Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of Against the Grain – A Book Review

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For many information professionals, copyright fascinates and confounds. Copyright is glossed over in many classes, and librarians struggle to find clear answers to questions that arise in their practice. In the early days of a career, it is easy to blame youth for your befuddlement, but as years pass it becomes more and more difficult to plead ignorance. I have turned to a number of resources, including books, seminars, and massive online open courses, but all have skimmed over practical issues. For many librarians, copyright is simply a hurdle, not a concept to be lingered over, and swift resolutions to imperative questions are invaluable. Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of Against the Grain by Laura N. Gasaway goes a long way in fulfilling that need.

Gasaway, a recognized expert on copyright, has been wrangling with copyright problems for fifteen years now, answering questions from readers in a regular column in Against the Grain, the periodical offshoot of the Charleston Conferences. In her column, she addresses her audience of librarians, publishers, teachers, and authors, clearing the fog and replacing it with clear practicalities, one query at a time.

In her new offering, these questions and answers have been curated, updated, organized, and reassembled, giving readers access, in a single work, to Gasaway’s experience and expertise that was before scattered throughout her columns. Gasaway covers all the usual suspects, including fair use rights, library reserves, licensing, interlibrary loan, preservation, software, and digitization. Question-and-answer pairings are organized into topical chapters, and the book finishes with an emerging issues chapter providing current content on timely subjects such as HathiTrust and the first sale doctrine.

Each chapter features a brief introduction that provides context, but the value of the text lies in her answers to each questioner’s specific needs. While this idiosyncrasy does make the book poorly suited for cover-to-cover reading, it is perfect for quick reference. Other popular copyright texts use the question-and-answer format to show applications of broad concepts, but since the questions posed in this book are wide-ranging and true to life, it effectively provides applicable answers to specific questions. Unfortunately, this also means that when looking for concrete answers, there is no guarantee that guidance for a given question is present between the covers.

In this case, a comprehensive and exhaustive index holds the key to unlocking the precious wisdom inside this book. This is a weakness of the book. While a primarily question-and-answer format leads you to believe that this work would be well-suited for novices, specialized vocabulary or specific portions of the Copyright Acts are often indexed instead of the words used by the questioner. Underutilized cross references again hinder those without a strong knowledge base, and while excellent term definitions and clear, concise summaries of concepts are repeatedly provided throughout the text, the index does not easily lead a reader to them. Not having comprehensive keyword references may seem to avoid redundancy, but instead it limits usability. Readers will not be approaching this text with exact replicas of existing questions, but instead will need to glean their own answers through a careful reading of answers to similar inquires. Because the language of exact inquires is not carefully indexed, an e-book version of this work would be preferable, allowing readers to perform keyword searches and thus work with whatever vocabulary they have on hand.

While the index and other minor inconsistencies keep Gasaway’s content from shining as brightly as it should, Gasaway deserves great praise for her work’s greatest strength: her ability to strike a balance between handing out specific advice and teaching readers strategies to navigate the treacherous waters around best practices and general guidelines. Guidelines and fair use do not lend themselves to cut-and-dry answers, making many copyright texts full of generalizations. However, Gasaway brilliantly teaches her lessons through examples, focusing not only on the use of best practices, but also on the importance of careful risk assessment. She reminds readers that copyright is rarely a firm line, unfortunate though it seems. Instead, application of copyright law is often nebulous. Gasaway’s well-balanced advice guides readers in making their own choices, weighing their options, and choosing to overcome their copyright hurdles the way that is most appropriate for them. In this role, Gasaway is truly a master of her craft.

~Ashley Moye~

This book review first appeared in 106 Law Libr. J. 108-109 (2014).

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — April 7, 2014

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Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Discusses What’s Next for Cannon

The Patrick Cannon corruption investigation is continuing to unfold as FBI investigators gather more evidence. Former Assistant  U.S. Attorney and current professor at Charlotte School of Law has perspective on how the cases work.  Former Assistant  U.S. Attorney Scott Broyles says the FBI could be looking into others involved in the case.  Broyles is taking questions from our viewers, too. He weighs in on why it took so long to arrest Cannon and why the feds didn’t do it before the election.

10 Tips to Help You Decide What Type of Law to Practice

Please welcome back Jeena Cho with a follow up to her excellent post, The Art of the Hustle. Today, Jeena’s sharing 10 tips that will help you decide what type of law you’d like to practice.

Microsoft Releases Word (and Excel and PowerPoint) for iPad

I’m at ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago right now, and the big news on Thursday was that Microsoft released a version of Word (and Excel, and PowerPoint) for the iPad.  I have been kicking the tires on this app since it was released Thursday afternoon, and I am incredibly impressed.  Unlike Microsoft Office Mobile for iPhone released last year, the new Word app for the iPad has virtually every feature that lawyers want to use.  Every attorney who uses an iPad will want to get this app.

Grit and the Secret of Success

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work,” Chuck Close scoffed.“A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood,”Tchaikovsky admonished. “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too,” Isabel Allende urged. “You have to finish things,” Neil Gaiman advised aspiring writers. But while our cultural history may brim with creators who intuited the importance of doggedness in success, it wasn’t until recently that psychologists were able to ascertain the science behind this intuitive observation. We now know that genius-level excellence takes enormous dedication and that the impetus to reboot from autopilot is crucial to reaching such a level, but arguably the most significant work in the field comes from pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth, who came up with the notion of “grit” — that very doggedness essential for success — and went on to receive a MacArthur Genius grant for her research.

The Lives and Deaths of Academic Library Staplers

This project was created by Jason Vance, librarian and assistant professor, to document the destruction of public staplers through their general use at the reference desk of Middle Tennessee State University’s James E. Walker Library.

Cited Today in Federal Court in Alabama: “literally as I say zombies”

In a decision dated today, March 31, 2014, the Federal Court in Alabama denied the death row petition of Bobby Wayne Waldrop, convicted of the murder of his grandparents in the late 1990s.  Today’s opinion is signed by Judge W. Keith Watkins, for the Middle District of Alabama, Eastern Division.

Library Consortium Tests Interlibrary Loans of e-Books

Duke University’s libraries lend printed books to students and faculty members at other institutions all the time via interlibrary loan. But the university’s 900,000 e-books are off limits to anyone beyond the campus…But lending e-books may soon get easier. This spring a pilot project called Occam’s Reader will test software custom-built to make it both easy and secure for libraries to share e-book files while keeping publishers happy—or so the software’s creators hope.

Libraries Test a Model for Setting Monographs Free

Librarians love to get free books into the hands of scholars and students who need them. Publishers love it when their books find readers—but they also need to cover the costs of turning an idea into a finished monograph. Now a nonprofit group called Knowledge Unlatched is trying out a new open-access model designed to make both librarians and publishers happy.

North Carolina Sorts Out Consequences of LLC Charging Orders

Courts continue to struggle with the effects of LLC charging orders. In a recent North Carolina case the question was whether the grant of a charging order constituted an assignment of the member’s interest and caused him to lose his management rights while the order was in effect.First Bank v. S & R Grandview, L.L.C., No. COA 13-838, 2014 WL 846671 (N.C. Ct. App. Mar. 4, 2014). The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, and held that the charging order did not carry out an assignment of the member’s interest and that the member retained his management rights.

8 Book Historians, Curators, Specialists and Librarians Who Are Killing It Online

When I was a research curator at the New York Public Library, I learned a valuable lesson: unfettered access and Boolean logic will only get you so far. You need someone on the inside. The specialists who work behind locked doors in temperature controlled archives don’t just know their collections – they love them.  And when we love something, how do we show it? We’re protective, of course, but we’re far too excited to keep it a secret. We post the best pictures of the object of our affection online, replete with the wittiest, most informative captions we can think of. We celebrate and tease in a way that only we can, because we know them best, and we care the most.

Federal Judge Rules Voter ID Correspondence, Emails Are Public Records

The North Carolina legislative leaders who led the crafting of the state’s new voter ID law will have to turn over some of their correspondence and email messages to voters and organizations challenging the wide-ranging amendments, according to a federal court ruling.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake issued a ruling on Thursday that addresses an attempt by lawmakers to quash subpoenas seeking email, correspondence and other documents exchanged while transforming the state’s voting process.

