Jun 29
2:39 PM
Jun 26
10:49 AM

Happy Birthday to the Barcode!

Gizmodo reports that on today's date in the early 1970s, a small supermarket in Troy, Ohio became the testing ground for the world's first commercial bar code scanner. The story says that at 8:01 am, Sharon Buchanan scanned a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum and changed retail forever. When the application caught on in the library world, it revolutionized how we do our work, making a book or dvd (or whatever library resource you can check out) accessible, traceable, and scannable!

In fact, the receipt from that transaction is now enshrined in the Smithsonian. Oh happy day!

Jun 25
4:10 PM

New Federal Regulation Tracking Site

OpenRegs.com is an user-friendly regulatory portal with the stated goal, "to make the proposed and final regulations published in the Federal Register easy to find and discuss, so that citizens can become better informed and more involved in the regulatory process."  The site promotes itself as being, "an alternative to the federal government's Regulations.gov regulatory dockets database," while acknowledging that it "is not a substitute for visiting Regulations.gov."  Nonetheless, the website offers the ability to browse by and subscribe to individual agencies and topics codes, user-submitted related links, and Web 2.0 technologies in the form of blogs and discussion forums for each agency and regulation.  It tells users when proposed regulations' comments periods will close to the day.

Jun 24
9:52 AM

Ex-minister gets 30 years in Rwanda genocide

On Monday the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentenced former Rwandan interior minister Callixte Kalimanzira to 30 years imprisonment for his role in the death of thousands of Tutsi refugees in country's 1994 genocide. The 1994 genocide was led by members of Rwanda's former army and extremist Hutu militias, known as the Interahamwe. The victims were members of the Tutsi minority and politically moderate Hutus. The court found Kalimanzira guilty of genocide and direct and public incitement to commit genocide because he used his position as a government official to lure thousands of Tutsi refugees to Kabuye hill and "provide[d] armed reinforcements" to attack and kill them.

The ICTR was established to try genocide suspects for crimes occurring during the 1994 Rwandan between Hutus and Tutsis in which approximately 800,000 people, primarily Tutsis, died.  Thus far the ICTR has delivered judgments on 38 people. Six of the judgments were acquittals.

Jun 22
3:27 PM

Google’s Street View includes USD!

Google Maps' "Street View" feature provides closeup photos–taken from cars–of buildings around the world.

Now through the genius of high technology–mounting a camera on a bicycle, for example –campuses are within Google's reach. Today eSchool News reports that that pedal-powered vehicles have been making the rounds at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of San Diego, and San Diego State University.

Jun 15
4:47 PM

Instant message a reference librarian!

We started using Meebo last semester and it works pretty well.  The only problem is that we get busy helping people and forget to look at the screen to see if an IM has popped up!  Sometimes we get a beep, sometimes not. Something to work on, I suppose.

How do you do it?  Go to our home page and click on the "Chat with a librarian" link. That will take you to a page with 2 widgets, one for the Copley Library and one for the LRC.  We are on the right side. Just click in and ask a question!  It is that simple.

People have used the IM option to ask us our hours, whether we have a book on a particular topic, to help them use a database, or to ask us to find their sister.  The uses are endless. Some uses are better than others.  The IM option is best for short questions that have a straightforward answer, like a case name, citation, statute, URL, etc. In-depth answers should be directed to our email (click the blue Reference link) or phone reference services.

Give us a try!

Jun 12
9:59 AM

Back Taxes Got You Stymied?

Ok.  So you (or your client) were so caught up in the events of the turn of the century, that you forgot to file your 1999 federal income taxes.  And the party's long over now, as the IRS has collared you just before the statute of limitations was about to let you off the hook forever.  Oh well.  Just where are you supposed to get your hands on a form from so long ago?  Never fear:  the IRS website has forms for each year back to 1980.  Check it out here.