Monday, February 28, 2011

Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference - Telling Your Story With Usage Statistics

This morning at the Electronic Resources and Libraries conference in Austin, Texas, there was a second session on how to tell a powerful story about your library services with statistics.

Jamene Brooks-Kiefer (Kansas State University) explained the necessity of turning stats into a textual summary or narrative. Spreadsheets and tables are not necessarily out, but most audiences will respond best to understandable sentences. For example: "In the last 12 months, 77% of the users coming into the system via the LinkResolver software clicked through to the full-text."

The key thing is to tailor the scope of the story to the audience, with different audiences requiring different levels of detail.

Using a few examples, John McDonald (Claremont University, Austin), referring to the work of Edward Tufte on the visual presentation of information, warned that the use of the wrong stats or the wrong visual presentation of the right stats can backfire or be interpreted in ways that are contrary to what the presenter intends.

He recommended that it is crucial to understand how various audiences absorb information in reports and to:
  • decide first which story you want to tell
  • choose your statistics wisely
  • choose your images presenting those stats wisely
  • work with others to build a good story (perhaps by practicing in front of colleague)
Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver), using the example of his institutional library's ambitious collection move, again emphasized the need to find the right data for the right audience. There were many different stakeholder groups in Denver, all responsive to different kinds of data in different formats.

Some, such as architects, needed data about linear feet. Others, such as administrators, responded to circulation stats to understand where to locate different parts of the collection for optimum access. Different faculties needed reassurance, based on other circulation stats, that the most used volumes in their areas of expertise would not be moved to remote storage. Etc.

There was no one story, there were numerous stories, requiring unique presentations based on appropriate and different numbers in each case.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:22 pm 0 comments

Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference - How To Tell a Story About ROI

This morning at the Electronic Resources and Libraries conference in Austin, Texas, Doralyn Rossmann (Montana State University) gave a presentation on how to use return on investment data to "tell your library's story".

Essentially, she explained that libraries need to find ways to use the quantitative and qualitative data about the value of their e-resources that tell a story that is understandable and interesting to their various audiences.

Data is useless unless it can build a narrative about what the library brings that does not come across as boring, irrelevant, etc.

Examples of stories:
  • costs avoided
  • research time saved
  • increased grants obtained by professors thanks to university databases used
  • furthering the institution's mission
  • the alternative: how much users would have had to spend of their own money if the library did not exist
  • etc.
For more ideas, Rossmann suggested going to the following sources that offer helpful metrics nd examples:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:58 pm 0 comments

Electronic Resources and Libraries Conference

This week, I am in Austin, Texas (where it is 28 degrees Celsius!!!) at the Electronic Resources and Libraries Conference. It deals with how to manager and measure the value of e-resources.

It is possible to follow the live Twitter feed of the conference at #erl11 .

This morning's opening conference keynote speech by Amy Sample Ward was about Libraries: The Oldest New Frontier for Innovation. The essence of her presentation can be found on her blog.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:39 pm 0 comments

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Access 2011 Library Tech Conference in Vancouver

The 2011 Access Conference will take place October 19-22, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The conference likes to refer to itself as "Canada’s best-known library technology conference."

The theme for 2011 is " 'the Library is Open', exploring ideas and initiatives around open data, open standards, open source software, open access publishing, and open archives."

You can have a look at what happened at earlier Access conferences on the website of the 2009 event at the University of Prince Edward Island.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:51 pm 0 comments

Canadian Court Website Guidelines - Web Content Management Systems

On, Patrick Cormier has published a fourth post about guidelines for the design of Canadian court websites.

This one is about Web Content Management Systems:
"This posts continues to expose on Slaw the draft Court Web Site Guidelines produced by the CCCT [Canadian Centre for Court Technology] IntellAction Working Group on court web sites. In this post, we present recommendations 1 and 2 contained in Part IV of the guidelines, together with related context information. The context information is taken from Part I of the guidelines."

"In short, the CCCT IntellAction Working Group on Court Web Sites recommends to courts using the same Web Content Management System (WCMS) to power their public, internet web sites and to power their internal, intranet web site."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:40 pm 0 comments

Friday, February 25, 2011

Supreme Court of Canada – Statistics 2000-2010

The Supreme Court of Canada has issued a Special Edition of its Bulletin of Proceedings containing a statistical overview of its activities for the period 2000-2010.

There are stats for cases filed, applications for leave submitted, appeals heard, judgments (including number of unanimous vs. split decisions), and average time lapses (time lines in the life of a case at the Court).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:17 pm 0 comments

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Canadian Court Website Guidelines - Administrative Control of Court Websites

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of February 22, 2011 entitled Canadian Court Website Guidelines - Privacy v. Public Access to Court Information.

On, Patrick Cormier has published a third post about guidelines for the design of Canadian court websites.

This post deals with the administrative control of court web sites:

"Who is or should be responsible for their operation, including funding? Who should have approval authority for the content published in court web sites? Who should decide the fundamental questions of how the site should evolve?"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:12 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quebec Crown Prosecutors Ordered Back To Work, Hell's Angels Happy?

The Quebec government yesterday passed special legislation to force striking Crown prosecutors and government lawyers back to work. The law imposes a settlement on the lawyers without any bargaining.

It is well known that Quebec Crowns are among the worst paid in Canada, that they are understaffed and overworked. Observers write that the Quebec justice system is at the breaking point.

