Faculty Newsletter - Spring 2009

Inside this Issue

 •Summer Research Assistant Training
 •New Westlaw Security Measures
 •Rare Book Room News
 •Announcing the Law Library Blog
 •New Kindle DX E-Reader

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This spring Boston College Legal Information librarians joined the ranks of legal bloggers with the debut of the Boston College Legal Eagle blog. The blog focuses on legal research and access to legal information. A separate Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room blog celebrates the library’s rare book collection. With blogs so much in the news these days, this seemed a perfect time to draw your attention to the Law Library’s recently launched blogs. Links to both blogs are on the library webpage. I hope you enjoy this issue of the newsletter; and that the library’s blogs will be useful in helping you stay on top of the constantly changing legal information landscape.

Peace, Filippa

Filippa Marullo Anzalone
Professor and Associate Dean for Information and Technology Services,
Law School

Summer Research Assistant Training

The law librarians are planning a personalized approach for summer research assistant training. Your law librarian contact will set up an appointment to meet with you and your research assistant to discuss research projects.

Westlaw Security Measures

Westlaw is increasing its security measures and will phase out the use of originally issued alphanumeric passwords for system access. If you are still using your alphanumeric password, you will see system prompts to create a new personal username and password. Your law librarian contact will be in touch to assist you with this process.

Rare Book Room News and Blog

Professor Daniel R. Coquillette’s most recent donation to the Law Library is described on the library’s rare book blog. His gift includes a thirteen-volume ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA: A POPULAR DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE, HISTORY, POLITICS, AND BIOGRAPHY, dated 1846. Besides providing a window into all areas of life in the mid-nineteenth century, this set is particularly valuable to legal historians because it includes many law-related articles written by Joseph Story, an early Supreme Court Justice and Professor at Harvard Law School.

The Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room Blog is authored by Karen Beck, and focuses on recent acquisitions, exhibits, and celebrations.

Boston College Legal Eagle - Law Library Blog

The Boston College Legal Eagle blog focuses on legal research and on whatever legal information news catches the fancy of a blogger. Contributors include Karen Breda, Marguerite Most, Mary Ann Neary, Joan Shear and Mark Sullivan. This recent posting by Joan Shear is a reminder that Westlaw has recently introduced graphical statutes, which chart legislative changes and include links to earlier versions of a statute, legislative history materials, and case law that negatively affects a statute.

The Kindle and the Kindle DX E-reader

The Kindle DX e-reader with its 9.7 inch screen was unveiled last week (read a review here).The screen is 250% bigger than the recently-announced Kindle 2; Amazon has deals with the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe to add their editorials and with three publishers to add their textbooks to the DX reader. And a recent article in the WSJ reported that some students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland will be given large-screen Kindles with textbooks for chemistry, computer science and a freshman seminar already installed. Other schools looking at Kindle DX deals are Pace, Princeton, Reed, Darden School at the University of Virginia, and Arizona State. No deals with legal publishers have been announced. But what’s most amazing is today’s announcement by CEO Jeff Bezos that Kindle sales are now 35% of book sales when Kindle editions are available.

Ask at the Information Desk if you're interesting in test driving one of our 4 Kindle 1's!

Among the most enthusiastic Kindle fans here in the Law Library is Karen Breda, who has written about her experience with the Kindle 1: "When Amazon debuted the Kindle Wireless Reading Device in 2007, I was skeptical. In my mind, there are few things as wonderful as curling up with a good book. I simply couldn’t imagine an electronic device taking the place of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare or, for that matter, Appleman on Insurance. I also wondered whether Kindle was merely the latest gadget for the avid fiction reader as opposed to a workable reading device for scholarly and professional materials. All of my concerns evaporated once I became the proud owner of a Kindle. In the space of six weeks, I went from Kindle-skeptic to Kindle-enthusiast. Entire chapters of Appleman are loaded onto my Kindle along with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare..." (read more)

In today's economic climate (and the globally warming climate as well), it may make more sense to read free e-books and e-documents than it does to buy or photocopy the same material in print. More here from Karen on how to find free e-books.