Saturday, January 31, 2009

Free Access to Quebec Bar Association Materials On CAIJ

Continuing education materials from the Quebec Bar Association have been available for free since the fall of 2008 on the website of CAIJ (the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique or Legal Information Access Centre, a library network associated with the Quebec Bar Association).

This includes:
A knowledge of French is required.

A related Library Boy post on CAIJ services:
  • RSS Feeds for Reference Questions Handled by Quebec Law Libraries (December 22, 2008): "I found out today that it is possible to subscribe to RSS feeds from CAIJ ... There are RSS feeds for new library acquisitions, for legislative updates, and for news by topic. The most interesting RSS feed for me is the one for new reference questions added to the JuriBistro Topo collection. Launched 2 years ago, JuriBistro Topo is a massive knowledgebase containing thousands of legal research questions along with their answers ..."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:19 pm 0 comments

UN Study on Sovereign Immunity

The United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York this week drew attention to a recent study written at the request of the UN's International Law Commission on the immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction:
"The present study is divided into two parts. Part One provides, largely from a historical perspective, a general background overview and context in which immunity of State officials has arisen and has been invoked. This part comprises four sections. Section A seeks to provide the definitional range by which the term 'State officials' would be employed, while section B provides an overview of the notion of jurisdiction — including criminal jurisdiction — which is closely linked to that of immunity. Section C is devoted to addressing the concept of immunity in its diverse manifestations. Diplomatic immunities and the doctrines of State immunity are in particular distinguished to delineate the scope of the present study, and an overview is given of the way in which the Commission dealt with 'sovereign and head of State immunity' when elaborating the draft articles on jurisdictional immunities of States and their property. This section also deals with concepts such as non-justiciability and the act of State doctrine, which appear to be related to immunity — at least to some extent, as they may prevent the exercise of adjudicatory jurisdiction over a dispute involving a foreign State or an official thereof. Finally, section D considers developments whereby immunity issues have been addressed in relation to efforts relating to the establishment of international criminal jurisdiction."

"Part Two is the substantive part and consists of three sections. It describes the scope and implementation of the immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction in light of international treaties, relevant elements of State practice (including domestic legislation and judicial decisions), international jurisprudence and the legal literature."
For some background on the Canadian take on what we call "sovereign immunity":
[Source: UN Pulse]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:38 pm 0 comments

Friday, January 30, 2009

New and Improved B.C. Superior Courts Website

The BC Superior Courts have launched their new website.

Among the new features:
  • improved look and feel
  • improved navigation bars
  • improved judgment search template
  • improved hearing lists for both Court of Appeal and Supreme Court matters
  • online access to Supreme Court scheduling information without requiring recourse to Scheduling staff
  • enhanced practice resources, e.g., Practice Directions, court forms, reference to self-help resources, links to other useful websites
  • easier access to court registry and location information

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:30 pm 0 comments

New Database of Regional Trade Agreements

There is a newly launched World Trade Organization database of regional trade agreements.

It can be searched by member country and by other criteria such as topic, entry into force year, etc.

[Source: Resourceshelf]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:22 pm 0 comments

British Law Sites Justis and JustCite Get New Look

Justis, an online provider of UK, Irish and EU case law and legislation, has just overhauled the design of its website.

Where I work, we are most familiar with the JustCite component, a legal citator for locating and noting up legal materials.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:58 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2008 Annual Report of the European Court of Human Rights

The provisional edition of the 2008 annual report of the European Court of Human Rights was recently published.

The Court is an institution under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (AKA European Convention of Human Rights) that was drawn up by the Council of Europe. The Court sits in Strasbourg, France.

The report contains sections on the history and development of the institution, its composition and activities, and a survey of the main judgments and decisions in the last year.

It also contains a statistical section:
  • The Court delivered 1,543 judgments in 2008, up 3% in comparison to 2007
  • Turkey was the country that gave rise to the greatest number of judgments (257) in which at least one violation of the Convention was found, followed by Russia (233), Romania (189), Poland (129) and Ukraine (110).
  • some 50,000 new applications were received (up 20% over the previous year)
  • 57% of applications had been lodged against just four States (the Russian Federation, Turkey, Romania and Ukraine).
The Council of Europe is one of the continent's oldest political organizations, founded in 1949. It groups together 47 countries, and it has granted observer status to five other countries (the Holy See, United States, Canada, Japan and Mexico). Note: The Council of Europe is distinct from the European Union, but no country has ever joined the Union without first belonging to the Council of Europe.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:28 pm 0 comments

Tutorial For Legifrance, Official French Government Legal Information Website

Legifrance, the official French government website for legal materials from France and the European Union, has a new tutorial in PDF format.

A solid knowledge of French is required.

The tutorial covers:

  • official legislative news
  • the government Gazette (Journal officiel de la République française)
  • searching in the databases for legislative Codes, regulations, collective bargaining agreements of national scope, case law (constitutional, administrative, civil, criminal)
  • access to government and legal websites

Earlier posts on French legal research include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:06 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our Federal Parliamentarians Are Back!

And it is possible to follow all the federal legislative action on the LEGISinfo site, providing information about bills in one convenient location:
  • the text of government and private at various stages;
  • government press releases and backgrounders (for government bills);
  • legislative summaries from the Parliamentary Information and Research Service;
  • important speeches at second reading;
  • votes; and
  • coming into force data.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:00 pm 0 comments

Criminal Law Research Guide from Law Society of Saskatchewan

The Law Society of Saskatchewan Libraries recently published an online Criminal Law Research Guide that lists key texts, journals, forms, legal encyclopedia chapters and sources of case law.

The Law Society offers other research guides on its Library Services page.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:36 pm 0 comments

Proposed Amendments to Federal Court Rules

The proposed amendments to the Federal Courts Rules regarding summary judgment and summary trial have been pre-published in the January 24, 2009 issue of Part I of the Canada Gazette.

People have 60 days to comment and make recommendations.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:25 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 26, 2009

Encyclopedia Britannica Invites Public To Help Improve Online Content

The venerable Encyclopedia Britannica's online site is introducing changes to allow for more participation and collaboration from expert contributors and the public:

"Here are the main ones coming next week:"

  • "A 'Suggest Edit' button allows a user to edit any section of an article and submit the changes to Britannica’s editors. Edits submitted by readers are suggestions to our editors that must be reviewed and approved by them before they’re posted(...)
  • Users whose editorial suggestions are accepted and published entirely or in part will be credited by name in the section of each article that lists contributors. For that reason, people who want to edit articles will be asked to register, providing their first and last names, which will be used to credit them, and an e-mail address where we can contact them with questions and acceptance notices.
  • Visitors to the site will now be able to see a list of all people who have contributed to an article, as well as a history of recent changes to it (...) "
More background:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:35 pm 0 comments

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More Library Top Tech Trends

The LITA Blog has posted more contributions to its Top Tech Trends series:
Top Tech Trends is a regular feature of the semi-annual gathering of the American Library Association (ALA). The ALA Midwinter 2009 meeting is in Denver, Colorado, January 23-28.

LITA stands for Library Information and Technology Association, a component of the ALA.

This post is a follow-up to the January 13, 2009 post entitled IT Trend Watch for Info Professionals.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:37 pm 0 comments

New Legal Research Tools from the UN

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:29 pm 0 comments

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Registar of the Supreme Court of Canada

The Canadian government yesterday appointed Roger Bilodeau, Q.C., as the new Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr. Bilodeau has a Certificate in French Studies, Université de la Sorbonne, Paris (France), B.A., University of Manitoba, LL.B, Faculté de Droit (Faculty of Law), Université de Moncton and a LL.M, Duke University, School of Law, Durham, North Carolina. U.S.A. Mr. Bilodeau is fluently bilingual and is a sole practitioner in Ottawa.

As top administrator of the Court, the Registrar answers directly to the Chief Justice. Responsibilities include the appointment and supervision of Court staff, the management of the Library and the Registry, and the publication of the Supreme Court Reports.

Monsieur Bilodeau takes over from Anne Roland, who retired in late 2008. She had been Registrar since 1990.

Bilodeau will start work March 2, 2009.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:37 pm 0 comments

AALL Spectrum February 2009 Issue

The February 2009 issue of the AALL Spectrum is available online.

It is the monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Among the featured articles:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:27 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2009 Horizon Report on Emerging Technologies

The Horizon Project, an initiative of the New Media Consortium and the Educause Learning Initiative, tracks emerging technologies for teaching and learning.

Every year, it publishes a report outlining six areas of emerging technology likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression in higher education.

