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.

 

Public Library Resources for the UofSC Law Student

by guest author Melanie Griffin

Public Library symbolWhether or not you’re still in Columbia while campus is on lockdown, you’re part of the community as a UofSC law student. And so is our local public library.

Richland Library offers a large variety of resources that complement your UofSC Law work, all of them free, and many especially relevant to these uncertain times.


Access to these online library materials and classes on third-party sites like Lynda requires a Richland Library card. Distribution of physical cards is on hold during the COVID-19 stay at home order, but register online for a card with a Richland County address, and you’ll get immediate access to Richland Library resources that can help make your law school (and pandemic) experience easier.

  • Learn skills that will enhance your law training. Your J.D. will take you far, and extra skills can help you stand out. Your Richland Library card unlocks online classes from websites like Lynda.com for free, so you can choose any course in their vast collection to add to your resume.  Check out their finance offerings to familiarize yourself with procedures, browse their extensive list of intellectual property videos for examples of how those laws apply to different types of creations, look through their spreadsheet and forms classes to find one that can help you (and your future employer) organize and make the most of your data, and more.

 

  • Digitally explore new study area options. Although the physical branches of Richland Library are currently closed for health and safety, you can still use this time to explore the spaces they’ll have on offer when they reopen. Richland Library’s online booking system lets you view photographs of its study, meeting, and conference rooms to get a sense of their sizes and layouts; this is great information to have in case of future need and to have an alternative to campus spaces if those get too crowded.

 

  • Take a mental break. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed while adjusting to the law school’s new norms, browse the digital materials offered by Richland Library. Rereading your favorite Harry Potter chapters via ebook, taking a self-help audio tome with you on a walk, paging through a digital comic between study chapters, listening to your favorite album to get through chores, watching a new movie or TV show before bed – all of these are free ways for you to distract or relax your brain until it’s ready to go again.

The following resources are great for your own information and any pro-bono clients you may be working with as well. These links are open to anyone who wants to view them and don’t require a Richland Library card.

  • Navigate unemployment. If this virus has left you suddenly without a way of supporting yourself through school, don’t panic. The law school’s Career Services department is here for you. There are also a number of different options for unemployment benefits, and Richland Library’s I Am An Employee information page sorts them by type of work so you can find what you need based on what you do. If you are advising businesses that are trying to help their laid-off employees, or if you’re doing pro bono work with unemployed people, the I Am An Employee public library resource may be helpful to them.

 

  • Keep track of COVID-19 information. As a UofSC law student, you can rely on sc.edu/safety/coronavirus for the latest information that applies to you. If you’re doing pro bono or volunteer work in Columbia, you can recommend Richland Library’s updated list of local data and sites to people who aren’t affiliated with the university.

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.

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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.

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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.