Reason to Celebrate: NC Beer Month

Poet T. S. Eliot said, “April is the cruelest month,” and he’s right. Here in North Carolina, April is N.C. Beer Month and it’s exceptionally cruel because I don’t have the ability to make it to all of the fantastic beer events – dinners, tastings, festivals, weekends and smorgasbords – going on across the state. Here’s a list of just a few of the events you can take in whether you find yourself thirsty on the coast, in the Piedmont, in the mountains or in one of our great cities.

Saxophonist Serenades Harry Reid in Senate

Few would confuse the august hallways of the Senate with a jazz club, but it briefly sounded like one on Thursday.  Saxophonist Mindi Abair serenaded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) with the George Gershwin tune “Summertime” after bumping into the top Senate Democrat in the hallway Thursday.

The Absolutely True Diary of Real-Time Book Censorship

In February 2014, a grandparent in Meridian, Idaho filed a formal complaint with the school district against including Sherman Alexie’s multiple-award winning YA novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in curriculum being taught to sophomores in a public high school. (The grandparent apparently took issue with the “cursing and sexual references” in Alexie’s highly acclaimed story about the life of a modern Native American teen.)  The complaint led to a public meeting of the school board on April 1st to discuss the issue and ultimately vote on whether or not to keep the book, which has been on “hold” since February, as part of the school’s supplemental curriculum.  This is not the first time Alexie’s work has been on the chopping block (you can read just a couple of examples here and here), and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but it IS the first time I saw with my very own eyes this kind of book censorship unfold in real time – thanks to a librarian on Twitter who believes in the power of public discourse.

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Resources for Professional Responsibility Courses and the MPRE

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If you are taking or preparing to take a Professional Responsibility course and/or the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), there are many helpful resources and materials at your fingertips.

The Charlotte School of Law Library has a number of professional responsibility treatises, legal periodicals, study aids, and more.  A part of the CSL Research Guide collection, Professional Responsibility outlines and describes the print treatises and e-books available to CSL students, faculty, and staff.  This collection includes major treatises, such as the Model Rules and the Restatement; study aids, including volumes from the Nutshell series; and several other popular resources.  This Guide also includes links to the CSL catalog, where users can click into full-text journals and electronic databases and search for items and articles of interest.*  The Carolinas tab includes jurisdiction-specific resources for present and future practitioners of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Another CSL Research Guide, Academic Success: Professional Responsibility, includes a listing of study materials, including Emanuel Outlines, CrunchTime, E&Es, Barbri Review, Q&As, and more.  It also provides a brief description of the different types of study aids so you can determine what may work best for you.  These items are available for check out in the CSL Law Library.

CSL students also have access to West’s Study Aids Subscription, which has 13 different e-books on the topic of legal ethics and professional responsibility.  A link to those Study Aids is available on your Westlaw homepage.  You may search by keyword or browse by subject.

Finally, on the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) MPRE website, studiers can view NCBE tips on preparing for the MPRE, a subject matter outline of the MPRE, sample test questions from the MPRE, and more.

*Off-campus access to these electronic journals and databases requires a username and password.  Your username is your Last Name, First Name (e.g., Reid, Shannon), and your password is your Library Bar Code Number, which is located on the sticker on the back of your ID badge.

~Shannon Reid~

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Filed under Books & Stuff, Careers, collection, electronic resources, Libguides, Of Interest to Law Students, Student Information, West Study Aids

ALR Student’s Corner: Real Lawyers Have Blogs

Check out Real Lawyers Have Blogs for the Scoop on Social Media and the Legal Community

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Real Lawyers Have Blogs is a legal technology blog authored by Kevin O’Keefe, LexBlog’s CEO and publisher. Through this blog, Mr. O’Keefe encourages law firms to engage in online community building and business development. His posts often stem from Twitter discussions with legal professionals, as Mr. O’Keefe is a frequent tweeter himself.

The content on the blog suggests that its target audience is law firms and lawyers. The posts on the blog widely discuss issues related to lawyers and law firms and their involvement in the online community. For example, the blog discussions range from what lawyers should put in their online profiles to what clients expect in those profiles to what lawyers think about other lawyers who use social media.  Real Lawyers Have Blogs also provides great resources like blog posts about the 10 most popular stories Tweeted during the week and a section on the “Top 10 in Law Blogs,” each providing hyperlinks to the named external blogs.  Real Lawyers Have Blogs lets its users access much of its information through internal and external hyperlinks.

