Amicus Briefs - News from the Alexander Campbell King Law Library
October 2009
In This Issue new GAVEL screens 
the new GAVEL interface

GAVEL's New Look

You may have noticed that our online catalog, GAVEL, has a brand new interface. The GAVEL main screen has been simplified to highlight four of the most popular types of searches:
  • Keyword search links directly to GAVEL's Encore discovery platform. Encore provides facets and tag clouds which allow you to focus your search by format, subject headings, language, and publication date.
  • Other Search Options provide links to "classic" GAVEL and such traditional searches as title, author, subject and call number.
  • Course Reserves may be searched by course name or instructor name.
  • Expand Your Search allows you to run a single search across several databases. In one search, you can search GAVEL, LegalTrac, HeinOnline, Google and many other research resources.
In addition to these four popular searches, the right navigation contains links to additional searches and resources. The right navigation remains constant throughout all of your GAVEL searching. No matter where you are, you can always find these items on the right side of your screen.

We hope you enjoy the new fresh look of GAVEL and that the changes increase your productivity

FDsys: Improved Access to Federal Documents
The Government Printing Office (GPO) embarked on a massive project to centralize and improve its provision of electronic access to Congressional and Federal Agency information early this century. This project, known as the Federal Digital System (FDsys), aims to offer a system for electronic transfer of information to GPO for publication, a means to verify and authenticate all information it offers online, and a plan to ensure permanent, public access to government information even as technology changes.

The migration of existing electronic files to this new system is near completion. Nearly twenty collections now appear in FDsys, including Compilation of Presidential Documents (1993 - ), Congressional Bills (103rd Congress - ), Congressional Hearings (105th Congress - ), and Federal Register (1994 - ).  A full list is available at 

If you are familiar with the earlier electronic system, GPO Access, you will be wonderfully surprized at how well the search function of FDsys works. In addtion, each collection is also browsable. There are telescoping lists that expand two or three levels down to the document level. Most documents are available in either text format or PDF. 

FDsys has taken many years to establish. It was worth the wait. 

Lunch-n-Learn with the Law Library: Diving into Library Databases

Starting the research for your seminar paper, journal note or writing requirement? Special Collections Librarian Sharon Bradley will provide tips on using the Law Library's databases.

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Time: 12:30 - 1:00pm
Where: Classroom A

We'll provide the pizza - you bring a beverage!
Law Dawg of the Month
The October Law Dawg is Lucy. This cutie pie belongs to 1L Brittany Bolton.

Law students, faculty and staff are invited to submit a Law Dawg photo. We select photos for inclusion in the newsletter by random drawing. Please note that those of the feline, equine, porcine, avian, etc. persuasion are eligible as well. Send your Law Dawg photo to

Lucy is Law Dawg of the Month!
October's Interactive Puzzle
by James Donovan



Descriptions taken from US CONSTITUTION A TO Z (Robert Maddex, 2002)

This interactive crossword puzzle requires JavaScript and a reasonably recent web browser, such as Internet Explorer 5.5 or later, Netscape 7, Mozilla, Firefox, or Safari. If you have disabled web page scripting, please re-enable it and refresh the page. If this web page is saved to your computer, you may need to click the yellow Information Bar at the top of the page to allow the puzzle to load.