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SFALL Newsletter

A Quarterly Publication of the
South Florida Association of Law Libraries
Volume 28, Issue 1, Fall 2004

President's Message--Bob Riger, Miami-Dade County Law Library

Greetings! It is an honor and a pleasure for me to lead this chapter of talented, dedicated, and hard working information professionals during the coming year. Our purposes as a chapter of AALL, are to 1) promote and enhance the value of our law libraries to the public and to the legal community, 2) to promote and foster the profession of law librarianship, whether we be public, academic, law firm, corporate, or information industry librarians, and 3) to provide leadership and guidance in the area of legal information.

This mandate offers us a year of great challenges, but also of great opportunities. Recent events have forced us to examine more closely issues in the legislative arena. These issues include: adequate long-term funding for our County Law libraries, The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), Intellectual Freedom & Privacy, and Digital Rights Management and Fair Use.

I believe that now is the time for SFALL to consider (as other AALL chapters have already done), the idea of forming a Government Relations Committee (GRC), to inform SFALL members about legislative, judicial, and regulatory developments that might affect SFALL, the practice of law librarianship, or the dissemination of public information. In consultation with the SFALL Executive Board, and in coordination with the Government Relations Committee of AALL, the GRC can represent the views of SFALL members to state and federal elected officials through letters, meetings, and testimony. The GRC can also

provide legislative advocacy training and resources to interested SFALL members through workshops, newsletters and the SFALL Web page. Occasionally, the GRC may call upon these members to assist with advocating a position on "urgent" pending legislation.

Another issue that I would like to examine is the question of chapter expansion. Shall SFALL continue in its current small and intimate configuration, or shall we look towards regional chapters (e.g. - California's three regional chapters), or even a state-wide chapter. I am sure that this will be one subject that will generate much interest and debate among our members!

A third issue that I would like to focus on is attracting new members. This is a subject that affects our profession, both on a national and a local level. I would like to investigate creative strategies for promoting our specialization to Library School students, and to offering students the opportunities and incentives to get involved in a meaningful way with the chapter and the profession.

Lastly, I would to take this opportunity to thank all our officers, committee chairs and members, and other volunteers who are devoting their time and effort to our organization. SFALL owes its success to its many dedicated members who further our profession through their creative and sustained efforts. Thank you all! I look forward to seeing you at our next luncheon meeting.

SFALL Officers & Committee Chairs

Bob Riger

Katherine Rosin

Jeanne Korman

Kerri-Ann Philp

Immediate Past President
Liz Chifari

Archives Committee
Linda Datko

Membership Committee
Adilia Vasquez

Newsletter Committee
Nora Everlove, Chair
Alexandra Olson, Comm. Member

Nominations Committee
Stephanie Dooley

Placement Committee
Sheryll Rappaport

Program Committee
Johanna Porpiglia

Public Relations Committee
Kerri-Ann Philp

Scholarship Committee
Lisa Smith-Butler, Chair
Charles Cratit, Comm. Member

Web Page Committee
Robin Schard
next program
"Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment." - Article 3, Library Bill of Rights Banned Book Week
For more information about "Banned Books Week" go to the ALA website

Meet your Officers and Committee Members

Kathy Rosin, Vice-President/President-Elect
Originally from Rochester, NY, Katherine Rosin earned a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Boston University, a Paralegal Certificate in Litigation from UCLA, an M.S. in Criminal Justice from the State University of NY at Albany, and an M.S. in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Katherine also studied at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, in New York City. A Law Librarian since 1984, Katherine worked in Boston as Assistant Reference Librarian at Social Law Library; Director of Library Services at Goldstein & Manello; Library Director at Foley, Hoag & Eliot; and Head Reference Librarian and Researcher at Mintz, Levin. She was the Manager of Research & Information Resources at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green, in Manchester, NH, and Reference Librarian for the Miami office of Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson. She is currently Reference Librarian for the Miami office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Katherine is an avid proponent of increased salaries for Librarians, and although something of a workaholic, she makes lots of time for her cats - currently, Shadow, Graykins, Snowflake, and Pepper. She also pursues her passion for movies, looking to the golden age of Hollywood for ideas while engaging in one of her other passions - decorating her home

