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April 27, 2006

Judge Creates Secret Code of His Own in Da Vinci Ruling

UPDATE: Da Vinci judge's secret code revealed

The judge's secret message was: "Jackie Fisher, who are you? Dreadnought" ...

Judge Smith is known as a navy buff, and Fisher was a Royal Navy admiral who developed the idea for a giant battleship called the HMS Dreadnought in the early 20th century.


From Reuters:

Three weeks after a British court passed judgment in the copyright case involving Dan Brown's bestseller "The Da Vinci Code," a lawyer has uncovered what may be a secret message buried in the text of the ruling.

Lawyer Dan Tench noticed some letters in the judgment had been italicized, and it suddenly dawned on him that they spelled a phrase that included the name of the judge: "Smith code."

The italicized letters scattered throughout the judgment spell out: "smithcodeJaeiextostpsacgreamqwfkadpmqz." Those in the first paragraphs spell out "smith code." But what does the rest mean?

The opinion in question appears to be Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh v. The Random House Group Limited, High Court of Justice Chancery Division, Case No: HC04C03092, [2006] EWHC 719 (Ch), [2006] All ER (D) 113 (Apr). It's available on Westlaw and LexisNexis, although I didn't see that any random letters were italicized.

LA Times Pulls Columnist's Blog for Faking His Identity

Reuters reports that the Los Angeles Times has suspended the blog of a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who posed as an Internet reader to defend his own column and attack his conservative foes.

Source: TVC Alert

Panel Discussion on Ethics of Blogging

From the Capital Times:

UW-Madison journalism students will present a panel discussion about blogging and the ethics of blogging at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 2195 of Vilas Hall.

The discussion will be titled "Connect or Compete: How do bloggers fit with traditional media?" The panel will discuss ethical issues related to blogging and take questions from the audience. The presentation is expected to focus on anonymous bloggers, reporters who blog and blogging legislation.

Panelists will include Wispolitics' Jeff Mayers, WORT's Nathan Moore, UW-Madison Law School associate professor David Schwartz and Channel 3 reporter Colin Benedict. The moderator will be Dietram Scheufele of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Journalism School.

The free program will be presented by the student chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists, which has designated this as Ethics Week. The Madison Professional Chapter of SPJ will provide refreshments.

April 26, 2006

WI Law Review Names Librarian Eric Taylor as Most Valuable Faculty/Staff Member

Evening and Weekend Reference Librarian, Eric Taylor, was honored last week by members of the Wisconsin Law Review. In recognition of his enthusiasm and willingness to help and his extensive and invaluable knowledge of the discipline of legal research, Eric was awarded the first annual Most Valuable Faculty/Staff Member award.

Eric really does a phenomenal job of connecting with our law students. The library staff is very proud that he was so recognized.

WisStat Offers Custom Demographic & Economic Data

Looking for a map of median house values for Dane County? a family demographic profile for DeForest? or a table of major crops harvested in Wisconsin? These and many more customizable tables, profiles and maps are available free on WisStat from the UW Extension Applied Population Laboratory.

WisStat is a very powerful database for compiling demographic and economic statistics for the state of Wisconsin, its counties and smaller communities. Learning to use it takes a while, but it will be time well spent for those needing this type of detailed, customized data. A help page and introductory power point presentation are available.

Following the Torn-Up Credit Card Application

Think tearing up those unwanted credit card applications is good enough? One man documents his adventures with The Torn-Up Credit Card Application.

Find out what happened when he tore an application into small pieces, taped it back up, and mailed it in. Oh, and he changed the address and listed a cell phone number, too. Yikes.

His advice: Get a shredder. "Every credit card application you get is now like a villain from a suspense thriller. If you don't figure out how to completely destroy it, it may come back to terrorize you in the sequel."

Source: TechBlog

April 25, 2006

Blogging Can Help (or Hurt) Your Career

According to the Boston Globe, blogs are essential to a good career. In a nutshell, the article advises that blogging helps a professional stand out among her peers.

