Say Goodbye to THOMAS…

THOMAS.gov, the online legislative information system, officially retired July 5th, completing its multi-year transition to Congress.gov.

THOMAS originally came on the map in 1995, launched by the Library of Congress as a bipartisan initiative of Congress. Over the years, the system has been updated, but eventually its essential foundation couldn’t accommodate the desires and expectations of modern users – somewhat similar to our cataloging-world outgrowing the framework of AACR2 and beginning fresh with RDA. The Congress.gov system, launched in beta in September 2012, offers mobile-friendly access, single search across all collections and all dates, meaningful persistent URLs, faceted search, and other new features such as videos explaining the legislative process.

All available THOMAS data is available to users at Congress.gov, and both Thomas.loc.gov and www.thomas.gov now redirect visitors to Congress.gov. Although many THOMAS URLs will be automatically redirected, updating your links is a recommended best practice, as THOMAS URLs that are not redirected to a specific page will go to the Congress.gov homepage – so don’t forget to update your bookmarks, Libguide links and more. You can find a chart providing Congress.gov URLs for popular THOMAS pages as well as additional information about link updating and redirects at https://www.congress.gov/help/faq.

Want to learn more about Congress.gov?  The Law Library of Congress offers webinar and in-person orientation overviews of Congress.gov focused on searching legislation and Congressional member information as well as highlighting new Congress.gov features. To register for a webinar, complete their Seminar Form here (http://www.loc.gov/law/opportunities/congress-form.php).

TSLL TechScans is “a blog to share the latest trends and technology tools for technical services law librarians.”  This content was originally posted on TSLL TechScans and is reprinted here with permission.

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Filed under electronic resources, Information Literacy, Library, Of Interest to Law Students

Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — August 29, 2016

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Technology Is Not the Death of Deep Reading

In her opinion piece for No Shelf Required, Content and Media Editor at BiblioLabs, Emilie Hancock, argues that if we make even the smallest efforts to use technology as a means towards reading more, “we can re-establish a reading culture in the digital age.” At a time when so many ‘blame’ technology for ‘killing’ reading, Emilie’s article serves as a reminder that perhaps we haven’t been looking closely enough to notice that technology can, in fact, help us to read more, not less. This very thinking hits at the core of NSR’s own mission—to draw attention to the power of ebooks and econtent to transform the world into a place where reading flows and is an integral part of life in any enlightened society.

College as ‘Practice for Life’

A lot of the learning that takes place for undergraduates — perhaps most of it — happens outside the classroom

Dear Forums… I’m on a 9-Month Contract. How Can I Stem the Tide of Summer-Meeting Invites?

Do any of you adjuncts teach at more than one institution? If so, at how many do you teach? How do you prioritize for whom you work each term? How do you decide how many preps is too many and how much running between campuses is too exhausting?

School Libraries and ESSA

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces the No Child Left Behind version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with language that includes “effective school library programs.”

Syria’s Secret Library

When a place has been besieged for years and hunger stalks the streets, you might have thought people would have little interest in books. But enthusiasts have stocked an underground library in Syria with volumes rescued from bombed buildings – and users dodge shells and bullets to reach it.

Are You Getting the Whole Story? Beware the Filter Bubble

In the 1990s, libraries put significant effort into building web guides—curated and vetted lists of web resources. Ten years later, web guides went out of fashion and patrons were referred to Google, whose algorithms had grown so sophisticated vetting the web seemed unnecessary. Fifteen years later, these trusted algorithms have learned so much about our personal preferences that they may be getting in the way of our ability to see differing views on critical problems in society. In this particularly polarizing election cycle and in a time when social networks mingle so closely with news reporting, we need to be mindful of what Eli Pariser coined “the filter bubble.”

Countdown: 40 More Days Until Banned Books Week!

September 25th – October 1st, 2016

Boolean Operators: Pirates vs. Ninjas

An introduction to the basics of Boolean operators. Created to support information literacy instruction at Lincoln Memorial University.

4 Steps for Thinking Critically about Data Measurements

Managers use measurements every day to guide their analyses, decisions, and planning. But even the simplest measurements can mislead. Indeed, measurement is much more difficult than most managers appreciate. Managers must protect themselves by understanding weaknesses in measurements and taking these weaknesses into account as they use them.

6 Ways to Job Search Like an Olympian

I easily identified six things that any job searcher should do that Olympian’s do as well. There are definitely others I haven’t thought about… so if you’ve got more ideas, post ‘em in the comments below!

Bad Legal Writing Cut Down to Size in Age of Short Attention Spans via Law360

For as long as lawyers have existed, their writing has been a subject of scorn. Philosopher Jeremy Bentham described lawyers’ writing as “excrementitious matter.” Founding father Thomas Jefferson said one could write like a lawyer “by making every other word a ‘said’ or ‘aforesaid,’ and by saying everything over two or three times, so that nobody but we of the craft can untwist the diction.” More recently, entertainer Will Rogers said, “The minute you read something that you can’t understand, you can almost be sure that it was drawn up by a lawyer.”

