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John F. Kennedy Presidential Resources

portrait_jfkThe 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th U.S. President, is November 22, 1963.  To commemorate this anniversary, I’d like to highlight some important government documents and research resources related to President Kennedy.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (one of 13 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration) is located in Boston, Massachusetts and its website can be found at http://www.jfklibrary.org/.  The museum is open to the public for tours and, according to the website, “Students and scholars can also arrange to conduct research using our collection of historical materials chronicling mid-20th century politics and the life and administration of John F. Kennedy.”  The website features the following information and resources: biographical information on John F. and Jacqueline B. Kennedy and the Kennedy family; Historic speeches; Historical context; Media Gallery; Interactive Exhibits; Information on research collections and holdings, finding aids and research guides; and Educational Resources for Teachers and Students.

The Government Printing Office (GPO) recently published the official, digital version of the Warren Commission Report on the agency’s Federal Digital System (FDsys).  “The commission Full Story »

Szladits’ Bibliography of Foreign and Comparative Law available in HeinOnline

Among the Library’s database are some hidden gems. These databases are rarely used by any but the most adventurous patrons, yet they contain information that would be ideal for just the right research project. One such database is the Szladits’ Bibliography of Foreign and Comparative Law, available in HeinOnline’s Parker School Library, and which covers the years 1790-1990. Szladits’ Bibliography is an annotated index of English-language books, chapters, and articles on comparative and foreign law subjects. It thus differs from the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, which began publication at a later date (1960), indexes articles mostly in non-English languages, and is unannotated.

The main entries in  the Szladits’ Bibliography are organized in a systematic subject arrangement. To search for articles on judicial review in Israel, for example, you would retrieve the Public Law portion of the index, then modify your search to include the terms “judicial review” and “Israel.” This would retrieve citations to all books, chapters, and articles published on the topic during the years covered by the index volume searched.

The online version of Szladits’ Bibliography only goes up through 1990. However, to update your research beyond that date, you can also search the printed volumes for subsequent years, available in the Library on the Periodical Index Table near the computer Lab (K38 .S9). The printed index currently runs through 1998, so it too is 15 years out of date; but no source is perfect.

There are many other titles in the Parker School Library that might interest those researching comparative law topics. The next time you have ten minutes to spare, browse the titles to see what’s available. Szladits’ Bibliography is the last title listed in the Library, but in this case last is definitely not least. For those interested in comparative law, Szladits’ offers a treasure trove of annotated citations to books, chapters, and articles of interest.

Law Library Evening Workshops: Getting to Know IUCAT

Starting this year the Law Library will be offering evening workshops on a variety of subjects.  Next week we’ll have sessions on using the new IUCAT effectively.

-        New to IUCAT, the library’s online catalog?

-        Familiar with IUCAT, but want to learn how to search the catalog more proficiently?

-        Expert at IUCAT Classic, but inexperienced with the new layout?

No matter your level of experience, consider attending one of the Law Library’s evening workshops, all about IUCAT:

Monday, September 9th, room 121

Tuesday, September 10th, room 121

Wednesday, September 11th, room 125

Thursday, September 12th, room 125

Each session will run from 7:30-8 PM

If you have questions about this workshop, contact the Reference Office for more information, (812) 855-2938, or drop by and ask us about it!

New Around the Library: Mobile Device Charging Station

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over! As you get ready to return to school, we wanted to let you know about a project the Law Library has been working on this summer. We have just installed a charging station in the library lobby, capable of charging a variety of mobile devices, across multiple operating systems. You will find this charging station mounted on the column next to the seating area as you enter the library.

chargingstation

We hope you will find this device helpful and convenient, but please remember to be responsible when charging your mobile device – do not leave it unattended. When you’re batteries are drained, let the library provide the charge you need to get through the day!

Unusual Liquor Laws

Recently, while pursuing a question about alcohol sales, one of our law librarians ran across this Indiana statute.

IC 7.1-5-10-11
Sale of cold beer prohibited
Sec. 11. Sale of Cold Beer Prohibited. It is unlawful for the holder of a beer dealer’s permit to offer or display for sale, or sell, barter, exchange or give away a bottle, can, container, or package of beer that was iced or cooled by the permittee before or at the time of the sale, exchange, or gift.
(Formerly: Acts 1973, P.L.55, SEC.1.)

At first glance, there seem to be a lot of law breakers in Indiana. It should be noted though, that there is a difference between beer deals and beer retailers.  This law was most likely passed to stop people from buying large quantities of beer and then drinking in immediately, and it made us ask ourselves what other unusual laws there were about alcohol use and consumption out there. A quick web search reveals several lists of humorous alcohol laws, but several of them are not verified. Some also stretch the truth a bit—several sites claim that you cannot buy alcohol on credit at an Iowa bar; however Iowa Code 123.49(2)(c) actually just prohibits buying on credit without a credit card.  So we proudly present some entertaining moments in the legal history of alcohol which we can actually cite. Full Story »

A Finals Break with Vinny

Finals are almost over!  Come take a study break with the Law Library tonight. We’re going to be screening that legal classic My Cousin Vinny. Curtain up tonight at 6:30 in room 125.  Popcorn provided!

