Native American Heritage Month 2014

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(picture from http://www.uco.edu/student-life/diversity/programsandevents/nativeamericanheritagemonth.asp)

On August 3, 1990, President George H. W. Bush first declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month when he signed a bill stating that “the President has authorized and requested to call upon Federal, State and local Governments, groups and organizations and the people of the United States to observe such month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_Indian_Heritage_Month). It is also commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_Indian_Heritage_Month).

“Federal Agencies are encouraged to provide educational programs for their employees regarding Native American history, rights, culture and contemporary issues, to better assist them in their jobs and for overall awareness.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_Indian_Heritage_Month).

Locally, the Jodi G. Marquette American Indian Wills Clinic at Oklahoma City University School of Law allows law students working under the supervision of a licensed attorney to provide estate planning services to American Indians who own an interest in Indian land in Oklahoma. For more information, visit http://law.okcu.edu/?page_id=13854. This clinic is part of the Native American Legal Resource Center (NALRC), which “provides capacity building services to tribal communities and creates opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the broader University Community to utilize knowledge and resources to serve the needs of Indian Country in a culturally appropriate and efficient manner for a maximum positive impact.” (http://law.okcu.edu/?page_id=621).

Finally, the Law Library has created a display with books on various Native American topics, located in the lobby of Gold Star (pictured below). There are books about the Native American mascot controversy, Native American culture as it is depicted in mainstream American pop culture, as well as other contemporary issues. There are also many books about general Native American history.

Native American Heritage Month 2014

By: Brian King, Reference Assistant, and Sabrina A. Davis, Reference Librarian

Freedom to Read: Banned Books (& Comics) Week 2014

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Banned Books Week is being celebrated this year from September 21-21, 2014. Although the general slogan for the week is “Celebrating the Freedom to Read” (http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek), this year’s focus is on challenges to comics and graphic novels. (http://cbldf.org/2014/06/celebrate-the-freedom-to-read-with-cbldfs-new-banned-books-week-handbook/).

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), a non-profit organization, has created a Banned Books Week Handbook that is available to download at no cost. (http://cbldf.org/2014/06/celebrate-the-freedom-to-read-with-cbldfs-new-banned-books-week-handbook/). The Banned Books Week Handbook includes information on “what comics are banned, how to report and fight censorship, and how to make a celebration of Banned Books Week.” (Id.). CBLDF has also released discussion guides that “provide guided questions and activities centered around challenged graphic novels” and has prepared its own FAQ page called Banned Books Week 101. (Id.) According to the CBLDF, comics are challenged for similar reasons as books, including “’adult content,’ ‘language,’ ‘sex/nudity,’ or ‘inappropriate for age group.’” (http://cbldf.org/resources/banned-books-week-101/). For examples of banned/challenged comics, see 22 Banned and Challenged Comics on the CBLDF website.

A printed version of some of the CBLDF FAQs is included in the law library’s Banned Book Week display (pictured above), located in the lobby on the first floor of Gold Star. The books on the display represent historically challenged books and the ten most challenged books of 2013. The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom reported 307 challenges in 2013, and the top ten most frequently challenged were:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey (offensive language, unsuited for age group, & violence);
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, & violence);
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, & unsuited to age group);
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James (nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, & unsuited to age group);
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (religious viewpoint & unsuited to age group);
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone (drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, & sexually explicit);
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green (drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, & unsuited to age group);
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, & unsuited to age group);
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya (occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, & sexually explicit); and,
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith (political viewpoint, racism, & violence). (Source: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10).

Jeff Smith, the author of the Bone comic series, drew the cover for the CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook. (http://www.infodocket.com/2014/06/27/comic-book-legal-defense-fund-cbdlf-releases-banned-book-week-handbook-and-discussion-guides/). See CBLDF Board Member and Bone Creator Jeff Smith on Banned Books Week on the CBLDF website for Mr. Smith’s comments on Banned Books Week and its emphasis on comics this year.

For more information about why comics and graphic novels are banned, visit the CBLDF at cbldf.org. For more information on Banned Books Week, visit the ALA’s Banned & Challenged Books website at http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek/.

