Articles Posted in Library News and Views

Oregon County Law Libraries Planning Grant, Request for Proposals

“Summary: The Oregon Council of County Law Libraries (OCCLL), representing 36 county law libraries throughout the state, received a planning grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the LSTA, administered by the Oregon State Library. The OCCLL has administrative responsibility for implementing the grant project. The grant project team seeks the services of a professional library consultant who will guide the OCCLL through the planning process. The general duty of the consultant is to facilitate the accomplishment of project goals and activities”.

Oregon Law Libraries RFP Rev4_1

Two days ago I posted information on this blog related to the New York Court of Appeals decision (Maron v. Silver, 16 ‘ Larabee v. Governor, 7 ; Chief Judge v. Governor, 18) addressing judicial compensation in that state within the framework of separation of powers. Today I have learned that the State of Connecticut is also confronted with separation of powers issues related to its judiciary. These issues relate at least in part to the unilateral reduction of Other Judicial Expense line items (where the law libraries are placed) by the Office of Policy and Management (Executive Branch) after the initial budget allocations have presumably been agreed upon.

Of special concern to many readers of this blog is the severe negative impact these judicial line item reductions are having on judicial law libraries in the State of Connecicut, as indicated in testimony of the Connecticut Chief Court Administrator to the Appropriations Committee included in this post and by the many expressions of concern among Connecticut citizens as reported elsewhere.

The Chief Court Administrator of Connecticut, Judge Barbara M. Quinn has argued before the Appropriations Committee on February 9 that the unilateral reduction of Other Judicial Expense line items by the Executive Branch infringes on the Separation of Powers and can be remedied by OPM simply transmitting the Judicial request unchanged to the legislature. Two sections of Judge Quinn’s testimony are especially important and are highlighted below in this posting. The section on Law Libraries which highlights the importance of law libraries in Connecticut to both the Judiciary and the public has relevance both in Connecticut and throughout the nation. A second part of Judge Quinn’s testimony highlighted below is her statement on “Concurrence in Allotment Reductions and Rescissions,” which frames the issue nicely.

SigInt Technologies, LLC seeks a Senior Level Digital Library Programmer Analyst to support a US Government Agency.

Salary range: $125,000.00 – $135,000.00

We are growing our hardcopy-centric collection to include a substantial amount of digital content. You will have the opportunity to chart the course as we incorporate a variety of electronic data sources into the collection and make them available to our users. You will have the freedom to select the tools you deem best and implement them as you see fit. You’ll work directly with library management to collect requirements and propose and implement solutions. You will lead and direct other developers who will assist with the implementation.

Since first hearing about the planned closure of of six of the fifteen courthouse libraries in Connecticut I have contacted I have heard from a number of people (both librarians and non-librarians) from throughout that state. By all accounts the announced closures will prevent attorneys, judges and members of the public from accessing the up-to-date legal materials they need. They will especially hurt disadvantaged citizens and pro se litigants, who are especially vulnerable and may be unable to access official legal resources and will be required to struggle to travel to far-away courthouses. While the dire budgetary circumstances are the state currently faces are understandable, it is essential that Connecticut’s public law libraries and courthouses remain open. They are irreplaceable.

To help spread the word, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has been working closely with the Southern New England Librarians Association (SNELLA) to oppose the announced closures . Kate Hagan the AALL Executive Director has distibuted an e-mail (see below) which details that effort. It includes some useful links for those who want to become active in saving Connecticut court libraries.

People are also urged to search the directory of state legislators and government employees at the of Connecticut Website for other contacts that could be helpful in this effort. This web site includes a directory of state employees, a directory of state legislators, and a directory of federal legislators serving Connecticut, all with links for e-mail contact information.

David Badertscher

Although not primarily a reviewer of legal materials, Kirkus Reviews is one of the most outstanding and respected review magazines devoted to book media. It was founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus (1893-1981) a former head of the children’s book department of Harper & Bros. with the idea of holding book reviewing to a very high standard, being selective in both the books reviewed and the people assgned to review them. The first year they received about 20 advance galley proofs.

By all accounts Kirus has managed to maintain these high standards throughout the years, becomeing one of the true standard bearers for the authoritative reviewing of all types of titles including those related to law. According to their website, Kirkus currently reviews about 5,000 titles per year “with the idea of of providing Kirkus regulars (librarians, newspaper editors, agents, film producers, booksellers, and those throughout the book world in general) with professional, informative, and impartial descriptive evaluations of forthcoming titles, and to do so on a timely basis.”

THOMAS was launched on January 5, 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. Since that time THOMAS has expanded the scope of its offerings to include many features and content including those listed below.:

Bills, Resolutions Activity in Congress Congressional Record Schedules, Calendars Committee Information Presidential Nominations

Now, fifteen years later in response to user feedback and in celebration of its fifteenth anniversary, THOMAS has been updated for the second session of the 111th Congress.

BY: David Badertscher*

I have been following with great interest recent discussion on listservs and in the literature regarding a perception that libraries are becoming less relevant in a technologically-oriented society that relies increasingly on “instant gratification”(achieved largely through online searching and related techniques).

Technology is wonderful, and I think should it should be embraced, but not at the expense of alternative tools and methods that produce better results and may be more cost effective. If they are to accomplish their mission and remain relevant over time to their parent organizations, libraries must always be prepared to use a variety or mixture of techniques and materials, both technical and non-technical, to achieve results that are accurate, timely, efficient, cost effective, and deemed by patrons and managers to be trustworthy. The alternative is to increase the risk of libraries being perceived as no longer capable of meeting growing expectations and thereby becoming possible candidates for eventual closure.

There are a variety of webcasts of lecture series both law-related and general interest available from courts, law libraries, public libraries, and other organizations. Below is a non-comprehensive listing of links to transcripts and related videos (if available) of various types of programs compiled by our Senior Law Librarian for Public Access, Theodore Pollack. These programs are free and accessible via the Internet.

New York Court of Appeals webcasts of lectures and arguments:

In the e-mail below Camilla Tubbs, Chair of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Government Relations Committee provides useful information regarding efforts by the Obama admiinistration to create greater transparency and openness in and among federal departments and agencies. She is also asking what types of information people want to see on federal agency web sites? These are important questions that merit serious consideration. Although this e-mail was originally directed to a group of law librarians everyone should be concerned about these issues. Comments from both librarians and non librarians are welcome. We will be glad to forward comments on to Camilla upon request.

E-mail from Camilla Tubbs:

In his Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government

Contact Information