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June 29, 2009

WI Dept of Justice RSS Feed

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has set up a RSS feed.

From the Press Release: You can currently subscribe and receive all press releases and media alerts. Other information, such as Attorney General Guest Columns, featured topics of interest, and missing children alerts will be added in the near future.

Source: The Wheeler Report

June 26, 2009

UW-W Awarded Grant to Help School Librarians Learn About New Technologies

A group of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater library science professors has been awarded a federal grant totaling almost $1 million to help school librarians become licensed and conversant with changing technology. Read more in the press release.

Source: The Wheeler Report

The Effect of Furloughs on State Court System

The Wisconsin Law Journal reports that furloughs for more than 570 non-judicial staff of the Wisconsin court system are on the horizon, but how they will be implemented is yet to be determined.

From the article:

On June 23, Gov. Jim Doyle signed an executive order which calls for employees of state agencies and the University of Wisconsin system to take eight days (64 hours) of unpaid leave during each fiscal year of the next biennium...

State court employees are not subject to Doyle's order, noted Radloff, but the budget does cut approximately $1.9 million annually in salaries for non-judicial court staff.

"Basically, the money taken from the budget is the equivalent of the eight days per year," said Radloff, who still expected additional furloughs to be discussed.

Keith Sellen, who oversees the 29 state employees at the Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR), said it is hard to estimate to what extent closing the office for the equivalent of almost two weeks throughout the next biennium would have on efficiency.

"Assuming it's eight [days] for the next two years, it will have some impact," Sellen said.

"It may result in some minor delays, but I'm not sure what percentage of time will be lost."

New Source for Free Federal Court Dockets - No PACER Required

FreeCourtDockets is a new, free service which allows anyone to retrieve federal civil, criminal, and bankruptcy court dockets, as well as dockets from the US Supreme Court, Court of Claims, and Court of International Trade. The site is the product of Courtport LLC.

No PACER account is required to view the dockets, but if you wish to view the filings for a case, a PACER account is needed. FreeCourtDockets provides direct links to the filings in PACER.

To retrieve all court dockets except U.S. Supreme cases, you must first obtain an invitation code. To request a free code, you'll need to complete a form on the FreeCourtDockets website. Requests are usually answered within twenty four hours.

I received my invitation code this morning and decided to take the service for a spin. The process was cumbersome, but the results were as advertised.

When you first go to http://www.freecourtdockets.com/, you're led through two introduction screens before you even start searching. While this is fine for the first time, I'd rather not have to do this every time. Therefore, in the future, I think I'll probably create my bookmark a few pages in.

The first search page asks you to select a court type: U.S. District Civil or Criminal, U.S. Bankruptcy, U.S. Courts of Appeals, U.S. Appellate (Supreme and Courts of Appeals), U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and U.S. Court of International Trade. You're then prompted to complete a captcha to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer.
choosecourttype.jpg

I chose U.S. District Civil or Criminal and was taken to a new page in which I was asked to specify a specific jurisdiction. My choice there was the Wisconsin Eastern District Court which took me to another page asking for the docket number and my invitation code. Click count so far: 4.
docketnumberpage.jpg

Note that FreeCourtDockets does not offer name searching capabilities. You can only retrieve dockets when you already know the court and case/docket number. Now, this might be a pretty big stumbling block were it not for Justia's Federal District Court Filings and Dockets search. Justia allows you to search by a combination of case name, jurisdiction, law suit type and date. Its search results offer information about cases filed, including the docket number, but does not offer the full docket itself (very similar to Wisconsin's CCAP).
justiaview.jpg

So, I sauntered over to Justia, did a search for civil rights cases in the Eastern District of Wisconsin and pulled up a docket number. Then I went back to FreeCourtDockets and entered in that docket number, albeit with a bit of format massaging. Then I also entered my invitation code.

Next, I'm directed to a page which asks me to verify the case I want. After doing so, I finally arrive at a case with the case information. Click count at this point: 7. But, still no docket - that requires yet another click.
caseinfo.jpg

And I've not yet mentioned that a huge amount of ads appear along with way. Could this be the reason for the cumbersome amount of clicks - so that I'm forced to view as many ads as possible? Perhaps. But, hey, it's free. I'm not complaining too loudly.

