Monday, January 24, 2005

Transitions

We had the "research" portion of our legal writing class today, which consists of 12 of us sitting in the computer lab, following along with PowerPoint slides as a librarian tells us how to find case law (for example). The problem with this is that they are still trying to convince us that print resources - actual physical books - will actually be used by any of us in this era of Westlaw and LexisNexis. Realistically, we are going to do all of our work online. And I think they realize this on some level, but they still have to tell us with a straight face that we'll need to be able to find the West Reporters (motto: "if it's not nailed down, we'll publish it") rather than just typing search words into Westlaw.com.

What's sad about this is I am very attached to physical books - I would much rather hold a book in my hands to read it than read the same book online. The texture, the typeface, even the smell of the book are part of the experience for me. But when I'm doing research, you'd better believe that I'd rather type some search words in and find the relevant results than search in vain through dusty books.

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