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April 29, 2010

19th Edition of the Bluebook to be Released in May

A new edition of the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation will be released next month. According to Hein,

the 19th edition retains the same basic approach to legal citation established by its predecessors. The layout has been updated to make information easier to access. Some citation forms have been expanded, elaborated upon, or modified from previous editions to reflect the ever-expanding range of authorities used in legal writing and to respond to suggestions from the legal community.

Copies are available from Hein for $32.

April 28, 2010

Major Bills Before the WI Legislature this Session

The Appleton Post Crescent has a nice run down of major bills passed and rejected by the Wisconsin Legislature since the beginning of the two-year session starting in January 2009.

The list appears below - for a description of each, see the full article:

  • Clean energy
  • Failing schools
  • Raw milk
  • Smoking ban
  • Texting while driving
  • Drinking with parents
  • Drunken driving
  • Troubled lawmaker
  • Medical marijuana
  • Missing DNA
  • BadgerCare
  • Payday lending
  • State budget
  • Indian mascots
  • Phone deregulation
  • Regional transit
  • Election reform
  • Supreme Court

Update 4/29

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel specifically highlights bills that didn't pass this session. The the article for descriptions of each.

  • Straw buyers - buying a firearm on behalf of a felon
  • Child abuse victims -elimination of the statute of limitations
  • Prescription drugs
  • OWI
  • DNA -requirement upon arrest
  • Medical marijuana
  • Public records - 911 and CCAP limits

April 21, 2010

Library of Congress to Archive Twitter

The Library of Congress has announced that it is archiving every public tweet made since the service went live back in 2006.

Why you may ask? ars technica gives a pretty good explanation

There's been a turn toward historicism in academic circles over the last few decades, a turn that emphasizes not just official histories and novels but the diaries of women who never wrote for publication, or the oral histories of soldiers from the Civil War, or the letters written by a sawmill owner. The idea is to better understand the context of a time and place, to understand the way that all kinds of people thought and lived, and to get away from an older scholarship that privileged the productions of (usually) elite males.

The LoC's Twitter archive will provide a similar service, offering a social history of hipsters, geeks, nerds, and whatever Ashton Kutcher is. As Twitter continues its march into the mainstream, the service really will offer a real-time, unvarnished look at what's on people's minds.

And here is more from the Library of Congress itself.

April 19, 2010

More Info on Searching CLE Books Unbound

Last week I posted about the State Bar of Wisconsin's new Books UnBound product - a subscription-based online library of State Bar of Wisconsin CLE Books (the "brown binders").

I had some concerns about the limited search capabilities but Books UnBound project coordinator, Kristin Huotari, tells me that a more advanced search is in the works. She says:

We are in the process of integrating our Google Search Appliance into the online books reader, and providing for searching across all titles. Until this feature is completed (which should be fairly soon), you can use the WisBar.org Legal Research tab for better searching. Our Legal Research site uses the Google Search Appliance and should help you get the relevant results you are seeking for Books UnBound.

April 16, 2010

WI State Bar Releases CLE Books UnBound

Earlier this week the State Bar of Wisconsin launched its new Books UnBound product - a subscription-based online library of State Bar of Wisconsin CLE Books (the "brown binders").

According to the State Bar, Books UnBound is not intended to replace the print books, but rather to provide greater flexibility for members to conduct legal research. Books UnBound will replace access to the CLE books through Loislaw, however CLE content will continue to be available, with updates, to Loislaw subscribers until the end of their contract terms.

There are two subscription options available: individual access and firm access (pricing based on the number of lawyers in a firm or a branch ) Subscriptions for individuals or firms are available for single titles, a limited number of select titles (individual access only), and the entire Books UnBound™ library*.

Access to Books UnBound is through Wisbar.org. Attorneys login using their regular Wisbar login (i.e. their State Bar member number). Non-attorney staff must register for their own non-member ID number and password. Law students receive free access to Books UnBound by registering as Law Student Associates with the State Bar.

A free trial is available. Visit the product page of the title you wish to see, and select the Free Tour link to get free access to the first chapter of each book.

Below is a screen shot of the new interface.

I really like the look and feel, but the search options are very limited. There doesn't seem to be an advanced search option nor were there any search tips listed on the Help page. I tried searching for a few phrases in quotes and threw in some Boolean operators, but got not results which was disheartening since I know that there were matches in the text.

Also, I don't see any way to search multiple titles at once but this could just be because I'm looking at the free trial version. This is a feature that I use all the time with the CLE books on Loislaw and I'd hate to lose it

All in all, though, it's a nice product. With a few search enhancements, it could be very sweet.

April 12, 2010

National Library Week Celebration and Events

Stop by the UW Law Library this week and help us celebrate National Library Week!

For our celebration this year, we have put together a number of activities including drawings and giveaways, and, of course, our faculty READ poster.

This year's poster features Carin Clauss and will be on display later this week in the library.

Want to star in your very own READ poster? Then head over to the Merit Library this week with your favorite book. They'll take your photo and create a poster for you for only $3.

April 1, 2010

Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel since 1890s Available on Google News

Archived news articles from the Milwaukee Journal and Journal/Sentinel are now available in Google News from the 1890s to the present. Unfortunately, there is no way to print the pages, but you can direct link to an article.

To access the archives, go to the advanced search page and enter Milwaukee Journal in the Source box.

Thanks to UW Madison Archivist, David Null, for the tip.