OpenGovernment.org is a new, free site providing online access to information about proposed legislation in U.S. states. Funded by the Sunlight Foundation and the Participatory Politics Foundation (PPF) and now covering six U.S. states, OpenGovernment.org — which launched in January 2011 — enables citizens and organizations to learn about and track pending state legislation, the activities and votes of state legislators, issues that are the subject of proposed legislation, and campaign contributions to state legislators.
Archive for the ‘Legal Information’ Columns
There is a trend that is causing me great consternation, and I think its impact is only just starting to hurt our users and budgets. It is the decision being taken by some publishers of electronic versions of journals and law reports to remove their titles from the aggregators, such as Lexis or Westlaw, and to build their own platforms and then sell the titles /access separately to consumers at a rate they think is achievable.
I admit to my fair share of cynicism in relation to legal publishers; many – though thank goodness not all – have always seemed . . . [more]
After the 2010 earthquake destroyed Haiti’s law libraries, the Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC), a non-profit cooperative of libraries, spearheaded the Haiti Legal Patrimony Project. 13 U.K., U.S., and German libraries contributed unique materials from their collections to help rebuild a collection of Haitian law online via the LLMC Digital database. Many of the 700+ titles on the master list (initially compiled from Law Library of Congress and Columbia University Law Library bibliographic data) have been digitized. The online collection comprises constitutions, statutes, codes, periodicals, and legal treatises. The Haiti Project is one of many digital law library initiatives. . . . [more]
As I grow older and crabbier, I attend fewer conferences. Seeing old friends is a treat, but the standard meeting format that is built around a parade of speakers, many of whom are not natural communicators, and many of whom do not understand the inner soul of using PowerPoint, holds less and less appeal for me. But on June 16, 2011, The Future of Law Libraries Conference at the Harvard Law School gave me new hope. John Palfrey and his staff, with special nods to Meg Kribble, put on a stimulating, provocative and, well, classy event. The legal information situation . . . [more]
With all the flooding news and euphoria about getting an NHL team again (Go Jets Go!), you could be forgiven for thinking nothing else was happening in Manitoba. However, you would be seriously wrong.
Manitoboba amended the Elections Act a few years ago, adding fixed-year election terms (s.49.1(2)), with October 4, 2011 being the first one. One of the conditions requires that the government not advertise or publish information about its programs or activities in the 90 days before October 4th. This means we are seeing a flurry of announcements in this run-up to the end of the current legislative . . . [more]
(This article is based on a talk that I gave at this year’s Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference.)
With online services accounting for an ever-increasing percentage of libraries’ budgets, it is important to be able to keep an eye on the usage of these services. Fortunately, a number of these online services offer usage reports. These reports allow the account administrators to get a clearer picture of how these services are used and how to get the most out of them.
Where to get usage reports
The availability of usage reports varies greatly from publisher to publisher, and . . . [more]
First, Indian Kanoon (the Hindi word “kanoon” means “law”) has been included by La Chaire en information juridique de la Faculté de droit de l’Université de Montréal in its IDRC-funded global study of the sustainability of free-access-to-law services. Second, MIT’s Technology Review India in March 2011 cited Indian Kanoonin its recognition of Dr.Sinha as one of India’s “Top Innovators Under 35.” Most recently, Indian Kanoon was the topic of Dr. Sinha’s VoxPopuLII post entitled “Indian Kanoon: . . . [more]
The UK has faced a barrage of information-related news recently, from how it is obtained, to how it is restricted, and how it affects individual rights of privacy and freedom of expression. When you come from a country such as Australia, with robust defamation laws, the intense media coverage by the British tabloid press of anyone in the public eye can be quite a shock. It is the scurrilous nature of much this information, the level of detail revealed, and the distortion of facts in salacious headlines that still surprises me, despite living here for more than seven years.
Recently . . . [more]
Maritime Law Book has been re-designing its website. As of the date of writing, I hadn’t seen an announcement. It was just something I happened to notice on May 3, 2011.
The change I’m going to talk about isn’t the most obvious one to a casual observer, but it is a very welcome one. The change I particularly want to notice is that people can now create links like this one to cases reported by Maritime Law Book:
The best way to cite a case is to provide a hyperlink. Because of that, the people who report cases on . . . [more]
[This is the fifth in a series of columns about the trends, theories, principles and realities that have influenced the redesign of the new library of Osgoode Hall Law School – part of the renovation and rebuilding of the School currently underway.]
The topic of this column was suggested to me when I read Karen Sawatzky’s interesting column on “Future Ready Libraries”. In her column, Karen refers to The ARL 2030 Scenarios (Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, October 2010), which imagines four possible futures for our research libraries. I find such exercises interesting and a good catalyst . . . [more]
Users sometimes want to find law journal articles on a particular subject. Other users know the title of the article they need, but they don’t know what law journal published the article. And sometimes users want to find all the articles an author has published, when the author has published articles in many journals and even in a variety of languages. They can consult standard journal indexes, but other, nontraditional indexes such as the OPACs and databases described below can be useful for more comprehensive and/or up-to-date searches.
The Peace Palace Library at the Hague, the Netherlands, has made its . . . [more]
I recently celebrated five years working in a law library. I graduated with my library technician diploma eight years ago, and yet I still feel new to the library world. I think part of the reason for that is I have a relentless curiosity about everything, so I’m always asking questions. My latest wonderings today are about Knowledge Management
My knowledge of Knowledge Management is self-taught; what I’ve read on blogs and white papers, and what I’ve gleaned in conversations with KM practitioners. I’ve been thinking about it a lot more lately, since I recently left one firm to join . . . [more]