On the go and needing simplicity? Connect to the new mobile version of the law library website using your smartphone or i-Pod. It puts core information at your fingertips, including hours, contact information, and library news. One may also access the library catalog, query our legal research engine, schedule a research consultation with a librarian, keep up with our blog, and more.

Many thanks to Webmaster Sasha Skenderija for developing the mobile interface, and Librarians Iantha Haight and Jean Callihan for organizing the content.

You may have noticed that QR Codes are popping up everywhere, and the law library is no exception. QR stands for Quick Response. Originally created by Denso-Wave, these two-dimensional codes can be scanned by a camera phone to link directly to online information. The phone must be equipped with a QR Code reader; various readers are available for different phones and may be downloaded for free (a few phones come with a reader pre-installed). Here is an example of what a QR Code looks like. This one links directly to our list of online resources:

Here in the law library, QR Codes are useful to students and faculty who want to make a quick transition from a print item located on the shelf to an electronic version of the same material. They are especially helpful in circumstances where the most current material is needed. Accordingly, you will start to see more of these codes posted throughout the library as we move into the fall semester.

Law in a Flash logoAs students begin preparing for exams, many reach for commercial study aids for assistance. A popular option is the Law in a Flash series.  These flashcards have been around for years and remain readily available for purchase from Amazon to Walmart, but did you know there’s an App for that?  For a little less than the cost of a traditional box of print cards, and without the cost of shipping, students can carry fewer items as they move between home, classroom, and your third place.  An overview of the various features of the App is available here.

Topics currently offered:

  • Civil Procedure Part One
  • Civil Procedure Part Two
  • Constitutional Law Part One (National and State Powers)
  • Constitutional Law Part Two (Individual Rights)
  • Contracts
  • Corporations
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Future Interests
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Real Property
  • Sales
  • Torts
  • Wills & Trusts

Woman Working In FactoryMarch is Women’s History Month.  An overview of the legal origin of this celebration is available from the Law Library of Congress.  Here, copies of the 19th Amendment, relevant Congressional Resolutions and Presidential Proclamations, and some recent public laws, are available for viewing.  The 2011 Presidential Proclamation is available from the White House here.  Other good sources of information include the National Women’s History Project and www.womenshistorymonth.gov, where the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum “join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.”

Several databases are available through the Cornell University Library that focus on women’s issues (IP authentication required), including Genderwatch (“In-depth coverage of the subjects that are uniquely central to women’s lives, including family, childbirth, birth control, daycare, domestic abuse, work and the workplace, sexual harassment, aging, aging parents, body image, eating disorders and social and societal roles.”);  Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts (“Indexes books and journal articles on education, employment, women in the family, medicine and health, gender role socialization, social policy, the social psychology of women, female culture, media treatment of women, biography, literary criticism and historical studies.”); and Women’s Studies International (“Provides citations and some abstracts to the core areas of Women’s studies.”)

Image from the Library of Congress’ Flickr stream.

Have you ever been conducting Internet research, ventured into the reader comments that accompanied a perfectly ordinary article or blog, and been shocked at the level of incivility exhibited by some readers?  I’m not referring to pointless, silly, off-topic, dissenting comments (or the ever-present spam), but rather the kind of comments that make you cringe and suddenly regret wasting your time by spending it in the company of so much litter.  Such comments are especially jarring when embedded in an otherwise engaging and generally thoughtful discussion.  Some readers, apparently empowered by anonymity and with too much time on their hands, feel compelled to use online comments to vent their innermost hatred for, well, pretty much anything.  It’s not new, but it is a disappointing trend that detracts from what otherwise serves as a productive forum for sharing information and opinions; one that is often helpful to researchers.   As a result, many online publications have stopped allowing comments, appointed moderators, or now require readers to register before posting comments.  Despite all the noise, I still value the occasional comment that leads to a great resource or an elusive answer.  The rest just keeps boredom at bay.

Peace PalaceFrom September 5 – September 9, 2010, the International Association of Law Libraries hosted its 29th Annual Course on International Legal Information and Law entitled “Dutch Gateways to International Law” at The Hague, The Netherlands.   The meeting took place at the Peace Palace, where I joined approximately 200 librarians, attorneys, and professors in attendance from around the world.  The course is designed to provide international researchers with a clear understanding of the wider legal environment in which we operate.  In addition to presenting attendees with a review the legal system of the host country, the conference also featured several sessions in international law, including an assessment of the ongoing role of The Hague Conference on Private International Law, a review of recent cases at the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and presentations from various distinguished speakers regarding international criminal law, water law, law of the sea, maritime, harbor and transport law, air law, and The Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property, among many other topics.

Image:  IALL Annual Meeting attendees in front of the Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands.

CUL mobile siteIn a move designed to make online information more accessible to library patrons, Cornell University Library (CUL) recently launched CULite, a new mobile interface for the library’s website.  The Law Library is grateful to the mobile team that designed this feature for the benefit of all libraries on the Cornell campus, including ours.

Two alternatives are available to users: a device independent mobile site (http://library.cornell.edu/m) or an iPhone/iPod Touch app available free from iTunes.  Both options allow users to search the Classic Catalog, check individual Library hours, locate contact information for each Library, submit a question to an individual reference desk, and more.  Check out the promotional video on YouTube.  Your research just became a little easier.

An Unreal View of Earth courtesy of NASADid you know that although the first Earth Day was founded by a U.S. Senator, its successful organization was actually coordinated by a law student?  Denis Hayes, who later became an environmental lawyer, was, needless to say, preoccupied by issues other than his final exams at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in the spring of 1970.

If you are looking for a few moments of pleasant diversion during this 40th Earth Day, I recommend relaxing with a book from the Cornell University Library that celebrates the earth.  Some to consider are:

In any of these books you will find the inspiration you need to take a break from your studies and take action on this Earth Day.

Image “An Unreal View of Earth” courtesy of NASA

Image from Cornell Law Library Trials CollectionAll members of the law school community are invited to an Open House for the Rare Book Room hosted by the Cornell Law Library this Thursday, March 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Rare Book Room is located on the eastern end of the Reading Room (on the Law Library’s third floor). Please join us for an introduction to some of the most treasured items from our collection, including the Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection, the Scottsboro Trials Collection, and our collection of Liberian Law. Light refreshments will be served.

Avon Center for Women and Justice logoBased at Cornell Law School, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice provides an international forum for judiciary, governments, and civil society to work together to promote justice for women and girls who have been the target of gender-based violence.

The concept for the Center was born in 2008 at the Senior Roundtable for Women’s Justice hosted by the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. There, over seventy participating judges from around the world expressed the need for a medium in which they could continue their dialogue and thereby facilitate ongoing change to the global and domestic status of women and girls. Funded by the Avon Foundation for Women and supported by the Cornell Faculty Innovation in Teaching Program, the Avon Global Center is the first center of its kind.

Four major initiatives serve to further the Center’s mission: undertaking clinical projects; providing legal research assistance for judges; developing online legal resources and a discussion forum; and organizing and hosting an annual conference and other substantive events. This year’s conference entitled “Gender-Based Violence and Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Areas” will be held on March 12, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

The Avon Center also sponsors the Women and Global Justice Speaker Series at Cornell Law School. Prominent speakers from all over the world speak on issues related to violence against women. These events are free, but you must RSVP in advance (lunch is served).

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