Harvard hosting Fair Use Week Symposium

Harvard’s Office of Scholarly Communication is pleased to share registration information on the fifth annual Fair Use Week symposium, “Tried and True: Fair Use Tales for the Telling” that we will be hosted at Harvard on March 1!

The conference will feature a community of librarians, artists, scholars, lawyers, archivists, and other leading fair use experts in a day of panels and discussions. Featuring Kenneth Crews (keynote), Laura Quilter, Chris Bavitz, Zena Agha, Rebekah Modrak, Brandon Butler, Pia Hunter, and more! Its a free, day-long event of fair use art, tech, food, and fun!

We would love to have you join us! For more information and to register please visit https://5th-anniversary-fair-use-week.eventbrite.com. If you have questions, please contact Emily Kilcer at emily_kilcer@harvard.edu. And follow us online on Twitter: @Fairuseweek and #FairUseWeek

Posted on behalf of LLNE Continuing Education Scholarship recipient Jason Eiseman:

Thanks to a generous Continuing Education Scholarship from LLNE I attended my first 2017 Digital Library Federation Forum (DLF Forum) and National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s Digital Preservation Conferences this October.

The Digital Library Foundation is “a robust and ever more diverse and inclusive community of practitioners who advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies.” Their main event every year is the Digital Library Forum.

The forum includes a wide variety of practitioners who work throughout academia. This included, and I had the opportunity to meet, a number of librarians, IT professionals, faculty, and researchers all interested in the “wise application of digital library technologies.”

Before getting to the actual content of the sessions I think it’s worth noting the unique structure of the conference. Each time block had multiple sessions. Each session had an overarching topic associated with it, and three or more curated presentations related to that topic. In other words the sessions might not be a coordinated and cohesive presentation but rather multiple curated presentations on a topic.

In addition to more traditional panels, there were also workshops which were dedicated to specific topics that often lasted more than one session block as well as working breakfasts and lunches organized by particular DLF groups that served to educate people about the work of those groups, plan for the coming year, and generally discuss a particular topic.

I should also note, one of the great things about DLF was shared community notetaking and material posted to the Open Science Framework . This will make it very easy to review my notes and share relevant material with others. Audience members at every session were encouraged to take notes in the community documents. This also made it much easier to pay attention to the presentation without feeling that I had to take copious notes.

Content-wise the first thing that struck me was how dedicated this professional conference was to the cause of social justice. However, this was often not simply some high-minded ideal discussed abstractly but how this might, would, could or should work in practice was often addressed, even if we didn’t arrive at a definitive answer.

For example, the first session I attended discussed ‘labor’ in digital libraries. I was impressed by how this session, particularly the first presentation, tackled issues of gender and culture head on, but also in such a practical way including discussions about ways to make employee labor on digital scholarship initiatives more visible. Similar themes would appear often throughout the conference – the following links provide two of a number of examples: https://osf.io/x972e/, m5d.

The conference, however, did also include it’s share of practical and techie sessions – many of which were of great relevance. The outreach session included a number of practical approaches one could take. One group discussed their use of Zooniverse to help use a volunteer community to classify old real estate documents. Other libraries are using it to transcribe historical documents like banking records and U.S. Civil War messages.

Finally, there were a number of hot topics which seemed to generate a lot of interest. These hot topic areas are discussed in DLF Groups that appear to be very active and involved in a number of important projects. I attended a number of sessions with the DLF Pedagogy Group and Assessment Group. Just sitting in on their sessions discussing what they’ve been working on proved incredibly valuable. The Assessment group has also created a Digitization Cost Calculator, which is a great resource for digitization projects. We also discussed analytics, and even how to assess the reach of digitized collections and repository items.

The NDSA Digital Preservation conference was a separate conference that began after the DLF Forum. The highlights of the Digital Preservation conference, for me, was the chance to catch up with Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LIPA) Executive Director Margie Maes and attend a great session that included Sharon Bradley from the Library at the University of Georgia School of Law. She was discussing legal issues around digital preservation.

I would highly recommend DLF to other librarians. While law librarians were few and far between the content was still relevant. Discussions of digital humanities, data, digital libraries, institutional repositories, and similar issues cut across all different types of libraries. Law librarians would do well to explore DLF and similar conferences to get different perspectives on how we might approach some of our work. I certainly valued my time there and appreciate LLNE for affording me the opportunity to make it happen.

ANHLL Invites LLNE Members: Monday, October 16th in NH

Interested in hearing from the people behind the editorial enhancements in Westlaw?  The Association of New Hampshire Law Librarians is having a meeting on Monday, October 16th at 2:00pm at McLane Middleton in Manchester and invites LLNE members to join them. Their speakers (via videoconference) are from Westlaw: Bob Smits for KeyCite questions, plus someone from the headnote writing group and the classification group.

If you are an LLNE member interested in attending, please contact Mary Searles at msearles@courts.state.nh.us .

From LLNE Scholarship Winner, Jessica Almeida

My AALL Conference Journey

I had the great fortune of receiving a scholarship through LLNE to attend the AALL conference in Austin.  As I write this, I am flying home from Austin filled with new ideas and new opportunities for further collaboration.  As a first-time attendee, I had no idea what to expect.  So, I asked every law librarian I knew for advice.  I joined the AALL Host Program, so I could ask the librarian I was paired with for advice.  I scoured over the schedule and planned my time down to the minute.  I got new business cards and packed comfortable shoes.  After four amazing and exhausting days in Austin, I know that these takeaways will contribute to my development as a professional.

