Thursday, December 02, 2021

Survey of Law Library Plans for the Print Materials Collection

Primary Research Group, a New York-based publisher of research reports and surveys about libraries, has published the Survey of Law Library Plans for the Print Materials Collection, 2022 Edition ($155.00 US):

"This study presents data from 28 major law libraries about their plans for their print materials collection.  Data is broken out separately for university, small law firm, large law firm, government and courthouse law libraries, as well as for law libraries in Canada and in the United States, and by library law library staff size.  Law library directors from many eminent law firms, schools and court and other government law libraries comment on their plans for print subscriptions to journals, books, directories, loose-leaf services, magazine and newspapers and other print information vehicles.  In addition to extensive commentary the report gives detailed data on overall print budget spending, spending on particular forms (books, journals, etc.) and data on the future of print separately for primary and secondary legal information and non-legal information. The study also looks at the impact of the pandemic on law library thinking and planning for print materials."

"Just a few of the 111-page report’s many findings are that:

  • The Canadian law libraries in the sample vastly outspent the US ones on print materials.
  • Libraries headed by individuals under age 60 spent far less on print materials than those headed by individuals over age 60.
  • Collection culling of print materials was slightly higher in the USA than in Canada.
  • For law school libraries, print materials accounted for 33.67% of the print materials budget.
  • Spending on print directories by the libraries sampled is expected to fall by 15% in 2022."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:49 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Forthcoming Article on Plain Language Laws in the United States

The SSRN research platform has published an article on The Rise of Plain Language Laws that will be published in a  forthcoming issue of the University of Miami Law Review. The author is Michael Blasie (Pennsylvania State University):

"When lawmakers enacted 778 plain language laws across the United States, no one noticed. Apart from a handful, these laws went untracked and unstudied. Without study, large questions remain about these laws’ effects and utility, and about how they inform the adoption or rejection of plain language."

"This Article creates a conceptual framework for plain language laws to set the stage for future empirical research and normative discussions on the value of plain language. It unveils the first nationwide empirical survey of plain language laws to reveal their locations, coverages, and standards. In doing so, the Article creates a systematic method to find these laws. Then it coins categories and terminology to describe their coverage and standards, thus creating a timely launchpad for future scholarship on domestic and international plain language laws. Along the way, the Article exposes the previously unknown scope of these laws—from election ballots and insurance contracts to veterans housing and consumer contracts to regulatory drafting and governor reports. That scope underscores the pervasive influence of plain language across public and private sectors, and over lawyers and non-lawyers alike. More, the survey reveals significant intrastate and interstate variations and trends in coverages and standards. With this knowledge, for the first-time empirical research can more precisely measure the benefits and costs of plain language laws while controlling for variables." [from the abstract]

It is easy to sign up for an account to gain access to hundreds of thousands of articles in dozens of disciplines including law.



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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:35 pm 0 comments

Government Information Day Later This Month

The 2021 edition of Government Information Day will take place on December 14th and December 15th.

There are sessions on topics as varied as discovery services for Canadian census and geospatial data, regulating artificial intelligence, working with some 11 languages in the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, and more.

Dr. Debby Wilson Danard will be the keynote speaker on the subject of INDIGIPEDIA.CA, a new Indigenous Digital Encyclopedia

The conference is free but registration is required. Registration opened today on December 1st, 2021. 


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:56 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Throne Speech Highlights of Interest to the Library and IM Community

The website has published a post with highlights of interest to the Canadian library and information management community from yesterday's federal Throne Speech that outlined the government's agenda for the First Session of the Forty-Fourth Parliament of Canada.

The highlights are broken down into the following topics:

  • Anti-Racism
  • Child Care
  • Digital
  • Reconciliation
On the subject of Throne Speeches, the website of the Canadian Parliament has a complete collection going all the way back to the first session of Parliament in 1867:
"The Speech from the Throne imparts the causes of summoning Parliament, prior to which neither House can embark on any public business. It marks the first occasion, after a general election, or a prorogation, that Parliament meets in an assembly of its three constituent parts: the House of Commons, the Senate and the Sovereign, or the Sovereign’s representative."

"The Speech from the Throne usually sets forth in some detail the government’s view of the condition of the country and provides an indication of what legislation it intends to bring forward. Source: House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition, 2009."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:38 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of Upcoming Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of upcoming appeals that will be heard from November 29 to December 10, 2021.

To find out more about any particular case, click on the docket number in parentheses next to each case name to find docket information, case summaries as well as facta from the parties.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:40 pm 0 comments

Call for Proposals for 2022 Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries

People have until Friday, December 3, 2021 to propose topics for the next annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

The conference will take place in person in May 28, 2022 – June 1, 2022 in Montreal:

"The 2022 Conference Planning Committee seeks English or French proposals on topics that reflect our theme, including, but not limited to:

  • • Innovation and creativity
  • • HR considerations and developments – Teams, people and organizations
  • • Space Management (including impact on services)
  • • EDI – Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • • AI and Future Lawyers – Training, client solutions, practice tools
  • • New Service Delivery Models
  • • Access to information
  • • Reconciliation initiatives, Indigenous and Aboriginal law
  • • Collaboration and strategic partnerships with information service providers
  • • Open Science
  • • Competitive Intelligence"


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:36 pm 0 comments

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Most Recent Issue of Law Library Journal

The Summer 2021 issue of Law Library Journal, a publication of the American Association of Law Libraries, is available online.

One of the feature articles in this issue is "Comparing the United States Code Annotated and the United States Code Service Using Inferential Statistics: Are Their Annotations Equal?". 

Both are heavily annotated versions of the US Code, the massive consolidation of valid federal legislation in the United States. 

The annotated codes contain the text of U.S. federal laws, plus amendment history, related case law and references to other research materials such as encyclopedias, journal articles etc.

"There are two choices for annotated versions of the United States Code in print. The version published by West Publishing is the United States Code Annotated, or U.S.C.A., and the version published by Lexis Publishing is the United States Code Service, or U.S.C.S. Many law libraries, especially academic ones, carry copies of each, historically because they are thought to have different annotations. But which set should the researcher choose? Should the researcher use both? Should libraries continue to subscribe to both? (from the introduction)"

"(...) we can say that the case annotations given are significantly different from each other. Put differently, there is a significant amount of non-overlap between the case annotations offered by one set and those offered by the other."

"Law libraries often buy both sets of annotated codes because law librarians have historically thought the two sets different. This study confirms that. However, it is still surprising that the percentages of unique annotations were so high: 76 percent of annotations being unique to the U.S.C.A. and 70.5 percent being unique to the U.S.C.S. is much higher than I expected it to be. Given such a high percentage of diversity between the two, a researcher may be well served by examining both sets when starting research. Libraries should continue to buy both sets despite the cost burden, if possible. (from the conclusion)"

This lack of overlap between research platforms should not surprise law librarians. 

My experience is that many researchers become used to searching in one or maybe two online tools when looking for commentary or caselaw, forgetting that no platform provides anything close to comprehensive coverage. And results can be quite different depending on which database one is searching.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:41 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Victoria Law Reform Commission Report on Improving the Justice System Response to Sexual Offences

Last week, the Law Reform Commission in the Australian state of Victoria released its report on Improving the Justice System Response to Sexual Offences

The report makes numerous recommendations. 

Some of the key ones are that:

  • The state should assist victim survivors to take civil action against those who assaulted them.
  • It should be easier for victim survivors to get financial assistance and acknowledgement of what happened to them.
  • A ‘victim advocate’ should walk with victims on their path through the justice system, providing counselling, emotional support, advice and advocacy.
  • A Commission for Sexual Safety should be established in Victoria to provide leadership, raise public awareness, and deliver reforms across the whole system.
  • Everyone who works on sexual offence matters, including judges, magistrates and barristers, should be specialists.
  • Juries need to be given better directions, and more expert evidence, so they do not fall for myths about sexual offending.
  • There should be an enforceable duty on employers and others, such as universities, to eliminate sexual violence and harassment.
  • The law should require a person to take steps to find out if there is sexual consent.
  • The law needs stronger laws on stealthing and image-based abuse.
  • There should be a central gateway to information and support for people who want to report sexual offending.
  • People should be able to report sexual offending confidentially online.

The state of Victoria is in south-eastern Australia and its capital is Melbourne. The report was delivered to the Attorney-General of Victoria in September and was published on November 12, 2021.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:52 pm 0 comments

New Issue of IFLA Journal on Indigenous Librarianship

The most recent issue of the IFLA Journal, published by the International Federation Of Library Associations, is devoted to Indigenous librarianship issues:

"The IFLA Journal special issue on Indigenous Librarianship strives to position libraries and librarianship through an indigenous worldview and ways of knowing. Each article takes is own perspective on the topic, exploring issues such as colonization, reconciliation, representation and imagery, digital access, and resource management. The issue is the result of collaboration with IFLA Journal and the Indigenous Matters Section of IFLA."

Among the articles are:

  • Indigenous librarianship: Theory, practices, and means of social action
  • Transformation of library and information management: Decolonization or Indigenization?
  • Are we there yet? Visualizing Indigenous culture in today’s library
  • Library services and indigenous peoples in Latin America: Reviewing concepts, gathering experiences
  • Indigenous resource management systems as models for librarianship: I waiwai ka ‘āina
  • The dangers of libraries and archives for Indigenous Australian workers: Investigating the question of Indigenous cultural safety
  • Reconciliation in Australia: The academic library empowering the Indigenous community
  • Indigenous knowledge in Sudan: Perceptions among Sudanese librarians
  • A framework for the integration of indigenous knowledge into libraries in South Africa
  • Sharing stories: The Saskatchewan Aboriginal Storytelling project

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:38 pm 0 comments

November 2021 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The November 2021 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 7:29 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Best Practices for Creating LibGuides

The RIPS Law Librarian Blog has published an article about Best Practices for Creating LibGuides

LibGuides is a content management system used by thousands of libraries around the world including my place of work.

The post is by Julie Tedjeske Crane:
"I previously reviewed two programs on LibGuides and UX principles. Although these programs were helpful, they didn’t answer some basic questions I had about creating LibGuides."

"After doing some follow-up research, I came up with my own list of best practices. I don’t intend for this list to be comprehensive. For example, I don’t discuss accessibility because that would require a separate post."

"I also recognize that opinions vary on some topics. And of course, there can be instances when particular guidance is not applicable. Think of this list as a few key ideas that I found helpful enough to share."

Crane breaks down her text into categories on purpose of guides, tone and language, headings, layout, look and feel, and editing and reviewing.

There are also links to guides on best practices, style guides for the web, presentations, and checklists/tip sheets.

The blog is published by the Research, Instruction, and Patron Services Special Interest Section (RIPS-SIS) of the American Association of Law Libraries. 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:24 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Roundup on Canadian Law Reform Agencies

The blog of the Federation of Law Reform Agencies of Canada (FOLRAC) regularly publishes a roundup of what its member agencies have been up to.

The latest post has news from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Québec.

I have always looked to law reform commissions as important sources because their reports often provide background analysis, a comparison of the realities of different jurisdictions, and history of important legal issues.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:11 pm 0 comments

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Results from Survey of Visible Minority Librarians in Canada

Last winter, the Visible Minority Librarians of Canada Network conducted a survey of visible minority librarians working in Canadian institutions.

Results have now been posted on the Scholars Portal Dataverse:

"Data were collected from January to March 2021 on visible minority librarians’ demographics, education, and employment situations. The survey was administered and distributed using Qualtrics in English and French."

"The user guide and results summary in this dataset presents aggregated data for 162 visible minority librarians from the English survey (138) and the French survey (24). Survey results will help ViMLoC identify the needs of visible minority librarians and propose projects to empower them in their current positions or their future career development. The data can be also useful to library administrators, librarians, and researchers working on multicultural issues, diversity, recruitment and retention, leadership, library management, and other related areas."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:36 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Profiles of Female Judges in Canada

The Canadian Bar Association has been running a project called Madam Justice that features profiles of female judges from all levels of the Canadian court system.

"The project is intended to celebrate diversity on the bench by showcasing advice and perspectives from women judges across Canada. The project is ongoing and we will be adding to the gallery over time."

One of the people featured is The Honourable Sheilah Martin, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:15 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Library of Parliament Research Publication on Transition to Canada's 44th Parliament

With the Canadian elections behind us and a new federal cabinet sworn in earlier today, the country will soon see the opening of the 44th federal Parliament.

To explain what happens during the transition from one Parliament to another, the Library of Parliament recently prepared a new publication on the topic.

From the introduction:

"This document consists of a series of questions and answers about issues concerning the transition from one Parliament to the next and, in particular, the transition from the 43rd to the 44th Parliament. It explains how parliamentary and government activities are affected during an election period and describes the situation of various key political players – the Governor General, the prime minister, ministers and members of the House of Commons – between the dissolution of one Parliament and the beginning of the next."

"A general election determines the composition of the House of Commons and results in one of a number of possible government configurations – usually, a majority or a minority government. This document considers the constitutional, conventional, and practical implications of these possibilities."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:11 pm 0 comments

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Research Study to Update Guidelines for the Education of Library Technicians

The following announcement was recently distributed on the listserv of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries:

"Attention Library Technician graduates!"

"You are being invited to participate in a research study to update the Canadian Federation of Library Association’s (CFLA-FCAB) Guidelines for the Education of Library Technicians. These Guidelines were last updated in 2011 and can be view here:  "

"The goal of this project is to provide a substantial update to the Guidelines for the Education of Library Technicians. This will help to establish a national standard for the education of library technicians in Canada, and a framework for the development of skills, knowledge, and abilities of library technicians to provide job-ready, and highly skilled graduates. The updated Guidelines will be available on the CFLA-FCAB website once completed and approved by the CFLA-FCAB Board."

"Link to survey: "

"If you have any questions about the study, please contact Norene Erickson, ericksonn7 AT "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:06 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of November 2021 Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of upcoming appeals that will be heard in November 2021

To find out more about any particular case, click on the docket number in parentheses next to each case name to find docket information, case summaries as well as facta from the parties.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:00 pm 0 comments

Welcome Ceremony for Supreme Court of Canada's Newest Justice

The Supreme Court of Canada will hold a welcome ceremony for its newest member, the Honourable Mr. Mahmud Jamal, at 2:30 p.m. ET on October 28, 2021. 

The public will be able to follow the even via live webcast.

Justice Jamal was officially sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court at a private ceremony at the Court on July 1, 2021.

The court website has more background information about Justice Jamal.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:58 pm 0 comments

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Yet Again, A Debate About the 'Librarian' Word

On November 4, 2021, members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) are invited to a special meeting where a possible name change for the association will be on the agenda.

This is not the first library association to debate the matter of what we call ourselves. But the way, I am fine with "librarian" and "library". 

While researching the topic, I came across this article in Information Today, Librarians and Professional Labeling: What's in a Name?:

"At a recent professional meeting, I was dismayed to find myself witnessing yet another discussion on whether those present should call themselves “librarians.” The program that hosted this discussion opened with the observation that library spaces are shrinking in the post-pandemic world and the question of whether the participants might stop calling themselves librarians if they no longer work “in a [physical] library.” Everything I heard was a repetition of arguments I’ve heard over and over in the almost 50 years since I was working on my first professional degree (M.S., Drexel University, 1973–1975)."

"I’m sick of hearing debates about our professional labeling. The conversations usually generate more heat than light. Moreover, they distract us from the important questions we should be discussing and tasks we should be working on. With the hope of helping the profession move on, I offer the following brief historical survey and some fundamental premises for librarians who are making decisions about what professional label to adopt."

Earlier Library Boy posts on the issue include:


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:54 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

LawBytes Podcast on Canada’s Online Harms Legislative Plans

In the most recent LawBytes podcast, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist talks to Taylor Owen from McGill University about the Canadian government's plans for Internet regulation:

"Facebook has once again found itself in the political spotlight as Frances Haugen, a former data scientist and product manager with the company turned whistleblower, provided the source documents for an explosive investigative series in the Wall Street Journal followed by an appearance before a U.S. Senate committee. The Facebook Files series comes just as Canada is moving toward its own legislative response to Internet concerns, with an online harms consultation  that provides a roadmap for future policies."

"The Canadian initiative has sparked widespread criticism, but recent events may only increase the calls for legislative action. Taylor Owen, the Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications in the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the latest revelations and what they might mean for the future of Canadian Internet regulation."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:31 pm 0 comments

Monday, October 18, 2021

Materials from October 14 Webinar on Negotiating With Vendors

Last week, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) hosted a webinar called Savvy Negotiation Skills: A Toolkit for Law Librarians.

The speaker was Annette Demers, head of the Paul Martin Law Library at the University of Windsor and past president of CALL.

Demers has posted materials relating to her webinar on the website of Paul Martin Law Library.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:31 pm 0 comments