Your summer reading project is here

(c)Flickr user Josue Goge, licensed under Creative Commons

(c)Flickr user Josue Goge, licensed under Creative Commons

The semester is winding down, and you might actually be looking ahead to summer by now.  Summer offers you a great opportunity to catch up on some non-school reading.  Here’s a novel idea (some pun intended): This summer, you can read, or at least start, the American Bar Association’s list of the 25 Greatest Law Novels Ever.  I’ll assume you’ve already read To Kill a Mockingbird, so you really only need to get through the other 24.  If you’re a reader, this gives you a great opportunity to step away from the casebook for a bit.

There are some great books on the ABA’s list, including many classics.  If you’re looking for a literary page-turner, I highly recommend The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe.  Maybe this summer is the summer that you finally read Crime and Punishment or Les Miserables.  Or maybe you’ll just take The Firm or A Time to Kill to the beach.  Think how smart you’ll feel when you’re interviewed for a job next fall and you tell them you spent the summer reading Bleak House and Native Son!

Where will you find these books?  The Chicago-Kent College of Law Library, of course!  Our Law and Popular Culture (LPOP) collection includes copies of all 25 novels, plus a lot of other great books and the ABA’s 25 Greatest Legal Movies, which would probably be a less ambitious summer project.

No matter what you’re looking forward to this summer, the library will be open to help you make the most of it, whether it’s the top 25 law novels, a place to study for the bar exam, or research help at your summer job.

Good luck with the end of the semester!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recent Faculty Scholarship Display

The IIT Chicago-Kent faculty are a distinguished and diverse group of scholars, teachers, and practitioners. Our professors are situated at the forefront of their fields, and are published consistently in top-ranking law reviews on subjects that span the full spectrum of the law—from U.S. Supreme Court analysis to privacy rights to labor issues to the intersection of law and technology.

The Library has created a display on the 5th floor of the law school containing profiles and examples of their work to highlight recent scholarship produced by our prolific faculty.

Faculty Scholarship Display Front Faculty Scholarship Display Side

The faculty members highlighted in this display have produced important scholarship in their legal specialties and have helped maintain Chicago-Kent’s status as a leader in academic discourse.

Felice Batlan

Felice Batlan

Stop by the display case opposite Room 570 (the Game Room) to see the full display!

Posted in Archives, Chicago-Kent | Tagged | Leave a comment

Summer and Post-Graduation Access to Westlaw, Lexis and Bloomberg Law

As summer approaches, many students and soon-to-be graduates wonder whether they will still have access to their favorite subscription databases over the summer.  Here is a summary of the access that will be offered during the summer of 2015:


Continuing students will be able to extend their passwords over the summer for academic purposes, including school work, moot court, unpaid internship/externships, law review, and research assistant positions.  As long as the work is related to school or for school credit, a student can use their Westlaw account.  Students can extend their passwords here.

While students can use their academic accounts for the purposes listed above, if a student will be working for a firm or other organization they should use the Westlaw account provided to them by their employer.

Graduates will also be able to extend their passwords through the end of November for academic purposes and bar examination preparation.  Graduating students can extend their passwords at this page.

Lexis Advance

Continuing students can use their law school LexisNexis ID for academic, professional and non-profit research.  This access will consist of all legal content and news that would otherwise be available during the school year.  Students will have access to this content for unlimited hours-per-week without any special summer registration–your current LexisNexis ID will remain active all summer.

Summer access to Lexis Advance runs from the last day of classes in the Spring to the first day of classes in the Fall. Normal usage restrictions apply outside of these dates (i.e, during the regular semester you cannot use your academic ID for work, unless it’s for an externship for which you receive class credit).

Lexis provides two separate programs for graduating students:

The Graduate ID program provides graduating students a new Lexis Advance ID for bar review and career searching purposes through December 31, 2015.

The ASPIRE program provides all students doing verifiable 501(c)(3) public interest work a Lexis Advance ID through September 30, 2016. Students register for both programs using the same form, located here.

Bloomberg Law

Bloomberg Law offers students unrestricted access to Bloomberg Law over the summer and for 6 months following graduation.  No special registration is required.


