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Archive for July, 2007

BISAC Subject Headings

If you’re working on a simple taxonomy of legal topics, you might take a look at the Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC) subject headings for law. A couple of U.S. public libraries have caused a fuss by abandoning the Dewey system (which, it’s argued, was always meant to be “middleware”) in favour of more user-friendly taxonomies, among them the Book Industry example, used at big bookstores.

By the way, note that the list is “governed by a copyright notice” from the Book Industry Study Group:

All rights reserved. No part of the attached documents may be distributed or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Cornell Law Library Leader Wins Légion d’Honneur

I was at the most recent annual conference of the American Association of Law Libraries or AALL (July 14-17) in New Orleans.

I was expecting to bump into Claire Germain, former president of the Association, and Cornell University law librarian/law professor. She attended the past 2 annual conferences of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (Edmonton, 2006 and Ottawa, 2007). As past AALL president, I was sure she would there in New Orleans.

Germain was not in attendance.

By the most improbable of coincidences, I bumped into her after the conference in the departure zone at the Philadelphia International . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Come Visit Stem?

A quick note to my fellow Slawyers that the Stem website is now up, along with the companion blog. Not intended as a replacement to the VLLB of course, just additional commentary in a different direction. … And if you’re a facebook member, I’ve got my social-business experiment going on – a FB group called Stem Friends.

I recognize that I’ve been off blogging for the past month, but hope to remedy that soon. In the mean time, please drop by, and feel free to send feedback to my new email address. Once August 1st rolls by, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


You might be interested in CourTopics, an “information database” of the U.S. National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The links are to American materials, of course, but this may be what you’re looking for; and in any event, some aspects of some of the topics transcend jurisdictions — e.g. e-discovery. There are upwards of 150 topics listed on the site. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Lecture on the Global Software Industry and Free Software

A lecture delivered in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 26th of June, 2007, titled “The Global Software Industry in Transformation: After GPLv3” by Columbia law prof Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Center is available online. The lecture was hosted by the Scottish Society for Computers and Law. Stored on the Internet Archive, it’s available in three formats: video, audio only, and text (transcription). (As it’s unedited, I recommend audio.)

The GPLv3 referred to in the title is the latest version of the GNU General Public License, described in Wikipedia in the following . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Chesapeake Bay Project

Along with Michael Lines, I attended the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Very hot and humid, but I can attest to the restorative properties of Abita Brewing Company’s Amber.

One of the more interesting sessions at the conference was a presentation by the Chesapeake Bay Project. This is a collaborative effort between Georgetown University Law Library, the Maryland State Law Library, and the Virginia State Law Library. It is a two-year pilot project to stabilize, preserve, and ensure permanent access to critical born-digital legal material on the World Wide Web. According to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

You Are in a Dispersal Area

When I was in England in May, I stayed with friends near Ealing. On a stroll in the shopping area I noticed this sign in the window of a store (click on the image to the left to see a larger version). The text immediately above the map read as follows:

The local Police and the Local Authority have both agreed that there are grounds to believe that members of the public have been intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed as a result of the presence or behaviour of two or more persons and that anti-social behaviour is a significant and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous


BBC News has a piece, Factfile: XO laptop, on the current form of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) machine being developed by Nicholas Negroponte and MIT Media Lab. It’s proving to be a long and parlous road to final release and distribution: Intel recently got on board (AMD makes the XO chip at the moment) which may swamp the non-profit canoe, and there’s been constant criticism from just about every quarter.

I have to say, though, that it looks to be a sweet machine. It boasts wi-fi and the ability of one machine to connect to others . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Intute Again

I blogged about the Manchester University based research database, Intute, a year ago. I’ve since had occasion to return and to discover that they’ve not only continued to expand the fund of searchable materials but also have added lots of functionality to the site. Thus, for example, you can click into the Social Sciences database, drill down to the law subsection, where you’ll find:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous


If you’re interested in a free and handy screencast app, you should take a look at Jing. It enables you easily to frame a screenshot and take it either as a still or as video — with sound, too, if your machine is equipped for it. It works on both Windows and Mac (and is something of a godsend for the latter, because there was no good cheap tool for making screencast videos for the Mac). Jing — it styles itself as a project — hopes you’ll find it handy for folding videos or stills into IM, email or . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous