Tag Archives: Law Kiosk

Introducing Scott Vanderlin, new Student Services Librarian

Scott Vanderlin joined the D’Angelo Law Library on September 5 as our new Student Services Librarian. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Scott worked at the Chicago-Kent College of Law Library and also served as a Reference Associate and taught first year legal research for three years at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern University School of Law.

Todd Ito, Head of Instruction and Outreach, interviewed Scott to find out how he plans to work with faculty and students, how he became a law librarian, and about his love for craft beer, indiepop, and artisanal candles.Photo of Scott Vanderlin

What were you doing before you came to the University of Chicago?

For the past 6 years, I worked at Chicago-Kent College of Law as a reference librarian and then briefly as the Associate Director for Research and Instructional Services. Pretty much just hanging out.

What’s your favorite thing about being a law librarian?

I’d be lying if I said that the glory wasn’t nice, but honestly I just really like being able to help students out with an aspect of law school that is not always the easiest or most exciting. And, every day I get to learn about new areas of the law and interesting research that is being done by scholars all around me. So, law librarianship is both intellectually and personally satisfying for me.

What originally got you interested in law libraries?

Most of the things that led me to this career probably happened subconsciously, and over a number of years. When I did make the decision to actually pursue law librarianship, however, it was towards the beginning of my 3L year, and I was slowly realizing that while everyone else couldn’t wait to graduate, all I wanted to do was keep reading, learning, researching, writing, etc. Basically, my favorite things about law school were the things that a lot of my classmates couldn’t wait to be done with. At the same time, I went to law school with the conscious, if vague, idea that I wanted to use my education to help people. I assumed that the “where” and “how” of helping people would become clearer as I learned more about the law, and I guess that while I was slowly backing away from the idea of traditional legal practice, I bumped into the thing I was supposed to be doing all along.

tl;dr: I like law school, doing research, and helping people.

Do you have any advice for law students from when you were a law school student?

I mean, yeah. Tons. Fiercely protect the things about you that make you unique–being different is the best possible thing you can be. BUT, also learn to adapt to the people around you when the situation calls for it–a lot of life is a game, so learn to enjoy it and figure out how to play it well. Look at your professors’ past exams. Don’t take your health for granted–you’re not invincible. Call your parents–they miss you. Nurture your closest friendships–you’ll need them, and neglect can be a tough thing to undo. Learn how to handle criticism. Figure out a study routine that works for you and don’t be intimidated if it’s not the same as someone else’s. Read books for pleasure. Make use of CALI lessons. Travel as often as you get a chance. Learn how to be completely fine on your own–then find somebody who makes you not want to be. Ask librarians for help.

What are some of your interests outside of law libraries?

Craft beer, fantasy football, candle making, reading, indiepop, personal finance, listening to podcasts, sleeping.

What’s the best thing you read, watched, or listened to recently?

Read

Listened to

Duh.

 

Supreme Court October 2017 Term Begins

Tuesday the Supreme Court hears the first arguments of the October 2017 term. This year, the Court has before it the President’s travel ban, rights of aliens facing deportation, high-tech gerrymandering, First Amendment challenges to gay rights laws, and whether police need a search warrant to track people through their cell phones. See our Supreme Court Research Guide for sources of news, case status, briefs, and oral arguments in the cases you care about.

The D’Angelo Law Library welcomes new students

The D’Angelo Law Library welcomes the JD class of 2020 and the LLM class of 2018. The D’Angelo Law librarians will introduce new JD and LLM students to the Library’s resources and services during tours and presentations during orientation. We hope you will take advantage of our vast resources and knowledgeable staff. There is a great deal of new information to process, so please remember that if you ever have any questions about the Library, please ask us!

We’ve gathered what we think is the most important information in the Library Guide for Law Students and in the D’Angelo Law Library organization site on Canvas, the University’s course management system, but we also wanted to highlight our Top 5 services and resources here:

1. Reference librarians are here to help.

Our reference staff is knowledgeable, helpful, and accessible by email, chat, phone, and in person. Each Bigelow section also has a Reference Librarian assigned to teach legal research sessions over the course of the year. You can consider that librarian as your point of contact in the library, although all of our librarians are available to help you. We are available seven days a week through email, chat, phone, text and in person at the Reference Desk. See our Hours page for the exact hours.

2. Start with the Law Library website.

The Library website can direct you to services and tools to help you find what you need to study law and conduct legal research. Use our website to get research help, find databases, learn library policies, and keep up with the latest library and legal research news.

3. Access information using our primary discovery tools.

Library Catalog: You can search the Library Catalog for books, electronic materials, and more. The University of Chicago Library has over 7 million books and access to hundreds of thousands of electronic resources, so if you are looking for something, you should start with the catalog, and chances are we have what you are looking for.

Databases: The Library offers access to hundreds of databases covering various subjects. To locate a database to use for your research, use Database Finder, a tool that enables you to search for a particular database by name or browse by subject to identify relevant databases. The Law Library also provides a list of the main databases used for legal research.

Access to Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw is restricted to Law School students, and each law student will be supplied with an individual password. You will get this password during your library orientation. If you have any questions about these resources, please do not hesitate to Ask a Law Librarian.

Research Guides: The reference librarians have created research guides on a variety of legal topics. These guides give you starting points for doing research in particular areas of law.

4. We offer a number of on demand services.

Scan & Deliver is an electronic document delivery service that enables members of the University of Chicago community to obtain scanned portions of books or journal articles from the Library’s collections. Requests should be made online, directly from the Library Catalog. Requested documents will be scanned and delivered within four business days. We will scan chapters from books or single articles from journals, provided that the chapter(s) or article does not exceed 20% of the entire book or journal issue.

We also offer a paging service for Law School students. We will retrieve uncharged Library books located in the stacks of other libraries on campus. This service is currently available to Law School students, faculty, and staff only. Materials will generally be collected within two business days and placed on hold at the Circulation Desk or delivered to the appropriate carrel. You will receive an email when your item is available for pick-up.

While searching the Libary Catalog, you may also occasionally come across items with the location Mansueto or one of the two D’Angelo Law Library annexes. You can request materials from these storage collections to be delivered to the Law Library. It generally takes less than 24 hours, and you will receive an email when your item is available for pick up at the Law Library circulation desk.

5. You can easily get books from other institutions.

Use Borrow DirectUBorrow, and Interlibrary Loan if you need material that is not available here on campus.

Borrow Direct is a service that can be used to borrow books directly from libraries at the Ivy League universities plus Duke, Johns Hopkins, and MIT. Most books borrowed through Borrow Direct are available for pickup at the Law Library within four business days.

UBorrow is a similar service that can be used to borrow books directly from libraries at the Big 10 universities plus University of Chicago. Most books borrowed through UBorrow are available for pickup at the Law Library within four business days.

If the book you want is not available from Borrow Direct or UBorrow, or if you need it for an extended period of time, you should use Interlibrary Loan. Requests may be submitted online.

If the material you are looking for is not available from any of these services, Ask a Law Librarian, and we’ll be happy to help you locate the material.

University of Chicago students in other schools and programs are welcome at the D’Angelo Law Library. If you are interested in an introductory D’Angelo tour or a research consultation with a law reference librarian, please use the Ask a Law Librarian service to schedule a time with one of us.

Lyonette Louis-Jacques among award-winning authors

Lyonette Louis-Jacques (photo)Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian at the D’Angelo Law Library, was among the authors who were recently awarded the Reynolds and Flores Publication Award for their “Mexican Law and Legal Research” guide. The award, named after the authors of the Foreign Law Guide, a core foreign law research source, recognizes members of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Foreign, Comparative & International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS) who have created a publication that “enhances the professional knowledge and capabilities of law librarians.” Louis-Jacques shares this award with her co-authors Bianca T. Anderson, Marisol Floren-Romero, Julienne E. Grant, Jootaek Lee, Teresa M. Miguel-Stearns, Jonathan Pratter, and Sergio Stone.

The guide was recently published in March 2016 in Volume 35, Issue 1, of the Legal Reference Services Quarterly. It covers all types of primary sources of law and secondary legal literature, including international agreements, state gazettes, law journals, textbooks, and monographs. Additionally, it filled a gap in the literature: it contains an extensive bibliography of secondary literature in English on Mexican law and legal research, which is not found in other research guides or treatises on Mexican law and legal research. Since its publication, it has received approximately 500 views and over 200 SSRN downloads.

New online resource: The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law

Max Planck Encyclopedia logoUniversity of Chicago researchers now have access to a new global research tool licensed by the Library – the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law. Oxford University Press launched the Encyclopedia on April 27, 2017 with 70 articles, and will have over 570 articles when completed. The Encyclopedia includes articles on children’s rights, the right to education, the right to privacy, supreme/constitutional courts of Argentina, Colombia, France, Israel, Japan, and Mexico, and much, much more. It complements the primary constitutional texts, source materials, and expert commentary in the Oxford Constitutions of the World and Oxford U.S. Constitutional Law databases – also available on the Oxford Constitutional Law platform.

Here is an excerpt from the OUP launch announcement:

“Overseen by the editors at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law, the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law will provide a high level of analytic coverage of constitutional law topics in a comparative context. The encyclopedia articles—modeled on those in the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law—address a focused range of topics that seek to provide the best coverage of the essence, character, development, and history of constitutional law from a global perspective. The articles will define and cover the basis and foundations of state formation and constitutional law, as well as analyzing and explaining underlying legal concepts such as:

  • human rights;
  • constitutional formation;
  • scope of state protections;
  • the defining structures of governmental makeup;
  • types of legal structures and interactions within a constitutional law system; and
  • legal constitutional concepts that make up constitutional law.

In addition, articles provide insight and detail into key cases that have contributed to or defined constitutional law concepts on a global scale such as Brown v Board of Education (United States), the Mizrahi Bank Case (Israel), the Minerva Mills Case (India), and Marbury v Madison (United States), and discuss key instruments in constitutional law history such as the Magna Carta and the Charter of Medina, among others. The service provides browsing and searching of all of the material within the resource based on keywords and subjects….”

Check it out!

My Library Account improvements

The Library has released a new version of My Library Account (formerly My Account), offering enhancements and new features:

  • Displays have been improved, especially on mobile devices.
  • Checked out items are sorted by due date, so items due soon appear at the top of the list.
  • Checked out items can also be sorted by title, author, call number, loan type, etc.
  • Alerts appear for recalled items, items due soon, overdue items, etc.
  • Interlibrary loan, course reserves, and short term loans display information about their loan period and whether they are eligible for renewal.
  • Faculty can view which items on their accounts were checked out by proxy borrowers.
  • Requested items more clearly display whether they are available for pickup.
  • Quick links have been added to other Library accounts (Interlibrary Loan, Special Collections, Course Reserves).

See My Library Account Help for more information.

The new Checked out Items screen; items due soon appear at the top of the list.

The new Checked out Items screen; items due soon appear at the top of the list.

New website brings 9 decades of University history online

Chicago Little Theatre stage

Designed for the 1916 Cap and Gown by C. Raymond Johnston of the Chicago Little Theatre.

The newly launched University of Chicago Campus Publications website allows researchers to readily explore more than nine decades of University history, from 1892 to 1995.   At launch, the site provides digital access to four periodicals:  Cap and Gown, the College yearbook; the University of Chicago Magazine, the official alumni publication; Quarterly Calendar, an early omnibus publication; and the University Record, its successor By visiting campub.lib.uchicago.edu, members of the UChicago community and researchers around the world can conduct a simultaneous keyword search of all four publications, using an interface built and maintained by the University of Chicago Library.

University of Chicago Magazine, April 1952.


University of Chicago Magazine, April 1952.

The Campus Publications site is an exciting new resource for faculty, students, and alumni of the University and provides a wealth of historical information for other researchers examining the history of the University and its impact on higher education. Genealogists researching University connections may also find the site particularly helpful. For many, research into University history will no longer require careful and laborious browsing of multiple volumes of bound print publications.  For the first time, the complete content of some of the most heavily used University periodicals will be fully accessible online across publications and chronological time periods.

The earliest publication on the site, Quarterly Calendar (1892-1896), includes a wide range of information:  faculty and administrative rosters, course descriptions, official regulations, convocation addresses, directories of administrators and faculty, lists of registered students by academic program, and statistics on student registration.

Adler and Hutchins cartoon

Adler and Hutchins cartoon, Cap and Gown, 1934.

It was superseded by the University Record, published from 1896 to 1908, from 1915 to 1933, and finally, from 1967 to 1981 under the new name University of Chicago Record. The Record published convocation addresses; articles on University buildings, cornerstone layings, and dedications; biographic sketches and memorial tributes; statements and reports by Presidents and other administrators; photographic portraits of faculty, administrators, and convocation speakers; an announcements of campus events.

The Campus Publications site includes all issues of the University of Chicago Magazine that were published from 1908 to 1995.  The Magazine includes articles on campus events; news from classes; alumni activities; articles by faculty members on their research; news and notes on individual alumni; excerpts from recently published faculty books; feature articles on notable alumni and faculty; and photographic essays on the campus and University events.  For a period from 1908 to 1915 when the University Record was not issued as a separate publication, the content of the University Record was published as part of the University of Chicago Magazine.

Sketch of urban renewal at Ridgewood Court on 55th

Violet Fogle Uretz’s sketch of urban renewal at Ridgewood Court on 55th in the November 1957 issue of the University of Chicago Magazine (page 22).

Cap and Gown varied in format from year to year, reflecting the changing student editorial board.  The Campus Publications site includes all issues published from 1895 to 1958.  Cap and Gown included individual photographs of undergraduate students with information on their campus activities; essays on University administrators and faculty members; photographs and records of athletic teams by sport; photographs and lists of members of fraternities, social clubs, and other student organizations; and photographic essays focused on the campus and events of the past year.

Because all four of these publications can now be simultaneously searched by keyword, researchers can rapidly access the distinct voices and perspectives of faculty, administrators, students, alumni, and guest lecturers as they engage with the vital issues of the day.  For example, a search on “urban renewal” leads to numerous illustrated stories beginning with an October 1954 piece in the University of Chicago Magazine.  Among many other sources, researchers will find an article on the launch of urban renewal in the 1956 Cap and Gown; a set of sketches of urban renewal sites by Violet Fogle Uretz in the November 1957 University of Chicago Magazine; an Interim Report of the Subcommittee on South Campus on the impact of urban renewal in the March 14, 1969, University Record; and an article in the March 1976 University of Chicago Magazine pointing to changes in student housing options resulting from urban renewal.

Photos and descriptions of alumni members of the military reported killed or missing in action

Part of Chicago’s Roll of Honor in the February 1943 issue of the University of Chicago Magazine (page 16). Featured are alumni members of the military reported killed or missing in action.

Campus attitudes toward war and the military are another longstanding issue that can be researched in Campus Publications.  Among the relevant coverage, one can find a convocation address by Carl Schurz on American imperialism prompted by the Spanish-American War in the January 6, 1899, University Record; a report on the University’s involvement in World War I in the October 1917 University Record; an article on a peace march by University students in the May 1937 University of Chicago Magazine; an essay by Katharine Graham, who later became the publisher of the Washington Post, on student unrest and the media in the July 1969 University of Chicago Magazine; and a discussion of psychological diagnoses of student anti-war protesters by Joseph Schwab in the March 1970 University of Chicago Magazine.