Estimates put meeting the demands of the Crowns, the cornerstone of our justice system, to catch up to the Canadian average salary, at $20-40 million. The Crown's union complained that the very same week that the government said it could not afford the "rattrapage" (catching up), it easily found hundreds of millions to help finance a new hockey arena in Quebec City for a still non-existent NHL professional team.

Some of the coverage:
  • Bitter Quebec prosecutors forced back to work (Globe and Mail): "Passage of the special legislation underscored Quebec’s acrimonious political climate. In recent months, the Liberal government has been plagued by allegations of unethical practices and charges that it is unwilling to tackle corruption in the construction industry. Now it has locked horns with the same prosecutors it was counting on to lead the fight against organized crime."
  • Graeme Hamilton: Quebec handcuffs its crime fighters (National Post): "The government’s unwillingness to address the prosecutors’ woeful working conditions has created a crisis within the Crown ranks that could see more criminals walking free. 'It’s a huge victory for organized crime. It’s a huge victory for gangs, for cartels, for every type of international fraud you can imagine,' said J.D. Gerols, a senior Crown prosecutor in Montreal. 'They’re smiling because they know that even though we were already overworked and underpaid and were asking for help, the government has basically rebuffed us and doesn’t want to put the resources in'.”
  • Crown prosecutors bitter as work resumes (CBC News): "Montreal prosecutor Sonia Lebel returned to her courthouse office Tuesday frowning. She's proud of her job, but said she feels betrayed by the government she serves and is thinking of quitting. 'I'm not telling you that I'm going to do that right away. I still have a life to preserve. But it's the first time in 20 years that I'm very serious about that'. Lawyers are concerned low morale will exacerbate backlogs in the system (...) Quebec's Bar Association echoed that concern, suggesting Tuesday that organized crime groups may try to exploit Quebec's weakened justice system."
  • A welcome sign for organized crime: prosecutors (Montreal Gazette): "Christian Leblanc, president of the Association des procurers aux poursuites criminelles et pénales, told reporters after the Liberal majority overwhelmed a combined opposition to adopt Bill 135, that the rest of Canada is worried about the situation in Quebec (...) Leblanc said the Quebec government recognized in 2002 a 32-per-cent gap, on average, between the salaries of Quebec prosecutors and those in the rest of the country. That gap has widened to 40 per cent now, he said, and the six-per-cent-over-five-years imposed settlement means the shortfall will grow wider still."
  • Retour au travail difficile pour les procureurs et les juristes ( / Presse canadienne): "C'est avec le moral dans les talons que les procureurs de la Couronne aux poursuites criminelles et pénales ainsi que les juristes de l'État sont retournés au travail, mercredi, au lendemain de l'adoption d'une loi spéciale du gouvernement Charest mettant un terme à deux semaines de grève. Si le moral n'est pas au rendez-vous pour plusieurs, le président de l'Association des procureurs aux poursuites criminelles et pénales (APPCP), Christian Leblanc, assure que les procureurs feront tout en leur pouvoir pour rattraper le temps perdu."
  • Négocier? Trop tard! Même s'ils rentrent au travail, les procureurs refusent de se rasseoir avec Québec et demandent la démission du directeur des poursuites (Le Devoir): "Ulcérés et humiliés par l'imposition de la loi spéciale, les procureurs ont rejeté hier l'invitation «odieuse» du gouvernement à négocier et réclament plutôt la démission du directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP), Louis Dionne, qui n'a plus leur confiance (...) Au dernier décompte du DPCP hier, 6 des 14 procureurs en chef avaient envoyé une lettre de démission à Louis Dionne pour redevenir simple procureur et 25 des 36 procureurs en chef adjoints ont fait de même, soit un total de 31 cadres sur 50. Ces cadres ont perdu confiance dans le DPCP, à l'instar de leurs collègues, les procureurs en grève, estime Me Leblanc."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:43 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Canadian Court Website Guidelines - Privacy v. Public Access to Court Information

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of February 19, 2011 entitled Canadian Court Website Guidelines - Copyright and Licensing..

On, Patrick Cormier has published a second post about guidelines for the design of Canadian court websites.

This post deals with the balance between privacy of information and public access to electronic court records:
"In this post, please find ... our draft on the topic of 'Balancing Privacy and Public Access to Court Information: The Need for Confidentiality Rules'. Essentially, our recommendation on topic is to follow the Canadian Judicial Council Model Policy on topic (...)"

"This Model Policy reduces the issue of access to court information in a few simple access rules, effectively achieving a recommended balance between the right of the public to open courts with the right of an individual to privacy. The CCCT recommends the application of this Model Policy to court web sites, including the recommendation about preventing indexing and cache storage of judgments from web robots and search engines."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:07 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 21, 2011

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act

The Library of Parliament has published its Legislative summary of Bill C-51: Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act:

"The purpose of the bill is to modernize certain offences in the Criminal Code (the Code) and the Competition Act to take into account new communications technologies and to equip law enforcement agencies with new investigative tools that are adapted to computer crimes. To facilitate collaboration with foreign law enforcement agencies, the bill also amends the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act. According to the Department of Justice, the new investigative powers within the proposed legislation give law enforcement agencies the ability to address organized crime and terrorism activities online by:

  • enabling police to identify all the network nodes and jurisdictions involved in the transmission of data and trace the communications back to a suspect. Judicial authorizations would be required to obtain transmission data, which provides information on the routing but does not include the content of a private communication;
  • requiring a telecommunications service provider to temporarily keep data so that it is not lost or deleted in the time it takes law enforcement agencies to return with a search warrant or production order to obtain it;
  • making it illegal to possess a computer virus for the purposes of committing an offence of mischief; and
  • enhancing international cooperation to help in investigating and prosecuting crime that goes beyond Canada's borders."

