Access to government information is important in the daily lives of the people of the United States. During the shutdown of the federal government, paper and digital versions of government publications are either not available at all or the web sites are not being updated. Bernadine Abbott Hoduski has documented the specific impact shared by Librarians around the nation who report that they are unable to help patrons find the information they need to do research, write articles for journals and newspapers, prepare class assignments, find laws and regulations relevant to the conduct of their businesses, find information needed to file law suits, complete mortgage applications, access weather information, do historical and genealogical research, and contact government officials through agency web sites. Professors teaching future librarians, teachers, geographers, scientists, and other user communities, are unable to access web sites needed for their classes.
The Humanities and Technology Camp (THATCamp): An “unconference” experience LLRX readers might enjoy
Archivist and Librarian Celia Caust-Ellenbogen writes: “if you read LLRX, it is probably because you are interested in various facets of a massive constellation of issues surrounding technology, legal research, jurisprudence, library and information science, and related subjects. You are probably also a curious, open-minded person, seeking to broaden your horizons and eager to try new applications and tools. If you appreciate the diverse, knowledgeable perspectives given voice on LLRX, the curated resource lists introduced here, and the forward-thinking embrace of technology on the site, you will probably enjoy THATCamp too!
David Rothman’s discussion of the newest Kindle Paperwhite E Ink reader from Amazon highlights that the device is still missing text to speech – among the very features Jeff Bezos touted when he unveiled the second Kindle in 2009. He advises that we refer to the Paperwhite users guide and see what’s AWOL.
David Rothman’s commentary proposes that the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) should turn itself into the Digital Academic Library of America or something similar while encouraging public libraries to establish their own system, ideally through COSLA, a group of state library administrators. Both systems could share not just content but also a common catalog for patrons wanting it, an infrastructure and technical services organization, and overlapping board members—while hewing to the systems’ respective priorities.
David C. Walker provides professional perspective on President Obama’s remark during a recent speech that the curriculum for a Juris Doctor should be reduced from two years to three years so as to keep costs associated with law school tuition down. David explains how and why both law school graduates and society would generally be at a loss as a result of such a reduction.
Professor Annemarie Bridy challenges the increasingly common use of mandatory Facebook login for Internet users trying to gain access to a third-party service – including posting comments to news stories, as well as viewing white papers, studies, reports and other documents.
At the International Legal Technology Association 2013 meeting in Las Vegas, Ron Friedmann was a panelist on a program, “Do Less Law”. Ron has shared the outline of his speech, with links to sources he cited.
Ron Friedmann is an expert on the legal market, where hardly a day goes by without an article or blog post about alternative fee arrangements (AFA) or delivering more value. Yet both clients and law firms struggle to define value and adopt alternatives to the billable hour, so Ron proposes perhaps the time has come to re-think the question.
David Rothman makes a case that the time has come for a coherent national strategy to help speed up digitization of library systems like Miami’s and use the efficiencies of e-books and other digital items to squeeze more out of tax dollars—while also increasing the total amount of money for libraries and content. In other words, be more generous at all levels of government but at the same time expect more value. Avoid ever shutting down neighborhood branches, valuable in many ways beyond loaning bestsellers and other titles, and don’t get rid of all paper books, especially picture books for children.
Jonathan Band provides a comprehensive guide to the recent international adoption of the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.” The Treaty is intended to promote the making and distribution of copies of books and other published materials in formats accessible to people with print disabilities. The Treaty would achieve this objective by obligating signatory countries (referred to as Contracting Parties) to adopt exceptions in their copyright laws that permit the making of copies in accessible formats as well as the distribution of those copies both domestically and internationally. This memorandum explains the Treaty’s provisions. The memorandum concludes that Title 17 of the United States Code complies with the Treaty’s requirements, and thus that the United States could sign and ratify the Treaty without making any changes to domestic law.