Western Pennsylvania Law Library Association

A chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries.


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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

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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.

 

 


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January Link Round-Up

GPO Completes Digitization of Historical Congressional Record 1873-1890 The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partnered with the Library of Congress to complete the digitization of all historical issues of the Congressional Record; this update completes the period from 1873-1890. It is available on GPO govinfo(https://www.govinfo.gov/app/collection/crecb_gpo/_crecb). This release covers the debates and proceedings of the 43rd through the 51st Congresses and includes issues like the Battle of Little Bighorn (Custer’s Last Stand), the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act.

 

The State of Law Library eBooks 2017-18 Part Three: What Law Libraries are Doing Review this blog post to understand the new hybrid model at NYLI and how utilizing aggregators and individual publisher platforms as well as subscription models and patron-driven acquisitions will create the largest and most comprehensive eBook collection of any membership law library in the US.

 

Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress The report, linked by beSpacific, “introduces the main steps through which a bill (or other item of business) may travel in the legislative process—from introduction to committee and floor consideration to possible presidential consideration.” It seeks to describe not only these traditional steps, but also the various “complications and variations” that can arise during the process as well.

 

Supreme Court Opinion on Election Map WPLLA member Joel Fishman sent a link to a .pdf of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s official Opinion of the gerrymandering / election map issue. The Court held “that the Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011 clearly, plainly and palpably violates the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” and struck it down as unconstitutional. It gave the Pennsylvania General Assembly until February 9, 2018 to develop a new plan for the Governor’s consideration.

 

The Best Laptop Stands and Ergonomic Desk Accessories, According to Chiropractors and Physical Therapists

 

Because “stress on the low back, shoulders, and neck and can lead to low back pain,” check out this article to find ergonomic accessories to lessen the blow!
The Survey of American Lawyers at Major Law Firms: View of the Law Firm Library The study presents data from a representative sample of 225 lawyers at more than 100 major law firms. Interesting takeaways include:

“Men in the sample were slightly more likely than women to ask for help from a law librarian: 66.67% of men sampled and 61.9% of women had asked for help from law library personnel in the past year.”

 

“More than twice as high a percentage of associates than partners wanted to hire additional librarians for the law firm library.”

“Legal research accounted for 15.65% of the overall work time of the lawyers in the sample.”

 

New 508 requirements now live The federal government’s new Section 508 standards took effect in January 2018, requiring compliance from agencies, and any state or locality that accepts federal funding, to ensure their digital services are accessible to people with physical, sensory or cognitive disabilities. As part of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the guidelines are aimed at helping seeing- and hearing-impaired users’ access information on government websites, apps and other digital media. The revised rules include fewer compliance exemptions for hardware and software. This means a broader range of technologies and more states and localities are likely to be affected by the requirements.

 

Search Tips by Category – Congress.gov Click the link posted at beSpacific to review search tips provided by experts and congress.gov.

 

  WPLLA member Cindy Cicco forwarded an email detailing the Thomson Reuters/CRIV Biannual Call, which occurred on 12/19/2017. The call’s description explains why Thomson Reuters changed Federal Practice & Procedure v.30B from an interim edition to a permanent bound volume.

 

BLUEBOOK ODDITIES: 10 UNLIKELY CITATIONS Take a peek at this blog post if you need a chuckle: ten arcane formatting rules from The Bluebook!

 

The legal difference between sexual misconduct, assault, and harassment, explained This timely article examines the new social awareness around sex and power, and attempts to define the different types of transgressions discussed in the news.

 

Discover 20,771,524 images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the US The Digital Public Library of America dropped a new “beta” site to explore its content, and includes a focus on tools, resources, and info to better serve its users.

 

New Congress.gov Search Box, Search Form, and Streamlined Header New enhancements for http://www.congress.gov are up and running – review the full list of improvements!

 

Updated: Legalweek New York 2018: What’s hot and what’s not News and updates from bloggers at the 2018 Legalweek New York, including chats with vendors and law firms about what to expect in the legal world this calendar year.