Explorations with Information and Technology

Readers Choice

July 2019

Latest from Explorations with Information and Technology - Page 2

I’ve long been a fan of deep linking. If you can provide a lawyer or researcher a direct link to a resource within a larger database, you do two things. First, you bypass what is often very poor user interface design. Second, you eliminate the need to understand the terms of art that layer legal information finding. Deep links to a resource can be pretty easy. Deep links using search need some real care to…
Across from the Washington Convention Center, there is an old Carnegie library building. It was converted into the Apple Carnegie Library and one of its goals is to help people “[c]ome together and learn how to do more with the products you love ….” As I commented on Twitter, what if law libraries were all about just pushing commercial products? The more I thought about it, the less distinct the difference was between many…
It cracks me up no-end to have to explain to my kids that I was on an innovation tournament judges’ panel at the AALL annual meeting. As I’ve said before, innovation is often in the eye of the beholder but it’s not a word they would probably use for me (although they do see me as a tinkerer and crafter!) The judges had a rubric to base our assessment on but there’s still a subjective…
I’m freshly returned from the American Association of Law Libraries annual meeting, full of ideas and questions. I’ll touch on the innovation panel on which I was a judge later but first I want to return to value. ROI. Are we still equating marketing and communication with value measurements?   If – and I’m not sure this is entirely settled – law libraries only exist so long as they can justify their existence, I’m still…
The malware / ransomware epidemic continues and it has been surprising to see courts unable to quickly recover from attacks. Philadelphia’s state courts were offline for weeks, causing lawyers to resort to paper-and-courier filing. Georgia’s state court servers were attacked and offline for about 2 weeks in July. What plans does your law library have to recover from this sort of attack? Philadelphia’s outage ended July 1, Georgia’s on July 15. I am…
Uff da. What else can you say after you read this fellow’s account of what happens after his phone number is stolen? The domino effect it causes as he loses control of his online communication, social media, and bank accounts is both incredible and yet completely plausible for many people. I recently used a similar technique (Chrome sync’d passwords) to bypass my brother’s password manager. As I read the comments, these were my…
I’ve relied on Google as my primary search engine and Chrome as my backup browser for some time. Now that Chrome is segregating the enterprise (paid) users from the consumers for the purposes of ad-blocking, I’m downgrading it to my 3d place browser, after Firefox and Microsoft Edge. I’m starting to rethink my other participation in the Googleverse too. Search I have long since turned off my Google search activity being recorded, as wel…
We have been asked to find cost-savings in our 2020 budget. Unlike when an organization prioritizes spending, this amounts to going through budget lines and identifying whether our budget requests and our year end actuals are actually in alignment. As I was looking through our numbers, it seemed to make sense to make sure that we were looking for patterns as well as details before making cuts. I’m going to assume that if you’re reading…
A picture can say a thousand words. A reference interview that involves a remote researcher trying to use a database can involve word pictures. One thing I’ve seen in public (personal) and law library (professional) experiences is that a word picture may not be enough. Nor is a screenshot. So I was delighted to see how easy it is to create a quick screencast video with the built-in Windows 10 Game bar app. You probably…
Free CLE. Free pizza. Free legal research resources. I saw a headline recently that described law librarians extolling free resources to teach legal technology. Nothing is free but it’s a frequent theme in law library service delivery. As our law library looks at some minor cost cutting in 2020, I was thinking about the impact of law libraries using the term free and whether we miss opportunities to highlight when it’s a benefit rather…