This is the second post on the Law Library’s Student Satisfaction Survey.  Today, we’ll look at the responses to questions about the Library’s Web site.  While the frequency of use runs the gamut, 3 out of 4 respondents indicated that they use the site from a few times a semester to a few times per week.  The site itself received good marks: 61% of respondents are mostly to very satisfied with the site.  Only 4% indicated dissatisfaction.  In addition to satisfaction ratings, we asked students which features they are using.  The site is mostly commonly used for the Library Catalog, the Online Legal Resources, checking library hours, and linking to Westlaw and Lexis.  Other often-used features include Interlibrary Loan/Borrow Direct, research guides, and the Legal Research Engine.

There were numerous positive comments made about the Web site, and these focused on the ease of use and navigation of the site, and the depth and breadth of content and resources.  There were several constructive comments made about the Web site and these, interestingly, generally said that the site is not intuitive and difficult to navigate.  The old adage that you can’t please all of the people all of the time holds especially true for web sites.  That said, we are always looking for improvements that can be made to the site.  As we update the site’s content this summer, we will look for changes that can be made to improve the organization and navigation of the site making it more intuitive and accessible.

If you have additional feedback on the web site, do let us know in the Law Library.  The next post on the Satisfaction Survey will consider library core services.

Reading Room at DuskIn February, the Law Library conducted a Student Library Satisfaction Survey.  More than 160 students responded to the survey for which we are most grateful.  Respondents included JD students from all three classes, LLMs, and JSDs.  A significant number of students indicated that they are currently active with journals, moot court, clinics, or as research assistants.  Four out of five respondents visit the library, not including walking through, from a few times a week to daily.  Not surprisingly, 90% said they visit the library to study.  Other common reasons to visit the library include using the Internet and printers, copying and scanning, checking out books, and researching for assignments.

The survey gleaned both quantitative and qualitative information on the use of, and satisfaction with, Law Library facilities, web presence, and core services.  We’ll address each of these on the Competitive Edge blog.  Today’s post looks at library facilities.

To gauge student satisfaction with the library facilities, we asked respondents to rate the floor/space they use most often on five criteria: noise level, lighting, study space, group study room availability, and temperature.  Students rated primarily the Reading Room, the second-floor, and the new ground floor.  The mean numerical ratings of noise, lighting, study space, and temperature balanced at the “neutral” rating, but leaned toward satisfaction.  On group study space availability, ratings leaned toward dissatisfaction.  This is an ongoing issue in the Law Library, of which we are keenly aware.  This is an item that we will address to the architects who are planning the law school renovation.

Temperature is also an issue, as reflected in the many comments we received.  Typical of these:  “It’s too cold in the Reading Room,” and the very expressive, “COLD! The reading room is freezing.”  We are also aware of the cold temperatures in the Reading Room and on other floors.  The Reading Room in particular, with its high ceiling and tall windows, is very difficult to heat.  However, we have informed the facilities staff that students have expressed dissatisfaction with the cold.

While both the cold and lack of group study rooms are ongoing issues, there were many positive statements on the physical plant, too.  Representative comments include:  “The Reading Room is beautiful” and “It is a great place to study and be productive.”

The survey also inquired about equipment in the Law Library, including copiers/scanners, public computers, office supplies, and wireless Internet connection.  Students are quite satisfied with the wireless connection, and generally satisfied with copiers/scanners, public computers, and office supplies.

The survey did elicit numerous comments on equipment and supplies in the Computer Lab, which is administratively separate from the Library and is under the purview of Law IT.  Comments noted that computer mice and keyboards are often missing, printers often do not work, and that staplers and other supplies are either damaged or missing.  We have discussed these matters with Law IT.  IT regularly replaces missing or damaged items and that the printers are regularly maintained (and replaced) through a contract with the Computing Center.  It is to the benefit of all students to use the equipment with care and to replace any item you may have borrowed.  As the Lab cannot be staffed 24/7, students can help by keeping an eye out for problems and reporting them to the Lab managers as soon as possible.

If you have other feedback regarding the Law Library facilities, do let us know.  Our next post on the survey will cover the Library's Web site.

