CALL 2009 Conference Committee Reports
Here is a brief overview of the committee meetings I was able to attend.
a) Courthouse and Law Society Libraries Special Interest Group (SIG):
Last year, the SIG published a list of instructional materials compiled by members. This includes tutorials, research guides, handouts etc. Trainers can see what other librarians have developed and used.
Highlights from member news:
- the Alberta Law Libraries underwent a major reorganization, consolidating 11 law society libraries and close to 40 government libraries for the judiciary, the Crown, and legal information centres into a new unified structure with a common mandate, reporting structure, branding strategy, etc. Important note: they are still hiring new librarians!
- the Law Society of Saskatchewan library system countered rumours of cutbacks with a survey (325 responses) that concluded that lawyers like the library services and want them to be preserved. A system that appeared to be threatened has now been stabilized
- the Nova Scotia Barristers Society library system published an electronic annotated version for new rules of civil procedure, deidentified (anonymized) more than 1000 decisions published on the free open portal CanLII, and has continued its travelling librarian training program (a librarian visits law firms across the province to provide legal research training)
- the Supreme Court of Canada library has had its new collection development policy approved. It will entail major changes (reductions) to the collection of US reference material in print (in particular state codes)
- the Courts Administration Service (Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada) has reviewed its collection development policy: it has almost completed the unification of the policies of its different regions.
b) Vendor Liaison Committee business meeting:
- the Committee published an annual publisher price trend report, provided tips on cost containment and launched a survey to measure the impact of the recession on law library budgets. The survey will be re-run at the end of the summer because early responses indicate that many people feel it is still too early to gauge what possible impacts may exist
- the focus for the next year will be usage reports (statistiscal tracking). The emphasis will be the development of consistent, standardized methods for collecting usage stats from different vendors
c) Committee to Promote Research
- this committee exists to promote research projects by law librarians
- it has updated its databank of past research projects by CALL members and will be updating the list of issues requiring research (which looks quite out of date - CD-ROMs are mentioned) and the research-related resources page
- for the 2010 conference in Windsor, Ontario, possible ideas include the impact of research reports by law commissions; open access research repositories (bePress, SSRN, etc.); research being done in LIS faculties; the research experiences of academic librarians facing tenure