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May 30, 2012

Criminal Justice Faculty Spotlight: James Acker, Distinguished Teaching Professor

James Acker is a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the criminal justice program at the University at Albany. His research interests include the integration of social science into law, and legal doctrine relating to criminal procedure, criminal law, juvenile justice, miscarriages of justice, and capital punishment. Professor Acker began his career as a lawyer with a JD from the Duke University School of Law. After four years in private practice, he returned to school to earn an MA and a PhD in criminal justice from the University at Albany. He became a University faculty member in 1988.

Professor Acker has written or contributed to many books that can be found in the Libraries’ collection. Recent books include:

Criminal Law by David C. Brody and James R. Acker, 2nd edition, Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2010.
Dewey Library / KF 9219 B73 2001

“Scrutinizing the Death Penalty: State Death Penalty Study Commissions and Their Recommendations” in The Death Penalty Today edited by Robert M. Bohm, New York: CRC Press, 2008, pages 29-59.
Dewey Library / KF 9227 C2 D43 2008

The Future of America’s Death Penalty: An Agenda for the Next Generation of Capital Punishment Research edited by Charles S. Lanier, William J. Bowers and James R. Acker, Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2009.
Dewey Library / KF 9227 C2 F885 2008

“Capital Punishment,” in Governing America: Major Decisions of Federal, State, and Local Governments from 1789 to the Present edited by Paul J. Quirk & William Cunion, New York: Facts on File, 2011, pages 829-839.
Dewey Library / Reference: JK 468 P64 Q55 2011

“Hearing the Victim’s Voice Amidst the Cry for Capital Punishment,” in Handbook of Restorative Justice: A Global Perspective edited by Dennis Sullivan & Larry Tifft, Taylor and Francis, 2006, pages 246-260.
Dewey Library / HV 8688 H36 2006

Scottsboro and Its Legacy: The Cases That Challenged American Legal and Social Justice by James R. Acker, Westport, CT: Praeger Press, 2008.
Dewey Library / KF 224 S34 A25 2008

Wounds That Do Not Bind: Victim-Based Perspectives on the Death Penalty edited by James R. Acker & David R. Karp, Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2006.
Dewey Library / HV 8694 W68 2006

Wrongful Conviction: Law, Science, and Policy
by James R. Acker & Allison D. Redlich, Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2011.
Dewey Library / KF 9756 A25 2011

Professor Acker has also published many articles in journals you can find in the Libraries’ databases. Some of the most recent include:

“Firmament or Folly? Protecting the Innocent, Promoting Capital Punishment, and the Paradoxes of Reconciliation” by James R. Acker and Rose Bellandi, Justice Quarterly: JQ, 29.2 (2012), 287-307.

“Miscarriages of Justice: ‘Better that Ten Guilty Persons Escape than that One Innocent Suffer’: Appraising the Blackstone Ration in 2011” by James R. Acker, foreword, Albany Law Review, 74.3 (2011), 1067-1070.

“’Than That One Innocent Suffer’: Evaluating State Safeguards Against Wrongful Convictions” by Robert J. Norris, Catherine L. Bonventre, Allison D. Redlich and James R. Acker, Albany Law Review, 74.3 (2011), 1301-1361.

“Protecting the Innocent in New York: Moving Beyond Changing Only Their Names” by James R. Acker and Catherine L. Bonventre, Albany Law Review, 73.4 (2010), 1245-1356.

“Wrongful Convictions Then and Now: Lessons to Be Learned” by James R. Acker, Albany Law Review, 73.4 (2010), 1207-1211.

“The Death Penalty Loses Its Mind: An Interview with James Acker” by Dennis Sullivan, Contemporary Justice Review 13.4 (2010), 477-486.

“The Power to be Lenient: Examining New York Governors’ Capital Case Clemency Decisions” by Talia Harmon, James R. Acker and Craig Rivera, Justice Quarterly 27.5 (2010), 742-764.

“Merciful Justice: Lessons from Fifty Years of New York Death Penalty Commutations” by James R. Acker, Talia Harmon and Craig Rivera, Criminal Justice Review 35.2 (2010), 183-199.

“Actual Innocence: Is Death Different?” by James R. Acker, Behavioral Sciences and Law 27.3 (2009), 297-311.

“’The Time . . . Has Surely Arrived’: Justice Stevens and the Death Penalty” by James R. Acker, Contemporary Justice Review 13.3 (2008), 287-289.

“Be Careful What You Ask For: Lessons from New York’s Recent Experience with Capital Punishment” by James R. Acker, Vermont Law Review 32.4 (2008), 683-763.

“Impose an Immediate Moratorium on Executions” by James R. Acker, Criminology & Public Policy 6.4 (2007), 641-650.

“Accommodation, Sponsorship and Religious Activities in Prison” by Hans Toch and James R. Acker, Criminal Law Bulletin 42.3 (2006), 261-288.

For assistance researching these and other criminal justice topics, contact subject specialist Dick Irving at rirving@albany.edu or 442-3698.

