December 18, 2015

November 16, 2015

Front page news

You'll find quite a good article on the NYCRR Digital Archive in the Buffalo Law Journal today. The reporter does a nice job of capturing the collaboration it took to get it done, as well as its usefulness to legal researchers. We're so thrilled to have helped make the project happen!

If you need help using the database, please call our reference desk at 585-530-3251. If you've already used it, we'd love to hear your feedback!

Update (November 17, 2015): the Buffalo Law Journal story was picked up by national library news! (Look for the picture of "Team Green.")

October 30, 2015

The NYCRR Digital Archive is up and running!

After three years of concerted effort the Appellate Division Law Library, the Charles B. Sears Law Library at the University of Buffalo Law School, and the State Supreme Court Law Library in Buffalo are pleased to announce the "greatest thing since sliced bread" is now available free online.

The New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) is where you would find environmental rules about car emissions or the guidelines for what a stop sign should look like. Like most law, the NYCRR is constantly changing. Although it is easy to find the current version, finding past versions was very difficult. If you needed to know what regulations governed the mortgage you took out in 1991, your only option was to travel to one of the few libraries that kept the old print versions and sift through hundreds of binders until you found what you were looking for. The process could take hours, even days to complete.

This is no longer the case, thanks to the NYCRR Digital Archive. This free online database allows anyone to search through past versions of rules and regulations that were in effect from 1945-2001.

If you need help using the database, please call our reference desk at 585-530-3251.

October 27, 2015

Salem Witch Trials

The Daily Record today featured a review by Christine Bowersox, Collection Management Librarian at Harris Beach, of resources on the Salem Witch Trials. That piqued our curiosity: did we own any of the works on her list? We do have one, "Trials for Witchcraft Before the Special Court of Oyer and Terminer." It's in Volume 1 of American Criminal Trials, in our Rare Book Room. You can find a free electronic version of American Criminal Trials in the Hathi Trust Digital Library.

We also have books on the subject from two excellent series:
The Salem witchcraft trials : a legal history
from the series Landmark law cases & American society
Narratives of the witchcraft cases, 1648-1706
from the series Notable Trials Library.

Also worth mentioning is the University of Virginia's Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project, an impressive collection of primary sources, historical maps, and contemporary commentary.

October 14, 2015

Villain or victim?

The Wolf: villain or victim?
The Three Pigs: innocent or at fault?
The Jurors, Miss Muffet, Bo Peep, Cinderella and Humpty-Dumpty: solid citizens or characters with a past?

RAPA Family Theatre promises fun-filled proceedings in The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf, running October 23 through November 1. By the author of The Trial of Goldilocks.

For details, please visit the website of the Kodak Center for Performing Arts.

September 29, 2015

Westlaw now available for public use

Westlaw Next, the latest legal database platform from Thomson Reuters, is now available to the public. It can be accessed from any of the library's public computers, along with a "getting started" help guide.

Westlaw Next is available in addition to, and includes a robust selection of New York and federal legal materials.

September 1, 2015

Labor Day

They were cleaning the windows across the street on this fine late-summer afternoon.

We will be closed Monday, September 7th for Labor Day. Have a safe and happy holiday.

August 5, 2015

Legislative history tips

We had occasion this week to compile a guide to doing legislative history for some new court staff.
We hope others may also find it handy.

 Legislative History Tips
Identify the chapter or section to be researched.

Consult the latest McKinney’s/CLS for historical notes for the year and chapter of the legislation and references to other documents.

Consult McKinney’s/CLS Session Laws for the law as it was sent to the governor for signing and the McKinney’s Session Laws for its accompanying legislative memorandum.

Check the governor’s bill jackets for memoranda using the year and chapter of the law in the 2nd floor microfiche collection. Governor’s bill jackets from 1995 to 2012 are also available at:

See the New York State Legislative Annual as well as the New York State Legislative Digest on the balcony for additional information.

Check for summaries, actions taken, votes, memoranda, or text of the bill itself.

For assistance contact a librarian at 585-530-3251 or, or stop by the reference desk.

July 27, 2015

Wi-Fi expansion complete!

We are proud to announce the expansion of our wi-fi network. Wireless Internet access is now available throughout the M. Dolores Denman Courthouse, including every square foot of the library.

The network name is "UCS Public Internet." Users may freely connect to the network; no password is required.

July 24, 2015

Snapshots from the 2015 AALL conference

Reading Terminal Market
Reading Terminal Market
This year's buzzword: "crowdsourcing"

Thought-provoking quote:
"Digital natives prefer to read in print."
People tend to skim digital for pointed informational needs, but read print for content and pleasure.
(Strategic Integration of E-books and Digital Content in Law Libraries, July 20th)

Getting things done: Strike teams
Strike teams are small, typically three people, implemented ad hoc to accomplish miscellaneous projects that might otherwise be indefinitely backburnered. Staffed across departments, they increase collaboration.
(The Librarians Strike Back, July 19th)

pedestrian bridge to convention center
Pedestrian bridge to convention center

A breath of Fresh Air:
The keynote addresses are always well- attended, but this year's was especially interesting and lively, as NPR's Terry Gross shared memorable interviews from her long career in radio - from the sublime (George Clooney) to the ridiculous (a dog puppet). She spoke past time as the audience sat riveted. One thing that particularly struck this attendee: Gross has an impressive way of posing difficult questions - she gives people space to dial back.
(Opening General Session, July 19th)

July 22, 2015


A sampling of the swag a thoughtful colleague brought back from the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting & Conference, held in Philadelphia, PA, July 18-21

June 26, 2015

The view from the second floor

Food trucks setting up for the Jazz Festival, Thursday, June 25th

June 18, 2015

Jazz Festival parking & street closures advisory

It's always so energizing to see all the activity in our neighborhood as people prepare for the two weeks of the Jazz Festival. There are some adjustments, though, that library staff and patrons may need to make during this period.

Tents are now up in two parking lots close to the library - AllPro Parking at 86 Gibbs Street and Regents Park Station at 61 East Avenue. Please see our Transit & Parking page for alternatives.

Street closures
The street closings for this year are detailed below.

Gibbs St. (from East Ave. to E. Main)
Mon., June 15 (Midnight) to Mon., June 29 (Midnight)

Chestnut St. (from E. Main to East Ave.)
Fri., June 19 (6AM) to Sun., June 21 (2AM)
Fri., June 26 (6AM) to Sun., June 28 (2AM)

East Ave. (from E. Main to Scio) & Chestnut (from Broad to East Ave.)
Fri., June 19 (5PM-Midnight)
Sat., June 20 (5PM-Midnight)
Fri., June 26 (5PM-Midnight)
Sat., June 27 (5PM-Midnight)

Main St. (from Gibbs to Chestnut, not including Gibbs or Chestnut)
Fri., June 19 to Sat., June 27 (5PM-Midnight)

June 15, 2015

Magna Carta display

Today's the big day, the eight hundredth anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta.

To observe the occasion we've put together an exhibit we hope you'll find interesting. We're pleased to highlight an item from our Rare Book collection, the first volume (Volume the First) of The statutes at large, from Magna Carta, to the end of the last Parliament, 1761. This title was commonly found in the libraries of the American founding fathers. Also featured are some very fine brand-new books, from the lavishly illustrated Magna Carta : the foundation of freedom 1215-2015 to the pocket-sized, accessible Magna Carta : a very short introduction.

Please visit us through November to view them and the rest of the display.

June 1, 2015

800 candles

In exactly two weeks will be the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. The British Library has pulled out all the stops in its commemoration of the event, including a diverse and extensive online exhibit. For your enjoyment and edification we feature two videos from the exhibit, narrated by none other than Monty Python's Terry Jones. Watch for King John's coffee mug.

What is Magna Carta?

Eight hundred years of Magna Carta

May 8, 2015

May flowers

That cheerful patch of color you see on the corner of East Avenue & Chestnut Street is thanks to the ever-diligent Mike. We hope he won't be needing his snowblower any time soon.

May 6, 2015

Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts

On June 10-13, 2015, the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission will host the 27th Annual Conference of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts in Buffalo.

The Conference will feature workshops and plenary sessions discussing timely issues regarding justice and fairness in the courts and justice system.

The Conference program can be viewed at the following link:

To register for the Conference, please click on the following link:

Hon. Rose H. Sconiers, Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, chairs the host commission and will offer welcoming remarks.

April 3, 2015

Access Lexis on your own device

Did you know that you can access Lexis on your own device while you are in the library? Simply enter the following URL into your web browser once you are connected to our wi-fi network:

Access will only be granted while you are connected to our wireless network, but we encourage you to take advantage of this service.

March 31, 2015

Lots of changes

There have been lots of changes (sorry, couldn't pass up that pun) in parking and public transportation downtown in the past couple of years. We're happy to say we've updated and expanded the transit and parking info on our website.

March 5, 2015

Andy Hammond

We learned recently of the passing of Andy Hammond, the gentleman who played accordion in front of Java's for many years. He brightened many a hectic workday.

He will be missed.

February 6, 2015

Black History Month display

Our display this month celebrates a new generation of people of color who are striving to make a difference in our community.

(from l. to r.)
Lovely A. Warren, Mayor of the City of Rochester
Honorable Maija C. Dixon, Rochester City Court Judge
Officer Isaac Armstrong, Rochester Police Department
Craig D. Carson, Esquire, Rochester Attorney

An online version of the display may be viewed here.

February 3, 2015

February holiday closings

The Library will be closed Thursday, February 12th for Lincoln's Birthday and Monday, February 16th for President's Day.

January 30, 2015

When the weather outside is frightful

Are you stuck in Sodus? Can't leave Le Roy? If your library items are coming due and you'd like more time, know that most items may be renewed for an additional seven days from the original due date. Just call the Circulation Desk at 585-530-3250. We are also currently working on an online renewal option.