Monday, January 26, 2015

English Law Commission Launches Project to Codify Sentencing Procedure

The Law Commission of England has launched a project to develop a single sentencing statute to bring clarity and coherence to current sentencing practices:
"There seems to be near unanimity from legal practitioners, judges and academic lawyers that the law in this area is in urgent need of reform. The courts have repeatedly complained about the complexity of modern sentencing procedure. There is strong evidence that the high number of unlawful sentences being handed down is a direct result of the inability of judges to find their way through the relevant provisions. This undermines public confidence in sentencing and costs a great deal of public money to rectify on appeal."

"Our aim in this project is to introduce a single sentencing statute that will act as the first and only port of call for sentencing tribunals. It will set out the relevant provisions in a clear and logical way, and ensure that all updates to sentencing procedure can be found in a single place. It is not the aim of this project to interfere with mandatory minimum sentences or with sentencing tariffs in general. Those will remain entirely untouched, but the process by which they come to be imposed will be streamlined and much improved."
The Commission intends to produce a series of consultative documents over the next 18 months and a draft Bill by the summer of 2017.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:20 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, January 25, 2015

American Association of Law Libraries Releases Report on Economic Value of Law Libraries

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has released a report on the Economic Value of Law Libraries:
"Occasioned by a widely shared sense that law libraries are undervalued by their organizational owners, the study examined current practices among law librarians for reporting on library services and activities. The study confirmed that commonly used methods offer room for improvement based upon the evolving role of the law library. There may not be a 'silver bullet' solution that will heighten organizational stakeholders' appreciation of the library's value, but it behooves the librarian to measure the right things and communicate appropriately — in ways meaningful for decision makers — about their services and the impact those services have. The study presents 20 best practices. Four strategies for communicating qualitative measures and five strategies for communicating quantitative measures are defined. In addition, the study identified five actions librarians can take to enhance the likelihood of being heard by decision makers."

"Briefly put, the overall takeaway from the study is: 'It's not about the library. It's about the relationship the librarian has with those who do or could benefit from the library'."

"Specifically, library directors must assert their leadership and proactively implement strategic processes that align with the institutional mission and goals. Library directors are responsible for identifying opportunities, shifting services, and demonstrating law library contributions to institutional goals and stakeholder priorities."
Jean P. O'Grady, the author of the blog Dewey B Strategic, has written a critical post about the report. The title Long on Rubrics-- Short on ROI makes it easy to guess what she thinks.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:39 pm 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Justice Canada Report on Federal Investment in Criminal Legal Aid

In the most recent Weekly Checklist of federal government publications,  there is a link to a recent report written for Justice Canada by the research firm Prairie Research Associates entitled Maximizing the federal investment in criminal legal aid:
"The purpose of this study was to explore and identify innovations/best practices in criminal legal aid that will enable the federal government to maximize its investment in criminal legal aid and help ensure that Canada’s system of justice remains accessible, efficient, and fair, particularly for economically-disadvantaged Canadians. The innovations/best practices can include efforts to promote greater efficiency (e.g., streamlining processes; reducing costs in some areas through use of new technology or using other legal practitioners or professionals to deliver services; enabling people to assist themselves for simple matters), or improved access to justice by increasing the scope, accessibility, and quality of criminal legal aid services."

"The study focused on the federal investment in criminal legal aid. However, innovations/best practices that did not directly address criminal legal aid but promoted more effective, accessible, and efficient legal aid service delivery and operations, regardless of the type of legal aid, were also considered relevant to this study."
Appendix C examines criminal legal aid in Australia, New Zealand, England/Wales, and Scotlan.

The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad.  

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Roundup of SLA Twitter Chat on Honing Interpersonal Skills

Last month, the international information professional organization SLA (Special Libraries Association) held a "Twitter Chat" on soft skills like interpersonal communication and professional relationships.

The conversation on Twitter covered topics such as networking, influencing, managing people and projects, etc.

The SLA has now published the contents of the event on the Storify website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:33 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Special Libraries Association Series on Tasks for Modern Info Pros

The SLA (Special Libraries Association) published a report in 2013 called The Evolving Value of Information Management that identified 12 key tasks that information professionals must develop.

The President of the SLA and other association members blogged about those tasks in late 2014:
"On 31 October 2014, then-SLA President Kate Arnold kicked off a new series of blog posts on the 12 tasks for modern information professionals. The 12 tasks (...) provide a concise and actionable summary of the ways that information professionals create value for their organizations."

