Noise Reminders from Zief Law Library

Final Exam Season is upon us and with that comes plenty of preparation, stress, and excitement. We’re in the home stretch. The Zief Law Library is here to help and support you through it all and have a variety of study spaces to meet your needs.

Silent Areas:

We know that sometimes you really need to buckle down and focus on your work and the slightest noises really throw you off your game. We’ve designated Club ’59, a large silent study room on the upper-floor, just for you.

Just look for this sign:

Library sign stating, "This is a Silent study area." It has an open blue book with the words "Focused", "Silent", and "Unplugged".
You’ll see this poster in areas designated as a Silent study area.

Quiet Areas:

If silent study isn’t your thing, please choose a different area to study so your quieter classmates can get things done. There are other areas of the library that are still quiet but where your classmates won’t be bothered by the occasional clickety-clack of your keyboard or whispered exam tips from your study buddy.   These spaces can be found on the library’s upper floor.

Just look for this sign:

Library sign stating, "This is a Quiet study area." It has an open yellow book with the words "Respectful", "Few Distractions", "Getting Stuff Done", and "In Your Own World".
You’ll see this poster in areas designated as a Quiet study area.

Conversation Areas:

We understand that sometimes you want to work in groups or you just need a break from all of the quiet awesomeness that is happening in other areas of the library to catch up with your friends.  These spaces can be found on both the main and lower floors of the library.

If you see this sign, you know you’re in the right place:

Library sign stating, "This is a conversation study area." It has an open red book with the words "Teaming Up", "Brainstorming", "Planning", "Troubleshooting", and "Discussions".
You’ll see this poster in areas designated as a conversation study area.

 

The bottom line is that there is a place for everyone here at Zief.  We invite you to find a great study spot that fits your needs.

November 2023 New Materials

The image shows a collage of eight book covers from the November 2023 New Materials list at Zief Law Library.
Collage of book covers from the November 2023 New Materials list at Zief Law Library.

The Zief Law Library added new materials to its collection in November 2023. Topics from November include: administrative law, animal law, capital punishment, criminal law, data protection and privacy, immigration law, evidence, and legal accounting. Click the titles below or explore our monthly New Materials at Zief Law Library webpage for the complete list of recent arrivals. 

Voting Form: Zief Pets Winter-Themed Costume Contest

USF School of Law, many thanks to those who submitted to the Zief Pets Winter-Themed Costume Contest! It’s now time to determine first, second, and third-place costumes…

STEP 1: Visit the Zief Pets wall located on the first floor of the Zief Law Library to view this year’s talented pet contestants.

STEP 2: Fill out the Zief Pets Winter-Themed Costume Contest VOTING SURVEY.

Winners will be announced on Monday, December 11th, 2023. For community members still hoping to win, it’s not too late to fill out the Zief Pets Winter Costume Contest Submission Form! Visit the original ZiefBrief blog post, “Zief Pets Presents Winter-Themed Costume Contest!” for more information on the contest.

The image shows promotional material for Zief Pets Winter-Themed Costume Contest voting. The image imcludes a QR Code and a bitly link to access the voting Google Form.
Promotional material for Zief Pets Winter-Themed Costume Contest voting.

Law Library Hours: Thanksgiving

Hi all!

Please note that the law library will have the following adjusted hours for Thanksgiving 2023:

Wednesday, Nov. 23: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (Research Help until 12:00 pm)
Thursday / Friday, Nov. 24-25: CLOSED
Saturday / Sunday, Nov. 26-27: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

For a full calendar view of our current and upcoming hours, visit our Law Library Hours of Operations website. We hope you all have a safe and restful holiday!

See you then!

Zief Pets Presents: Winter-Themed Costume Contest!

Calling all pets! Celebrate the Winter season with Zief Law Library’s Zief Pets Winter-Themed Costume Contest! Submit pictures of your pets in their Winter-themed costumes or festive attire for your chance to win a special prize. Law school community members will vote on their favorite pets and prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place. Outfits can include themes such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Boxing Day, Lunar New Year, winter season, and more!

