Library survives quake

Legal Research on Jurist

New records on THEO

Cheney inspects

Internet Law & Regulation

Cataloging staff on OCLC

Macromedia seminar

New and notable

Web sites

Previous issues

Cheney's course web-page added to Jurist

Jurist, the Legal Education Network, recently added Kristin Cheney's Advanced Legal Research course web-pages to their Internet-based materials. Hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Jurist is designed for individuals learning, teaching or researching law -- legal scholars, law students, law librarians, lawyers and judges, journalists, and interested citizens. Jurist can be accessed on the web at http://jurist.law.pitt.edu.

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Turning the tables

The tables have turned. March 25-28, Kristin Cheney will be visiting the University of Dayton School of Law as an ABA site inspection team member. When asked to comment on her upcoming visit, Kristin remarked that it's nice for a change to be the inspector, and not the inspectee.

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Cataloging staff attends OCLC Workshops

Suzanne Harvey and Nancy Minton attended seminars put on by the Online Computer Library Center, a global library cooperative whose systems help librarians locate, acquire, catalog, and lend library materials. The heart of OCLC is WorldCat, the most consulted database in higher education, which holds over 45 million cataloging records created by libraries around the world. Suzanne and Nancy participated in workshops on inputting original records into WorldCat and on working with authority control records. Authority control assures the uniformity of indexing and provides cross-referencing to simplify searching and minimize confusion.

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Newsletter compiled by Suzanne Harvey and Brendan Starkey.

Questions? Comments? Please contact Brendan Starkey, editor.

 Info

What's shaking in the Law Library . . . 

 

 March 2001

Shaken, but recovering

The law library appears to have pulled through the quake remarkably well, and a BIG thank you from the entire library staff is extended to the staff and students from other law school departments who came over to help with the clean-up.

It looked pretty discouraging at first. After assuring ourselves that no one was seriously injured, we turned our attention to the physical damage. The building held up quite well, with only a ceiling tile here and there falling to the ground in vacant areas. In keeping with local regulations, the bookshelves are bolted to the floors, so all remained standing and no one was treated to a large-scale demonstration of the domino effect.

However, the laws of physics dictate that the upper portion of these shelves will sway more than the lower, and the building itself will behave similarly. While many books fell to the floor on the second and third floors, nothing could compare to the scene on the fourth, where more books were piled up in the center of aisles than were left on the shelves. Almost immediately, volunteers from other departments came over to join the library staff in placing the books back on the shelves to clear the floor. What might have taken days was finished in a matter of hours due to all the help we received.

Unfortunately, since the priority was clearing the floors, we reshelved as fast as possible, and were unable to give much regard to call number order. So while the library looks nice again, it may be a little difficult to find things for a while. We hope to have everything reshelved in call number order soon.

More photos!

(Photos courtesy of Donna Turner, Bindery Specialist)

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Records for many microfiche titles added to THEO

Over half of the law library's collection is on microform, and while most of us prefer to use "macroform" whenever possible, the use of film and fiche enables the library to collect and store far more material than would otherwise be possible. While digitized information is far easier to access, the media on which it is stored decays or quickly becomes outdated (anyone have a 5 1/4 floppy disk drive on his/her computer?), leaving microform still the best media for archival purposes.

Finding what is needed on microform can be a challenge, but the library has taken big steps toward making this easier for our users with the addition of 15,000 catalog records to THEO which reference individual titles in some of our larger microfiche collections. Sets include:

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Access to Internet Law & Regulation improved

Access to the online version of Pike & Fischer's Internet Law & Regulation has been made easier. Formerly accessible only with a special password, it is now available to any user on the Seattle University campus. Those who wish to use it from off campus will be asked to enter their Seattle U. e-mail logon and password.

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Library staff attends Education Solutions seminar

Kristin Cheney, Jane Draney, Kelly Kunsch, Kara Phillips, and Brendan Starkey attended a seminar on Macromedia's Education Solutions package. They saw presentations on Macromedia products such as Dreamweaver, an HTML editing application; Fireworks, for designing and optimizing web graphics; and Macromedia Flash, for creating animated, vector-based (as opposed to pixilated) web sites. The new generation of web design tools made by this company and its competitors makes sophisticated web design easier, and everyone came away with ideas about how they might use such products to improve site presentation.

For content, we must continue to rely on more prosaic sources, such as the human brain.

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"New and Notable" library materials

Check out the New and Notable page to see new resources we think might be of particular interest to our users. The page includes synopses, information on the authors, and links to available reviews of the titles shown above.

For all of our recent acquisitions, see the New Bookshelf page.

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Site checking

Some web sites of interest:

The "Invisible Web" refers to databases on the web that are not searchable by Google, Excite, Yahoo, Hotbot, or any of the other web search engines that most of us rely on to find materials. The engines will record the location of the database, but not what it contains. To a searcher, that's a bit like saying, "here's the library, but you can't know what's in it." Since these databases contain vast amounts of information, and are growing ever larger, it helps to know what is out there. This article from About.com explains the phenomenon and provides a list of resources to consult. Some favorites:

MagPortal.com <http://www.magportal.com/>
This no-nonsense site helps you find individual magazine articles on the web, from publications as diverse as Time, Education Week, and Popular Mechanics. For law-related stories, search under the "Society, Politics & Culture" subheading.

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