Saturday, February 16, 2013

Polling the Nations

From my favorite corner in the Library, I've been observing that paper writing season is in full swing.  Law students researching public policy issues this semester--such as immigration, environment and energy, health care and bioethics, criminal justice, and gun control--often need data reflecting public opinion, whether currently, at a historical point in time, or over several decades of debate and change. This is a good time to remind everyone that Polling the Nations, one of the best opinion poll research databases, is available to all Hofstra students from the Hofstra University Libraries research databases page. Remote access will require a network login.

Polling the Nations includes public opinion survey data from the United States generally, from individual states and cities, and from over 100 other countries. Coverage is from 1986 to the present, updated weekly.  Polls from hundreds of the most reputable and reliable polling organizations, such as CBS and ABC News, Pew Research Center, Quinnipiac University, Gallup, Roper, and the Kaiser Family Foundation, and from a wide range of special interest organizations, are searchable by topic, keyword, geographic area, date, and source organization.  When you need reliable data to support a statement about public opinion on public policy, here or abroad, Polling the Nations is a great place to begin.  

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, February 15, 2013

Words, words, words

For all of you language mavens out there - and as lawyers you have to be since words are the tools of your trade - check out Bryan Garner's LawProse Blog .  Bryan Garner is, of course, the editor of Black's Dictionary so he knows from whence he speaks.

In the latest Miscellaneous Entries post we learn the while the typical plural of life is lives, when using the phrase "still life"  the plural is "still lifes".   And critical for many a legal document - the plural of stiletto is stilettos (no "e") .   Who knew?

Hat tip to Legal Blog Watch
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Web Site Down? Check Here.

Is it just you, or is the Web site you keep trying unsuccessfully to reach actually down? To see whether a site is truly not functioning, try Websitedown. Just type the URL you are trying to reach into the box at the top of the page, and Websitedown will run separate tests to see whether the site’s servers are responsive.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Census Bureau: New Features in American FactFinder

The U.S. Census Bureau "released new features for American FactFinder, an online data tool that allows users to access a variety of Census Bureau statistics, including decennial, American Community Survey and economic census statistics. The new features include a simplified main page design, the option for a guided search and an enhanced community facts tool, providing options for both novice and advanced data users.

Guided Search walks users through each step of the inquiry, from selecting a topic, such as “people” or “business and industry,” to selecting a geography. It also provides step-by-step options to search for information on specific race or ethnic groups, or industry codes. New enhancements to the Community Facts feature give users easy access to popular statistics about a state, city, town or ZIP code, such as total population, median income and educational attainment."

Visit American FactFinder to use these new features. Click here for an online virtual tour.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to Take a Perfect Profile Picture

For a long time, profile-type pictures were reserved for passports and yearbooks.  Now more than ever, though, a great profile picture is required for just about every social networking connection you make.

A professional profile picture is especially key for professional networking websites, such as, and for social networking sites that may not be "for business," but your employers, future employers, and colleagues can see anyway.  No "bathing suit with a beer pictures" allowed!

Check out How to Take the Perfect Profile Picture on Mashable.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, February 11, 2013

Update! Attention 1L students: Bloomberg Law Training Schedule

The 1L Bloomberg Law training schedule is here! All 1L students are welcome. 
(Check with your LWR II section to see if your training is mandatory.)
Please contact the Reference Desk or speak with a Reference Librarian if you have questions.
Training sessions for 2L and 3L students will be scheduled later this semester so keep your eyes open for the announcement.

Bloomberg Law 1L training at Hofstra Law Library (Lower Level Lab)
  • Monday Feb 25  | 10:10am - 11:00am
  • Monday Feb 25 | 11:10am - 12:00pm 
  • Monday Feb 25  | 12:10pm - 1:00pm
  • Monday Feb 25 |  1:10pm - 2:00pm
  • Wednesday Feb 27  | 12:10pm - 1:00pm
  • Wednesday Feb 27 | 1:10pm - 2:00pm
  • Thursday Feb 28 | 12:10pm - 1:00pm
  • Thursday Feb 28 1:10pm - 2:00pm
  • Thursday Feb 28 | 3:10pm - 4:00pm
  • Thursday Feb 28 | 4:10pm - 5:00pm
  • Friday March 1  | 12:10pm - 1:00pm
  • Friday March 1 | 1:10pm - 2:00pm
  • Friday March 1  |  2:10pm - 3:00pm

Click on link below to register for training online:

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat