Saturday, November 02, 2013

South Africa Laws Database

This fall the Oliver R. Tambo Law Library at the University of Pretoria announced the launch of a new free website, Laws of South Africa: Consolidated Legislation.  The Laws of South Africa database provides both current and "point in time" historical versions of South African laws and regulations in PDF.  Any reliable source of foreign law in English and PDF is welcome for law student research and source gathering, but this project, undertaken with the Southern African Legal Information Institute (SAFLII), is special in showing how statutes such Marriage Act 25 of 1961 (latest version still in force) have changed over the years along with the dramatic changes in South African government and society.

The Laws of South Africa database is a work in progress. Not every statute and regulation has been added, but you will find both current and historical versions of legislation that affects citizens' lives most directly, from family law and wills to employment and the Companies Act.  Check it out. 

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Friday, November 01, 2013

Fixing things and stuff, especially stuff

Even though you can count on your favorite Library to have a cell phone charger, don't you hate it when your own charger wire frays and you have to buy a new one?

With sugru, you can fix it - along with lots of other stuff.  Check out some great ideas for creative applications at and get a discount code.  Or check out the video for some really funky ideas.

Hat tip to a Virtual Library Cat fav Prof Hacker

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Email Updates on Specific SCOTUS Cases

"You can now get email updates on this Term’s Supreme Court merits cases when something significant happens, such as the filing of an important brief or the decision being issued.  The option to subscribe is now at the top of each of those case pages."

Hat tip to SCOTUS blog
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Check Out Our iPhone Chargers!

Dead battery the morning after your all-nighter?  Worry no more.  You asked and we listened!
You may now check out an iPhone 4 or iPhone 5 charger from the circulation desk in the Hofstra Law library.  Borrowing is limited to 3 hours.
*Apologies to the non-apple phone users.  There were just too many other types of chargers to cover all the bases!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wikipedia: is there cause for concern?

MIT Technology Review recently published the article "The Decline of Wikipedia" by Tom Simonite.  The article begins "The sixth most widely used website in the world is not run anything like the others in the top 10. It is not operated by a sophisticated corporation but by a leaderless collection of volunteers who generally work under pseudonyms and habitually bicker with each other. It rarely tries new things in the hope of luring visitors; in fact, it has changed little in a decade"....

This article should be of interest to those of us who use Wikipedia which is most of us.  It is a good overview of how Wikipedia came into being, current problems with the site and the reliance on Wikipedia by services such as and SIRI.

Go ahead and use Wikipedia but be aware of the drawbacks. Generally recommend that lawyers do not cite to Wikipedia. 

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Online Resources: Class Action Litigation Report (BNA)

If you are looking for a source that will provide coverage of class action and multiparty litigation across the nation and across all subjects with analysis and practical guidance, try the Class Action Litigation Report.  The semi-monthly publication has dates of coverage from April 28, 2000 to the present.

To access Class Action Litigation Report (BNA):
  • Go to the Library's home page, click "Online Resources"
  • Click the "Consumer Law" link
  • Scroll down to "Class Action Litigation Report (BNA)"

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat