Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Legal Research Refresher

Legal Research summary:

Legal citation follows the format 177 N.J. Super 244. The first # (177) is the VOLUME the student must go to. The letters indicate which set of reporters they need to use. The second # (244) is the page number the case begins on. If the citation looks like 177 N.J. Super 244, 246, the third number (246) is referring to a specific page number in the volume, so in this case, it would be making reference to a quote on page 246.

Abbreviations for reporters:

N.J. New Jersey Supreme Court Reporters (beige books)

N.J. Super New Jersey Superior Court Reporters (green books)

U.S. US Supreme Court Reporters (black books)

After volume 254 of the US Reporters, our collection changes to the “Lawyer’s Edition,” “L.Ed.” Lawyer’s Editions have their own volume numbers which are different from the Reporter volume numbers. If you are looking for a US supreme court case that is in, for example, volume 300, you need to find the Lawyer’s Edition volume that contains 300 US. On the spine, you will see the a large volume number (the Lawyer’s Edition Volume) and below that it will indicate which of the US Reporter volumes are contained in that Lawyer’s Edition volume.


If a student needs to “find a case that follows” or “shepardize” a case, they are looking for cases that came after the initial case and either upheld or reversed the decision in some way. This is done using the Shepard’s New Jersey Citations books. Each Shepard volume covers a specific range of both NJ Supreme Court and NJ Superior Court cases. The student needs to find the Shepard’s volume that includes the volume of the reporter for their original citation. When you open the book, the top of the page will say either New Jersey Reports or New Jersey Superior Court Reports, so they have to make sure they are in the section of the correct section of the book for the case they are Shepardizing. There are volume numbers on the top left and right of the pages. These indicate which volume within the reporter the pages cover. The bolded numbers on the page are the second number that appears in a citation, the page number. Below each bolded number is a series of case citations. These are the citations that follow that case. A student must then go to the NJ or NJ Super Reporters and look up that citation in order to find out any more information about the case (like the year it was decided). There are specific instructions for the Shepardizing question on Maria’s worksheet in the blue binder at reference that I mentioned above.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Printing Unofficial Transcripts

 If a student is trying to print an unofficial academic transcript from Lion's Den and only the first page is printing, try this:

Use Chrome to access the transcript in Lion's Den.
Highlight the entire transcript
Use Ctrl+P to bring up the print dialog box

The entire transcript should show in the print preview.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Mystery of Sound...Solved!

Perhaps this has only been a mystery for me, but if not...

At times a student will be trying to listen to a DVD/CD on a computer using headphones and there will inexplicably be no sound, although all volume is turned on. Try closing the program and starting it up again. It seems the headphones need to be plugged in and the sound turned on BEFORE starting the DVD/CD in order for the sound to work. If you start the DVD, then turn on the sound, it will not work.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wireless Access on Campus

The Wireless Agreement Form is now available online for students, faculty and staff at This is also linked from the Technology Services webpage (in the A-Z list on college website), select Wireless Access from the menu on the left of the screen. After completing the form, users will receive an email in their Lion Mail/campus email in 24-48 hours with the network login. Apparently there is still no immediate access to the wireless network. There are also no printers on the network.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

World Civ Assignment - Soldiers who fought in Iraq/Afghanistan

Last semester there was a World Civ Assignment that required students to find memoirs written by soldiers who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. Thanks to Alyssa for providing the information that there is a subject heading for "Personal Narratives American Iraq War 2003" 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Word order in Google searches

There is a great SHORT video on the importance of word order in Google searches. The demo searches and explanations are pretty fast, so students might have a hard time grasping it in the classroom, but it could be used for a quick Google lesson. He points out that Google looks for "bigrams," pairs of words in a particular order, and if there are multiple words in a search, results will emphasize the most common bigram. Check it out

Monday, April 1, 2013

Public copiers scan in color

Both the library office copier AND the public copiers can scan in color. 

For the public copiers, the user will need to insert a copy card (available at Check Out if they don't already have one) and a USB drive (also available at Check Out).

Select Scan and Store
Select the memory device (USB) from the list
Select the Edit File option
Select to Add Files (Scan and Store)
Then use the Select Color option to select Full Color

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

APA Style for Legal Citations

I just came across a post on the APA Style Blog about citing legal sources in APA style. In the past we've had students who were asked to do this, so I wanted to provide you with the link to that post, which basically tells you where to refer to in the Style Manual and links to other blog posts on citing specific types of legal sources:

If you're not familiar with it, the APA Style Blog is a pretty useful place to look for information on how to cite odd sources in APA Style. I just used it for a question about citing photographs. I found this other post about "Frankenreferences" pretty helpful as well; it describes how to craft a reference from scratch if what you are citing is not in the manual.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Examples of how to use historical context to write about literature

An English II instructor asked for examples to show students how they would use research about historical context to analyze a work of literature, in the same way they are being asked to do in their research paper. I found these examples of literary criticism on "Young Goodman Brown" and "Everyday Use," two common EII readings, and thought I would share them in case other instructors are looking for something similar or you'd like to use them in your own instruction.

From Literature Resource Center:

"Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown': Early Nineteenth-Century and Puritan Constructions of Gender" by James C. Keil, from The New England Quarterly.

"African-American Women Writers, Black Nationalism and Matrilineal Heritage" by Joan S. Korenman from CLA Journal.

"In Spite of it All: A Reading of Alice Walker's 'Everyday Use'" by Sam Whitsitt from African American Review.

Friday, February 22, 2013

RVOneSearch - Great Example

I just wanted to share what I found to be a great example using RVOneSearch for English I type topics. I often use television advertising to children as a sample topic, based on the The Say I Say reading about Ronald McDonald, because many of the Eng I classes read this essay. I did a keyword search for "children and television advertising" and the first page of results is a great way to demonstrate how RVOS brings up different sources types on the same topic. There are several books first, and the immediate benefit of viewing catalog records in RVOS is that the subject headings are visible on the initial results list. So I can show them that there are several subjects related to my idea and get into the concept of subject terms without it being a very overwhelming description. The first academic journal source has a great title, "Children's attitudinal reactions to TV advertisements," but when you look at the abstract you discover it's about children in African countries, letting me teach them the title isn't the only thing you need to go by. As you keep going down the list, #15 is one of our Films on Demand titles, which can be viewed with one click from RVOS. I rarely have a chance to show this great resource easily, but now here it is. And #19 is probably the best article for the sample research topic I use, which gives me the chance to show them that you can't rely on just the first five results. 

I haven't taught it yet, but I feel like this is going to be a great "canned" example to show many facets of RVOS. Have you tried any others that work really well?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Problem based learning ideas

I just found this nice page of ideas for "problem based learning" prompts. The idea behind PBL's is that you give students a real-world scenario to research through. These are useful when you know a class will be coming without an assignment or topics, which hopefully doesn't happen too often. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Professional Development Opportunities

To view a variety of professional development opportunities related to librarianship, technology and education, explore the LiveBinder at