Employers regularly Google prospective employees to learn more about them. Blogging gives you a way to control what employers see, because Google's system works in such a way that blogs that are heavily networked with others come up high in Google searches.

And coming up high is good: "People who are more visible and have a reputation and stand for something do better than people who are invisible," says Catherine Kaputa, branding consultant and author of '"Blogging for Business Success."

While I agree that blogging can be a wonderful career booster (it certainly has been for me), the article failed to warn that blogging can backfire also. The strong political opinions or startling confessions on your blog might not complement your resume very well. Go ahead and blog, but be careful about the self-image you are presenting.

Comparing Feet

The other day, my husband and our toddler were comparing feet.

"I wearin' socks," she said.
"Yes, you are wearing socks," he responded.

Barefoot, he asked her, "Is Papa wearing socks?"
"No," she said, "Papa wearin'... toes."

April 24, 2006

Exploring Law Librarianship

Last week, the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin sponsored two events for library school students interested in learning about a career law librarianship. Thursday's session was held in Madison and Friday's was in Milwaukee.

In addition to tours of a firm, court, and academic law library, students met with librarians over lunch to discuss the ins and outs of law librarianship. I must say that I was encouraged to meet such bright, promising young librarians-to-be and hope that I can call them colleagues soon.

Digital Cameras Have Digital Fingerprints

From EurekAlert (American Association for the Advancement of Science):

Child pornographers will soon have a harder time escaping prosecution thanks to a stunning new technology in development at Binghamton University, State University of New York, that can reliably link digital images to the camera with which they were taken, in much the same way that tell-tale scratches are used by forensic examiners to link bullets to the gun that fired them. . .

Every original digital picture is overlaid by a weak noise-like pattern of pixel-to-pixel non-uniformity.

Although these patterns are invisible to the human eye, the unique reference pattern or "fingerprint" of any camera can be electronically extracted by analyzing a number of images taken by a single camera.

That means that as long as examiners have either the camera that took the image or multiple images they know were taken by the same camera, an algorithm . . . to extract and define the camera's unique pattern of pixel-to-pixel non-uniformity can be used to provide important information about the origins and authenticity of a single image.

Source: Boing Boing

Today is AskAway Day - Virtual Reference Service

Governor Doyle has proclaimed today, Monday, April 24 as AskAway Day in Wisconsin.

AskAway is a new statewide virtual reference service. Live chat with a librarian using a very simple Web service. There is no need to download any chat software.

AskAway is a member of the 24/7 Reference Consortium, a group of hundreds of libraries around the country who work together to provide this service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Madison Public Library has participated in the consortium since 2003, but the software and web interface to use the AskAway service changed in January of 2006. If you've never tried the service, or used the service in the past, what are you waiting for? AskAway today!

Corporate Blogging Best Practices

The UW E-Business Consortium's Corporate Weblogging Best Practices is a must for any firm or business that has a blog or is thinking about starting one. Actually, it's worthwhile for any firm or business wanting to protect its reputation in the blogosphere.

This paper is intended for various audiences including executives faced with the decision of whether or not to implement blogging at their company, human resources professionals who will need to handle blogging-related incidents involving company employees, and marketers looking for ways to leverage blogs without damaging the organization's credibility in the fickle "blogosphere."

The guide describes the types of blogs (internal v external), offers ten best practice tips, and provides good and bad case studies. I think that the latter were the most instructive. Take, for example, the Mazda debacle. The car company created a fake blog promoting the car supposedly from a 23 year old car enthusiast. Other bloggers quickly called the blog into question and it was taken down within hours, but not before Mazda's reputation was severely damaged. According the UW E-Business report, Mazda broke the first rule of blogging: being open and honest.

Perhaps more troubling is the Kryptonite example, not because of what the corporation did, but what they didn't do. When bloggers discovered that the bike locks could be picked with a pen, news traveled fast. Because Kryptonite had no staff who monitored its online reputation, reaction from the company was slow and full of denials.

Kryptonite was unprepared for the media, tried to cover their mistakes, and initially denied their shortcomings. In addition to the 10 million dollar expense of replacing their faulty bike locks, the company suffered humiliation on the Internet as bloggers openly mocked the company's practices and policies.