All submissions will be featured on the Zief Pets Wall in the Zief Law Library. To participate, please fill out the Google Form by Sunday, December 3rd, 2023, using the QR code on the image below or visit https://bit.ly/3SrYE30. Winners will be announced on Monday, December 11th, 2023. 

The image shows a promotional graphic for the Zief Pets Winter-Themed Costume Contest. The graphic shows a cartoon penguin and a cartoon polar bear. The penguin's speech bubble says, "Zief Pets Presents: Winter Costume Contest," with the Zief Law Library Logo. The text on the image reads: "Submit photographs of your pets wearing winter or holiday-themed outfits. All submissions will be featured on the Zief Pets Wall in the Zief Law Library. Prizes will be awarded to First, Second, and Third Place. To participate, fill out the Google Form using the QR Code or visit https://bit.ly/3SrYE30." The cartoon polar bear's speech bubble reads: "Submit by Sunday, December 3rd, 2023. Vote until Sunday, December 10th, 2023. Winners announced Monday, December 11th, 2023."
Promotional graphic for the Zief Pets Winter Costume Contest.

New Materials: October 2023

The newest addition to the Zief Law Library collection, Paul T Jaeger’s “Foundations of Information Law” (2023).

The Zief Law Library added one new title to its collection in October 2023. Click the title below or explore our monthly New Materials at Zief Law Library webpage for the complete list of recent arrivals.

Tips and Advice for a Successful Law School Exam Period

Color illustration of a person rushing into another person, yelling, "MOVE IT! I'VE GOT FINALS!" The other person is falling and saying, "OOOMPH!"
Illustration by Troy Cook, 2023

With finals soon arriving, it is the perfect time to think about the strategies of a successful law school exam experience. By now, you may have figured out an effective study approach, but here are some additional tips in case there’s something new that could be helpful.

Create a schedule. It is helpful to create a finals study schedule, where you can factor in any additional time needed for reviewing concepts, and completing practice questions and exams. Perhaps create a game plan, or a day-by-day schedule for each class. Maybe you need to allot more for study time for your more challenging courses. But be sure to budget time for current assigned readings and assignments, so that you don’t fall behind.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Review your syllabus, class notes and highlighted sections of your casebook to create a ”hit-list” of topics to study. Flag the material that you find most difficult, so you can focus on any knowledge gaps. Then, you can prioritize topics you struggle with the most, over topics you’ve already mastered.

Team up with a great study group, partner, or study aid. Study groups can be a valuable learning tool. For some students, talking through material with classmates could help your understanding and retention of course materials. But if studying with classmates is not your thing, use the authors of the study guides as your friends and study partners. Additionally, try some study guides, available in print and as eBooks  through the library, such as as Glannon Guides, the Emanuel Crunch Time, and Questions & Answers. These can help you review material through flow charts and summaries; they also provide short-answer, multiple choice, and essay questions and answers, so you can test your knowledge.

Complete your outlines and then work on editing down and memorizing them. So much material is covered in law school that it can seem quite jumbled in your mind. The professors construct the exams to see how well you can link all of the concepts together; this shows that you can apply the skill of analyzing numerous concepts at the same time. Reviewing, editing down, and memorizing your outlines will help you recognize how all of the facets of the particular law class work together in building the overall meaning and understanding of the subject. Need help making an outline? Try one of the library’s Emanuel Outlines available online or in-print at the circulation desk.

Pay attention in class. One last piece of advice that seems to always work is to pay attention in class. Yes, this seems obvious, but paying attention in class will truly save you time because your class notes will make sense and save you from time spent having to learn new concepts and laws. Really focus on what the professor says in class; this will also give important hints about what is expected for the exam. Also participate in class; the discourse you have with the professor is great for the learning experience and professors love it. If you are nervous about talking in class, a good tactic is to go to class with a list of questions. These may be from the reading or questions that you had after evaluating the material from past classes.

