Celebration of Books – 3/12

The entire UCI Law Community is welcome to the Law Library’s Tenth Annual Celebration of Books on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.  Join us in the California Room downstairs, as we highlight and acknowledge the publications authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited by UCI Law Faculty in the last year.

  • 10:30 a.m.: Coffee and pastries will be offered.
  • 11:00 a.m.: The event, including remarks by the authors, begins.

This year, we are honored to celebrate Dean Song Richardson and Professors Richard Hasen, Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Alexandra Natapoff, Ann Southworth, Jane Stoever, and Christopher Whytock.

This year, the event also will acknowledge UCI Law’s 10-year anniversary of the celebration.

Public Access to CRS Reports – Finally.

Authoritative overviews of policy and legislative issues, written by the experts at the Congressional Research Service, are now available online to the public! See crsreports.congress.gov.

For now, the site includes a limited set of reports: 1) The R-series of “active” reports that were published since early 2018 and 2) the “Appropriations Status Table,” which includes updates on legislative activity related to the appropriations process.

In the future, the Library of Congress plans to have a “full inventory” of reports, with a complete migration “targeted for completion by spring 2019.” See https://crsreports.congress.gov/Home/About, archived at perma.cc/5QSH-GKBA

UCI community members have access to a large archive of CRS reports in ProQuest Congressional at search.proquest.com/congressional .

The public site is great news, because these non-partisan reports are fantastic starting points for researchers, and because policy experts, librarians, and other researchers have been pushing for access for years. See my earlier posts: “Public Access to CRS Reports” from July 2012, and “Public Access to CRS Reports (2015 update)” from October 2015.

Are you interested in even more background on making these reports public? Check out this July 2018 critique by several experts who developed a site that had put over 14,000 CRS reports online:

Our website cost under $20,000 to build and maintain with full functionality and fewer than 100 hours of programming time; the Library’s CRS website will cost $1.5 million, have limited functionality, suffer from significant design limitations, and not be completed for more than a year after the law was enacted and six months after the statutory deadline for completion.

www.legbranch.com/theblog/2018/7/12/library-plan-to-publish-crs-reports-falls-short-of-the-law-is-unduly-expensive

Historical California legislative publications

are now available in HathiTrust, the home of scanned materials from research institutions and libraries. The new collection* is called “California Legislative Publications 1850-2009” and includes scanned versions of:

  • bills,
  • statutes (“Chapters”),
  • bill histories,
  • constitutional amendments,
  • final calendars, and
  • other materials.

These materials can supplement research into primary materials for the legislative history of California statutes, which we cover briefly in the “State Laws” section of our Research Guide to Legislative History. libguides.law.uci.edu/legislative_history/state

Legislative history can be a complex area to research, and librarians often suggest starting with a secondary source. In California, that can include the January issues of the University of the Pacific Law Review, where new state legislation has been summarized every year since 1971.

* See “Thousands of Historical California Legislative Publications Digitized and Openly Available Online!” at hathitrust.org/blogs/perspectives-from-hathitrust/thousands-of-historical-california-legislative-publications