Author: Michael Van Aken

Database Spotlight: HeinOnline

Hello! Welcome to the second installment in the Database Spotlight blog series! This month, I want to highlight a database that contains a wealth of information. This database describes itself as the “premier online research platform that provides more than 208 million pages of multidisciplinary periodicals, essential government documents, international resources, case law, and much more [1].” Of course, I’m talking about HeinOnline! I like to tell people that HeinOnline is one of those “hidden...

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My First AALL Conference

Background  Every summer, law librarians from across the country get the opportunity to come together for a few days of collaboration, learning, and networking. The American Association of Law libraries (AALL) coordinates this through their annual meeting and conference. This year, the city of Boston had the pleasure of welcoming law librarians, distinguished speakers, and legal research vendors to it’s historic grounds. This year’s theme of the conference was titled, “Map Our Future,”...

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The State of Pride (by the numbers)

This year’s Pride month has faced an increased number of controversies and backlash including boycotts of Target and Anheuser-Bush, protesting pride celebrations in public schools, and the controversy involving the Los Angeles Dodgers and the LGBTQ+ charity organization, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. There’s no doubt this year’s pride season has felt very different than past seasons. For the first time ever, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a statement, “LGBTQ+ Americans under attack:...

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Database Spotlight: LLMC Digital

Welcome to a brand-new blog series titled, “Database Spotlight.” In each blog under this series, we will take a deep dive into one of the ten legal databases offered here at RCLL. In this first installment, we’re going to be looking at LLMC Digital. And it just so happens that RCLL recently hosted an informative webinar all about the database! What follows is a brief description of all that was learned during that webinar.   On January 27th, 2023, the Riverside County Law Library held an online...

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New Year, New Laws: 2023 Edition!

With a new year comes many things including resolutions, goals, upcoming events, tax season, and of course, new laws. California is set to launch new laws in the areas of health care, labor, public safety, retail, housing, and gun control within this new year. What follows is a listing of some of those new California laws taking effect this year.  Health Care  Abortion Rights: several reproductive healthcare-related measures have taken effect or will take effect in 2023 in response to the U.S....

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Illegal Game Show Practices for $500!

Background  Like many others, I love watching reality competition shows. Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Iron Chef, and RuPaul’s Drag Race are some of my favorite “must watch” reality competition shows. Apart from my personal enjoyment of these shows, what really piqued my interest in writing this blog post was a law journal article I recently came across. The article, “Keeping it Real: How the FCC Fights Fake Reality Shows with 47 U.S.C. 509” from the Chapman Law Review, examined a...

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Prisons and Legal Perspectives on Book Challenges and Bans

Background As mentioned in the April 1st blog, book challenging and banning is a serious and timely issue. As librarians, we take umbrage when we hear of books being pulled from shelves and librarians and educators being penalized. Working in a law library, we don’t have a lot, if any instances, of individuals attempting to challenge books. In fact, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom notes that roughly 96% of book challenges come from public libraries, K-12 school...

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Handling Your Own California Civil Appeal

Representing yourself in court can be difficult the first time you do it. Now, imagine you have (or want to) represent yourself in the appeals process. What do you do now!? For starters, it is good to keep in mind a few key facts about the appeals process. First, an appeal is not a new trial. What this means is that in an appeal you cannot go back to the trial court with a new judge, you cannot present new evidence, and you cannot bring in new witnesses. The appellate court will look at what happened...

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Leading at all levels: My journey through the CLA Developing Leaders in California Libraries program

Like everyone else, the year 2020 was a hectic and difficult time for me. However, it was also a time for growth, change, and reflection. Throughout 2020, I got more settled in with my job here at RCLL and I made the decision to go back to school to get my Master of Library and Information Science degree. In the fall of 2020, I came across an opportunity to apply for an opportunity to be a part of the 2021 Developing Leaders in California Libraries, New Leaders Cohort. This is a program that groups...

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