"Following Kate’s posts, four SLA members discussed the ways they have embodied the 12 tasks in their work and provided tips for taking similar actions (...)"
They addressed issues such as:
  • understanding the business of your institution and colleagues
  • proactively creating solutions
  • the importance of networking and connections
  • the challenge of working with reduced resources
The SLA will begin publishing a series of new blog posts on the 12 tasks next week.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:02 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Call for Chapters for New Book on Government Information in Canada

University of Alberta Government Information Librarian Amanda Wakaruk and University of Toronto Government Information Librarian Sam-chin Li have put out a call for collaborators interested in contributing chapters to a book with the working title Government Information in Canada.

They are interested in "overviews, comparative studies, research papers, and case studies" on topics related to:
  • the current state of major federal library services such as departmental libraries, the Depository Services program, Library and Archives Canada
  •  provincial publishing, depository systems, and access structures
  • digitization initiatives
  • communities of practice
People interested in contributing are being asked to submit a 300 to 500 word abstract of the chapter being proposed by April 1, 2015.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:45 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Yorker Magazine Profile of the Internet Archive

The January 26, 2015 issue of The New Yorker includes a profile of The Internet Archive, a San Francisco-based website launched in 1996 that seeks to capture and archive as much of the vast treasures of the Net as possible.

Quite a fascinating read.

Earlier Library Boy posts that mentioned the Internet Archive include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:13 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, January 19, 2015

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Member Profiles

I have written posts about the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network series of librarian profiles called 13 Questions With... as well as the interview series by the Law Library of Congress in Washington with members of its staff.

The Membership Development Committee of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) quietly launched its member profile series called Five Questions With... last September.

So far, it has published profiles of the following prominent CALL members:
  • Judy Harvie, Library Services Director, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
  • Bronwyn Guiton, Librarian – Lawson Lundell LLP
  • Annette Demers, Acting Law Librarian and Sessional Lecturer, Paul Martin Law Library, and President of CALL
  • Connie Crosby, Crosby Group Consulting

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:51 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, January 16, 2015

Statistics Canada Article on Family Violence in Canada

Statistics Canada's publication Juristat this week published an article on Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2013.

From the highlights:
  • In 2013, police reported that there were 87,820 victims of family violence in Canada. This represents a rate of 252.9 victims of family violence for every 100,000 individuals in the population.
  • Spousal violence was the most common form of family violence in 2013, with nearly half (48%) of family violence occurring at the hands of a current or former spouse (married or common law). 
  • Following spousal violence, victimization by a parent was the next most common form of police-reported family violence, representing 17% of family violence victims.
  • In 2013, more than two-thirds (68%) of all family violence victims were female.
  • The risk of family violence varies with age and overall, tends to be lowest for seniors, followed by young children (9 years and under), and highest for adults in their 30s. While this pattern was generally similar for male and female victims, female rates of family violence peaked at age 30 to 34, whereas for males, rates were highest from age 15 to 19.
  • Common assault was the most frequent form of family violence reported to police, experienced by over half (58%) of victims, followed by intimidation offences (17%), such as criminal harassment, indecent telephone calls or uttering threats.
  • More than half (55%) of family violence victims suffered no physical injury. For those that sustained injuries, the vast majority of these injuries were minor, calling for no professional medical treatment or first aid only. When injuries were sustained, they were much more likely the result of the use of physical force (84%) against the victim, rather than the use of a weapon (16%).
  • Charges were laid more often in police-reported family violence incidents (56%) than in violent incidents that were not family-related (46%).
  • Trend data indicate that police-reported incidents of family violence have decreased in recent years. From 2009 to 2013, rates for the most prevalent form of police-reported family violence, physical assault, dropped 14%, spousal victimization declined 17% and incidents involving other family members fell 10%.
  • Rates of homicides committed by family members continue to fall for both male and female victims.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:46 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada 2014 Year-in-Review

Someone send this to me earlier this week. Wow, we really did all this.

Supreme Advocacy LLP, an Ottawa-based law firm, compiled a Supreme Court of Canada 2014 Year-in-Review in mid-December 2014:
"This special year-end review is a complete legal snapshot of all the law from the SCC in 2014, and includes:
Each section is arranged in alphabetical order by area of law so you can more easily find the decisions relevant to your practice. We have also included direct quotes from judgments or headnotes in some cases if they provide a useful summary for the reader."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:39 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Seeking Nominations for the 2015 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is accepting nominations for the 2015 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

It honours a publisher (whether for-profit or not-for profit, corporate or non-corporate) that has demonstrated excellence by publishing a work, series, website or e-product that makes a significant contribution to legal research and scholarship.

