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April 30, 2007

Wonders of Wisconsin

The Shepherd Express, an alternative weekly Milwaukee newspaper, has announced the winnders in their Wonders of Wisconsin contest. Both natural and human-created wonders are listed. Looks like I need to do some in-state traveling this summer.

Source: Check It Out

CLJC Offers Customizable Subscriptions to Law Journal Contents

I know I've mentioned it a couple times before, but I wanted to give another plug for Current Law Journal Content (CLJC) from Washington and Lee Law School. With CLJC, you can search and subscribe to current tables of contents from over a thousand law journals (including Wisconsin Law Review, Wisconsin International Law Journal, and Wisconsin Women's Law Journal). Search results include the article citation along with a link to the article in Westlaw (password required) and WorldCat (which will show the nearest library that has the journal).

You can also elect to receive customized alerts by email and RSS. To create an email alert, you must create a profile. Just click on the journals that you want and enter your email at the top. By clicking subscribe, you'll receive a weekly email with the journal table of contents.

With RSS you can customize even further, although it is fairly complex. You can customize your RSS feed by journal, country, author or search terms. [A BIG thanks to John Doyle for recently developing those last two!!]

You do need to construct your own feed - here are a few examples:

  • For articles from a specific journal: http://lawlib.wlu.edu/CLJC/xml.aspx?issn=1052-3421 [insert your own ISSN] -or- http://lawlib.wlu.edu/CLJC/xml.aspx?title=wisconsin+law+review [insert your own journal title]
  • For articles by a specific author:
    http://lawlib.wlu.edu/CLJC/xml.aspx?search=au(john smith) [insert your own author name]
  • For articles matching your keyword search:
    http://lawlib.wlu.edu/CLJC/xml.aspx?search=criminal [insert your own search term(s); note: multiple terms will be "anded"]

If you are a RefWorks user, you'll be happy to know that John has recently created a special RSS feed format for importing into RefWorks. Just paste "&outformat=refworks" on to the end of your feed. For example, http://lawlib.wlu.edu/CLJC/xml.aspx?search=au(john smith)&outformat=refworks

At the UW Law Library, we've been working with RefWorks to develop a faculty bibliography. Being able to not only receive notification of new articles by our faculty, but to have the citation information directly imported into RefWorks via CLJC will be a time-saver.

Update: Customized RSS feeds just got a lot easier! Per my suggestion, John has added a RSS button to the search results page. Just do a search and click on the RSS button to subscribe to the results. I LOVE this!


My colleague, Nancy Paul, shared this item of interest:

This year the time and date three minutes and four seconds after 2 AM on the 6th of May will be 02:03:04:05/06/07. This will never again happen.

April 27, 2007

"State of the Law Library Blogosphere" Named ALL-SIS Outstanding Article

I recently been notified that my article on the State of the Law Library Blogosphere was chosen as the winner of the ALL-SIS Outstanding Article Award. I'm very honored to receive the award.

Here's the abstract:

Although the legal and library literature is filled with information about the theoretical pros and cons of blog publishing, little has been written about actual blogging experiences. Who is blogging? What are they blogging about? Who reads blogs? What technologies are being used? Have blogs been successful? What lessons can be shared? These are the questions explored in this article. Through this study, potential bloggers will better evaluate whether this technology is right for them and veterans will gain insight into their own blogging experience in comparison to their peers.

April 26, 2007

Legislature Considering Expanding Do-Not-Call List to Cell Phones

According to JS Online, the Wisconsin Legislature is considering a bill (AB 217) which would allow cell phone users and small businesses to add their phone numbers to the state's do-not-call list.

Uses for Twitter?

twitter.png I've been reading a lot about Twitter lately. NYT explains:
For anyone unfamiliar with the latest trends in technology, "Twitterers" send and receive short messages, called "tweets," on Twitter's Web site, with instant messaging software, or with mobile phones. Unlike most text messages, tweets -- usually in answer to Twitter's prompt, "What are you doing?" -- are routed among networks of friends.

Like a lot of people, my first reaction was - whoa, way too much information. Just a lot of people sharing the mundane details of their lives. But I just kept hearing more and more about it and so many people saying how great it is.

Well, I'm still not sure what to think. But I did just see a post over at What I Learned Today... that convinced me of one thing that Twitter might be good for - keeping up with people at conferences. Anyone else care to share work-related ways in which they use Twitter?

April 25, 2007

"E-mail is for Old People"

E-Mail Is Out With Today's Younger Web Users reports Information Week.

