Author Archives: Roger

September 17 is App-solutely Constitution Day

Coinciding with today’s Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (36 USC § 106), there’s a new government-developed app where you can find hundreds of pages of annotations and analysis of our United States Constitution.  This is available now in the iTunes store for the iPhone and iPad platforms, and it’s free.  Developed by the Library of Congress, this app includes more than 2800 pages of materials popularly known as the Constitution Annotated.  The Constitution Annotated provides a clause-by-clause explanation of the United States Constitution, with references to nearly 8,000 Supreme Court cases. Constitutional law experts from the Congressional Research Service author the treatise and the Government Printing Office publishes the editions and supplements.  2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the print publication, which is now available online and in an app.

You can read a great review of the app at Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites blog.  As he points out, the app will take just over 100 MB of space on your Apple device.  Individual sections from the Constitution Annotated can be downloaded on any device of your choosing, and they appear as authenticated PDF files from the Government Printing Office.

As long ago as 2002, it was novel to have a mobile version of the United States Constitution, such as for the Palm OS.  Today you get much deeper depth of analysis provided for free from our government.

This app and several others are featured in our page of Mobile Apps on the Georgetown Law Library website.

Recent Library Improvements Based on Student Input

During Spring 2013, the Law Library conducted our annual survey seeking student comments and suggestions.  595 students responded. In April, we published summary charts of responses accompanied by a selection of student comments and our feedback.  Since April, we’ve been working on several projects meant to improve student experience here at the law library.

You Are Here

In this summary of new developments, you can read about:

  • Completely revised floor plans to help people better find books and library features.
  • New and updated research tutorials.
  • A faster tool for finding databases.
  • New options for free scanning in both library locations.
  • Other developments and activities.

At any point during the year, feel free to send us suggestions or feedback in response to these changes or to suggest other enhancements.

Wolff Library Closed Saturday + Sunday – May 25-26

The John Wolff International and Comparative Law Library will be closed all day Saturday (May 25) and Sunday (May 26).  Our facilities management needs to make emergency repairs to an air handler in the Hotung building, where the library is located.  Because this means there will be no air conditioning, we are closing the library both days.  The E.B.Williams Law Library will be open normal hours on both of these days.

Note: Both library locations will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 27.

A complete list of our library, circulation and reference hours is online on our website.

Library Catalog Unavailable Thursday May 23

On Thursday, May 23, our library catalog vendor will perform a major upgrade to the system that runs GULLiver and GULLiver Discovery, our library catalog systems. During this time, off-campus access to databases will probably not work.  The outage is expected to last from 8am to 8pm on Thursday, May 23. Updates posted here.

These services will be unavailable: 

  • Online catalog
  • Remote database access
  • Paging books within the library

These services will remain uninterrupted: 

Sources for finding books while the catalog is offline: 

We will post updates to our Twitter account as well as on this page on our site.

2013 Student Survey Completed – Kindle Paperwhite Winner Announced

We have now concluded the 2013 Annual Student Survey for the Georgetown Law Library.  This year, 595 students responded.  Here’s a quick overview chart showing the respresentation of student responses:
Student Response Demographics

Thanks to everybody who responded.  

Congratulations to Jack Lescroart (L ’14), who won an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite as part of the drawing for this year’s survey.  He was chosen at random from all student responders who entered.  He is shown here with Associate Law Librarian Kumar Jayasuriya along with his new device.

2013 Law Library Student Winner

Thanks again to our students for providing valuable feedback on library services, online content and resources.  We’ve already started to review all comments.  Over the coming weeks, we’ll discuss all of this input and use it as a guide in helping us focus our efforts to provide useful services and resources.

Accessing Past Exams – Firefox User Note

This past Sunday, we wrapped up the law library’s annual student survey.  More than 90% of our students answer that access to the Exam Archive is a reason for visiting the library’s website. Hopefully 100% of our students know about this collection.  In case that’s not true, here’s what the system provides, as well as a technical note for Firefox users.

The library manages the Exam Archive to provide access to documents from our Registrar’s Office. The system is available to all Georgetown Law students, where you can download past exams from 1998 to the present.  Using the system, you can download exam files in batches (as a zip archive) or individually by semester.

In the survey, one person commented about problems with the Firefox browser that’s useful to know. If you are using the Firefox browser, a bug in Firefox’s built-in PDF viewer may cause the Georgetown Law watermark to obscure the text in exam files.

If you encounter this problem, please try viewing exam files in another browser (Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) or a standalone PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader. This page has more information about Firefox’s PDF Viewer, including how to turn it off or use a different PDF plugin.

Student Input Needed for 2013 Law Library Survey

The Law Library is conducting a survey of all Georgetown law students. Please take about 10 minutes to give us your feedback on the law library’s collections, services and a related matters. We promise to read every comment submitted, and we’ll do what we can to act on and respond to your feedback.

Take the 2013 Law Library Survey [Georgetown login required]

One lucky student completing the survey will win an 3G Kindle Paperwhite. We will keep the survey open through Sunday, April 21, and plan to announce the student winner by the following Tuesday.

It should only take a few minutes to complete the voluntary survey.  Based on feedback in prior years, we revised the past exam archive, created an online group study reservation system, relocated the reference desk in the Wolff Library and purchased new chairs for the Williams Reading Room and Williams library fifth floor. In addition, we have added book scanners, and we enhanced frequently-used library collections, including our collection of DVD and study aids.

You can review a summary of survey responses from 2007 to 2012 on our website. 

Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law – From a Georgetown Law Grad

Georgetown Law Center graduate Nathaniel Burney (L ’97) recently published The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law, which is available from Jones McClure Publishing.  Started as as a series of online comics to debunk popular myths about criminal law, the collection of writings and illustrations now covers seventeen chapters across more than 300 pages.

Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law

The five parts in the book cover an introduction, purposes of punishment, guilt, inchoate crimes, defenses and a summary of related topics.

Here’s an example illustration from a series of comics relating to questions of police entrapment: 

Entrapment comic

Stop by the library to check out a copy, read the Tumblr site where this all began, or pick up a copy online.

Tools for Audio Learners and Audio Authors

We are pleased to announce the availability of a room in the Williams library where we provide access to assistive technology.

  • Do you learn better by listening or by reading? 
  • Is it easier for you to dictate than to type? 
  • Would it be easier to proofread your documents by listening to them read back to you?

What if you don’t know the answer to any of these questions?

The Law Library and the Office of the Dean of Students are launching a new service to let members of the law center community use two unique productivity tools:

  • Dragon Naturally Speaking: A program that transcribes dictation, reads back your text, and allows users to control the computer using voice commands.
  • Kurzweil Educational System: A web-based program which allows the user to listen to text, either electronic or scanned printed information.

Both products are available in Room 111 of the E.B.Williams Law Library, and installed on a dedicated computer.

To try either system, simply reserve the room online and go to the Williams library circulation desk to borrow the headset and instruction sheet that will help you get started. When not being used for assistive technology, this room, EBW 111, is still available for group study purposes.

Library Open During Inauguration – Access Restricted

Inauguration Photo

On Inauguration Day, January 21st,  Georgetown University Law Library will be open normal hours but will have access restrictions.  The Library is within the secure zone (covering about 1.5 miles from K Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW on the north to Independence Avenue NE & NW on the south, and 2nd Street NE on the east to 23rd Street NW on the west).  To be allowed into this area you must have and show current Law Center identification at security checkpoints.

Here’s information on planning for the Presidential Inauguration.

Photo: An eye to the future / Ian Muir / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0