Lisa Smith-Butler, Scholarship Committee
Director, Law Library & Technology Center and Associate Professor of Law
Education: M.L.S., 1993 - Clark Atlanta University J.D., Cum Laude, 1984 - Creighton University School of Law B.A., Magna Cum Laude, 1982 - Hastings College
Courses: Advanced Legal Research, Juvenile Law
Associations: American Association of Law Libraries, South Florida Association of Law Libraries, -Executive Board Member -Past President 2003, Consortium of Southeastern Association of Law Libraries Secretary, Southeastern Association of Law Libraries, State Bar of Georgia, Admitted 1987 (Inactive), Nebraska State Bar Association, Admitted 1984 (Inactive)

Stephanie Dooley, Nominations Committee
Stephanie Dooley began her career in law libraries in 1992 at the University of Miami Law Library. After graduating library school, she became the Assistant Librarian at Holland & Knight LLP in Miami where she is still working today. Last year she was the SFALL Newsletter Editor and served on the SFALL Nominations Committee.
Adilia Vasquez, Membership Committee
Adilia Vasquez has an undergraduate degree from St. Mary's University, a Juris Doctorate from St. Mary's University School of Law and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Miami. She has been a member of SFALL since 2000 and served as co-chair of the Nominations Committee last year. Adilia currently is an account manager for Westlaw in Miami. She also teaches Business Law classes at Miami Dade College. In addition, Adilia is a member of the Junior League of Miami, where she serves on the Foster Care Review Committee

Kerri Ann Philp, Secretary & Public Relations Committee
2001 - present: Librarian, Hunton & Williams, LLP, Miami, FL 2000 -2001: Librarian, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, Stamford, CT 2000: Research Analyst; Hogan & Hartson, New York, NY 1994-2000: Director, Library Services, Davis, Weber & Edwards, New York, NY 1986-1994 - Evening Reference Supervisor/Database Specialist, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York, NY EDUCATION
1999 - B.A. Columbia College, Columbia University, New York, NY PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
American Association of Law Libraries South Florida Association of Law Libraries Secretary, March 2004-present Public Relations Committee Chair, 2003-present Interests: Reading, dancing, traveling and participating in carnivals around the world

Robin Schard, Web Page Committee
Robin Schard is currently Assistant Library Director for Public Services at UM. She grew up in a resort town where she started answering reference questions at an early age. (Who in their right mind would ask a 12-year-old where to find the best seafood restaurant?) Robin received her B.A. and M.L.S. from Rutgers University and her J.D. from UM (before there were palm trees and a fountain in the courtyard). She started creating web pages while working at Marquette University when the outside consultant told the web page committee that it would take him at least six months to get around to the law library's web page.

New Member Spotlight

David Hollander, is the new Reference/ Instructional Services Librarian at the University of Miami Law Library. David received his Master of Library Science recently, at the Pratt Institute, School of Information and Library Science and his J.D., cum laude, from Fordham University School of Law in 2001. He was an Associate in the General Litigation Practice area at Jones Day in New York City. He was in the Journalism and Near Eastern Studies graduate program at NYU from 1996-97, and he graduated from Rutgers University with Highest Honors in 1996.

FSCCL Status Report- Bob Riger

Florida’s County Law Libraries remain in a precarious position, despite 2004’s “Glitch Legislation”, which offered Counties the option of imposing a portion of a Criminal fee to fund law libraries. Guesstimates of budgetary shortfalls produced by this new funding scheme in FY 2004-2005, & 2005-2006 range from thousands of dollars - $1M+, depending on the jurisdiction. Stakeholders are already talking about the need for “Son of the Glitch” legislation in 2005 to remedy the situation.

Where do our County Law Libraries stand right now? It depends on the jurisdiction. Some County Law Libraries are self-funding in 2004-2005 from cash reserves. However, in ’05-’06, when the reserves are scheduled to begin to dry up, funding again becomes problematic.

Other County Law Libraries have negotiated arrangements with their respective Counties to obtain their funding from the General Revenue Fund. This option works best when the County has some surplus funds, and the Library’s financial needs are “relatively modest”. The larger the “need”, the more difficult it is for the County to afford/justify the expenditure. In addition, without a dedicated funding source, the Library must compete each year with every other “vital service” for each and every General Fund dollar. A third scenario consists of County Law Libraries combining revenues from the new criminal

fee, small reserve carryovers, and budget cuts to deliver services under more austere funding. There are some down sides to this scenario:
  1. Revenue from the new criminal fee has not been determined so far- Although projections based on past history indicate a shortfall, the exact numbers are still unknown. Therefore the Library can face unexpected shortfalls in the middle of the FY.
  2. It is easier to make budget cuts to staff and services, than to restore them, if the budget picture improves.
  3. The service cuts often involve reducing print resources and transitioning to electronic formats. On the surface, this may appear to be a cost effective solution-- reduce duplication while offering the same resources more “efficiently”. However, when we look closely at today’s County Law Libraries burgeoning Pro Se population (who demand more than less attention from already shrunken Library staffs), this strategy begins to suffer.
Given this scenario, isn’t it time for the Law Library community to start looking at some proactive legislative antidotes?

What do you call the @ symbol used in e mail addresses?

That little "a" with a circle curling around it that is found in email addresses is most commonly referred to as the "at" symbol.

Surprisingly though, there is no official, universal name for this sign. There are dozens of strange terms to describe the @ symbol.

Several languages use words that associate the shape of the symbol with some type of animal.

For instance, some quirky names for the @ symbol include:

apenstaartje - Dutch for "monkey's tail"
snabel - Danish for "elephant's trunk"
kissanhnta - Finnish for "cat's tail"
klammeraffe - German for "hanging monkey"
papaki - Greek for "little duck"
kukac - Hungarian for "worm"
dalphaengi - Korean for "snail"
grisehale - Norwegian for "pig's tail" sobachka - Russian for "little dog"

Before it became the standard symbol for electronic mail, the @ symbol was used to represent the cost or weight of something. For instance, if you purchased 6 apples, you might write it as 6 apples @ $1.10 each.

With the introduction of e-mail came the popularity of the @ symbol. The @ symbol or the "at" sign separates a person's online user name from his mail server address. For instance, joe@uselessknowledge.com. Its widespread use on the Internet made it necessary to put this

symbol on keyboards in other countries that have never seen or used the symbol before. As a result, there is really no official name for this symbol.The actual origin of the @ symbol remains an enigma.

History tells us that the @ symbol stemmed from the tired hands of the medieval monks. During the Middle Ages before the invention of printing presses, every letter of a word had to be painstakingly transcribed by hand for each copy of a published book. The monks that performed these long, tedious copying duties looked for ways to reduce the number of individual strokes per word for common words. Although the word "at" is quite short to begin with, it was a common enough word in texts and documents that medieval monks thought it would be quicker and easier to shorten the word "at" even more. As a result, the monks looped the "t" around the "a" and created it into a circle-eliminating two strokes of the pen.

Another story tells the @ symbol was used as an abbreviation for the word amphora. Amphora was the unit of measurement that determined the amount held by the large terra cotta jars that were used to ship grain, spices and wine. Giorgio Stabile, an Italian scholar, discovered the @ symbol in a letter written in 1536 by a Florentine trader named Francesco Lapi. It seems likely that some industrious trader saw the @ symbol in a book transcribed by monks using the symbol and appropriated it for use as the amphora abbreviation. This would also explain why it became common to use the symbol in relation to quantities of something.

Courtesy of Nestcape
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