What to Do With Your Library Books

by guest author Andy Kretschmar

Several of you have come to us asking a very understandable question: With campus closed, what do I do with my library books?

First, please know that the health and safety of our patrons is first on our list of priorities during this time. Receiving our materials by their assigned due dates is far lower on the list right now.

Second, now that the university has begun outlining plans for the fall, we now feel comfortable addressing some of the questions you may have regarding library materials.


I have a book that was due during the closure—do I need to return it now?

No. So long as we are being asked to stay off campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be requiring that you return your books until it is safe to do so or until you return in the fall semester.

Will you be automatically renewing my library books during the closure?

Yes! Whether your books belong to the law library or another institution, we will be automatically renewing items.

While it’s very rare during this time that a renewal request will be denied, we will contact you directly if any complications arise.

Will I receive any fines, fees, or blocks on my registration or diploma for books that are due during this time?

Nope, nope, and nope.

I recently received an overdue notice. What do I do with it?

Overdue notices should not be sent during this time, as we are renewing all items, but if you do receive one, please forward it to me, and I will ensure that you do not receive them again.

I’m either currently undecided about returning to campus in-person in the fall, or am unable to do so, and/or I REALLY want to return my books now—can I mail them to you?

If you’d like to return library materials in the mail, please send them to:

Andy Kretschmar

University of South Carolina Law Library

1525 Senate St. #120D

Columbia, SC 29208

Our mail is still being delivered—Dean Alford is a seasoned courier at this point!—and we will discharge your materials from your library account shortly after we receive them.

If I mail my books to you, do I need to include any additional information?

Nope! So long as it’s a book that you borrowed from the law library (no matter which institution it belongs to) we’ll have all the information we need in order to discharge it from your account.

Please be sure to include a return address, and we’ll contact you if we have any questions.

My books are in my journal office. Do I need to go and get them?

If you are not able to safely do so, please do not worry about retrieving them.

When we return to campus, the law library will contact your journal’s EIC about receiving the books.

I’ve been given permission to enter the building, and am able to safely retrieve my library books. Is there a place I can return them?

Since the library is closed, the Student Services suite has graciously allowed for students to return their library materials there.

Please ensure that there are staff present before taking advantage of this option.

I just graduated, and will not be coming back to campus. What do I do with my books in that case?

If you graduated this semester and have library materials checked out to you, you should have received an email from me with info on returning books. If you fall within this category but did not hear from me, please let me know!

I live near campus—can I just place my books in one of the book drops?

No. All campus book drops are closed at this time.

I have other questions, or did not see my question addressed. Who do I contact?

Please feel free to contact me with any and all questions you have at kretschm@law.sc.edu.

I’m always happy to assist!


We hope that you all are staying safe during these uncertain times. Your law library staff continue to be impressed by your resilience and dedication, and no matter what form it takes, we very much look forward to seeing you again.

Resource Review: Digital Public Library of America

by guest author Dan Brackmann

This month’s issue highlights the Digital Public Library of America at https://dp.la/. DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, etc. are free and immediately available in digital format. 

screenshot of DPLA logo, search function, browse by topic > Civil Rights Movement > Legal Battles

DPLA allows scholars to search the digital collections of thousands of libraries, archives, and museums nationwide, all in one website. The site contains over 6,300 e-books as well as digitized primary material from various institutions on topics such as civil rights and immigration.

screenshot of Draft of W.E.B. Du Bois' speech re: 14th Amendment, 1947

Here is a link to their Scholarly Research Guide: https://dp.la/guides/the-scholarly-research-guide-to-dpla

In addition to the scholarly uses of the site, it also contains lessons and books for children.

If you have questions or ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.

 

Jurors Powered Through

To our law students getting through exams this week, take heart from a federal jury that kept going through an eight-week trial, and reached a verdict in April 2020.

The Case

When Robert Walter Carlson pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking charges, he testified that four additional people—his partner, two pilots, and a co-owner of a charter jet company—were part of the scheme to transport drugs.

These four defendants pleaded not guilty. They flew and/or arranged the flights, but they alleged Carlson and others deceived them as to the purpose of the travel and the nature of the cargo. The trial was ongoing in the Eastern District of Kentucky when covid-19 hit.

The Jurors Kept Going

handwritten: Will we receive copies of the testimony transcripts to review with evidence? Request for additional post-its, a dry erase board, and highlighters for our notes
36 pages of jury notes (Bloomberg Law password needed) and responses from Judge Caldwell appear in the federal docket

According to an April 26, 2020 article in the Louisville Courier Journal, federal trials in progress were permitted to go forward at the discretion of the trial judge. Judge Karen Caldwell asked each juror in private whether they were willing to continue. Judge Caldwell also required each juror to fill out a daily questionnaire about their health.

Masks and gloves were offered, and one juror chose to wear a facemask to protect others. The rest of the protective equipment was given to health care workers and first responders. The seating arrangement in the courtroom was altered, and a jury lounge rather than a deliberation room was used, so that all jurors could remain at least six feet from each other at all times.

After nine days of deliberation, the jury reached a verdict of guilty as to one defendant, and not-guilty as to the other three defendants.

How to Find the Case

Thescreenshot docket for this case is on Bloomberg Law at USA v. Matthews, No. 5:17-cr-00118 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 05, 2017).

On law.sc.edu/library, under Quick Links For UofSC Law Students, click Bloomberg Law. Use the password you received from your LRAW professor, or contact Bloomberg Law customer service if you’ve forgotten it.

On Bloomberg Law, under Popular Links, click Dockets Search. In the Dockets Search window, scroll down to Judge and type Caldwell, and paste in the docket number 5:17-cr-00118, then click Search. In the search results, click on the case name USA v. Matthews. To find the jury notes, scroll down to document 602 in the docket.

screenshot

 

 

Resource Review: ProQuest Coronavirus Research Database

by guest author Dan Brackmann

This month’s issue highlights ProQuest’s new Coronavirus Research Database. ProQuest built this database in response to the rapidly growing need for authoritative content related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The company is working together with institutions all over the world to offer support.

screenshot

Including coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak, this database curates openly available content related to coronaviruses. It includes thousands of open-access articles from the world’s leading publishers as well as current research from pre-print repositories such as arXiv and will continue to grow and evolve as more is learned about the pandemic.

You can get to the Coronavirus Research Database through this link: https://search.proquest.com/coronavirus

NOTE: To access this database, you may need to connect to ProQuest through the university’s VPN (Virtual Private Network) protocol (such as Cisco AnyConnect). More about what VPN is can be found at https://bit.ly/3dJSqof. Free VPN software can be downloaded from my.sc.edu under Purchase Computer Software.

If you have questions or ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.

Legal Research Webinars for Librarians

The South Carolina Library Association (SCLA) has invited the law librarians of the University of South Carolina Law Library to teach public librarians and academic librarians throughout the state how to do legal research.

The information below is quoted from an email sent to all SCLA members by the SCLA Continuing Education Committee on February 20, 2020.


Legal Research Webinars

Join the University of South Carolina Law Library for a five-part special series on performing legal research. All webinars will be held from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM.

April 9, 2020: The Law & Legal Research

State & federal constitutions; the three branches of state & federal government and the laws they produce; and the reference interview and how to avoid legal advice.

Presenter: Terrye Conroy, Assistant Director of Legal Research Instruction, University of South Carolina Law Library

Register: https://statelibrary.sc.libcal.com/event/6410267

 

April 23, 2020: Secondary Sources & Topical Research Guides

How to use books, articles, and topical guides to research legal issues and find relevant state and federal statutes, regulations and cases.

Presenter: Aaron Glenn, Reference Librarian, University of South Carolina Law Library

Register: https://statelibrary.sc.libcal.com/event/6410286

 

May 14, 2020: Researching Local, State & Federal Codes

How to research municipal (city & county) ordinances, state statutes (focusing on SC), and federal statutes.

Presenter: Eve Ross, Reference Librarian, University of South Carolina Law Library

Register: https://statelibrary.sc.libcal.com/event/6410308

 

May 28, 2020: State & Federal Regulations

The relationship between state and federal statutes and administrative agency regulations and how to research state (focusing on SC) and federal regulations.

Presenter: Rebekah Maxwell, Associate Director for Library Operations, University of South Carolina Law Library

Register: https://statelibrary.sc.libcal.com/event/6410346

 

June 11, 2020: Researching State & Federal Cases, Court Rules & Forms

The concept of legal precedent, hierarchy of authority, and how to research state (focusing on SC) and federal cases, court rules and forms.

Presenter: Dan Brackmann, Reference Librarian, University of South Carolina Law Library

Register: https://statelibrary.sc.libcal.com/event/6410392

 

Please feel free to contact the SCLA Continuing Education Committee with questions.

Resource Review: Homeland Security Digital Library

by guest author Dan Brackmann

Sent in an email to all current law faculty on February 18, 2020.


This month’s issue highlights the Homeland Security Digital Library, a joint project of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. The HSDL contains over 180,000 items to assist academics of all disciplines in homeland defense and security related research. UofSC has access to the full collection except for the Restricted Collection which is only available to U.S. government officals and active military members.

screenshot

The HSDL pulls material from different sources, including:

  • Federal, state, and local governments
  • International governments and institutions
  • Nonprofit organizations and private sector entities
  • Think tanks, research centers, colleges, and universities

The site also has featured topic groups such as cyber policy, cybersecurity, active shooters and school violence, infrastructure interoperability, gangs, terrorism, piracy, and pandemics to name several.

The URL for the site is: https://www.hsdl.org

You can find a flyer with more information here:
https://www.chds.us/c/resources/uploads/2018/03/chds_2017_hsdl_fact_sheet_022018.pdf

If you have questions or ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.

Register to Vote

by guest author Melanie Griffin

Make sure you can vote this year by keeping up with registration details and deadlines. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  •  To vote in South Carolina, you need to register at least thirty days before the election in which you want to participate. For example, the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary is on February 29 in SC this year, so to vote in that, you’ll need to be registered by January 30. To vote in the general presidential election, get registered by October 4.
  • South Carolina has open primaries, which means anyone registered to vote can vote in either party’s primary without officially declaring themselves a member of that party.
  • If you’re registering to vote in SC for the first time, you’ll need a South Carolina driver’s license or photo ID from an SC DMV.
  • If you’ve moved since the last time you voted in SC, make sure your address is updated (especially if you’ve switched counties). You can change your address on the DMV’s website in about five minutes at no cost. Your address must be up to date with the DMV before you can update it for your voter registration.
  • Students can register to vote “where they reside while attending college,” according to the South Carolina State Election Commission. They interpret this as either the address you live at while attending your classes, like your dorm or off-campus apartment, or the address you go to when you’re not in classes, such as your parent’s house, so you can register with either. Check the South Carolina Code of Laws section 7-1-25 for state election residency laws.
  • There’s also a national voter registration application for students who want to register for home addresses that are outside South Carolina. The U.S. Vote Foundation website lets you search for other states’ deadlines if you are planning on registering elsewhere; they’re not all on the same schedule.
  • If you won’t physically be in the place where you’re registered to vote on election day, apply for an absentee ballot. You can do that in person until 5 p.m. the day before the election. You can also apply for an absentee ballot over the internet or mail, and this requires you to complete and send in your absentee application by 5 p.m. four days prior to the election. You’re required to cast your absentee ballot by 7 p.m. the day of the election.

Find more details about voting in SC on the South Carolina Election Commission’s website.

Resource Review: HeinOnline’s Presidential Impeachment Library

by guest author Dan Brackmann

In a timely move, HeinOnline has debuted its Presidential Impeachment Library. “The library collects resources related to all four U.S. presidents who have faced impeachment. Organized by the four affected presidents, this collection brings together a variety of documents both contemporaneous and asynchronous to each president’s impeachment, presenting both a snapshot of the political climate as each impeachment played out and the long view history has taken of each proceeding.”

screenshotThe library also includes relevant Congressional Research Service reports as well as a curated list of scholarly articles, external links, and a bibliography, providing avenues for further resarch on this topic. One of these is the ever-growing Whistleblower Complaint on Ukraine, compiled by Kelly Smith at UC San Diego, which brings together offical documents related to the whistleblower complaint and impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump. Hein plans to continue expanding its collection with new material, particularly as it becomes available for the current investigation into Donald Trump.

Find HeinOnline from the main library page:screenshot

If you have questions or ideas for future Resource Reviews, please email Dan Brackmann.