December 27, 2013

Appellate Division Law Library Assists Robert H. Jackson Project

In November, 2013, the library had the pleasure of working with the court to locate and provide digital copies of Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson's (1892 - 1954) bar admission records. 

The records were requested by the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, NY to be used as part of their commemoration of the centennial year of Justice Jackson's admission to the New York Bar.

The confidential records were released by an order pursuant to Judiciary Law Section 90 (10) that was entered November 19th, just five days prior to the 100th anniversary.

The complete record of Justice Jackson's admission to the bar, including his character and fitness review, can now be viewed on the Jackson Center's website at:

November 29, 2013

New lunchtime spot

A new restaurant opened across the street from the library this past week, Aunt Rosie’s Italian Style. The menu has good choices and fair prices. I shared a pizza with a friend; it was a 9-inch pie - very tasty with a thin crust and spicy pepperoni. Another nice feature is the restaurant is selling pizza by the slice, quick and fast for a short lunch hour.

November 4, 2013

Join us at our Open House

Please join us Wednesday, November 20 from 10 to 3 as we celebrate 15 years on East Avenue! Staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and to give tours.

Refreshments will be served!

October 24, 2013

Town of Greece v. Galloway

The Genesee Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Rochester Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society, and the Monroe County Bar Association will present a discussion on Town of Greece v. Galloway, the legislative prayer case that's scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court on November 6. Speaking at the event will be representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed an amicus brief in support of the respondents, two residents who sued the town over the predominantly Christian prayers said before its public meetings, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the town.

The event takes place Tuesday, October 29 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Nixon Peabody LLP, 1300 Clinton Square, and is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

October 7, 2013

One night only

On Tuesday, October 8th, the Little will present a special one-time screening of the documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply, a timely examination of the online user contracts few people have actually ever read before clicking the "Agree" button. If you'd like to know more about it, visit the movie's witty and engaging website.

The show starts at 7:00. Afterwards there'll be a Q & A session with the director via Skype.

October 4, 2013

RBBA 11th Annual Awards & Scholarship Ceremony

The fourteenth floor of the Clinton Square Building provided a near panoramic view of our fair city for the attendees of the Rochester Black Bar Association's 11th Annual Awards & Scholarship Ceremony last night. The Library was pleased to have a presence at this distinguished event, hosted by Nixon Peabody, LLP and supported by those from all walks of the legal profession, the community, and special guests. We heartily congratulate the award winners.

Please watch WROC's story on the ceremony here.

September 25, 2013

Ukrainian visitors

The Law Library was honored by a visit from a 7-member Ukrainian legal delegation (including a translator) on September 25, 2013. We were part of a larger visit to the Appellate Division Fourth Department. Applause erupted from one member and smiles from the others when a "welcome sign" in Ukrainian was spotted at the service desk. Our guests received a tour, an introduction to our electronic services, and an overview of the public service and technical service departments. They appeared especially interested in the online legal databases, the Women in the Law collection, and the Rare Book Room, where, one staff member relates, "they all whipped out their iPhones to take pictures of the oldest book in our collection" (ca. 1565).

The Library was their last stop before lunch at the Monroe County Bar Association. We hope they enjoyed their time here and the really fine early autumn weather!

September 11, 2013

Wi-Fi Upgrades

We have recently completed upgrades to the library's Wi-Fi network. The new Wi-Fi network provides free Internet access without the need to enter a security key. To access the network, just connect to "AD4_WIFI" and agree to the terms of service.

The upgraded network now provides coverage to our study rooms! The study rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are an ideal setting to meet with clients and colleagues, or just a quiet place to "get away."

August 30, 2013

School Without Walls Law Camp visit

School Without Walls Law Camp studying 19th-century Monroe County maps in the Rare Book Room
Studying 19th-century maps in the Rare Book Room
On August 15th a team of staff members had the pleasure of providing a tour of the library to a group of students participating in the School Without Walls Law Camp. Exploring careers in law, they got to see first-hand the work it takes to run a large court law library - covering topics from book preservation to online databases, interlibrary loan, records and briefs, and the whole range of diverse job responsibilities here.

While discussing their areas of expertise, staff members were also happy to tell the students about their own career paths. A cataloger shared the memorable and instructive tale

of a work experience I had after earning a library degree but before landing my first professional library position. The keyboarding skills I learned in grade 10 (known then as typing) kept me housed, fed, clothed, and otherwise independent for 7 years. (Yes, it was 7 years between grad school completion and the start of my first position working as a librarian.) I was hired through a temp agency to do secretarial work in a yeast factory. Each new batch of yeast was tested on premises for quality by baking bread with it. Employees took fresh bread home, free of charge, on a regular basis. I gained a few pounds as a result. What a sensory delight – the smell of bread baking while I worked!
The kids seemed to really enjoy the hands-on learning opportunities in the Rare Book Room, the staff workroom, and elsewhere (moveable shelves!). Another librarian relates,
I told the students about the technology I manage here at the library: the public computer network, wireless network, staff computers, and public-use scanners. Interestingly, the students were much more interested in things one might consider 'low-tech.' For example, they were fascinated by our microfiche readers! They asked to see them in action, so I loaded up a piece of microfiche and showed them how it worked. As half the students looked on in wonder at the image projected on the fiche reader, the other half were holding pieces of fiche up to the light to see if they could read what was printed on them. It was then that I realized that they had probably never seen a piece of microfiche before. Heck, they probably never even knew it existed! The truth is, these students were likely born around 1997, and to them, things like computers, wireless networks and the Internet are just everyday things they’ve grown up with. Yet something as banal to me as microfiche is something completely new to them. Same goes for pocket parts. I answered several questions about how information was updated before the Internet Age, and they found the subject truly interesting. I was taken aback at what good questions they asked!

All in all, it was a great experience for me. I hope that it was interesting for them as well. I’m proud that I was able to introduce them to something completely new, even if it was something that seemed 'old hat' to me! I certainly look forward to the opportunity to do it again.
Thanks to everyone involved - staff, organizers, and especially the Law Camp students - for a lively afternoon.

If your group would like to schedule a tour of the library, please call the Reference Desk at 585-530-3251.

August 23, 2013

East End is looking up

We love working downtown. We love Java's, we love Golden Port, we love the Eastman Theatre and RoCo. Some of us follow restaurant openings and closings in the neighborhood the way others follow the Supreme Court. So you know we read with great interest a story in today's Rochester Business Journal that discussed the evolution of the East End into a vibrant entertainment district and downtown living hotspot. We were especially pleased to see that the Courthouse, "home of the state's 4th Appellate Division and a huge law library," got a mention.

Yes, we are huge! One of the largest court libraries in the nation. And we are unique, the only appellate-level court library in the state which serves both an active judiciary and practicing bar, and is also open to the general public.

We've been here in the East End almost fifteen years now. Watch this space in the coming weeks for reminiscences on what it's like to move a library!

August 15, 2013

August Mixer

The Rochester Black Young Professionals will be holding their August Mixer just down the block at Decibel Lounge, 45 Euclid Street, on Thursday, August 29, 2013. The event will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., with drink specials and finger foods served from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. All BYP members are free and can bring two guests for free. The event is $5 for non-members.

July 30, 2013

Celebrating the Nineteenth Amendment

Summer is festival time and a unique one is coming up August 18th: the Susan B. Anthony Festival, celebrating the 93rd anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Of course there'll be food & music & artisans, but there'll also be appearances by "Susan B. Anthony" & famous suffragists throughout the day, as well as walking tours of the Historic Preservation District around Susan B. Anthony Square Park.

Please see the Susan B. Anthony House website for all the details.

For information on the Nineteenth Amendment, check out the new edition of From suffrage to the Senate and the many other wonderful resources in our Women in the Law collection.

July 16, 2013

Library catalog down for scheduled maintenance Wednesday, July 17

The library's online catalog will be unavailable for a portion of the day on Wednesday, July 17. As a part of ongoing improvements to the library's online services, we are upgrading the software which powers the catalog.

The catalog should be back online before the end of the day. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we thank you for your patience during this process.

July 10, 2013

New on the book shelf this month

The library prepares a monthly list of new books purchased the previous month. These new books are either requests from patrons or books that have recently come out. Sometimes, due to budgetary constraints, the new book selection committee cannot buy the books it has decided to purchase all at once. It has to make a decision on a hierarchy of books that should be purchased sooner than others. Some materials are put in the back burner for a while until funding is available - hence, the reason for older books on the list.

Check out our New Book List!