The 2009 report looks at:
  • Mobile devices
  • Cloud computing
  • Geo-everything
  • The personal web
  • Semantic-aware applications
  • Smart objects

There is also a Horizon project wiki with links to Horizon research themes, annual trend reports, an analysis of what happened to trends identified in earlier reports, press clippings, RSS feeds for top tech news sites, and tags relating to the project itself.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:55 pm 0 comments

US GovDocs Publisher GPO Access Being Replaced

A new publishing system known as the Federal Digital System, or FDsys, will eventually replace the well-known GPO Access site as a source of U.S. official publications.

The migration of files from GPO Access to the new system should be complete by mid-2009.

Currently, the new system contains the following:
  • Compilation of Presidential Documents (1993 to Present)
  • Congressional Bills (103rd Congress to Present : 1993-1994)
  • Congressional Documents (104th Congress to Present)
  • Congressional Hearings (105th Congress to Present)
  • Congressional Record (1994 to Present)
  • Congressional Reports (104th Congress to Present)
  • Federal Register (1994 to Present)
  • Public and Private Laws (104th Congress to Present)
There is a FDsys blog to follow the progress of the transition from the old system to the new one.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:23 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Law Librarians Wish List for Obama

The Law Librarian Blog reminded readers today of the public policy statement that the American Association of Law Libraries submitted to the Obama-Biden Transition Team on December 23, 2008.

The policy wish list covers issues relating to:
  • public access to government information
  • the management of the life cycle of public information
  • the creation of a standard method for citing primary legal information in the public domain
  • government agency cooperation with the U.S. Government Printing Office’s Federal Digital System that has the capacity to accept, authenticate and provide continuous public access to information from all three branches of government
  • protection and promotion of fair use
  • orphan works legislation that would allow libraries to digitize and make publicly available “orphan works,” materials whose copyright owners cannot be found despite extensive and costly searches
  • better privacy protection through an enhanced library exception in the Patriot Act

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:49 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada: New Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of December 1st to 31st, 2008 is available on the Court website.

The web page explains: "The Supreme Court of Canada Library does not lend materials from this list, which is provided for information only."

But, once the material goes into the general collection, after about a month, the works do become available for inter-library loan to authorized libraries.

It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:48 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Green Libraries 2.0

There is growing interest in environmental sustainability issues in the library world.

Among the web 2.0 sources to help people keep track:
  • Going Green At Your Library: "As John Muir wrote 'When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.' The inspirational quote has long guided me in life knowing that my actions - or lack of action - has a profound effect on the world. My other passion is librarianship –freedom and access to all information, ideas, and resources for people everywhere. My goal is to connect these two important aspects of my life and myself as a human being living (temporarily) on this Earth. I am a regular blog reader and contribute post/comments to several blogs but until now, hadn’t found the need to create one of my own. The excitement of finally seeing “green” practices making national, main stream news has encouraged me to create a Greening Your Library Blog. This blog lists ideas, practices, tools, and techniques to help libraries become more environmentally friendly, save money, and possibly even raise money for their library in the process. So here’s to a greener library and a greener future for all." (January 3, 2008 introduction)
  • The Green Library: "The Green Library blog is devoted to documenting significant activities, events, literature, and projects that focus on ' ... increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building's lifecycle, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal' of and by libraries."
  • Green Library Facebook Group: created by the people behind The Green Library blog


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:32 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 19, 2009

Free Annotated Quebec Civil Code

LexUM, the legal technology laboratory of the Law Faculty of the Université de Montréal, has launched its Annotated Civil Code of Quebec (ACCQ).

It provides browsing by section of the Code, as well as relevant case law from the free online portal CanLII.

According to LexUM:
"The relevant decisions issued from the Supreme Court of Canada, Appeal Court of Québec, Superior Court of Québec and Court of Québec are automatically linked to each section with the data provided by Reflex, CanLII’s citator. The neutral reference, the style of cause, the judgment date and the URL of the decisions are also attached to each section."

"The ACCQ is an innovative tool integrating Web 2.0 principles into legislative analysis. Therefore, ACCQ users are able to contribute to the project by giving their own explanation as to why a certain decision is relevant in the context of a particular section of the C.C.Q."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:01 pm 0 comments

Friday, January 16, 2009

R.I.P. Rumpole of the Bailey

British novelist, playwright and ex-laywer John Mortimer died today. He was 85.

He was perhaps best known, and loved worldwide, as the inventor of the fictional character Rumpole of the Bailey whose legal philosophy was summed up in that magnificently witty phrase: "Crime doesn't pay, but it's a living."

According to
"Before there was Quincy and The Practice, there was Rumpole. Rumpole of the Bailey is, quite simply, one of the finest television series, and it has served as a model for all law dramas that followed it. Edgy and satirical, Rumpole is based on John Mortimer's books of the same name. A determined and committed criminal defense barrister (whose clients have included three generations of the Timson family, among others) at the Old Bailey (criminal court), esteemed actor Leo McKern portrays the antihero Rumpole. As champion of the downtrodden, the self-righteous Rumpole loves to get in trouble with his wife Hilda, his peers, the head of chambers, and judges, to name but a few. A connoisseur of Wordsworth, cigars, and cheap liquor, McKern's usually disheveled Rumpole belies the character's dry sense of humor and astute skill as a barrister (...)"


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:05 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Updated List of Law Library Blogs

Bonnie Shucha at the University of Wisconsin Law Library has updated her list of law library blogs.

She has now identified 150.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:28 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2009 CASLIS Award for Special Librarianship

It is still possible to nominate people for the 2009 CASLIS Award for Special Librarianship in Canada.

The Award recognizes and rewards excellence in the field of special librarianship by a member of CASLIS (Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services).

The Award will be presented at the Canadian Library Association Annual Conference in Montreal Quebec May 29 - June 1 2009.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:43 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

IT Trend Watch for Info Professionals

At the start of every year, various luminaries provide their list of trends to watch.

Here are some articles to ponder:
  • Future Trends in Personal Technology (Link-Up Digital, January 1, 2009): "The advertising industry is among those sectors of society charged with keeping track of current, and possible future, trends. JWT, formerly J. Walter Thompson, is the world's fourth largest and perhaps best-known advertising agency, and it just released a report titled '10 Trends for 2009.' The report includes some insightful predictions ..."
  • Review of the Year 2008 and Trends Watch—Part 2 (Information Today Newsbreaks, January 8, 2009): "I [Paula J. Hane, Newsbreak editor] cover the trends I’ll be watching in 2009 that I expect to have an impact on libraries and the information industry. I also present a wrap-up with links to some of the most interesting coverage from other commentators and analysts. "
  • Ten Trends & Technologies for 2009 (Tame the Web blog, January 12, 2009): "This year, I’m focusing on some ideas and technologies that I believe will impact everyone. These things will surely influence library users and nonusers alike. My biggest concern is how can libraries respond in turbulent economic times. So, here goes. "
  • Eric Lease Morgan’s Top Tech Trends for ALA Mid-Winter, 2009 (LITA Blog, January 10, 2009): at every conference of the American Library Association, there is a session on top tech trends.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:21 pm 1 comments

Monday, January 12, 2009

'Bailout' Declared Word of the Year in 2008 - No Legal Expressions Make the List

Last week, the American Dialect Society voted 'bailout' as the word of the year for 2008.

This is the 19th annual vote by the association dedicated to the study of the English language in North America. Its membership includes linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students, and independent scholars.

For 2008, there were no law-related runner-up words that made the Society's list.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:

  • American Dialect Society Words of the Year 2005: Legal Expressions 'Patent Troll', 'Extraordinary Rendition' Make List (January 11, 2006): "The overall winner for 2005 is 'truthiness', popularized by a satirical fake news show on the Comedy Central television channel. It refers to the 'quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true' (...) One of the runner-ups [in the group 'most useful'] was 'patent troll', 'a person or business, especially a lawyer, who applies for or owns a patent with no intention of developing the product but with every intention of launching lawsuits against patent infringers.' A few other law-related terms scored highly in the 'most euphemistic' category (...): 'internal nutrition: force-feeding a prisoner against his or her will' and 'extraordinary rendition: the surrendering of a suspect or detainee to another jurisdiction, especially overseas' ..."
  • 'Plutoed' Voted Word of the Year by American Dialect Society (January 7, 2007): "'To pluto is to demote or devalue someone or something, as happened to the former planet Pluto when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto no longer met its definition of a planet' (...) There were a number of law-related terms considered for this 2006 edition, including 'data Valdez', an accidental release of a large quantity of private or privileged information. Named after the 1989 oil spill by the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska; and 'waterboarding' (winner in the most euphemistic category): an interrogation technique in which the subject is immobilized and doused with water to simulate drowning; reported to be used by U.S. interrogators against terrorism detainees. "
  • 'Subprime' Voted American Dialect Society Word of the Year (January 5, 2008): "Yesterday, the American Dialect Society voted to choose 'subprime' as its word of the year for 2007. The word describes a risky or less than ideal loan, mortgage, or investment."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:04 pm 0 comments

AALL Spectrum Planning May Issue on Law Library Architecture

According to the AALL Spectrum blog, the AALL Spectrum, the monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries, is seeking contributions for its May 2009 issue about recently built or remodeled law libraries:
"If you have been through a law library building or remodeling project within the last 18 months and would like to write a short article about it for inclusion in this year’s issue, please email to Mark Estes by January 22, 2009."

"Authors will be expected to meet a schedule for writing the article of 1,000 to 1,500 words by February 20, 2009, and will also need to supply photographs of the project for use in the magazine."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:57 pm 0 comments

Newspaper Association 4th Annual Freedom of Information Audit

The Canadian Newspaper Association has released its 4th Annual Freedom of Information Audit.

Two hundred and nineteen requests were mailed to 22 municipal governments and their police services, 10 provinces and Yukon, and 11 federal departments and crown corporations. At each level of government there were five identical requests.

The aim of the audit is to test the time delays, cost and completeness of answers to requests for government information that should be publicly available under access-to-information laws:

"As in previous years, the CNA’s 2008 audit finds that officials across Canada are disturbingly inconsistent in their compliance with laws that underwrite the public’s right to know."

" 'Whether it be details of expenditures by municipalities, or federal policies on talking to the media, what you get and how fast you get it depends on where you are making the request,' said Fred Vallance-Jones, the University of King’s College journalism professor who conducted the audit in collaboration with the CNA."

" 'Information freely available from some government agencies was denied by others. And when it wasn’t denied, prohibitive fee estimates often took it out of the reach of all but the wealthiest requesters,' he said."

"Police reporting on taser usage is a striking example. Officers who use tasers are required to file use-of-force reports, however some police forces demanded exorbitant fees for this information. Winnipeg demanded $4,500, the highest in Canada."

According to the audit, institutions in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Yukon came out on top, with more than 80 per cent of requests answered within the legally prescribed deadlines. News Brunswick had the worst performance.

Meanwhile, south of the Canadian border, secrecy was on the increase according to the Open The Government freedom of information coalition. The American Library Association, the American Association of Law Libraries and the Special Libraries Association are members of the coalition.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:43 pm 0 comments

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Diana M. Priestly Law Librarianship Scholarship Deadline

The deadline for the Diana M. Priestly Scholarship, awarded every year by the Canadian Association of Law Librarians, is February 15, 2009:
"Established in honour of the late Diana M. Priestly, a distinguished Canadian law librarian, and in recognition of her distinctive contribution to Law Librarianship, the Scholarship 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."
There is an application form on the CALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:10 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 08, 2009

U.S. Federal Evidence Blog

I had not heard of the Federal Evidence Blog. It is maintained by the Federal Evidence Review, a monthly electronic legal journal that highlights recent American federal evidence cases and developments.

[Source: Law Librarian Blog]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:12 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New AALL Research Instruction Blog

RIPS, the Research Instruction and Patron Services interest group of the American Association of Law Libraries, recently launched a blog: RIPS Law Librarian.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:28 pm 0 comments

Government 2.0 Best Practices Wiki

Mike Kujawski, who writes the Public Sector Marketing 2.0 blog, has created the Government 2.0 Best Practices Wiki:
"[T]he intent of this wiki is to compile a central list of current initiatives (and eventually 'best practices') involving social media and government. These can be internal or external, marketing, HR or IT, it doesn't matter. I even added a special 'unofficial' category at the bottom of each page for all side initiatives."
There is information about RSS, Twitter, wiki, YouTube, Second Life, Facebook and social bookmarking projects from government bodies in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:21 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Metadata - Lawyers' Ethical Duties has just published an article entitled Metadata - What Is It and What Are My Ethical Duties?:

"There is little dispute at this point over the pervasiveness of metadata that can be contained in digital documents and other computer-generated files. It is important to understand that for computer files, that 'deleted' often does not really mean gone. This has been obvious for some time to those of us who have learned the magic of the Ctrl + Z (Undelete) keystroke combination. I smile almost every time I use it. "

"In many law firms, proposed documents are circulated among lawyers by e-mail with each adding their own comments or suggestions. These comments from other lawyers in the firm attached to the document are ultimately deleted and never meant to be communicated outside of the office. But these comments might be revealed by anyone with a copy of the document. Document revisions may be revealed by using the right tools."

