On the eve of the midterms, you might want to bone up on your knowledge of United States election law. The Brooklyn Law School Library maintains a deep collection of election law titles that discuss and analyze a variety of issues from gerrymandering to campaign finance laws to the Voting Rights Act. To see a full list of titles on the subject of election law, search the SARA catalog for the subject “election law”. Some of our more recent titles are listed below.
Didn’t have time to put on your “Scary Executive Order” costume? You can still get into the spirit of Halloween by stopping by the BLS Library circulation and reference desks for a spooky treat! As an additional non-sugary treat, we have been listening to the Student Bar Association’s concerns. Librarian Jean Davis reports: “The SBA asked, we listened! There are now staplers in the library’s 3rd floor/basement computer labs and by the printing stations.”
(Photos courtesy of Jean Davis)
The library held its Seventh Annual Databases Research Fair on October 3, 2018, in the third floor Phyllis & Bernard Nash Reading Room. Representatives from Bloomberg Law, EBSCO, Fastcase, Lexis, Westlaw, and Wolters Kluwer came to showcase their legal research platforms to students. BLS librarians were also on hand to demonstrate HeinOnline and research tools available on the BLS Library website.
The mix of 1Ls and upperclass students enjoyed stopping by vendor tables, learning about the latest database features while picking up swag like portable wireless speakers, coffee mugs, tote bags, and pens. Students who had visited at least 5 vendors also qualified to enter the raffle. For the prizes, BLS Library and the vendors contributed gift cards ranging from $10 to $100, with a total value of $385. Congratulations to the nine lucky students who won the raffle gift cards!
Finally, it must be noted that the research fair was organized, as always, by Associate Librarian Linda Holmes. After 37 years with the library, Linda’s last day at BLS was today, October 5. We wish her a very happy retirement! It speaks to the success of the event, and to Linda’s superb organization, that on the day of the research fair a 3L student told us “The day of the research fair is my favorite day of the school year.” And the next day, after she received an email from Linda notifying her that she had won a raffle prize: “I was so happy, I did a little dance.”
Last month, the Library of Congress launched an online searchable database of Congressional Research Service reports (CRS reports). CRS reports are written by experts in a particular field. They present a legislative perspective on topics such as agriculture policy, banking regulation, the environment, veteran’s affairs, etc. Founded over a century ago, the Congressional Research Service’s purpose is to provide Congress with authoritative and confidential research and analysis on the issues before both chambers. The reports used to be available for a fee, but the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 changed that. The Act directs the Library of Congress to make CRS reports publicly available online. You can access the CRS Reports at crsreports.congress.gov
I ran a couple of test searches on the platform. A search of the term “environment” retrieved 93 results. A search for the term “trade” retrieved 102 results. Like other online tools, there are filters on the left you can use to narrow your result list. These filters include: topics, authors, and date. You can also search within your results to retrieve a more refined list.
On September 25, 2018, as part of Brooklyn Law School’s “International Law Week” events, BLS librarians held an International Law Research open house at the library. Over 60 students stopped by to learn about international legal research resources at BLS, including databases, research guides, and class-specific resources. They munched on Chocolates of the World, and entered the raffle: the lucky winners got to take home prizes that included Amazon gift cards, and BLS polo shirts, baseball caps, and water bottles.
As usual, LeBron (Associate Librarian for International Law, Jean Davis) was a force on the court, preparing many detailed and helpful handouts, and teaching students all about the databases and tools they could use. Check out the resources she compiled on Human Rights in Myanmar here.
The 7th Annual Library Databases Research Fair will be held on Wednesday, October 3, 2018. The fair will be held in the Library’s 3rd Floor Phyllis and Bernard Nash ’66 Reading Room from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.
Representatives from the following legal research companies will be present to demonstrate their databases:
- Bloomberg Law
- Lexis Nexis
- Wolters Kluwer
- Handouts/Brochures & Pens/Post-Its provided by Hein Online
There will be handouts, give-aways, & light refreshments. A raffle drawing for gift cards will be held at 5:45pm.
Come and learn how these databases will help you with your legal research.
Save the date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 3:00pm – 6:00pm, 3rd Floor Nash Reading Room.
Book TV aired from 10 AM to 6 PM from the Phyllis & Bernard Nash ‘66 Reading Room on the third floor of the library, covering eight lively author panels that debated the panelists’ works on immigration, innovation, the squeezing of the middle class, and other timely topics. BLS Interim Dean Maryellen Fullerton kicked off the programming in the morning, welcoming participants and noting that Brooklyn Law School has long been an integral part of the Brooklyn Book Festival. The Nash Reading Room was filled to capacity for many of the panels, including War on Truth and Journalism, featuring Linda Greenhouse, April Ryan, and Eli Saslow, and moderated by BLS Professor and President of the ACLU, Susan Herman. Brooklyn Law School also hosted panels in the student lounge and in Room 401, and an estimated 2,500 visitors came to BLS for the festival.
Getting to engage with authors while snagging Book TV tote bags and other swag? Not a bad way to spend part of the weekend!
The 2018 Brooklyn Book Festival begins today! The Festival has been held every year since 2006 and typically draws over 30,000 attendees. According to the organizers:
The Brooklyn Book Festival is one of America’s premier book festivals and the largest free literary event in New York City. Presenting an array of national and international literary stars and emerging authors, the Festival includes a week of Bookend Events throughout New York City, a lively Children’s Day and a celebratory Festival Day with more than 300 authors plus 250 booksellers filling a vibrant outdoor Literary Marketplace.
Festival Day is Sunday, September 16, and as in past years, several events will take place at Brooklyn Law School. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Linda Greenhouse, who covered the Supreme Court for decades for the New York Times, will be on the panel discussing War on Truth and Journalism at 3:00 PM in the library’s Phyllis & Bernard Nash Reading Room. BLS Interim Dean Maryellen Fullerton will moderate the discussion From the Border: People and Politics at 4:00 PM, also in the Nash Reading Room. Many other fascinating talks and panel discussions will be held at BLS in the Student Lounge, Room 401, and the Nash Reading Room: click here for the full schedule.
If you have never attended and are intrigued, be sure to check out Book Festival In My Backyard, a post by BLS librarian Jean Davis about the 2017 event.
See you this weekend at the Festival!
On Thursday September 20th, Prof. Fajans and Librarian Kathy Darvil are holding their semi-annual workshop on how to research and write a seminar paper in Room 402. The workshop is from 4-5:30 PM. Topics covered include sources for selecting your topic, sources for researching your topic, and strategies for effectively organizing and writing your paper. If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can access an online research guide which contains a recording of the workshop, links to and descriptions of all the research sources discussed, and the writing and research presentations. The online guide is available at guides.brooklaw.edu/seminarpaper. From the guide’s main page, you can access the recording of the presentation, Professor Fajans’ slideshow on how to write your seminar paper, and Kathy Darvil’s online presentation on how to research your seminar paper. If you should need further help selecting or researching your topic, please stop by the reference desk for assistance.
Our regular library hours starting today, August 27, 2018, are:
Monday – Thursday 8am-12am
Stop by the reference desk if you have questions: a reference librarian is usually at the desk Monday-Thursday from 9am-8pm, and Friday-Saturday from 9am-5pm. If we’re not at the desk, feel free to ask us a question at askthelibrary.brooklaw.edu or text us at (718) 734-2432. Finally, don’t forget the research guide for 1Ls that is full of useful resources and tips.