But after all those ads and clicks (8 page clicks in all), my patience is finally rewarded with the full docket, much as it looks in PACER. And the links to obtain the filings in PACER are there also.
docket.jpg

Where FreeCourtDockets is getting the docket content is unclear. I couldn't find anything on the site that answers that question. But, judging from the obvious visual similarities to PACER, one might suspect that it's coming directly from PACER itself.

How they are able to offer this content for free is also uncertain, but I wonder if that is what all those ads are for. Note that the Help page states that "We will continue to expand our site to include U.S. courts of appeals, docket browsing, and free pdf access when adequate funding is received from sponsors, advertisers, and from your donations."

So is FreeCourtDockets the best thing since sliced bread? No - Justia's search capabilities and ease of use kicks it butt across the playground. But, is it still very useful? Yes - it's the only source I know of for free federal court dockets.

Now if PACER would just pony up and offer its content for free, that would really be something. And could you imagine if there were a product that combined Justia's search capabilities and PACER's content? Ooh, just the thought makes me giddy!

June 25, 2009

State Bar of Wisconsin: Website Redesign & Twitter Feed

The State Bar of Wisconsin has recently redesigned their website.
statebar.jpg

According to the Bar, the "new home page layout now is cleaner, more visually interesting, and easier to read. The new design offers expanded news content, an improved news archive, simplified navigation, and faster access to newly released products and upcoming events, among other changes that improve accessibility."

And did you know that the State Bar as a Twitter feed? I just discovered that today.

Citation of Unpublished Opinions in WI Begins July 1st

From the Wisconsin Law Journal:

July 1 will be a landmark day in Wisconsin legal history.

Starting that day, attorneys will be allowed to cite some unpublished Court of Appeals' opinions. Unpublished but authored opinions issued on July 1 or after can be cited for persuasive, but not precedential, authority. Per curiam opinions and summary dispositions still won't be citable.

Wisconsin Law Journal Reviews Lawyer Directories: Avvo & Justia

Jane Pribek of the Wisconsin Law Journal has written a useful article on the lawyer directories, Justia and Avvo.

From the article:

Justia is led by former FindLaw CEO and co-founder Tim Stanley. It's more than just attorney profiles; the company provides free case law, codes, regulations, legal articles and legal blog databases, as well as community resources.

Avvo is more focused. Its stated purposed is to help people navigate the "complex and confusing legal industry." The Web site indicates it caters to "regular people" and states that "many of the resources available today were developed for people who are already legal industry 'insiders.'"

Some additional soundbytes from the article:

  • "There are other online attorney databases, such as Lawyers.com from the old standby, Martindale-Hubbell. But Avvo and Justia are free, whereas Lawyers.com is not."
  • "What differentiates the services the most is that Avvo provides an attorney's disciplinary history, client ratings on a scale of one-to-10 and reviews."
  • "It took about 15 minutes to complete the Justia profile, and from his perspective, there's been no downside to it."
  • "The most significant value to Justia is the help it offers with search engine optimization, says [attorney Sean M.] Sweeney."
  • "But Sweeney says, unequivocally, that his firm's Web site traffic has increased since he completed his Justia and Avvo profiles."
  • It's the ratings aspect of Avvo that makes it a little dicey"
  • "[Attorney Perlick-Molinari's] advice, especially if you practice in an area where there's high client dissatisfaction, like criminal defense or family law, is to monitor your Avvo rating and reviews often."

John Hodgman on Obama as America's First Nerd President

I found myself laughing out loud this morning watching John Hodgman's speech at the 2009 Radio and TV Correspondents' Dinner. Maybe it's a nerd thing.

Here's a description from the Mental Floss Blog:

Sitting on the dais with him was President Obama. Hodgman suggested that Obama is American's first nerd president in the modern era, after a succession of jock presidents. Obama seemed to agree. Watch the video below for a cultural moment that's sure to resonate for decades to come.
Discussed: the culture war between jocks and nerds; the three kinds of Hobbits; God as a distant, uncaring Dungeon Master; Obama's victory as a Revenge of the Nerds; asking the hard questions about the president's nerd credentials; a series a stunning Dune references; some nice Star Trek references.

10 Tips for Networking at Conferences

Jason Eiseman has compiled a great list of tips for networking at conferences. Although his list specifically mentions the CALI and AALL conferences, his suggestions certainly apply much more broadly.

Here's the basic list - see Jason's full post for annotations.

1. Be yourself
2. You have something very important to say
3. Have an elevator pitch
4. You are not a "dream maker."
5. You're probably not that funny
6. Don't pretend you remember me
7. Don't be offended but I may walk away from you
8. Don't do me any favors
9. You don't have to exchange business cards with everyone: use social networking too
10. If you see me, say hello.

This is an awesome list - both funny and wise. I particularly like #2: "You have something very important to say." But I think it goes well beyond conferences--it's true of your professional life as a whole.

This has been a particularly personal lesson for me. As a young person, I was extremely shy and had fairly low self esteem - the kind of student that never, ever spoke up in class because I felt that I had nothing important to offer.

Fortunately, I got over it. It took some serious encouragement from a wonderful mentor who coached me through writing and eventually publishing my senior thesis. For me, it was that experience of having a published article that made me realize that I actually did have something valuable to say.

I've written a lot since then and presented many times, but it still sometimes amazes me that people think I've got something worthwhile to offer. I continue to struggle with my shyness but that little voice in my head that says "yes, I do have something important to say" keeps me talking.

June 22, 2009

Petition to Improve PACER

Erika Wayne of Stanford Law School has spearheaded a petition to improve PACER and make it more widely available. The PACER service provides on-line access to U.S. Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy court records and documents nationwide.

The petition reads:

We ask the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to improve PACER by enhancing the authenticity, usability and availability of the system.

We the undersigned, urge the Administrative Office of the US Courts (AO) to make the following changes to the PACER system:

For verification and reliability, the AO should digitally sign every document put into PACER using readily available technology.

PACER needs to be much more readily accessible if it is to be usable for research, education, and the practice of law. Improved accessibility includes both lowering the costs for using PACER and enhancing the web interfaces.

Depository libraries should also have free access to PACER.

If you would like to sign the petition, you are invited to do so online.

Web 2.0 Challenge 2009 Registration Opens Today

As I posted earlier this month, the American Association of Law Libraries Computing Services Special Interest Section is sponsoring the Web 2.0 Challenge again this summer. The Challenge is five-week online course that will introduce law librarians to social software and how to use it in their libraries. It will begin just after the AALL annual meeting and run through early September.

Registration opens today! If you are interested in participating, please visit http://cssis.org after at 11:00 AM central time. Because there are a limited number of spaces available, course participants may be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, visit the CS-SIS website.

UW Law Library Releases Digitized Papers of J. Willard Hurst, Father of Modern American Legal History

The University of Wisconsin Law Library is very pleased to announce the release of the J. Willard Hurst Collection which details the career of the man commonly identified as the father of modern American legal history.

The collection primarily spans the years 1932 through Hurst's death in 1997. The bulk of material dates between 1946 and 1980 when Hurst was a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he developed the field of American legal economic history through his scholarship and teaching. The collection provides insight into the evolution of Hurst's view of legal history and his role in developing a community for legal historians.

The collection includes Hurst's personal outlines and notes; course texts; publications; publication reviews; research notes; correspondence (incoming and outgoing letters); personnel records; photographs; audio recordings; and typewriter. Correspondence, topical outlines and notes, and audio recordings compose a bulk of the collection.

In anticipation of high research demand, the majority of materials in this collection have been digitized and are freely available on the Law Library website. Researchers may browse the collection by series; search the detailed finding aid; or view the complete finding aid in PDF.

The complete collection, including those materials which have not been digitized, is available at the UW Law Library. Contact the library staff for assistance.

Superseded WI Admin Code Added to LRB Website

More news from Bruce Hoesly at the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau:

The LRB has added an archive of superseded Administrative Code pages that were replaced between Register 1 (1956) and Register 541 (2001). Not all pages replaced in that time period are included. As the Register numbers become lower, the amount of archived code in the folders becomes less complete. Folders for Registers 446 and earlier only contain Building, Electrical, Plumbing and other Ind and ILHR codes. We hope to have all versions of the post-1956 Ind and ILHR codes on line in the near future so that all Building, Electrical, Plumbing and related codes for the last 50 plus years will be on line.

The new archive can be accessed from a link at the LRB Code and Register home page http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code.htm. This new archive is in addition to the superseded code replaced since Register 541 that was previously available through links in the history notes to Administrative Code sections, which is a complete collection. Links from the history notes to the new archive materials will be added in the future. A new detailed explanation of how to access all of the superseded code on the LRB web site is also included on the Code and Register home page.

June 19, 2009

Forthcoming Loislaw Enhancements & Widgets

In the recent Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin newsletter, Nancy Scibelli of Quarles & Brady describes some forthcoming Loislaw enhancements and widgets:

Wolters Kluwer will be making a number of enhancements to Loislaw this summer by improving Find A Case, document delivery capabilities, and the Loislaw homepage.

Find A Case is a Loislaw tool to pull cases by citation. It is similar to Westlaw's Find & Print or Lexis' Get & Print tools. It will be improved so researchers can retrieve multiple citations at once. Find A Case will also be enhanced so individuals can extract citations automaticallyfrom an electronic copy of a document, such as a brief or memo, by uploading the document into Find A Case.

The document delivery tools on Loislaw will be improved so researchers can print, email, or save multiple documents simultaneously. Researchers will also be able to print, email, or save search results including Global Cite and Find A Case results. These document delivery options are not currently available on Loislaw.

The Loislaw homepage will be reconfigured so only the content available is displayed. Wolters Kluwer is calling this a Smart Start Page. The Smart Start Page will display only the content available under your agreement. Currently, the Loislaw homepage displays all Loislaw content including content not available under an institution's agreement and thus not available for use.

Wolters Kluwer anticipates releasing all of these tools this coming summer.

In addition, Wolters Kluwer will release a Case Law Widget later this month. The widget is a Internet webtool that Loislaw subscribers can put on their webpage to retrieve cases via the Internet portal. It simply provides an external access point to Loislaw's Find A Case tool. The widget is highly customizable and can be modified to match the Internet portal design.

June 10, 2009

WI Admin Code Questions Answered: Paperless Rationale, Upgrades to Web Format, Superseded Code

Bruce Hoesly, Revising Attorney/Code Editor at the Legislative Reference Bureau, tells me that the survey which I posted here last week on whether the Wisconsin Admin Code should go paperless generated quite a bit of response.

Acknowledging this interest, he's shared with me "a summary of what we are thinking that you can share with your users."

He writes:

That we are raising the issue of going "paperless" now basically arises from the confluence of 2 factors. The first is we are looking for ways to reduce costs. The second is that it appears we will be able to greatly improve our Internet presentation of the code and register in a way that we believe would make the transition from paper much easier than if we continue with the code and register as it currently is presented online.

At this point no decision has been made and we are seeking user input as we consider our options. It is possible no change will be made or that some changes less than a completely paperless system could be adopted. Whether any change regarding printing is made, we do hope to upgrade our Internet presentation of the Code and Register. Below are the key changes we are envisioning:

The Internet version of the code would be designated as "prima facie" correct under ss. 227.27 (2) and 889.02, stats.

We will eliminate the presentation of the documents in 2 versions, PDF and NXT, with a single format -- fully linked and fully searchable PDFs. Our underlying document format for the code and register will remain unchanged.

We hope to provide an electronic subscription service that will allow users to get notice of as much or as little of the administrative process as is desired. We hope whatever notice we provide will contain links to the documents referred to. We also envision RSS feeds that would provide notice of the publication of each register and of emergency rules.

We would add links to the register so that any reference to a clearinghouse rule or to a final rule would have a link to that rule. We would also add links to all web addresses included in any agency notice or other filing and we will add links to provide for better internal navigation.

We anticipate changing the links in our Administrative code history notes so that the link from the Clearinghouse Rule number, which now takes the user to the final rule order, will instead activate a search that will provide a list of links to all the documents filed and all legislative actions taken in the rulemaking process. We also anticipate adding a search tool to our Web pages that will allow a user to generate the same type of search for any rule without going through the code history notes.

We are finally adding more superseded code that has been scanned to our web site, all of which will be accessible from links in the history notes and directly from a separate code archive infobase.

Rather than continue to maintain the separate infobase of citations to court cases that cite the code, all the cites to each administrative code chapter, will be published at the end of that chapter and will include links to the citing case.

If we do stop printing the code for general distribution, we will continue to print the code for archival purposes in a limited quantity with a limited distribution to as yet undetermined recipients and LRB will maintain the same paper archive that has always been maintained.

Law Libraries Using LibGuides

LibGuides is a "web 2.0 library knowledge sharing system" offered by the company Springshare. LibGuides is growing in popularity among all kinds of libraries, including law libraries as a platform for creating web-based research guides.

Elizabeth Farrell of Florida State University College of Law has recently added a list of law libraries currently using LibGuides to the AALL Computing Services Special Interest Section wiki.

Following the list is a selected list of resources that may be helpful for law libraries currently using LibGuides or considering its purchase.

June 9, 2009

The Next Time You Receive a Corrupted File...

The next time you receive a corrupted file from a student, you may want to think twice. Thanks to one of our faculty members for passing this one on:

From Inside Higher Ed:

Corrupted-Files.com offers a service -- recently noted by several academic bloggers who have expressed concern -- that sells students (for only $3.95, soon to go up to $5.95) intentionally corrupted files.

Why buy a corrupted file? Here's what the site says: "Step 1: After purchasing a file, rename the file e.g. Mike_Final-Paper. Step 2: E-mail the file to your professor along with your 'here's my assignment' e-mail. Step 3: It will take your professor several hours if not days to notice your file is 'unfortunately' corrupted. Use the time this website just bought you wisely and finish that paper!!!"


That is truly diabolical! It ranks right up there with The Excused Absence Network: "For about $25, students and employees can buy excuse notes that appear to come from doctors or hospitals."

June 8, 2009

LexOpus, a Free Online Law Review Submission Service

Washington and Lee Law School has launched a free online law review submission service called LexOpus.

From the About page:

The system allows an author to submit a work to a sequence of author-selected law journals. An author may also, or instead, invite offers from any journal by choosing to indicate the work as open to offers....

An author is free to simply upload a work to make it available for general viewing. There is no obligation to make the work available to journals.

According to W&L's John Doyle:

LexOpus is not intended to be directly competitive with Expresso, as by design it will not simultaneously submit works to multiple journals. Instead, an author selects an ordered list of journals and the system makes the work available to each journal serially on a short-term exclusive basis. One of the main aims of LexOpus is to discourage what I see as the socially wasteful practice of simultaneous submissions....

Most law journals I've heard from seem happy to use LexOpus, or at least to try it out. The big question is whether or not authors will be motivated to use this system. On that, time will tell.

June 5, 2009

Thomson Reuter's Lawsuit Against Zotero Dismissed

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that "a Virginia Circuit Court judge dismissed a lawsuit this morning against George Mason University's Center for History and New Media.

Thomson Reuters Inc. had sued the university in a Virginia court in September for at least $10-million in damages, claiming that Zotero, a free software tool created by the university, made improper use of the company's EndNote citation software."

Source: Twitter

Two New Search Engines - Bing and Google Squared

There has been a lot of buzz the last several days about two new search engines - Bing, from Microsoft, and Google Squared.

Bing
Here's a good description of Bing from SearchEngineWatch

More than just a rebranding of Live Search, Microsoft is repositioning Bing as a "decision engine," with a goal "to provide customers with intelligent search tools to help them simplify tasks and make more informed decisions," according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

Bing's "decision engine" will begin by focusing on four key vertical areas: making a purchase decision, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business.

If you'd like to see how Bing stacks up against Google, check out this Google-Bing Search utility which allows you to compare search results from both engines side by side. (hat tip to MakeUseOf.com)

Like Google, Bing also offers a 411 phone service. From Lifehacker:

Bing 411 (1-800-246-4411) and its obvious Google counterpart, GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411), both offer voice searching of businesses around a certain city or town, and both can connect your call or send you a text message with more details...

What Bing offers to set it apart are two features for users without data-connected smartphones. One is turn-by-turn directions from wherever you are, and you can even save a "home" and "work" location with the service to save time, entirely over the phone... The weather service is fairly in-depth as well, providing to-the-minute temperatures and offering extended forecasts for where you are or where you're going.

Google Squared
The search engine is a bit different animal. According to Google, "Google Squared is an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet. If you search for [roller coasters], Google Squared builds a square with rows for each of several specific roller coasters and columns for corresponding facts, such as image, height and maximum speed."

This one is easier to see than explain. I ran a search for supreme court justices. Take a peek at the results.google2.jpg
It's pretty nifty, but it's certainly not perfect. See this review at Jenkins Blog.

Madison Police Dept Offers Free Classes for Parents on Internet Safety

The Madison Police Department is offering free classes on Internet Safety, Text Messaging, MySpace, and Facebook. The classes are geared toward parents.

Classes will be held at various locations in Madison. Dates, times and locations will be announced soon. For more information, visit Check It Out from the Madison Public Library.

Reaction to Court-Appointed Attorneys Seeking Higher Pay

Carolyn Elefant over at Law.com's Legal Blog Watch comments on Wisconsin Court-Appointed Lawyers Seeking Higher Pay.

For more info about Assembly Bill 224 regarding the reimbursement rate for private attorneys appointed by the State Public Defender, see the article in the Wisconsin Law Journal.

The public hearing in front of the State Assembly's Committee on Judiciary and Ethics is the furthest that any proposal to raise the rate to $70 per hour has gotten. The in-court hourly rate was originally set at $45 in 1978. Although it rose to $50 per hour during the early 1990s, the state Legislature brought it down to $40 per hour in 1995.

June 4, 2009

Announcing the Web 2.0 Challenge 2009 - A Free, Online Course to Introduce Law Librarians to Web 2.0 Technologies

Last year the AALL Computing Services Special Interest Section sponsored the first Web 2.0 Challenge, an online course to introduce law librarians to social software and how to use it in their libraries. The course was so popular that CS-SIS is sponsoring it again in 2009.

The Web 2.0 Challenge will provide a free, comprehensive, and social online learning opportunity designed for law librarians that incorporates hands-on use of these technologies. The course is intended for law librarians who have little experience with these technologies but are interested in learning more.

The online course will take place between August 3 and September 6. The five week course will cover these areas:


  • Week 1: Blogs & RSS

  • Week 2: Flickr & Social Bookmarking Software

  • Week 3: Social Networking Software and Twitter

  • Week 4: Wikis and LibGuides

  • Week 5: Web 2.0 @ Your Library

Participants will be required to complete a series of weekly activities, including viewing an instructional screencast; completing hands-on exercises based on the lesson; weekly blogging about their experience; and participating in a weekly small group chat session. The course will culminate with each participant developing a proposal for implementing a specific social software tool in their library.

More information is available at the CS-SIS website.

June 3, 2009

Fundamentals of Legal Research, 9th ed. Now Available

This morning I had the pleasure of reviewing the recently published, Fundamentals of Legal Research, 9th edition. This edition is of particular interest to me since it was edited by our UW Law Library director, Steve Barkan. Many members of our library staff, including myself, contributed to the publication. I authored two chapters and an appendix.

Although this edition retains many of the features that have been popular through the years, it has also been substantially revised to reflect changes in the resources and methods of research.

WisBar InsideTrack Articles on Diploma Privilege & Managing Bookmarks

The new edition of WisBar InsideTrack is available today and there are several articles that I found particularly interesting.

WI Admin Code to Go Paperless? Share Your Opinion

The Legislative Reference Bureau is considering changing to an Internet-based publishing system for the Wisconsin Administrative Code and Register. It may include RSS and alert features.

They would be interested in hearing your opinion on this survey.

June 2, 2009

Firefox Add-ons for Research, Communication, Current Awareness, Privacy & More

On Thursday, June 18th, I'll be giving a talk at the CALI Conference for Law School Computing on Firefox Add-ons. Add-ons are extensions of the browser that add new functionality to Firefox or change its appearance.

In preparation, I've compiled a list of Firefox Add-ons which may be useful for the legal or library professional. Many of them were recommended to me by my law librarian colleagues.

The list appears below. It is also available on the AALL Computing Services Special Interest Section wiki.

Type Name Description
Citation Zotero Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research.
Citation Jureeka! Jureeka! transforms legal citations in web pages into hyperlinks that point to online source material.
Citation CiteGenie CiteGenie is a tool to copy and paste text with correctly formatted Bluebook citations from Westlaw, Lexis, and the Internet.
Copy & Save Evernote Web Clipper This extension provides a toolbar button and context menus to easily add a selection or an entire page to Evernote.
Library Book Burro This extension adds a small box to web pages when it determines you are viewing a book. Clicking the box gives you a list of prices at other sites, as well as checking if your library carries the book.
Search Add to Search Bar
Make any pages' search functionality available in the Search Bar (or "search box")...
Web Dev. FireFTP FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.
Current Awareness Morning Coffee Keeps track of daily routine websites and opens them in tabs.
Bookmarks & Links Xmarks Xmarks keeps your bookmarks and (optionally) passwords backed up and synchronized. Xmarks also helps you uncover the best of the web based on what millions of people are bookmarking.
Web Dev. IE View Lets you load pages in IE with a single right-click, or mark certain sites to always load in IE.
Browser Oldbar oldbar makes the location (URL) bar look like Firefox 2.
Browser

Firefox 2 theme for Firefox 3

Full power of new gecko engine with a good old Firefox 2 face
Privacy & Security NoScript Allow active content to run only from sites you trust, and protect yourself against XSS and Clickjacking attacks.
Browser FEBE FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) backs up your extensions, themes, and (optionally) your bookmarks, preferences, passwords, cookies and just about everything else Firefox offers.
Download Mgmt. DownThemAll! Firefox download manager/accelerator lets you download all the links or images contained in a webpage and much more.
Web Dev. Greasemonkey Allows customization of webpages (e.g., Google, Facebook, Twitter) on Firefox through installation of Javascript scripts from Userscripts.org.
Copy & Save Copy Plain Text Copies text without formatting.
Language ABCTajpu Type in accented letters, international characters or symbols into Firefox or Thunderbird, either by using a context menu or keyboard macro.
Images Picnik This extension adds a menu option when you right click on images to make it easy to pull the image into Picnik for editing.
Bookmarks & Links Delicious Bookmarks Delicious Bookmarks integrates your bookmarks and tags with Firefox and keeps them in sync for easy, convenient access.
Browser All-in-One Sidebar All-in-One Sidebar lets you quickly switch between sidebar panels, view dialog windows such as downloads, extensions, and more in the sidebar, or view source or websites in the sidebar.
Communication TwitterFox TwitterFox is a Firefox extension that notifies you of your friends' status on Twitter.
Communication Better Gmail Add useful extra features to Gmail, like hierarchical labels, macros, file attachment icons, and more.
Privacy & Security Adblock Plus Ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page? Install Adblock Plus now and get rid of them.
Browser ErrorZilla Plus This extension is a replacement of Firefox official error page, which adds some useful tools to aid your troubleshooting.
Web Dev. IE Tab Easily see how your web page displayed in IE with just one click and then switch back to Firefox.
Library LibX LibX is a browser plugin for Firefox and IE that provides direct access to your library's resources.  LibX is an open source framework from which editions for specific libraries can be built.
Browser Smart Stop/Reload Combines/merges the Stop and Reload toolbar buttons.
Bookmarks & Links TinyUrl Creator Shrink any long URL or link in the page to something you can email or Twitter using the TinyUrl service with a single click in your browser.
Communication YammerFox YammerFox puts a small yammer logo in the lower right corner of Firefox. When new messages arrive it pops up a small window with the message.
Bookmarks & Links Linky Open or download all or selected links, image links and even web addresses found in the text in separate or different tabs or windows.
Browser Check All Makes it possible to check/uncheck several checkboxes at the same time. Just select them, right-click and chose action.
Weather Forecastfox Get international weather forecasts from AccuWeather.com, and display it in any toolbar or statusbar.
Bookmarks & Links Diigo: Web Highlighter and Sticky Notes Seamlessly integrates your browser with Diigo.com, the next-generation social bookmarking and annotation service on the web.
Web Dev. ColorZilla With ColorZilla you can get a color reading from any point in your browser, quickly adjust this color and paste it into another program.
Web Dev. Web Developer Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.
Web Dev. Total Validator Perform multiple validations and take screen shots in one go. This 5-in-1 validator works with external, internal, or local web pages.
Current Awareness StockTicker Shows your favorite stocks in a customizable ticker.
Entertainment The Nethernet - game on the web The Nethernet is a free multiplayer online game you can play while surfing the web.
Web Dev. Firebug Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse.
Current Awareness Google Reader Watcher Checks your Google Reader for unread news.
Communication Meebo Instant messaging across all major IM networks built right into Firefox.
Web Dev. Aardvark Selector utility for selecting elements and doing various actions on them - cleaning up a page prior to printing it, making the page more readable, and analyzing the structure of a page.
Bookmarks & Links Text2Link Text2Link is a simple and easy-to-use way to copy the text of a link, or to open URLs and send emails to addresses not marked-up as HTML links.
Browser RubNub for YubNub A (Social) Command Bar for the Web.
Bookmarks & Links TinyURL Decoder Greasemonkey userscript which decodes shortened URLs to original URLs.
Citation Zotz Extends Zotero to upload data to the MIT Citeline web service
Search Westlaw Citation Search This search-engine add-on can be used to perform the Find Citation function in Westlaw.
Search
 
