Features and Columns — March, 2015

Emerging roles and possible futures for librarians and information professionals

Author, professor, editor, librarian - Bruce Rosenstein's article addresses the following critical questions - What professional roles do you play as a librarian/information professional? How have they changed during your career? And perhaps most important, how do you see them changing and evolving in the future? — Published March 15, 2015

Seven ways to grow the e-book business while helping libraries and readers: Ideas based on my two decades of writing about it

E-book sales are not posting impressive sales increases, at least not among big publishers. One major reason is that much of the technology is difficult to use. Even increased library statistics for e-loans are not resulting in corresponding increases in funding and support for libraries around the country. Based on more than two decades of writing about e-books, David Rothman suggests seven library-and-consumer friendly ways to boost e-book growth. — Published March 8, 2015

Book review: ‘Bexar BiblioTech: The Evolution of the Country’s First All-digital Public Library’

David Rothman describes why the BiblioTech library in Bexar County, Texas is a landmark achievement worthy of implementation and iteration in towns and cities throughout the US. His article describes the success of this variation on a library system detailed in a new book authored by Nelson Wolff, the visionary behind the country’s first all-digital public library system. Wolff is the judge of Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio. The title is roughly equivalent to the head of a county board. Judge Wolff and his wife, Tracy, are donors and fund-raisers for BiblioTech and other civic causes, and his book is a how-to pathfinder to “bridge the literacy and technology gaps.” — Published March 8, 2015

That’s Write: Putting Aside the Keyboard and Using a Pen or Pencil Can be Good for Your Brain

Alan Rothman, expert knowledge manager, content strategist and project manager, discusses valuable lessons learned throughout his education that he continues to practice today. Specifically, the importance of hand written notes and hand editing electronically prepared documents remains a key component of knowledge retention, organization, and connecting critical information to projects, plans, coordinating work assignments, and delivering work product to customers. Maintaining and improving cognitive skills through handwriting is well documented, and Rothman discusses the multiple ways that writing plays an integral role at work, at home, in education, and in personal development. — Published March 1, 2015

Archiving Transparency and Accountability: Step 3 to Information Literacy

In Part 3 of Lorette Weldon's series she discusses the virtual assistant she created to review with clients the search methods that were covered in face to face customer interactions. Weldon emphasizes that this methodology creates and maintains transparency, enhancing learning and sustaining relationships. Links to Part 1 and Part 2. — Published March 1, 2015

February, 2015

Shaken Baby Syndrome: A Differential Diagnosis of Justice

Ken Strutin's article is a comprehensive examination of how the concept of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) has become a battleground where medical evidence and legal presumptions clash, testing the limits of judicial wisdom. Strutin presents a collection of recent and select court decisions, law reviews and news articles that explore the ongoing scientific and legal arguments about the definition and exclusivity of shaken baby syndrome evidence. — Published February 21, 2015

No Paperwhite read-aloud for you! FCC again lets Amazon and friends diss people with disabilities

David Rothman continues his reporting on the status of Text to Speech applications that have yet to be added to E-Ink readers due to the FCC's extension of vendor exemptions from complying with a key benefit for the disabled that is part of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. — Published February 21, 2015

Step 2 to Information Literacy

In Part 2 of Lorette Weldon's series, she emphasizes that to promote information literacy you would have to practice what you preach. You must retain customer interaction information so that you may add to it in forthcoming interactions. Thus says Weldon, the patrons experience both familiarity and warmth when they return to the library because the librarian remembers who they are and what they had been looking for in previous visits. — Published February 16, 2015

January, 2015

Step 1 to Information Literacy

This is the first of a three part series by Lorette Weldon. She discusses the role of “The Three T’s” - talking, tinkering, and traveling, in relationship to building a bond between librarians and customers seeking reference and research services. — Published January 17, 2015

Tell the FCC to Require Read-Aloud for Future Kindles and Other E Ink Devices

Want read-aloud in Kindles and other readers? Use FCC's easy online form by January 9, 2015. David H. Rothman calls attention to a pivotal upcoming event for readers everywhere: On January 28, 2015 if the Federal Communications Commission makes the right choice, a regulatory waiver will expire. The waiver has exempted Amazon and other E Ink manufacturers from having to comply with rules based on the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act signed by President Obama in 2010. Last year, at the urging of the National Federation for the Blind, scores of blind people objected to the waiver. And the FCC listened. “We believe that, given the swift pace at which e-reader and tablet technologies are evolving and the expanding role of ACS in electronic devices, granting a waiver beyond this period is outweighed by the public interest and congressional intent to ensure that Americans with disabilities have access to advanced communications technologies.” — Published January 4, 2015

