National Library Week

Stolen and Vandalized Books

Current Awareness Tools

New & Notable

Previous Issues of Info

What's new in the Law Library . . .


 March 2002

National Library Week

The Law Library will celebrate National Library Week 2002 from April 14-20. First held in 1958, National Library Week recognizes the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and promotes library use and support. There will be a repeat offering of our popular "Amnesty for Food" program, whereby students will have their fines forgiven in exchange for nonperishable food items to be donated by the library to a local food bank. We will also have various items to give away at the Reference Desk.

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Ripped Off

Stolen and vandalized books hurt the library and users

A patron recently came to Reference Librarian Bob Menanteaux with a question concerning service of process in Canada. Two books immediately came to mind, but when Bob showed them to the patron, he found that the entire contents of one had been taken, and the relevant chapter in the other ripped out. There were no other resources available in our library that adequately addressed the man's question.

Theft and vandalism cost the library thousands of dollars a year in replacement costs and staff time incurred in ordering, processing, and following up. The rising cost of legal materials makes it increasingly prohibitive to spend money twice on the same item.

Some materials require multiple attempts to purchase, or are difficult to replace. Unlike the average bestseller, the market for specialized legal materials is relatively small. Many items are produced in low print runs, which makes them more expensive from the get-go and means that they frequently go out-of-print in a matter of months, when the publisher assumes that anyone who would have wanted a copy will have acquired one. Also, the contents of more specialized legal materials are not likely to be found anywhere else. The majority of our print collection is not freely available online due to the economics of publishing. We frequently have to search the out-of-print book market for replacements, which is expensive, time-consuming, and often fruitless.

The upshot is that when something is stolen or vandalized, the information contained in that source is lost to our users. Even if we find a replacement, whoever discovered the problem will most likely be past the point when he or she needs the information, and others who needed it in the meantime will have had to do without. Since part of the value of a collection is measured by its comprehensiveness, no one wants to see a hole on the shelf. Anything taken lessens the value of the collection to everyone.

Our mission as a library is to provide access to resources for all of our patrons. We need your help in making sure we can do that. If you find misplaced or damaged materials, please notify us. Your help enables us to provide greater access to materials for all library patrons.

At least they left the index: some materials have to be replaced entirely, even when only a small section is removed. Pages are not sold piecemeal, even in some loose-leaf sets. 158 pages, the bulk of this handbook, were stolen and cannot be replaced. It is no longer published.

Gee, thanks: this article was ripped out, then later returned. Some materials turn up after assignments and exams. Usually at that point, however, we have already processed the replacement material and the damage is done.

Points for neatness: 42 pages of this law review were removed with a razor.

Maybe he or she was in a hurry: the missing pages from this old volume of the Harvard Law Review (1891) were torn out so violently that the binding has been ruined, causing the whole volume to fall apart.

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Current Awareness Tools

Legal Scholarship Network

The Law Library has a site license for law faculty to access the electronic abstract journals published by the Legal Scholarship Network, Each journal issue, delivered via e-mail, contains abstracts of working papers and articles accepted for publication in a particular area of legal scholarship. Journals are edited by a law professor with expertise in the field covered by the journal. Each abstract is accompanied by an email address for the author, whom you can contact to obtain a full copy of any paper, and often a web site address from which the paper can be downloaded free of charge. (Some full-text papers are not covered by the site license and users will be notified of additional downloading charges, see

To subscribe, register at:

Current Index to Legal Periodicals (SmartCILP)

The library also has a site license for law faculty to access SmartCILP, a personalized periodical article awareness tool for legal researchers. SmartCILP provides automated personalized e-mail delivery of pre-selected topics and/or journals indexed in the Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP). After setting up a SmartCILP profile, subscribers receive an e-mail message each week that containing article citations pertaining to the topics and journals they selected. This e-mail message is clearly marked as "SmartCILP" to allow easy identification and review of results. SmartCILP profiles can be changed each week, allowing subscribers to tailor the delivery of CILP to their changing research needs.

For a SmartCILP sample, go to the following URL:

To set up or change a SmartCILP profile, go to:

You may obtain the authorization code for Seattle University Law Library by calling the reference desk, x4225.

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New and Notable Library Materials

Check out the New and Notable page to see new resources we think might be of particular interest to our users. The page includes synopses, information on the authors, and links to available reviews of the titles shown above.

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Newsletter written by law library staff.

Questions? Comments? Please contact Brendan Starkey, editor.