Mr. Simon’s reporting of the year (January 1, 1988-Decemeber 31, 1988) he spent riding along with and observing the investigative techniques of twenty-nine detectives who manned the Baltimore Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Division provides a fully immersive plunge into the world of urban policing. Readers are taken along and given an eyewitness’ view of not only the procedural and public, but also the administrative and political circumstances that surround murder investigations, as we accompany the detectives to their individual crime scenes. However the action that unfolds is not, in the words of the old television show Dragnet, delivered in a “just the facts ma’am” monotone, but is instead rendered via a skillful use of color and context usually seen in fictional works. At the same time Mr. Simon avoids the trap of sloppy sensationalism that can easily ensnare true crime novels. Each crime scene and subsequent investigation is given individual treatment by the author, who allows the reader to get to know the detective or detectives working the case. The cases as described while hardboiled, grisly, sometimes sardonic, and even at times laugh out loud funny, are also always sensitive and poignant with regard to the tragedy of violent death. It is no wonder that this novel was the inspiration for the highly regarded and critically acclaimed 1990s television series Homicide: Life on the Street.
Simon’s writing style is journalistic, but as previously stated not aseptic. As I read the novel I came to feel that the intent was to exhibit the world that the detectives, victims, families, and citizenry inhabit on a daily basis and how that environment’s physical, emotional, economic, and political reality, which foments crime in all its forms, can be writ large (with a few notable exceptions) to any major city not just Baltimore. An example is this passage “Pellegrini turns to watch the Buick roll a few blocks…to the Brunt street corners, where a small coterie of runners and touts have resumed work, selling heroin and cocaine a respectful distance from the murder scene.”
Being a fan of fictional and non-fictional mystery/crime novels and film, I don’t think that reading this book altered my feelings with respect to the causality or consequences of urban crime, but I did learn something about how real homicide detectives approach an investigation. Finally in my opinion, this book will appeal to true crime and mystery aficionados and readers interested in social and political commentary.
Submitted by Law Library on Wed, 01/15/2014 - 4:16pm
"Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”
Legal research can be intimidating, especially in the beginning. You often a) don’t understand the concepts, b) don’t know the vocabulary, and c) above all, don’t want anyone to find out about “a” or “b”. Later you’ll realize that no one around you understands any more than you do; in the meantime take advantage of “Live Chat”.
Live Chat was designed to do two things. First, to conserve what law students have the least of: time. The faster Task A is completed the sooner you can receive your reward: the “opportunity” to move on to Tasks B, C, D, and E. Click on Live Chat and you’ll be immediately connected with a reference librarian who can help you stop beating on the wall and find the door.
Second, research has shown that at some schools a majority of students are not even aware of the electronic catalog. As a result they simply wander into the stacks or onto electronic databases and hope serendipity will provide what they need. Using Live Chat, a reference librarian can provide structure to searches by teaching how information in databases and print materials is organized. From there specific resources can be identified and their location pinpointed for easy access.
Look for a blue circle with a question mark and the words “Ask a Librarian” on law library webpages. They’ll link you to Live Chat. Save your forehead from further pounding and your time for the rest of the work you need to get done.
Submitted by Law Library on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 1:46pm
The law library now offers SLU Law alumni free online access to more than 1,800 law and law-related journals through HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library. This collection includes ABA journals, the most cited law journals, and selected international and non-U.S. law journals; it covers the first issue of each journal to the most current allowed by the publisher. Users are able to search by title, author, subject, state, and country of publication. In addition, there is a feature that allows users to determine the scholarly impact of an article by seeing what other articles cite a particular article. Information and details about how to use this resource can be found here.
In addition, SLU Law alumni are eligible to apply for a SLUcard to come to the law library during evening and weekend hours when Scott Hall is closed to the public. Find the application for a SLUcard here.
Angela is a biracial child, mother is African American and father is Caucasian. The book is snapshots of her experiences being bi-racial in West Philly.
Angela writes vignettes about the interaction between herself and different races. Being a biracial child, she had difficulty “fitting in” with one particular race. In her teenage years she battled mental issues and couldn’t come to terms with her mixed heritage. As she grew older, she learned that you have to be able to accept yourself before anybody else will accept you. This book is written for all age groups. It is entertaining, enlightening and heartbreaking story. The author captures the reader’s attention very quickly and keeps your interest.
Her mother, a former Black Panther, instilled in her the beauty and value that are in all races. Though she had these ideas, she still had difficulty navigating through life with a mixed racial heritage.
Angela takes us through her different phases of racial identity, that being confusion to activism to survival and the struggles that lies within each of those phases. She also briefly describes issues particular to women of mixed race.
Submitted by Law Library on Wed, 12/11/2013 - 2:20pm
This is the time year when most children cannot wait for presents. All children regardless of age wish and desire those special things, a doll, a truck, a book, or a warm home. It is the time of year when everyone wants something and everyone is asking you for something. Your mail is filled with catalogs, cards, and requests for money to help people, animals, and the environment.
In St. Louis there many organizations to which you can donate, cash, time, or items. The Law Library has put together a very short list of giving possibilities.
The 100 Neediest Cases, every day the St. Louis Post Dispatch is runs an article covering a family/person in need. You can “adopt a case” or give to the fund.
Children - Reading – Books
In St. Louis city more than 34% of the children live in poverty and more than 16% drop out of high school. Giving a new book is one way to help.
Left Bank Books’ Angel Tree donation drive raises money to buy books as Christmas gifts for children in the St. Louis Public Schools. If you want to buy the book instead, visit either location, buy a book, and give it to the clerk specifying it is for the Angel Tree. If you shop online, in comment field type “Angel Tree” during the checkout process.