The report concludes with tips on getting started, a blog glossary, and examples of blogs.

April 20, 2006

Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice

If you are a Trekkie like me, you might be interested in Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice. From the publisher's site:

Star Trek Visions of Law and Justice weds popular media with academic inquiry, by illustrating the connection between the future world of Star Trek and today's American and international legal systems. Editors Robert H. Chaires and Bradley Chilton collect fourteen articles exploring issues of the legal system, international law, corrections, justice, and equality. Scholars in law, political science, criminal justice, sociology, education, and public administration provide a truly interdisciplinary perspective on the Star Trek universe and how it relates to the real world of law and justice

Source: Law Librarian Blog

StateMaster for State Statistics

The folks who brought us NationMaster.com, have released a new tool called StateMaster.com, a statistical database which allows you to research and compare a multitude of different data on U.S. states.

This is pretty sweet. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can find lots of stats, complete with charts and maps. Some of the more popular stats include:
- Illegal Immigrants
- Current Gas Prices
- Richest
- Best Place to Live

Source: LibrarianInBlack

April 19, 2006

Who Owns the Moon?

Who owns the moon? Now that would have been a good Stump the Librarian question. From the Moritz Legal Information Blog:

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is a good place to start research on outer space law issues. Its International Space Law website has links to treaties, selected national laws, UN resolutions, and FAQ about space law(including who may own a celestial body such as the moon) .

EISIL's space law directory is another good place to begin research. It has links to primary documents and other space law websites.

Google Mars and Google Moon use the Google Earth technology to allow users to virtually visit outer space. Google Mars has more features, but both map where people and our spacecraft have visited.

Korea Explores the Use of Blogs in Court Proceedings

From the Korea Times:

Weblogs, or Internet diaries, are about to gain more than just curious readers. Korean courts are now experimenting whether they could operate court trials and hearings just through Internet postings, saving everybody the trouble of actually entering the courtroom.

The Seoul Administration Court recently designated one of its court units, which rules on labor-management relations and industrial accidents, to develop a prototype model for Internet-based trial models by the end of this month.

Although the court has not yet decided on a detailed framework, it plans to allow the parties in lawsuits to submit their list of evidence, legal documents and other data on Weblogs or Internet message boards to be operated by the court. The court decisions will also be announced online.

Source: Between Lawyers

Judges' Opinions on Blogging

In his blog, 3L Epiphany, Ian Best, a student at Moritz College of Law (Ohio State University), has some fascinating posts exploring judges' opinions on blogging. Best surveyed two judges, Judith Lanzinger (Ohio Sup. Ct.) and Richard Kopf (U.S. District Judge, Nebraska), about their thoughts on citing blogs, blogs as legitimate forms of scholarship, blogs v. law reviews, and more.

Judge Lanzinger on predictions about the effect of legal blogs on the profession:

Assuming that legal blogs are now in their infancy, and that they will grow to have a long and fruitful life, I think that lawyers who ignore them altogether will do so at their peril.

Judge Kopf on whether blogs are substantial and legitimate forms of scholarship:

Sure, at least some of them are "substantial and legitimate forms of scholarship." Blogs written by lawyers, judges, law professors and law students that provide solid information and critical analysis on subjects the authors know something about are just as authoritative as other secondary sources.

Judge Kopf on advantages and disadvantages of legal blogs compared to law reviews and other traditional forms of scholarship:

The advantages are obvious: speed, availability, and topicality. I don't see real disadvantages.

Source: Slaw

April 18, 2006

Westlaw Introduces eForms

Westlaw recently released a new service called Westlaw eForms. These fill-in-the-blank forms are available for federal courts, state and local courts, bankruptcy courts, and government agencies. Forms are both saveable and emailable.

For more information, see the guide to Completing Westlaw eForms.