Law School Wisdom: 10 Chapters from 10 Diverse Books (Part 1 of 3)

60 minutes of pleasure reading. For law school students, it’s a waste. During law school, I never wasted 60 minutes on pleasure reading. If a book didn’t have “Casebook” or “Bluebook” or “Law” in the title, then forget it. But I’m not asking for 60 minutes reading time. If you’re a law school student, I’m only asking for 10 minutes (maybe 15 if you do more than scan). Give me just 10 minutes, and I’ll give you 10 books to read. And to guard your valuable time, I’ll boil them down to their best chapters. Consider it a single book of wisdom containing 10 brief chapters. Just 10 minutes of reading time. Don’t fret … your Civ Pro grade won’t suffer.

MSU Course Teaches Law Students to Use Automation Tools

Law students at Michigan State will use ThinkSmart’s TAP automation tool to learn about best practices and automation in legal operations.

Smartphones Are Driving Everyone Insane

There’s nothing worse than whipping out your smartphone during a meeting, and few things will turn someone off to you quite like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick glance at your phone.

I Didn’t Think I’d Like Charlotte. Then I Fell in Love.

I love Charlotte, I really do, but I’m going to start off with a big dose of honesty — I didn’t think I would actually like it here.

Coding Explained in 25 Profound Comics

This article was published on Free Code Camp. Free Code Camp publish stories about development, design, data science, and open source. They asked their open source community to share the comics they found most profoundly described coding, via their news site (on Reddit.)

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Keeping Up With Kim

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Kim Allman, former Charlotte School of Law Access Services Manager and native Charlottean, has a new title, new responsibilities and new address.  After nine years, Kim left CSL in January 2015 in order to complete his Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.).

Almost immediately upon graduation, Kim accepted an offer from the Dallas Public Library to become the Manager of the Government Information and Federal Depository Collection.  Kim has left the state, but not the hearts of his CSL colleagues.  Earlier this spring, three CSL librarians reached out to him.

Ashley, Brian and the IUG project

In February, Ashley and Brian reached out to Kim after doing some brainstorming and interviewing staff members in preparation for their upcoming poster and presentation in San Francisco for the Innovative Users Group on “Better to Bend Than to Break: Doing More with Less.”  They were hoping for some colorful, engaging images to represent both initiatives, such as our combined Library User Experience Desk, and emotions, such as overwhelmed and confused, that might spice up their poster and Powerpoint. As always, Kim delivered in style – working remotely with Brian and Ashley over the next few weeks to create custom cartoons that would meet their needs.

Susan does Dallas

In April, Susan Catterall traveled to Dallas in order to attend and present at a law library conference sponsored two regional law library associations.  While there, the two friends caught up over dinner in and a walk through Deep Ellum.  Kim met her at her hotel, secured a light rail ticket for her and the two were off in search of sushi and conversation.  Deep Ellum is an artsy neighborhood near downtown Dallas.  It should be no surprise that our favorite caricaturist/artist would know his way around that area.  It’s the place to be: restaurants, music, interesting shops and even a craft brewery.

Later, Kim described to Ashley and Susan how he has been adjusting to his new home.  He appreciates and has drawn upon the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) training he received at Charlotte School of Law.  He specifically cited the instruction he received with regard to “change management” as he is in the midst of juggling space for several collections which are being moved into his department.  The knowledge of legal resources which he gained as a result of managing the circulation/reserve operations and from his earlier position as a paralegal have served him well as he is now in charge of the library’s law collection.  Kim’s major responsibilities, however, are focused on government documents.  He is learning all the regulations involved in de-assessing materials from a select Government Depository.

Kim is also pursuing various volunteer opportunities, exploring Dallas and has enjoyed several caricaturist gigs.  He sends his greetings along with an invitation to look him up when in Dallas.

Here’s some of Kim’s previous contributions to the Charlotte Law Blog, in case you’re interested!

~Susan Catterall & Ashley Moye~

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Filed under CharlotteLaw Library Team Members, Library

Register for Our Upcoming CLE – Professionalism for New Attorneys

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Professionalism for New Attorneys (PNA)
October 6-7, 2016

The North Carolina State Bar Professionalism for New Attorneys is a mandatory CLE program that newly licensed attorneys must complete in their first year to meet CLE requirements. This course is offered both onsite as well as online and is open to all new attorneys.  CSL alumni will receive a registration discount.

Learn more or register now at http://www.charlottelaw.edu/cle

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Know Your Law Library: DVD Collection

Still time to binge before your classes really begin … you might be interested in one of our lesser known collections. The Charlotte School of Law Library has an extensive collection of DVDs both fiction and non-fiction.

The collection of over 400 titles is located in the Reference area on the 5th floor behind the attorney member carrels.

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There are classic movies like 10 Angry Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to television series such as Law and Order. There are recent documentaries: Civil Remedy (human trafficking) and The Loving Story (miscegenation). Of course, there are more entertaining titles like Legally Blonde and Lord of the Rings. There is something for everyone.

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In searching the catalog for these DVDs, use the keyword videorecording in the search box and select DVD format from the facets on the left side of the screen to see the long list of DVDs.

DVDs can be checked out for 7 days.

If you need help, just ask a librarian!

~Betty Thomas~

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Filed under collection, Library, Student Information

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