Monthly Archives: September 2014

Soundproofing/Noise Reduction & Audio-visual technology

Circulation/reserve librarian, Torin Andrews, attended “InfoComm 2014” in Las Vegas this past June.

Here is Torin’s summary of his experience at “InfoComm 2014”:

“InfoComm 2014, the annual conference and exhibition for professional audiovisual buyers and sellers worldwide, held June 14-20 in Las Vegas was visited by 37,048 professionals attending from more than 114 countries.” ( 39374.htmInfoComm International, June 20, 2014).

As a Law Librarian I was exploring the tradeshow and exposition for affordable soundproofing/noise reduction solutions that could possibly be installed in our library study rooms.  As an instructor I focused my attention on evolving classroom/teaching audio-visual technology and on digital signage technology and best presentation practices.

In my search for noise reduction solutions, I contacted many acoustical engineering vendors: Industrial Acoustics Co.; G & S Acoustics; Acoustical Solutions, Inc.; Radius Display Products; and Kinetics Noise Control. These vendors displayed relatively low-cost, easy-to-install acoustical noise reduction panels that might offer a good solution to the sound leakage issues our patrons are experiencing when using our library study rooms and copier/printer rooms. In addition to offering small representative panel samples, these vendors were very helpful in supplying significant informational brochures, whitepapers, and lots of helpful practical advice.

In the area of classroom/teaching technology, my exploration allowed me to compare the value and features of many digital projectors offered by Casio, Elmo, Epson, Proxima, and Sony. Casio, Epson, and Proxima were demonstrating their lines of short throw projectors designed to offer large images in small classrooms or to prevent shadows when a presenter accidentally comes between a conventional projector and the screen. Elmo and WolfVision demonstrated their latest models of digital desktop visualizers optimized for videoconferencing and telepresence. Chief, Crimson, Da-Lite, and Premier Mounts showcased their offerings of projector and display screen mounting systems designed to optimize the projection of digital images in a wide variety of different spaces, from small classrooms to huge auditoriums.

In the Digital Signage Pavilion, exhibitors showcased display hardware for a wide array of different size venues. For very large facilities there were offerings utilizing LED blocks that showcased seamless transitions between blocks. For smaller settings there were exhibits utilizing conventional HD TV screens to innovate touch and draw screens that allow the device to interact with the user. I was impressed by the wide selection of software programs offered to allow for unique and innovative display options designed to optimize the viewer/user experience. Among the prominent exhibitors were: ROE Visual, LED panels and components;, LifeSize, videoconferencing solutions; Revolabs, wireless audio equipment; SpinetiX. digital signage media players and software; Haivision, enterprise grade digital signage systems; and Gefen LLC, digital signage hardware and software.

InfoComm offers  education professionals a great opportunity to see new products and educate themselves on new technology to gain insight on how to integrate these technologies in their traditional and virtual classrooms.


Database Updates in the near future

Reference librarian, Lisa Foster,  received a grant to attend this year’s American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Conference in San Antonio, Texas, which was held from July 12-15, 2014.

The following is Lisa’s summary of some enhancements to Lexis and HeinOnline that you will be seeing in the near future.

Lexis Advance Enhancements

Lexis Advance will be launching some improvements and a new interface on September 8, 2014. These are a few of the improvements that you will see as a result of the new interface:

  • Favorites is being made more accessible on the home page
  • There will be immediate access to a Table of Contents for resources and a “Get Document” choice that will allow access to the entire source/full text
  • When an individual document is chosen from a results list, there will be an immediate Shepard’s preview and synopsis
  • There will be a link to Results List at the top of the page rather than the bottom of the page to assist with navigation
  • Notification and Alert settings will be easier to use, involving a single widget
  • There will be enhanced delivery options for printing

Be looking out for these enhancements and more when the new version of Lexis Advance launches on September 8.

What’s New in HeinOnline

Some of the new libraries and content available now in HeinOnline, or being added in the near future will include a State Reports Collection, and Women and the Law (Peggy), a . . .

New content that was still in development at the time of the conference includes:

  • World Treaty Library, due in late 2014. It will include all major treaty sets in full text, searchable, summarized in search results.
  • National Survey of State Laws Collection (this is a book that is being turned into a database)

There are also 182 new journals in Law Library Journal that have been added in the last 12 months.  Many new titles have been added to the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library and the U.S. Congressional documents, including many congressional hearings. State Attorney General Reports and opinions are now available for 39 states, and there will be 7 more states included by the end of the year.

HeinOnline and the American Bar Association have a new partnership, by fall 2014 ABA publications will be available on HeinOnline.

FastCase Basic also has a new partnership with HeinOnline to include case law in the HeinOnline database. We are currently testing a trial version of FastCase at the TJSL Library. It includes both federal and state case coverage, with half of the states’ cases available back to the 1800’s, and the rest back to the 1950’s. In FastCase, cases can be retrieved using either hyperlinks embedded in other HeinOnline documents such as articles, or by citation.

Other new features in HeinOnline include enhancements to the Welcome page, including advanced searching that is available directly from the welcome page, and the ability to view and enter subcollections directly from the Welcome page. QR codes are also available now for transferring PDF documents from HeinOnline to a mobile device.

These are just a few examples of how the databases that we use at TJSL are constantly evolving and adding new content. Be sure to check out some of these new features in Lexis and HeinOnline. If you need any help come and see us at the Library, or consult these online help resources:

Turn In All Your Work (A Simple Way to Get Better Grades)

Some law school classes base grades solely on one exam. However, as law schools change up the model (and even have more practical classes such as legal research and writing) more and more law school classes are requiring you to turn in work. This work may be part of your grade or go toward a “participation” percentage of your grade (and may even require you to post comments on a class discussion board).

It may seem simple, but you absolutely never, ever want to miss one of these assignments or neglect to turn in work.


It doesn’t matter! You still need to turn it in.  No matter what you think of the work or the participation requirement, your professor cares about it. Or she wouldn’t have assigned the work. And, if you haven’t figured it out already, law school competition is tight. The difference between an A- and a B+ can just be a matter of a couple of points depending on how tight the curve is. You never want to give up easy points for something like not turning in an assignment or forgetting to post to your class discussion page. Those could be the points that make the difference between the grade you wanted and the grade you got! (Don’t believe me? In my legal writing class second semester of my first year the difference between an A+ and an A was one point. Yup, one point out of hundreds.)

And you are right—not every assignment will be meaningful to you, but you will never know if you don’t do the work. And turn it in on time. My greatest annoyance working as an adjunct law professor is when a student turns in stuff late. It really hurts my professional perspective of him or her as a future lawyer. If such students don’t respect me (the person giving them a grade) and themselves enough to turn in a simple assignment at the time due, how are they going to function in the real world and represent clients?


I hate to break it to you, but judges and bosses will require you to do all sorts of tasks that you might not like or consider relevant. But it doesn’t matter; you still need to do them. A missed deadline (or turning in something late) can actually have catastrophic consequences for a client. So if you are someone who is bad about keeping up a to-do list or turning things in on time, use law school as an opportunity to get better. It will pay off when you are practicing law in the future.

Law school is hard enough! Don’t give up easy points that will prevent you from getting the grades that you want.

By Lee Burgess