"Bill C-51 is identical to Bill C-46, introduced in the House of Commons during the 2nd Session of the 40th Parliament on 18 June 2009, with the exception that it does not contain provisions related to offences against children. Such provisions are proposed in this parliamentary session in Bill C-54, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sexual offences against children). The proposed legislation complements Bill C-52, An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to support investigations, and Bill C-50, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (interception of private communications and related warrants and orders), as these bills address different aspects of a proposed lawful access regime ..."

"The bill aims to update Canadian criminal law. More specifically, the principal amendments in the bill:

  • provide that hate propaganda offences can be committed by any means of communication and including making hate material available (clause 5);
  • create the offence of possession of a computer virus for the purpose of committing mischief (clause 10);
  • make it possible for law enforcement agencies to make a demand or obtain a court order for the preservation of electronic evidence (clause 13);
  • creating new judicial production orders for obtaining data relating to the transmission of communications or data for tracking a thing or individual (clause 13);
  • create warrants for obtaining transmission data in real time and for the remote activation of tracking devices in certain types of technologies (clause 17);
  • modernize the deceptive marketing practices offences in the Competition Act (clauses 24 to 26); and
  • amend the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act so the new production orders can be used by Canadian authorities who receive assistance requests from other countries (clause 32)."
It is possible to follow the progress of the bill via the LEGISinfo website.

See the related Library Boy post of February 3, 2011 entitled Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Improving Access to Investigative Tools for Serious Crimes Act.

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

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Abolition of Early Parole Act

The Library of Parliament has published its Legislative summary of Bill C-59: An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (accelerated parole review):

"The objective of Bill C-59 is to tighten the rules governing eligibility dates for parole (that is, day parole and full parole) in the case of offenders serving their first sentence of imprisonment in a penitentiary and who have not been convicted of a violent offence or a serious drug-related offence where a court order has been made concerning parole eligibility. More specifically, the bill provides that these offenders may not be granted:

  • day parole after serving one sixth of the sentence; or
  • parole where the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) (also known as the National Parole Board) believes that they will commit a non-violent offence before the legal expiration of their sentence (at present, if the PBC is satisfied that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that they will commit an offence involving violence, it has no choice but to grant parole)."
It is possible to follow the status of the bill on the LEGISinfo website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:02 pm 0 comments

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Canadian Library Association 2011 Salary Survey

The CLA-CASLIS Government Section is asking for responses to its 2011 Salary Survey.

The CLA is the Canadian Library Association. CASLIS, one of its divisions, stands for Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services.
"We encourage you to complete the survey by the due date April 4, 2011. The higher the response rate, the better the final product will be in accurately portraying the benefits and remuneration of the members of the Canadian library and information management community."

"All information provided will be held in confidence and reported in such a way that no individual can be identified. The survey tool being used, FluidSurveys, is a Canadian company with all data servers hosted in Canada."

"The results of the Survey will be available in May 2011."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:25 pm 0 comments

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Canadian Court Website Guidelines - Copyright and Licensing

On, Patrick Cormier has published a post about the copyright or licensing status of information on Canadian court websites.

This comes out of the work of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology's (CCCT) guidelines for court websites.

As Cormier writes:

"The information published on a court web site may come from a variety of authors: judges, court staff (e.g. employees of courts administration), the justice department/ministry, public servants, lawyers (e.g. if factums are available on the court web site), etc. Unless a clear copyright and licensing policy is published on the court web site, it may be difficult for users to ascertain the copyright or licensing status of the various types of information. For example, to whom does the copyright of judicial decisions belong? Can those decisions be re-used in a commercial context, or not?"

"The CCCT recommends that each court web site displays a link in its footer, or other readily accessible place, pointing to a Copyright & Licensing Information page. This page should explain to users of the web site:

  • what is the copyright status of each type of information found on the site
  • what is the licensing status of each type of information found on the site
  • practical examples of what can be done, and not done with the information subject to copyright and licensing terms"
Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:01 pm 0 comments

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chief Justice of Canada's Remarks About Access to Justice

Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin spoke last week at the University of Toronto’s Access to Civil Justice for Middle Income Canadians Colloquium about how ordinary people risk being priced out of the justice system. In her speech, she called on governments, academics, judges and lawyers to work to ensure better access to justice for all Canadians.

Her speech and the colloquium attracted some media attention:

More about the University of Toronto’s Middle Income Access to Civil Justice Initiative.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:08 pm 0 comments

Quebec Government Changes Judicial Nomination Process

The Quebec government announced this week that it will change the way provincial judges are named.

Under new interim rules, an independent three-member selection committee will be created to identify qualified candidates and make recommendations to the minister of justice:

"The interim process excludes the political staff of the premier and minister of justice from the nominations. This step is to prevent these individuals from interfering in any way whatsoever in the selection process for appointing judges. Furthermore, those in charge of the nomination process will no longer be able to disclose the candidate’s allegiance to a political party during the nomination process."

"The selection committee’s recommendations will be sent to the minister of justice, who will then make a single justified selection and submit it not just to the premier but also to the council of ministers for approval. This will ensure transparency of the process."

The changes come in the wake of the Bastarache Commission report last month that looked into allegations of political influence peddling in certain judicial nominations in Quebec.

The commission of inquiry, headed by former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Bastarache, concluded that the allegations could not be proven but underlined many weaknesses in the way judges of provincial jurisdiction were named in Quebec.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the subject include:

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

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of February 1-15, 2011 is now 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 6:55 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 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.

The Project has just published its 2011 report:
"The six technologies featured in the 2011 Horizon Report are placed along three adoption horizons that indicate likely time frames for their entrance into mainstream use for teaching, learning, or creative inquiry. The near-term horizon assumes the likelihood of entry into the mainstream for institutions within the next twelve months; the mid-term horizon, within two to three years; and the far-term, within four to fve years. It should be noted at the outset that the Horizon Report is not a predictive tool. It is meant, rather, to highlight emerging technologies with considerable potential for our focus areas of teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. Each of the six is already the focus of attention at a number of innovative organizations around the world, and the work we showcase here reveals the promise of a wider impact."
The near-term horizon technologies identified in the report are e-books and mobiles. The mid-term techs are augmented reality and game-based learning. The far-term techs are gesture-based computing and learning analytics ("data-gathering tools and analytic techniques to study student engagement, performance, and progress in practice").

There is a Horizon Report Wiki where one can follow the discussions about what goes into the annual reports. The Wiki provides links to Horizon research themes, earlier reports, press clippings, RSS feeds for top tech news sites, and Twitter posts.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:35 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 14, 2011

Newest Issue of Law Library Journal

The most recent issue of Law Library Journal is available on the website of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Among the highlights:
  • The Durham Statement Two Years Later: Access in the Law School Journal Environment: "The Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, drafted by a group of academic law library directors, was promulgated in February 2009. It calls for two things: (1) open access publication of law school–published journals; and (2) an end to print publication of law journals, coupled with a commitment to keeping the electronic versions available in 'stable, open, digital formats.' The two years since the Statement was issued have seen increased publication of law journals in openly available electronic formats, but little movement toward all-electronic publication. This article discusses the issues raised by the Durham Statement, the current state of law journal publishing, and directions forward."
  • HeinOnline and Law Review Citation Patterns: "The authors tested the proposition that the ubiquity of HeinOnline in law libraries would alter law review citation patterns. Has HeinOnline’s provision of the full runs of law reviews in full text led to more citations to older materials? This article reports the results of the study they undertook to test this theory."
  • Law Library Budgets in Hard Times: "This article begins by looking at the environment of the academic law library of the twenty-first century, followed by an analysis of the current economic climate and an assessment of how these difficult economic times will affect academic law libraries. The next section discusses strategies a law library director can marshal to manage a multimillion-dollar budget in face of reduced resources. Focusing in on the institution’s own budget and accounting framework, creative thinking, and planning for use of resources can have successful and innovative outcomes for law libraries and the schools they support. Finally tools and strategies that can help support budget requests are discussed."
  • Thinking, Writing, Sharing, Blogging: Lessons Learned from Implementing a Law Library Blog: "The authors detail the experience of the University of Pennsylvania Biddle Law Library’s implementation of a departmental blog-writing program, established in 2007. The article includes a discussion of successes and challenges in running the Biddleblog and closes with suggested strategies for law libraries considering starting, or perhaps revamping, their own blogs."
  • Practicing Reference...Work Crunch: "Facing a time crunch herself, Ms. [Mary] Whisner [Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington School of Law] suggests ways that librarians can handle periods when there is just too much to do."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:25 pm 0 comments

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Walt Crawford: Library 2.0 Five Years Later - Part 2

In the March 2011 issue of his Cites & Insights, Walt Crawford continues his examination of how the concept of Library 2.0 has evolved over the past five years.

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of January 18, 2011 entitled Walt Crawford: Library 2.0 Five Years Later.

Quoting from a section near the end of the recent article, called "In Closing":

"On reflection, I wonder whether the dichotomy I suggested in 2006 (between Library 2.0, the set of tools, and 'Library 2.0,' the movement/bandwagon) is inadequate. Maybe that should be a three-part model: The movement, the toolkit—and the philosophies (including the idea of direct multiway contact with the user community, small 'failable' projects, library transparency and more)."

One truly beneficial result of the whole “Library 2.0” phenomenon is that some (by no means all) library groups and libraries recognize the virtue of small, rapidly-deployed, “failable” projects: ones done without a lot of planning and deployment, ones that can grow if they succeed, die if they fail and in many cases serve as learning experiences.

"Not that such small projects are new to Library 2.0, but I believe the rhetoric and experiences of Library 2.0 made the virtues of small projects more evident to some library folk who had forgotten them."

"It’s also certainly the case that, used thoughtfully, the tools and techniques of the web and the internet expand the universe of feasible small projects. A library can start a blog or a Facebook group a lot more easily and affordably than it can start a mailed newsletter—and, done right, the blog or group may be recognizable as a failable experiment: one that might reasonably disappear after a few months."

