Friday, January 29, 2010

FDsys Search Strategies

The Government Printing Office, the agency that publishes our nation's official documents, has almost completed its migration to FDsys, the new Federal Digital System that will ultimately replace the current GPO database of government publications, GPOAccess. The migration to FDsys was slated for completion at the end of 2009, but the date has been pushed back to April 2010. More content will be added in the next few months, but you don't have to wait to use the many good collections already available.

On this blog, we've kept you up-to-date with the latest additions to FDsys, but we have not yet provided any search strategies to help you locate and utilize the content. There are, however, two good articles online at, a excellent source for the latest law and technology information.

For an introduction to basic FDsys search techniques, see

The Government Domain -- Congressional Documents on FDsys: the Basics.

And for more advanced strategies, see

The Government Domain -- Congressional Documents on FDsys: Advanced Techniques

Happy searching!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Faculty, staff and students can now access personal library accounts

Access your library account from campus and home! You can now see everything you have checked out, renew your books, and save searches of your research interests online.

· Access your account through Stella, the online catalog, from Stanley or the library's public home page.

· Select login and enter your last name and your G number (with the G included).

You will now be logged into your personal library account. On the left are Help instructions for renewing books and setting up your preferred searches. Be sure and log out (click on "Log Out" above the search box) when you are finished, especially if you are on a publicly-accessible computer.

If you have any questions or need further information about this new feature, please don't hesitate to ask the Reference Librarian on duty or any of the staff at the Patron Services desk.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Senate Executive Documents & Reports

A student approached the reference desk recently, trying to locate a Senate Executive Report. These reports contain committee recommendations regarding the ratification of proposed treaties, or recommendations on proposed nominations. Beginning in 1979 these reports were published in the Serial Set, but the document we needed was issued in the 90th Congress, 1968. To locate this older report, we needed to look outside of the Serial Set in a unique collection called Senate Executive Documents and Reports (SED). This collection is indexed in Congressional Universe (aka Lexis/Nexis Congressional), but to locate the report itself, we had to search the SED on microfiche. The fiche are filed by Congress, session, and report number. For example, in this citation -- Exec.Rpt. 5, 73-2 -- we would look for the 73rd Congress, session 2, report number 5.

If you’re ever doing treaty research and need to find a Senate Executive Report, stop by the Reference Desk so we can help you locate it on microfiche on the first floor of the library at KF 39.

We can also help you to find Senate Executive Documents (renamed “Treaty Documents” in the 97th Congress, 1981) in this collection. These documents are issued by the Senate when the President asks them to ratify a treaty. They generally contain the text of the Presidential communication supporting ratification of the treaty and the text of the treaty agreement itself. Like the Executive Reports, these documents are also published in the Serial Set beginning in 1979; the older documents can be found in the SED microfiche collection.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Civility and the Practice of Law

by Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Texas Lawyer’s Creed, materials from the Special Collections Department of The Fred Parks Law Library on legal ethics and professional responsibility will be on display in the library lobby until the end of April, 2010. Items on display include works by Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, and Frederick Pollock. The Texas Lawyer’s Creed was promulgated by the Texas State Supreme Court in 1989. It is an authoritative statement on professional standards for all Texas lawyers. To read the text of the Texas Lawyers creed, please go to the State Bar of Texas website.