AALL Spectrum Blog

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The AALL Spectrum® blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. Previously, the AALL Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.

The AALL Spectrum blog is no longer published. Previous posts are archived on this page.
7/7/2014 9:09:00 AM

Book Review: The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government

The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government

by Philip K. Howard  W.W. Norton & Company 2014. Hardback. ISBN 978-0-393-08282-1. $23.95. 256 pages.

The Rule of Nobody challenges the reader to engage in reforming the American legal system to remove old and unneeded laws; streamline the regulatory and judicial review process; and return executive power to the presidency. Recommended for law firm libraries, law school libraries, and budget permitting in county law libraries too. Law firm librarians can prepare their attorneys to talk with clients about the problems and solutions described by Howard. Law faculty teaching administrative law or legislative process will surely use examples from the book. The Rule of Nobody urges reforms that will improve access to justice and so the public law library would do well to acquire it and encourage their users to read it.

Howard, founder and chair of the Common Good a non-partisan legal reform group, and a partner in the New York office of Covington & Burling, describes the many ways our legal system fails us, from sometimes seemingly endless environmental review to overly prescriptive limits instead of proscribed goals or behaviors and by failing to repeal outdated laws. He offers possible reforms in a  series of 18 propositions ranging from greater personal responsibility to proposing a Bill of Responsibilities -  five constitutional amendments requiring a regular, periodic review of almost all legislation and among others, establishing a “Council of Citizens” as “an oversight body on the workings of government.”

I learned of this book on The Daily Show where Jon Stewart interviewed him. When I checked the book out from one of my local public libraries I found Stewart quote on the book jacket: “Philip K. Howard has always struck me as an eminently reasonable, articulate advocate for commonsense solutions. No wonder no one listens to him.” I agree, Howard proposes commonsense solutions  - and he acknowledges the contributions of Covington’s library director Karen Schubart.

Posted By Mark Estes at 7/7/2014 9:09:00 AM  0 Comments
7/3/2014 12:53:45 PM

The July 2014 Issue of Spectrum is Now on AALLNET

The July 2014 issue of Spectrum is now available on AALLNET. We hope you enjoy the issue, and please feel free to post any feedback here. We would love to hear from you!

Posted By Ashley St. John at 7/3/2014 12:53:45 PM  0 Comments
TOPICS: spectrum
6/27/2014 10:14:19 AM

The Latest from the Canadian Law Library Review

Posted on behalf of Wendy Hearder-Moan, Associate Editor, Canadian Law Library Review / Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit:

Volume 39(2) of Canadian Law Library Review / Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit has just been published, and it has a new, more contemporary look and feel. The front cover puts Wikipedia under the magnifying glass, as does the first feature article, “Citations to Wikipedia in Canadian Law Journal and Law Review Articles,” in which Rex Shoyama analyses how and why Wikipedia is used in Canadian legal scholarship. The writer concludes that most Canadian authors appear to be quite selective and conservative when it comes to citing Wikipedia; however, legal researchers may need to develop greater information literacy skills when it comes to supporting assertions based on non-legal information sources, particularly with respect to statistical data, historical information, and technological definitions.

In the second feature article, Margo Jeske, Nathalie Léonard, Emily Landriault, and Channarong Intahchomphoo present a case study on social marketing in “Using Social Media, Apps and Traditional Channels to Promote Legal Database Training.” They assert that law libraries can apply a social marketing strategy when there is a message to be delivered to a particular group of users with the primary purpose of improving or positively changing the behavior of target users.

The issue also features a report by Rosalie Fox on the Law via the Internet conference held in 2013 in the Channel Islands and an article by CALL/ACBD President Annette Demers on “Transitioning to Transformation―Making it through to the Other Side Alive and Vibrant.” Book Reviews, Bibliographic Notes, Local News, and News from Further Afield round out the issue. Once again, the editor, Susan Barker, has succeeded in putting together an informative and interesting selection of offerings.

Posted By Ashley St. John at 6/27/2014 10:14:19 AM  0 Comments