If you have any questions regarding access to any of these services, please feel free to contact our account representatives:

Westlaw – Dennis Elverman (
LexisNexis – Jonnell Simpson (
Bloomberg Law – Valerie Carullo (

Posted in Holidays, Library Resources | Leave a comment

The Land of Books

Century of Progress PosterOn October 28, 1929, a $10 million dollar bond for the Chicago World’s Fair was issued. The following day, the stock market crashed, bringing the Roaring Twenties to a shuddering halt, and plunging America into the depths of the Great Depression. It was in this economic climate that the Century of Progress International Exposition, the World’s Fair of Chicago, opened in May of 1933 along the shores of Lake Michigan. Thousands of visitors flooded the midway to get a glimpse of the future and forget, if only for a day, about the tempestuous present. “Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms,” the fair’s motto boasted. Visitors basked in the glow of a giant electric Coca-Cola sign above a rotating lunch counter. Crowds gathered to watch racing champion Harry Hart, “Daredevil of the Race Track,” drive a boxy Chrysler around a 40 degree turn at a terrific 50 miles per hour. The bravest visitors took a spin on the “Skyride,” a slow-moving metal car suspended on cables 628 feet above the ground. With its focus on modern industrial design, new electrical devices, and idealistic interpretations of a healthy and beautiful American future, the Century of Progress International Exposition was a welcome distraction in the gloomy landscape of early 1930s America.

Dedication ceremonies took place in late spring of 1933. On the afternoon of May 6, Mrs. Lennox Lohr broke “a great big bottle of milk over that grand pink confection known as Magic Mountain.” The dedication signified the opening of the Enchanted Island, a section of the fair situated between a lagoon and Lake Michigan, filled to the brim with entertainment for children. Near the Magic Mountain, which doubled as a large slide, was a giant Radio Flyer wagon, a mechanical zoo, a tiny “fairy castle”, a miniature theater featuring plays such as Peter Pan and Cinderella, all encircled by a child-sized locomotive for little passengers.

Illustration of the Enchanted Island of the Chicago World's Fair, 1933

Postcard from the Enchanted Island, “where parents may leave their children.”

Weary parents checked their children into the Enchanted Island for any amount of time from an hour to an entire day. Near the entrance, where youngsters were released to roam free in this mini-Utopia, boys from the Francis Parker School walked back and forth, shifting uncomfortably under the weight of their sandwich boards, which displayed the messages “Follow the Shore to Story Cove and Hear Tales of Many Lands” and “Rest a While at Story Cove with Adventurous Heroes from the Land of Books.” Beyond the roar of car engines, screams of roller coaster riders, and the noise of the crowds shuffling through hundreds of exhibits under the hot sun, there existed a small, quiet room filled with child-sized tables and chairs. The room, known as the Story Cove, was also home to a collection of nearly 1600 children’s books in 17 languages from 57 countries around the world. Sheltered from the sun and insulated from the electric hum of progress booming all around, cooled by the breeze off Lake Michigan, children sat and read from a new library of stories by authors outside the canon of popular American children’s literature.

In the Days of Giants by Abbie Farwell, 1902

In the Days of Giants by Abbie Farwell Brown, 1902

The Story Cove was a project of the Library of International Relations, a small Chicago library with a mission of increasing international understanding, which would one day become a part of Chicago-Kent. Organized in 1932 by Eloise ReQua with funds from the Carnegie Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Library’s first home was a single room provided by the John Crerar Library at the corner of Randolph and Michigan Avenue. The LIR was established as an open-shelf reference collection dealing with international affairs, with a focus on twentieth century events, especially World War I. Documents of the International Labor Office, the Permanent Court of International Justice, and the League of Nations were preserved and made available to the public by Ms. ReQua and fellow librarians. In the spring of 1933, the children’s collection was created with the Century of Progress in mind. “International relations,” Ms. ReQua told the Chicago Tribune, “may seem far removed from a child’s life, but the story book friends of foreign lands give children an understanding and sympathy with other ways and other aspirations, and such an understanding may prove a balance wheel in later years.” For over a year, librarians sent hundreds of letters to publishers around the world requesting books for the Story Cove, so that American children could read a variety of titles, such as The Fat of the Cat and Other Stories by Gottfried Keller of Switzerland, In the Days of Giants by Abbie Farwell Brown from Scandinavia, and Boy of the Desert by Eunice Strong Tietjens of North Africa. They also gathered a small group of Newbery award-winning books, which were hand bound by famous bookbinder Ernst Hertzberg. Their vision was for a collection which would give a wider international view of children’s literature than the average American child was likely to have. They were destined to succeed.

Children in the Story Cove reading room.

Children reading in the Story Cove reading room (image from On the Shelves of the Story Cove, 1934).

When its doors opened to the broader public on May 27, 1933, the Story Cove became an instant favorite. English vice consul Lewis Bernays visited the Story Cove to join in a birthday celebration for King George V. Visiting children from Scotland and Ireland sang traditional songs and performed “the Highland fling.” Children learned Native American stick games and made decorations for the national holidays observed in other lands. Singers, actors, and writers visited the Story Cove and gave special storytelling performances, some of which were broadcast on WGN Radio. Each day featured readings and activities based on international themes, with special storytelling guests on the weekends. The main attraction was, of course, the children’s library, and the many interesting books it held. The Chicago Tribune reported that “[f]air authorities had to enforce strict regulations to keep the little reading room for boys and girls instead of their mothers and fathers.”

Cover of On the Shelves of the Story Cove

On the Shelves of the Story Cove, 1934. Records of the Library of International Relations, AC001, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Archives.

In November of 1933, the Fair closed for the winter, but re-opened in May of 1934. The fair closed permanently in the following November, but not before paying its entire debt. In its two year run, the Century of Progress International Exposition had attracted over 48 million visitors and become the first international fair in American history to pay for itself. At the end of 1934, the books of the Story Cove were packed away for storage, the LIR librarians taking a break from the project to re-focus on the Library’s permanent collections. Finally, in May of 1935, the Chicago Tribune reported that “[b]oys and girls who spent long, happy hours the last two summers in the Story Cove at A Century of Progress, now only a memory, will dance with glee this morning when their mothers tell them that again they are to enjoy their little library.” The Chicago chapter of the Red Cross had agreed to set up the children’s reading room in a corner of the Red Cross headquarters at 616 Michigan Avenue, where it became known as the Junior Red Cross Story Cove. In 1983, the Library of International Relations was acquired by the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Today, all that remains of the Story Cove collection of the LIR are archival copies of On the Shelves of the Story Cove, a list of the books featured in the original Story Cove in 1934, produced by LIR librarians in response to the flood of requests from parents and teachers for more information on the titles their children had enjoyed during those two magical summers.

The 1933 Century of Progress International Exposition became known as a “break in the clouds” for many people struggling with the darkness of the Great Depression. Its acknowledgment of a changing world and focus on a brighter, happier future became a beacon around which millions could stand in awe and enjoyment. The creators of the Story Cove extended that sense of wonder and hope for the future by creating a place for children to learn about the world at large, about different cultures and experiences outside of their own. The foreword to On the Shelves of the Story Cove expresses their mission thusly:

“With all the world we wish for the new child, eyes that will see, ears that will hear, hands that will shape the raw materials of the earth into bits of beauty, hearts that will beat with the throbbing currents of the universe…long life with dreams.”



Bennett, James O’Donnell. “Library Solves Queries On Far Parts Of Globe.” Chicago Tribune, 2 Sept. 1934: 5.
Cass, Judith. “Fair Trustees to Arrange Today for Enchanted Island Opening.” Chicago Tribune, 27 Apr. 1933: 13.
Cass, Judith. “Story Cove for Children at Fair.” Chicago Tribune, 26 May 1933: 21.
Cass, Judith. “World’s Fair Story Cove to Be Reopened.” Chicago Tribune, 16 May 1935: 19.
On the Shelves of the Story Cove, Records of the Library of International Relations, AC001, Box 13. IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Archives, Chicago, Illinois.

Posted in Archives | Tagged , | Leave a comment

ABA Techshow: How Lawyers Really Use Technology

ABA TECHSHOW 2015We’ve all heard that technology is rapidly changing American legal practice — but it’s one thing to read myriad articles about it and another to see this change for yourself.  ABA hosts an annual Techshow in Chicago that provides one of the best opportunities for students to engage with emerging legal technologies hands on.
The Techshow will run from April 16-18 and will feature dozens of one-hour sessions on all kinds of legal technologies.  Topics range from practical tips for using Microsoft Office to digital security to integrating mobile devices into legal practice.  Students can register to attend all of these sessions for only $100 (a great bargain – for some lawyers, the price is over $1050).
Don’t have time to attend all of the sessions?  The free vendor showcase is open on Thursday and Friday. You can stop by at pretty much any time for as long as you’d like.  The Showcase is a great way to learn about new legal technologies and services in an exhibit hall featuring over 100 companies.  You can see live demos of legal tech systems and equipment, not to mention pick up a more than few free pens.  The Techshow is also a good opportunity to learn more about alternative jobs available in the legal tech sector (although job announcements are not traditionally posted at the Techshow).
A couple of us librarians will be in attendance, and we hope to see you there, too!
Posted in Technology | Leave a comment

The Fight over Pulaski Road, or “What’s in a name?”

