Check Out Our New Webpage!

library homepageThat’s right folks, we’ve got a new internet home.  For the first time since 2006, we have completely overhauled our web presence with a modern look, feel, and navigation. 

At the beginning of the summer, the website redesign team began meeting to begin initial planning for the new site.  These meetings included tasks like examining model websites, content weeding, IMG_20150803_090845846_HDRand page organization.  Many of the pages contained long paragraphs and were generally hard to read and even harder to navigate. These pages all needed to be re-written with a more web-friendly style. The committee also reorganized what was once a tangled mess of subpages into new logical directories.  

After these initial meetings, our website guy, Tobias Brasier, worked his magic and came up with our original prototype.  We then poked and prodded until the prototype transformed into the website you see before you.  The website redesign, coinciding with the migration of our research guides to libGuides 2.0, will hopefully provide our users with a whole new, streamlined, Coleman Karesh online library experience. 

So, go check it out already!

2015 Silver Gavel Award Winners

The following are the list of 2015 winners of the ABA’s Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts.

NewspapersTill Death Do Us Part, by the Post and Courier

A Post and Courier Special Investigation, it looks at the extremely high rate at which women are killed in domestic violence situations in South Carolina.


Burning Down the HouseBooks:
Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, by Neil Bernstein.

The book argues that state-run juvenile detention centers should be abolished completely, and “lays bare our nation’s brutal and counterproductive juvenile prisons.”



The Case Against 8

Looks at the historic case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage.



RadioSerial: Season One






Go here to see the list of runners-up.

Images courtesy of the American Bar Association.

Feeling Blue?

bluebookNever fear!  The new 20th edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation that we’ve been hearing for a while was going to come out this spring has finally arrived.  Yes, some of us here in the library are ridiculously excited about this!!!!  Okay, probably really just me, Professor Drake!  We’ve ordered new copies to replace all the 19th editions (which rolled out after my first year of law school) in various locations in the library.

When you buy The Bluebook in print, you will receive a free trial to the Bluebook online.  If you already have subscription access to the electronic version, you will be able to view the new edition online.

You might wonder what the major changes have been included in this shiny, new edition.  Awesome law librarian Janelle Beitz has put together a list of the differences between the 19th and 20th editions on Google Drive.  It’s definitely worth taking a look at.

A few things that stood out to me:

1)  The typeface rules have been relaxed to align with practitioner used of large and small caps.

Prof. Drake’s awesome I <3 the Bluebook mug.

2)  As expected, new material was added to Rule 18, which deals with the citation of electronic resources, including how to format citations for e-books and how to cite social media platform posts.

3)  The new version of the Bluebook retains its preference for print editions for certain citations, including the date of statutory code volumes, but allows for the use of online newspapers as a substitute for print.

Order your new copy today!  Then, if you’re a Bluebook nerd like me, you can spend a few hours tabbing it!  :)

Help Pick the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction Winner!

The Finalists for the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction were recently announced by the ABA Journal and the University of Alabama School of Law.  Each year, the prize is awarded to a book in the legal fiction genre published during the previous year that best exemplifies the role that lawyers play in society to effect change.  The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges, with the voting public serving as the fifth judge.

Go here to vote, and read about the three nominees below!

This year’s nominees:

secretofmagicThe Secret of Magic:
“Opening the mail for her mentor and employer, Thurgood Marshall, at the NAACP office in New York, Regina Robichard is captivated by a letter from famous southern author M. P. Calhoun, asking for an investigation of the murder of a young black man, Joe Howard Wilson. Robichard is a fan of Calhoun, having read her book about a magical forest and an unsolved murder. As a stand-in for Marshall, Robichard travels to Revere, Mississippi, to find out the truth behind the murder of Wilson, who was among scores of black men returning from the war, unwilling to put up with the humiliations of racism. What she discovers are parallels between life in Revere and Calhoun’s book. How much of the book is real, and how does it connect to the murder? Inspired by her grandfather, who fought in WWII and was a huge admirer of Thurgood Marshall, and her own admiration of Marshall colleague Constance Baker Motley, Johnson (The Air between Us, 2008) offers a completely engaging southern gothic with unforgettable characters in this fictionalized account of a pivotal NAACP case from the 1940s”–description from Booklist

My Sister’s Grave:mysistersgrave
“Dugoni’s latest novel . . . combines the best of a police procedural with a legal thriller, and the end result is outstanding. Seattle police officer Tracy Crosswhite lost her sister Sarah over 20 years ago, and she has never forgiven herself. With no corpse discovered, there was still enough evidence to convict the man thought responsible for Sarah’s disappearance. Now a body has been found and Tracy learns the remains are of her sister. Tracy has had her doubts about the guilt of the man behind bars, and she’s absolutely sure there is a murderer still loose. Can she get a new trial to free an innocent man and also find out the truth? “–description from Library Journal

220px-TerminalCityTerminal City:
“Assistant DA Alex Cooper and Detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace are called to investigate when the naked body of a young woman is found in the tower suite of the prestigious Waldorf Astoria. Within days, a second body turns up bearing the same bloody symbol—train tracks carved into the skin. The focus shifts to Grand Central Terminal, where the president is scheduled to arrive for a UN meeting later in the week and where they suspect the killer is hiding out. Coop and her sidekicks struggle to get a grip on the layout of the vast terminal, from its aqua-colored celestial ceiling to the levels far beneath the ground, which are home to some 600 people, some of whom have carved apartments out of the concrete walls.”–description from Booklist

Maymester Hours


The law library will be open from 8:00am-7:00pm Monday through Friday during the month of May.  The library will be closed on Saturday and Sunday during May.

