On Tuesday, June 8th, Widener Law reference librarians Mary Marzolla
, Janet Lindenmuth, Maggie Stewart Adams, Mary Jane Mallonee, David King, and Mary Alice Peeling offered a half-day Continuing Legal Education program on “Free and Low-Cost Online Legal Research.” The program offered 3 CLE credits to Pennsylvania and Delaware attorneys and touched on topics such as evaluating websites, advanced Google searching, meta-sites, federal and state government and business information.
“When you’re looking at a website, you should be looking to ensure its accuracy,” stressed Mary Marzolla as she opened the program with a segment on evaluating websites. Janet Lindemuth spoke next, covering some of the advanced features available through Google, including using the Google search box to define words, convert currency or measurements, track planes by airline abbreviation and flight number, track UPS packages by package number, serve as a calculator, or offer quick weather reports about different areas of the country. She also discussed the use of the advanced search form, the use of Google Maps, and Google Scholar.
Further topics included a look at meta-sites that act as content aggregators, how to find government documents online through the GPO (Government Printing Office) Access Home Page, a look at the Federal Agency Directory, and exploration of Thomas, the Library of Congress catalog. The session concluded with information about business resources and sites tailored specifically for legal research including Westlaw and LexisNexis.