It Takes More Than a Dumpster to Build a Digital Law Library

“It Takes More Than a Dumpster to Build A Digital Law Library: 12 Critical Components For Digital Law Library Transformation.” from Dewey B Strategic,

“.… For the past two decades law librarians and legal information professionals have been assessing products and developing in house solutions to support virtual library resources. We have been sharing best practices and advising legal publishers on how to build the next generation of products that lawyers will be willing to use ….” [Link to full blog post.]

Christmas Trees (and Menorahs) Made from Books: Reuse, Re-purpose, Re-gift? (oy vey!)

These Christmas Book Trees (and other holiday book-based decorations) images were compiled by a law librarian at the Jameson Law Library, University of Montana Law School in Missoula:

Oh Christmas Tree …. this is the time of year when ordinary stacks of books turn in to book trees in libraries everywhere….”

You can find Menorahs that have been made from books: e.g. run this search in Google Images: menorahs made from books

Let arts and crafts ring out for the season!

Multnomah County Circuit Court 2014 Report on the Multnomah Law Library

You can read the Multnomah Law Library Report at the PSU CPS website:

This report reviews the current operations of the Multnomah Law Library and makes recommendations, based on best practices, for ways to restructure the Multnomah Law Library into a self-help center to better serve pro se litigants.”

The report’s full title: “Building the 21st Century Legal Resource Center and Law Library: A Report on the Current Status of the Multnomah County’s Law Library and Recommendations for Addressing the Needs of Current Patrons”

I will comment on this report in 2015 OLR blog posts.

Federal Tax Forms and Free Tax Help in Oregon

The IRS does still distribute some paper tax forms. It does this through their Tax Forms Outlet Program.

“The Tax Forms Outlet Program offers tax products to the American public primarily through participating post offices and libraries.

For Free Tax Help in Oregon: Libraries, Post Offices, Senior and Community Centers, etc.

Many public librarians collect a lot of information for people seeking tax forms and in need of tax preparation assistance.

1) Visit your public library for more information.

2) 211 Info is another service that can help you find other sources of tax forms and volunteer tax services, for example from community and senior centers.

Ursula Le Guin Sounds the Alarm: A tribute, and call to arms, to writers and readers

If you haven’t heard or read the eloquent Ursula Le Guin speech, that brought the audience to their feet, upon accepting the distinguished contribution to American letters award at the 65th annual National Book Awards ceremony in New York this week – you must:

View the speech at NPR: “Book News: Ursula K. Le Guin Steals The Show At The National Book Awards,” November 20, 2014

Read the speech at various websites, including:

The Guardian: “Ursula K Le Guin’s speech at National Book Awards: ‘Books aren’t just commodities'”

New Yorker, “We Will Need Writers Who Can Remember Freedom”: Ursula Le Guin and Last Night’s N.B.A.s,” by Rachel Arons.

Full text from the Guardian:

“To the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks, from the heart. My family, my agents, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as my own, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice in accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who’ve been excluded from literature for so long – my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination, who for 50 years have watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists.

Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.

Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.

Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write.

Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.

I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.

How Do You Know You’re a Librarian? (Free book download)

You are willing to read books like this one! “The LCSH Century: One Hundred Years with the Library of Congress Subject Headings System.” [This is a link to a free download of the book. Librarians are founding members of the “sharing economy.” We educate, inform, and entertain.]

Or, support your local book-buying economy and get a bound copy suitable for gift-giving:

Stone, Alva T, ed. “The LCSH Century: One Hundred Years with the Library of Congress Subject Headings System.” New York: Routledge, 2013. 025.49 LCSH ISBN 978-0789011695
“The LCSH Century traces the 100-year history of the Library of Congress Subject Headings, from its beginning with the implementation of a dictionary catalog in 1898 to the present day. You will explore the most significant changes in LCSH policies and practices, including a summary of other contributions celebrating the centennial of the world’s most popular library subject heading language.”

Law Librarians and Legal Information Professionals in a World That Needs (Legal Research) Help

Also from LawSites: an inspiring view of the legal information world of today (which will be tomorrow really, really soon):

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: New Directions for Legal Information Professionals

Leaving aside the hilarious Dilbert & Wally 9/5/01 cartoon regarding opportunities and challenges, I have to agree with Bob Ambrogi when he says, “To my mind, there has never been a more exciting or important time to be a legal information professional.” [Link to full article.]

And my favorite item in his list of roles for librarians, “Librarians as Experimenters”

Not only do legislators, lawyers, and self-represented litigants need law librarians, but so do the creators, deciders, and innovators, e.g. the Fastcase 50 (which “highlights entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers — people who have charted a new course for the delivery of legal services“): Heaven knows most could improve upon their products if they consult with professional law librarians.

Fourth Annual Oregon Archives Crawl (10/18/14)

Fourth Annual Oregon Archives Crawl (Portland-based)
Saturday, October 18th
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Everyone is invited to join us for the 4th Oregon Archives Crawl this October in celebration of Oregon Archives Month. Travel between the Portland Archives and Records Center, the Multnomah County Central Library and the Oregon Historical Society. At each location there will be a variety of activities to choose from so you might want to start early.

The Portland Archives and Records Center (PARC) is happy to be hosting nine organizations this year ….” [Link to website for full details.]

Law Libraries and Access to Justice, AALL Special Committee on Access to Justice 2014 Report

LAW LIBRARIES AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE, A Report of the American Association of Law Libraries, Special Committee on Access to Justice, July 2014

AALL’s new white paper, Law Libraries and Access to Justice: A Report of the American Association of Law Libraries Special Committee on Access to Justice, is now available on AALLNET. The white paper is the work of AALL’s 2013-14 Access to Justice Special Committee, chaired by Sara Galligan, and explores how all types of law libraries – including private; state, court, and county; and academic – contribute to the ATJ movement.

As AALL Past President Steven P. Anderson noted in his introduction, “As the principal providers of legal information, law libraries are an indispensable part of the services that can be provided to those with legal needs. Law libraries make “The Law” available, and law librarians serve as guides to finding the most relevant legal information.” The white paper explains the myriad ways law libraries can contribute to the administration of an effective ATJ system and successfully work with others on the front lines of ATJ.” [Link to a PDF of the full Report.]