For most of us in the business world, e-mail is an integral part of our work lives. But for the millenials -- the generation between ages 13 and 24 -- e-mail is for old people....

For younger Webizens, e-mail today is like sending a letter -- something you do when you have to but not a primary means of communication. For these users text messaging, instant messaging, and social networking sites are the ways they communicate and stay in touch.

April 24, 2007

Library of Congress Blog

Looks like the Library of Congress has started blogging. Blogger and new LC Director of Communications, Matt Raymond explains:

Because the vast majority of visitors to the Library of Congress do so only virtually (via this Web site), I wanted to give readers the opportunity to see more of the institution, to give them the online version of a docent who can highlight many of the wonderful things that happen here.

There is a RSS feed for the blog, of course. LC also has a number of other feeds.

WSJ on Why You Should Spy on Yourself

There is a very useful article in today's Wall Street Journal on Why You Should Spy on Yourself. [Article link is to WSJ.com (subscription required). Wisconsinites can also access the article on Badgerlink (via ProQuest)]

The article lists services, free and fee, which you (and others) can use to check your credit history, criminal history and online reputation.

The author suggests these tips for running a background check on yourself:

  • Order your credit report. These are from major credit-reporting agencies Equifax, TransUnion and Experian and can be obtained from www.annualcreditreport.com or 1-877-322-8228.
  • Order a free annual public-records report (consumers are entitled under a 2004 federal law) from Acxiom Corp., ChoicePoint, LexisNexis and other reporting agencies. The records include lien searches, bankruptcy judgments, real-estate ownership records, insurance information, professional licenses and other government data. For a free report, go to www.ChoiceTrust.com for information. Contact LexisNexis at 1-877-913-6245. And Acxiom, which provides material to people only when a background search has also been ordered by a corporate client, is at 1-888-3ACXIOM.

    Source: TVC Alert

April 20, 2007

ABA Litigation Section Podcast

The Litigation Podcast from the ABA Section of Litigation promises to serve up practical tips, tactics, and interviews with today's leading trial attorneys.

Looks like there have been some interesting topics so far, including one on Quick and Dirty Research.

Google Voice Local Search

Google has a new, experimental service called Voice Local Search. It's basically a search engine of local businesses you access by using your phone.

From the web site:

To try this service, just dial 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) from any phone.

Using this service, you can:

* search for a local business by name or category. You can say "Giovanni's Pizzeria" or just "pizza".

* get connected to the business, free of charge.

* get the details by SMS if you're using a mobile phone. Just say "text message".

This is pretty cool. I've added the number to my cell phone and will use it instead of directory assistance from now on.

Source: Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

April 18, 2007

Time to Recycle that Old Computer?

This Saturday, April 21st, the City of Madison will be hosting the spring Computer and Electronics Recycling Roundup. The event takes place from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the City Transfer Station, 121 E. Olin Ave, between the Alliant Energy Center and Goodman Field . For details visit the City of Madison Streets and Recycling web page. [Source: What's New at the Madison Public Library]

According to the Wall Street Journal, many big-name computer manufacturers also offer their own recycling programs, some of which come right to your door. See the article for more information.

Public Records Available on LexisONE

From TVC Alert:

Consumers and other non-subscribers to LexisNexis may now obtain select public records, verdicts, settlements and other case information through LexisONE. There is a fee for accessing this information, but the site offers several pricing options. See TVC for more.

April 17, 2007

Facebook Group for AALL Members

Ellen Callinan (a.k.a. Callinan the Librarian) has created a Facebook group for American Association of Law Libraries members. If you're a AALL member and are on Facebook, join the club. I did.

Make Any Web Page a White Board with Firedoodle

From LibrarianInBlack:

Firedoodle (which I found via eHub) is a Firefox add-on that lets you add white board functionality to any webpage, image, or map. You can mark it up all you want with highlighting, writing, and placemarking.


WI Capitol Podcast from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

From JS Online:
Stay up to speed on what's going on in the state Capitol with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Capitol bureau's weekly podcast. Steve Walters, Stacy Forster and Patrick Marley discuss the top issues of the week and talk to the lawmakers, government officials and others making and shaping public policy.

Article on Gathering Competitive Intelligence for Litigators and Business Lawyers

Tony Chan, information specialist at Quarles & Brady LLP, Milwaukee and LLAW Government Relations Committee Chair, has written an excellent article on Gathering Competitive Intelligence for Litigators and Business Lawyers. In the article, which appears in the April 2007 Wisconsin Lawyer, Tony covers:

  • Online Sources of Public Records
  • Background Checks
  • Finding Company and Industry Information
  • Opponent or Co-counsel records

April 16, 2007

Our Entries in the Day in the Life of the Law Library Community Photo Contest

dayinthelife07small.jpg The AALL Day in the Life of the Law Library Community photo contest is in the final stage of judging. From nearly 200 entries, two UW Law Library entries have made it into the finals. Ours are in the Librarians as Trailblazers in New Technology and Most Humorous categories.
This week, April 16-23, AALL members will choose the best photo in each category and one best overall photo. If you're a member, simply login with your AALLNET members-only e-mail and password. dayinthelifewithnancy07small.jpg

American Reference Books Annual Online Free this Week

Libraries Unlimited is providing free access to ARBAonline during National Library Week April 15-22, 2007.

Derived from the trusted reference standard American Reference Books Annual, ARBAonline features about 17,000+ reviews of reference works published since 1997. Written by librarians for librarians, ARBAonline's reviews cover reference sources from more than 400 publishers in over 500 subject areas.

Happy National Library Week!

In celebration of National Library Week, the UW Law Library is proud to unveil our second annual series of READ posters featuring UW Law School faculty members. This year's posters feature Ken Davis, Allison Christians, and Jim Jones.

We'll also have contests and giveaways all week for our students, faculty, and staff. Looks like the Wisconsin State Law Library also has festivities planned.

April 11, 2007

Free Quicklaw Access for U.S. Law Schools

It's not very well advertised, but U.S. law school users may access Quicklaw at no charge. To register, call 1-800-387-0899. A .edu email address is required.

Quicklaw, from LexisNexis Canada, is a Web-based resource that offers over 2,500 databases of law, news and information from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Africa, Malaysia and the Caribbean. Includes cases & case citator, legislation, regulations, and news & journal articles. See the source directory for more information.

Apparently, there is a new Quicklaw, but according to the LexisNexis Canada representative I spoke with, this is not available to US Law Schools, nor are there plans to offer it anytime soon.

Librarian is One of the 7 Great Careers for 2007

Kiplinger has named "librarian" as one of the 7 Great Careers for 2007.

Forget about the image of librarian as mousy bookworm. Today's librarian is a high-tech information sleuth, a master of mining cool databases (well beyond Google) to unearth the desired nuggets. Plus you'll probably have regular hours and good job security.

Source: The Shifted Librarian

Proceedings of the Old Bailey Digitized

From LibraryBoy:

Two professors in England have digitized the Proceedings of the Old Bailey, the digest of more than 100,000 trials that took place in the famous London criminal courts between 1674 and 1834.

The website includes a publishing history of the Proceedings, a list of notable trials that reveal a lot of the context of policing and community life at the time, historical background about crime, punishment and gender roles in early modern England, a bibliography (with sections on the publishing history of the Old Bailey Proceedings, advertising, the literature of crime, criminal biographies, last dying speeches, newspaper history, British novels about crime, etc.), etc.

bailey.jpg There is additional background about the project in the April 2007 issue of the Smithsonian Magazine in an article entitled Digitizing the Hanging Court.

Coolexon - Powerful 3 MB Translation Software

Coolexon is a dictionary and multi-language translation software providing results in over 60 languages. It offers users a variety of free dictionaries and translation tools in English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and other major languages in the world. And Coolexon is only 3.3MB. coolexon.gif

Coolexon has two key features: cursor translation and text translation. With cursor translation, you can translate words in any places of the screen by pressing Shift and the system will automatically recognize the words selected by the cursor and display results. With text translation you choose which translation engines you want and compare the results generated by different engines. A pronunciation feature is also available.

You can purchase a single license of Coolexon for $35 USD or download a free trial version. See the press release for more information.

Source: LibrarianInBlack

April 6, 2007

Prior Wisconsin Film Fest Titles Available at Madison Public Library

Get geared up for next week's Wisconsin Film Festival by watching your favorites from years' past. Check out the Madison Public Library's collection of film fest titles. Thanks to What's New from the Madison Public Library for the tip. filmfest.png

Did you know that if you have a South Central Library System card you can go online and request items from any library in the system (including Madison Public Library)? Just go to the LinkCat library catalog and request the item. They'll deliver and place it on hold for you at your local branch library. Who needs Blockbuster when I can get movies for free at the library?

April 4, 2007

NYT Rethinks Free Access to Colleges Based on Librarian Complaints

The Chronicle of Higher Ed reports that the New York Times has altered its offer to make Times Select, which includes columnists and archives going back to the 1800s, available to college students for free.

After librarians complained that they already pay tens of thousands of dollars for access to premium New York Times content through database companies like ProQuest and Lexis-Nexis, TimesSelect will now be available only to students of colleges that subscribe to database companies that carry Times content. Currently non of the pre-1980s archives is available to students for free while NYTimes.com is working on a patch that will recognize colleges that are subscribers to databases.

Boy, this is a tough one. I can certainly identify with the librarians who are upset that they shelled out big bucks for a resource that was later offered for free. BUT, for the Times to restrict access because of it is just a Lose-Lose situation. It's all so painfully ironic since librarians are all about the free sharing of information.

The comment of Barbara Fister, one of the librarians quoted in the article, is illustrative:

This is not the outcome I'd hoped for, and I certainly was not lobbying against information being free. I simply felt taken for a ride when the publisher who had made a deal with a third party to sell content at a large price tag to libraries turned around and marketed the same content to our students as "complementary". (It wasn't free to everyone, just students and faculty with .edu e-mail addresses. The people we spend many thousands to provide it to.) I'm sorry they turned off the access and I'd be much happier if they made it available to everyone.

Frankly, I raised the question because it seemed underhanded of the Times to do business this way.

Librarians are in favor of open access. We've fought hard for it. Don't let the Times's response to a question asked in good faith make you think librarians are against information being widely and freely available. It's what we do, after all. I just don' t like getting soaked.

"Scribd is YouTube for Documents"

"Scribd is YouTube for documents," says Neil Squillante of TechnoLawyer. This free online library where anyone can upload supports .doc, .pdf, .txt, .ppt, .xls, .mp3, and more.

What's in it for legal practitioners? According to Technolawyer:

-- You can use Scribd as a free document conversion tool, albeit with a limited number of file formats right now.

-- You can use Scribd to convert documents into MP3 files that you can listen to while commuting, which means you can drive and bill. Ka-ching!

-- You can use Scribd as a quick and dirty extranet for clients.

-- Someday, I suspect Scribd will also perform free OCR.

That's all great and yes you can keep your documents private, thus using Scribd solely as a technology tool.

But I think Scribd might even have greater utility as a marketing tool -- both for you personally and your firm.

I can also see applications for librarians. Scribd seems like the ideal place to share the many presentations and guides that we do. I've posted a few of my PowerPoint presentations.

To get started, check out:

Lecture on The Carnegie Library Designs of Claude & Starck

Tis' the season for lectures, it seems. On Thursday, April 5th the Wright Lecture Series presents "The Shared Ideal: The Carnegie Library Designs of Claude & Starck." The lecture will be held at 7pm in the Monona Terrace Lecture Hall and is free and open to the public. columbuspl.jpg

From the Madison Public Library What's New blog:

Louis Claude and Edward Starck designed many of Madison's most popular early 20th century buildings. Their practice, however, was highlighted by the nearly forty Carnegie libraries in five states they designed between 1902 and 1915. Learn, through the imagery of vintage postcards, how these talented, yet low key architects, were influenced by more famous members of the Chicago School.

To view a sampling of Claude and Starck's designs like the one of the Columbus Public Library above, see Library Postcards: Civic Pride in a Lost America.

Siva Vaidhyanathan to Lecture on "The Googlization of Everything: Digitization & the Future of Books"


"The Googlization of Everything: Digitization and the Future of Books" is the topic of a UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies lecture to be held May 12th. Speaker Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of the "Anarchist in the Library," is considered one of the foremost speakers in the world on digital rights, electronic communication and the ethics of our digital world.

For more information, including registration, see the SOIS announcement.

Thanks to LLAW member, Jamie Kroening for the tip.

April 3, 2007

RSS Tracking for Canadian Bills

From Library Boy:

LEGISinfo, the Library of Parliament's legislative research website, has started offering RSS feeds since the beginning of this parliamentary session to help people track bills before the House of Commons and the Senate.

In the lefthand column on the LEGISinfo home page, simply click on any of the links to Senate or House of Commons bills from the 39th Parliament.

Scott Turow to Lecture at UW-Madison on Monday

limitations.jpg According to UW Madison News, lawyer and best-selling author Scott Turow will give a free lecture, "Reflections of a Man with Two Heads," at 5 p.m. Monday, April 9, in Room 1100 of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Grainger Hall, 975 University Ave.