December, 2014

Cameras in the Streets: Focus on Justice

2014 has been a watershed for the national and international role of citizen photo journalists who have impacted in myriad ways events which have in turn sparked debate, protests, and legal action - increasing the scrutiny of activity conducted by groups including law enforcement. Ken Strutin's timely, informative and significant article collects noteworthy news, litigation, and legal analyses concerning civilians and journalists photo-documenting the activities of law enforcement as well as police use of cameras to record their work. — Published December 31, 2014

New Economy Resources 2015

Marcus P. Zillman helps LLRX end 2014 and begin 2015 with a set of powerhouse guides for researchers. The New Economy is steeped in the mantra of transparency and big data, and Marcus provides us with critical resources to respond to the challenges we face as researchers to stay ahead of the curve and serve our clients and customers accurately, reliably and comprehensively. — Published December 31, 2014

Deep Web Research and Discovery Resources 2015

Web search expert Marcus P. Zillman delves into the The Deep Web, comprising somewhere in the vicinity of trillions upon trillions of pages of information posted in various files and formats not surfaced by using the two or three major search engines. The rapidly expanding areas of business and competitive intelligence, data mining, and the significance of metadata in national and international surveillance make this guide especially significant for researchers. — Published December 31, 2014

November, 2014

U.K. vocabulary study shows long-term benefits of reading for fun: Lower nursing home bills, not just better K-12 scores?

David Rothman cites and discusses two British research studies that conclude “reading for pleasure puts children ahead in the classroom” and "those who had regularly read for pleasure at 10 scored 67 per cent in the age 42 vocabulary test, whereas infrequent childhood readers scored only 51 per cent.” Other recent studies support the positive impact of life long reading, including that reading narrative fiction helps us to develop empathy and and social skills. — Published November 30, 2014

Guide To Privacy Resources 2015

Marcus P. Zillman's guide is a comprehensive listing of privacy resources currently available on the Internet that impact your email, smartphones, websites, hard drives, files and data. Sources include associations, indexes, search engines as well as individual websites and organizations that provide the latest technology and information to raise awareness of privacy and security as you interact with others using the internet. — Published November 16, 2014

NY bar on ethics of cloud computing – again

Nicole Black lauds the the leading edge role taken by the New York State Bar in determining issues related to lawyer use of cloud computing and client confidential data. In two different opinions handed down in the latter half of this year, the New York Bar committee reaffirmed the applicability of the longstanding duty of due diligence when assessing the security of third party service providers, explaining that a lawyer must assess whether the technology offers reasonable protections against disclosure and must also take reasonable precautions when using technology. — Published November 10, 2014

Criminal, privacy implications of drones

Nicole Black discusses a recent NJ case that raises significant questions about the future of privacy and the use of drones for surveillance purposes by both private individuals and governmental entities. Cases such as this one involving the discharge of a weapon to destroy a privately owned drone used to surveil a neighbor's property will impact interpretations of privacy laws in New Jersey, New York and around the country as well. — Published November 10, 2014

October, 2014

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: New Directions for Legal Information Professionals

Attorney, journalist, author, legal tech expert, speaker and blogger Robert Ambrogi made a presentation recently at the fall meeting of the Law Librarians of New England and the Association of Boston Law Librarians. He addressed the pivotal ways in which law librarians remain critical contributors to the work product of law firms, professors and researchers in the academic arena, and change agents within the overall professional communities whose work places are increasingly dominated by Big Data, business intelligence and complex analytical tools. — Published October 31, 2014

Looking back, leaping forward, leveraging crisis, and freeing the law: A lawyer story

Thomas R. Bruce, Director of the Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute discusses how Google Scholar's caselaw collection is a victory for open access to legal information and the democratization of law. He strongly acknowledges the fifth anniversary of this open­ access legal web site, but goes further to focus on the importance of this benchmark to the expanding value of freely accessible legal information combined with technically advanced search features available to diverse user communities outside the scope of the legal profession, for free. From caselaw to the rapidly expanding regulatory arena, fed by rules created by over 400 federal agencies that have enormous and multifaceted impact on our lives, the potential for search, discovery, education, empowerment and citizen engagement remains under development. Thank you Tom and all the experts at LII for blazing, maintaining and pioneering the next wave of critical paths to enable access to free legal research. — Published October 31, 2014

Adobe’s laxness with e-book data shows the need for a library-controlled ecosystem for library e-books

David Rothman highlights the recent revelation of an Adobe e-book reader data collection privacy issue, and suggests this security vulnerability offers a key opportunity for libraries to collaborate with other organizations to diminish data breaches, increase reader privacy, and empower libraries as stakeholders in a new relationship with vendors and customers. — Published October 31, 2014

The top six library issues - from the Amazon threat to the need for a national digital library endowment

Long time public library advocate David Rothman shares what he identifies as the Six Big Issues for libraries, and a related discussion about each. They are: 1. Whether public libraries will even exist half a century from now; 2. The urgent need for a national digital library endowment to help fund two separate but intertwined systems, one public and one academic; 3. America’s changing demographics. Can public libraries respond when both their hiring practices and book collections lag so badly in this respect?; 4. Copyright threats and opportunities; 5. Threats to patron confidentiality from governments, marketers and others; 6. Censorship and onerous porn-filter requirements. — Published October 31, 2014

Clients and Suicide: The Lawyer's Dilemma

Ken Strutin's article discusses an increasingly visible issue, suicide, here in the specific context of criminal law. He reviews how the stress of prosecution or litigation, whether it means risking a prison term, unemployment, bankruptcy, eviction, broken family relations, isolation, or other serious consequences can create or exacerbate a vulnerable and dangerous state of mind in a client. Client suicidal thoughts, attempts or actions expose the intimacies of human autonomy and test the limits of the attorney-client relationship. They cross a range of legal, moral and medical contexts: professional responsibility, client confidentiality, effective assistance of counsel, legal malpractice, criminal liability, and end of life issues. So it is that attorneys confronted with signs of suicidal intentions in their clients need to be conscious of their legal and ethical responsibilities. Strutin's article is a significant guide for researchers, as it collects notable materials on this complex and sensitive topic, including ethics opinions, law reviews, bibliographies and other resources. — Published October 11, 2014

Student Research Resources Library

Marcus P. Zillman developed this Student Research Resources Library to provide researchers with a comprehensive listing of reliable topical resources and sites available on the Internet. — Published October 11, 2014

Internet-of-Things (IOT) Resources

This is a comprehensive listing of Internet-of-Things (IOT) research resources and sites available on the Internet. Marcus P. Zillman developed this guide with the goal of highlighting the most current and actionable research resources available on this topic. — Published October 11, 2014

September, 2014

Cyclists, Motorists, and the Theory of Move Over Laws

Fay Wein is an avid bicycle-rider, content and communication specialist, and director of marketing at a New York firm. She examines the increasingly contentious arena in which cyclists and motorists are increasingly clashing, on city streets and rural roads, with dangerous consequences. — Published September 19, 2014

How cell phone book clubs could help get young people reading and change their lives

Journalist and SF/fantasy novelist Bertel King, Jr. talks about effective methods and programs to engage young people in the enjoyment and value of reading as soon and as often as possible. He discusses how removing as many roadblocks and inconveniences as possible associated with reading can making this learning and joyful experience increasingly attractive to young folks who are often ridiculed for reading print books. He provides actionable information on cell phone book clubs, which are affordable and can encourage reading using devices that children already own. Take the time to read this article, and you will learn as I did, how the voices, ideas and efforts of a new generation of writers and readers are impacting the future of how we share knowledge more widely and equitably. — Published September 19, 2014

How to read e-books on a $20 cell phone: Tips for the cash-strapped and plain adventurous

The LG Optimus Dynamic Android Phone, aka the LG 38c or the LGL38C, is a smartphone that David Rothman bought new on Amazon for $20, excluding shipping. Rothman calls out the importance of this device in relationship to its potential impact among among racial minorities and young families with children that also experience high poverty rates. He contends that low-end smartphones like the 38c may be a way to bring e-books to many low-income people in America and elsewhere, including the U.K., where so many libraries have closed. Rothman discusses the objective to inform librarians, tech-savvy volunteers and nonprofits to the possibilities, in terms of training and motivation and the creation of community groups, to promote smartphone technology for literacy and self-improvement. For the underserved who already own smartphones, David details the need to install the right e-reading software to expand capabilities of the devices for accessing e-books. — Published September 19, 2014

Online tools to streamline your email

Nicole Black talks about email add-ons to assist busy lawyers respond more effectively to a continuous avalanche of communications that require sorting, prioritizing, tagging and timely actions. She highlights several effective online tools designed to solve these problems by integrating with your Gmail account and other programs as well. — Published September 7, 2014

Will Lawyers Embrace Wearable Tech, And The Future?

Nicole Black predicts that smartwatches will soon be very popular with lawyers as they offer an easy and unobtrusive way to filter only the most important information received on your smartphone. So if you’re expecting a priority email or phone call, you can program your phone to forward it to your smartwatch so that you’ll receive a subtle vibration on your wrist. This will come in handy when you’re in court, for example. So instead of causing a disruption in the proceedings, you can leave the room quietly and tend to the matter in the hallway with no one else the wiser. — Published September 7, 2014

Tech goals for solo and small-firm lawyers

Nicole Black review the highlights of results of two legal technology surveys about lawyers’ plans to use legal technology in their law practices. They offer a glimpse into the businesses of solo and small firm lawyers and provide indications of their assessments of the value that different types of technologies will bring to their law practices. — Published September 7, 2014