Friday, May 12, 2006

CALL 2006 Conference AGM Highlights

Here are some of the highlights from the business portion (annual general meeting or AGM) at the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) conference that took place earlier this week in Edmonton, Alberta.

The AGM was broken into 3 parts over 3 days.
  • John Sadler's President's report stressed CALL's 3 priorities last year of advocacy, communications and education. On the advocacy front, copyright reform and discussions about a national digital information strategy (with a national summit this fall on issues of content creation and preservation as well as the rights framework) attracted the most attention. The big news in terms of communications was the relaunch of the CALL website in February 2006 with a move to a dynamic content management system. Educationwise, the pre-conference workshop on knowledge management last week, the continued success of CALL grants and scholarships and the Oral History Project were all mentioned
  • Treasurer's report: the St.John's 2005 conference made a profit of close to $36,000 which allowed CALL to expand projects such as the oral history project and the website redesign. The 2006 association budget will have an anticipated deficit of just over $20,000 due to capital expenditures on those projects. Operating reserves are at a comfortable level due to the success of past conferences, which has meant that the association has been able to make larger transfers to education and research - for example, grants totalling $10,000 were handed out to enable 5 members to attend this year's Joint Study Institute this summer in the UK
  • membership remains stable at +450

There were many committee reports:

  • the 2007 conference planning committee outlined some of the themes of the next conference to be held May 6-9, 2007 at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. The theme will be "CAPITALizing on Change" with a focus on best practices. The opening reception will be at the Supreme Court of Canada building, the closing banquet at the War Museum, and there will be tours of the newly renovated Library of Parliament as well as of facilities of Libraries and Archives Canada. The workshop themes will play on Ottawa's strengths in IP, commissions of inquiry, ethics and accountability and access to information and privacy protection
  • the Eunice Beeson Memorial Bursary committee reported that it was able to finance the attendance of 6 CALL members at this year's conference
  • the KF Modified committee provided an update of its work on the Library of Congress classification scheme used to catalogue Canadian material. It explained that its work is now focussing on Quebec civil law, immigration, citizenship, tax, labour, environmental law, access to information/privacy, native rights, and Internet/eCommerce law
  • the statistics committee is continuing with its annual serials cost tracking project - publication of the most recent data will be in a forthcoming issue of Canadian Law Library Review, and the 2005 report on serial costs will be posted on the CALL website
  • there will soon be a new version of the triennial salary and benefits survey
  • the oral history project, launched 2 years ago, intends to compile a history of the association via interviews with past executive members and key figures in CALL's history, with Diane Teeple (former director of the library of the Supreme Court of Canada) as project lead: so far, there have been interviews with such key law library figures as Dr. Margaret Banks (one of the founders of CALL), Viola Bird ex-president of AALL when CALL separated into a distinct national association (she is over 100), and Dr. Marianne Scott (former McGill Law Librarian, later National Librarian of Canada). Some of the material will be summarized in upcoming issues of the Canadian Law Library Review
  • there were numerous scholarship and award announcements: Diane M. Priestly Memorial Scholarship, James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship, Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship, Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute
  • the 2006 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing "acknowledging the work that is done by publishers to provide the legal profession with high quality materials for use in understanding and researching the law" went to SOQUIJ (Société québécoise d'information juridique). The committee decision was unanimous. It was explained that the letter of nomination was signed by 8 law firms and government departments
  • there were a number of "Publications reports": 1) Infopages (CALL website) are using a new content management system with added functionality (news highlights on the homepage, searchable member directory, online management of one's profile, member login from any page, expanding content directory on left sidebar, etc.). There should soon be a forum utility for group discussions, and interest group chairs will be able to directly edit their website sections; 2) Union List - there are plans for a 2006 edition of Periodicals in Canadian Law Libraries
  • Canadian Abridgment Editorial Board: Index to Canadian Legal Literature (possible indexing of Ontario Bar Association substantive law newsletters, cost of searching on WestlaweCarswell to come down); Abridgment e-Digests (Carswell is looking into a notification system so people don't have to click on a topic area to see if there is any new material); the newest addition last year to the Abridgment print edition is "Regulations judicially considered"
  • there were many liaison reports from the Canadian committee on cataloguing (it appears AACR2 is being abandoned) and from CALL's many special interest groups

Finally, at the members’ forum, people got a chance to raise any other business. Among the points covered:

  • We are all invited to the International Association of Law Libraries Sept. 2006 conference in St.Petersburg, Russia and to the 2007 conference in Bombay/Mumbai
  • There were some questions about the scheduling of vendor exhibits and about scheduling conflicts/overlaps when it comes to interest group business meetings
  • People were urged to familiarize themselves with federal information commissioner John Reid’s severe criticisms of the access to information aspects of the Tories’ proposed Federal Accountability Act
  • it was suggested that there should be a brief history report at each conference about what was happening in CALL 10, 20, 30 years before. Call it "A Trip Down Memory Lane" if you wish
  • A survey will be going out asking CALL members about the value they see in the Union List of Periodicals
  • There was a request that CALL look into creating a common legal taxonomy
  • The director of the Supreme Court of Canada Library suggested that CALL look into forming some sort of recruitment help service. In the next few years, many library directors will be retiring and it appears that many agencies, services, firms, departments have a very unclear idea as to how to do recruitment at the manager and executive level. CALL should have a recruitment “SWAT team” that could advise groups on succession issues and manager hiring

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:54 pm


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