"The ethical implications of one lawyer examining the metadata in a file received from another lawyer have generated a lot of discussion. This article will cover the legal ethics opinions issued so far and give you tips on how to avoid exposing confidential information unintentionally via metadata. "

Earlier posts from Library Boy on the topic include:
  • Metadata in Word Documents Can be a Legal Minefield (May 12, 2005): "Could it be that Law Society regulations prohibit lawyers from taking advantage of another lawyer's lack of sophistication or of another lawyer's error, where that error is to divulge privileged or confidential information via metadata? In other words, if a non-tech-savvy lawyer e-mails a contract, and if that contract contains hidden text or comments or track changes that give away his or her client's negotiating tactics or position, or the client's questions or comments, is there an obligation on the part of the recipient lawyer to avoid opening the document?"
  • Avoiding Problems with Hidden Document Metadata (February 6, 2006): ", an offshoot of the San Jose Mercury News, printed an article on Feb. 3 entitled Stronger efforts being made against embarrassing document 'metadata' (...) The article explains that examining the metadata in a word processing document exposed how pharma giant Merck had tried to mask data showing the connection between the drug Vioxx and heart attacks. Very embarrassing. As well, 'a United Nations report on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minster Rafik Hariri developed new layers of intrigue when it was revealed that damaging accusations about Syria's involvement had been removed before publication'."
  • Risks of Metadata Factsheet from Privacy Commisioner (July 31, 2006): "The ability to view other people’s comments and suggested changes to a document, using the Track Changes feature [in office productivity applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, or Corel WordPerfect] is central to collaborating with co-workers on a project. However, changes that are not accepted still remain with the document, even though they are not readily visible (they can be displayed by turning on the 'Show markup view') and could be inadvertently exposed to unauthorized individuals whenever the document is shared..."
  • Dealing with the "Meta Menace" (September 6, 2006): "Problems can arise if law firms send files to clients or opposing counsel that still contains markup. It may as well be hard copy full of sticky notes. Consequences may include a compromised bargaining position and violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Laws governing metadata are still in their infancy, but early precedents permit tech-savvy counsellors to freely read any metadata they find, much as they would a forgotten sticky"
  • U.S. Lawyers Allowed to Snoop on Hidden Metadata (November 6, 2006): "The American Bar Association (ABA) has ruled that lawyers are allowed to look at and use the hidden metadata that may have been inadvertently included in electronic legal documents they receive, even if sent to them by mistake by opposing counsel."
  • New Guidelines For Practicing Ethically With New Information Technologies (September 14, 2008): "The Canadian Bar Association has released Guidelines for Practicing Ethically with New Information Technologies: ... The Guidelines examine issues such as confidentiality, encryption, privilege, court rules on electronic storage, metadata, security of information, marketing practices, intellectual property issues regarding software, and participation by lawyers in online discussion fora."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:03 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Digital Technologies to Create Subject Guides

The most recent issue of the Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship features an article on Subject Guides: Putting a New Spin on an Old Concept:
"Given the advent of new Internet tools and the explosive growth of electronic resources available on the Web, the reference librarians at the University of Maryland (UM) College Park were facing many issues when keeping up with new technologies and creating subject guides that meet library users’ satisfaction. The goal of this paper was to explore the challenges librarians are facing and to identify new technologies to assist them in creating subject guides. The literature revealed a wide variety of librarians’ attitudes and practices in creating subject guides at various university libraries nationwide. A survey was conducted with UM librarians and subject guide users to determine user expectations of the UM subject guides. This paper will provide subject librarians with useful tools for creating subject guides in the electronic environment (...)"

"The main goal of this research was to investigate not only the challenges surrounding subject guides created by librarians at the University of Maryland and nationwide, but also to suggest useful tools for creating and maintaining subject guides using new electronic technologies. We reviewed the literature and randomly researched academic public libraries’ Web sites to identify other practices in creating subject guides. Meantime, a survey was conducted at the University of Maryland Libraries to determine user’s expectations and challenges librarians are facing in creating subject guides. This paper will illustrate the current trends for the creation of subject guides."
Among the technologies examined are wikis, social bookmarking, databases and server side includes.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:03 pm 0 comments

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Food, Glorious Food: How To Get People Into The Library

Over at, Wendy Reynolds has posted a story entitled If You Feed Them, They Will Come that explains how libraries are using food to market library services:
" 'Will there be food?' is the usual response to any invitation to attend a library event. Attendance always seems to be higher if it is promoted as having refreshments. My column this time is devoted to the various ways in which libraries gain attention by literally dangling cookies in front of their audiences."

"I remember putting together a library open house some years ago. I deliberately chose Valentine’s Day as the day of the event, which I called the Library Love-In (yes, I know). The invitation went out via e-mail, with the subject line: 'Chocolate'. Attendance was remarkably good, and a few people even paid attention to our presentation of the new library catalogue."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:58 pm 1 comments

Info Career Trends December 2008/January 2009 Issue

The most recent issue of Info Career Trends (vol. 10, no. 1) is online.

The issue is devoted to "alternative work arrangements":

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:51 pm 0 comments

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Digital Collection on Drafting of UN Declaration of Human Rights

The UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York City and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva have launched a new digital collection entitled Universal Declaration of Human Rights : An Historical Record of the Drafting Process.

The site provides access to the English and French versions of the meeting records and reports of the various bodies that worked to develop the declaration whose 60th anniversary was celebrated in December 2008:
"From 1946-1948 delegates to the United Nations discussed and drafted an international declaration on the subject of human rights that has become a standard of principles for human rights."

"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by General Assembly resolution 217A at its 3rd session in Paris on 10 December 1948."

"This website presents documents in chronological order, arranged according to the various bodies that met to discuss, draft and re-draft the Declaration. There are also brief biographic notes for the members of the Drafting Committee formed by the UN Commission on Human Rights."
McGill law professor John Humphrey was one of the committee members. He wrote the 400-page blueprint that became the foundation of the Declaration.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:31 pm 0 comments

Free Access to British Columbia Statutes

As of January 1, 2009, the current laws and regulations of British Columbia are freely available online on the BC Laws website.

BC Laws is produced by the Queen’s Printer for British Columbia in partnership with the Ministry of Attorney General and the Law Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.

I provided background about the project in my December 11, 2008 post entitled British Columbia Statutes and Regulations Available for Free in 2009.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:26 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New and Improved Subject Guides

The most recent issue of Partnership, a Canadian library science journal, features 2 articles on subject guides:
  • Subject Guides: Maintaining Subject Guides Using a Social Bookmarking Site by Edward M. Corrado: "By using Web 2.0 social bookmarking sites, libraries can more easily manage subject guides and other lists of Web resources. Social bookmarking services such as Delicious provide a one-click method to bookmark a Web site, allowing librarians to describe and categorize Web sites. Using a small amount of JavaScript, these bookmarked resources can be dynamically included in subject guides and other Web-based library resources. This paper describes and analyses the use of social bookmarking at a medium-sized, comprehensive college library for the creation and maintenance of modern languages subject guides. A brief technical description outlining necessary JavaScript code provides a way for librarians to try this idea elsewhere."
  • Solutions for Subject Guides by Donald Moses and Jennifer Richard: " The following article describes two libraries' experiences with the implementation of new software packages to deliver timely, accurate and dynamic content via library subject guides. Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia implemented new subject guides using LibGuides in 2007 and Holland College in Charlottetown, PEI recently launched their new guides in the fall of 2008 using SubjectsPlus."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:52 pm 0 comments

2008 CLawBies - Canadian Law Blog Awards

This year's list of Canadian Law Blog Awards has winners in 11 categories:
  • Best Canadian Law Blog: Law21
  • Best Practitioner Support: Canadian Trademark Blog
  • Legal Culture Award: Slaw
  • Non-Legal Audience: Connie Crosby
  • Friend of the North: Mary Abraham; Doug Cornelius
  • EuroCan Connection: Charon QC
  • Practice Management: David Bilinsky; Jordan Furlong
  • Law Librarian Blog: Edmonton Association of Law Libraries
  • Legal Technology: Slaw again
  • Best New Law Blog: Doorey's Workplace Law Blog; Laurie Mapp's Halo Secretarial Blog
  • Law Professor Blog: Doorey's Workplace Law Blog; The Court

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:34 pm 0 comments