Some subjects that were particularly difficult to research in the past are readily explored using the new online interface.  One is women’s athletics at the University of Chicago, and especially images of women athletes and teams.  A search returns information about women’s intramural basketball games in the 1900 Cap and Gown; the organization of the University’s Women’s Athletic Association in the December 1903 University Record; completion of a women’s athletic field adjacent to Ida Noyes Hall in the July 1923 University of Chicago Magazine; a photograph and description of the activities of the women’s archery team in the 1930 Cap and Gown; a photograph and report on the record of the women’s field hockey team in the 1955 Cap and Gown; and the merger of the separate Departments of Physical Education for Men and for Women in the July 19, 1976, University Record.

Senior Baseball Team, 1915

Senior Baseball Team, 1915, in Cap and Gown, 1916 (page 298).

Searches on well-known topics in University history may yield some surprises.  For example, Enrico Fermi’s name appears for the first time in the February 1946 issue of the University of Chicago Magazine.  But Fermi is not the focus of the news note; it is instead Leona Woods Marshall, his Manhattan Project colleague, who has been named one of Mademoiselle magazine’s ten women of the year.

The Campus Publications site can be used on its own, but it also works well when supplemented by the University of Chicago Photographic Archive, the Library’s searchable database of more than 40,000 digitized documentary images.  The Photographic Archive provides access to photographs of many individuals, buildings, events, student activities, and historic landscapes.  Many other images of University individuals and events, however, appeared only in the official publications, the alumni magazine, or the student yearbook.  Researchers now have the opportunity to use both the Photographic Archive and Campus Publications sites together to locate the widest possible array of documentary photographs of University history.

As additional periodicals are digitized, the Library is looking forward to adding new content to the Campus Publications site, offering a growing and increasingly rich source of information on the University’s distinctive history.

Sexual segregation cartoon

Sexual segregation cartoon, Cap and Gown, 1903 (page 17).

The construction of the University of Chicago Campus Publications database and website required the expertise and collaboration of staff across multiple departments of the Library, including archivists, digitization experts, and web and database developers from Special Collections, Preservation, and the Digital Library Development Center.  Kathleen Arthur oversaw the digitization of the content.  Charles Blair and John Jung developed an interface that would enable and optimize the search experience for those interested in University of Chicago history.

The University of Chicago Campus Publications may be used for educational and scholarly purposes, but any such use requires that the University of Chicago Library be credited.   Commercial publication projects require the permission of the Library .

Researchers with questions about the collection may contact the Special Collections Research Center.

Crime, Punishment, and Pop Culture

The Library has purchased Crime, Punishment, and Pop Culture, from Gale Cengage. Focusing on the period from 1790-1920, this collection brings together over 2 million pages of archival materials. Content includes trial transcripts, detective agency records, police force records, police gazettes, penny dreadfuls, crime-related broadsheets, true crime literature, prisoner photographs, prison postcards, statistics, and manuscripts.  During this period, major prison reforms and the development of dedicated police forces occurred, crime journalism appeared in daily newspapers, and crime fiction became a popular literary genre.

Lincoln at the Bar

The Library now has access to Lincoln at the Bar: Extant Case Files from the U.S. District and Circuit Courts, Southern District of Illinois 1855-1861. (And Archives Unbound collection from Gale Cengage)

“This collection consists of the extant files of cases from the records of the U.S. District and Circuit Courts at Springfield with which Abraham Lincoln has been identified as legal counsel, and date from 1855 to 1861. The 122 case files reproduced here include civil actions brought under both statute and common law, admiralty litigation, and a few criminal cases.” This collection is a useful addition to the Library’s extensive collection of material about Lincoln, and will improve understanding of his law practice.

