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Category Archives: Libraries

The Statutes at Large Modernization Act

The Statutes at Large Modernization Act (H.R. 4006) Introduced by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA). Endorsed by: Sunlight Foundation, R Street Institute, Demand Progress, Liberty Coalition, Data Transparency Coalition,, and Niskanen Center.

“What is the United States Statutes at Large? Compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, one volume per session of Congress since 1789; Legal and permanent evidence of the laws enacted during a session of Congress, plus

Why does it need to be available online? The United States of America was established as “a government of laws, and not of men.” The rule of law requires that the laws be available to the people. The Internet is the dominant, ubiquitous communications platform of modern society.

Isn’t the U.S. Code enough? The U.S. Code is not a complete history of the laws of our Republic. It does not include, however, repealed laws, original statutes that have been amended, private laws, or statutes with limited duration like appropriations acts or infrastructure projects. In addition, only about half of the titles of the U.S. Code are codified as positive law. The other, uncodified titles are merely “evidence” of the law before the judicial branch, so attorneys must consult the United States Statutes at Large on questions of law related to uncodified titles.

Hasn’t the Law Library of Congress already digitized the Statutes at Large? The Law Library of Congress has published the Statutes at Large in a text-over-PDF format. It does not, however, include adequately defined and embedded data elements that enable advanced search functions, machine readability, and other useful options. It’s a good start, but it isn’t the modern, authoritative version we need.

How will the digitization process work? The National Archives and Records Administration will take the lead. It will also consult with public and private entities with expertise in developing formatting conventions for legislative materials. Including the results on will make it a more complete research resource.”

  • Update via Daniel Schuman, Demand Progress: “Also, want to point you to a useful non-official source for SAL data. A number of organizations/volunteers have built, which provides all statutes at large, public law cites, and US code cites from 1787 to present.  It also allows for the instantaneous comparison of any two roll call votes since ~1990.”

OCLC – Roy Tennant’s Data Designed for Discovery

Via OCLC: “In this presentation, Senior Program Officer Roy Tennant explores the reasons behind the adoption of linked data for libraries; library initiatives intended to demonstrate the benefits of linked data and; and the applicability of library focused standards for solving the issue of library resource visibility. He also identifies how this approach will enableContinue Reading

Ancient History Encyclopedia

“Ancient History Encyclopedia is the global leader in ancient history content online, boasting the highest number of monthly visitors of any dedicated website…Our team of ten volunteers is passionate about history: We want to inspire our readers with the stories of the past, making history engaging and exciting. Here you’ll find high-quality articles, videos, interactive maps,Continue Reading

Library Linked Data in the Cloud: OCLC’s Experiments with New Models of Resource Description

Carol Jean Godby, Shenghui Wang and Jeffrey K. Mixter – “This book describes OCLC’s efforts to help increase the visibility of library collections on the Web through the creation of library linked data—moving from a web of documents to a web of data. It focuses on the conceptual and technical challenges involved in publishing linked dataContinue Reading

Selected presentations available from Internet Librarian 2015

See which presentations are available for download (most are PDF or PPT).

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) RDF Linked Data (beta)

“The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is now offering a beta version of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) data in RDF (Resource Description Framework). RDF is a well-known standard for representing structured data on the Web. Systems that use RDF are often called Linked Data because of RDF emphasis on well-described links between resources. DuringContinue Reading

Technology may help reveal text of ancient papyrus scrolls

John Seabrook – The New Yorker: The Invisible Library – Can digital technology make the Herculaneum scrolls legible after two thousand years?  “The papyrus scrolls of Herculaneum, which were discovered in 1752, have long fascinated and frustrated lovers of antiquity. They were found in an elaborate villa buried almost ninety feet deep by the volcano—thisContinue Reading

GPO launches next generation of guide to US government

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) launched an updated and redesigned version of Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government. The educational website is named after one of our Nation’s most influential Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin.  The site is full of educational content on the workings of the U.S. Government and U.S. history. The updated siteContinue Reading

Philadelphia Library Visits Down, but Digital Uses Rising

Pew Report – “One of the concerns facing those who operate, fund, and care about libraries is whether use of brick-and-mortar facilities will decline as people become more accustomed to reading e-books and accessing other services online. The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Philadelphia research initiative explored this topic by looking at the changing demands on theContinue Reading

The Library in the Life of the User

The Library in the Life of the User: Engaging with People Where They Live and Learn – Compiled and co-authored by Lynn Silipigni Connaway “This compilation provides a sequential overview of some of our user behavior research findings that articulate the need for the design of future library services to be all about the user. Continue Reading

LawLib is a free law library for your Apple products

“LawLibe™ is a law library for your iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod Touch®. LawLibe™ is a free app that comes preloaded with the U.S. Constitution. Then you can download additional legal content directly into the app, including the U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, State Statutes, the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, and more! Features: •Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Unpacking and overcoming “edutainment” in library instruction

Via – Unpacking and overcoming “edutainment” in library instruction – Within our field, and more widely, there is a way of thinking that equates effective teaching with effective entertaining. This way of thinking can be referred to as a “discourse of edutainment.” It underpins some of the publications and conversations that encourage librarians toContinue Reading