LexisNexis Citation Search This search-engine add-on can be used to perform the Find Citation function in LexisNexis.
Citation OpenURL Referrer Converts bibliographic citations to URLs. Compatible with Google Scholar, Google News Archive, and any site containing COinS.
Shopping PriceAdvance Price comparison while you shop! Automatically compare prices on over 150 different websites.
Search Wolfram Alpha Add Wolfram Alpha to Firefox search box.
Search Google Assistant - Surf Canyon Find info buried in the search results on Google, Yahoo!, Live Search, Lexis Web and Craigslist. Search as you always would and Surf Canyon automatically figures out what you need and then fetches it from as deep as page 100.
Images Cooliris Effortlessly scroll a "3D Wall" of your content from Facebook, Google Images, YouTube, Flickr, and hundreds more.
Bookmarks & Links Resurrect Pages When a webpage is not longer available, either because the content changed or the website no longer exists, Resurrect Pages searches caches and archives that mirrored the content while it was available.
Search Breadcrumbs Breadcumbs can search through the pages you recently visited so you can find the result you were looking for without retracing your steps by running the original search over again.
Archive Iterasi for Firefox iterasi is your personal Web archive, allowing you to snapshot exact copies of Web pages that will be there for you forever. Pages are kept in your secure account where they can be searched, shared via email and published via RSS or a widget.
Copy & Save Clipmarks Clipmarks allows you to save portions of webpages for future reference, print only the parts of pages you want, and email portions of pages to yourself or others.
Print PrintPDF This allows users on Windows and Linux to print web pages to PDF.

ProQuest Newspapers Will No Longer Be Available via Badgerlink

I recently received word that the ProQuest Newsstand will no longer be available via Badgerlink after June 30, 2009. Badgerlink, which is available free to all Wisconsin residents thanks to funding from the DPI, is a collection of several subscription databases containing articles from thousands of newspaper and periodical titles, image files, and other reference materials.

The ProQuest Newsstand included newspapers such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other national and international newspapers. It also included a Wisconsin Newsstand which offered the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal and more. It is truly a shame that this valuable database will no longer be available via Badgerlink. I assume that the cuts were due to the serious budget shortfall that the state is facing.

Ethnic NewsWatch and African American Biographical Database have also not been renewed by Badgerlink.

How To Read The WSJ For Free Online

If you read the Wall Street Journal online, you've surely noticed that many of the articles are available in preview only. A subscription is required to view the full content.

But, as The Business Insider explains, these same articles are available at no cost when searched via Google.

The WSJ wants to be indexed in and accessible via Google. This is great for Google traffic. But it also means you don't really need a WSJ subscription to read any of its content online.
Read the article for instructions on how to view the full text articles without a WSJ subscription.

Source: Twitter

June 1, 2009

Emerging Technologies & Law Libraries

Last Friday, I had the the pleasure of speaking at the Minnesota Association of Law Libraries Spring Conference. My presentation was entitled Emerging Technologies in Law Libraries: It's Everyone's Business.

I was the keynote speaker and they asked me to give an overview of emerging technologies and how law librarians are using them. I floundered around a bit as I was preparing my talk - how to cover the tons of amazing resources available in one hour - and not completely overwhelm them.

I ended up taking a step back and talking about why it's important that ALL law librarians stay aware of these technologies (see the excellent post at Librarians Matter, 20 reasons why learning emerging technologies is part of every librarian's job).

I followed up by briefly explaining what each tool does and showcasing how libraries are using them. My powerpoint, which I posted to Scribd, is below. You can also view my handout which has urls for all of the resources I discussed.
Emerging Technologies in Law Libraries Emerging Technologies in Law Libraries Bonnie Shucha Powerpoint presentation to accompany my presentation at the Minnesota Association of Law Libraries Meeting, May 29, 2009