Saturday, October 06, 2007

TRAC: Tracking the Work of Federal Agencies

Where do members of Congress, news reporters, and lawyers go to find out what agencies like the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service really do on a daily basis, and how effectively they operate? Smart researchers rely on the TRAC (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse) Public Web Site, which uses the Freedom of Information Act to acquire data and trends information on key federal agencies. An independent, nonpartisan research organization associated with Syracuse University, TRAC's purpose is to "provide the American people...with comprehensive information about federal staffing, spending, and the enforcement activities of the federal government." It's also a great resource for law students needing background and statistics for papers and class projects. Check out the site's free and user-friendly information, including agency basics and topical reports.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, October 05, 2007

1Ls - Last chance for Lexis/Westlaw training

First years - next week will be the last week for the required Westlaw and Lexis training. Sign up at the Circulation desk in the Library. There are still plenty of spaces left.

Make sure to register both Lexis and Westlaw passwords and to bring them to your training session. If you have any questions on how to register these passwords, visit your favorite Reference Librarian.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, October 04, 2007

ALTLAW—A Source For Free Case Law Online

A current trend in online legal publishing is to make case law more readily and freely available. One recent instance of this is AltLaw. According to its Web site, AltLaw “provides the first free, full-text searchable database of Supreme Court and Federal Appellate case reports. It is a resource for attorneys, legal scholars, and the general public”.

Note that the site is currently in beta. Coverage for most Circuits is limited to approximately the last ten to fifteen years. West Reporter Citations are not yet available, but they should be in the future. As of yet, there are no state law or district court cases on AltLaw.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Paper Writing Research

Paper Writing Research: a 21st Century Library workshop takes you beyond Lexis & Westlaw. You have off campus access to many of Hofstra University’s subscription databases, so even at 2:30 a.m. the day your paper is due high quality multi-source research is available. Come learn what these resources are and why you want to use them.

Thursday, Oct. 4th: 3:10-4:00 p.m.

Lower Level Computer Lab

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, October 01, 2007

Free Books Online

The Online Books Page is a web site that indexes and links to thousands of texts that are free and available on the internet. Hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Online Books, allows you to search and browse over 25,000 titles. From Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there is something here for everyone.

In honor of Banned Books Week, take a look at The Online Book Page’s special exhibit of books that have been the object of censorship or censorship attempts. This page provides a short essay on censorship as well as links to previously censored works such as Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Federal Agencies Directory

Having trouble finding the website of the National Invasive Species Council? The Federal Agencies Directory is an easy-to-use site that provides links to every federal agency's homepage. (The directory is provided by LSU, in conjunction with the Federal Depository Library Program.)

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat