Articles Posted in Steven Essig

BY STEVEN ESSIG*

Library Trends Volume 57, issue 1 focuses on “Digital Books and the Impact on Libraries”. Issue Editor Peter Brantley, Executive Director for the Digital Library Federation (DLF), introduces the discussion by summarizing several cataclysmic developments in the library and publishing worlds that are forever changing the production, delivery and acquisition of books and other print materials: namely, the increasing centrality of Google and the resulting uncertainties over the disruption of the traditional relationships between authors publishers and libraries and the disruptive effects of ubiquitous internet technology on people’s everyday lives. Brantley asks whether there are alternatives to Google-shaped agreements for librarians and publishers and what economies would be necessary to sustain these alternative agreements.

Among the articles that follow this introduction, particularly interesting discussions include that of Jason Epstein’s “The End of the Gutenberg Era” (pages 8-16). Epstein, formerly the editorial director of Random House and founder of Anchor Books, foresees a continued place for most current versions of the physical book (though purely reference materials such as encyclopedias will go totally online) but emphasizes a change in the manner of its distribution. Increased digitization will cut back elements of the previous supply chain reducing costs of the physical inventory, packaging etc. and replacing this costly and elaborate setup with a “practically limitless digital inventory”, making it possible to “email an entire book with all necessary metadata as easily as a letter” (15). Epstein then discusses his involvement with “On Demand Books”, a company marketing an “Espresso Book Machine” which prints books on demand from online digital files. He foresees this print-on-demand technology being setup as a sort of “ATM for books” where readers could order a title at their computers (much as they currently do at Amazon.com) and then collect the item at a nearby machine, perhaps located at a Kinko’s, Starbucks or local library or bookstore. For this setup to become widespread, there would need to be cooperation with publishers and other content providers; Epstein sees it as in the latter’s interest in cutting back on the current costly distribution infrastructure as well as in the chance to “exploit new technologies and markets” (16).

STEVEN ESSIG

Recently, Cassidy Cataloguing Services announced a partnership with Thomson-West that would make available to law school libraries MARC 21 cataloging records for Westlaw items. In the words of Cassidy’s Donna Rosinski-Kauz “The Cassidy-Westlaw MARC21 records collections will be an expansion of the very popular “WLX E-Treatise Collection,” which was originally created and distributed by Cassidy Cataloguing. The new Cassidy-Westlaw MARC 21 records collections will be released in phases. All legal content of Westlaw will be covered by these new collections when they are completed.”

Already available from Cassidy are cataloging records for E-treatises, most Canadian titles, and directories published by Westlaw. The second phase, “Law Journals and Law Reviews”, is due out by January 2008. There is a “monthly update service” that informs user libraries of any dditions, deletions and other changes, while Name and Subject Authority Control is run on all records. “Authority files are available for purchase separate from the collections.”

Best Practices in Information Retrieval and Records Management: Analysis and Recommendations from the 2007 Sedona Conference

By Steven Essig

The Sedona Conference Journal, Volume 8, Fall 2007, includes much relevant commentary on possible best practices and other important concerns on effective information retrieval of legal documents. Issues raised range from effective precision and recall searching, appropriate sorts of indexing strategies, word choice, email retention policies for courts and other legal organizations among other major concerns. Of particular interest to librarians should be the section of the issue entitled “ESI Symposium”, which contains a report from “The Sedona Conference ® Working Group on Best Practices for Document Retention and Production (WG1), Search & Retrieval Sciences Special Project Team” (the August 2007 Public Comment Version).

Each quarterly issue of the Judges Journal , the official publication of the Judicial Division, American Bar Association, emphasizes a particular theme of interest and concern to the judiciary. The Summer 2007 issue, Volume 46 Number 3 is devoted primarily to matters related to domestic violence and youth at risk. The following is an overiew of the various articles and other features included. I am grateful to Steven Essig, our professional law librarian intern for special projects for his able assistance in compiling this material.

Domestic Violence and Youth at Risk

BY Steven Essig