Barnes and Noble is also having a book drive for Children’s Hospital. Purchase a book and donate it at the store in the St. Louis Area.
The St. Louis area has many groups that help animals, Stray Rescue (dogs), Tenth Life (cats), Animal Protective Association (cats & dogs), and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic (small wild mammals). All of these groups can be helped by giving your time, to walk a dog, brush a cat, or feed an injured rabbit. You can donate items they can use, cat food, paper towels, a thundershirt. Look at their wish lists to see what is needed.
Giving closer to home.
If you make giving more personal, help a neighbor—shovel their walk, take them a box of cookies, or give them a smile. Sometimes the smallest and simplest gifts are the best, kindness – it does not take or cost much, and it is twice as nice.
You can find many places to donate your time or money, open your email, read the paper – there is group that needs your help and is meaningful to you.
Submitted by Law Library on Fri, 12/06/2013 - 11:59am
SLU Law Library has several great series of study aids that cover most of the major subject areas of law. The current editions are on Reserve and can be checked out at the Circulation Desk on the 6th floor for two hours at a time.
Examples & Explanations are comprehensive study aids that provide explanations of legal concepts and examples that require application of the concepts. This series covers over 20 subject areas.
Hornbooks provide basic rules and principles in a particular area of law. There are Hornbooks in many of the subject areas covered by first-year courses.
Nutshells are succinct expositions of the law; they are published in many of the subject areas covered in both first-year and upper-level courses.
Understanding . . . is clearly written and designed to complement any textbook. This series is well-respected and used by students to supplement their knowledge and clarify the law.
Submitted by Law Library on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 2:52pm
Exams are here, and we can feel a hush fall over the library. Students are frantically reading, outlining, and writing. And they all want a quiet place in the library. Joanne Vogel, Head of Access Services, addressed some of the questions about quiet hours and how they will work in the new building.
5&6: When do quiet hours start?
Joanne Vogel: They start Monday, December 2, and will be in effect until Monday, December 16 when exams end.
5&6: Where are the quiet zones?
JV: The 5th floor is a “Quiet Zone.”
5&6: Is the 6th floor a quiet area?
JV: Yes and no. The 6th floor is our patron services floor which automatically means there will be noise. The Circulation and Reference Desks, computer and print stations, staff offices, elevators, and the area by the staircase are active locations. Loud talking is discouraged, however, and group discussions should be limited. During exams, the 6th floor is usually fairly quiet after 6 p.m.
5&6: What should I do if someone else is talking in the quiet area?
JV: The best way to handle talking in the quiet areas is to politely remind the person or group that this is a quiet area. The new law school has plenty of soft seating areas, study rooms, classrooms, lounges, and tables for group study and conversations. If the problem continues, contact a full-time staff member at either the Circulation or Reference desk.
5&6: What can I do to make sure it stays quiet?
JV: Here are some ways to lower your own noise:
1. Turn off cell phones or turn off all ringers and notification alerts. Take a walk to one of the other floors to take or make a call. Cell phone use is one of our top complaints during exams!
2. Eat meals somewhere else in the building. Beverages in covered containers and quiet, non-crunchy snacks are ok, but eating can be a very noisy business.
3. Wear headphones if you are using audio or video. The law library also provides disposable ear plugs, so pick up a set at the Circulation Desk.
4. Silence your computer. Noisy pop-up messages or unexpected videos frequently occur when using the Internet – no need to let everyone know you are shopping, taking a break, and checking your email or Facebook.
5. Most importantly, be considerate of your colleagues and classmates!
Submitted by Law Library on Fri, 11/22/2013 - 10:30am
Why blog? I don’t think I have the answer, but I’ll take a few guesses. It can be used as a literary or artistic outlet. Imagine Jack Kerouac or Allen Ginsberg coming of age in the time of blogging. They would be speaking directly to their audiences in a much more effective medium than through esoteric magazines. Perhaps they would have had an even larger audience?
One of the reasons people blog is to express what they are passionate about. Because they really care and there is no real worry (for most) about editors and potential readership. Why else would a person spend time to write and maintain a blog unless there was some significant passion involved and people wanted to be heard?
It can also be kind of exciting. You have no real idea on who is reading. Bloggers who write book reviews will occasionally receive free books. Sometimes bloggers’ posts will be picked up by some noted national magazine or newspaper? National Geographic or the Huffington Post are known to do this. There are others. So you may never know the accolades, publication opportunities, readers, or even jobs (yes) available to bloggers out there.
I’m told blogging can also be comforting. Perhaps like the old neighborhood bar? Many times you’ll pass by the old place on your way home but every once in a while you’ll pop in just to hear some stories or tell a few yourself. It made you feel connected to something. No pressure, no pain, no hassles, just a little fun with some like-minded folks.
So that is what we will have going here from the SLU Law Library Blog, From 5 & 6. It will be a little of this, a little of that. Nothing too serious. Hopefully a little entertaining, informative, dare I say it…educational? Okay, not too educational. One thing we in the law library are passionate about is services for our students and faculty. There will be helpful tidbits for you telling of our services, new materials, new databases, and book burning parties in the back alley (just kidding).
Some of you may know the tune, “Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away…to 5& 6?” Do we have to pay royalties now? If we do I want to take out the last bit because it doesn’t add much. I think it’s an ongoing use we need to be worried about however and this won’t be used again, so I think we are safe.
No, From 5 & 6 isn’t a neighborhood bar, but rather the two floors on which the law library lives and from where this blog will be written, maintained and hopefully not maligned or misunderstood to any great extent. We do encourage your feedback and will gladly post them next to the empties.