Highlights from July 2012 ALLUNY Newsletter

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The July 2012 issue of the ALLUNY Newsletter, publication of the Association of Law Libraries of Upstate New York, has been published. I want to highlight two items. First, on page 2 Everett Wiggins has a concise but thought-provoking piece on next-generation legal databases and how their search engines affect how lawyers think through their work. Wiggins suggests these new products encourage lawyers to think less precisely and impedes them from gaining the subject expertise they need. The piece only took me a few minutes to read, but reminded me to caution my students that these databases cannot replace sound legal analysis.

Second, on page 4 Ruth Balkin suggests private law librarians assemble a list of ten non-legal research queries they have answered. Keeping such a list can help document the value librarians provide to lawyers. I am an academic librarian, but I am going to start keeping better track of some of the research questions I receive. Records like this can give me a more long-term view of my work with professors and students.

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