Tag Archives: writing

Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — January 2, 2017


Tunisians Are Being Encouraged to Read by Turning Taxis into Libraries

Most of the yellow cabs racing through Tunis are decorated with air fresheners, glittery pendulums, and framed baby pictures. Sometimes you’ll find a complimentary box of tissues. But taxi driver Ahmed Mzoughi, 49, has taken a more cerebral approach to his vehicle’s decor. Scattered on the seats and lining the dashboard are slim volumes of poetry, fat novels, and psychology books. Stuck on a side door is a decal that says, “Attention: This Taxi Contains a Book.”

What does diversity mean in the age of a Donald Trump presidency? Even as the U.S. and the globe become increasingly diverse, the president-elect’s cabinet appointments have so far been strong on billionaires and white men and weak on women and blacks.

On the Differences between Cats and Dogs

A letter to my writing students on why they have more freedom to create than they seem to think

The Teen-Agers Suing Over Climate Change

In the spring of 2010, Julia Olson, an environmental attorney based in Oregon, was introduced to Alec Loorz, a teen-ager from Ventura, California, and the founder of an advocacy group called Kids vs. Global Warming. At the time, Olson, who ran the nonprofit Our Children’s Trust, was preparing to sue the federal government over its insufficient action on climate change, and she hoped to coördinate youth demonstrations and other events with the filing of the lawsuit.

 Interactive Constitution

On this site, constitutional experts interact with each other to explore the Constitution’s history and what it means today. For each provision of the Constitution, scholars of different perspectives discuss what they agree upon, and what they disagree about. These experts were selected with the guidance of leaders of two prominent constitutional law organizations—The American Constitution Society and The Federalist Society. This project is sponsored by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

10 Steps to Writing a Great Law School Final Paper

The final paper has become a common law school evaluation method. Here are 10 steps to writing a great law school paper.

Useful Law Apps for Students

The study of law is not easy as from the beginning of the first year of law, you are expected to absorb mountain of information every single day and this means late night study sessions and virtuosic organization skills. There are some students who are fine with the hard copies of dictionaries, legislation as well as personal organizers, but the convenience of law apps are unbeatable.

Using Microsoft Word Styles

Let’s face it: legal writing is already hard work. So who has time to tinker with stuff like fonts in the name of enhancing legal document readability? With the Microsoft Word Styles feature, consistent formatting becomes a whole lot easier and faster, and can help enforce standards in your firm’s outgoing documents.

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — October 31, 2016


Entrepreneur Develops Free-Ride Sharing App to Increase Voter Turnout from Charlotte

Nicole Wild Merl will spend Election Day driving voters to the polls in Charlotte.  But she won’t be the only one driving cars full of people to the ballot boxes on Nov. 8 — her new app, Carpool2Vote, has launched nationwide to empower women voters and increase overall voter turnout.

15 Images That Prove Librarians Are the Cleverest People Ever

Anyone who has spent a lot of time in libraries knows that the books aren’t the only reason to keep going back. Librarians are some of the most unique, intelligent, and clever people you’ll meet. Get ready to laugh out loud at these priceless moments when librarians proved that they’re the wittiest people around.

It’s Not Too Late to Save the Stacks

Why we still need to keep books in our campus libraries.

No Comment: NPR Joins the Growing List of Media Companies Shuttering Comments

Given its moniker—that P does stand for public—it seems particularly significant that NPR has opted to cut comments from its site and instead focus its resources on social media as its means of engagement. As the company’s announcement points out, “NPR introduced public comments to its website eight years ago, when many of today’s most popular venues for digital interaction didn’t yet exist or were in their infancy.”

How to Survive Rejection…  Repeatedly

To write is to be rejected. All writers must learn, not only to accept that dictum as an ironclad truth, but also to embrace it as an unavoidable part of a writing life. Most of us will be on the receiving end of umpteen rejections, often from different journals or presses for the same piece of writing. If it’s not easy getting a single rejection — and let’s face it, it isn’t — then collecting them is exponentially more painful.

At the Intersection of Academic Librarianship and Social Justice

Earlier this year I experienced my most challenging professional moment as a librarian and educator. I have had my fair share of challenging situations and circumstances over the years, yet this particular challenge involving a student group’s class project would situate my personal and professional values on a head-on collision course.

