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South Florida Association of Law Libraries


Newsletter

October 1999

A Quarterly publication of the South Florida Association of Law Librarians.
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Prior Issues: August '99, May '99

October SFALL Luncheon Meeting

Internet Subscriptions: What It Means for Collection Development.

 

Speakers: Tica Stanton, Collection Development Librarian at University of Miami Law Library; Linda Fowlie, Director of Library Services at Akerman Senterfitt & Eidson, P.A., and Bryan Miller, Regional Manager for Lexis Publishing.
Date: Thursday, October 28th
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Place: Gunster Yoakley Valdes-Fauli & Stewart, P.A., One Biscayne Tower, Suite 3400, 2 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.
RSVP: Monica Wilson at 305-577-2954 by October 22nd

President's Message

Denise Gibson
St. Thomas University

  As the new academic year begins for law school librarians, and law firm librarians have completed their summer associate programs, we at SFALL are gearing up for an exciting year of activities.

  On the agenda is a slate of programs and speakers which we hope will be of interest to all our SFALL members. There is no better way to increase our professional status and visibility in our respective organizations than to improve our skills through continuing education. Our first program of the season, "Internet Subscriptions: What It Means for Collection Development," will focus on the issues and concerns in subscribing to electronic products from the perspectives of law firm libraries, law school libraries and the publishing industry. Plans are also underway to provide all of you with the opportunity to develop your web page skills at the "Web Page Design Class" in the spring - stay tuned!

  SFALL is also actively working on increasing its public presence by turning its web site into a legal resource not only for SFALL members but for the legal community at large. Any input or contributions you can make to this web project will be greatly appreciated.

  As part of this expanded outreach effort, SFALL will also be sponsoring a series of legal research seminars aimed at the paralegal community. The first in the series, "Legal Research on the Internet" is being coordinated by Terry Seale, Monica Wilson, and Clare Membiela to be held sometime in the spring.

  This newsletter contains a special bonus - a colorful bookmark to promote our organization and to thank each of you for your participation in SFALL. And, to recognize those individuals who make significant contributions to SFALL each year, we will be presenting special achievement awards at our annual luncheon in June.

  Hope to see all of you at our October program!

Denise

 

SFALL Board Meeting Minutes

August 12, 1999, 12:00 p.m.
Transcribed By:
Janet Reinke, Secretary
Board Members Present:
Denise Gibson, Terry Seale, Diane Altimari, Mary Barmmer, Janet Reinke

Volunteer Recognition

  Denise Gibson asked for input from the Board on presenting Achievement Awards to SFALL members who have been especially proactive in providing services to SFALL. Denise mentioned that the AALL Executive Board is offering to provide a letter of recognition for those Chapter volunteers whom we recommend - this letter would be addressed to the volunteer’s employer. Board members agreed that this was a worthwhile idea. Other ideas included providing a form of recognition in AALL Spectrum or AALLNET publications, and providing members with plaques or other types of awards. Terry Seale suggested Post-It notes, stating the distinction received. These could be seen in the library and people would note the librarian’s achievement in the Post-It.

  Issues regarding the lack of volunteerism were discussed. Denise mentioned that most Chapters raised this issue at AALL because they are encountering the same problem, especially during the last several years. The Chapter needs to ensure that members will be provided with professional networking, that they will learn new skills, and that they will have the opportunity for professional growth.

Website Management/Promotional Literature

  Promoting SFALL through our website was next on the agenda. Denise distributed a draft of SFALL bookmarks with its website URL and Chapter information as one method to promote SFALL to the community at large and to potential new members. The SFALL sunshine logo created by Alfred Holmes should be incorporated on all correspondence (letterhead), flyers, etc. Metatags can be added to improve the retrievability of our site, and Terry suggested that SFALL’s educational programs for library assistants and paralegals can also be posted to our site.

  Other matters discussed: to ensure that the library newsletter in print and the one on the web are consistent in design; to continue publishing the newsletter in print and on the web until all members have joined our listserv and a group e-mail has been formed; to provide useful content which would lead to increased traffic to our site. (Terry suggested Amazon.com as a useful site; civil interest rates, etc); and whether advertising on the web site is viable, and whether it would take away sponsors from the newsletter.

Invoice

  Consensus from Board Members that SFALL needs an invoice for membership dues, especially as this is a standard practice with AALL Chapters. Other issues raised were whether to enforce the Bylaw’s September deadline; whether to use a postcard for dues; and whether to have a form on the website. Diane Altimari will be monitoring this.

Educational Programs

  Denise announced that AALL has created a new program for Chapters - they will send a program speaker to a chapter upon request. Denise has forwarded this information to Monica Wilson, Chair of the Program Committee. Some Chapters offer annual retreats for their members - possibly an idea for SFALL as well. Mary Barmmer suggested a theme or purpose for the retreat.

  Terry is looking into how SFALL can provide a series of legal research lesson for paralegals in the Spring, modeled after the Atlanta Law Libraries Association Chapter. Denise mentioned that we need several volunteers or an education subcommittee to really help get this off the ground.

Membership Directory

  An accurate membership directory is imperative, especially if we are to create a group e-mail list. Board members discussed ways to correct this problem.

  Meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.

 

Links for Lawyers

Lisa Smith-Butler
Nova Southeastern University

  As the Internet continues to grow and expand, there are more links of interest and use to law students, lawyers, and law professors. One of the best known sites for law professors is JURIST: The Law Professors’ Network @ http://www.jurist.law.pitt.edu. This site provides worldwide legal news for lawyers, law professors, and law students. In addition to JURIST USA hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, JURIST has now established links with the international community. JURIST UK is hosted by the Cambridge University Faculty of Law, while JURIST Canada is hosted by the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and JURIST Australia is hosted by the Australian National University Faculty of Law.

  JURIST provides the full text of articles containing the most recent U.S. and world legal news. Additionally, there are hyper-text links to the full text of decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeal. There are also links to decisions from the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights. JURIST also provides discussion lists, articles, book reviews, subject guides, course page lessons on the web, and law reviews online.

  Several technology sites for lawyers also exist. Legal Technology Online @ http://www.digital-lawyer.com/ assists lawyers with information about technology. At this site, lawyers can obtain the tools to design an Intranet, learn of CLE training sessions, discover a directory of technology consultants by either specialty or region, and review legal software developed for and by attorneys for the legal profession. The TechnoLawyer Community @ http://www.technolawyer.com/ provides opportunities for lawyers to publish articles at its site while Law Lists Info @ http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/~llou/lawlists/info.html provides an alphabetical list of legal electronic mailing lists to which law professors and lawyers can subscribe.

  Information about legal publishers providing CLE programs and materials is available as well. PLI, ALI-ABA, and American Lawyer have Internet sites with information about their products and services. PLI can be accessed @ http://www.pli.edu/; this site has links to PLI programs, publications and web programs. ALI-ABA is available @ http://www.ali-aba.org/ and provides information about ALI-ABA courses, publications, satellite broadcasts, and video and audio tapes. American Lawyer is available at http://www.american-lawyer.com/ and provides information about its publications. It does not provide the full text of its publications.

  Lastly, information about professional legal organizations is available. Hieros Gamos @ http://www.hg.org/ labels itself the "comprehensive law and government portal." It provides links to international legal organizations as well as guides to international law on a variety of topics. To access U.S. legal organizations, visit the ABA @ http://www.abanet.org/ or AALS @ http://www.aals.org/. The Florida Bar can be accessed @ http://www.flabar.org/ while the Broward County Bar Association is available @ http://www.browardbar.org/. Clearly, the Internet provides a wealth of information for the legal field.

Government Documents Are in A Class All By Themselves

Sarah Tabor
Nova Southeastern University

  Believe it or not, the Superintendent of Documents classification system is designed to assist you in your research. William Leander Post, a Librarian in the Government Printing Office, first described this system in 1903. He gave credit for the system to Miss Adelaide R. Hasse. Miss Hasse used government organization authorship to assign classification numbers to the Department of Agriculture publications in the Los Angeles Public Library.

  Since 1903, government has changed, departments have come and gone, but the government document system of classification still applies very logically. The Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) classification system groups together publications by the same government author, known in cataloging terms as the corporate author. This uniquely identifies, logically relates and physically arranges each publication so that all publications of a single agency or department may be found together. Thus "A" is for the Department of Agriculture and "JU" for the Judiciary. "X" and "Y" are reserved for Congress, and "Z" has yet to be used.

  Let us look at the Justice Department:

J is the Justice Department
J 1.14 is the Federal Bureau of Investigation
J 16 is the Prisons Bureau
J 21 is the Immigration and Naturalization Service
J 23 is the Community Relations Service
J 24 is the Drug Enforcement Administration
J 25 is the Marshals Service
J 26 is the Justice Assistance Bureau
J 27 is the United States Parole Commission
J 28 is the National Institute of Justice
J 29 is the Justice Statistics Bureau
J 31 is the Executive Office for the United States Attorneys
J 32 is the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Office
J 33 is the Office of Attorney Personnel Management
J 34 is the Office for Victims of Crime
J 35 is the Violence Against Women Office

  The numeric after the alpha designation is a number assigned when the sub-division came on board with the parent department. So at the moment the Violence Against Women Office is the last Justice Department sub-division.

  Then a period (. ) is introduced. Depending upon publications from the major division, the following numbers represent the same types of publications even though they are from different departments, i.e., (Letter) (Number) .1 is an Annual Report.

  Thus the Annual Report of the Attorney General of the United States has a very clear cut number and is instantly recognized for what it is because you now know the first letter is the department, and the first number is an annual report:

J 1.1:

  Now I have to introduce you to a new element, the colon ( : ). Series information, or volume numbering, or individual author numbers follow colons.

  Years will look like this: J 1.1:1998. This is the annual report for 1998 from the Justice Department. For serial publications such as the "FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin" the SuDoc number is:

  J 1.14/8:22/11 which means it is the bulletin, vol. 22 no. 11. Another type of serial publication would be J 26.15:G 23 which is from the Justice Assistance Bureau, a Research Series and this one has the subject Guns and is the 23rd in the G series. Once you know what you are looking at, the SuDoc classification system appears very basic.

