Category Archives: Librarians Can Be Fun Too

The 50th Anniversary of The Civil Rights Act of 1964

With less than a month left on the Library of Congress’ exhibit “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom”, it seemed appropriate to remind everyone who may be traveling to D.C. in the next few weeks that it’s their last chance to view this exhibit, which recognizes the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 .  This post originally ran in November of 2014.  
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In case you are visiting Washington, DC in the coming year, plan a visit to the Library of Congress’ new exhibit “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom.” The exhibit which recognizes the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is open to the public Monday-Saturday 8:30 am- 4:30 pm until September 12, 2015.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (PL 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.  It provided injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations and segregation in public education. It enforced the constitutional right to vote, ending unequal voter-registration requirements. The law is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation.

The Library of Congress’ free exhibit “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom” highlights the legal and legislative challenges and victories leading to its passage. The exhibit highlights the individuals, both prominent leaders and private citizens, who participated in the process. The exhibit contains more than 200 items from correspondence to photographs, newspapers, legal briefs, drawings and posters. It also includes audio-video stations throughout the exhibit showing film clips of dramatic events related to the civil rights era such as protests, sit-ins, boycotts and other public actions. An introductory film narrated by Julian Bond focuses on the significance of the legislation.  Another video explores the impact of the Civil Rights Act. There are six themes in the exhibit: Prologue, Segregation Era, World War II and the Post War Years, Civil Rights Era, Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Impact.

Much of the exhibit’s documentation comes from NAACP Records in the Library’s Manuscript Division and the Prints and Photographs Division. The audio-visual materials come from the Library’s American Folklife Center’s Civil Rights History Project and the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center.  Newman’s Own Foundation with additional support from HISTORY® provided funding for the exhibition. Further details about the exhibit can be found at http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/civil-rights-act/

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~Betty Thomas~

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A Little More Conversation About Elvis: Another look at his life through two very different books

It’s been thirty eight years this August, since Elvis Presley passed away.  That may seem like yesterday to the baby boom generation, who were acquainted with the man as well as the artist known as the “King of Rock and Roll.” Subsequent generations, however, are more familiar with the fables and legends surrounding Elvis than they are with Elvis himself.

Elvis is iconic.  His music synthesized the pop, country, gospel and blues elements which also served as his inspiration and which significantly transformed music for his and future generations. His story has been dramatized many times.  Cirque du Soleil has choreographed a production based on his life and music (“Viva Elvis”).  He has appeared as “walk on” characters in books and movies (for example, “Walk the Line”). He is the frequent object of impersonators (a/k/a “tribute artists”) and parody (such as the king in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”). One can’t walk the streets of Memphis or Las Vegas without spotting an Elvis.  The intellectual property rights attached to his music, image, brand, etc., are so extensive that I once heard a CLE presenter paraphrase that Elvis has not left the building.  All of above perpetuate the myths but do little to reveal the man behind them. In honor of his legacy, I recommend two books, in very different styles.

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“Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley” is the first of a two volume biography by Peter Guralnick.  It is well-researched and sensitively-written and narrates the journey of a shy, awkward young man with a raw talent.  It follows his rise from poverty to national acclaim.  Guralnick concludes the first volume of Elvis’ life with several life-altering events: Elvis has been drafted, sent to Germany, is worried that his career won’t survive and has lost his mother, with whom he had been very close. Yes, all life-changers, but somehow there is an element of optimism.  (Volume two, “Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley” is just as well-researched and sensitively-written, but the title sums it all up and we know how the story ends.)

If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try “Blue Suede Clues: A Murder Mystery Featuring Elvis Presley” by Daniel Klein.  Klein wrote several detective novels which portrayed Elvis as rock star by night and amateur detective by day.  The titles of the books were based on the titles of Presley’s hit songs: “Kill Me Tender”, “Viva Las Vengeance” and “Such Vicious Minds.”  In “Blue Suede Clues”, Elvis has just completed filming a movie and finds himself coming to the aid of one of his Army buddies.  The book features fictional characters and references some of the real individuals who played integral roles in Elvis’s life. Klein knows his Elvis facts and weaves them into the mysteries. He also foreshadows some of the darker elements in the performer’s life.

Add these books to your end-of-the-summer reading list and reflect on the man who continues to inspire so many.

~Susan Catterall~

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Need a Break? The Library Can Help with Our Legal Themed Movie Collection!

Recently, we had one of our student workers scan through previous blog content and choose a few of the ones she found most helpful as a current Charlotte Law student.  We’ll be re-posting this content throughout the summer so it’s readily available to all of our incoming and returning students for Fall of 2015.  This post originally ran in March of 2015.

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In 2012, we blogged about the 25 greatest legal movies of all time and took a poll as to which movies our students preferred most.

This time we are reposting the 2008 ABA Journal listing which featured 25 of the best legal movies and we’ve added hyperlinks to the records in our own library catalog.  Take a look and see what’s available.  We might have something that will help you make the most of your relaxation time over Spring Break!

  1. To kill a mockingbird [videorecording]
  2. 12 angry men [videorecording]
  3. My cousin Vinny [videorecording]
  4. Anatomy of a murder [videorecording]
  5. Inherit the wind [videorecording]
  6. Witness for the prosecution : [DVD]
  7. Erin Brockovich [videorecording]
  8. The verdict [videorecording]
  9. Presumed innocent [videorecording]
  10. Judgment at Nuremberg [videorecording]
  11. A man for all seasons [videorecording]
  12. A Few good men [videorecording]
  13. Chicago [videorecording]
  14. Kramer vs. Kramer [videorecording]
  15. The paper chase [videorecording]
  16. Reversal of fortune [videorecording]
  17. Compulsion [videorecording]
  18. And justice for all [videorecording]
  19. In the name of the father [videorecording]
  20. A civil action [videorecording]
  21. Amistad [videorecording]
  22. Miracle on 34th Street [videorecording]

Honorable Mentions

  • THE ACCUSED (1988) Jodie Foster is a woman who is gang-raped in a bar and, when the rapists go free, goads a reluctant prosecutor to pursue the patrons who urged them on. The accused [videorecording]
  • ADAM’S RIB (1949) George Cukor’s mannered comedy, with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as married lawyers who oppose each other in court. Adam’s rib [videorecording]
  • BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (1956) Dana Andrews is a writer who sets himself up on a murder rap to reveal the shortcomings of circum­stantial evidence.
  • THE CAINE MUTINY (1954) Humphrey Bogart is riveting in this adaptation of Herman Wouk’s complex novel about military authority and moral duty. The Caine mutiny [videorecording]
  • CLASS ACTION (1991) A father and daughter clash in and outside the courtroom as they square off in a volatile product liability case. Class action [videorecording]
  • THE CLIENT (1994) Susan Sarandon is an underwhelming lawyer who finds herself representing a young boy who has witnessed a Mafia hit. The Client [videorecording]
  • COUNSELLOR AT LAW (1933) John Barrymore is a workaholic lawyer who is in danger of losing his family in this William Wyler film.
  • THE COURT-MARTIAL OF BILLY MITCHELL (1955) Otto Preminger directs Gary Cooper in this tale of the real-life maverick general who thinks an airplane can sink a ship—and is court-martialed for proving it. The Court-martial of Billy Mitchell [videorecording]
  • THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE (1997) A new attorney introduced into the world’s most powerful law firm discovers that its managing partner is morally challenged. Devil’s advocate [videorecording]
  • THE FIRM (1993) Tom Cruise is recruited by a prestigious law firm that he gradually learns has a very sinister background. The Firm [videorecording]
  • THE FORTUNE COOKIE (1966) Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon romp in this Billy Wilder comedy about a sleazy lawyer who talks a relative into feigning injury for the sake of a lawsuit.
  • GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI (1996) The true story of efforts to bring to justice Byron De La Beckwith for the 30-year-old murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Ghosts of Mississippi [videorecording]
  • INTOLERABLE CRUELTY (2003) The Coen brothers reveal their take on divorce law. George Clooney is at his toothy best.
  • JAGGED EDGE (1985) Defense attorney Glenn Close gets close to a client, played by Jeff Bridges, who is on trial for the murder of his heiress wife. Jagged edge [videorecording]
  • JFK (1991) Oliver Stone takes on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s efforts to solve the Kennedy assassination. History yields to riveting storytelling.
  • LEGALLY BLONDE (2001) Reese Witherspoon became one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood after ridiculing the elitism of Harvard Law. Legally blonde [videorecording]
  • LIAR, LIAR (1997) A hilarious vehicle for Jim Carrey, who plays a lawyer who finds he is physically incapable of telling a fib. Liar liar [videorecording]
  • MICHAEL CLAYTON (2007) George Clooney shines in this look at the dark underbelly of big-firm law. Michael Clayton [videorecording]
  • MUSIC BOX (1989) Hungarian immigrant Mike Laszlo, accused of being a war criminal, asks his daughter (Jessica Lange) to defend him in court. She learns more about him than she wants to know.
  • NORTH COUNTRY (2005) It’s one wom­an against the system: The extra­ordinary Charlize Theron plays a miner who sues the company. North country [videorecording]
  • THE PELICAN BRIEF (1993) A law stu­dent discovers a plot to assassinate U.S. Supreme Court justices in this John Grisham adaptation. The pelican brief [videorecording]
  • THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT (1996) Cameos abound in this portrayal of the trial of the renowned porn publisher. The people vs. Larry Flynt [videorecording]
  • PRIMAL FEAR (1996) Richard Gere is the attorney and Edward Norton a young altar boy accused of killing a priest in a story whose plot twists and turns. Primal fear DVD 126 [videorecording]
  • THE RAINMAKER (1997) Another John Grisham lawyer fights the system, this time with Matt Damon starring and Francis Ford Coppola directing. John Grisham’s The rainmaker [videorecording]
  • A TIME TO KILL (1996) An earnest retelling of the Grisham novel about a racially charged killing in the Deep South. Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock spark. A time to kill [videorecording]

~Jane Fraytet~

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Know Your Law Library: Fiction Collection

Heading to the beach for a weekend this summer or just relaxing on the porch… maybe you would like a good read. The Charlotte School of Law Library has a collection of fiction.

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The collection includes many of John Grisham and Scott Turow’s legal thrillers as well as a number of books that have been banned by various communities.

The Fiction Collection is located in the Reference area of the 5th floor behind the attorney member carrels.

These books can be checked out for 28 days (note the yellow dots).

We also welcome donations.

Come browse the collection.

If you need help, ask a librarian!

~Betty Thomas~

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Know Your Law Library: DVD Collection

Hooray it is summer!  Maybe you need a break from your classes… you might be interested in one of our lesser known collections. The Charlotte School of Law Library has an extensive collection of DVDs both fiction and non-fiction.

The collection of over 400 titles is located in the Reference area on the 5th floor behind the attorney member carrels.

There are classic movies like 10 Angry Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to television series such as Law and Order. There are recent documentaries: Civil Remedy (human trafficking) and The Loving Story (miscegenation). Of course, there are more entertaining titles like Legally Blonde and Lord of the Rings. There is something for everyone.

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In searching the catalog for these DVDs, use the keyword videorecording in the search box and select DVD format from the facets on the left side of the screen to see the long list of DVDs.

DVDs can be checked out for 7 days.

If you need help, just ask a librarian!

~Betty Thomas~

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