Maybe if you follow these great tips, you will not end up like the poor chap below:

 

Illustration of person with raised fist, with a speech bubble stating, "AAARG FINALS." The person is looking down at books and a fallen chair nearby.
Illustration by Troy Cook, 2023

New Materials: September 2023

The collage above shows eight book covers from the list of new library materials.

The Zief Law Library added new materials to its collection in September 2023. Topics from September include: capital punishment; constitutional law; contracts; criminal procedure; estate planning; evidence; technology and the law; and trial practice. Click the titles below or explore our monthly New Materials at Zief Law Library webpage for the complete list of recent arrivals. 

Accessibility Tech Tips for Law Students (Part Two of Two)

Accessible Practices for PowerPoint, Word, and Google Docs

In part two of this post, we provide a look at some accessible practices for hyperlinks and colors for text and backgrounds.

Photo Credit: Tamanna Rumee for Unsplash.com

Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are helpful for creating accessible documents so that screen readers do not read each individual character of a web address, or URL, aloud, thus cluttering the information with unnecessary characters. They also aid in organizing multiple links on a single document.

General Tips for Hyperlinks

  1. The screen reader will preface the web address with “Link” so you may name the hyperlink after the webpage itself.
    1. Example: use the name “Zief Law Library Website
    2. DO NOT use: “Click Here” “Read More” or “More Info.”
      1. This language is not clearly identifying the information to the listening audience.
  2. Use hyperlinks in your documents, presentations, and email!
    1. Don’t forget to practice accessibility in your emails as well!

Text and Background Color

Creative fonts and colorful text on colorful backgrounds can be aesthetically pleasing, but can also create a learning barrier for learners with low vision. Choosing fonts and backgrounds that are easily read creates an inclusive learning environment, both in print and online.

General Tips for Text and Background Color

  1. Use a color contrast tool  to test if your PowerPoint slides are legible for people with low vision. Colors have a varying degree of contrast against others.
    1. Confirm the presentation meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines with the Web AIM Color Checker.
  2. Do not use color to indicate meaning on documents or presentations.
    1. Example: Do not use red to convey something is wrong.
  3. Use clear, large fonts on documents and presentations.
    1. This is important for both learners whose first language is not English and for those with low vision.
    2. Acceptable fonts:
      1. Times New Roman
      2. Verdana
      3. Arial
      4. Tahoma
      5. Helvetica
      6. Calibri

Checking Your Work

Microsoft Word has an Accessibility Checker function that will automatically review your document for accessibility. Select ‘Review’ and click on the ‘Accessibility’ icon to explore. In addition to using the Accessibility Checker function, use Read Aloud to listen to the Word Document and follow with adjustments for an easier listening experience.

For more information on how to create accessible Word Documents, PowerPoints, and Google Docs, please visit the USF ETS Create Accessible Documents Page.

Additional Resources

  1. Microsoft Read Aloud Instructions
  2. Microsoft Accessibility Fundamentals
  3. WebAIM Microsoft Word Creating Accessible Documents

Accessibility Tech Tips for Law Students (Part One of Two)

Accessible Practices for PowerPoint, Word, and Google Docs

“If one out of every seven human beings could be considered disabled, as research demonstrates, disability is a common part of human existence

-Jessica Schomberg, Librarian

Photo Credit: Jess Bailey for Unsplash.com

What is accessibility? Why is it important?

Accessibility is the inclusive practice of making activities, content, products, and services usable by anyone, regardless of mental or physical abilities. Using accessible practices when creating learning materials, such as documents or presentations, allows for every member of your audience to consume the material without asking for accommodations. People with disabilities often request accommodations to create an equitable learning environment. By using accessible practices in your assignments and presentations, you are inviting your professors and classmates to participate with equity and comfort. Please use the tips in this post to help you start incorporating accessibility into your assignments and presentations!

