Friday, November 03, 2006

Tis the Season for Politics

Whether your political stripe is red, blue - or, in my case, black - money plays a role in politics. If you are interested in exactly how, two websites give you the dollars and cents. - describes itself at "the nation's most complete resource on information on money in state politics" - a site I have mentioned before, does the same for federal elections.

Tuesday is election day. Whatever your stripe - GO VOTE AND BE HEARD !!!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Law School And Legal Research Guides

For an interesting, informative, and opinionated view of law school and legal research, look no further than Rod Borlase's online guides. Borlase minces no words as he guides you through the labyrinths of law school, legal research, and preparation for practice. The guides are introductory in nature, and cover the following areas, among others: Introductory legal research; research strategy; skills sought by law firms; an "anatomy" of the West Digest system, and much more.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Survey Results Discussion Continued: Temperature

The temperature in the library (and the entire law school building) is difficult to regulate, not only because of the wide open spaces involved, but also because traffic and the people in the room do affect the temperature. In the library, all of the thermostats are set to 72 degrees. Since many complained about it being too cold, however, we are asking our Plant Department to change these settings to 75 degrees. It may take several adjustments to pinpoint the temperature at which most users are comfortable, so please bear with us as we try to determine the ideal setting.

In the meantime, I would like to remind everyone that if you ever find it too hot or cold in a particular area of the library, please feel free to report the problem to the circulation desk attendants. We do call Plant to check the temperature when we receive complaints.

Please also remember that everyone has a different temperature comfort level. Because of that, we frequently get complaints that the same room, at the same time is too hot and too cold. In those cases, there is no temperature ideal for both parties, so we try to pick a midway point.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Constitution Finder

To quickly locate English translations of over 200 countries' constitutions, you can't do better than Constitution Finder. This free site, kept up to date by faculty and students of the University of Richmond School of Law, offers an alphabetical pull-down list of countries. Each links to that nation's current constitution in both English and the native language, and in many cases to historical constitutions and other related documents from official government web sites. Explore Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, including virtually any country in the news. The United States page features the current federal Constitution as well as state, historical, and Native American tribal constitutions.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

2006 Library Survey Raffle Winner

Congratulations to Joseph Bufano for winning the raffle! The winner will receive a separate email with details on how, when, and where to claim his new iPod shuffle.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

21st Century Library workshops

We do not wish to conflict with the Memorial Service for Steven Wasylenko this coming Thursday evening, so we have rescheduled the workshop.

21st Century Library workshop: Paper Writing is rescheduled for:

Monday, November 6th from 5:10 to 6 pm in the lower level computer lab.

Corporate Finance and Securities Research Online: Whether you're headed for a firm, corporation, government agency, or legal services, you can't proceed--or succeed--without crucial corporate information about your client or opposing party. This workshop will cover the basics on finding financial assets, securities filings, business news and other online resources for corporate financial information.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 7 -- 11:10 to 12 noon; and
Thursday, Nov. 9 -- 5:10 to 6 p.m.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Library Survey, Quiet/Talking Areas (during exams) Follow-Up

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey! Over the coming weeks, I will post various information from the survey, along with follow-up questions where we have insufficient information.

The first topic for discussion is talking versus quiet spaces, and this is admittedly a hot topic. The responses were significantly divided, with 49.5% of the group voting to make the entire library a quiet space. However, that means that a significant number of people still want some talking areas. Further complicating the matter, the comments that we received were also mixed, some finding the library too quiet and others finding it too noisy. Based on these responses, during Fall 2006 exam weeks, the library will retain its current talking/quiet designations.

Because opinions are so mixed, and because there are different sensitivity levels to noise, please alert the reference or circulation desks if you feel that there is too much noise in an area. They can then assess the noise to see if it is unreasonable and then speak to the noisemakers. Please keep in mind that these service desks are not situated in every library room, so the staff may not always be aware when there is a noise problem. We rely on users in these areas to alert the staff to these issues.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Most Reliable Search Tool

CNET recently published an article titled "Most reliable search tool could be your librarian". Although doing your research on Google may be quicker, it is very often not nearly as reliable. The author, Elinor Mills, uses a great example of this, by discussing how the first result of a Google search of Martin Luther King was a web site written by white supremacists. The article goes on to talk about many more reasons why a librarian is better than a search engine for doing research.

So come by and visit us; we are always happy to help.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Law School Innovation Blog

Check out a new member of the Law Professor Blog network entitled the Law School Innovation Blog.

Professor Douglas A. Berman explained in his introductory post that:

Topics ranging from Harvard Law School's new 1L curriculum to the recent emergence of Supreme Court clinics to blogging as scholarship to PowerPoint and internet access in the classroom are just some of the issues I hope will get discussed here.

Sounds like a keeper!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat