Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2015 Conference - Annual Reports from Special Interest Groups
The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is beginning its 2015 annual conference this weekend in Moncton.
Annual reports of committees and special interest groups (SIG) have been submitted in anticipation of the general meeting.
Here are summaries of some of the reports:
Prison Libraries SIG:
The SIG has worked with the Canadian Library Association and the CALL executive to draft a position statement supporting the rights of offenders to access quality libraries and library services in their prisons. Here is an excerpt from the statement (Position Statement on the Fundamental Right of People who are Incarcerated to Read, Learn and Access Information):
"As correctional institutions in Canada continue to face population management pressures, a growing population with complex needs, and a lack of program capacity the CLA and CALL/ACBD recognize the importance of prison libraries within all levels of correctional institutions."Academic Law Libraries SIG:
"Literacy and the prison library play an important role inside institutions as well as in reintegration planning. The prison library has the opportunity to mirror the outside world and help prepare the incarcerated person for release."
"People serving their sentences have not given up the right to learn and to access information, including legal information. Inmates should therefore have access to materials, services, and opportunities to develop literacy skills, pursue personal and cultural interests, and engage in life-long learning that properly-resourced prison libraries provide."
"Qualified, trained and paid staff should work with the collections to meet the education, recreation and rehabilitation needs of the prisoners. The CLA and CALL/ACBD are calling for a renewed focus and reallocation of resources to allow libraries in prison to provide access to books, information, and related relevant programming that can contribute to safety and success both within and outside correctional institutions."
The SIG submitted three proposals to the Moncton CALL Conference, all three were accepted:
- Law Libraries’ Response to the Wave of Social Media: Developing Effective Solutions in New Economic Realities
- Collection Issues in Changing Times: Development or Maintenance?
- The Ethos of Guide on the Side: Developing Online Tutorials to Teach Legal Research and Writing
The SIG successfully advocated for a lower membership fee for students. Several members noted that the previous cost was prohibitive but that the new fee of $15 per year is quite affordable.
It also advocated for more of a CALL presence at universities and helped hold various events, such as webinars, tours and guest speaker sessions to interest students in law librarianship and CALL.
One interesting idea from the SIG is that of exploring the possibility of more incentives to attend conferences. For example, the Canadian Library Association (CLA) has a Student-To-CLA program which covers the costs of attending the conference for several students every year. Students granted the awards each contribute a brief statement about their experiences to be published in the CLA newsletter.
Access Services and Resource Sharing SIG Subcommittee on Classification:
One highlight last year was the fact that the Library of Congress created a new subclass KIA-KIX (Law of Indians and Indigenous Peoples) in the LC subject headings system as well as a parallel expansion of KF8200-KF8228 into KF8200-KF8576.
The KF Editorial Board had just completed its own expansion of KF8200-KF8228. This posed a challenge to the Editorial Board as it had to find ways to harmonize these new developments with the existing arrangement in KF Modified. The Committee had been working on the new development which will be discussed at the CALL KF Modified meeting at the conference.
Government Libraries SIG:
The SIG has been continuing with its update of the resource Law Libraries in Canada. A description of law libraries for a number of jurisdictions has been completed and posted on the SIG’s pages of the CALL website.
The downsizing of collections has also been a major concern for the SIG which has discussed the need to cut collections due to increasing costs and decreasing budgets. The group also discussed the challenges that arise from moving to online content (licensing, costs, technical issues, etc.) and trying to continue to serve the information needs of clients with a smaller collection.