Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association

A chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries.


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May Link Round Up

FDLP MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2018 WOULD ENSURE GREATER ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT INFORMATION The April 2018 AALL Washington EBulletin, forwarded by Joel Fishman, reviews the FLP Modernization Act of 2018 and provides a section-by-section analysis of the bill as well as information on how the GPO, Copyright Office, Congressional Research Service, and Library of Congress budgets will fare under the Omnibus spending bill.

 

Judge Declares Some PACER Fees Illegal but Does Not Go Far Enough On March 31, 2018, Judge Huvelle of the US District Court for the District of Columbia rules that approximately $200 million will likely be returned to people who paid PACER fees from 2010 to 2016. The author of the linked blog post believes that this is a first step towards determining that PACER fees are prohibitively expensive and/or unconstitutional – though Judge Huvelle does not approach that ideological decision in the opinion.

 

Can Law Librarian/Vendors Relations Ever Be a Win-Win Relationship Again? In a 3 Geeks and a Law Blog post forwarded by Joel Fishman (and linked within the email), the current AALL president muses on the current state of the relationship between “legal information providers (vendors) and legal information professionals (law librarians)” and how it’s going to change in the future.

 

Massive restructuring at the ABA will rehouse entities under 9 centers An announcement from the executive director of the ABA details a “major restructuring of the organization,” complete with the creation of nine new Centers falling under one of the four main goals of the ABA umbrella: “serving members; improving the profession; eliminating bias and enhancing diversity; and advancing the rule of law.” Read the article for a full list of the names and aims of the new Centers.

 

Why RSS Still Beats Facebook and Twitter for Tracking News RSS hasn’t gone away; according to a beSpacific link to a Gizmodo article, it’s “faster, more efficient, and you won’t have to worry as much about accidentally leaking your news reading habit to all your Facebook friends.”

 

“The Board will be gathering more facts in order to determine how to effectively respond” to LexisNexis’ tying ultimatum Read this post on the Law Librarian Blog for information on “recent LexisNexis tie-in attempts”: “the Company refuses to sell print or ancillary products in retaliation for cancelling Lexis Advance as if this may be a new company sales policy.”

 

CRS – Sexual Harassment and Title VII: Selected Legal Issues The CRS report, linked through beSpacific, to examine Supreme Court precedent addressing Title VII sexual harassment claims, the statutory interpretation and rationales reflected in these decisions, and examples of lower federal court decisions applying this precedent. The report also discusses various types of harassment recognized by the Supreme Court (such as “hostile work environment,” quid pro quo, constructive discharge, and same-sex harassment) as well as sexual harassment in the context of retaliation.

 

CRS – Statutory Interpretation: Theories, Tools, and Trends A link on beSpacific to a CRS paper explaining the tools judges use to gather evidence of statutory meaning.

 

An email forwarded by Cindy Cicco explains House Bill 1937: a proposal to divert court filing fees from funding the Jenkins Law Library to the First Judicial District’s general fund. The Philadelphia Bar Association is considering a resolution in support of this legislation. The message provides additional information to help concerned citizens oppose the Philadelphia Bar Associations potential resolution and the House Bill.

 

4 Ways to Deal With a Toxic Coworker If you’re having a rough day (or if someone in particular is really getting on your nerves), take a look at this Harvard Business Review study to identify toxic team members and come up with constructive ways to deal with him/her.

 

GPO COMPLETES DIGITIZING ALL ISSUES
OF THE FEDERAL REGISTER
In an April 11, 2018 Press Release, the U.S. Government Publishing Office announced it, along with the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register have “digitized every issue of the Federal Register, dating back to the first one published in 1936. A total of 14,587 individual issues, which is nearly two million pages, has been digitized.” See the email forwarded by Joel Fishman for an attachment of the Press Release and the URL for the new home of the digitized works.

 

This is the new Gmail design Check out the new Gmail redesign before its implemented!

 

House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies A recently released CRS report “examines procedures and strategy related to committee markups and provides sample procedural scripts.”

 

GOODBYE FDSYS, HELLO GOVINFO This blog post notes (with unanticipated gusto, I might add) that sometime in late 2018, Fdsys will be officially and formally replaced by Govinfo. Read the full post to learn the differences and nuances between the two, and get ready for the switch.

 

New on LLRX – Can Legal Research Be Taught? Part 3: Pushing Ourselves Further Legal research experts conclude “to be the experts in legal research we must also be leaders in developing knowledge in our field, furthering the understanding of the legal domain and of our own place within it.”

