Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Technology Corner: Changes to Printing & Computing

This summer, the Academic Technologies department made some major improvements to printing and computing in the Goodson Law Library and the Law School. Here are the most important things to know:


Returning students should install the new ePrint software in order to print to the new system from laptops. It’s critical to uninstall the old software first. You can access the new ePrint drivers at http://www.law.duke.edu/computing/download/downloadlist with your NetID and password.


Have the printers been procreating? You may think so after seeing the Document Production Room on Level 3, where the library’s old black and white photocopiers have been replaced by two color multifunction devices. In addition to the dedicated LexisNexis and Westlaw printers, there are two ePrint printers and release stations (for black & white printing) and two Sharp multifunction devices (for color printing and photocopying). It’s important to know the difference, since black & white ePrint printers are always free to law students, while the multifunction devices will charge your Flex account.

To send jobs to the black & white ePrint stations, select ePrint-OIT as your printer. For law students, remember that ePrint-OIT is free within the Law School – although you start with a balance of $75.00, which does dwindle with use, you are not actually being charged, and the balance will automatically increase by $10.00 each time it reaches the $1.00 threshold. At the beginning of a new semester, law students have their balance reset to $75.00. The balance is intended only as a reminder of your usage.

To send jobs to the color devices, select ePrint-Color (Fee). These devices will charge your Flex account, $0.07 per page for black & white printouts/copies and $0.15/page for color printouts/copies.


Returning students may notice that the Reading Room has gotten a little quieter, now that printer 3C has moved just outside the library entrance (to the left of the staircase, near the “tabling” area). All twelve of the public computer stations on Level 3 now print to the ePrint system, as do the Level 2 carrel computers and the “lookup” stations on each floor. You can choose the ePrint-OIT option for black and white printing, or ePrint-Color (Fee) for color printouts. For ePrint-OIT black & white printing, you can then release jobs at any ePrint station within the Law School by swiping your DukeCard at the print station.


The library’s two multifunction devices/copiers are located in the Document Production Room (Room 3210), which also includes two black & white ePrint-OIT printers and swipe stations. There are two more ePrint-OIT printers and release stations located on each floor of the library (generally, one behind the center staircase and the other close to the back elevator), as well as two printers and release stations outside the library (3C, near the library entrance, and outside the Registrar’s office on Level 2). You can check the status of the various printers around the Law School at http://www.law.duke.edu/computing/printing/index.


If you do not have a DukeCard (or if you experience problems while using your DukeCard on the new system), please see the library service desk for assistance with the new printers and/or photocopiers.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Library Services for the Fall Semester

The new academic year brings some changes to the Goodson Law Library. Effective Sunday, August 22, evening and weekend services return to the library. During the fall semester, the library entrance will be unlocked (and the service desk will be staffed) at the following hours:

Sunday2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Duke Law students, faculty and staff continue to enjoy 24-hour access to the Law School and library. Keep in mind that the outer doors of the Law School lock down automatically at 5:00 p.m. and over the weekends, so be sure to bring your DukeCard if you plan to visit after-hours.

Returning students will notice some new faces at the service desk. Over the summer, the Reference Services department welcomed Foreign & International Law Librarian Kristina Alayan and Reference Librarian Jane Bahnson. You may also see more of Kelly Leong, who joined the library in the spring as a reference intern and will be co-teaching a section of LARW this year.

With the retirement this summer of our longtime night and weekend supervisor David Swearingen, you’ll also notice new faces at the Circulation/Reserve desk, as the daytime Collection Services staff will also share night and weekend duties. To learn more about what each member of the library staff does, visit our Staff Directory page.

We look forward to a great semester, and we welcome your input on ways to make the Goodson Law Library an even better place for our community. If you have comments or suggestions about the library, please visit our online Suggestion Box for a direct line to Assistant Dean for Library Services Melanie Dunshee, who will respond within 48 hours if you provide your email address (anonymous comments are also allowed). Your suggestion might even inspire one of our famous library videos, which are linked on the Suggestion Box page.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What's New with Lexis and Westlaw

Returning law students should now have fully restored access to their LexisNexis and Westlaw accounts, which may have gone dormant over the summer (if you did not fit the criteria for a summer extension). Over the coming months, everyone will notice a few changes to both research systems: some dramatic and some gradual. Here are the highlights of each.

Westlaw launched its new WestlawNext interface in the spring, offering access to law firm subscribers and selected law school faculty. Effective August 16, Duke Law students are also able to access this new version of Westlaw—just log in to http://lawschool.westlaw.com and look for the link to “WestlawNext” at the top of the screen. (Don’t panic – a link to “classic” Westlaw is still available, too, and both systems will remain available to subscribers indefinitely.)

WestlawNext is a radical departure from the typical Westlaw search, where users must first select the appropriate database of content and then devise appropriate search terms. On WestlawNext, researchers do the reverse – enter search terms in the box, select a jurisdiction, and then filter results by document type, additional search keywords, and other limiting options. There are huge improvements to the display of search results and individual documents (for example, cleaner display of headnotes and footnotes, easy access to KeyCite reports at the top of a document, and useful links to “related content” which is generated by Westlaw from your search words).

The downside? WestlawNext is currently unable to print to the Law School’s dedicated Westlaw printers, meaning you’ll need to download documents and print on the Law School networked printers instead. (The upside of this extra step? You can review your print job before sending it to a printer, selecting only the pages you really need instead of accidentally printing 300 pages of case annotations!) Because WestlawNext is still in beta mode, users may also occasionally experience technical errors such as slowness. Finally, not all Westlaw content is yet migrated onto WestlawNext (particularly international law materials), although links are provided back to Westlaw.com for the missing materials and new items are added daily.

LexisNexis is also undergoing a big interface redesign, although the changes will be rolled out more gradually. Phase one included the release of Lexis for Microsoft Office, an add-on for Office 2007 and 2010 which incorporates LexisNexis research right into your Office programs’ “ribbon.” A split screen view allows you to quickly access the full text of cited cases, Shepardize your document’s authorities, and pull up background information on companies, people, or terminology mentioned in your text—without ever leaving your document screen.

The LexisNexis Total Research System will still look familiar—for now. Lexis is currently working behind the scenes on Lexis Advance, a major overhaul of the research system interface which should go live for Duke Law users in spring 2011. In the meantime, Lexis has added some new content to its familiar interface, including full access to docket and court filing content for academic subscribers, and expansion of its New & Business tab to include the content of selected blogs, Twitter accounts (including tweets from members of Congress), and news transcripts and videos.

New 1L and LLM students will receive their Lexis and Westlaw passwords from their LARW research instructors. New transfer students, and any continuing students who are having problems accessing Lexis or Westlaw, should see the Reference Services desk in the library for assistance.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"So...Where Do You Keep My Casebooks?"

The start of the fall semester brings a flurry of activity to the Goodson Law Library, and one frequently-asked question deserves some particular attention from the Goodson Blogson: “Can’t I just borrow all my textbooks from the library?”

We admire the enterprising spirit of our law students, and we understand your dilemma: textbook costs have been rising steadily for years, and the average law school casebook can cost anywhere from $125 to $160. However, as a matter of policy, the library does not attempt to buy every single textbook which is used at Duke Law, for a few reasons: sure, we’re cost-conscious too about keeping up with hundreds of new titles and new editions every year. But more importantly, we’re concerned about equity of access. Providing one or two copies of a text to be used by 40-100 students causes some obvious problems with supply and demand; even for copies on reserve (which may be borrowed for 4 hours at one time, and overnight if borrowed less than 4 hours before the reserve desk closes), only a handful of people can use a single title in a day. It’s best to consider the library’s collection as a backup in case you forget your own textbook—and even then, a fellow student may have already beaten you to the book you need.

Of course, if you search for your book list in the Duke University Libraries’ catalog, you may still turn up a few matches. Some of these titles will be kept in the Reserve collection, such as the Legal Analysis, Research & Writing textbooks. For casebooks authored by Duke Law faculty, the catalog will usually show one copy in the General Collection (28-day checkout for students) and one archive copy in the Faculty Collection (1-day checkout; see the service desk for assistance with the locked shelving). If you’re the lucky first person to snag a particular casebook, beware: titles in the General Collection are subject to recall and hold requests, meaning that your classmates can cut your borrowing period short with a request for the same title (you’ll be guaranteed a grace period with the book, but it will be shorter than the usual 28-day checkout).

Better, then, to find cheap ways to purchase your own copies. The Duke Textbook Store in the Bryan Center occasionally has used copies for sale. There’s also the Duke Law Book Exchange on Facebook, a student-organized trading post for used textbooks. Be sure to check edition numbers against your current semester booklist, as textbooks are updated by the publisher frequently.

West, which publishes many popular law school texts, is now offering a casebook rental program, promising users a savings of almost 40% off the sticker price, as well as access to e-book versions while you wait for the print copy to ship. (And yes, according to their FAQ, you are allowed to highlight!)

For aural learners, there’s also AudioCaseFiles, currently available to users who register with their Duke email address. ACF offers MP3 recordings of the edited opinions from many law school casebooks, including a number from Duke Law’s fall book list. If you’re so inclined to listen to your Civ Pro reading while on the treadmill at the gym, this is the site for you.

For help locating a textbook (or any other title) in the library’s collection, be sure to Ask a Librarian.