From the article:

The lecture by Turow, author of "Presumed Innocent," "The Burden of Proof" and others, is presented by the Legal Studies Program. His latest novella is "Limitations," a legal mystery featuring George Mason from "Personal Injuries." Originally serialized in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, the book edition contains original material.

April 2, 2007

Workshops at the WI State Law Library

Looks like the Wisconsin State Law Library has an excellent slate of workshops planned this spring and summer. From their Web site:

National Library Week Special
WSLL Web Tours
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 9:00-10:00 a.m. OR
Thursday, April 19, 2007 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Take a guided tour of the information-packed WSLL website. Explore Wisconsin & Federal legal resources, travel around the Legal Topics page and learn to navigate our web catalog and LegalTrac. Following the one-hour class, take a guided tour of the library itself.
FREE Class.

NEW! Using PACER for Federal Court Research & Document Retrieval
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 10:00-11:00 a.m.
This one-hour class will demonstrate the Federal Court System's "Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER)" database. Guest instructor Theresa Owens, Clerk of the Western District of Wisconsin Federal Court, will help you learn how to access federal court dockets through the Internet and obtain full text documents filed in federal, civil, and criminal court.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for

NEW! Advanced Google for the Legal Researcher
Tuesday, July 10, 2007 9:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
In this hands-on class you'll expand your legal research capabilities by learning how to effectively use Google's advanced search features. Download the Google Toolbar and learn how to use it to your advantage. Discover why you may need to use more than one search engine. Explore the invisible web and find out what may not be freely available on the internet or can only be found in print. You'll also learn the latest about Google's attempt to digitize all the world's books and historical documents, and how you can incorporate Google Book Search into your legal research routine. Participants should have a general knowledge of Google searching prior to taking this class
Fee: $99.00. 3 CLE credits applied for.

Using Shepard's Public Access @ the State Law Library
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Shepard's Public Access allows fast, easy Shepardizing and retrieval of cases, statutes and more. It's available for free use at the Wisconsin State Law Library, Dane County Legal Resource Center and Milwaukee Legal Resource Center. Attend this one-hour session to learn more about using this timesaving tool. Led by guest instructor Lisa Rosenfeld, LexisNexis.
FREE Class. 1 CLE credit applied for.

Litilaw, a Database of CLE Articles

Litilaw is a new, free online collection of CLE materials and other articles of interest to litigators and other legal professionals. Articles are organized categories including Appellate Practice, Antitrust, e-Discovery, Expert Witnesses, Health Care, Product Liability, and more.

The collection is keyword search-able and all articles are available full-text in PDF format. Search results includes a brief summary of each article, the year presented, author and number of pages.

How Trustworthy are State-level Primary Legal Resources on the Web? Not Very, Says AALL Report

AALL has conducted a State-by-State Report on Authentication of Online Legal Resources. The report presents the results of a survey of primary online legal resources and whether these resources are official and capable of being authenticated. In short, "How trustworthy are state-level primary legal resources on the Web?"

The answer (from the executive summary):

A significant number of the state online legal resources are official but none are authenticated or afford ready authentication by standard methods. State online primary legal resources are therefore not sufficiently trustworthy. Citizens and law researchers may reasonably doubt their authority and should approach such resources critically.

According to AALL President, Sally Holterhoff, the report is the focus of a National Summit on Authentication of Digital Information, which AALL will hold April 20-21 in Chicago. The 50 delegates to the summit are judges, state government officials, attorneys, and leaders of AALL and of other organizations, such as the American Bar Association. All of them were invited to participate because of their interest in exploring legal and technological solutions to the issues raised in the report.

Guide to Filing a Petition for Review in the WI Supreme Court

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has created a handy guide to Filing a Petition for Review : A Guide to Seeking Review in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The nine page document is dated October 2006.


This is a simplified guide to the Wisconsin Rules of Appellate Procedure with respect to filing petitions for review and is intended primarily for people who are not lawyers and lawyers with limited appellate experience. This handbook is not intended to replace the Rules of Appellate Procedure and should not be cited as legal authority. You must rely on the rules and case law as legal authority. The Rules of Appellate Procedure are contained in Chapter 809 of the Wisconsin Statutes, which is available at www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0809.pdf. You may also want to consult the court's Internal Operating Procedures (IOPs), which are published periodically and are available at www.wicourts.gov/sc/IOPSC.pdf. This handbook reflects
the rules and case law as they exist on January 1, 2006. The rules and case law are always subject to change, and should be consulted for changes. This handbook is available in an alternative format upon request.

Thanks to my colleagues, Bill Ebbott and Margaret Booth for the tip.