Federal Procurement Law is not something I know much about. My dad, an attorney with a quasi-governmental agency, suggested the site PubKLaw. This site is aimed at public and private sector legal and acquisition professionals. There are updates on cases, regulations, and hot issues. A listserv is available for a fee.

Labor Statistics We have an active labor department. Just last week, I was asked to find the bylaws and constitution of a union local. I'm also asked for statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is chock full of them. The Collective Bargaining section has data on work stoppages.

Another favorite around here is the Producer Price Index, which measures the average change in the prices producers receive for their output. It never fails- I'm always asked for some odd category, so I end up creating my own tables.


The End of the Week I knew when I posted about things being slow in the library that it would come back to bite me in the butt, and boy, has it ever. *Whew* I've had corporate research, corporate research, corporate research. Wednesday night I stayed an hour late and that's never happened before. It's been quite a while since I've been this grateful for the weekend. I hope you enjoy your weekend... I know I will. I'll be back with more research-type stuff next week.


Another Article About News Aggregators Steve and Ernie and Jenny (among others) have been touting news aggregators for months now. Wired's got a new article up about them titled Aggregators Attack Info Overload. I use Amphetadesk. It's free, it's easy, and I haven't had any problems.
I'm Giving Away All My Secrets- Come and Get 'Em! Part of my job is to send out a monthly "Web Watch" to the attorneys, paralegals, and other librarians in my firm. The Web Watch contains links to websites and articles, along with short annotations. Most of these links I've discovered in my own searches on the Web, but sometimes I need a little nudge. That's why I subscribe to email lists. The lists keep me current, even when I'm not able to surf the Web on my own because of other projects. I subscribe to:

Keep in mind that many of these are newsletters for websites that have RSS feeds. I like to get updates in my inbox even if I subscribe to a site's feed.

I'm sure I've forgotten some. Are there any I've missed? Let me know!


I'd been writing a whole post about good Web link email lists for ready for you Thursday afternoon. I'd almost finished it when all the lights went out. I walked down 32 flights of stairs and seven (give-or-take)miles from my office in midtown to my home in Brooklyn before it got dark. The power came back on by 4:30 the next afternoon.

My daily number of hits has been steadily growing. Thanks to Excited Utterances, Corp Law Blog, Inter-Alia, and Library Stuff for the plugs. (Ed. note: I forgot Bag and Baggage. Sorry!)


Election Law Librarians' Index to the Internet New This Week (Subscribe! Subscribe now!) mentions the Election Law blog. The blog's written by Richard Hasen, a law professor at Loyola in LA. It's got news, commentary, cases... all the good stuff.

I follow politics and I've voted in damn near every election since I turned 18, but I doubt that I would've checked out the link if it weren't for the mishegas going on out in California. The whole idea of recall seems unreal. Representative recall is possible in about 1/4th of U.S. states, mostly in the west, according to the encyclopedia entry I read. That explains why I didn't know about it, since most of my life has been spent in the eastern U.S. no further west than Texas, save that year in Salt Lake when I was 10.


Federal District Court Dockets LLRX has an article that explains how to decipher the information contained in dockets. [Thanks to Research Buzz for the link.]


Don't Discount the Phone A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to find the most recent directory from the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education.

First thought? Why, OCLC, of course. I ran a search and discovered that the directory I needed was a serial and that there weren't many holding libraries. Unfortunately, OCLC only tells you what libraries have, not what's been published. I couldn't tell what the latest directory was.

Next up, Books in Print, which I accessed through NYPL's Electronic Resources collection. I have serious concerns about answering reference questions at a for-profit entity using free databases provided by a non-profit entity, but I occasionally do it anyway with a pain in my heart. No luck.

Then, web search. (I can't really tell you whether this was truly my third search. The process happens so fast). I found reference to their publications, but no link to the Association itself. Google, Yahoo. I went to the Baruch College website and searched the directory. Nothing. Strange.

In my searching, I'd found a mention of the Center on a page hosted by the School of Public Affairs at Baruch. (Another tip: always analyze the web address! You can get really good leads!) I called the School's main number. The Center had been transferred to Hunter College (and isn't listed on their web directory, either). Long story short, after being transferred twice and hung up on once, I was able to speak with someone at the Center directly. They were able to tell me which directory was the latest and I ordered it.

Sometimes, you waste more time on the Web. Just pick up the phone.


Free Courses from MIT I read about this several months ago, but this month's Wired has an article on the OpenCourseWare Project from MIT. (I'd link to the article, but it doesn't seem to be online.) They have made many previous semesters' coursework (lectures, class notes, exams, reading lists) available for free on the Internet. The article discusses the ways people around the world are making use of the courses. Apparently, videos of some of the lectures are online, though I couldn't find any for the courses I might be interested in checking out (Linguistics, Urban Planning, Architecture, etc.)


Major Faux Pas Today is the summer associates' last day. One of them came by to thank me, which was really sweet. What do I do to thank him? I asked him whether he'll be coming back next year. It turns out that the poor guy didn't get an offer. He didn't seem upset that I asked the question. And of course, I apologized profusely. Last year, I was very careful not to ask about offers, lest I upset someone, but it seemed everyone I knew received an offer, so I wasn't so careful with the subject this year. I'm wondering whether we're just not hiring as many people.

Things are slow slow slow. (Knock on wood). I should continue to work on the library homepage. It needs a complete overhaul. Right now, it is very very basic mid-90s, which is all my doing. I opted for the whaddyaneedhere'swheretogetit simple outline format, which seems to satisfy the audience. I don't have advanced skills and there's really no opportunity to expand my skill set unless I want to buy the books myself. Since I've been told a portal is imminent, I think I'm going to wait.


What's Up With Hedge Funds? You can find out what the SEC's doing
regarding them, at least, at their Spotlight on Hedge Funds. I have been asked for information about them several times. Invariably, each time I'm asked the question, I have to freshen up on exactly what they are, so I appreciate the Heads Up on Hedge Funds page most of all. [Thanks to CorpLawBlog for the link.]


Donation Boxes NYPL's putting out donation boxes to make up for all the books that they can no longer buy. The situation's horrible and getting worse every day. At least someone's drawing attention to it. [Thanks to Peter Scott for the link.]
I Hate Bad Search Engines I'm often asked for recent New York Law Journal articles. Most of the time, the requestor doesn't have the exact date of the article or they don't have a client charge (or just don't want to pay money). Hence, no Westlaw or Lexis. That means the NYLJ website- the thought of it makes me cringe. You just can't find anything. It doesn't matter if you follow their search hints. It doesn't matter if the article just appeared in the print version and one of the title words is utterly unique. Nothing.

Recently, they revamped their website. I needed to get an article, and toot-sweet, for a kind partner who's always in a hurry. What do I see on the front page? A prominent box that says Search Site. I type in the word "whistleblower." Nothing. (Now, I know from the info he's given me that he got an e-newsletter specifically citing to this article. Odd.... it should come up in a site search, then.) The "no results" page has a link to the Search Help, so I check it out, wondering how I could possibly have searched differently to come up with the article I need.

Surprise, surprise. The Search Help page lists 2 other search engines, Newswire and Practice Center, which gives me the article I'm looking for. How was I supposed to know that these other two searches exist? How was I supposed to know that Search Site really only means stories that appeared in the New York Law Journal and not literally the whole site???

I think they either need to explain things a little better or put everything in plain sight.

FASB Statements- Full Text! Financial Accounting Standards Board now has the full-text for every statement issued since 1973 on their website. Plus, access summary and status information. [Thanks to Genie for the link.]
US Joins Madrid Protocol According to an INTA press release, the treaty takes effect for the US on November 2 of this year. The benefit, says Kathryn Barrett Park, is that trademark owners will now have the option to use the International Registration system to protect their trademarks in all of the 59 Madrid Protocol-member countries with only one application, in one language and with one set of fees in a single currency.


Federal Register I know the summers and first-years are usually a bit confused when they have to deal with regulatory information. Occasionally, I need a brush-up, too. Especially when the summers and first-years are asking me questions! NARA's got a tutorial called The Federal Register: What It Is and How to Use It that seems like it'll be helpful in the future.


Welcome to my first post at Legal References. I've been blogging for over a year on a personal site. However, as a legal reference librarian with Intranet responsibilities, every day I come across websites, articles, and news that I want to share but that might not be appropriate (or, more likely, interesting) for the readers of my regular blog.

I hope to bring something new to an already crowded field that includes amazing blogs and websites like Inter Alia, Library Stuff, Librarian.net, BeSpacific, and The Virtual Chase.

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