by Erin Gow
Perhaps not surprisingly, given recent news, the Law Library has seen a sudden surge in questions about U.S. executive orders.
Wondering how to find out more about them? Here are a few good resources to get you started.
Executive orders are published along with other Presidential documents in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 3, which you can access online, in print in the library, or through a subscription database such as Bloomberg Law, HeinOnline, Lexis or Westlaw.
To see recent executive orders visit the White House page. The American Presidency Project and Federal Register also reproduce executive orders, although there may be a slight delay before the latest orders are available.
For current and older Presidential documents, consult the FDsys compilation, which includes executive orders along with letters, statements and other documents.
Historic executive orders are available through the National Archives and through HeinOnline’s Daily and Weekly compilations of Presidential documents.
For more information about the issuing, modifying and revoking of Executive Orders, see the Congressional Research Service’s 2014 report.
When they need help with their writing, most UofL students know to contact the Writing Center, located in Ekstrom Library’s Learning Commons.
But what about the meat and bones of their papers: research, i.e., finding, evaluating and citing sources? For this equally challenging and unwieldy task, students have an excellent resource in the librarians in Research Assistance and Instruction (RAI), also located in Ekstrom’s Learning Commons.
A phone call or appointment made online will get students a face-to-face meeting with a research librarian, who can help them find relevant sources and learn better methods of research to benefit their future scholarship.
UofL sophomore Christian Bush is a recent convert to the benefits of research assistance. He thought such help was only available to students in higher grades.
“Students at all levels and at all times need this help, and don’t realize such a resource is available,” said Bush, a History and Asian Studies major. “When you first enter college, you have an impression that research appointments are sacrosanct; that only seniors working on their senior papers can get help.”
But after a savvy History professor suggested Bush reach out to RAI for help with his research, Bush found he could access the services himself. Required to create an archeological site profile for his class, History 341, Introduction to Egypt, Bush “did what most students do, I googled. But I couldn’t find any information on Google at all,” he said.
In particular, he needed a specific site profile from 1911 that was nowhere to be found. Exasperated, he set up an appointment with RAI online, after which the response was “lightning quick,” Bush said. “They called the next day.”
At the research appointment, RAI Librarian Sue Finley showed Bush not only the original excavation report he needed, but subsequent ones, up to modern-era excavation where ground-penetrating radar helps archeologists explore underground tombs.
“I got a wealth of information,” Bush said. “More than enough to write my paper, and then some.”
But beyond helping with his immediate needs, Finley “took me through her methodology for locating the sources. She spent a good amount of time showing me how to use databases and work with sources, the nitty-gritty of the research.”
“If I hadn’t been able to meet with her I wouldn’t have had such a strong research base and it would have made the profile much less substantial,” he continued. “The fact that she taught me how to research and how to go through sources and then use the sources within sources; that’s benefited me outside that project.”
“A paper is only as strong as your writing skills and your research; if you don’t have solid research, there’s only so much you can do.”
The short-term results were important to Bush, too: “I got an A on the paper,” he said, smiling.
By now, most students on UofL’s main campus know Ekstrom has been renovated into a more modern, tech-friendly library, with a new services hub in the Learning Commons. However, Ekstrom is not just a pretty space.
The Belknap campus’ main library offers a wide range of services for students and faculty. Tailored, curated guides to research, research appointments offering one-on-one help, and instruction within individual classes are among the services provided by Research Assistance and Instruction (RAI) department (http://louisville.edu/library/ekstrom/research/). Often, students overwhelmed with the demands of their coursework are greatly helped by these services.
Recently, RAI department began offering personalized library services to students who are part of the University’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program. This pilot initiative, begun by RAI last semester, provides individualized outreach and assistance to any TRIO student. Currently some 141 students are enrolled.
The federally funded TRIO SSS helps students whose backgrounds may pose challenges to completing college. The program offers financial, academic and personal assistance to students who are disabled, from low-income backgrounds, or first in their family to attend college, and is completely free of charge. The goal is to increase retention and graduation. For more information, please http://louisville.edu/trio
“We thought this was a really great idea, to focus on the TRIO students,” said Anna Marie Johnson, Professor and Head of RAI. “We wanted to help students who may not have been introduced to library services before, and to help them with their research projects.”
“Particularly students from low-income neighborhoods may not have been enrolled in schools with libraries, or research resources,” she continued. “The more we can help serve this population, the more successful they will be, and the more the University will be successful.”
RAI has reached out to all 141 students with personalized emails offering advice and information, like available printing services, or study spaces offering technology inputs, and how to reach any of the RAI staff or services. So far a number of students have responded with questions about the library.
Future plans include an online module that will allow students to access videos that guide them in their research. Such modules will also be used for General Education classes introducing the University to freshmen. Johnson hopes for more one-on-one visits with TRIO students as well.
“We will be continuing this program in subsequent semesters and we hope to get a groundswell of interest,” Johnson said. “I’m always so happy when someone new comes in and finds out what help they can get; we’ve had some very happy students as a result.”
As many of you are aware, the University of Louisville Libraries system is upgrading its catalog to the latest version, OCLC’s WorldCat Discovery, a cloud-based system. The upgrade, scheduled for early June, will enhance search capacity, expand user services, and continue to meet the evolving requirements of library faculty and staff.
Most of the changes will be minor shifts in the interface or functionality, but you may also notice changes in:
• The login screen for off-campus access.
• The process for renewing books online.
• The process for requesting items from the Robotic Retrieval System.
• The Journal Finder.
All changes will be described in this WorldCat Discovery Guide. (Please check back as the guide will be regularly updated).
Simultaneous to the switch of the catalog, a much larger transition will be happening behind the scenes, on the library staff side of the system. The UofL Libraries will move from the Ex Libris Voyager system, in use since 1998, to OCLC’s WorldShare Management System (WMS). The change in workflow is significant, as WMS’s technology represents an evolution to a cloud-based system of library operations. While some issues are inevitable in a transition of this scale, the Libraries will strive to minimize the impact on patron services.
Three other Kentucky universities, Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Northern Kentucky University, have either gone live, or plan to soon, with WorldCat Discovery. Over 325 libraries in three countries are currently using WMS to share bibliographic records, publisher and knowledge base data, vendor records, serials patterns and more. UofL Libraries will be the third Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member to use the system.
The UofL Libraries apologizes in advance for any inconvenience caused by this upgrade, and welcomes your feedback on the new system. For any additional questions, please contact the Libraries’ WMS team: Tyler Goldberg (email@example.com), Randy Kuehn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Weiling Liu (email@example.com).
My typical day as director of Archives and Special Collections (ASC) is interesting and varied: a discussion with a potential donor, a meeting to plan an exhibit, creating catalog entries to facilitate discovery of our collections… Last Friday was interesting in an entirely different way.
ASC has a long-standing partnership with Ken Clay and Merv Aubespin (also known as Legacies Unlimited), who, with Blaine Hudson, authored Two Centuries of Black Louisville. Many of the historical photographs in this book came from the University of Louisville Photographic Archives, and we mounted an exhibit when the book came off the press in 2011. We’ve recreated this exhibit as part of the “Celebrating the Legacy of Black Louisville” events at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage for the last two years.
We were told a couple of weeks ago that the Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall would be visiting the Center, and that our exhibit would be a featured attraction. It was a huge honor, and required that we (and when I say we, I really mean Marcy Werner) had to reprint all of the images so they could be framed and reinstalled.
It also meant that we were invited to be at the exhibit when the royal couple came through. I am not normally all that interested in royalty – I was old enough to be very much aware of the Prince’s wedding to Diana, and I didn’t even try to watch it on television. But even I couldn’t pass up the chance to see what a royal visit is like. We were given some ground rules on the morning of the visit: don’t reach out to them, but you can shake their hand if they reach out to you; call them both “your Royal Highness”; and something about cell phones. I think we weren’t supposed to be taking pictures, but… everyone was taking pictures.
When I agreed to attend the event, I knew there were a large number (30-40) of other exhibitors, and I expected them to be promoting the Commonwealth’s industries and agriculture. Instead, the event focused on health, innovation, sustainability, and — in our case — history. There were students and teachers from local schools demonstrating projects and organizations that promote sustainable agriculture, as well as University of Louisville’s FirstBuild. There were choirs, bands, and the Louisville Orchestra. It was very impressive, and something that the University should be proud to have been a part of.
As it turned out, Camilla (but not Charles) toured the Two Centuries exhibit, guided by Ken Clay and Merv Aubespin. I was not permitted into the gallery when she was viewing the exhibit, so I can’t gauge her level of engagement, but she stayed longer than I expected. Our collections helped a member of Britain’s royalty understand something about Louisville’s history – this is a departure from our usual daily activities, to say the least. While it was fun to be part of the hoopla, and I am proud we were asked to participate, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as the day-to-day work that we do: things like working with academics from all over who want to study the Stryker papers; neighbors who want to stroll down memory lane via old photos of department stores that are no more; and students who have to write a paper on a UofL building.
African American History month may be drawing to a close, but so many fascinating resources abound you’ll be engrossed in the subject year round. Where can you start? Here are some suggestions.
- Documenting African American Life in Louisville: The fine folks in the University Archives have created a research guide to materials on the African American experience in Louisville. Manuscripts include personal papers and materials from churches, government agencies, educational institutions, and community organizations. The guide also includes information about newspapers, University records, interviews, and secondary sources on African American history.
- University of Louisville Digital Collections: Includes
Louisville Leader Collection: The Louisville Leader was an African American newspaper published in Louisville from 1917 to 1950. It covered issues and events . It covered local religious, educational, social, fraternal, and sporting activities, as well as national and international news.
- African American Oral History Collection: These interviews from the 1970s captured life experiences of African American Louisvillians. The interviewees talk about their parents, their upbringing (often outside Louisville), their experiences in school, their careers, and their achievements. They discuss everyday life as well as the big events in the history they lived. The interviews that are online include audio and transcripts.
- As well as hundreds of images on African American life in Louisville