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Real Lawyers Have Blogs also allows its users to stay connected through various social networking sites, including Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Additionally, followers may subscribe to all posts via RSS feed or email. The blog organizes its older posts by month and year. For instance, if a user goes to the “Archives” and selects October 2013 from the drop-down menu, she gets all of the posts from the month of October 2013, starting with the most recent one. The “Archives” goes back 10 years to October 2003.  There are only three posts from that oldest archive, versus the near daily posts of the October 2013 archive, demonstrating the substantial growth of the blog and its readership over the past decade.

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Below the day’s blog posting, there is a section that displays other blog posts authored by Kevin O’Keefe. This area displays the date posted, the name of the original host site for the blog post, a link for further reading of the post’s full text, and a link to the comments posted. To the right of this section, Mr. O’Keefe populates the page with additional articles that would interest lawyers plugged into the online community.  Some of those articles are collected in a section entitled “Best In Law Blogs” which provides a featured blog article, its date and author, and a hyperlink to the “Best In Law Blog Archives” for additional reading. Additional articles can be found in sections entitled “Events” and “New to the Network,” each with its own archives. The format of these sections is clear and easy to read. The information provided here is also a good source of reference for users who enjoy following Mr. O’Keefe’s blogs.

The contact information (address, fax, and phone) for Real Lawyers Have Blogs is at the base of the home page, along with hyperlinks to the blog’s privacy policy and disclaimer information. At the bottom of the blog, there is a great feature that allows readers to quickly access the best and most read blog articles via hyperlink from “Best of Real Lawyers Have Blogs,” “Latest Across LXBN,” and “Most Read.”

There are several ways that users can participate in the blog’s community, particularly those who have mastered the use of social media.  They can post questions or comments through LexBlog or simply fill out the required fields and send their questions or comments from the blog’s home page. A user may also click the “LinkedIn Discussion Group” button to participate in the blog’s community via LinkedIn, or “Like” the blog on Facebook.

Lawyers and law firms alike should keep abreast of the to-dos within the social media community by staying connected to Real Lawyers Have Blogs via Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, RSS feed, or email. Doing so will give lawyers an edge on social media use within the legal profession.

~ Shantel Tatem, L’14 ~

Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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Filed under Advanced Legal Research, electronic resources, Of Interest to Law Students, Student Postings

Demystifying the Job Search Process: When it comes to new hires, what is it that we want?

jobsearchIn the December 2012 issue of Spectrum, Patrick S. Daly raised some important questions and comments on hiring new professional librarians from the perspective of a recent library school graduate. The title of Daly’s piece succinctly raises the article’s core question:

“Hey! Employers! What is it That You Want?”

In this article, I will respond to Daly’s question as well as the issue he raises about job advertisements; namely, that they frequently fall into three categories (the departing IT professional, the departing librarian resume, and the nebulous word cloud), none of which are particularly clear. I am responsible for hiring at my institution, and I have also been on my fair share of interviews during my tenure as a professional librarian. But this article does not solely reflect my experiences. I also conducted a survey of individuals responsible for hiring in all types of law libraries. Survey participants included 74 respondents from private law firms; 81 from academic institutions; 38 from state, court, and county libraries; and a corporate librarian.

Job Postings

Bypassing Daly’s primary question for now, I will first address some of the issues he raised about job postings with a discussion of the job posting creation process.

The creation of a job posting is unique to every institution. Some postings, as Daly mentions, are clearly created using recycled content. Of 138 survey participants who responded to questions about recycling language, 28 percent believe that 50 percent of the language in their institution’s postings is recycled, and 53 percent believe that 75 percent of the language is recycled. When new language is added to a posting, it may be written with an individual’s skillset in mind, but more often, the language added is designed to fill a gap in the skillsets of the current staff at the organization. Of 134 survey participants, 99 percent said they have added new language to job postings for this purpose, and 100 percent stated that new language is added to the position description to reflect an actual need of the organization that, once hired, the candidate will hopefully meet.

In my experience, when I am not creating a completely new position in the library, I will recycle about 50 percent of the language in my postings. The new language in the advertisement addresses an actual need of the library, often where we are lacking particular skills among those currently employed. I rarely include “wish list” language describing either skills that no person actually possesses or current buzzwords.