July 5, 2013

Judicial Portrait Collection
M. Dolores Denman
M. Dolores Denman

Have you ever noticed the large collection of portraits on display throughout the library? They are only part of the library’s ever expanding Judicial Portrait Collection. The collection is one of the best of its kind in the nation, and includes nearly every judge from the Appellate Division Fourth Department and dozens from the Seventh Judicial District and the Court of Appeals. The collection spans more than 150 years and includes individual as well as group photographic portraits. There are even a few oil paintings and engravings.

In order to make this unique collection available to all in its entirety, the portraits are being scanned or photographed, cataloged, and then added to the New York Heritage website. According to its website,
New York Heritage is a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists, and anyone else who is interested in learning more about the people, places and institutions of New York State. The site provides free access to more than 170 distinct digital collections, totaling hundreds of thousands of items.
At present a small percentage of the collection has been added, mainly consisting of portraits that have never been on display in the library. In the months to come the remainder of the collection will be added for all to enjoy.

Watch for an upcoming blog post on how the original photographic portraits are being preserved.

View the collection here.

June 27, 2013

Why copy when you can scan for free?

For decades, the Appellate Division Law Library has provided patrons with the ability to make photocopies for a small fee. The copiers are still here, gobbling up dimes and using up plenty of paper. However, this is no longer your only option.

Over the last year, the library has purchased two scanners which can be used free of charge! One scanner works for paper documents (including books, magazines and newspapers) and the other works for microfilm and microfiche. Both scanners are easy to use, and both are capable of producing high-quality, text-searchable PDF files that can be emailed or saved to a flash drive.

Never used a scanner before? Not to worry; a staff member will be happy to show you how. Step-by-step instructions are also provided. So, next time you need a copy of an old bill jacket or a record on appeal, save your dimes and some trees and try out our new scanners!

June 24, 2013

First weekend of the 2013 Jazz Festival

The scene by our front entrance this past weekend -
festival goers enjoying a free concert on a fine summer night!
(Thanks, Jeremy, for the photo!)

June 20, 2013

Jazz Festival street closures

Tents and equipment trucks are springing up all around the library - yes, it's time for the Jazz Fest. The first block of Gibbs St. (in yellow) has already been closed off to traffic for the duration of the festival. Please note that our stretch of Chestnut St. (in orange, from East Ave. to E. Main St.) will be closed all day Friday, June 21, after 6 AM and again all day Friday, June 28 after 6 AM. Also note that East Ave. from E. Main St. to Scio St. (in blue) and Chestnut St. from East Ave. to Broad St. (in magenta) will close at 5 PM on Friday, June 21 and Friday, June 28. One last advisory for traffic in our immediate vicinity: beginning Friday, June 21 and continuing the duration of the fest, evenings after 5 there will be detours around the Big Tent venue on E. Main St. (in lilac).

For a complete list of street closures, please see the City of Rochester's Jazz Fest page.

June 5, 2013

Welcome to the Appellate Division Law Library blog!

image of Rochester from September 2010 calendar
September 2010
We’re in possession of calendars so beautiful and informative we wanted everyone to know that we have them. These calendars are produced annually, beginning in 2004, by The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York and are sent to Society members. There are three members on the library staff who have donated their unused calendars to the library. Many thanks to the Assistant Director of the Society for kindly and generously providing pdfs of calendar images for the slide show. He will also send us calendars for 2004-2007, making our holdings complete to date!

Calendars are considered ephemera, which the American Heritage dictionary, Houghton Mifflin (4th ed. 2000) defines as “printed matter of passing interest.” Cataloging ephemera is new and exciting for us. For those unfamiliar, “cataloging is the process of organizing library materials and making them accessible to library users” – Mary Liu Koa, Cataloging and classification for library technicians p. 1 Haworth Press (2nd ed. 2001). Luckily, we are acquainted with a Rare Books & Manuscripts librarian experienced in cataloging all manner of ephemera, including calendars, who graciously shared his expertise and provided us with many examples of his calendar records. Find our original record in the library's online catalog here, scrolling down to view the years in our collection.

Caution: Interest in ephemera could lead to passion and collecting. Find camaraderie in The Ephemera Society of America, an organization of individuals and institutions dedicated to the promotion, preservation, exhibition, and research of ephemeral materials. Attend the annual March conference and Paper Fair in Old Greenwich, CT. The engaging educational sessions and the opportunity to hunt for treasures in the Fair’s ample exhibit space makes the conference a rite of Spring.

A cataloger