Heading Levels

Using the heading levels in documents and slideshows allows for screen readers to read text in a logical order. Simply bold-facing, underlining, or changing the font of the text will not present the information in an organized, understandable manner to the listening audience.

General Tips for Heading Levels

  1. Use title, heading, and list functions within Word:
    1. Open the Styles Pane, located on the top right of the Home tab.
    2. Use the drop-down menu and choose Modify Style to fit chosen aesthetics.
    3. Bold-facing, underlining, or italicizing titles and headers with “Normal” text is not accessible.
    4. Identify how to organize documents and use heading styles accordingly; order matters for screen readers.
      1. When using PowerPoint, include a title for each slide. When using a screen reader, slides with titles help the listener understand the information being presented on the slide and know when the presenter is switching slides.
    5. Use the list function on the Home tab.
      1. Use this function when you want to include lists with bullet points, numbers, dashes, etc. Be sure to use the list function in order for the screen reader to properly read these lists to listeners.

Alternative Text

Alternative text is the content a screen reader will read to describe an image in a Word Document. This must be manually added by the creator of the document.

General Tips for Alternative Text

  1. How to insert alternative text on Word, PowerPoint, and Google Docs:
    1. Right click the picture you would like to add alternative text to.
    2. Click ‘Format Picture’.
      1. On Google Docs, you do not need to click ‘Format Picture.’ There is an “Alternative Text” option available after you right click the image.
    3. Click ‘Add Alternative Text’.
    4. Alternative text should be a brief description of the image.
      1. If an image is for decorative use, do not use alternative text. Otherwise, it will add unnecessary clutter for the screen reader and confuse listeners.
      2. Word and PowerPoint have a “Decorative Only” option.
    5. Avoid images of text. If you include an image with text, you must include the entire text as part of your alternative text.
    6. Do not use sensory characteristics or gender and racial characteristics.

Checking Your Work

Microsoft Word has an Accessibility Checker function that will automatically review your document for accessibility. Select ‘Review’ and click on the ‘Accessibility’ icon to explore. In addition to using the Accessibility Checker function, use Read Aloud to listen to the Word Document and follow with adjustments for an easier listening experience.

For more information on how to create accessible Word Documents, PowerPoints, and Google Docs, please visit the USF ETS Create Accessible Documents Page.

Additional Resources

  1. Microsoft Read Aloud Instructions
  2. Microsoft Accessibility Fundamentals
  3. WebAIM Microsoft Word Creating Accessible Documents

Zief Law Library Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month: Legal History, Events, and Resources

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH 2023,

SEPTEMBER 15TH-OCTOBER 15TH 

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Zief Library Assistant Randall Seder takes a look at the social and legal history of the commemorative month, highlights Zief research resources, and presents some Bay-Area events of interest.


George Floyd Protest in Los Angeles, May 31st, 2020, Unsplash.com

Zief Law Library joins the University of San Francisco community in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th. This commemorative month acknowledges the immeasurable contributions and influence of Hispanic/Latino/a/x/e Americans to United States history. Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates a rich collection of cultural and ethnic identities, including those identifying as Latino/a/x/e, from Latin America (Mexico, South and Central America) and the Caribbean, as well as those identifying as Hispanic, from one of the 20 countries worldwide who’s primary language is Spanish (Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Venezuela).  Continue reading “Zief Law Library Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month: Legal History, Events, and Resources”

Law Library Hours: Fall Semester and Labor Day Holiday

Hi All!

Please note that the law library will have the following hours for Fall 2023 and adjusted hours for the Labor Day Holiday:

Fall 2023 Hours:

Saturday-Sunday: 9:00am – 8:00pm

Monday-Thursday: 8:00am – 11:00pm

Friday: 8:00am – 8:00pm

Adjusted Labor Day Hours:

Saturday-Sunday, September 2-3: 10:00am-6:00pm

Monday, September 4: Closed

See you then!