Saturday, September 24, 2005

Keeping Current with Factiva

A Virtual Library Cat knows that law students are often too busy to keep up with the world beyond classes, the Library, and for some of you, the day job. Could you use a virtual newsstand of front page article headlines from ten of the most prominent U.S. newspapers and news and business magazines, with links to the full-text articles, at-a-glance on just one screen? Well, take a look at Factiva, a subscription database available through the University Library. Clicking on the “News Pages” tab in Factiva brings up a list of front page articles from today’s issue of five major daily newspapers--the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times--and from the most recent issue of Newsweek, Business Week, Barron's, Forbes, and Fortune. Just click on any article title to read the full text—or use the pull-down menu to select articles from another section of the same issue, such as the opinion pages, columnists, foreign news, or technology. Another pull-down menu lets you choose any recent issue from approximately the past two weeks for newspapers and from about the past month for magazines, and do the same. Finally, there is an option (click on "Search this Newsstand") to do a full text search of all the publications in “News Pages.” Access to Factiva is from the University Library’s web page. Click on “Hofstra Electronic Library,” then on “Electronic Resources,” and select “Business, Economics, Finance”, to scroll down to the Factiva link, and then click on the "News Pages" tab in Factiva. Be aware, however, that there are a limited number of licenses for this database. If you are unable to access it, try again later. If you have any questions about Factiva, ask a reference librarian.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, September 23, 2005

Protect Your Identity

With the many high profile stories of hackers getting into databases with sensitive personal information, we all have to be vigilant in protecting our feline or human identities. As of September 1, we are now all entitled to one free credit report per year. For more info on how to obtain your free report, go to Your Access to Free Credit Reports at the FTC website .

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

21st Century Library: U.S. legislative research

Need to find the Congressional intent behind a statute (legislative history)? Read the testimony of a witness (such as Barry Bonds) in a Congressional hearing? Discover who the experts are and what they have to say about specific issues (global climate change).

Congressional Universe is one of the best research tools around to sort through Congressional bills, reports, hearings, and prints. 21st Century Library is holding a workshop next week to demonstrate Congressional Universe. It has material that is not on Lexis or Westlaw. If you are writing a paper this is one resource you don't want to miss.

You have choice of days to attend as we are giving 3 classes. You do not have to sign up. Just Come! All workshops are held in the lower level computer lab.

Monday, Sept. 26 at 5:10 PM
Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 12:10
Thursday, Sept. 29 at 1:10

See you next week!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Quick Way To Decipher Legal Abbreviations

Do you have your notebook computer handy, and need quickly to check the meaning of a legal abbreviation? Then point your browser to the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations. Simply type the abbreviation into the box, click "search", and the Index will offer you the following information: The preferred abbreviation, any alternative abbreviations, the full title that the abbreviation represents, and the jurisdiction of the country of the publication. Clicking the link to the title will take you to further information about that title. Perhaps best of all, the Cardiff Index of Legal Abbreviations covers the legal publications of all countries, so it is very useful for deciphering foreign abbreviations.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


GlobaLex is an electronic legal publication dedicated to international and foreign law research. Published by the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU School of Law,

GlobaLex is committed to the dissemination of high-level international, foreign, and comparative law research tools in order to accommodate the needs of an increasingly global educational and practicing legal world.

The information and articles published by GlobaLex represent both research and teaching resources used by legal academics, practitioners and other specialists around the world who are active either in foreign, international, and comparative law research or those focusing on their own domestic law. The guides and articles published are written by scholars well known in their respective fields and are recommended as a legal resource by universities, library schools, and legal training courses. The tools available in GlobaLex will continue to expand to cover international law topics, countries and legal systems thus providing a coherent and encompassing research tool for all constituencies. (All of the above cut&paste from their site)

GlobaLex is a worthy addition to the foreign and international reseach tools available on the Internet. My opinion.

What they didn't tell you in the "about GlobaLex" is the link to the "Lighter Side" that shows the movie "Weapons of Manhattan Distraction"a totally subjective, unscientifically proven, completely biased guide of things to see and places to go in New York City (once again their words). With a flash plugin you can play the movie, or you can simply browse such items as "Manhatton 101" and "Higher Ground: Roof Top Bars".

So, this is a website that provides guidance in NYC and abroad.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Responses to Your Comments

As always, it is good to hear from you.

1. Comments re: Temperature
Some of you have mentioned the chilly temperatures in the Library. Due to the way the building was constructed, we have no control over the temperature. We CAN contact the Plant department to ask them to make adjustments. So, if you are uncomfortable, let us know at the front desk and we will contact Plant right away. Make sure to say something - with a virtual fur coat, I am not a good judge.

2. Comments re: Parking
Yes, I know. This is a constant topic of conversation for everyone. Believe me, if I could have done something about it and become the University feline phenom, I would have!!! All I can say is that the University makes all parking policies - not the Library or Law School. Contact Public Safety with your concerns.

3. A crepe stand???
Sounds yummy, but I am territorial, and do not want to share the Library with any creepy crawlies or other furry creatures !! Seriously, we have had both varieties of unwanted pests as a result of food in the Library, so you will have to make your crepe stand recommendation to the folks in charge of Dining services.

For these and other frequently raised issues, I have created an FAQ. You will also find a link to it on the sidebar on the right, toward the bottom.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, September 19, 2005

Yahoo Instant Search

If you want even quicker Internet searching, try Yahoo Instant Search, where results appear as you type. While you type, a bubble will appear containing relevant information. You can either click on it or ignore it and wait for the regular list of search results to appear as usual. Yahoo Shortcuts has been incorporated into Instant Search, so that when you are just looking for a quick answer, such as "Hempstead weather" the answer will pop up in the bubble before you finish typing and you don't have to click anything. When reading Yahoo's description of Instant Search, you will notice the rivalry between Yahoo and Google - Yahoo asserts "Why feel lucky when you can be right".

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, September 18, 2005


PBS has launched Nerd TV, broadcast television's first entirely downloadable series. This series consists of tech pundit Robert X. Cringely interviewing the the biggest (although most not entirely familiar) names in high tech.

The complete list of NerdTV guests includes the first Macintosh operating system programmer Andy Hertzfeld, Pay Pal co-founder Max Levchin, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy, Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, internet publisher Tim O'Reilly, Autodesk co-founder Dan Drake, TCP/IP inventor Bob Kahn, computer mouse inventor Doug Engelbart, former Lotus chief scientist Jerry Kaplan, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, former Apple chief scientist Larry Tesler, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and the father of Linux, Linus Torvalds.

NerdTV is distributed under a Creative Commons license so viewers can legally share the shows with their friends, post them on their own websites, or even edit their own versions. From the Nerd TV website: "If not THE future of television, NerdTV represents A future of television for niche audiences that have deep interest in certain topics".

Viewers will be able to choose the content or format they download to their computer: MP4 video of the whole program, MP4 video of the juicy excerpt (for a more general audience wanting just a nugget) and MP4 video of the nerdy excerpt (for a more technical audience wanting just a nugget). In addition, a subtitled/captioned version and a variety of audio-only formats will be available. There are also downloadable, portable podcasts. If you find all the tech options overwhelming, print transcripts are also available.

Be sure to check this series, which Wired News describes as "smart people talking at length about important stuff". Could this really be the future of TV? Let me know what you think...

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat