Law Libraries

DOJ Pays $15M for Legal Research, Including $4M for Pacer

An open records advocate contends that a free source of legal documents could eventually save the federal government $1 billion, and he offers the Justice Department as Exhibit A.

A freedom of information request by Carl Malamud reveals that Justice Department paid more than $4 million in 2009 for access to the Pacer electronic filing system, according to the Wired blog Threat Level.

Full piece at ABA Journal

Holiday Book Art

I wanted to share our holiday book art project with you - we made a tree using bound law reviews (favoring red and green colors, of course) and bound Utah Digests. We also used discarded publications to make interesting shapes, including the tree topper. Check out our photos HERE

Do you know of any other libraries that are featuring holiday book art? I'd love to see photos.

Mari Cheney
Reference Librarian

The Ins and Outs of Legal Resources

Jennifer Pickett, the Reference Librarian at the Brooks Free Library in Harwich MA, gives readers of Wicked Local some resources to check in regard to seeking legal advice (without giving legal advice).

In Massachusetts, she suggests starting at your own public library (in her case the Brooks Free Library), then checking the Barnstable Law Library and the website Mass Legal Help website. The Bar Association, like many state bars, also has a free referral service.

Free Law Kerfuffle

I had noticed that this story on LISNEWS had gotten the most hits this week: A Simple Question On Legal Information Vendors

A story with as many hits as it got with no comments seemed odd. I did some looking and found that the story related to a video that has been causing some debate.

The video and original post are here: Berring on free legal information

Bob Berring's response to debate about video: Free Law Kerfuffle

A Simple Question On Legal Information Vendors

Sarah Glassmeyer wonders... Why do we delegate the reporting and indexing of the American legal information system to commericial vendors using a proprietary system? If you want to talk more about these issues, check out this Friday’s episode of The Law Librarian on Blog Talk Radio. Carl Malamud will be a guest to discuss You also can download it later as a podcast.

Rate Your Legal Resources Vendors: BNA, LexisNexis, West and Wolters Kluwer

We've just launched a survey, Rate Your Legal Resources Vendors: BNA, LexisNexis, West and Wolters Kluwer, on Law Librarian Blog at

Hope you have a moment to contribute to it. -- Joe Hodnicki

What's Real in the Real World?

We're going to be talking to a group of firm librarians about what resources are being used in law firms today.

Law Librarians: 'No More Sacred Cows'

"Doing more with less" has long been a theme, goal, and -- at times -- mandate for law firm librarians, but now it's "do much more with far less." Money is part of the story, with the average library budget down slightly, according to our fourteenth annual survey of law firm library directors, from $5.9 million in 2008 to $5.8 million in 2009. But far more telling is the number of firms that said their budgets had gone under the knife. Last year only 9 percent of respondents said their budgets had shrunk. This year it was a whopping 46 percent. Staff reductions have also become the norm, with 57 percent of firms paring their library payroll, up from 18 percent in 2008.

Full story at

The Future of Michigan’s State Law Library

The future of Michigan’s State Law Library has become uncertain in light of a July 13, 2009 executive order issued by the state’s governor. Executive Order 2009-36, which takes effect October 1, 2009 absent legislative action, provides for the elimination of the law library’s “circulation and document delivery” services. Details and prospects for the future of the state law library and an analysis of the executive order on Law Librarian Blog

AALL LexisNexis Call for Papers Award

Joe Custer is a winner of the AALL LexisNexis Call for Papers award for "The Truthiness of Thinkable Thoughts Versus the Facts of Empirical Research". His paper is available on SSRN at


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