AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum / January/February 2018 / Volume 22, Number 3

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

Issue link: http://epubs.aallnet.org/i/915318

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 | AALL SPECTRUM 45 and including comments and other documentation to explain what the code does and how it works, are an important rst step. Cross-training sta and creating opportunities for multiple sta members to develop skills with frequently used technologies decreases the risk that the library will be le without sta who can maintain existing projects. Code management is another important safeguard. Many libraries, including some law libraries, maintain accounts on GitHub, a popular tool for sharing open source soware. GitHub allows users to track the changes that are made to each project, and its workow allows multiple sta members to work in parallel on the same project. New sta members can use an institution's GitHub account to nd and understand the code a library has created, and even to see the history of a given project. (Learn more about GitHub at bit.ly/JF18GitHub.) While practices like these should help to address specic concerns, it is also worth examining the context of these general objections. Sta development of technology skills may be an area where the notoriously risk- averse nature of libraries does real damage. If projects that respond to a pressing need are discouraged out of fear that future sta will lack the technical skills to maintain the project, the library misses an opportunity to develop a culture of technical competency, and the fear of inadequate sta skills is likely to become a self- fullling prophecy. On the other hand, creating a culture where sta are encouraged to develop and share the technical skills needed to do their jobs makes it easier to attract and retain sta who are willing and able to develop the required skills. Leveraging Existing Skills If all of this seems daunting, it may be comforting to remember that even librarians with no coding experience at all may possess a wealth of complementary skills that provide a head start for many projects. Librarians who are comfortable working with JQUERY IN ACTION This simple example shows a list of courses from Fusion, a federated search tool for prospective stu- dents, developed by Boston College Law Library staff. In this example, clicking on the name of the course once shows the course description; clicking again hides the description. The jQuery code below assigns a function to the click event for the element containing the name of the course. That function toggles the class "open" for the element that was clicked, meaning "open" is removed if it is present, but added if it is not. The code then finds the description of that element and toggles it as well, using the slideToggle function to create a simple animation that slides the description up and down. These changes are highlighted in the HTML code below. jQuery(".answer-tab").click( function() { jQuery(this).toggleClass("open").parent().find("td.description").slideToggle(); }); Closed: Administrative Law This course will examine the legal framework for the work of administrative agencies. We will explore the sources of authority for agency action under the U.S. Constitution and will examine the accountability of agencies to the legislative and executive branches of government. This course is intended to introduce students to regulatory agencies in a variety of substantive fields of law, such as financial, environmental, healthcare, immigration, labor, to name a few. Open: Administrative Law This course will examine the legal framework for the work of administrative agencies. We will explore the sources of authority for agency action under the U.S. Constitution and will examine the accountability of agencies to the legislative and executive branches of government. This course is intended to introduce students to regulatory agencies in a variety of substantive fields of law, such as financial, environmental, healthcare, immigration, labor, to name a few. You can see this code in action at bit.ly/JF18Code.

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