LGBT Pride Month & Equality Maps

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) in remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, an acknowledged “tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States” (http://www.loc.gov/lgbt/about.html). This movement has made great strides towards non-discriminatory laws and practices since 1969, most recently with the numerous federal court rulings in support of same-sex marriage recognition. But marriage isn’t the only equality issue facing the LGBT community – employment and school discrimination, hate crimes, and recognition of parent-child relationships are just a few others. For more details on these issues and others, including “Equality Maps” of state laws, see the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) at http://www.lgbtmap.org/. Also, explore the LGBT Pride Month display in the Gold Star first floor lobby for resources available at the law library.

LGBT Pride Month 2014

Award Program Celebrates its 100th Recipient

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“The librarians that took time out of their days to put on the classes did so because they wanted students to learn and benefit, and their passion for teaching research strategies could be felt in every class. They kept even the drier information interesting and made research fun!”   – D.J. Burrus, 1L

Please join the Law Library in celebrating the 100th recipient of its Award of Accomplishment in Legal Research Skills program (Award Program). Inaugurated in the spring of 2011, our Award Program is designed to provide law students with additional training in legal research skills to supplement the instruction provided as part of the first-year Legal Research and Writing course. Since the program’s inception, reference librarians have taught over 150 classes unique to the Award Program; in addition, over one-half of our currently enrolled students have started accumulating points toward the Award.

The 100th Award recipient is D.J. Burrus, a first-year law student and President of Merit Scholars. Mr. Burrus feels that the Award Program has been a rewarding experience: “Not only did it help me understand the basics of various legal research strategies, but it also gave me an edge on nearly every assignment I’ve had so far in law school. Briefs, research projects, class notes, and even participating in moot court oral arguments benefited from the information I learned in the legal research classes.”

He found one of the benefits of the Award Program to be learning more efficient and effective research strategies: “Instead of spending hours on my own trying to develop a research strategy, I was able to quickly and efficiently get my research done, using a variety of databases. Without this program, my research would not have been nearly as complete or in-depth.”

Mr. Burrus, who will be interning this summer at the Bass Law Firm in Oklahoma City, believes that “this program can and will benefit every student that chooses to participate and learn,” and that he “would not feel nearly as confident going into [his] internship this summer” if he had not participated in the Award Program.

Several of this semester’s Award recipients are featured in the LL lobby display case. Congratulations to all students who have received the Award!

 

Advocating for Families: New Display

May is National Foster Care Month, and National Family Month is observed from Mother’s Day through Father’s Day each year. In honor of these observances, the new display in the lobby is Advocating for Families, with a focus on custody and foster care issues. On display are just a few of our numerous family law resources available – search the Law Library catalog or ask a reference librarian for more.

Family Law 2014

Disaster Law, Policy, & Planning: New Display

Our tornado season is off to a (thankfully) slow start, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Become familiar with laws, policies, and planning measures for natural disasters with the law library’s new display in 1 North. And while we’re on the subject, take a look at a new law that Aims To Increase Availability of Kosher and Halal Food In Emergency Assistance Programs.

Disaster Law 2014

Prepare to Practice: New Display

A new display in the 1N reference wing of the law library highlights materials of interest to new attorneys, such as Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: The Essential Guide to Thriving as a New Lawyer by Grover E. Cleveland. Check out this resource and others on the display, and talk to a reference librarian if you are looking for additional materials or something in particular.

Prepare to Practice 2014

The Quinlan Lecture 2014: Inventing Democratic Courts

This year’s Quinlan Lecture, entitled Inventing Democratic Courts, features Professor Judith Resnik of Yale Law School. Professor Resnik will be discussing her co-authored book Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (with Dennis Curtis, Yale Press, 2011), and how looking at courtrooms and their walls provide windows into how courts became egalitarian venues. A new display in the law library lobby highlights Professor Resnik’s works and the concept of justice in courts.

The lecture will take place on April 23 at 5 p.m. in the Homsey Family Moot Courtroom and will be followed by a reception and dinner at the Ambassador Hotel beginning at 6:30. RSVP for the reception and dinner to lawevents@okcu.edu by April 15.

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