Members as well as non-members of CALL can make nominations. Nominations can be submitted to Cyndi Murphy [cmurphy AT stewartmckelvey.com], past president of CALL, before February 15, 2015.

The award honours Hugh Lawford (1933-2009), Professor of Law at Queens’ University and the founder of Quicklaw.

The award will be presented to the recipient at a reception during the 2015 CALL Annual Meeting in Moncton.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:42 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

CLA Government Library Network Interview With Supreme Court of Canada Reference Librarian Cheryl Murphy

The CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has been publishing 13 Questions With..., a series on its website that regularly profiles a member of the Canadian library and IM community.

This week's interview is with Cheryl Murphy, Supreme Court of Canada Reference Librarian and a colleague of mine:
"How do you stay current in your field?
Participating in webinars and reading the literature related to my field, as well as taking courses when given the opportunity."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:23 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

70 Documents to Celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library at the UN Headquarters in New York has prepared an online exhibition called 70 Years, 70 Documents to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations:
"To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library is presenting an exploration of the seventy key documents that have shaped the United Nations and our world. "
"Each month we will add new documents honouring the historic breadth of the Organization's work in the areas of peace and security, humanitarian assistance, development, and human rights. "
The exhibit begins with preparatory documents from the 1941-1945 period that served as the foundation of the organization.

The UN's birthday is on 24 October 2015.

Earlier Library Boy posts about the UN's history include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:04 pm 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Canadian Association of Law Libraries - Applications for Diana M. Priestly Memorial Scholarship

The closing date for applications for the Diana M. Priestley Memorial Scholarship is February 1, 2015.

The Scholarship. which is handed out by the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL):

"is intended to support professional development in the field and is awarded to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant:
  • who has previous law library experience and will be enrolled in an accredited Canadian Library School during the next academic term/year; or
  • who has a degree from or is currently enrolled in an accredited Canadian Library School and will be enrolled in an approved Canadian Law School during the next academic term/year; or
  • who has a degree from or is currently enrolled in an approved Canadian Law School and will be enrolled in an accredited Canadian Library School during the next academic term/year; or
  • who will be concurrently enrolled in an approved Canadian Law School and an accredited Canadian Library School during the next academic term/year. "
"One scholarship will normally be awarded each year in the amount of $2,500.00. It is non-renewable except in exceptional circumstances. The award may be withheld or cancelled for lack of suitable candidates or upon termination of schooling. The money will be disbursed to the successful candidate upon supplying proof of enrollment."
The application form is available on the CALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:30 pm 0 comments links to this post

University of Toronto to Reoffer MOOC on Library Advocacy

The iSchool at the University of Toronto will be reoffering its popular MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) Library Advocacy Unshushed: Values, Evidence, Action starting in February 2015:
"How can we strengthen libraries and librarians in the advancement of knowledge, creativity, and literacy in the 21st century? Though libraries have been loved for over 3,600 years, their relevance in the digital age is being questioned, and their economic and social impacts are poorly understood. What is really essential about libraries and librarians, today and tomorrow? How can library members and all who support the mission of 21st-century librarianship raise the profile and support of these timeless values and services, and ensure universal access to the universe of ideas in all our communities? This course is based on what works. We’ll take an inspired, strategic, evidence-based approach to advocacy for the future of strong communities – cities, villages, universities and colleges, research and development centres, businesses, and not-for-profits."
Wendy Newman, a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at UofT’s Faculty of Information, will lead the 6-week online course being offered through the EdX consortium in partnership with the Canadian Library Association and the American Library Association.

The class, whose first version last year attracted 5,200 students, of which 43% came from outside North America, includes videos, online discussions, quizzes, and video interviews with guest experts.

Earlier Library Boy posts on MOOCs include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:39 pm 0 comments links to this post

Canadian Library Association Statement on Terrorist Attacks Against Chalie Hebdo

The Canadian Library Association (CLA)  issued a statement yesterday regarding the terrorist atrocity committed against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo:
"The CLA condemns this and all acts of violence against the freedom of expression and against those who exercise free expression, regardless of who considers it unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable anywhere in the world ."

"The CLA affirms that libraries in Canada and in every democratic country have a fundamental responsibility to collect, curate, preserve, and provide access to the widest variety of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity that is essential to the moral health and intellectual development of our societies and that forms the bedrock of democratic culture, social and economic improvement , innovation, and civic engagement. Our work celebrates and reinforces diversity, supports lifelong learning, and contributes to the development of just and equitable communities. Our libraries and the civic interests we uphold serve as the foundation for modern democracy and human advancement."

"The CLA encourages libraries to resist all efforts to limit the exercise of free speech while recognizing the right of criticism by individuals and groups."
The library at my place of work. like all libraries I have ever visited or used, no doubt has many books that are sure to deeply offend people of all beliefs and backgrounds: pro-feminist, anti-feminist, pro-gay, anti-gay, pro-Charter, anti-Charter, pro-secularist radical, pro-religious radical, pro-federalist, pro-separatist, atheist, moderate run-of-the-mill believer in God, Marxist, conservative, socialist, liberal and the just plain confused. Thank goodness.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:16 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 08, 2015

AALL 2015 Day in the Life Photo Contest

The 2015 Day in the Life Contest lasts until February 28, 2015. This is an annual photography contest organized by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL).

It is open to AALL members only.

Photos can be submitted in the following categories:

  • Librarians as Information Evaluators and Managers
  • Librarians as Teachers and Trainers
  • The Artistry of Librarianship
  • Most Humorous
  • Best Altered Image/Use of Special Effects
  • Best Video
Winners from the 2014 contest were featured in the July 2014 Issue of AALL Spectrum, a monthly publication of the Association.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:50 pm 0 comments links to this post

December 2014 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The December 2014 issue of Connected is available online. The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media on courts.

Most of the items are about the United States, but there is occasional coverage of other jurisdiction.


The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:21 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

January 2015 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter

The January 2015 issue of In Session is available online.

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:59 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Law Library of Congress Report on Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new comparative report on Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws. The report compares the situation in the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Sweden:
"It appears that all countries surveyed attempt to maintain a balance between law enforcement and national security needs on the one hand and rights to privacy and personal data protection on the other . In all of the countries, intelligence functions are divided among general intelligence and security services, military and financial intelligence, and the police. While in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Portugal intelligence agencies work according to principles established by a comprehensive statute, in Sweden and Romania individual laws address issues specifically for individual intelligence agencies, and in France the work of these agencies is primarily based on varied executive decisions. This explains why most of the countries have no single legislative regime that applies to matters of surveillance, interception of communications, and privacy protection."

"While the legislative institutions of the surveyed countries are involved in general oversight of their respective intelligence agencies, special government bodies for reviewing the legality of interception surveillance and privacy issues have also been created. These special bodies focus on how information is stored, shared among security agencies within the country and abroad, destroyed, and made available to interested individuals. Limitations on intelligence collection are established by national constitutions, criminal procedure laws, and special legislation, and are aimed at the general defense of rights and freedoms. They include restrictions in terms of scope, duration, and subject matter of surveillance activities. The use of special powers, including communications surveillance, require express permission from the Minister of Interior (Netherlands), issuance of a judicial order (Romania), or an approval warrant authorized by the Secretary of State (United Kingdom). All national laws of the surveyed countries provide for special instruments to preserve personal data. At the same time, because of gaps in legislation and the national legal systems’ weaknesses, these measures are not always effective in regard to privacy protection."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:46 pm 0 comments links to this post

American Associate of Law Libraries Webinar on Soft Skills

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) will be holding a webinar on January 28, 2015 (11AM-noon Central time) on the topic of Soft Skills: Professional Indicators of Success:
"Employers recruit librarians and staff based on hard and technological skills. However, 'soft skills,' those personal attributes which drive our interactions on the job, are prized as key indicators for professional success and organizational effectiveness.  Employers are increasingly looking for staff who understand when to push forward or let others lead, can analyze the politics of the workplace, and respond effectively to difficult managerial and interpersonal situations. These intangible skills are important to career growth and organizational success. Learn how to harness these important skills to gain confidence and long-term professional effectiveness."
The speaker will be Jack G. Montgomery is Professor and Coordinator of Acquisitions / Collection Services at Western Kentucky University Libraries. He is the co-author of Conflict Management for Libraries: a strategy for a positive, productive workplace (ALA Editions, 2005).

The cost for AALL Members is $30 (US), $60 for non-members. Site registration (one per physical location) is $150 (US).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:37 pm 0 comments links to this post