In his article, Daly describes some job advertisements as nebulous word clouds filled with clichés. He inferred the inclusion of this type of language to mean the librarians at those institutions were not sure what the new library employee would be doing. This may be true in some cases, but often when this type of language is included, it may have less to do with the library and more to do with too many authors or the wrong author drafting the position description. Based on the culture of the organization, the job advertisement may be written by librarians, C-level people, administrators outside the library, or the human resources department. These advertisements may even be written by a combination of all these people, and collaborations are not always successful. In response to my survey questions about language contributions to position descriptions, survey respondents said that their hiring managers contribute as little as 50 percent of the language, library staff contribute anywhere from zero to 100 percent, and human resources departments contribute between 50 and 70 percent of the content. With all of these individuals adding to the descriptions, it is easy to see where a job advertisement may become muddled. If you find yourself confused by a job description, I recommend reaching out to the contact individual whose name is given in the advertisement and asking for further clarification about the position.

“What is it That You Want?”

Now to Daly’s core question to employers: what is it that we want?

From the survey participants’ responses, I developed a list of behaviors that cause employers to remove a person from the application pool. Survey responses indicated that cover letters that weed an applicant out of the interview pool are those that have spelling and grammatical errors, use boilerplate language, exhibit arrogance, or use too much “I” and “me” language.

Some applicants may never receive an interview because their application never made it into the hands or email of the hiring party. Recently, hiring managers have seen more unqualified candidates applying for positions. A Wall Street Journal article, “Your Resume vs. Oblivion,” reported, “Most recruiters report that at least 50% of job hunters don’t possess the basic qualifications for the jobs they are pursuing.” This uptick in unqualified candidates has led many HR departments in the public and private sectors to use applicant-tracking systems to weed out unqualified applicants. The thing to remember with these computer systems is that they rank your application based on keywords, past employers, education, and prior experience in years. If your rank isn’t high enough, you may not make it to the next round. Survey participants were not specifically asked about these bot application tracking systems, but they were asked whether HR prescreened the materials; 59 percent of the 80 respondents said “yes.” In addition, 24 percent stated that they cannot view an applicant’s materials if HR or another department has determined the applicant to be unqualified for the position. If you find yourself forced to fill out an online application, keep the following tips in mind to avoid having the bot kick you out or rank you low:

  • Follow directions and put information in the correct order and format.
  • Add keywords that are present in the job description.
  • Add appropriate language from the organization’s website.
  • List continuing education courses at prestigious schools under education.

Survey participants were asked about onsite visits, as well as phone and Skype interviews. They overwhelmingly responded that a person is likely to be eliminated from the pool of candidates at the interview stage because the personality of the individual does not match up with the person they projected on paper. Both Daniel Goleman, in his Harvard Business Review blog post “The Must-Have Leadership Skill,” and Andrea Kay, in her column “Employers Look Beyond Skills to Character, Attitude,” address this issue. An individual may appear to be a perfect fit on paper, but, in reality, he or she may not possess the interpersonal skills to perform the job successfully. Goleman uses the phrase “social intelligence” to describe these key interpersonal skills necessary for a leader in the workplace. He states, “You can be the most brilliant innovator, problem-solver or strategic thinker, but if you can’t inspire and motivate, build relationships or communicate powerfully, those talents will get you nowhere.” Kay makes similar observations and states in her piece, “You can be the most talented person who walks the Earth and possess proper technical skills. Yet you still won’t get hired because of this: How you seem.”

If you believe your “social intelligence” or “how you seem” are preventing you from getting hired, here are a few recommendations for improving your interview skills:

  • When taking part in an onsite visit, make sure to interact with everyone in the room, not just those who you think are important.
  • During one-on-one conversations, ask questions and show interest in the other person. Don’t just talk about yourself.
  • Don’t overshare about your life, and follow the “Nana rule” (if you wouldn’t tell your Nana, you probably shouldn’t share it in an interview).
  • Do not complain about past interviews or your travel to your present interview.
  • Respond to emails or phone calls from the interviewer promptly. Don’t make them wait a significant amount of time.
  • You need to remember that during every exchange with a hiring manager or interviewer they are asking themselves whether they can work with you and are looking for clues about your maturity, ability to work with others, flexibility, attitude, and character.

I have provided you with some of the key “don’ts” for your application packet and interview, but even more important are the many wonderful “please do the following” comments I received from the voluntary participants in my survey.