"The Library 2.0 'movement' had more than its share of Big Deal Projects and Manifestos, a whole bunch of universalisms ('every library should…' and 'every librarian must…') and a fair amount of better-than-thou moments. It involved more intergenerational misunderstanding and quarrels than should have been the case. But it also resulted in some worthwhile new philosophies and tools."

"Thinking about it even more, I think there may be four parts—because there are two philosophies of Library 2.0. The one I applaud is the one discussed in this quotation. But there’s also another philosophy, one that was clear from some (but by no means all) early proponents of Library 2.0 as a movement: The assertion that all existing libraries were (are?) deficient, endangered and in need of transformation. You could call this the library equivalent of Calvinism, if you wanted to use a religious analogy. To me, it was always a somewhat foreign and forbidding philosophy, one I thought of as 'the glass is one-quarter empty—and we need an entirely new glass.' I believe that philosophy has largely faded."

Cites & Insights is described as "a journal of libraries, policy, technology and media" published monthly since 2001.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:03 pm 0 comments

Friday, February 11, 2011

March 15 Deadline for Canadian Association of Law Libraries Scholarship

March 15, 2011 is the next deadline for applications to the James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship fund.

Members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries can apply.

The scholarship is designed to support attendance at a continuing education program, be it a workshop, certificate program or other similar activity deemed appropriate by the Scholarships and Awards Committee.

Support for attendance at annual conferences normally does not fall within the terms of reference for this scholarship.

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

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Federal Law - Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3

The Library of Parliament recently made public its legislative summary of Bill S-12:Federal Law-Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 3:
"This is the third harmonization bill to be tabled by the Government in conjunction with the harmonization initiative that was begun by the Department of Justice Canada following the coming into force of the Civil Code of Québec in 1994. The two previous harmonization statutes(Federal Law - Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1 and Federal Law - Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 2) came into force in 2001 and 2004 respectively (...)"

"In 1993, in anticipation of the coming into force on 1 January 1994 of the Civil Code of Québec (CCQ), which would replace the Civil Code of Lower Canada (CCLC), the federal Department of Justice created the Civil Code Section to review federal statutes to ensure that they properly reflect both legal traditions, the civil law system in Quebec and the common law system in the rest of Canada (...)"

"However, the reform of the civil law in Quebec is not the only factor responsible for the lack of harmony between the federal law and the civil law. The problem existed long before the CCQ came into force because Parliament has not always taken the civil law system and its language into account when setting out any new private law standards. This has been obvious in three different ways:

  • the use of vague or inaccurate phrases to express concepts for which there is a recognized vocabulary in the civil law;
  • the expression of legislative provisions only in accordance with the common law system, so that the two legal traditions did not receive equal treatment; and
  • the policy of so-called semi-legal legislative drafting, whereby, for a number of years, the language of the civil law was used only in the French version and the language of the common law was used only in the English version, resulting in unequal treatment of Canada's Anglophone and Francophone communities."

"The Government of Canada has cited other reasons to justify the need to harmonize federal statutes with the civil law of Quebec. Some of these reasons are set out in the preamble to the Federal Law-Civil Law Harmonization Act, No. 1, which states, among other things, that:

  • all Canadians are entitled to have access to federal laws in keeping with their legal tradition;
  • the civil law reflects the unique character of Quebec society;
  • the harmonious interaction of federal and provincial legislation is essential; and
  • the full development of our two major legal traditions gives Canadians a window on the world and facilitates exchanges with the vast majority of other countries."
Bill S-12 makes harmonization changes to 12 statutes, including the Canada Business Corporations Act and the Expropriation Act.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:20 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Dalhousie University Lecture on Future of Law Librarianship

The School of Information Management at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia recently hosted a talk on the future of law librarianship.

The two speakers were Kate Greene Stanhope, from the local law firm McInnes Cooper, and Anne Matthewman, from the Sir James Dunn Library at Dalhousie.

In a post on the School's blog, Matthewman describes the essence of their message:
"Will law libraries be assumed into knowledge management or information technology departments? Will their role in helping legal professionals find and understand the law fade as electronic legal information becomes prevalent and print materials fade into the background?"

"I think not. As I said Thursday evening, there will always be the need for specialists and intermediaries to manage and help interpret the burgeoning mass of information. Librarianship has always been a form of knowledge management and new techniques and software do not change that. It is up to librarians to work with information technology departments, to help IT professionals understand how information and knowledge are used, and conversely to understand ourselves how information is stored and manipulated. Additionally, it is up to us to take an active role in strategic planning for our organizations and to make sure we know and interact with the key players."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:47 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Upcoming Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on the Classroom in the Cloud

The Education Committee of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) will soon be holding another session in its CALL Webinar Series.

Maryvon Côté and Diane Koen from the McGill University Library will be talking about the "Classroom in the cloud" on Tuesday March 22, 2011, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST.

The registration forms and details regarding costs can be found on the CALL website in the Professional Development section:
" They will be presenting the virtual casebooks and course readings available to students through the Course Reserve module of the library catalogue. Leveraging features of Quicklaw, CanLii and HeinOnline, McGill students are able to access required readings without printing large volumes of paper. Don’t work at a university library? How can you adapt McGill’s innovation to assist your clients with current awareness, in preparing client newsletters, or other applications which may arise? "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:15 pm 0 comments

Library of Congress Guide on Forensic Sciences

The Science Reference Services at the Library of Congress in Washington publish a series of Science Tracer Bullets, or research guides on science and technology subject.

One of the most recent additions to the series deals with forensic sciences.

Much of the material is American in origin but it provides good starting points for finding out more about forensics.

It is broken down into sections on:
  • Introductions to the Topic
  • Subject Headings
  • Basic Texts
  • Specialized Titles
  • Related Titles
  • Handbooks, Encyclopedias
  • Conference Proceedings
  • Government Publications
  • Technical Reports
  • Dissertations
  • Bibliographies
  • Abstracting and Indexing Services
  • Journals
  • Representative Journal Articles
  • Selected Materials
  • Additional Sources of Information
  • Selected Internet Resources

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:07 pm 0 comments

openDemocracy Drug Policy Forum

The British website openDemocracy publishes a regular feature called the Drug Policy Forum that takes a critical reformist look at stories about the "war on drugs" and criminal justice issues.

The most recent issue contains a promo for a documentary entitled The Exile Nation Project: An Oral History of the War on Drugs & the American Criminal Justice System produced by openDemocracy contributor Charles Shaw.

Other items in the issue include:
  • Reagan Turning 100: Fawning Media Ignore His Disastrous 'War on Drugs'
  • Is This the Year America Wakes Up to Its Prison Disaster? Why Conservatives Are Finally Jumping on the Bandwagon
  • Drug Czar Outlines President Obama's "Public Health" Approach to Drug Policy in Huff Post Piece
  • UN experts call for a moratorium on death penalty in the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • The European Parliament adopts human rights resolution
  • Reuters Special Report: in Russia, a glut of heroin and denial
  • What Are the U.S.'s Real Motives for Launching a Drug War in Mexico?
  • Italy – the poisoned fruits of the war on drugs
  • and more

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:58 pm 0 comments

US Government Printing Office A-to-Z List

The library at West Texas A&M University has published a FDsys/GPO Access Online Resources: A-Z Resource list that will be helpful to anyone who has to do research dealing with United States government documents:
"For more than 15 years, the Government Printing Office (GPO) provided online access to information from all three branches of the federal government on GPO Access. This information is now available on GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys). GPO Access will be phased out in mid-2011."

"At this time, FDsys does not have an A to Z list of its online resources. Until then, you may use this page as a guide (...) It also includes other items that GPO Access only linked to and where they can be found. Any FDsys links below are 'browse only.' Paths to items are included for additional information."
Earlier posts about FDsys include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:48 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 07, 2011

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Bill to Reform Military Justice

The Library of Parliament recently made public its Legislative Summary of Bill C-41: An Act to amend the National Defence Act:

"The bill largely reproduces the provisions in the former Bill C-45, which received first reading on 3 March 2008 during the 2nd Session of the 39th Parliament."

"In addition, Bill C-41 takes into account the amendments to the National Defence Act (NDA) made by the former Bill S-3, which was passed into law in March 2007 and provides for a national databank for information about persons found guilty of military offences of a sexual nature."


"Overall, Bill C-41 responds to most of the recommendations made by the Right Honourable Antonio Lamer, former Chief Justice of Canada, in his 2003 report (Lamer Report). Essentially, the amendments set out in the bill clarify the amendments introduced in 1998 by Bill C-25 and make substantial improvements to the military justice system. While that system is made more consistent with the system established in the Criminal Code (the Code), Bill C-41 also recognizes the unique nature of the military system, in order to provide the degree of flexibility that is needed for maintaining discipline. As well, the bill enhances the effectiveness of the military justice system and provides for the key players in that system, in particular military judges and the Director of Defence Counsel Services, to be more independent and impartial."

It is possible to follow the progress of the bill via the LEGISinfo website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:52 am 0 comments

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Highlights from Recent Issues of Canadian Association of Research Libraries E-Lerts

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries sends out a weekly E-Lert bulletin with links to stories about library trends, e-resources, copyright issues, digital collections etc.

Here are some highlights from the past two issues.

