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Daily Archives: December 22, 2015

Beyond Books – Today’s Court Library

Court Libraries Adapt to Deep Cuts, Changing Technology
“Under a new staffing formula, 254 circuit library positions were authorized nationally in FY 2015, compared with 335 positions in FY 2014. That is a 24 percent fall in just one year. Similarly, court libraries are playing a significant role in a national Judiciary effort to cut building space 3 percent by 2018. Closures of 10 library facilities have been approved or completed in seven circuits. These include library spaces in Tacoma, Wash.; Wichita, Kans.; Mobile, Ala.; Baton Rouge, La.; Miami; Toledo, Ohio; and New York City; as well as a library annex in Tulsa, Okla…According to “Beyond Books – Today’s Court Library,” a document that outlines changing library functions, court librarians already have many evolving roles. They train court professionals to make effective use of databases and presentation tools; negotiate contracts with legal research services; test and in some cases develop software applications; produce news summaries; and monitor social media for threats against judges.”

Finding Long-Term Solutions for Nuclear Waste

“Today, the Department of Energy is taking a critical step toward the development of a consent-based approach to siting future nuclear waste management facilities as part of a strategy for the long-term storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The launch of our consent-based siting initiative represents an important step toward addressing… Continue Reading

2015 Was a Good Year for State Revenue Forecasters

Rockefeller Institute of Government – SUNY – 2015 Was a Good Year for State Revenue Forecasters, But the Road Ahead Is Uncertain, Donald Boyd and Lucy Dadayan, December 2015. “States must forecast revenue accurately to avoid disruption to their budgets. It is a difficult job — uncertainty about the economy, financial markets, and taxpayer behavior… Continue Reading

What Can Reforming Solitary Confinement Teach Us About Reducing Mass Incarceration?

The Marshall Project, Taylor Pendergrass – “..Eliminating solitary confinement will require more than just a policy change or closing a cell block. A comprehensive approach to eliminating solitary confinement will require a cultural change touching every part of the corrections system. It must begin by reorienting corrections away from punishment and dehumanization, and toward rehabilitation… Continue Reading

EPIC Urges OMB to Update Open Government Plan

“EPIC and a coalition of transparency advocates urged the Office of Management and Budget to comply with President Obama’s plan to promote open government. The OMB is expected to produce an open government plan, “describ[ing] how it will improve transparency.” However, OMB Has failed to act even as the Administration has urged other governments to… Continue Reading

Library of Congress to Receive 9/11-Responder Oral History Collection

“The Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center will become the home of a significant collection of oral histories provided by responders to the devastating Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the New York World Trade Center, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel announced today. The collection, known as the “Remembering 9/11 Oral History Project,” is being donated… Continue Reading

Rand – National Security Implications of Virtual Currency

Joshua Baron, Angela O’Mahony, David Manheim, Cynthia Dion-Schwarz: “This report examines the feasibility for non-state actors, including terrorist and insurgent groups, to increase their political and/or economic power by deploying a virtual currency (VC) for use in regular economic transactions. A VC, such as Bitcoin, is a digital representation of value that can be transferred,… Continue Reading