At every program I attended, I took away something meaningful.  Working in public services, I gravitated toward programs where I learned how to put together successful DYI marketing materials and curate interesting social media content.  I also learned about how to better serve our transgender patrons and how to make the library more accessible after hours.  Throughout the conference, I tried to fully participate, whether through discussion, tweeting during presentations and events, or engaging passerbys during poster sessions.

I found attending the roundtables gave me a greater perspective on how our little library stacks up in the larger world of law libraries.  I was also able to gain insight into innovative programs that other libraries are adopting as well as shared my own experiences.

One of my unexpected favorite sessions of the conference was a discussion den where a small group of women discussed raising families, working full time, and making time for professional development.  Being six months pregnant with my second child, this discussion really resonated with me.

For me, the greatest part of the conference was all the wonderful law librarians I met and spoke to.  In all honesty, I am a bit shy.  Four days of attempting to initiate conversations can be a little overwhelming.  But I want to thank all the wonderful librarians who took the time to speak with me.  From the law librarians on the plane and the shuttle bus to all the RIPS and LISP members who I only knew through email as well as all the LLNE members who introduced themselves or remembered me from previous meetings.  Thank you.  Your kindness and generosity helped make my first AALL conference a success.

 

Updated: Fall 2016 Meeting

The LLNE Fall Meeting will be held in Portland Maine, at the Westin Harborview Hotel on Friday October 28, 2016.  For links to the conference and hotel reservations see: http://lawguides.mainelaw.maine.edu/c.php?g=562485

The program, entitled By The Numbers: Law Library Assessment, will focus on the tools used for data collection in law libraries and assessment of all segments of law librarianship.  Teresa Migel-Sterns, Director of the Yale Law Library will talk about ALLStAR Benchmarking, a tool to be used in academic law libraries for data collection and analysis.

Scott Bailey, Director of Research Services at Squire Sanders in D.C., will be discussing a project he and the Private Law Librarians & Information Professionals SIS of AALL has developed for assessing the work of private law libraries.

A third session will be an UN-Conference focusing on the new ABA Standards for Outcome Assessments and what academic law librarians are doing to comply with these standards in their legal research instruction.  This will be led by Stephanie Weigmann, Associate Director for Research, Faculty Services and Educational Technology at Boston University School of Law.

Last, but certainly not least, the afternoon will be capped off with a celebration of LLNE’s 70th Anniversary.  There will be cake and champagne and displays filled with LLNE memories!  So reach out to the retired members you still keep in touch with and invite them to join us in our celebration!

Registration for the meeting will be 40.00 per person, with a reduced rate for retired LLNE members and students (20.00).  There is a block of rooms set aside for this meeting at the Westin Harborview Hotel to be reserved at a reduced rate.

A Deep Dive into Big Data

A Deep Dive into Big Data

Brian Flaherty

I have a colleague who now and again laughs about the time “when we were wizards.”  When we reference librarians would wave our wands (or eyes) over digests or (worse yet) shepards – gibberish to mere muggles – and come up with citations to relevant legal authority crowned with the title “good law.”  He points out that we are no longer wizards – that with google scholar & well chosen search terms, people unfamiliar with the law are able to do adequate legal research (of course, I’m quick to point out that “adequate legal research” just doesn’t cut it these days).

I say this because just now, I think some librarians look at “big data” as mystical, and at the folks who can harvest and manipulate it as magicians.  But demystifying it is, I think, essential for a clear understanding of what’s behind it, how powerful it is, and how it can be used.  The “Deep dive” on big data went a long way towards doing this.  I am going to attempt a short summary, but what I write here will be inadequate.  I urge everyone to get the powerpoints and reading lists from the AALL site when they’re available, and become familiar with this.  The overused phrase fits here: it is the future of the law practice.

Briefly: Big Data are information sets that are too large or complex for traditional processing models.  For example: a data set including every federal case would be “Big data.”  Robert Kingan from Bloomberg Law began the program with a great definition of what constitutes big data, and a discussion of just how difficult it is to collect it in a form that is useful for any kind of analysis.  He said that some 80-90% of the work for any kind of a project is just collecting and cleaning the data, putting it into a format where it can be used.  Think, for example, of getting the aforementioned set of all federal cases into a spreadsheet, where one column was “Judges name” and you begin to get a feel for how huge an endeavor this is.  Daniel Lewis from Ravel talked a bit about how they go about manipulating the data once they’ve got it – with a short discussion of the uses of SQL and NoSQL (“Not Only SQL”) and the benefits of both.  Irina Matveeva from NexLP gave a short discussion of Language Processing – what would seem to be the next step of data analysis – where there are programs that can do document analysis, email forensics, and other linguistic manipulation extremely quickly.

Following this introduction, and a brief discussion of how BloomberLaw (Robert), Ravel (Daniel) and NextLP harness Big Data in the resources they provide, we were given the opportunity to explore what planning a “Big Data”project would be like.  Folks got into groups at tables and devised a possible project, a list of some of the resources they would need, and a list of some of the necessary players (e.g. librarians, programmers, 3rd party vendors).  Some of the ideas were fantastic: one table talked about creating a predictive tool that could be used to determine whether a law enforcement officer would be likely to be accused of a civil rights violation – and what kind of data sources would be necessary to create such a tool (personal history? Demographic information?).  At our table, one person was engaged in creating a resource that would predict the likelihood that a piece of legislation would pass – and so we talked about the data necessary to do that: the sponsor’s history, party affiliation, words in bill titles that have passed, public sentiment (retrieved from news sources & social media).

In all, Big Data is fascinating stuff – incredibly useful for its predictive value of everything from the outcome of a court case, to the passage of legislation.  Not only should we be paying attention, we should be “deep diving” into it, to understand what it can do for us and the legal community.