Category Archives: Blue Book

BLS Library Services Continuing Remotely (Library closed until further notice)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.8 requires all employers, with the exception of “essential services or functions,” to reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 100% as of 8 p.m. on March 22, 2020. As a result, Brooklyn Law School Library is closed until further notice.

BLS librarians and staff are continuing to provide library services remotely. We are continually updating a web guide about how to remotely access online resources: Many major casebook publishers are making ebook versions of casebooks available for free to students through the end of the semester; access information is found in the guide under the tab “Online Access to Case Books.” Information about how to request 60-day online access to the legal Bluebook can also be found in the guide.

Our reference librarian team is also ready and willing to help with reference questions. We are providing reference services online, Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. 

If you have any questions or requests relating to library or reference services, please contact us by email at or by text at (718) 734-2432.  

Stay safe!

Beware the Bootleg Bluebook

Richard Posner doesn’t like the Bluebook. He has railed against it for years, devoting entire articles in the University of Chicago Law Review (1986) and the Yale Law Journal (2011) to the horrors of what he deems an ever-growing monstrosity. In a December 2016 article for Green Bag, Judge Posner stated that among the reforms he would implement at federal appellate courts, the first thing to do is burn all copies of the Bluebook, in its latest edition 560 pages of rubbish”.

Well, one person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure.  Enter the Bootleg Bluebook.  

Say what? Of all the things to make knockoffs of, why the Bluebook? It isn’t a literary bestseller like Harry Potter and it sure as heck isn’t Louis Vuitton. Even the Kelley Blue Book would seem a likelier candidate for a fake. Then again, with over 35,000 students matriculating at ABA-accredited law schools annually, the built-in demand means that a lot of Bluebooks are sold every year.

Unfortunately some BLS students who bought Bluebooks through third party vendors have been victimized by these fakes.  We’ve heard that students at other law schools have run into this problem too.

Imagine a student at Any Law School, U.S.A., meticulously poring over the Bluebook to make sure everything is cited correctly for their first legal writing assignment. Only to get his or her paper back, marked up to the hilt with corrections in red ink.

“But I cited to page 16 of the Bluebook. Id at 100, no period after Id

“That’s not correct and not what it says in my copy. Let me see your Bluebook.”

Sorry. It’s fake.

I feel for students who are using the Bluebook for the first time only to find out that their trusted source was a bootleg.  Fake news we can handle. But fake Bluebooks?

One of the BLS students was kind enough to lend us their bootleg copy.  It’s basically a case of OCR gone bad.  Periods vanished, text out of sync, commas turned to periods and vice versa, blurry text, off-kilter page numbers, and the most common error: missing spaces. New jersey losing its capitalization and making you think of swag rather than state — while the III for Illinois makes you want to yell “My kingdom for a horse!” Interestingly, the Chinese and Japanese characters seemed to be in good shape, though the bootleggers couldn’t decide what color print to use and kept switching back and forth between black and blue.    




So the Public Service Announcement for today: It’s best to get your Bluebook directly from the publisher or from a trusted retailer, rather than through a third party vendor.

It’s nice to know, though, that the bootleggers got this citation on page 510 right:

Richard A. Posner, The Bluebook Blues, 120 Yale L.J. 850 (2011).



Reinventing the Library

libraryReinventing the Library, a NY Times Op-Ed by Argentine-born Canadian anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist and editor Alberto Manguel is worth reading for anyone interested in the future of libraries. Recognizing that the dismantling of libraries occurs in periods of economic crisis when cutting funds to culture seems so easy to some, the author envisions a future as more than a simple matter of economics. He states:

Libraries are resilient. Intent on surviving in an age where the intellectual act has lost almost all prestige, libraries have become largely social centers. Most libraries today are used less to borrow books than to seek protection from harsh weather and to find jobs online, and it is admirable that librarians have lent themselves to these very necessary services that don’t traditionally belong to their job description. A new definition of the role of librarians could be drafted by diversifying their mandate, but such restructuring must also ensure that the librarians’ primary purpose is not forgotten: to guide readers to their books.

Libraries have always been more than a place where readers come to read. The librarians of Alexandria no doubt collected things other than books: maps, art, instruments, and readers probably came there not only to consult books but also to attend public lectures, converse with one another, teach and learn. And yet the library remained principally a place where books, in all their various forms, were stored for consultation and preservation.

The Op-Ed article notes that libraries are forced to take on functions that society is too miserly  to fulfill, and meeting those obligations diminishes funds for buying new books and argues that in changing the role of libraries without preserving the centrality of the book, we risk losing something irretrievable. But libraries deal with more than Books. They also offer Information. A bibliocentric view of libraries stresses the importance of printed texts and ignores the expanding nature of library services. Such a view may contribute to library image problems. Increasingly, libraries offer information services not just printed books. Brooklyn Law School Library provides both. Recently, BLS Library hosted its Fourth Annual Library Databases Research Fair. This week and next, BLS Library Director Janet Sinder scheduled Bluebooking for Success workshops on using the Blue Book geared to first year students and others. Where possible, BLS Library purchases books in eBook format. This means users can access books online through home computers, library computers and mobile devices. It is not just printed books that “show us our responsibilities toward one another, help us question our values and undermine our prejudices, lend us courage and ingenuity to continue to live together, and give us illuminating words that might allow us to imagine better times.”

With libraries changing from print to digital repositories and information centers, consider two recent Second Circuit Court of Appeals decisions:  Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google and Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust, 755 F.3d 87 (2d Cir. 2014). Both decisions expand access to collections available in libraries, making material accessible in new ways to researchers and readers and providing access for print-disabled persons. Court opinions validating book scanning shows how libraries are changing. They must now deal in information that it is used and produced in diverse new ways. All libraries, both public and private, are adjusting. Libraries remain as important as ever to information literacy and the preservation and of culture and learning.

Research & Citation Review Workshops

In anticipation of the first year Research and Citation Quiz, the Library will offer two review workshops.

180px-The_Bluebook_18th_ed_CoverThe workshop on Bluebooking with Success will be offered twice; you may attend either session.  Please bring your Bluebook!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Room 601

Thursday, October 22, 2015, 5:00pm – 6:00pm, Room 503


ContentImage-6275-95126-shutterstock_108141146You may bring your research questions to this Question & Answer Workshop.  We will also go over some sample quiz questions.

Monday, October 26, 2015, 5:00pm – 6:00pm, 7th floor Moot Court Room


Looking forward to seeing you at these timely and helpful research & citation review sessions.

20th Edition of the Bluebook

BluebookThe Brooklyn Law School Library is adding ten copies of the newly released 20th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Call #KF245 .B58) to the Reserve Collection at the Circulation Desk as well as a copy to the Reference Collection at the Reference Desk.

There are changes in content but now the numbering of the rules in the Bluepages (non-academic citation) parallels the numbering in the Whitepages (academic citation). Typeface rules were relaxed to permit use of large and small caps in court documents for stylistic purposes. Rule 14 includes more examples of citations for a wide variety of administrative materials. Rule 15 adds a citation format for e-books. Rule 18 was revised and is much clearer. It no longer distinguishes between direct and parallel citations to Internet sources, and no longer requires that the URL be preceded by “available at.”

The new edition of the Bluebook recognizes as a reliable tool for preserving internet sources.Rule 18.1 provides the Basic Citation Forms for Internet Sources table on page 178 and gives the following example for citing to archived sources:

Rule 18.1 Basic Citation Forms for Internet Sources table on page 178:

  • Rocio Gonzalez, Puerto Rico’s Status Debate Continues as Island Marks 61 Years as a Commonwealth, HUFFINGTON POST (July 25, 2013, 9:00 AM), [].

The Bluebook includes a new rule: 18.2.1(d), which states:

Archiving of Internet sources is encouraged, but only when a reliable archival tool is available. For citations to Internet sources, append the archive URL to the full citation in brackets.

  • Letter from Rose M. Oswald Poels, President/CEO, Wis. Bankers Ass’n, to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Sec’y, SEC (Sept. 17, 2013), [].

Reminder: First Year Research Quiz Review Today & Bluebook Review Thursday

question-mark-460868_640If you are worried about your upcoming Legal Research and Bluebook Quiz, have no fear. Reference librarians are here to help. Bring any and all of your research questions and concerns to today’s or next Tuesday’s session. Librarians will answer your questions and address your concerns. This Q & A session is solely designed to answer questions. There will be no formal presentation. So if you have questions or are confused about some aspect of legal research, stop by Room 401 between 4pm-5pm today, October 28, 2014. If you cannot make today’s session, come next Tuesday, November 4, 2014 to Room 401 from 5pm-6pm.
Struggling with the Bluebook? Do you need a review prior to your quiz? Library Director and Professor Janet Sinder will guide you through everything you need to know about the Bluebook for your research quiz. Professor Sinder will hold two sessions for students on the Bluebook’s basics, including short form citation and sample questions. The first Bluebook review is on Thursday, October 30 from 4pm-5pm in Room 501. The second review session is next Monday, November 3 from 5pm-6pm in Room 601.

Bluebooking & Research Review Sessions for First Years

180px-The_Bluebook_18th_ed_CoverThe Library will hold two “Bluebooking with Success” sessions for first year students.  The presenter will be Professor Janet Sinder, Library Director.  Students may attend either session; no sign-up is necessary.   The dates, times & room numbers are:

Thursday, October 30, 2014, 4pm – 5pm, Room 501.

Monday, November 3, 2014, 5pm – 6pm, Room 601.



ContentImage-6275-95126-shutterstock_108141146The Library will also offer two “Research Question & Answer” Sessions for 1Ls prior to their research quiz.  Students may attend either session; no sign-up necessary.  Dates, times, rooms below:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 4pm – 5pm, Room 401.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 5pm – 6pm, Room 401.




Bluebooking With Success Workshops: 10/31 & 11/4

BLS Library Director and Blue Book expert Janet Sinder will again hold a series of workshops on using the Blue Book this fall.  These workshops are geared to first year students, but open to all.  No reservations are needed.

The workshops will be held on Thursday, October 31, 2013, from 4:00pm to 5:00pm in Room 401 and on Monday, November 4, 2013 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm in Room 601.

Hope to see you there!