You know that when the dedication in a book reads, “To Crime!” that it isn’t your ordinary law treatise. The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law gives you all the information you could hope to know about criminal law, but in a different way. The author uses humor and an illustrative comic style to inform his readers about every aspect of criminal law. Some of the chapters included in this book are entitled, “Rehabilitation: For the Love of God, Why?” and “Responsibility and Depravity: The Axes of Evil.”
The author, Nathaniel Burney, graduated from Georgetown University, where he was an editor of the American Criminal Law Review. During his time in law school he also found the time to work at the Supreme Court as a personal assistant to retired Chief Justice Warren Burger, and additionally played music in a band called The Ambulance Chasers. After law school Burney joined the Manhattan DA’s office as a prosecutor in NYC. He also spent some time in Special Narcotics and the Rackets Bureau. Burney eventually returned to the defense side of things, where he focused on cases involving wiretaps, securities fraud, antitrust, and loitering. Mr. Burney also teaches the “Hope for Hopeless Cases” series for West LegalEdCenter.
If you are looking for a book that discusses the complex issues of criminal law in a slightly different format, why not give The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law a try?
~Brian Trippodo ~
Although most of you have never heard of N. Joseph Woodland, he has made a huge impact in the world in general and libraries in particular. You see, Woodland was the inventor of the barcode. Barcodes have changed the way we check out books, conduct inventory and buy groceries to name a few. Many of us can’t even remember checking out a book without a barcode the old fashioned way or standing in lane 4 at Harris Teeter while the cashier types in each item’s number by hand into the computer. Can you imagine how long you would have to wait in line at Walmart without any barcodes!?
Joseph Woodland, 91, passed away on December 14th, 2012. His idea for the barcode was first patented nearly 60 years ago because of his involvement with the Boy Scouts. See those guys are always prepared! Woodland and a fellow graduate student were inspired when a supermarket executive to the campus of Drexel University. The executive spoke about wanting to automate and streamline the checkout process in order to reduce the customer’s wait time. Woodland and his friend began working on this problem and eventually in the winter of 1978-1949 Woodland found a solution while visiting his grandparents in Miami Beach.
He was sitting on a chair on the beach and as a former Boy Scout, he was familiar with Morse code. He told Smithsonian magazine in 1999:
“What I’m going to tell you sounds like a fairy tale. I poked my four fingers into the sand and for whatever reason — I didn’t know — I pulled my hand toward me and drew four lines. I said: ‘Golly! Now I have four lines, and they could be wide lines and narrow lines instead of dots and dashes.’ ”
So that’s what happened and the rest, as they say, is history. Barcodes have been used in many industries across the world and now we all know that we owe it all to Mr. Woodland.
~ Brian Trippodo ~
The subject of taxes has been in the national spotlight because of the upcoming presidential election in November. Taxes are a part of life, but whether you are from a red state or a blue state, part of the 47% or the 53%, belong to the 1% or the 99%, the Law Library is here to help.
If you are taking a class on tax or just interested in learning more about the subject, the Library now has access to a great resource called the West Study Aid Subscription. To find all the wonderful materials all you have to do is log on to WestLaw and you will have online full, text access to many helpful study aids. Tax is divided into several sub-topics such as corporate, estate & gift, income, international, partnership, practice & procedure, as well as state & local.
If you are currently taking a Federal Income Tax class the following study aids may be of interest to you:
If you need assistance finding more study aids on tax or any other subject, please come to the Library and let us know how we can help!
~ Brian Trippodo ~
“Liking” something on Facebook has become a regular occurrence for people who enjoy partaking in the many forms of expression that this social media giant has to offer. In fact, many users of Facebook don’t give a second thought to “liking” comments, statuses, celebrities, or their favorite books & movies. Many prolific Facebookers seem to “like” various things in such a subconscious fashion that they have not a care in the world as to the repercussions. No more.
Daniel Ray Carter, Jr. will probably not make that mistake again. Caught up in the cycle of his Facebook routine, he logged on to his account and “liked” a page. Now, that doesn’t sound so bad, you might be thinking… But, then you’d be dead wrong! The problem is that he “liked” a page for Jim Adams, a candidate who was running for the office of sheriff, in Hampton, VA. Normally this would not be a big deal, but Carter actually works for the current Sheriff, B.J. Roberts, who this candidate was running against.
When Sheriff Roberts found out about this “liking” the other candidate’s Facebook page, Carter was promptly fired from his job as a deputy, which is the beginning of this whole debacle. Former Deputy Carter along with the ACLU filed a lawsuit claiming that his first amendment right to free speech had been violated due to his termination. The lower court ruled that “liking” a page is not covered by the first amendment because “actual statements” from Carter were not produced by this action. If this is upheld by the fourth circuit, many are concerned about the fallout from such a decision.
We’ll be watching what happens, but in the meantime, be careful what you “like.”
One of the world’s premier soccer clubs is helping to put a dent in Sub-Saharan Africa’s illiteracy problem. The Spanish soccer team FC Barcelona joined efforts with a nonprofit literacy group Worldreader with a goal of providing one million e-books to African children who would otherwise not have access to digital books.