In the summertime when the weather is high…

…you can stretch right up and touch the sky.  When the weather’s fine, you’ve got legal research, you got legal research on your mind!

As you head out for the summer, ready to kickoff your summer gig and bask in the warm sunshine, it may help you to know which library resources you can use over the break.  All three of our major legal databases — WestlawNext, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law– have different summer access policies:

  • WestlawNext requires the completion of an online registration form and your summer employment situation must meet certain guidelines.
  • Lexis Advance will be freely available to all law students who have registered for it.  Please note this includes only Lexis Advance.  Those only registered with Lexis.com must activate Lexis Advance accounts to ensure no disruption in service.
  • Bloomberg Law will also be accessible to returning students for the summer.  For those graduating, you will have complimentary access for 6 months following your graduation.  If you haven’t yet signed-up for Bloomberg, follow the following procedure: (1) Go to either the Bloomberg Law link on the front page of the Law Library’s website, or http://www.bloomberglaw.com/; (2) On the left side of the screen, in the big orange box, click on “Register for a Law School Account”; (3) Skip the activation code box and fill out the remaining information. **You must use a “.edu” email account issued by Indiana in the “law school email address” field in order to successfully register.**

For the remainder of our Online Resources, students returning to continue their studies in the Fall will continue to have remote access using their IU username and password.  Additionally, the law library’s research guides are publicly available.

If you encounter any research questions, or a problem you’d like help with, drop us a line using our Ask-a-Librarian service or call the reference librarians at (812) 855-2938.  The Reference Office will be open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Have an enjoyable and relaxing summer!

SPRING CANCELLED AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY

Just in case you were wondering, that snow falling this morning was no joke– spring has officially been cancelled for the IU-Bloomington campus. “After years of careful analysis, we determined that law students concentrate better during cold, bleak weather,” announced Maurer Dean of Students Catherine Matthews. “Think about it! Don’t you hit the books a lot harder when it’s gray and miserable outside?” “The metrics do not lie!” echoed Professor Bill Henderson. “Just look at my groundbreaking study, Cleveland– Where the Sun Never Shines, But the Litigation Sizzles! Lake effect snow causes staggering increases in filings and billable hours!” When asked how exactly the Law School effected such drastic changes in weather patterns, Acting Dean Hannah Buxbaum replied, “This was actually a campus-wide initiative. The snow is not confined to the northwest corner of 3rd and Indiana.” Former Maurer Dean and IU-Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel likewise demurred when asked for details. “All I can say is that with great responsibility come some pretty awesome powers,” she said.

Nation’s favorite groundhog facing death penalty!

As you put on your scarf and gloves, pull on your boots, and chip the ice and brush the snow off your car this morning, take heart that you are still having a better day than Punxsutawney Phil

(courtesy of usatoday.com)

Last week, a prosecutor in Ohio indicted Phil on felony fraud charges stemming from the Gobblers Knob resident’s February 2nd prediction of only six more weeks of winter.  Citing “aggravating circumstances” and seeking the death penalty, the indictment accuses the groundhog of “purposely, and with prior calculation and design,” causing people to believe that an early spring was forthcoming.  Intriguingly, Phil’s 39% accuracy rate is far worse than random guessing.  He is overwhelmingly likely to predict a long winter, forecasting an early Spring less than 14% of the time.  His century-long pattern of  inaccuracy may help save his hide.

Extradition issues aside, Phil is unlikely to stand trial.  Being a prudent and savvy marmot, he has already retained top-notch legal counsel.  In a motion to quash filed over the weekend, Phil’s legal team lays out a highly scientific defense.  Additionally, Bill Deeley, a high-profile member of Phil’s entourage, is attempting to take some of the heat off of the ground squirrel asserting: “I’m the guy that did it; I’ll be the fall guy.  It’s not Phil’s fault.”  Likely on advice from counsel, Phil has declined to publicly comment about the charges against him and maintained a low profile.

Will a defense consisting of rodent illiteracy, a negative North Atlantic Oscillation, and the misinterpretation of ‘Groundhogese‘ prevail?  Only time will tell.  Regardless of Phil’s ultimate fate, get ready to stow those snow boots for at least the next six months.  Relief is in sight.  In the meantime, stay warm!

Jumpstart Returns!

The extremely popular Jumpstart research program returns to the Law Library. Jumpstart sessions will be available April 1st-April 12th. The program, designed by the reference librarians, will again work towards preparing law students for summer internships, clerkships and the first year of practice. During last year’s sessions, a number of students learned the necessary research skills for dealing with materials such as legislative history, administrative law and the regulatory process, and computer-assisted legal research.

Following the formula established in previous years, each of the Jumpstart sessions will begin with a brief review of the basic legal resources so that every student has a complete grasp of the legal research process. The librarians will also provide information about more specialized types of reference books, including practice aids and form books. The Jumpstart sessions will then focus on individual student problems and questions about legal research, with an emphasis on the type of practice student participants will be seeing in the summer.

If you have any questions about the Jumpstart programs, be sure to drop by the Reference Office and speak to a reference librarian. We’d especially like to hear from those of you who already know in what jurisdiction you’ll be working this summer and any special areas of law with which you’ll be dealing. We tailor the Jumpstart sessions to your particular needs in order to make the program a continuing success.

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