 

Papers of Benjamin Franklin Now Online In an email forwarded by Joel Fishman, Benjamin Franklin’s papers are now posted online. Visit the Library of Congress’ website to peruse at your leisure!

 

First Draft and fake news Forwarded by Joel Fishman, this email links to a project from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center; it includes a PDF download of A Field Guide to Fake News and Other Information Disorders and a free online course to help readers better identify misinformation.

 

Navigating through Wikipedia articles on desktop just got a lot easier The new “page previews” feature allows users to get a quick grasp of what’s behind a link without committing to a click-through.

 

Five Books To Help You Be More Productive And Organized Tips, tricks, and newfangled apps only go so far. For more detailed info on organization and productivity, check out the books listed in this Fast Company article.

 

Points of Law Wins 2018 AALL New Product Award Excerpted from the beSpacific blog post:
“The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has named Points of Law as its 2018 New Product Award winner. Introduced in 2016 using artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist in legal research, Points of Law is a product of Bloomberg Law. Points of Law allows users to quickly identify and analyze language in a judicial opinion. The product adds a layer of automated indexing to its 1 3 million—and counting—library of published and unpublished state and federal court opinions to provide users with a decision’s legal points and identify legal precedents. In addition, researchers can conduct keyword searches across all case law or specific jurisdictions within the content library.”
Library of Congress Posts U.S. Supreme Court Cases collection The Library of Congress has posted “more than 225 years of decisions” and this beSpacific blog post also links to other helpful sites where a reader can translate citations from a nominative reporter to a volume of the U.S. Report.

 

 


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March Link Roundup

Librarians digitally archive rare White House images According to news alerts from the ALA and CNN, a “team of librarians working for the White House Historical Association have been digitizing archives of uncatalogued slides from White House history, most of which haven’t been accessible by the public before now.” If you spot something you want for your home or office, you can buy high-resolution images or download them for free at a lower resolution.
Classified Presidential Library Records to be Moved to DC In a press release from the National Archives, approximately 75 million pages of classified records housed at presidential libraries across the U.S. will be gathered and moved to Washington, D.C. for declassification review.
Citizen Archivist Missions The National Archives has curated a list of transcription/tagging volunteer projects. See the post and follow the links to check out topics that interest you, and you can start helping ASAP!
  WPLLA member Joel Fishman forwarded an email and listpost describing a new infrastructure service being spearheaded by digital preservationists at Yale University Library; it will “resurrect thousands of obsolete software programs and ensure that the information produced on them will be kept intact and made easily available for future access, study, and use.”

For more info, see the blog post here.

Ambrogi – In New Ethics Ruling On Blogging, ABA Opines Like It’s 1999 The American Bar Association published Formal Opinion 480 regarding “the ethics obligations around the ‘newest format’ in online publishing by lawyers, blogs, as well as listservs, online articles, website postings, and ‘brief online statements or microblogs’ such as Twitter.” Does this opinion cement the ABA’s reputation as being “behind the curve on technology issues?”
Law Library of Congress digitally releases U.S. Reports from 1791 to 2004 “The Law Library of Congress . . . released digital copies of the printed bound volumes of the United States Reports from 1791 to 2004, making more than 35,000 Supreme Court cases available for the first time online as page images in a searchable format.”
Exploring Pennsylvania’s Gerrymandered Congressional Districts In an email from WPLLA member Pat Roncevich, a blog post with a more detailed “expert witness spatial analysis” about Pennsylvania’s gerrymandered election districts.
Introduced Legislation to Amend Title 44, U.S.C. In an email from WPLLA member Pat Roncevich, a link to the Federal Depository Library Program’s posting of the full text for the FDLP Modernization Act of 2018 to amend Title 44 of the U.S. Code.
  In an email from WPLLA member Joel Fishman, govinfo.gov posted a new series of “Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives (2017).
How to Locate the Bills and Amendments a Member of Congress has Sponsored or Cosponsored in Congress.gov Cross-posted from Custodia Legis – “One of the questions we are frequently asked is how to locate a bill or amendment that a member of Congress has sponsored or cosponsored. There are a few ways to do this on Congress.gov…”
The Academic Law Library in the Age of Affiliations: A Case Study of the University of New Hampshire Law Library beSpacific linked to an article published in the Law Library Journal, which studies the University of New Hampshire Law Library’s recent affiliation with another law school.
AALL partners with Perma.cc to ensure unbroken links to association publications AALL announced a partnership with Perma.cc; this will ensure AALL publications remain complete and maintain their longevity for the benefit of its more than 4,500 members.
GPO Statement On H.R. 5305, The FDLP Modernization Act Of 2018 Recently-introduced H.R. 5305 (the FDLP Modernization Act of 2018) is a bipartisan bill cosponsored by all other members of the Committee to reform the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). “The bill affirms the principle that the free flow of Government information is fundamental to the health of our democracy, and acknowledges the important role Federal depository libraries play in ensuring free public access to that information.”
New Linked Citations in the Congressional Record Index New editions of the Congressional Record Index will hyperlink citations in the text file for bills and pages in the Congressional Record to the  corresponding document in govinfo. This beSpacific blog post also links to the current and previous editions of the Congressional Record Index.
CRS Reports in Scope of the FDLP The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 includes a provision titled, “Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports,” which directs the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to make non-confidential CRS Reports freely-available to the public.

The Federal Depository Library Program notes “Historically, distribution of CRS Reports was limited to Members of Congress. They were not considered in the public domain, and therefore, CRS Reports were out of scope of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Once CRS Reports begin to be publicly-disseminated, these reports will be in scope of the FDLP. “

 


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Save the Date: 40th Anniversary Banquet 5/10/18

2018-04-19_11-23-42

COME CELEBRATE WITH US!

40th Anniversary – Western Pennsylvania Law Libraries Association

What: WPLLA history, member reminiscences, trivia contest, and music by Anthony Cicco

When: Thursday May 10th – 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm

Where: University Club Gold Room, 123 University Place (Oakland)

How much: $20 (includes Taste of Tuscany Dinner Buffet) – payment accepted at the door

Please RSVP to: Melanie Cline

 

 

 

 

 


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Roundtable on Technology – Thursday 3/22/18

Please join us for a roundtable where we will discuss technology for libraries and law firms.

Are there resources that you love and want to talk about?  Are there products you have just started using or want to try and want advice from others?  Are there technologies you wish existed?

Email MelaniedotCline at bipc to RSVP.

Let Melanie know if you have specific questions you would like to see addressed or if you would like to speak about your favorite technology.

Where: K&L Gates, 210 Sixth Avenue
When: Thursday March 22nd from 12-1 pm – BRING YOUR LUNCH!


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February Link Roundup

Exclusive First Look: Ravel Law’s Integration with Lexis Advance Ravel’s data visualization technology and data analytics are on track to be fully integrated into Lexis Advance and other Lexis products by the first quarter of 2018.

 

Executive Orders Disposition Tables Index Via a beSpacific link, executive orders issued since 1994 are available as a single bulk download and as a bulk download by President. Users can also browse by President and year.

 

Lexis Re-imagines the Shepard’s Citator with Ravel Analytics: Adds 500,000 New Cases, 6 Million Images Review this blog post for a list of the ways Lexis is integrating Ravel Law into its platform, including enhanced Shepards citations, simplified search visualizations, and case law images from “Free the Law” archives (stemming from a 2015 collaboration between Harvard Law School and Ravel Law). Additional analytic tools will be integrated throughout 2018.

 

Supreme Court Won’t Let Pennsylvania GOP Delay Drawing New Congressional Map After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the state’s congressional map gave Republicans a political advantage such that it violated the state’s constitution, Republicans appealed the state court’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. Its argument rested on the theory that the U.S. Constitution only granted legislatures, not state courts, the power to draw congressional districts. The appeal went before Justice Samuel Alito, who oversees the 3rd Circuit; Alito denied the request on Monday, February 5, without referring it to the whole court.

 

The Best Ergonomic Keyboards and Mouses to Prevent Wrist Pain Cut carpal tunnel syndrome off at the pass by integrating these ergonomic computer accessories into your work station!

 

Need some free images for your academic work / poster / presentation / website? Look no further A librarian from the University of York compiled the best sites for high quality, free public domain images.

 

Recommended Web Resources: Freely Available Digital Collections Of Presidential Documents Links provided in this article list freely available digital collections of presidential documents.

 

A Librarian By Any Other Name… In a 3 Geeks and a Law Blog post forwarded by email from WPLLA member Joel Fishman, the author muses about the change in the official titles of law librarians. See this link for more.

 

CRS – Resolutions to Censure the President: Procedure and History This beSpacific link takes you to a CRS post discussing resolutions to censure the President for abuse of power, ethics violations, or other behavior.

 

Descriptive Metadata for Web Archiving The OCLC’s Web Archiving Metadata Working Group (“WAM”) has developed three publications that cover recommendations to help institutions improve the consistency and efficiency of their metadata practices, a literature review of user needs, and a review of web harvesting tools.

 

FDsys to retire From our very own University of Pittsburgh School of Law librarians: a post listing the retirement date of Fdsys (sometime in December 2018); govinfo will formally take its place.

 

CRS – Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends According to the CRS article: The Supreme Court “follows the principle that a statute be read as a harmonious whole whenever reasonable, with separate parts being interpreted within their broader statutory context. Still, the meaning of statutory language is not always evident. To help clarify uncertainty, judges have developed various interpretive tools in the form of canons of construction.”  Review the link for more details on the SCOTUS intrepretive tools.

 

16 Apps and Tools to Keep You Productive and Sane A fun read with suggestions for “work-related apps and tools” and “personal apps and tools.”

 

ABA resolution supporting work and funding of Library of Congress Both the ABA’s Proposed Resolution and Report and its Final Resolution are linked in this beSpacific post. The ABA “urges Congress to approve appropriations necessary to enable the Library of Congress to adequately staff, maintain, modernize, and enhance its services, collections, facilities, digital projects and outreach efforts.”

 

Free to Use and Reuse: Making Public Domain and Rights-Clear Content Easier to Find The Library of Congress acknowledges the challenges of letting the public “know about all of the content available at loc.gov” and letting the public know what it can do with that information. It is working to improve the visibility of public domain and rights-clear content.

 

GPO – Comments on Draft Legislation to Amend Title 44 USC beSpacific links to a recent LLRX blog post, informing readers of potential new (and “worrisome”) changes to government publications; it also links to the comments the GPO sent to the Committee on House Aministration on January 31, 2018.

 

3 Ways to Be a More Effective Ambivert The greatest advantages of being an ambivert is the ability to exhibit the strengths of an introvert and strengths of an extrovert at the appropriate times. This article developed tips to help ambiverts maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.

 

GPO Issues Digital Release of Federal Register for the 1960s The U.S. Government Publishing Office (“GPO”) and the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register (“OFR”) released historic issues of the Federal Register from 1960-1969 in digital format. These issues include a Proclamation by President Johnson for November 27, 2963 to be a national day of mourning following the assination of President Kennedy.

 

More Historical Statutes at Large Available Online The individual statutes for congresses 68 through 81 are now available on the Law Library of Congress website.

 

Where Old, Unreadable Documents Go to Be Understood Linda Watson and her company, Transcription Services, specializes in transcribing historical documents that prove unreadable to the average viewer.

 

Leonard Silverstein, Founder Of The BNA Tax Management Portfolio Series, Dies At 96 Linked from The Washington Post:
“Leonard L. Silverstein, a Washington lawyer and arts patron who started a series of prominent tax-law guidebooks and became a member of the city’s cultural and fundraising firmament, died Feb. 14 at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 96.”

 

  An email forwarded by Joel Fishman (and linked at “My legal tech invention: the Magic Money Machine“), the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog presents a funny and thought-provoking post about change in the legal profession – complete with charming anecdotes full of humanity.

 

GPO Handouts from ALA’s Midwinter Meeting Information on a variety of Federal Depository Library Program topics and related handouts are now available on FDLP.gov.

 

OCLC introduces Syndeo, a suite of services designed to facilitate national and regional library collaboration Syndeo (a flexible suite of services specifically designed to facilitate national and regional library collaboration) supports OCLC cooperative cataloging, resource sharing, and library management services necessary to run individual institutions along with the technology and infrastructure required of a national library.

 

U.S. Reports is the ONLY Official Edition of U.S. Supreme Court Opinions PDFs of the official U.S. Reports are available at the Library of Congress (LOC) website.

 

Latest Congress.gov Search Tip, Enhancements, and Most-Viewed Bills Congress.gov homepage recently received a new search form for the House Communications Collection. Click through for the latest search tips, site enhancements, and a list of the most-viewed bills.

 

New LibGuide – Prices and Wages by Decade The University of Missouri Library has added LibGuide on Prices and Wages by Decade. It points to government publications listing retail prices for common items or “necessities of life.”

 

New on LLRX – The Library – An Indispensable Resource for the Entire Law Firm Diana Koppang writes that small and midsize law firms are benefiting from a range of agile, expert, value added services increasingly provided by Library team members – in collaboration with colleagues in Conflicts, Finance and Marketing.