Usually e-books are shared between both family and friends, so Worldreader’s plan is to give e-readers to fifty-thousands sub-Saharan Africans. Worldreader donated one-hundred thousand e-books to one-thousand children in Uganda, Kenya, and Ghana so far and has plans to expand its efforts to Rwanda and other parts of sub-Saharan African soon.
African students will be receiving electronic newspapers, classic literature, African fiction, popular fiction from other parts of the world, along with African textbooks. This is a drastic change from what student have access to right now. On average children in sub-Saharan Africa have access to between three and seven books currently, but with the e-readers they will have access to an average of one-hundred and seven books.
The FC Barcelona Club fits into all of this by supporting the reading initiative. You see, star soccer players Lionel Messi, Eric Abidal, Seydou Keita, and Xavi will be using their influence to help students to reach their reading goals by sending them encouraging messages.
If you would like more information, take a look at this video. If this is a cause that you care about the FC Barcelona Club and Worldreader would be very grateful for donations of any size. $5 = 1 e-book.
~ Brian Trippodo ~
This week (April 9th – April 13th) is National Library Week & the Library will be celebrating in a variety of ways including a READ poster scavenger hunt, donuts & coffee, an annual ice cream social, and a stuffed animal drive to name a few.
Another way to celebrate National Library Week is the You Belong @ Your Library: Six Word Story Sweepstakes. Every year NLW has a theme, & this year it’s “You Belong @ Your Library.” The contest is to share your story of why you belong at your library by composing a six word story for National Library Week.
This sweepstakes is gaining popularity on social media sites like Twitter & Facebook and as the name implies, challenges authors to write a complete story in only six words. Here are some examples:
Town’s kids visit Narnia. Librarian leads.
What connects far and wide? Bookmobiles.
School library doors open. Girl smiles.
Journeys begin at his university library.
The contests runs through Wednesday, April 11th. To be considered for the contest each story must be sent through Twitter and use the hash tag #nlw6words. The stories will then be compiled and available for judging through atyourlibrary.org. The staff of atyourlibrary.org will then post a selection of the best six word stories where everyone will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite story until Saturday, April 14th.
The winner will receive season one of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on DVD. Meltzer is the 2012 National Library Week Honorary Chair.
A class action lawsuit was filed on February, 22nd by Edward White and Kenneth Elan and their individual law firms against West Publishing (West) and Reed Elsevier (Lexis) in New York. White & Elan have filed their lawsuit against West and Lexis asserting that copyright infringement has taken place, specifically in regards to documents submitted to the courts like witness lists and jury instructions.
For quite a few years it has been LexisNexis and Westlaw’s practice to collect publicly filed briefs and to put them online along with a plethora of other legal resources. In this case, the plaintiffs are claiming that because these legal publishing giants are copying publicly filed briefs into their own databases and then only making them available for a fee, copyright infringement is occurring.
I suppose we will have to wait and see what happens as a result of this case, however I must say that the last time Lexis was here they brought us Quiznos and the last time West came to visit they brought cupcakes. Sometimes it’s hard to be objective when you have icing stained hands from a delicious cupcake…
~ Brian Trippodo ~
Although our new online catalog (Encore) is set up to function much like Google with one simple search box, you also have the option to perform an “advanced search” located directly below the search on the right hand side.
Encore supports a Boolean search, search by Title, Author, or Subject, and pre-search limits. A dynamic advanced search form allows users to construct these complex queries directly within Encore. Additionally, users will be able to apply multiple limits of the same type (i.e. Book or eBook), and view results within a specific range of publication dates (i.e. 2001-2011).
The Encore Advanced Search satisfies both novice and sophisticated users. It works seamlessly for patrons accustomed to the more simple online catalog , or reference librarians needing a more detailed search form for bibliographic instruction. Below is an example of the Encore Advanced Search form:
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks!
~Brian Trippodo ~
What is better, print or electronic?? The debate between print and electronic resources continues to wage in libraries across the country, but now an unlikely stakeholder is weighing in.
Dwayne Harris has been incarcerated in a Ohio state prison, serving a sentence for rape, kidnapping, felonious assault and aggravated assault since 1989. The prison library replaced the print copies of law books with an electronic subscription to WestLaw and upon doing so upset Harris. Now, Dwayne Harris has filed a lawsuit against the prison and is asking for $80,000 in compensatory damages and up to $200,000 in punitive damages because in Harris’ opinion this shift from print to electronic has violated his constitutional right to a law library.
Prisoners do, in fact, have a right to a law library or legal assistance ever since Bounds v. Smith in 1977, but the question is whether the resources in this Ohio state prison law library are adequate. Although the library that Harris uses contains some books, 7 computers with WestLaw, and assistance from law librarians, he alleges that this is not enough. In Harris’ complaint he states that the prison is missing 14 vitally important books from the American Association of Law Libraries minimum collection, that he is computer illiterate, and that 7 computers are not enough for all the prisoners to conduct legal research on.
As you can see, many people are weighing in on the debate between print and electronic resources. What do you think?
~ Brian Trippodo~