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

May 29, 2012

Criminal Justice Gets a new Bibliographer

Dick CJ Bib.jpgRichard Irving will be taking over as bibliographer for the criminal justice collection. Bibliographers are the librarians who are responsible for managing the library collections for particular subject areas including acquiring new books, journal subscriptions, and databases. They are the principal library contact persons for people performing library research in their respective subject areas.In addition to criminal justice, Dick is bibliographer for public administration and policy, political science and law. He has a M.A. in criminal justice in addition to a M.L.S.

He has authored or co-authored many academic journal articles including this most recent article available in online preprint:Journals Supporting Terrorism Research: Identification and Investigation into their Impact on the Social Sciences (Scheduled for publication January 2013)

He is also the co-author with James R. Acker of the monograph, Basic Legal Research for Criminal Justice and the Social Sciences, which is available in the Dewey Reference Collection: Dewey Library / Reference: KF 241 C75 A28 1998.

Dick can be contacted at 442-6898 or a rirving@albany.edu.

May 18, 2012

Photo of the Week: Congratulations Graduates!


end of yr gathering 001.jpg

Congratulations to our student workers who are graduating! From l-r: Zhou Long (M.S., Accounting), Linyan Tan (M.S., Accounting), Yunxuan Gao (M.P.A. - Public Administration), Xiaoai Ren (Ph. D., Information Studies), and Maya Espersen (M.S.I.S.). In the back of the photo, you can see Christopher Masella, their supervisor.

Photo Credit: Morris Stilson

May 16, 2012

Library Services for Alumni

Graduation is just around the corner and those of us at the Dewey Library would like to congratulate this year’s graduates! Although your formal education may be over, we hope that you will all become lifelong learners. As an alumnus, you are entitled to library privileges at all three libraries on campus. By registering at any library circulation desk, you can borrow up to twenty-five books at a time for thirty days.

You also have access to two databases: Academic Search-Alumni Edition and Business Search-Alumni edition. Register on line at the the University at Albany Alumni Online Community and you’ll have access to these databases in no time. You may also visit any library and access nearly all of our online databases at any public computer. There are also many free databases available online!

You may use our Ask-A-Librarian email service or stop by the reference desk for any research questions. You may also want to attend one of our free technology classes at the Interactive Media Center. These classes will help you stay current on the latest software programs and trends.

For more information on alumni services, please visit our website . We wish you success in all of your future endeavors!

Blog post created by Katie Farrell

May 15, 2012

Career Resources for Social Work Students

If you’re a social welfare student, chances are you’ll be looking for jobs in the near future. Even if it’s your first semester, it’s never too early to see what resources can help you find a career in social work. In this post, we’ll talk about different avenues you can take when it comes to finding a job. The Dewey Library, professional associations, and other internet resources have information on different kinds of social work jobs, how to find a job, and actual job postings.

The following resources at the Dewey Library will help you find a career in social work:

101 Careers in Social Work. Jessica A. Ritter, Halaevalu F.O. Vakalahi, & Mary Kiernan-Stern. New York: Springer Pub. Co., c2009.
Dewey Library Reference HV 10.5 R58 2009

Many paths, one purpose: Career paths for social work and human services majors. Edited by Tuyen D. Nguyen. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, c2006.
Dewey Library HV 10.5 M36X 2006

Social work career development: A handbook for job hunting and career planning
. Carol Nesslein Doelling. Washington, DC: NASW Press, [2004?]
Dewey Library HV 10.5 D63 2004

Careers in social work. Leon H. Ginsberg. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, c1998.
Dewey Library HV 10.5 G55 1998

To prepare for the licensing exam, you may want to use a study guide. The Dewey Library has three copies on reserve of Study Guide: A Guide for Candidates Preparing for the ASWB Social Work Examination. Ask for this at the circulation desk!

You may also want to check out the Career and Education Resources section of Getting Started in Social Welfare Research. From here, you can find more information on licensing and accreditation, job resources, and professional associations. You may also want to check out the section on professional development. Professional development and continuing education are vital aspects of being a social worker. This site connects you with valuable resources.

Professional associations are a great way to get your foot in the door and learn about job opportunities. The Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA) is a national social work organization. The Job Board section provides resources for both job seekers and employers.

The National Association of Social Workers is another professional association you will want to be familiar with. NASW is the largest member social work organization in the world. Here, you can learn about recent publications in the field, access information on professional development, and advocate for meaningful causes. Their Social Work Career Center lists current job openings. If you want to stay local, you will want to check out NASW’s New York State Chapter.

If you have any questions on social work careers, please contact our social welfare bibliographer, Elaine Lasda Bergman by email at elasdabergman@albany.edu or phone at 442-3695.

Blog post created by Kathryn Farrell

May 13, 2012

Dewey Workshops for the Week of May 14 - 18

We have one final workshop this semester: Social Welfare Research Seminar. This session will introduce you to using databases, the libraries' webpage, and other online resources in social welfare.

This week's schedule is as follows:

Monday, 5/14:
1:00 pm: Social Welfare Research Seminar

You can sign up for a class by visiting the Reference Desk, calling us at 442-3691, or visiting our registration page.

Blog post by Cary Gouldin

May 9, 2012

Need a Place to study? Dewey's Got Just the Space for You

The end of the semester crunch is here! That means long hours in front of the computer and pouring over books and class notes. Many graduate students, particularly those with families, find that there are too many distractions at home to give their finals the focus they require. Others find that they can only spend so many hours cooped up at home and need a change of scenery. Where can you go?

The Quiet Study area in the basement of Dewey, of course! Equipped with computers, printers, a copier, study carrels, tables and comfortable reading chairs, this space will satisfy all your study needs. The many computers feature all Information Commons software, like Photoshop, EndNote, Access and SAS. The space is also on the University’s wireless network, so you can bring your own laptop.

Have a group project to work on or want to study with a friend? We’ve got the space for that too! Also located in the basement, our Group Study area features large tables, Information Commons computers and some comfy chairs. To get there walk through the Quiet Study area, up the stairs on the left-hand side, and through the door at the top of the stairs.

Good luck on your finals!

If you have any questions or need research help, stop by the Reference Desk.

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

May 8, 2012

The State of American Libraries

ALA has just released “The 2012 State of America’s Libraries.” This report focuses on the many issues libraries faced in 2011. Like many, libraries have been greatly affected by the recession. The Library of Congress lost 9% of its budget and 10% of its workforce. Academic librarians are faced with increasing enrollment with reduced staff. Libraries everywhere are tightening their budgets and making due with less.

However, not all of the news was grim. The public library in Troy, Michigan was saved from closing after voters approved a five-year operating millage. Circulation is rising among public libraries in many major U.S. cities, and there is an increase in demand for e-books in libraries. “Guerilla libraries” appeared in camps of the Occupy movement. In Zuccotti Park, the location for the Occupy Wall Street movement, the People’s Library was created. When the park was cleared on November 15th, the People’s Library had 5,500 volumes.

Libraries also continue to shed light on issues such as censorship, copyright, and piracy issues. Banned Books Week stresses the importance of the First Amendment and the dangers of censorship. Libraries are also connecting to customers through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media has helped libraries widen their reach within the communities they serve.

What do you think 2012 will bring? What can libraries do to improve their services when facing stagnant budgets and reduced staff?

Blog post created by Katie Farrell

May 6, 2012

Dewey Workshops, May 7 - 11

This is your last opportunity of the semester to take out Evidence Based Practice Seminar. This hour-long session will focus on how to find and evaluate research information for clinical social work practice. To take this workshop, you must have already completed our Social Welfare Research Seminar.

This week’s class schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, 5/9:
3:30 pm: Evidence Based Practice

You can sign-up for this class on our website, call 442-3691, or stop by the Dewey Reference Desk.

Blog post created by Cary Gouldin

May 4, 2012

Photo of the Week: New Books

April Ref Books.jpg

Take a look at some of the new books in our Reference Collection!

Photo Credit: Morris Stilson

May 2, 2012

What's New In Reference?

The Dewey Library regularly acquires new reference materials. These new and interesting titles can be found on the first level of the library:

American gangsters, then and now: an encyclopedia
. Nate Hendley. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, c2010.
Dewey Library Reference HV 6446 H39 2010
This encyclopedia includes stories of famous American gangsters and gangs such as Jesse James, Al Capone, Crips and Bloods, and Hell’s Angels. This comprehensive resource looks at the history of gangsters and gangs in America and has information on famous robberies, killings, and much more.

The librarian's book of quotes
. Tatyana Eckstrand. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009.
Dewey Library Reference PN 6084 L52 E25 2009
This is a collection of quotes about libraries and the library profession. Quotes that emphasize the importance and value of libraries are compiled by authors such as Shakespeare and Ray Bradbury. Citations to the original source are provided as well as biographical information on quoted individuals.

Shocked and awed: a dictionary of the War on Terror. Fred Halliday. Berkeley: University of California Press, c2010.
Dewey Library Reference JZ 1253.5 H355 2010
This unconventional dictionary defines words and phrases used about 9/11 and issues that have followed it. Religious, political, and military words are defined. Quotes, Middle Eastern vocabulary, and stereotypes are also explored.

An encyclopedia of human rights in the United States. H. Victor Condé. Amenia, NY: Grey House Pub., c2011.
Dewey Library Reference KF 4747.5 C37 2011
With important legal cases and information on UN involvement, this encyclopedia examines all aspects of human rights. International and non-governmental organizations’ roles regarding human rights are also explored.

Getting and finding social workers jobs: the ultimate guide for job seekers and recruiters. Brad Andrews. [Qld., Australia : Emereo Pty Ltd., 2009?].
Dewey Library Reference HV 10.5 A547X 2009
This guide provides information on opportunities in the social work field and how to get hired. Get advice on resumes and cover letters as well as tips on the interview process.

If you have any questions about our new reference titles at the Dewey Library, stop by the reference desk or call us at 442-3691!