As usual, the Reference Desk will be staffed from 8:30am-5:00pm.

10 Things to Do in Columbia in May

Exams are over, graduation is imminent, and now is the time to get out there and explore the best of what spring in the Midlands has to offer.  Here are ten awesome things happening this month in (and near) Columbia.

1.  Love good food?  Attend the 5th Annual Taste of Black Columbia: An Evening with Kenny Latimore.  The event celebrates local caterers and chefs, while supporting local historically black colleges and universities.   May 8th, $65/$55.

2.  Go in search of the Holy Grail!  Spamalot is playing at the Town Theatre from May 8th-May 29th.  Tickets range from $15-$25.

3.  Have some spooky fun on a Moonlight Cemetery Tour!  On May 14th, grab your flashlight and tour Elmwood Cemetery.   Starts at 7:30pm, $12/adults and $6/youth.

4.  Attend the SC Book Festival from May 15th through 17th at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.  Over 100 authors will be there doing readings, having panel discussions, and signing books.  Saturday and Sunday are free to everyone!

5.  Check out the first ever Saluda Shoals MusicFest on May 16th, 2015 from 1pm-8pm.  $10/person.

6.  Do you have disco fever?  Sign up for the Disco Dash 5k & Boogie Youth Run in Hopkins, SC.  May 16th, starting time 9:30.  Race admissions are $35 w/ shirt, and $25 w/o shirt.

7.  Looking for some family fun?  Check out the Forest Acres Festival from 10am-4pm at AC Flora Athletic field on May 16th.  Admission and rides are all free!  And there’s a petting zoo AND pony rides!!! 

8.  Learn more about family fitness at Gimme Five Family Fitness Day.  Families can participate in obstacle courses, relay races and cooking demonstrations.  Located at Charles Drew Wellness Center from 11am-3pm.

9.  Love local music?  Check out Edventure After Dark Presents: Vibes, a showcase of local singers and songwriters.  May 21st, from 6:30-8:30pm.

10.  Wanna prove how fit you are and raise money for a good cause?  Participate in the Fight for Air Climb 2015, a challenge to climb the 25 flights of stairs of the Capitol Center in downtown Columbia.  May 30th at 9:00am, $25 to participate; all proceeds benefit the American Lung Association.

Are You Working as an Research Assistant This Summer?

If so, we have a great training opportunity for you on May 13th and May 14th.  As you know, in the 1L curriculum, we focus primarily on primary sources at both the state and federal level.  There are a ton of other resources out there that can aid hugely in your efforts to be a kick-butt research assistant.

Why do you wanna be a kick-butt research assistant?  So the professor you’re working for loves you and becomes an enthusiastic reference for you in your job search!

We are covering a bunch of different topics and you can pick the ones you believe will be relevant to your summer research.  If you have questions about this, talk to the professor you’re working for and get the specifics of your project.  Then, come talk to us and we can recommend sessions that would be helpful!

To sign up:  Sign in to WestlawNext, and select the TWEN tab to see your courses.  Then select the orange Add Course button.  Check the box next to RA Training 2015 and hit submit at the bottom of the page.  Once you do this, you will see the course listed under My Courses.  Choose which sessions you want to attend by signing up for those sessions using the Sign-Up Sheets link.

Here’s the schedule:

Wednesday, May 13th, Room 135
9:00-9:30: Introductions, Library Policies & Procedures
9:30-10:15:  Specialized & Non-Legal Resources 10:15-10:30:  Break
10:30-11:30:  International Resources
11:30-12:00:  Online Catalog
12:00-12:45:  LexisAdvance Presentation & Lunch
12:45-1:45:  Administrative Law

Thursday, May 14th, Room 135
9:00-9:45:  WestlawNext
9:45-10:30:  Legislative History
10:30-11:15:  Citation
11:15-11:30:  Break
11:30-12:00:  Current Awareness
12:00-12:45:  Bloomberg Law Presentation & Lunch

We hope to see all you Research Assistants there!  If you can’t make a session, but want an overview of that area of legal research, please contact the presenter for each session, as listed on the TWEN course.

Will I Have Access This Summer?

Students often wonder if they will have unfettered access to WestlawNext, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg over the summer or after graduation.  Here’s the scoop!


  • Returning students can opt to extend their access over the summer for academic purposes (including for summer classes; work as a research assistant; moot court; unpaid internships or externships; law review & journal work–including the write-on competition).  Go here to extend your password.
  • All other returning students who do not extend access for academic purposes for a limited number of hours in June & July.
  • Graduating students can extend their access through November 30, 2015 by clicking here as part of Westlaw’s Grad Elite Password Extension Program.

Lexis Advance:

  • Returning students have unrestricted access over the summer.
  • Graduating students will have unrestricted access through July 31, 2015, but can extend that access through December 31st by clicking here.  Graduating students may qualify to extend it even further through the Lexis ASPIRE program.

Bloomberg Law:

  • Returning students enjoy unrestricted access over the summer regardless of where they are working.
  • Graduating students keep their access for six months after graduation.

Carrel Keys Due by May 8th

SONY DSCStudents, please remember to turn in carrel keys by May 8, 2015.  Deposits will be forfeited if keys are not turned in on time.  Please make sure that you clean out your carrels by May 8th as well; any items left in carrels after May 8th will be discarded.

If you are going to be around this summer and want to retain your carrel over the summer, stop by the Circ Desk and fill out a summer extension form!

National Library Week!


Did you know that National Library Week is next week?  We’ll be celebrating by posting a trivia question on Facebook on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week!  The prize:  a promo code for a Q&A Study Guide of your choosing, to help you prep for exams!

Keep your eyes posted!