A Helpful Resource (that’s been around a while): AALL’s Legislative Action Center

A helpful resource on current U.S. federal and state legislative activity — which has been around a while (since October 2011, actually, per this posting) — is the American Association of Law Libraries’ (AALL’s):

Legislative Action Center (LAC)

Content at the LAC frequently includes convenient “Advocacy One-Pagers” — see, for example:

  • here [“Urge your Representative to Support the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 1380)], &
  • here [PDF of Advocacy One-Pager “Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act”]

The LAC is helpfully searchable too, per the following layout:

Search within Government Relations

[Advanced Search]

Cross-posted on Legal Research Plus.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Bloomberg Law (BLAW) Wins American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) 2012 New Product Award

Bloomberg Law (BLAW) has won the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) 2012 new product award, recognizing BLAW’s innovation in providing access to legal information.

Please see:

BLOOMBERG LAW NAMED 2012 NEW PRODUCT OF THE YEAR BY THE AALL

&

(AALL) NEW PRODUCT AWARD

Hat tip to Law Librarian Blog here.

PACER Training Pilot Project Begins in July

PACER Training Pilot Project Begins in July
June 17, 2011

A pilot project aimed at having public libraries enhance the public’s knowledge and use of the federal judiciary’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service begins July 1, 2011.

Two libraries – the Library of Congress in the District of Columbia and the Law Library for San Bernadino, California – will kick off the pilot, but up to 50 additional public libraries may join them in future months.

PACER allows users to obtain case information from federal courts without having to visit the courthouse. The service allows an Internet user to request information about a particular case or party, and makes the data immediately available for printing or downloading at a cost of 8 cents per page.

In the pilot project, libraries will conduct at least one training class for the general public every three months, and offer training or refresher opportunities for library staff at least one a year. Those staff members, in turn, may assist library patrons in the use of PACER. For participating libraries, the first $50 of PACER use fees each quarter will be waived.

The pilot is a joint undertaking of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, the Government Printing Office, and the American Association of Law Libraries.

Recent Enhancements to THOMAS at the Library of Congress

The U.S. Library of Congress has recently announced valuable enhancements (including expanded bookmarking and sharing functions plus improved navigation) to its free online legislative information database THOMAS.

Hat tip to the American Association of  Law Libraries (AALL) Washington Blawg.

Valuable and Convenient Guide: How to Research a Legal Problem

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has released an update to its valuable and convenient guide How to Research a Legal Problem.

See the AALL’s Legal Information Services to the Public (LISP) Special Interest Section (SIS) webpage for more handy links to places on the web where one can obtain legal information.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Transparency Corps

Jonathan Zittrain presented the Keynote Address for the AALL 2009 conference on Sunday, July 26th.  And, the talk was really energizing.

Zittrain mentioned quite a few examples of the web matching all manner of projects with interested people.

One really noteworthy project along those lines has been developed by the Sunlight FoundationTransparency Corps is a chance for any one of us to do a little and contribute quite a lot.  As the site states:

“Transparency Corps is the Sunlight Foundation’s answer to the question, “How can I help?”.  There are many big problems that we can solve with technology, but we can’t solve them all. For many of the projects that make government transparency a reality, human eyes and analysis are required. With Transparency Corps, we break those tasks down into short, small actions that make a BIG difference. Join the Corps, and let’s get started!”

I decided to join, and in very short order I moved from the ‘novice’ level to the impressive ‘hunter’ level.  Maybe someday, I can be a ‘Transparency Master’.  Any transparency warlords in our midst?

More On Bloomberg’s BLAW…

Hello BLAW: Bloomberg Law, the Newcomer in Legal Research, Meets Academic Users, 13(5) AALL Spectrum 16-19 & 31 (March 2009)