Monday, June 30, 2008

Hey, That's MY Hein!

Legal researchers already know HeinOnline as a great source for obtaining the full text of older law review articles in PDF. It's also the place to go for historical versions of primary U.S. legal sources like Statutes at Large, the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations, and the Congressional Record (whose scanning project will be completed later this week). In recent years, Hein has also become a major source for foreign and international law materials, with its full reprint of the English Reports and an extensive "Treaties and Agreements Library".

But in such a big database, how can you keep track of all your research? The HeinOnline Blog just announced the debut of MyHein, a new service which allows users to bookmark search results for later visits as well as save their search queries. Although the features are most useful for those who choose to register with individual usernames and passwords (since their information will be saved from session to session), the service is also available to unregistered users (although your information will be deleted when you close your HeinOnline session).

Check out the MyHein Video Tutorial for more information.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

BNA Services Get a Facelift

Although it’s hard to tell from the entry page, the Bureau of National Affairs online publications underwent a redesign earlier this week. BNA is a major publisher of services (also known as “looseleaf services” in their print incarnations), such as the United States Law Week and the Criminal Law Reporter. These services provide practitioners and scholars with information about the latest developments in a particular area of law, through case summaries and expert analyses. The redesign improves the general look and feel of the publications, in addition to providing more personalization options for repeat visitors.

To view the new and improved version of your favorite BNA publications, choose a title from the list. Some titles (such as the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Responsibility) automatically launch the redesigned version; others offer a link in red text to “Preview Our New Platform”. If you would like to offer your feedback about the new design, BNA is conducting a survey during the beta testing period.

You may not be aware that you can also receive updates by e-mail of your favorite BNA publications. View the brief slideshow below for the steps.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Faces at the Reference Desk

Over the summer, you may notice two new faces at the Reference Desk. Meet our two newest reference librarians:

Amy Taylor came to the Law Library in May 2008. Prior to joining Duke Law, Amy was a reference librarian at the Georgetown University Law Center, and has also interned at the Supreme Court of the United States Library. Amy provides general reference assistance, teaches in the first-year Legal Analysis, Research & Writing program, and coordinates the Library's Empirical Legal Research Program.

Molly Brownfield joins the Law Library staff on July 1. Molly previously worked as a reference librarian at the Rutgers School of Law in Newark, and has also worked at the Tarlton Law Library at UT-Austin as part of its fellowship program. Molly will provide general reference assistance, teach in the first-year Legal Analysis, Research & Writing program, and coordinate the Library's Faculty Research Assistants Program.

During the remainder of the renovation, Amy and Molly can be found in Law School Room 3027. Please join us in welcoming Amy and Molly to the Duke Law team.

Friday, June 20, 2008

2006 U.S. Code: Better Late Than Never

During the appellate brief writing and cite-checking season, two of our most frequent questions at the Reference Desk are: which year to use when citing to a federal statute, and when it is appropriate to cite to an unofficial code (U.S.C.A. or U.S.C.S.) instead of the official United States Code (U.S.C.).

Bluebook Rule 12.3 indicates a preference for the official code “whenever possible.” However, the 6-year gap between U.S.C. compilations can create problems when citing to more recent amendments or enactments, if they do not yet appear in the Code volumes or the annual supplements. In those cases, Rule 12.2.1 advises researchers to cite to an unofficial code until the next edition of the U.S. Code is published.

Although the last version of the official Code is the “2000 edition”, the lengthy compilation and publication process meant that the actual volumes did not land in libraries until 2002. The new “2006 edition” has experienced similar delays, but is now beginning to arrive, both in print and online.

Currently, the Law Library Annex has received bound volumes for Titles 1 through 7 of the U.S.C.’s 50 titles. These can be found at the end of the Reference Collection, following the complete 2000 edition of the U.S.C.

The Office of the Law Revision Counsel (which is responsible for compiling the official Code) is also posting PDF versions of the 2006 edition as they are prepared for print publication, and is currently up to Title 17.

Keep this ongoing development in mind if you will be citing to the U.S. Code over the summer.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Police Drill This Weekend in Annex

Summer starters and recent Law grads: planning to use your 24-hour building access to study in the Law Library Annex this weekend? Don't panic if you notice a lot of police officers on the scene! The Duke campus police, in conjunction with the Durham Police Department, recently announced plans for an emergency response training drill, to take place on Sunday, June 22 in the Gross Chemical Laboratory building. The drill is expected to last from 7 a.m. until approximately 11 a.m.

According to the press release, 40-50 officers will be role-playing a tactical response to a simulated threat inside the building. Although the exercise will involve the firing of paint balls and other simulated gunfire, library staff have been assured that the drill should not disrupt regular activity within the Law School or the Law Library Annex. Still, determined weekend visitors may wish to pack a pair of earplugs into their bags.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Feeling the Heat?

As the Triangle area braces for record-breaking high temperatures over the next week, please be aware that the heat may impact the Law Library in more ways than one.

Ever since we relocated to our temporary home in the Annex (now more than a year ago), the Law Library has tended to experience more dramatic temperature changes than the Law School. Students who are attending classes in the heavily air-conditioned Law School will definitely feel a difference when they come to study at the Annex.

Although it is normal for the Annex building to be a little warmer than the Law School, please talk with a library staff member if the heat becomes unusually high and we will be happy to place a maintenance call. If you plan to travel between the two buildings regularly, take a fashion tip from the Library staff and always dress in layers.

Keep in mind that you aren’t the only ones feeling the heat. Warm, muggy weather conditions can actually affect our computing equipment too, especially the networked printers (moisture in the air causes the paper to expand, which can result in frequent paper jams). If you experience any problems with the networked printers, please don’t hesitate to report them to a staff member on duty, or contact the Academic Technologies Help Desk directly at or 613-7072. The e-mail account and help line are monitored regularly, so please report issues even if you are in the building after business hours.

If you're looking to cool down at lunchtime (perhaps with a Locopop at the Refectory or a smoothie at the Alpine Atrium), be sure to bookmark the Duke Dining summer 2008 schedule ( to keep informed of summer hours and holiday closings.