Signage by Design: A Design-Thinking Approach to Library User Experience

Signage is a powerful visual tool for communication and a crucial component of the library user experience. Signage can welcome, guide, instruct, and delight users, helping them navigate the complex information world of any library. In practice, however, signage can be problematic, revealing tensions between various stakeholders, and contributing to visual noise through information overload; this often leads to signage blindness, library anxiety, and confusion. This article explores how libraries can use a design-thinking approach to improve the user experience in physical library spaces, particularly with respect to signage, based on our experience at the UTS Library, a university library in Australia that serves the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). We found that a design-thinking approach that uses the processes of empathy, problem definition, solution ideation, prototyping, and testing, can help libraries make significant and meaningful changes that can be adopted at relatively low cost.

News: Join a Nationwide Reading of “It Can’t Happen Here’

For one night during the week of Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, theaters, universities and libraries across the country will imagine the rise of fascism in America with staged readings of Sinclair Lewis’ semi-satirical “It Can’t Happen Here.”

‘Jeopardy’ Host Alex Trebek Says Maryland Contestant’s Favorite Music Genre Is for ‘Losers’

A Maryland librarian and “Jeopardy” contestant has gone viral after host Alex Trebek said her favorite type of music is for “losers.”

Academic Ebook Sales Flat, Preference for E-Reference Up

Academic libraries continue to add to their ebook collections, but while ebooks are becoming the preferred format for reference materials, many students still prefer to read and study monographs and textbooks in print, according to “Ebook Usage in U.S. Academic Libraries 2016,” a survey conducted by Library Journal and sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning. Forty-seven percent of respondents said that students at their college or university preferred print when reading scholarly monographs, compared with 19 percent who preferred ebooks. And 42 percent said students prefer print textbooks, compared with 31 percent who said students would opt for an e-textbook. By contrast, 56 percent of respondents said students prefer digital reference materials, compared with 16 percent who prefer print reference.

Julius Chambers: A Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights

Born in the hamlet of Mount Gilead, North Carolina, Julius Chambers (1936–2013) escaped the fetters of the Jim Crow South to emerge in the 1960s and 1970s as the nation’s leading African American civil rights attorney.

Greetings and Salutations: Endangered Species

Dear readers:  No, that won’t do for an email nowadays. Try again.  Hello, all:  or should my greeting be less hellish? (A generation ago, a county in Texas adopted “heaven-o” as an alternative to “hello.” No, I won’t go that far. Just this — )  Hi, all: Maybe that will get me off on the right foot. It’s hard to be sure, because in the world of email the salutations aren’t as fixed as they were for communications on paper. Before the internet, a business letter in hard copy would begin “Dear So&So,” even if So&So were not dear to the writer, or even known. So one would write without the least touch of irony, “Dear Office of the County Clerk” or “Dear Complaint Department.”

The Importance of Talking Explicitly about Race

I could feel the tension mounting. I could even see it in some of my students’ eyes. Their hands clenched, their jaws twitching. The effort of it all. And then I said: Sometimes, you can die for being different. Sometimes, the police will shoot you for it.

Simon Sinek: Understanding the Game We’re Playing

Simon talks about technology, millennials, and the importance of practicing empathy.

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — September 5, 2016


A Science Backed-Guide Taking Truly Restful Breaks

We know, this sounds made up. But stick with us, because not just any kind of break will do.

Law Librarians Flinch at Change? Can’t Say that I Agree with You, David.

Let me start out this post by saying that I like David Perla, President of Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg BNA’s Legal division, and consider him to be an ally for the law librarian and legal information/knowledge profession. However, I have to say that I am a little disappointed at his Above the Law article yesterday called “A Challenge for the Gatekeepers.” His article starts out with a warning to the legal industry saying that “change is coming – with or without you,” but then he spends the rest of the article singling out Law Librarians and Knowledge professionals as the gatekeepers. Although David says this isn’t about Bloomberg Law’s new roll out of a Tax Product, quite frankly, it reads like it is. I’m really disappointed that he took to Above the Law to vent.

#WeNeedDiverseBooks in Academic Libraries

“Some people don’t expect to see themselves in the library.” This comment from Vivek Shraya, 2015 recipient of the South Asia Book Award, was a moment of clarity at the Conference on South Asia in Madison. The conversation among book award authors addressed #WeNeedDiverseBooks, an online campaign that has highlighted issues of exclusion in mainstream literature industries. “Diverse books” generally feature characters of racial, ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQIA identities, and/or varying abilities. Many libraries with a strong focus on serving young readers have embraced the campaign with displays, booktalks, and new collection development strategies. There has yet to be significant traction for this campaign in academic libraries, so as academic librarians we must ask ourselves: do our users see themselves in the stacks?

Florida Parents Push to Remove Popular ‘Internet Girls’ Series from School Libraries

Parents in a school district near Jacksonville, Florida, are trying to remove two frequently challenged books from the Yulee Middle School’s library. According to the parents, the book TTYL and its sequel TTFN– two novels in Lauren Myracle’s popular Internet Girls series– are inappropriate for their Middle School children. Florida’s Nassau County School District has convened a group named the Intellectual Freedom Committee to determine the fate of the books.

You Don’t Know Your Students. This Professor Hopes to Change That.

It’s near midnight on a Friday at Kansas State University, and an associate professor of anthropology is out with his students, sneaking onto the rooftop of a campus building — or at least trying to.

On This Day: The National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years

As a frequent visitor to national parks, I have been watching the anticipation build over the last few years as we approach the centennial of the National Park Service (NPS). Today marks 100 years since the passage of “An Act To establish a National Park Service, and for other purposes” (64 Stat. 408), signed into law by Woodrow Wilson on August 25, 1916.Today in History provides information about a hearing before the House Committee on Public Lands on April 5 and 6, 1916 that helped pass the law. The purpose of the law is “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Free Science: NASA Just Opened Its Entire Research Library to the Public

NASA has announced that all research it has funded will be FREE and accessible to anyone through their new open portal PubSpace.

Three very strong women—my mother, my maternal grandmother, and Melinda—deserve big credit (or blame, I suppose) for helping me become the man I am today. But Blanche Caffiere, a very kindly librarian and teacher I’ve never written about publicly before, also had a huge influence on me.

Learning to Write All Over Again

In my sixth year as an assistant professor — the year I was up for tenure — I went to a faculty meeting. (It is always smart to show up for faculty meetings during promotion years.) It was crowded; I think faculty salaries were on the agenda. But there was something odd going on as the wizened senior professors and overeager temporary hires streamed down the staircase into the meeting room: About three quarters of them stopped to congratulate one of my colleagues, a historian who was two years behind me on the tenure track. “Loved your piece,” said one. “Great article” said another.

You’re Overdue for a Visit to the Library

When was the last time you went to a library? If it’s been more than a couple of years, the library is probably a very different place than you remember. Public libraries pride themselves on keeping up with changing technology, especially technology that benefits the communities they serve. No matter your age or your interests, libraries are a great resource for learning new skills, doing research, or getting help with just about any task. After all, library science is about gathering together all of human knowledge and indexing it for easy lookup.

 Are Librarians Becoming Data Analysts?

We all know that to succeed at work one must be constantly innovating – keeping up with the latest technologies, aware of the freshest trends, and looking forward to what might be coming in the future. If we are not innovating we are stagnating.

Tip Tuesday: PDF and Macs

Mark Metzger explains the need and importance of Mac users utilizing PDF’s at the office.

What Is the Neverending Story, Who Wrote It, and Why Is It Worthy of a Google Doodle?

Thirty-seven years after first hitting the shelves, Google is celebrating Michael Ende’s classic, The Neverending Story, with one of its search engine doodles.  “Every once in a blue moon a book captures the imagination, providing a portal into magical places unknown. So it was with The Neverending Story…” it said.

Federal Judge Issues Footnote Warning, Threatens to Toss Pleadings Using Wrong Format

A federal judge in Maryland has issued a warning: Keep case citations out of footnotes, or watch me toss your pleadings.

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — March 14, 2016


How to Make Learning More Automatic

The new year is here, and for many of us, that means resolutions. At work, it often translates into a vague desire to broaden our horizons or learn new things. But to really make consistent progress, we need to make learning a habit. Habits are freeing because they save us from the difficult, draining business of making decisions and exercising our self-control. Because about 40% of everyday life is shaped by habits, if we have habits that work for us we’re far more likely to be happier, healthier, and more productive.

This State Wants a Trigger Warning for Toni Morrison

A bill in front of the Virginia legislature would force schools to seek parental permission before teaching books that have sex scenes.

A Learning Organization: Supporting Professional Development in Libraries

Libraries are commonly seen as places that encourage learning and personal growth for patrons, yet sometimes the learning and growth of the library’s own staff may be overlooked. In this era of lean budgets, a library’s professional budget would understandably see cuts. However, that doesn’t mean the library should give up on supporting professional development for its employees.

Become Your Own Writing Teacher

It’s a shame that graduate-school curriculums seldom include much formal training in the craft of writing for publication — given that success in academe often depends on publication, and publication depends, to no small degree, on the ability to write clearly and compellingly. But complaining about this particular shortcoming of graduate education may be a waste of time. After all, formal training in writing is only part of what produces excellent prose. Many admired and highly published authors will tell you that much of what they know about writing began with their own curiosity about the nuances of the craft. Self-reflection, willingness to experiment, and a commitment to writing often make the biggest difference in improving writing skills.

What Books Were Taken to the Antarctic 100 Years Ago?

When Sir Ernest Shackleton set off for Antarctica on his ship Endurance, he made sure he had plenty of reading material. But details of precisely what books he took have remained hidden in this photograph – until now.

The Fact Police

When patrons challenge the veracity of books…

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard is getting a lot of press these days. It’s infiltrated fashion shows and classrooms and it’s coming for your Coke can. More importantly, it’s the next big thing for libraries.

Student to Lawyer: 20 Tips for a Smooth Transition

There isn’t a simple magic formula for mapping out a career in law. You will make some decisions on where you would like to go, but there are many things outside your control which will impact on where you will end up. Factors such as economic conditions, personal circumstances, where you articled and even a bit of luck will affect the career path you will follow.

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — September 21, 2015

weeklyroundupEliminate These 5 Words and Phrases to Simplify Your Writing

When people ask me to share writing tips, my answer is always the same. Simplify. You’ll get to the point faster and keep readers engaged longer.  If you can say something with fewer words, then do it.  If you can use smaller words, that’s even better (I’m looking at you, engineers, lawyers, doctors and government workers).

The Five Worst Things to Say in Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is your billboard to the world. Years ago, people built personal websites and showcased their resumes and professional accomplishments on them.

3 Beginner Friendly Data Visualization Tricks

Statistics and data validate your presentation. Many times, showcasing numerical research is the main point of a presentation. But charts and graphs are overused formats, and as a result they are easily forgotten and often completely ignored by audiences.

Technology and Legal Research: What Is Taught and What Is Used in the Practice of Law

Law schools are criticized for graduating students who lack the skills necessary to practice law. Legal research is a foundational ability necessary to support lawyering competency. The American Bar Association (ABA) establishes standards for legal education that include a requirement that each law student receive substantial instruction in legal skills, including legal research. Despite the recognized importance of legal research in legal education, there is no consensus of what to teach as part of a legal research course or even how to teach such a course.

For Your Book Club Reading List — Legal Fiction

From a very young age, mysteries, crime novels and other types of legal fiction were always my favorites.  I preferred the Hardy Boys to Nancy Drew.  In college, I always went to Georges Simenon and Maigret whenever I had to read a novel for French class.  And today when I’m on vacation you can find me with Agatha Christie, John Grisham, P.D. James, or any of the other “classic” writers.

The Psychology of Numbers in Design

When it comes to numbers, we’re not as rational as we think we are.

Appeals Court Clears Way for Trial Over Dancing Baby Video

A federal appeals court Monday cleared the way for a trial in a copyright lawsuit over a YouTube video showing a baby dancing to the Prince song, “Let’s Go Crazy.”

The Napsterization of Legal Services

The record labels used to sell plastic discs with data on them.  Today they sell nearly that same data over the internet, without the plastic discs.   On it’s face that seems like a relatively straight-forward, if not easy transition to make.  It’s the kind of transition from one media type to another that you would expect a mature business or industry to be able to navigate with minimal disruption.  But as we know, that transition was anything but straight-forward.  In fact it wreaked havoc on the recording industry for more than a decade and they are just now beginning to get back on track.

Who Uses Libraries and What They Do at Their Libraries

Libraries are in great flux as information is shifting from the analog age to the digital age, as people’s need to acquire knowledge shifts, and as Americans’ interests in personal enrichment and entertainment are reshaped.  The findings from a new survey by Pew Research Center highlight how this is a crossroads moment for libraries.

When Is a Headline Not a Headline?

I ran into problems recently when I looked up the online version of a Wall Street Journal article and couldn’t retrieve it by searching for the title. Eventually, I found it; my problem had been that the digital version had an entirely different title than the print. Curious, I compared a week’s worth of print and digital headlines of WSJ articles and found that fewer than a quarter of the headlines were the same.

How to Save Your Reputation after Having a Meltdown at the Office

We’ve probably all heard that warning too many times to count. And, to some extent, that advice holds true. You definitely want to maintain a stable and professional reputation while inside the four walls of your office. But, we all know that sometimes things just happen that cause us to lose our cool.

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