Governor Creates Office of Privacy Protection

From the press release dated Thursday, April 13, 2006:
Today, Governor Doyle opened the Office of Privacy Protection (OPP), which will serve as a centralized hub to educate consumers and businesses on how to protect themselves against identity theft and provide comprehensive assistance to those who have been victimized. Victims are able to contact the office now by calling toll-free at 1-800-422-7128 or on the web at privacy.wi.gov.

The Governor also proposed a legislative initiative to crack down on identity crimes that will increase penalties for identity theft, provide additional security for business, and create greater protections for individual victims. Under the Governor's proposal, identity theft will be increased to a Class E felony, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Governor Doyle's initiative will make the penalty for identity crimes against businesses the same as for crimes committed against individuals.

Monitor What People Are Saying About You Online

Wouldn't you like to know what people are saying about you online? If you have or represent a business, you should.

A great brand can take months, if not years, and millions of dollars to build. It should be the thing you hold most precious.

It can be destroyed in hours by a blogger upset with your company.

So says internet marketing and search engine expert, Andy Beal. To find out how, see Online Reputation Monitoring Beginners' Guide at his Marketing Pilgrim blog. Learn what to track and how to do it.

Later this month, I'm giving a presentation on blogging at the Association of Legal Administrators conference in Montreal. I definitely be mentioning this guide.

Source: ABA Site-tation

Guide to Setting up Old PC as a Server

Give that old computer a new life. Don't Trash Your Old PC from Law.com is a step-by-step guide on how to use an old PC as a primary or backup server.

In this age of disposable everything, upgrading means "out with the old, in with the new." But it doesn't have to be that way. Many older machines may still be physically working well but just haven't kept up with the speed demands of the Internet and current software requirements. Small firms and solos can really benefit from reworking older machines to become storage or servers. Brian R. Harris, IT director for American Lawyer Media-Pennsylvania, walks you through the necessary steps.

April 17, 2006

DCLRC Featured in WI State Journal

Today's WI State Journal contains a nice article on the Dane County Legal Resource Center.
About 80 percent of the people who use the resource center are going to court without an attorney, [Director Paula] Seeger said.

Even though much information is available on the Internet, people still need personal assistance, she said. Court officials don't have the time to walk people through how to find legal resources, she said. "We're just really trying to make us indispensable to the court."

There are some good photos which appear in the print edition (Local section) that aren't online.

Wisconsin Nostalgia Preserved on National Recording Registry

A little bit of Wisconsin history has made its way on to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry. As one of only 200 recordings to make the list, the old foghorn of Kewaunee, Wis. joins some elite company including JFK's "ask not what your country can do for you" speech and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream."

From the registry (#48):

In the late 19th century, Kewaunee, Wis., one of the great maritime ports of the northern Great Lakes, sought to challenge Chicago as Lake Michigan's supreme port city. Its car ferry and rail loading tracks were constructed in 1891 within a vast program of harbor improvements toward this goal. The port's original fog signal was removed in 1981 when an automated signal was installed. Improved rail connections to other cities led to the ultimate decline of the port; Kewaunee's aspirations were short lived. This recording preserves lost sounds of the once bustling northern lake port.

An article about the recording appears in the JS Online, along with a clip of the recording (in a box on the right). The full recording, it seems, is available at the Coho Motel and Lighthouse Gift Shop in Kewaunee.

Microsoft's Windows Live Search Engine Indexes Academic Content

Microsoft has beta released a new search engine for academic journal content called Windows Live. According to a press release, the initial beta release will target the subjects of computer science, electrical engineering and physics, although they plan to bring new subjects online in the near future.

It seems that Microsoft, like Google Scholar, has an arrangement with OCLC to integrate WorldCat content into Windows Live thereby indexing scholarly content, such as articles and books, which is available at a local library. Marketing libraries is a good thing.

April 13, 2006

Supreme Court Votes to Allow Citation to Unpublished Opinions in Federal Courts

Law.com reports that Supreme Court Votes to Allow Citation to Unpublished Opinions in Federal Courts

The Supreme Court on Wednesday adopted a historic rule change that will allow lawyers to cite so-called unpublished opinions in federal courts starting next year. The new rule takes effect unless Congress countermands it before Dec. 1. . .