Throwback Thursday: The Law Library on the cusp of the Digital Age

There’s a hand-drawn map of the law library’s second-floor Reading Room that harkens back to a barely digital age—a time when card catalogs and bound volumes of Shepard’s Citations took center stage and the latest technology included a dedicated Lexis machine with a dialup modem and a clunky “comcat” terminal that couldn’t even search whole words. It appears to have been created some eight or nine years before the library was expanded, renovated, and renamed in honor of Dino D’Angelo, ’44, in 1987.

It’s a small piece of the library’s past—but one that serves as a visible reminder of how far technology, legal research, and the law library itself has come in the past three or four decades. The drawing, part of an old law library guide, was sent to the Law School late last year by a 2011 alumnus who works as an attorney with the US Railroad Retirement Board and found the map on a shelf in the RRB’s law library.Map of D'Angelo Law Library from the 1970s

“It’s interesting to look at this and see what was most prominent in the space,” D’Angelo Law Library Director Sheri Lewis said of the map, which appears to represent the Reading Room in the late 1970s. Back then, federal, state, and regional case reporters filled stacks along the north end of the room, and bound copies of state annotated codes, various indices, and the latest copies of Shepard’s ringed the center of the room.

“These were obviously a very important resource, so they had prime real estate,” Lewis said, remembering the days when a lawyer or law student needed to consult the bright red books to find tables of citations to see if a case had been overturned, reaffirmed, questioned, or cited by later cases. “But this was also a system that was just screaming for automation.” (LexisNexis released an online version of Shepard’s in 1999.)

The 1970s library also featured a built-in card catalog along the southwest wall, just past the circulation and reference desks. At the beginning of that decade, the library was already crowded, and books were being moved into Harper library for storage, said Judith Wright, who retired as the law library’s director in 2013 after more than four decades. “We sold the second copy of the English Reports to make space—very painful!” Wright said.

Online cataloguing was nascent; there was a single “dumb” terminal that hooked into the Library Data Management System mainframe. The comcat (computerized catalog) terminal didn’t have a search engine, and users could only type in portions of words, said Bill Schwesig, the D’Angelo’s Anglo-American and Historical Collections Librarian, who has worked in the law library since 1986. As the technology advanced, though, searching became easier—and the library eventually undertook a long project to digitize all of its catalog entries. When the library was renovated again in 2008, the printed card catalog was removed.

Photo of the D'Angelo Law Library Wilson Reading Room from the 1980sIt wasn’t always easy to accommodate emerging technology: when the building was built in the late 1950s, few could have anticipated how important wiring would become.

“There were few plugs, few telephone lines—it was a major problem,” Wright said. “It was hard to find a place to put anything.”

When the first Lexis terminal arrived in the late 1970s, it ended up in the Rare Book Room at the far west end of the library because there was a place to plug it in. The dedicated microfilm reader on which users could view an index of law reviews and other academic journals was installed nearby.

The 1970s library was smaller and darker. There was wasn’t yet a staircase in the center of the room—that came with the 2008 renovation—and there were three heavy wood tables surrounded by dark wood chairs with hunter green cushions, several of which can be found now in Lewis’s office. The latest law journals were kept in stacks in the room’s northwest corner, and Lewis said faculty would stroll through and browse the latest scholarship.

In those days, law library staff spent a lot more time handling print material—labeling, shelving, and routing material to faculty. A huge volume of mail came to the library each business day and on Saturday, including Shepard’s pamphlets and other updates, new materials, and more.

But as the computer age took hold, and resources and catalogs moved online, the work of the law librarians evolved, too.

Today, “their work is so much more complex and requires a vast knowledge ranging over incredible print and online resources along with sophisticated knowledge about ever-changing technology,” Wright said. “In addition, law seems to have become more complex, and scholarship and teaching reflect that complexity.”

One thing, however, has remained constant, Wright said.

“From my earliest days in 1970s to the day I retired, we always had committed faculty and students who were very serious about their work—and always trying to keep a step ahead of whatever (research tools) were available. It was amazing how quickly students and faculty adapted to each new thing.”