In your cover letter, please DO include:

  • Statements about unique things in your work history
  • A demonstration that you meet the qualifications
  • Humor
  • Enthusiasm and desire with your word choice
  • Clever and relevant turns of phrase
  • A demonstration that you have done your homework on the organization
  • Language that is clearly tailored to the job announcement
  • A desire to learn
  • A diversity of interests outside of work
  • A professional and personal tone
  • Active voice
  • A firm statement of what you will bring to this library and why you want to come to the organization
  • A clean format, brevity, and a well-developed vocabulary.

During an interview, please DO:

  • Be on time
  • Show respect to all participants and people you meet at the organization
  • Dress up, not down
  • Practice eye contact and be comfortable talking about yourself and your accomplishments
  • Understand the line between terse and TMI
  • Match the enthusiasm in your cover letter
  • Be proactive, provide samples of work product, and give examples of challenging work projects from prior positions
  • Seek out opportunities to talk with the members of the organization you would be working with about their jobs and the culture of the library
  • Overcome reticence, lest you be eaten alive
  • Highlight the skills you will bring to the staff
  • Be honest about your qualifications and what you can deliver
  • Wait until the later interviews to ask salary questions
  • Show employers you can think on your feet and handle yourself in a stressful situation
  • Ask questions, relax, and be yourself
  • Listen to the questions and comments carefully
  • Be flexible, as well as willing and excited to learn
  • Recognize the dual purpose of the interview: introducing yourself to the potential employer and proving your ability to interact with others effectively
  • Demonstrate stability and willingness to exceed what the job requires.

Best of Luck!

This article is an attempt to demystify some of the baffling elements in the job search process and offer some sound advice from hiring managers from all library types around the country. Feel free to use this as a guide, but know that there are many others in our profession who can also offer you sound advice as you pursue your potential job.

~Kathleen (Katie) Brown~

This article was featured in the November 2013 issue of the AALL Spectrum, the official magazine of the American Association of Law Libraries.

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April Happenings

Here’s what’s happening this month, peeps!

Easter egg hunts:

PALS Easter celebration April 13 at 3:00 pm at Freedom Park (at the Princeton Road entrance). You’ll find everyone in the Princeton shelter!

Romare Bearden Park, Independence Park, Queens UniversityLatta Plantation, Historic Rosedale Plantation, Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt, Peter Rabbit’s Garden Adventure. Charlotte on the cheap has even more!

Easter Brunch deals

Earth Day: Earth Day Play Date

Music Miley Cyrus, Miles and Coltrane, Lady Antebellum, Chevelle, Kenny Loggins, Kat Williams, Bruce Springsteen, Chick Corea, Weezer, Local Natives, Jimmy Buffett, Zucherro, Tuck Fest

Performing Arts: Othello, Other Desert Cities, Ghost the Musical, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Dances of India, Debby Boone—Swing This!, Little Red Riding Hood, All Russian, Charlotte Symphony Youth and Junior Youth Orchestras Youth Festival Concert, Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, Post Secret: the show, Blue Man Group, Peter and the Starcatcher, Tao: Phoenix Rising, Ben Sollee, Spring Forward, Star Gazer: A Trek to Outer Space

Sports: BB&T Ballpark Grand Opening, Charity Golf Tournament, Wells Fargo Championship, Queen’s Cup Steeplechase

For laughs: DL Hughley, Nikki Glaser, Doug Benson, The Rich Guzzi Comedy Hypnosis Show

For the kids: The Reluctant Dragon, The Owl who was afraid of the dark,

For the “furry” kids: Pet Palooza, Bark in the Park

Chews&Booze: Amazing Race Bar Crawl, Taste of the New South Savor the Sixties, Taste of the the Nation, $15 all you can eat crawfish boil at e2, Free cone day at Ben&Jerry’s, Alive After 5

Races: Charlotte 5k Color Vibe, TuckFest Half Marathon, Freemorewest 5k on the Greenway

Other fun events: Girls’ Night Out, Passport for Fashion, Purses with a Purpose,Record Store Day, Jillian Michaels, Tiny House Conference, Dixie Charlotte Gun & Knife Show, Charlotte Auto Fair, Hands on Charlotte Day, Kings Drive Art Walk, Better Living  Home & Garden Expo