A sign for the Pulaski CTA orange line stop

The “Not-Crawford” orange line stop. (c) Flickr user Araceli Arroyo, licensed under Creative Commons

Today is Casimir Pulaski Day.  Illinois schoolchildren can tell you that Pulaski was named after a Polish general who fought in the American Revolutionary War.  People in Chicago should also be able to tell you that it’s celebrated in March and it shuts down an assortment of government offices.  They should also be able to tell you that Pulaski Road is named after Casimir Pulaski.  What they may not be able to tell you is that Chicago residents tore down street signs and sued all the way to the Supreme Court twice to try to block that name.

The road that is now Pulaski Road in Chicago was once Crawford Avenue.  In fact, if you look at a map of Cook County, the same road is still called Crawford in the suburbs.  In 1933, Mayor Edward Kelly renamed Crawford Avenue to honor Casimir Pulaski.  Business owners and residents protested claiming, among other things, that it would be a waste of businesses’ money to have to advertise a new address and a waste of taxpayer money to put up new street signs.  The Circuit Court of Cook County granted the pro-Crawford camp an injunction, keeping the name as Crawford.  The Illinois Appellate Court, in Hagerty v. City of Chicago, 274 Ill.App. 39 (1934), and Illinois Supreme Court, in Hagerty v. City of Chicago, 360 Ill. 97 (1935), held that it was a reasonable exercise of City Council’s legislative power to name a street.  They also held that people don’t have a property right in the name of their street.

So everyone agreed it was Pulaski and got over it?  Not quite.  The pro-Crawford camp tore down street signs, people continued to use Crawford Avenue addresses, and the post office delivered mail to them.  Then, in 1937, the Illinois General Assembly tried to prevent this from happening again.  They passed a law that required a city to change the name of a street upon the petition of 60 percent of the property owners living along that street. Ill.Rev.Stat., chap. 24, par. 65.22 (1937).  In 1938, Crawford’s supporters submitted a petition, but it fell short of the 60% required by law.

Given that it had been a full five years since the name was changed, everyone finally rallied around Pulaski?  Nope.  In June 1948, the self-styled Crawford Avenue Association put together a petition and got barely more than the 60% required.  The City Council received the petition, and a report from the commissioner of public works said that all of the signatures were valid, but did nothing.  The Crawford Avenue Association filed a petition for a writ of mandamus, a legal action that, essentially, tells public officials to do their jobs, demanding that the City Council and various other city officials change the name back to “Crawford Avenue.”  The trial court granted the writ, but the defendants appealed and the pesky question of the name of the road wound up back before the Illinois Supreme Court in 1952.

This time, the Court told the pro-Crawford camp that naming streets is a legislative function and private citizens don’t get to exercise that authority for themselves.  The Court held that the 1937 law allowing 60% of property owners on a street the unbridled authority to change the name of that street, “clearly vests in a group of private citizens an arbitrary discretion of what the law shall be.”  People ex rel. Chicago Dryer Co. v. City of Chicago, 413 Ill. 315, 323-24 (1952).  Therefore, the law was ruled unconstitutional; the 1948 petition no longer mattered, and the road was officially Pulaski Road, nearly 20 years the name was changed.

For further reading, check out the entry “Fight for 40th Street” (yes, the road had a third name even before it was Crawford Avenue) in the Encyclopedia of Chicago, a project of the Chicago History Museum, the Newberry Library, and Northwestern University.

Posted in Chicago, Holidays | Tagged | Leave a comment

Librarians in the Classroom

problem solving lectureResearch librarians at the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law played key roles in an intensive, seven-day intersession course in January designed to simulate real-life, collaborative work at a busy law firm. The course, Problem Solving Skills for Lawyers, was taught by Professors Katharine Baker and Kari Johnson, and took students through four complex legal problems requiring a mix of written work and presentations on tight deadlines. Continue reading

Posted in Chicago-Kent, Library Resources | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Things to do in Chicago when finals are over

Because you have spent the last several months studying, you may have forgotten how much fun there is to be had right here in Chicago, and some things are even free!

Skate away your finals woes!


Navy Pier Winter WonderFest—Winter festival on Navy Pier through January 11.  Includes mini golf, ice skating and the Toboggan Tunnel.  Tickets: $5 for admission and $25 for rides.

Millennium Park Ice Skating—Ice skate right in the heart of Chicago with a backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers.  Free if you own your own ice skates—skate rentals are $12.

Free Fitness Week, Chicago Park District—January 2-11. Visit one of the 72 fitness centers located in Chicago parks and use equipment such as treadmills, cross trainers, stationary bikes, weights and more. Check out their website for information on group fitness.

Continue reading

Posted in Chicago, Holidays | Leave a comment

Who controls your Facebook Feed?

facebook-icon-danleechObviously you control who your friends are on Facebook and what groups you join and pages you “like.” But what shows up in your “Top Stories” is controlled by the Facebook algorithm. It uses your actions – clicks, likes, comments – to prioritize content, along with other factors that you have less control over.

This spring an article was published showing that for one week in January 2012, staff at Facebook worked with scientists to study “emotional contagion” by manipulating how many sad or happy stories were shown to 689,003 users.  Most people weren’t happy to hear that Facebook was experimenting on – not just with – its users.

Chicago-Kent’s Professor Valerie Koch weighed in on the story:

If you think you may be missing key content, or if you are concerned about how your feed is being manipulated, here are ways you can take that control back:


Facebook Friend otpionsOn a friend’s page, it’s easy to see if you’re “following them” – but you can go an extra step and click on your friend connection menu to get notifications for each post they make or add them to a list. “Close Friends” is one of the automatic lists, but you can create your own too.

Find your lists here, where you can choose your favorite lists:


facebook-list-favoritesAdding a list to your “favorites” will make it easy to view them under your “News Feed” as a quick filter.

When you are browsing the desktop (non-mobile) version of Facebook, you’ll be able to see everything posted by those people, even if the Facebook algorithm would normally hide it.


When you join a group, you can choose how often you want to see the updates shared in the group. Do you want to see everything?  Just highlights? Nothing? You can also specify that you’ll only see posts from people you know. Find all of your groups at this link to review your current settings, note your favorites, etc.



Facebook has two major incentives to not show all the notifications from the pages you like. One is for users: if they show too many, you may feel your personal content has been drowned out by ads. One is for their own profit: if they show fewer updates and pages want to share more, they can charge pages to push more content to you. Which then become more like ads and the cycle begins again…

If you have specific pages that you’d like to see, you can use “Get Notifications” the same way you can for friends – it’s under the “Liked” menu:


And, just like for friends, you can also create lists – called “Interest lists” for pages, that give you a quick place to see all updates for pages on that list. Here’s one I’ve created for Chicago-Kent pages.

Total control?

After the stories with Facebook’s experiments on users, several writers decided to try experiments with their own Facebook feeds to see what they could learn:

What did they find? You can annoy your friends very quickly when you start liking everything and those notifications flood their feeds. Also it’s very hard to get rid of certain types of content: engagement announcements, new jobs, birthdays, etc.

Whatever your strategy, it’s likely that Facebook will continue to decide what you need to see most, and there’s only so much you can do to work around that.

Posted in Tech Tips for Students, Technology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Free Legislative History


Anyone who has ever had a legislative history research project knows that it can be hard work parsing through all of those documents trying to find legislative intent.  It makes sense to find those legislative documents as quickly as possible, so that you can get to the hard work of finding legislative intent.

The best way to find all of the legislative history documents for a statute is to look for a compiled legislative history.  Compiled legislative histories put all of the relevant documents together, in full-text, in one place.

But, Clare, that sounds expensive!  It can be.  Some of the best sources for compiled legislative history are on Westlaw and HeinOnline.

However, there is a great site that lists free compiled legislative histories available online.  It’s from the Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C. and you can find it here.  This links you to legislative histories compiled by the Department of Justice, law professors, and others.

You may find some that are not true compiled legislative histories, in that they do not include the full-text of the documents, but they will at least give you a citation to find the document elsewhere.

So if you need a shortcut to legislative history and you need it cheap, look no further than the LLSDC’s Legislative Histories of Selected U.S. Laws on the Internet: Free Sources.

Posted in Legal, Library Resources | Leave a comment