Denise has been the head of cataloging at the Rinn Law Library for 17 years. She has been a member of the Chicago Association of Law Libraries (CALL) , almost as long. She has contributed greatly to the life of the association with service on four committees and tenure as both Secretary and Treasurer of the association. So it is no surprise that she has been awarded the association's Agnes and Harvey Reid Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Librarianship for 2013.
CALL has been around since 1947 and the award was established 31 years ago. Two other Rinn law library librarians have received the award in the past, Mary Lu Linnane and Judith Gaskell. The award was named for two people who were long-time friends and generous supporters of both CALL and the American Association of Law Libraries.
Harvey Reid was a Canadian lawyer who ended up in the U.S. and had a long and successful career with West Publishing including President, and Chairman of the Board. Agnes Reid, his wife, worked here in Illinois for the legal publisher Burdette-Smith, which was a subsidiary of West.
Congratulations to Denise on the award ! It will be officially presented at the CALL May business meeting.
The publication, "The Statistical Abstract of the United States", had been published by the federal government since 1878. In 2001, the Census Bureau announced that it would no longer compile and publish this well-regarded and heavily used publication due to changing budgetary priorities.
Fortunately for the thousands of users in libraries and other organizations, ProQuest, a company that produces a wide variety of information products, decided to take over the production and publication of this valuable work. It has now produced both an online version and a print edition of the Statistical Abstract. The print edition is co-published with Bernan, a leading distributor of government publications.
Recently, the Rinn Law Library has received our copy of the new hardcopy Statistical Abstract. Here is a brief description of the new print edition :
Its BIG, 1025 pages and the pages are 8 x 11 which makes it much easier to read the tables. There are 30 topical sections, each with further breakdowns. The introduction says 39 new tables have been added but there is a loss of a few tables due to licensing issues. There is a very detailed 56 page index.
Most of the data is US national. But there is also some for regions and States. Appendix 1 lists the sources for the statistics broken down by "U.S. Government" and "Non-government". Agency or entity are listed alphabetically with a list of the specific statistical series they produce. Include are State Statistical Abstracts and Foreign Statistical Abstracts.
The book mentions that the online version of the Statistical Abstract is updated monthly and provides a spreadsheet for every table in the print version. Back years data will also be maintained on the online version.
This past Halloween, to help alleviate some of the stress of law school, several members of the law library staff wore costumes and passed out treats to students.The students were asked to write down the name of the staff member and identify his/her costume, which was entered for a prize drawing held November 1. Thanks to the generosity of the law library staff and administration, and Westlaw and Lexis/Nexis, plenty of goodies were available throughout the day.
Donated prizes included a pair of AMC movie tickets, and gift cards to Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Potbelly Sandwich Works. There were 90 entries for the drawing. Thanks to everyone for participating. Below are the names of the student winners.
Irtaza Asif, Cate Hall, Adair MaCauley, Tahreem Kalam, Emily Welter, Samantha Odyniec, Emily Bonnema, Alexander Navarro and Jorge Echanove.
CARLI is the state-wide library consortium that provides maintenance and development of its integrated library management system, and the provision of meaningful electronic resources for 154 member libraries in Illinois. It recently announced the availability of over a million bibliographic records for the massive holdings of digitized content, controlled by an organization called the Hathi Trust (Hathi (pronounced hah-tee) is the Hindi word for elephant, an animal noted for its memory, wisdom, and strength—that’s the origin of the elephant on their logo. ) [ Announced in April 9, 2012 email ]
How did this this interestingly named organization come about ? The Hathi Trust is basically a huge digital library whose initial content came form the mass Google digitization of the print collections of thirteen universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the University of California system, and the University of Virginia.
At present it has the membership of 60+ libraries and 3 consortia. More recently the Trust has also added digitized book and journal content from the Internet Archive, as well as other local content digitized by partner institutions. The Trust is also exploring the possibility of also providing digital audio and image files (such as maps).
The basic aims of this organization are to preserve this content in perpetuity, to index and provide meta-data for it's holdings and to provide for access to it's collections for it's partner libraries and beyond. The availability of the records through CARLI is one example. However, the level of access does vary for different users.
Users affiliated with HathiTrust partner institutions are able to download full-PDFs of all public domain works, and works made available under Creative Commons licenses. These are the libraries formally affiliated with the Hathi Trust. For users in libraries not so affiliated, the degree of access is rather limited. Most, if not all, the original Google scanned materials are controlled by a third party agreement. Libraries' agreements with Google require Hathi Trust to take steps to prevent bulk download of materials they have digitized.
So for DePaul users and many other non-partner libraries, the access and download option, is one page at a time ! ( with the exception of materials that are not subject to the contract with Google or were provided under a Creative Commons Licence). Since huge collections of federal government documents were part of the mass digitizations projects undertaken by GOOGLE, these public domain materials, also fall under these restrictions.
GOOGLE claims that "Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.". It seems more than a bit incongruous that it would enforce an agreement that makes scanned public domain materials, only available in a manner that effectively limits useful access. Unlike commercialy published works with copyright claims by authors and publishers, federal government information is generally in the public domain and should be provided without the encumbrances placed on commercially published works.
The availability of the Hathi Trust records through our own local library catalog, is a very useful tool for discoverying content that has been housed in some of our largest research libraries. But being able to conveniently read, copy and download public domain materials for research purposes, still eludes those users and libraries that are not in the club.
The Rinn law library is losing the services of the very able computer technical assistant and Depaul student, Neil Dahlke. But our loss will be a gain both for Neil and for the very recently launched internet startup called. MentorMob He will be joining a current staff of a dozen and will be working on the look and feel and accessibility of the startup's website.
Founded in 2010, MentorMob was launched as a startup two months ago. Using the wikipedia social sourcing model, MentorMob seeks to organize and curate the great wealth of learning and how-to content available on the open internet.Some of the curation will be directed at breaking down instruction into a step-by-step sequence that can be tailored to users with different learning styles. Shane Greenstein, a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, finds that MentorMob recognizes “different roles for the same contributor, in some contexts as a mentor and in another as learner."
"MentorMob’s learning modules are called Learning Playlists that users can view at their own pace without registering for an account. Any registered user can create new playlists or add to, comment on, or re-order the steps in existing Playlists. Presently, content in each Playlist comes from the web in the form of articles, videos, slides and other media forms. "These Playlists are created by you !
MentorMob has been Beta tested by faculty at Columbia College in Chicago for a course and student organizations. Beyond users on the internet the MentorMob developers hope that their platform can provide "collaborative learning (for students) and creating lesson plans (for teachers)". They are also currently partnered with organizations, like Wilton Brands, a billion dollar arts & crafts company, who use MentorMob’s platform to organize their training content (videos, text, etc).
MentorMob has been working off of bootstrap funding and is is seeking additional funding. The plan is to support the site with targeted advertising and in the future to get customers to use MentorMob for corporate training programs and universities. Getting there is going to require a lot of marketing at this stage. Neil our former techie will have his work cut out for him.
However, as, Vince Leung, MentorMob co-founder, says "But if MentorMob can grab the attention of the curating masses and find loyal users like Wikipedia diehards, we think they have a very promising business model."
Best of luck to Neil and to MentorMob !
The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Annual Meeting and Conference was held July 23- 26, with Philadelphia. It is a sizable conference featuring Approximately 100 different educational sessions planned over the four-day period. Several of the librarians from our Rinn Law Library, including our director, attended.
In these times of dereriorating economic conditions and budgetary constraints on the parent bodies of law libraries, the question of "What are you bringing back?". What benefit is my employer getting out of my attendance at a conference?
A short article in a recent Law Library Journal, "Back and Forth...THe Role of Conferences", argues that it may be difficult to provide a neat ROI answer to this question. As the authors state, "...that the benefit is sometimes intangible and hard to quantify. It doesn’t line up in numbers on a spreadsheet."
To get a soft reading of what some particiapants at the 2011 AALL conference thought were valuable learning opportunities, Richard Leiter from the University of Nebraska College of Law, conducted short interviews, on the "Law Librarian Conversations" podcast program, with about twenty attendees, that included our Director,Allen Moye.
The questions posed were about top learning opportunities encountered at the conferece and more broadly, what were the main threats and opportunities that the respondent saw for law ibrarianship.
For most folks, the greatest value in attending was the networking that exposes particiapants to how other librarians in differnt places and setting are handling their jobs. What challenges that one library has, might be addressed by the experiences of another.
People mentioned the willingness to share & collaborate among different types of law libraries. They praised the honest "give & take" that can provide attendees with new insights to take back home and apply in thier own settings. The work of the faculty teaching rountable and helping law students and attorneys use new technology and the different approaches by states to authenticate online legal documents, were cited as examples of such areas.
Perhaps of greater interest, were the responses to what were perceived as the threats and opportunites confronting the field of law librarianship. While clearly more intangible that the "nut & bolts" information mentioned above, these issues may be even more important in shaping the vision of both law librarians and their employing organizations, as to what law librarianship may become.
Some of the respondents saw deficits in poor marketing of what librarians can do or that they were surrendering functions to other fields like Information Technology. Others perceived threats in some of the attitudes such as fear of or ignoring changes in the environment. Not recognizing changed user needs and not being flexible and adaptable enought to fulfill these. Complacency & not looking beyond traditional roles were identified as threats to missing out on new opportunities that are arising.
Several respondent made the point that in a period of rapid change, challenges and opportunities can be sides of the same coin. While older practices may be declining, new methods and areas of practice are emerging. Pushing out of the existing bounderies can provide the chance to provide value in areas that had not previously been considered. Re-inventing ourselves may not only be possible but it may become necessary to succeed in the changing technological, economic and organizational arenas.
While these insight and perceptions may not immediately show up on "that sreadsheet", they do have the capability to enhance the value of law librarians themselves and to add new value to the employers' bottom lines in the new marketplace.
Link to podcast of the interviews discussed.
Mark Giangrande, one of the reference librarians at the Rinn Law Library, has contributed an article to the Volume 6 Number 2 Issue of the online journal The CPI Antitrust Chronicle (Competition Policy International) . This issue features articles addressing the Amended Google Book Settlement Agreement recently rejected by Judge Chin of the U.S. District Court Southern District Of New York.
His article is entitled : "The Rejection of the Amended Google Book Settlement Agreement: A Librarian’s Perspective".
The Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award is the American Association of Law Libraries' (AALL) highest honor. Created in 1990, it is usually given to only one or two awardees per year.
But in order to recognize a broader group of association members who have also carried out exemplary work for the association and who are nearing the end of their careers, the AALL Hall of Fame Award was created. The AALL Hall of Fame Award was established in 2009 with a group of inaugural inductees.
Those selected for inclusion should have provided years of distinguished service to the Association and have made significant contributions to the profession through participating in leadership positions,authoring publications, working with outside organizations, and being superior role models for their colleagues.
Mary Lu Linnane, Associate Director for Technical Services, of our own Rinn Law library staff is a member of the committee charged with selecting this year's Hall of Fame awardees. This involved receiving nominations and thoroughly researching the work of the nominees, to inform the final selections.
This year marks the first year that nominations for the AALL Hall of Fame were submitted by the general AALL membership, with up to four individuals eligible to be selected each year.
Mary Lu has written a short article in the June 2011 AALL Spectrum Magazine describing the valuable contributions of the four nominees selected as part of this new process.
The four include : Timothy Coggins, director of the law library, University of Richmond College of Law, Anne W. Grande, past director of the Hennepin County Law Library,Minneapolis, Nancy P. Johnson, associate dean for library and information services and professor of law, Georgia State University, Jacquelyn (Jacque) Jurkins, library director, Multnomah County Law Library, Portland, Oregon.
Check out Mary Lu's article for the work and achievements that merited their inclusion in this year's Hall of Fame.
Allen Moye, Director of the DePaul Rinn Law Library and member of the law faculty, has had an article published in the Council on Legal Education Opportunity's (CLEO) Edge Magazine - Broadening the Vision edition. The article is entitled, "Strategies for Success: Using Your Time Wisely to Succeed in Law School" .
( Citation for print copy :16 CLEO-Edge Magazine-Broadening the Vision -No. 1 Winter/Spring p. 51 (2011), no online version available )
CLEO Edge magazine is designed for pre-law students and contains a preview of the information needed to succeed in the law school application process. The Council on Legal Education Opportunity was founded in 1968 as a non-profit project of the ABA Fund for Justice and Education to expand opportunities for minority and low-income students to attend law school.