~Jamie Sunnycalb~

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Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — March 31, 2014

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 Raleigh’s 50 Foot Librarian: Hunt Library

At North Carolina State University’s Hunt Library, “whoosh” replaces “shhh” as robots zip along the state-of-the-art building’s five-story trove of tomes…  So, meet the bookBot, which takes most of the 1.5 million books in the James B. Hunt Jr. Library in west Raleigh — the Jetsons-modern building on the main oval of North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus — and buries them. It stuffs the books into metal boxes and stacks those boxes 50 feet high down vast, narrow aisles you can’t get to. Think of the enormous warehouse scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark and you’ll have the idea. If you want the books, you ask a robot to get them for you.

Top Lawyer Ads and Stuff on Flickr

Where else can you find a multitasking lighter and beer opener than in Vegas? If Nevada lawyer and Half Price founder Adam Stokes has his way, you should see Half Price Lawyers franchises, lighters, and bottler openers not only in Vegas but also just down the street from you.

Amelie’s Bakery at Center of Social Media Storm

Charlotte-based Amelie’s French Bakery, long known for its social media savvy, has found itself in the middle of an online brush fire after a former employee made his resignation letter public.  Justin Miller, then-manager of Amelie’s production kitchen, posted his resignation letter Friday on Facebook, citing “reservations about the legality of some of the labor policies.” He alleged that employees are asked to work off the clock and that others don’t get overtime pay when they should. In his posting, he said he has filed a “wage theft complaint” with the U.S. Department of Labor.  Pending wage and hour complaints are not public, according to the Labor Department’s website. Miller declined to comment further Monday.

Timeline: How Contraception Cases Got to Supreme Court

The contraception coverage cases going before the Supreme Court Tuesday morning have a long backstory. Below is a timeline of what brought these two cases to the high court.

Where the President’s Budget Would Leave Libraries

President Barack Obama’s $3.9 trillion budget for fiscal year 2015 proposes slight cuts in federal library spending, strongly promotes a variety of early education programs, and funds an ongoing mission to connect students to high-speed Internet in their schools and libraries.  The budget Obama sent to Congress serves largely as a blueprint for the direction he wants to take the administration over the remainder of his second term. This is perhaps most clearly illustrated by the president’s $68.6 billion education plan, which emphasizes wider preschool access along with a technology initiative suitable for the growing digital culture. The fiscal year begins October 1.

Slide Show: American Public Libraries Great and Small

In the course of eighteen years, beginning in 1994, the California-based photographer Robert Dawson took pictures of hundreds of public libraries across the United States. The results are collected in his new book, “The Public Library: A Photographic Essay,” to be released next month. Many writers have written eloquently about the role of libraries in American life (see Mark Twain’s impassioned praise of Fairhaven, Massachusetts’ Millicent Library, in the third slide above), but Dawson’s project makes a powerful case for how public libraries serve communities in every corner of the country. In the introduction, he writes, “Public libraries are worth fighting for, and this book is my way of fighting.”

2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird, and to honor former Alabama law student and author Harper Lee, The University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal partnered together to create the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction in 2010.

We Are Made of Dead Stuff: Amazing Animation Made of Leaves

The notion that we are all stardust, a poetic observation we owe to Carl Sagan, is among the most inspired insights of modern science — an essential reminder that the atoms in our bodies are made of really old stuff, stuff as old as the universe. But while dead stars in our distant past may be poetic, dead stuff in our immediate present is not so much. And yet, it turns out, you and everyone else you know are just two degrees of separation from detritus — the decomposing matter, or dead stuff, that is the secret ingredient of the food chain. That’s exactly what John C. Moore explores in this short film from TED Ed, directed by Biljana Labovic and featuring intricate, impossibly lovely foliage creatures designed by Celeste Lai based on animator Lisa LaBracio’s lifelong leaf collection.

We’ll Have a Global Climate Treaty in 2015

Christiana Figueres is the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. She has to persuade 194 countries to sign a deal in 2015 that will stop global warming.

Revolutionary Ruling: Fed Agency Says Northwestern Players Can Unionize

In a stunning ruling that could revolutionize a college sports industry worth billions of dollars and have dramatic repercussions at schools coast to coast, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University can create the nation’s first union of college athletes.

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