Robert Brammer’s’ research guide, A comprehensive research guide on finding federal legislative history documents, including congressional committee reports and hearings, presidential signing statements, and the debates of Congress. Ms. Bavis is a Bibliographic and Research Instruction Librarian and Robert Brammer is a Senior Legal Information Specialist (both at the Law Library of Congress).  
  WPLLA member Ann Unger thoughtfully provided details regarding Christine Silver’s memorial service, to be held in Philadelphia on July 23rd. For those unable to attend, donations in her memory may be made to:
Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111 (Note in Memory of Christine Silver on your check or electronic payment. FCCC Secure Online Donation)
or
Scleroderma Research Foundation, 220 Montgomery St, Suite 484, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Note in Memory of Christine Silver on your check or electronic payment. https://srfcure.org)  
The Essential Guide to Legislation This informative beSpacific post identifies how to track proposed legislation as it moves through Congress. Originally available on PoliticoPro, it even has a detailed resource guide available for download!


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June Link Roundup

The benefits of 21st-century word processing tools for lawyers As author Nicole Black emphatically states, “[l]awyers create documents—a lot of them.” Read through this post for a curated list of updated, contemporary word processing software.  
  Rita Young forwarded an invite from Thomson Reuters: for those attending AALL, check out the Customer Appreciation Event on Monday, July 15th from 7:00-9:30pm at the Library of Congress. Click here to register.  
Congress.gov New, Tip and Top for May 2019, Part 2 A full list of enhancements to Congress.gov is available through links on this beSpacific blog post.  
Why Word’s Word Count is unreliable In a video post to the Legal Office Guru, the author discusses ways to better understand and utilize Microsoft Word’s Word Count feature.  
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Law Journal Library Now Holds More Than 2,700 Journals!   HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library now “. . . contains more than 2,700 journals, 64,000 volumes, and 36 million pages.” Impressive!  
NEW EDITION: BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY   The 11th edition of Black’s Law Dictionary is out and available for purchase!
Law Students Press SCOTUS to Make Legal Tools Free Nationwide As Marcia Coyle details in her article for The National Law Journal “[m]ore than 100 law students, along with nearly 100 solo and small-firm practitioners and legal educators” have sent petitions and signatures to SCOTUS in an effort to “. . . to eliminate copyright protection for state annotated codes of law and certain other state and local legal materials.”  
The Beginner’s Guide to Google Docs A How-to-Geek article cross-posted to beSpacific provides some tips, tricks, and details on how to start rocking and rolling with Google Docs.  
  In an email forwarded by WPLLA member Amy Lovell, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association will host its annual meeting on Sunday, 10/06/2019 in Durham, NC. Keynote speakers include Dr. William Bynum (Assistant Professor in Community and Family Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine) with a discussion on “. . . recovering from mistakes and dealing with shame” and Sara Garrington (Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager) with a talk on “. . . resiliency and recovery following disasters.”  
6 Windows Apps That Automatically Organize Files for You   This articles reviews different file organizer apps and extensions (for multiple file types); helpful for users of Windows 10.
Law Libraries Embracing AI Abstract of a forthcoming paper to be published by the University of Utah College of Law regarding artificial intelligence and law libraries.  
  Joel Fishman forwarded an email informing members that “Creative Commons Officially Launches a Search Engine That Indexes 300+ Million Public Domain Images.”  
Justices to Decide if States Can Copyright Laws Linked from Courthouse News Service by beSpacific, the U.S. Supreme Court will determine whether states have the right to copyright their own annotated codes, “. . . after an appeals court panel ruled Georgia could not.”  


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March Link Roundup

Updated reminder from Rita Young re: the WPLLA cruise!
ResearchGate Granted U.S. Patent 10,282,424: “Linking Documents Using Citations” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted U.S. Patent 10,282,424 “Linking Documents Using Citations” to ResearchGate. As the abstract states, “[a]spects of the present disclosure relate to linking documents using citations.” For a visual representation of the patent and the way the technology will access and link citations, please see the original blog post on InfoDocket.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Historical Overview, Funding, and Reauthorization beSpacific links to a recent CRS report, The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Historical Overview, Funding, and Reauthorization, April 23, 2019. The report review both the original legislation as well as the reauthorization act signed in 2013, and identified some of the main programs assisted by the act (which “. . . address domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking—crimes for which the risk of victimization is highest for women).”
The Sustainable History Monograph Pilot Per John Sherer of the Longleaf Services, Inc. blog, “[t]he Sustainable History Monograph Pilot (SHMP) is a Mellon-funded initiative to publish open digital editions of high-quality books from university presses in the field of history.” Check out the FAQ on the blog post for more info!
A lovely thank you from Rita Young for the wonderful Gateway Cruise experience with friends and family!
Casetext SmartCite Taking on Shepard’s, KeyCite, and BCite – Innovation With a Chance of Disruption Jean O’Grady of Dewey B Strategic presents a convincing argument that Casetext’s SmartCite is “. . . poised to disrupt the legal research market.” Tracing the Shepard’s citation system back to 1873, and KeyCite back to 1997, O’Grady discusses the difficulty in creating an accurate citation system and the innovative qualities of SmartCite.
Cindy Cicco invited WPLLA members to the ALCTS E-Forum on Changing Ideas, Roles, and Organizational Structures in Collection and Technical Services. Though the forum took place on 05/21-05/22/2019, contact the ALA for more info.
Chris Todd invited WPLLA members to volunteer at the 34th annual NASIG conference 06/05-06/08/2019, right here in Pittsburgh! More info at:
https://www.nasig.org/site_page.cfm?pk_association_webpage_menu=700
and https://nasig2019.sched.com/.
The Digital Public Library of America has re-released the Mueller Report as a well-formatted ebook instead of a crappy PDF Pretty self-explanatory! But click through the link to find out how to acquire the full (though redacted) report.
SECRETS OF THE SERIAL SET: THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION In an announcement forwarded by Joel Fishman, “HeinOnline is pleased to introduce Secrets of the Serial Set, a series of monthly blog posts dedicated to unveiling the wealth of American history found in the United States Congressional Serial Set.”
Donna Kielar is on the hunt for A Practical Guide to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (Law Journal Press) – please reach out if you have a copy or know where she can get her hands on one!