E-Lert # 409 - January 28, 2011:
  • Access Copyright, universities remain at odds despite interim agreement: After failing to come to terms with post-secondary institutions over a proposed licensing agreement, Access Copyright remains at odds with Canadian universities and colleges over how to compensate creators for the use of their works for educational and research purposes. The dispute stems from last spring, when Access Copyright filed a proposed tariff with the Copyright Board of Canada that would see major changes to how post-secondary institutions pay to use copyrighted works, including in course packs. (Quill & Quire, January 24, 2011)
  • At ALA Midwinter, Brewster Kahle, Librarians Ponder The E-book Future: From research and pilot programs, digitization efforts and financial support for vendors, libraries have helped prepare the way for e-books. But now that the consumer market for e-books has taken off, are libraries in danger of being marginalized? A standing-room-only panel discussion on Saturday, January 8, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, looked at the challenges and opportunities e-books hold for libraries. It was Kahle’s concerns about the developing e-book market that seemed to resonate most with librarians (Publishers Weekly, January 10, 2011)
  • Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community: OCLC's newest membership report, Perceptions of Libraries, 2010, a sequel to the 2005 Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources, is now available. The new report provides updated information and new insights into information consumers and their online habits, preferences, and perceptions. Particular attention was paid to how the current economic downturn has affected the information-seeking behaviors and how those changes are reflected in the use and perception of libraries
  • E-Journals: Their Use, Value and Impact - Final Report: This two-part report takes in-depth look at how researchers in the UK use electronic journals, the value they bring to universities and research institutions and the contribution they make to research productivity, quality and outcomes. Based on an analysis of log files from journal websites and data from libraries in ten universities and research institutions, the study attempts to build a clearer picture of how e-journals are shaping the information landscape - a picture that will be added to as research in this area continues (Research Information Network, January 18, 2011)
E-Lert # 410 - February 4, 2011:
  • First Interim Evaluation Report from the British Library: "Growing Knowledge Shifts Perceptions of Digital Research Tools": As part of its ongoing discussion with British Library readers on how research is changing and their expectations of the future role of libraries, the British Library has released initial findings from the first interim evaluation report of its exhibition Growing Knowledge, the Evolution of Research. Part of a broader evaluation study funded by JISC, initial findings developed by UCL’s Ciber Research Group, show that visitors to Growing Knowledge are not only interested in the initiative but also impressed that the Library is attempting to learn from and meet the needs of its researchers
  • Great News Regarding Crown Copyright and Licensing: From the Government of Canada Publications website: “Crown Copyright and Licensing (CCL) is pleased to announce that permission to reproduce Government of Canada works is no longer required, in part or in whole, and by any means, for personal or public non-commercial purposes, or for cost-recovery purposes, unless otherwise specified in the material you wish to reproduce.”
  • The Survey of Institutional Digital Repositories, 2011 Edition: The 225-page report looks closely at how 60+ academic and special libraries and other select institutions in the United States, the UK, continental Europe, Canada, China, India, Australia and other countries or regions are funding, managing, cataloging, marketing and developing their institutional digital repositories. The report also looks closely at the degree of faculty cooperation, methods of procuring and measuring this cooperation, plans to develop repositories as publishers in their own right, impact on the online presence of the college and on citation rates in journals, among other factors (Primary Research Group)
  • Language Portal of Canada: The Translation Bureau, recognized within the Government of Canada as a professional authority in the area of language, launched the Language Portal of Canada in October 2009 with the help of its valued contributors. The goal of the Language Portal was to provide Canadians with free access to high-quality language tools designed to help them use our two official languages. The Portal provides a single point of access for everything needed to study, work and communicate effectively in English and French. Tips on spelling, grammar, writing and translation are also included.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:24 pm 0 comments

Registration Open for Canadian Association of Law Libraries Mentorship Program

The Education Committee of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has been running a Mentorship Program since 2009. Registration for 2011 is now open:
"The mission of the mentoring program is to facilitate the creation, development and maintenance of mutually satisfactory mentoring relationships between new CALL members, or those CALL members pursuing new professional development opportunities, and their experienced colleagues. Our mentors will be committed individuals, working one-on-one with librarians for at least one year on a consistent basis. Their mutual goal will be to maximize the librarian's potential (...)"

"The CALL Mentorship Program is an initiative intended to connect law library professionals pursuing new professional development with more experienced professionals. Mentees can come from any background in legal librarianship, or even straight from a library program at the university or college level. There is no maximum number of years in the profession for mentees - if you feel that you would like to grow as a professional in your job or your new tasks, and would benefit from the guidance and support of another professional, then being a mentee could be for you. Similarly, mentors can come from any of the areas of legal librarianship, with no set minimum number of years in the profession. As a guideline, however, we suggest five years experience. Mentors have the opportunity to help in the professional growth of a colleague, and by extension, the strength of legal librarianship as a profession. Mentors may also find the partnership enables their own professional growth, and heightens engagement in the profession and the CALL community."
The CALL website has application forms for people wanting to mentors or mentees.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:17 pm 0 comments

CanLII Offers Deep Linking to Paragraphs in Decisions

According to an announcement published last Friday on CanLII (Canadian Legal Information Institute):
"Now, you can establish a link directly to a specific numbered paragraph within a decision, simply by adding #par followed by the paragraph's number, after the basic URL. For instance, a hyperlink to paragraph 69 of the Oakes Supreme Court of Canada decision should be formatted as follows:"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:51 pm 0 comments

February 2011 Issue of Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World

The Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World newsletter, published by Library and Archives Canada (LAC), highlights issues pertaining to government and recordkeeping practices in the public and private sector.

The February 2011 issue has just been published on the LAC website.

It includes:
  • news items from Canada and around the world
  • announcements of upcoming events (meetings, workshops, seminars)
  • project and product news in areas such as digitization, archives, open source, e-government, access to information and Web 2.0 initiatives
  • selected papers and readings (white papers, presentations, reports)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:45 pm 0 comments

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Improving Access to Investigative Tools for Serious Crimes Act

The Library of Parliament recently made available its Legislative Summary of Bill C-50: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (interception of private communications and related warrants and orders):
"Bill C-50 amends the Criminal Code (the Code) with respect to the interception of private communications, tracking devices and telephone number recorders. It aims to facilitate the use of electronic surveillance techniques by law enforcement agencies and make such use more transparent, to a certain extent. Its provisions should be read in conjunction with those of bills C-51 and C-52, which also deal with electronic surveillance."
It is possible to follow the progress of the bill via the LEGISinfo website.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic of electronic surveillance include:
  • List of Electronic Surveillance Laws in the U.S. (December 22, 2005): "For Canadian material, one can have a look at the lawful access section of the CIPPIC website. CIPPIC is the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic based at the University of Ottawa."
  • Canadian Bar Association Worried About ISP Surveillance (July 8, 2006): "The Canadian Bar Association appears concerned that Internet service providers have been putting into place the technical capacity to monitor their customers' communications without proper authorization."
  • Update on Canadian Internet Surveillance Proposals (October 30, 2006): "University of Ottawa law prof and Toronto Star columnist Michael Geist has published a piece about the state of the federal government's lawful access initiative. The idea behind lawful access is to provide Canada law enforcement with new, more sophisticated electronic surveillance tools to prevent and fight organized crime, money laundering and terrorist activities. Geist analyzes various internal government documents recently obtained under the Access to Information Act that show how authorities are attempting to deal with the initial negative public reaction to the proposals to expand police powers."
  • Canadian Government Consultation on Lawful Access (September 14, 2007): "The purpose of this consultation is to provide a range of stakeholders - including police and industry representatives and groups interested in privacy and victims of crime issues - with an opportunity to identify their current views on possible approaches to updating Canada’s lawful access provisions as they relate to law enforcement and national security officials’ need to gain access to CNA [customer name and address] information in the course of their duties. The possible scope of CNA information to be obtained is later identified, but it should be noted from the outset that it would not, in any formulation, include the content of communications or the Web sites an individual visited while online."
  • CIPPIC Paper on Government's Lawful Access Initiative (October 16, 2007): "This is a follow-up to the September 14, 2007 Library Boy post entitled Canadian Government Consultation on Lawful Access ... Yesterday, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) at the University of Ottawa made its submission available. In its conclusions, CIPPIC remains highly sceptical of government arguments about the need for greater access to CNA information: 'Information identifying telecommunications subscribers can be highly sensitive given the electronic trail of publicly available and otherwise accessible data that individuals now leave about themselves on the internet and other digital devices as they go about their daily lives. For this reason, we submit that CNA information raises a 'reasonable expectation of privacy' on which a Charter challenge to laws permitting warrantless access could be based' ..."
  • Telecoms Fight Canadian Government Over E-Surveillance Costs (April 4, 2008): "The University of Ottawa's Michael Geist draws attention to documents obtained by Canwest News Service reporters that reveal a behind-the-scenes tug-of-war between industry and the federal government over who should bear the costs of electronic surveillance."
  • 2007 Annual Report on Use of Electronic Surveillance in Canada (May 20, 2009): "The report [from Public Safety Canada] outlines the use of electronic surveillance of private communications by law enforcement agencies to assist in criminal investigations. Under the Criminal Code, agencies must obtain judicial authorization before conducting the surveillance. The government is required to prepare and present to Parliament an annual report on the use of electronic surveillance. The 2007 Annual Report covers a five-year period from 2003 to 2007."
  • Canadian Government Re-Introduces Internet Surveillance Bills (November 2, 2010): "The federal government has re-introduced two bills in the House of Commons that would allow police and intelligence officials to intercept online communications and get personal information from Internet service providers. The government explains that the legislation targets child sexual predators, distributors of pornography and identity thieves. The bills also go after people who use the Internet to plan terrorist acts."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:36 pm 0 comments

Interview With Legal Reference Librarian at Law Library of Congress

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, has started an interview series featuring members of the library staff.

Today, the fourteenth interview in the series appeared. It is with Matthew Braun, Legal Reference Librarian:
"I find it quite interesting that more than half of the Law Library’s print collection is in languages other than English. This fact points to the importance of the Law Library as a global legal research center that holds a collection reflective of the diverse nation that it serves."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:32 pm 0 comments

March 15 Deadline for Canadian Association of Law Libraries Research Grants

Members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) have until March 15, 2011 to apply for a research grant from the Association.

CALL will provide financial assistance of up to $4,000 to support members who wish to do research on a topic of interest to those working in law libraries.

Proposed research projects need not be large or formal; research could include surveys, bibliographic projects, pilot projects and feasibility studies.

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

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Continuing Legal Education Papers As Research Material

The most recent "SlawTip" concerns the value of continuing legal education seminar papers as sources of legal research:
"They are prepared by recognized, often local experts in an area of law. They may offer a timely update on a topic. Best of all they are pretty easy to find. First, pick your jurisdiction. Then find a catalog source. Search and retrieve."
SlawTips are an initiative of, the collaborative Canadian law blog. SlawTips are "tips for lawyers and those working with law. Our aim is to keep them short and sweet, tips you can put to work without a lot of fuss and bother."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:17 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Newsletter on Law and Religion

For the past few years, Sébastien Lherbier-Levy has been publishing a very detailed French-language newsletter on religion and law called La lettre du droit des religions.

Each issue includes an editorial comment, feature articles, news items from different countries, case law from the European Court of Human Rights (and domestic case law from French tribunals) as well as a bibliography.

The most recent issue (December 2010) has a number of items of interest to Canadian readers relating to the niqab issue (the full veil covering the entire face worn by some Moslem women) as well as to the prohibition against the teaching of religion in Quebec kindergardens.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:40 pm 0 comments