Under the new rule, circuits will still be able to give varying precedential weight to unpublished opinions, but they can no longer keep lawyers from citing them -- in the same way lawyers cite rulings from other circuits or other authorities, such as law review articles.

Source: beSpacific

The Wisconsin Idea Explained

The LRB has put together a nice, two-page guide on the Wisconsin Idea which explores its origins, importance, and future.

What is the Wisconsin Idea? From the the guide:

The most commonly offered definition of the Wisconsin Idea is that “the boundaries of the University are the boundaries of the state,” which refers to the University of Wisconsin's service to Wisconsin state government and Wisconsin citizens.

April 12, 2006

LexisNexis Academic Investigating Metasearch

For those academic librarians, like myself, who thought that LexisNexis Academic would never be metasearchable, I share the good news that they do have an XML gateway in production.

According to an email received by a UW-Madison Library staff member from a product manager at LexisNexis Academic: "We are at different stages of implementation with several federated search vendors. We are working with Ex Libris but have not begun the configuration and testing process with them yet."

Metasearching is hot on college campuses. Being able to combine multiple databases from different vendors with one Google-esque search box certainly does have its appeal. For law students, however, this was never terribly attractive since few legal databases were metasearchable - until now.

Wisconsin Pronunciations

MissPronouncer.com is a neat little site for "learning to pronounce stuff in Wisconsin." From place names to politicians, this site will have you speaking like a native Wisconsinite.

EBSCOhost Offers RSS Alerts & Visual Search

It looks like EBSCOhost is offering a couple of new search enhancements: RSS Alerts for saved searches and a visual search interface. EBSCO has some great medical and business databases, many of which are available freely to Wisconsinites via Badgerlink.

Visual search: This type of search is great for the visual learner. Search results are grouped in circles within circles using Grokker technology. See the screen shot - a picture is worth a thousand words. To access, click on the "visual search" tab on the main EBSCOhost screen.

RSS Alerts: I'm a big fan of setting up alerts so that I'm automatically notified each time content that interests me is added to a database. Several other databases, including Westlaw and Lexis, do this by delivering results via email. EBSCO has done it one better by offering delivery via RSS. Very nice.

I warn you that setting up an alert in EBSCOhost is not for the novice. First you will need to sign up for your own account. Just click on the "Sign into MyEBSCOhost" under the logo at the top left. You'll be prompted to register.

Then run a search using Advanced Search. In the search results area, click on the "Search History/Alerts" tab. Here you will see a list of your searches. Below the tabs, there is a line of links. Click on the one that says "Save Searches/Alerts" Complete the form selecting "Alert" in the "Save Search As" section. This will give you the option to save it via RSS. Clicking save will bring up a new screen with the URL for the alert's RSS feed.

I'm not sure why they made it so difficult to set up, but it's nice that it is there, nonetheless.

Source: The Distant Librarian

Podcasting the Internal Revenue Code

Lewis & Clark Law Professor Jack Bogdanski (of Jack Bog's Blog! fame) has taken on a new challenge: Podcasting the Internal Revenue Code - one new section every day.

From his blog:

I'm all about public service, and I could not think of a more worthy internet project than to record a reading of the Internal Revenue Code for those who love to download mp3's and play them back on their iPods. You've heard of books on tape? How about tax law coming through those earbuds? Let's kick it with Title 26, people!

Source: BoleyBlogs!

April 11, 2006

John Muir's Dorm Room

From Odd Wisconsin:
On John Muir's dorm room at the University of Wisconsin - Madison campus in the early 1860s:

"I can vividly recall the tall clock which he made," wrote Grace Lindsley in 1935, "and which was connected with his bed in such a way that when the time came for which he had set it, the mechanism was released which tipped up the bed and threw the occupant on the floor, and at the same time struck a match and lighted a candle, or perhaps it was an alcohol lamp, at the foot of the bed. He entertained us by putting us on the bed, and setting the clock so that in a minute or two we were thrown off."

Boy, the best I remember seeing in my days at UWEC was a couch made from Leinenkugels' cases.

CourtTracker = CCAP on Steroids

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Barry and Jo from Court Data Technologies. They introduced me to their new CourtTracker service and I must say that I was impressed.

Basically, CourtTracker takes CCAP case data (Wisconsin circuit courts) and allows you to search it in powerful ways not available via CCAP. It's like CCAP on steroids.

You can search cases by specific statute(s), prosecutor(s), and/or judge(s). If I were a criminal defense attorney, I think that it would be very helpful to quickly see see the history of how certain judges and prosecutors have treated similar cases in plea arrangements and sentencing.

A screen shot of a sample search appears below. Note that I had to cut out some of the sentencing information to make the screen shot legible here.

It seems that there are also two additional enhancements to CourtTracker which are still in development. The first is an individualized calendar of your court dates. The second is a disposition report feature which gives you a quick statistical analysis of end results of cases with similar facts.

Overall, I think that this is a very powerful tool. I did have a couple of suggestions that I mentioned to Barry and Jo, however. The search screen doesn't seem terribly intuitive to me. It requires that the user know to change tabs at the top to view search results. Apparently, it was designed this way to promote versatility results navigation. I don't know - I still like the comfort of a search button.

Barry and Jo also shared with me that there are a couple of quirks with the CCAP data that could affect results. Although this was noted on a separate help screen, I suggested that it might be helpful to display it somewhere on the search results page. But these are very small hiccups in what is an otherwise great product.

CourtTracker is available by annual subscription to firms. Prices vary by number of attorney per firm. Court Data Tech staff also do customized research for those who do not subscribe to CourtTracker.

April 6, 2006

Monitoring Student Blogs for Potential Reference Interactions

Georgia Institute of Technology's Brian Matthews has published a thought provoking study on librarians monitoring student blogs for potential reference interactions.

[L]ibraries are missing out on the potential of using blogs for providing valuable educational opportunities. Instead of forcing patrons to interact with us, we can enter their domain and seek new ways of providing assistance. By monitoring blogs, librarians can step beyond their traditional role and serve as teachers, mentors, and counselors.

In the study, whenever a student blogger posed a research question or expressed a frustration about an assignment, Brian responded. "By submersing myself in this environment, I was able to detect and respond intuitively, before the patron considered contacting the library." Talk about going the extra mile.

If I were a law student, I would probably be blown away by that. Mostly, I'd think it was really cool and be grateful for the help. But I'd probably also be a little unsettled to know that a librarian was reading my blog. Kinda like finding out that your mom reads your blog. But, hey, making your blog public means anyone can read it, your mom, a librarian, or even a potential employer.

Source: ACRLog

Comparison Chart of Online RSS Readers

From Jenkins Webblits:

TechCrunch has a great piece on The State of Online Feed Readers. It includes a handy chart showing you all of the features each reader offers.

Pigs Beneath the Legislature

Today's Odd Wisconsin is a classic

The first legislature in 1838 met in a not-quite-finished Capitol building:

According to one lawmaker, "the basement story was all open, and [a] large drove of hogs had taken possession. The weather was cold, the halls were cold, our ink would freeze - so that when we could stand it no longer we passed a joint resolution to adjourn for twenty days, and I was appointed by the two houses to procure carpeting for both halls."

Although the Capitol was soon made habitable, the pigs remained for at least another decade and sometimes proved quite useful. Charles Harper, who knew Wisconsin's first governor and Supreme Court justice, claimed that once when a motion to adjourn was voted down, its sponsor "seized a long pole used in raising the windows and poked it down between the wide cracks in the rough board floor. [There] ensued a chorus of grunts and squeals and the sound of trampling feet made by the pigs, which had taken up their residence beneath the floor. Such clouds of dust began to rise between the cracks in the floor that lawmakers all started to squeeze and cough. This time the motion to adjourn was carried."

Library Week Contest Questions and Answers

Yesterday's National Library Week Trivia Answer
Question: In 1990, the opinion written by Judge Alex Kozinski in United States v. Syufy Enterprises (903 F.2d 659) grabbed headlines for its style as well as its legal substance. Why?

Answer: Some suspected that the Ninth Circuit judge worked more than 200 movie titles into the text of the opinion. To see them, read The Syufy Rosetta Stone, 1992 BYU L. Rev. 457 (Spring 1992).

Stump the Library Staff Results
Thanks to everyone who submitted questions to the Stump the Library Staff contest. We are happy to report that no one "stumped" us again this year. There were a few questions for which were was no clear answer, but as every seasoned researcher knows, sometimes the answer is that there is no answer. Since there was no clear winner, we decided to give a prize to everyone that entered.

Questions included penalties for the sale of lawn darts, the first court decision in North America, the Indonesian constitution in both Indonesian and English, a law review note by a student's father which was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, and small claims and zoning issues.

Today's National Library Week contest - Law Library Scavenger Hunt

1. What online database listed on the Law Library's web site would you use to find the complete legislative history of a federal statute?

2. Where on the Law Library's web site will you find a bibliography of Law Library materials on bankruptcy/creditor-debtor proceedings?

3. On what floor of the law library will you find transcripts of United States Congressional Hearings?

4. Where in the library will you find a book by Norma Thompson with the words "Unreasonable Doubt" in the title?

April 5, 2006

Counting the Time from 1-6

Posted to our faculty listserv:

Two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 this morning, the time and date was 01:02:03 04/05/06 That won't happen again for a thousand years.

Who Reads What?

JS Online reports on this year's Who Reads What?, a list of celebrities' favorite books compiled by Maine librarian, Glenna Nowell.

Their responses ranged from the nice - Rosalynn Carter's favorite is the Bible - to the naughty: dirty joke books favored by writer Piers Anthony. . .

Many of the titles deal with more mainstream material. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed her joy in reading a biography of a giant of the high court's past, "John Marshall: Definer of a Nation," by Jean Edward Smith.

But she also recommends retired justice Sandra Day O'Connor and H. Alan Day's "Lazy B," the story of a girl who grew up to become a Supreme Court justice.

Law.com Introduces RSS Reader

Law.com has introduced a desktop RSS Reader called Law.com NewsPoint. From the FAQ:

What is Law.com NewsPoint?

Law.com NewsPoint is a desktop newsreader. It allows you to sign up to receive updates from Law.com and other online publishers. Once you've installed Law.com NewsPoint on your computer, it will automatically check for news updates from Law.com and the other publishers you've added. This means you can get the latest updates directly on your computer desktop, without having to surf lots of different websites to find it.

If you read a lot of blogs and haven't discovered RSS readers yet, I HIGHLY recommend that you do so. They are a huge timesaver. There are two types of readers, desktop (like NewsPoint) and web-based (like Bloglines). With a desktop, one distinct advantage is the ability to download content and read it off line. Web-based readers allow you to access content from any Internet-connected computer. Both types are good, so choose the one that best suits your needs.

Source: TVC Alert

What's Special About this Opinion?

Yesterday, it was the students' turn to Stump the Library Staff (which we are still researching). For today's National Library Week contest, we are back to asking the questions.

In 1990, the opinion written by Judge Alex Kozinski in United States v. Syufy Enterprises (903 F.2d 659) grabbed headlines for its style as well as its legal substance. Why?

UW Law students, faculty and staff can submit answers to asklawref@law.wisc.edu or put them in the box by the reference desk. Anyone else who wants to try it can answer in a comment. You aren't eligible for a prize, but then satisfaction is it's own reward, isn't it?

Edible Books Festival

Yesterday, the University of Wisconsin Madison's School of Library and Information Studies took part in the 8th Annual International Edible Books Festival. This festival invites participants to poke fun at literature, art, and food in equal measure by creating book-shaped or book-themed edible art.

I regret that I couldn't attend, but my colleague, Sue Center, attended and took some wonderful photos.

The Emerald City in Chocolate

April 4, 2006

Guess the Grad Trivia Answers & Stump the Librarian

Monday's Guess the Grad Contest is history and we had quite a few folks participate. And a fair number who pointed out that question #1 didn't quite hit the mark.

Here are the answers as written by reference librarian, Jenny Zook:

1. Who is the UW graduate who sang, "I might get rich, you know I might get busted, but my heart keeps calling me backwards, as I get on the 707?"

A. Steve Miller. Okay, for all those picky folks, yes, technically, Steve didn't write this. Paul Pena did. Also, Steve Miller, didn't graduate from the UW, he was a few credits short.

I especially liked the response of one person who wrote, "one correct answer is myself. . . as I sang those exact lyrics at a house party back in '92 and am a UW graduate, BSEE '97." Touche

2. Who is the UW graduate who often does cameos in her brother's movies?

A. Joan Cusack. I was thinking of Joan, but a few people wrote in Susan Breslau, the Zucker brothers' sister. I counted those few who did guess Susan Beslau just because it seemed only fair, she did graduate from UW and she does cameos in her brothers' films and I certainly could have added another hint to separate the two women.

3. Who earned a master's degree in just a year at the UW, became an award winning novelist, and is a Professor of Humanities at Princeton University?

A. Joyce Carol Oates

Today's contest is Stump the Law Library Staff for UW Law School students, faculty, and staff. Bring it on.

READ Posters Featuring UW Law Faculty

In what we hope is the first of an annual tradition, we've added a new component to our National Library Week celebration: READ posters featuring UW Law School faculty members. Join us in the Law Library to view the posters featuring Asifa Quraishi, Gordon Smith, and Cheryl Weston.

The posters turned out so well, in fact, that - with the subjects' permission - we'd like to have them framed and displayed in the library year-round.

All three faculty members were very good sports and had fun with the project, I think. Gordon even blogged about it.

A huge thanks to the Law School's own, Professor Arthur McEvoy, for taking the photos. He did an outstanding job. Incidentally, he's the one who took that photo of me on this blog.

And another big thanks to Library Evening/Weekend Supervisor, Erin Schlicht, who designed and printed the posters.

April 3, 2006

I Heart Libraries - Happy National Libraries Week!

In celebration of National Library Week, the following events will be taking place at the UW Law Library:

Each day there will be a law or library-related contest open to Law School students, faculty, and staff. Daily winners will each receive a prize and at the end of the week, students with the most correct entries will be placed in a grand prize drawing for 1000 WestlawRewards points!

For today's contest question, read on.

- READ with the Faculty
- Meet the Library Staff
- Legal Humor

Drop-In Workshops:
Library staff will also be holding a series of free drop-in workshops for UW Law School students, faculty, and staff.

- Create Your Own Blog using Blogger
Tuesday, April 4th at 1:30 p.m. in the Computer Lab
Students: Start your own blog on-the-spot! Come prepared with a name for your new blog.

- Sources of Business Information
Wednesday, April 5th at 2:00 p.m. in rm 3380A (Third floor library)
A must for corporate attorneys!

- Legal Research Worldwide
Friday, April 7th at 2:00 p.m. in rm 3380A (Third floor library)
Online sources for international students and students studying abroad

Everyone that attends a workshop will receive their choice of a free gift courtesy of LexisNexis & Westlaw.

Now for Today's Contest Question: Trivia. . . Guess the Grad
UW Law School students, faculty & staff - submit your answers to asklawref@law.wisc.edu or put them in the box by the reference desk.

1. Who is the UW graduate who sang the lyrics, "I might get rich, you know I might get busted, but my heart keeps calling me backwards, as I get on the 707"?

2. Who is the UW graduate who often does cameos in her brother's movies?

3. Who earned a master's degree in just a year at the UW, became an award winning novelist, and is a Professor of Humanities at Princeton University?

April Fools

"Papa, there's a black hole behind you" - my five-year-old's version of an April Fool's joke.

Live from the UW Showcase

This morning I'm at the UW Showcase speaking to people about WisBlawg. I've had a lot of people interested in starting their own blogs, but, so far, no one has taken me up on the offer to start a Blogger blog on the spot. But there's still time!

There are a number of other great projects on display, including some on podcasting, survey tools, and much more. Lots of great ideas.