Collateral Knowledge coverToday Cornell Law School celebrates the publication of Professor Annelise Riles' new book Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets.  Prof. Riles is the Jack G. Clarke '52 Professor of Far Eastern Legal Studies and Director of the Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture.  The book examines how the financial markets are governed not only by legislatures that pass laws (from the top down), but also by  people and entities that participate in the system (from the bottom up), ranging from academics to people who fill out financial forms.  Prof. Riles engages her topic by means of ethnographic study in Japan.

The book is available in the library and from amazon.com.  I also recommend Professor Riles' interesting blog, also entitled Collateral Knowledge, where she continues the discussion.

World Intellectual Property Day 2011Tuesday, April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day, celebrated each year since 2000 and established by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The aim is to demonstrate how the IP system fosters not only music, arts and entertainment, but also all the products and technological innovations that help to shape our world. This day commemorates the date on which the Convention establishing WIPO originally entered into force in 1970.

For your IP research, you are invited to use these top-notch resources at Cornell Law Library:

  • BNA Intellectual Property Law Resource Center
  • IP Theory -- a new peer-edited intellectual property law publication
  • JIPITEC – open access journal on intellectual property, information technology, and e-commerce law
  • Nimmer on Copyright – available on Lexis and on reserve in the law library (11 volumes)
  • McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition – available on Westlaw and on reserve in the law library (7 volumes)
  • Chisum on Patents – available on Lexis

The last day of class is a week away, so it’s time to start thinking about whether you’ll need your law school Lexis and Westlaw accounts this summer.  Full access to Lexis and Westlaw is turned off May 31 and does not reactivate until August 1.  However, if you meet one or more conditions you can extend your password for the summer.  These conditions cover various non-commercial activities, including public interest work, working as a faculty research assistant, journal or moot court research, and bar review.  New this year is an additional Lexis extension criterion that allows students to maintain access for “research skill improvement for educational purposes.”  This permits all students to extend their Lexis passwords, but keep in mind that commercial use is prohibited.

Passwords must be extended by May 31.  Basically, you need to complete an online form indicating to Lexis/Westlaw why you need full access during the summer.  Complete extension details for both Lexis and Westlaw are provided here: http://library.lawschool.cornell.edu/WhatWeDo/HelpStudents/Student_Summer_Access.cfm.

Research consultations are a great way to prepare for your summer employment or full-time job. A consultation is a one-on-one meeting with a Research Attorney of your choice or the Research Attorney assigned to you if you have no preference. The consultation focuses on specific research questions or the general area of law that you will be researching.  The benefits of a research consultation are getting an edge on the competition, getting a handout covering important resources in your area of law, and getting a sense of relief when it comes to worrying about your upcoming job.  You can request an appointment for any time, before or after finals. Just use the online form at http://library2.lawschool.cornell.edu/forms/resappointmentform.asp. We hope you take advantage of this helpful service.

In response to student inquiries regarding the availability for group study of rooms G80, G81, 273, 387, 389 and the Library’s Casual Reading Room (these rooms are referred to herein collectively the “Study Rooms”), the Law School has implemented the following policy, effective immediately:

While classes are in session, SAME-DAY reservations for Study Room use in the afternoon and/or evening shall be made via a sign-out sheet available at the Circulation Desk in the Library.  Reservations shall be made in person at Noon or thereafter – not earlier.  Only same-day reservations will be accepted – no advance reservations permitted.

Under this new policy, room availability will no longer cease at library closing times, providing evening reservations are made prior to the last sign-up time for the day. In cases in which a room reservation extends beyond 7:30pm Sunday through Thursday, or beyond 4:30pm on Friday or Saturday, the student making the reservation will be responsible for securing the room in question (closing windows and locking doors) at the end of use.  Evening reservations that begin after 7:30pm (Sun-Th) or 4:30pm (Fr & Sat) must be reserved as of those times to insure the room remains open for their use.  Students making such reservation will be responsible for the room starting at 7:30 or 4:30, respectively.

During study periods, Study Rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis 24 hours a day.  There will be no reservation procedure.

Bloomberg Law logoBloomberg Law passwords will be available on Monday, April 4 in alcove 43 of the Reading Room between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Stop by to meet our Bloomberg representative and get your password for access to up-to-date business, news and law reports.

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