  Agencies established by Acts of Congress, not specifically designated in the Executive Branch of the Government nor acting as independent agencies, are all grouped under the class Y 3.

  To further distinguish the agency C.A. Cutter’s Two-Figure Author Table is used to designate the first main word of the agency name, followed by a colon. Thus for Consumer Product Safety Commission Y 3.C 76/3. In the case of agency with the same initial names more slashes ( / ) and numbers are required for "Federal Council on Aging" (Y 3.F 31/15:) and "Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation" (Y 3.F 31/8:).

  Working committees such as Appropriations, Judiciary, etc., are grouped under Y 4. An author designation based on the name of the committee follows the period and is followed by the colon. Thus the House Committee on Judiciary is Y 4.J 89/1: while the Senate Committee is Y 4.J 89/2:

  Serially numbered hearings and committee prints are numbered by the congress following the colon. Thus the House Judiciary Committee Serial 13, 103rd Congress would be Y 4.J 89/1:103/13.

  All congressional bills, documents, and reports are on fiche in the area outside room L109. Guides are in notebooks on top of the fiche cabinets.

  PR represents the president, followed by the number corresponding to the ordinal number of succession to the presidency, i.e. PR 42 equals Bill Clinton. Beginning with the Kennedy administration the permanent class number PREX is assigned to the Executive Office of the President. Prior to this, each election caused changes in class number.

  The Federal Depository Library Program has been served well with this classification system. For more detailed instruction consult: GPO Classification Manual: A Practical Guide to the Superintendent of Documents Classification System (GP 3.29:P 88) and the Federal Depository Library Manual (GP 3.29:d 44/998).

News Sources & Magazines on the Internet

Carol Yecies
Nova Southeastern University

  This article will focus on general non-legal information-- specifically newspapers and magazines. Some of these sources will resemble their print counterparts while others will function more like Internet search engines.

  Before taking a more detailed look at the URL’s, a few words of caution. Many of the links are maintained by private individuals who may or may not update their sources; you may encounter error messages indicating that your chosen site cannot be found. Expect to encounter advertising as well and be prepared to wade through a plethora of colorful graphics and verbiage before reaching the heart of your information source. Also check headlines, load, and update dates to determine the currency of your information.

  The most difficult part of the search for news and magazines on the Internet is the number of sources. A person could spend hours simply surfing through the lists of links to news and information sources. Most of the major search engines such as Webcrawler, Lycos, Metacrawler, etc., list at least one link to news and magazine sources on their home page; from there, it is simply a matter of clicking through layers of pages. Therefore it is a good idea to bookmark your favorite news/information pages as you find them rather than trying to recreate your original search pattern. Remember: not all web sites are created equal. Some are heavy on content while others are concerned primarily with advertising. Some are more browsable in a "page flipping" manner while others seem to be more like the front end of a search engine.

  My two favorite starting points are the search engines Metacrawler (www.metacrawler.com), and Lycos (www.lycos.com).

  From the Metacrawler home page, click on News, which is under search channels; from there, try some of the selections under LookSmart Suggests. When using Lycos, click on News and make your selections from there. As with Metacrawler, you will have to click through several levels as you refine your specific search. While this may initially seem cumbersome, this search will familiarize you with the wide selection of databases available. Bookmarking favorite sites will make future forays into this sea of information more efficient.

  Here are a few URL’s for specific magazines; three are online versions of print publications, and the others are online products with no print version. Check out The New Republic at www.thenewrepublic.com/, the National Review at www.nationalreview.com/, and The Economist at www.economist.com/. These sites are all online versions of established print news magazines. Strictly online sources include www.fool.com/, a source of investment news and analysis, www.salonmagazine.com/, a network of content sites, and www.aint-it-cool-news.com/, an entertainment information source.

  On the newspaper side, we have www.csmonitor.com/ for the Christian Science Monitor, www.nytimes.com/ for the New York Times, www.washingtonpost.com/ for the Washington Post, www.iht.com/ for the International Herald Tribune, www.villagevoice.com/ for the Village Voice, and www.thecrimson.com/ for Harvard’s student newspaper. Not all of the online newspapers are free; some, such as the online Wall Street Journal, do have a subscription fee although there may be a free trial period.

  A final word of caution: delving into this sea of information via online magazines and newspapers is wonderfully seductive and you will find your online time just flies - so do be sure to come up for air from time to time, and touch base with your time priorities. Have fun!!

Chapter Doings

  Billie Jo Kaufman’s article, Wired, will appear in the AALL publication, Spectrum. Lisa Smith-Butler’s article, "Cost Effective Legal Research" will be published this winter in Legal Reference Services Quarterly.

Continuing Education

  Satellite transmission of PLI’s program, Managing the Law Library: Current Issues and Developments, on Thursday, October 21st at St. Thomas University School of Law.

Information for the Newsletter

  If you are interested in writing an article or have information for the SFALL Newsletter, contact Lisa Smith-Butler at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center. She can be reached at (954) 262-6215 or smith-butlerl@nsu.law.nova.edu. Contributions are desired and welcomed!!

 


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