Home > Legal Research, Uncategorized > A Catalog That Doesn’t Come in the Mail

A Catalog That Doesn’t Come in the Mail

According to a recent New York Times article, some pilots are now using iPads in the cockpit for accessing operating manuals and checklists instead of lugging around piles of reference books in flight bags as they once did. One sure hopes they refrain from watching funny YouTube videos while in flight!

Several recent news and blog articles have discussed ebooks and online content; looking at issues like whether or not they can or should replace the physical printed word and showcasing innovative features that enhance the reading experience – like in-text links to explanatory information or even embedded soundtracks.  Is it possible that one day the online version of Black’s Law Dictionary will play Mozart? At any rate, ebooks and online versions of printed materials are here to stay and are often the preferred mode for reading and reference these days.

Different scenarios call for different formats, however. Ebooks and electronic content are an important option in academic environments. Print resources still are too, however, and will continue to be for many reasons. Those reasons include the need to accommodate different learning styles and the fact that some information is presented better in a physical format. More importantly for the legal field, print is often the official record.

Fortunately, you can find records for both print and online resources living together harmoniously in the Professional Center Library catalog. The aforementioned Black’s Law Dictionary, for example, is available through the library in print and online formats. You can do a quick search for a title in the catalog search box on the library website and get results for all different formats including physical and online resources, and in some cases videos, audio recordings, microform, etc.

An online resource is identified as [electronic resource] in the catalog.  If you only want to see titles in that format, click the post limit button on the right side of the results page. On the search limit page, select “computer file” as the option for limiting the search results by format.

Click the title Black’s law dictionary, 8th edition [electronic resource] for the full record and see information on how to access the content online. This title is available through Westlaw and requires a login and password.

Often, starting your research in the library’s catalog will help you save a lot time searching in disparate places. You will uncover a wealth of resources in just about any format you could need. True, you won’t find any books that play music but you never know what might be next . . .  stay tuned.

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