Friday, May 31, 2013

Job Swaps and Library Exchanges

The website has a post this week about Job Swaps and Library Exchanges for anyone thinking of working in another country:
"Midlife Crisis? Becoming complacent in your job? Looking for a busperson's holiday? Sounds like you need to do a Library Exchange!!
Start by considering the following questions....
  1. Where do you want to travel?
  2. Do you speak a second, third or fourth language?
  3. Will you need housing?
  4. Do you need to be paid while away?
  5. How long do you want to be away for?
  6. Would you like to work in a similar library as at home?
  7. Do you get homesick?"


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:25 pm 0 comments

May 2013 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 May 2013 issue has just been published on the LAC website.

It includes:
  • news items from Canada and around the world
  • announcements of upcoming Canadian and international 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 5:46 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Canadian Privacy Commissioner Research Project Results

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada recently published a compendium of results from research projects it has funded:
"From tapping our smart phones to transfer funds, to swiping an access card to gain entry to our office, technology is seamlessly and ubiquitously woven into our everyday tasks."

"And for these technological advances to make our lives a little easier, they create and have access to large amounts of data about ourselves – our contacts, our habits, our likes and dislikes."

"How is our information being used to guide decisions about ourselves and the world around us? Do we know how to better protect our privacy in the modern world? What impact does technology have on our privacy?"

"The Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s Contributions Program funds independent cutting-edge privacy research and outreach projects aimed at generating new ideas, approaches and information about privacy in Canada. These projects not only advance the collective knowledge on issues related to privacy and surveillance; they provide real, tangible research results that Canadians can use to make smart decisions about privacy in their own lives."

"The projects highlighted here represent a sample of the innovative and socially relevant independent research the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has supported through its Contributions Program since 2004."
The projects covered topics such as identity theft, parental snooping on their kids' online activities, advice to teens on how to frame their digital portrait, the protection of digital health records, and the protection of genetic information


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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quebec Legal Sources for Non-Quebec Researchers

At the 2013 conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries that took place earlier this month in Montreal, one of the sessions was called "Lost in Translation? Quebec Sources for Non-Quebec Librarians".

It was a brief overview of free sources of Quebec legislation and case law.

For people who missed it, Rebecca Slaven has written a very informative post over at The Stream, the blog of Courthouse Libraries B.C.

She covers case law (including translations into English), historical statutes, recent statutes and regulations, bills, and Gazettes.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:27 pm 0 comments

Monday, May 27, 2013

Amnesty International 2013 Annual Report

The international human rights organization Amnesty International last week published its latest annual report.

From the introduction:
"The Amnesty International Report 2013 documents the state of human rights during 2012. The Essay and the country-by-country survey of 159 individual countries and territories set out a global overview of human rights violations and abuses inflicted by those in power on those who stand in the way of their vested interests."

"Human rights defenders, often themselves living in precarious situations, battled to break through the walls of silence and secrecy to challenge abusers. Through the courts, in the streets and online, they fought for their right to freedom of expression, their right to freedom from discrimination and their right to justice. Some paid a heavy price. In many countries, they faced vilification, imprisonment or violence. While governments paid lip service to their commitment to human rights, they continued to use national security and concerns about public security to justify violating those rights."

"This report bears witness to the steadfast and rising clamour for justice. Regardless of frontiers and in defiance of the formidable forces ranged against them, women and men in every region stood up to demand respect for their rights and to proclaim their solidarity with fellow human beings facing repression, discrimination, violence and injustice. Their actions and words show that the human rights movement is growing ever strong and more deep-rooted, and that the hope it inspires in millions is a powerful force for change."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:07 pm 0 comments

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Library and Archival Associations Issue Joint Statement on Qualities of New Head of Library and Archives Canada

Some 19 Canadian library and archival associations have issued a joint statement on the qualities the new head of Library and Archives Canada should have. Daniel Caron resigned earlier this month from that position:
"Over the past week, the Canadian Library Association has collaborated with other national and provincial associations to consider the qualities we believe are necessary for a successful candidate to the position of Librarian and Archivist of Canada."

"A broad spectrum of associations has collaborated to produce and endorse a Joint Statement on Qualities of a Successful Librarian and Archivist of Canada. This statement is being distributed today to the Clerk of the Privy Council, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and other key MPs and stakeholders."

"CLA members are encouraged to draft their own cover letters and forward them with copies of the joint statement to their MPs and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage."
For further background, see the Library Boy post of May 16 entitled Daniel Caron Resigns as Head of Library and Archives Canada.

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

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Website for the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), based in Strasbourg, has a new website.

Among the many new features:
Also worth a look are the sections about the Library, thematic Factsheets on important cases and pending hearings, and country profiles.

The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Council of Europe is one of the continent's oldest political organizations, founded in 1949. It has 47 member countries.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:17 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recent Evolution of Expert Evidence in Selected Common Law Jurisdictions Around the World

In the most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly, Erik Arnold summarizes a study he wrote with Errol Soriano on trends and practices concerning the use of expert evidence in common law jurisdictions around the world.

The study, which was commissioned by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators, looked at the situation in Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia, and in international arbitration.

As Arnold writes:
"In virtually every jurisdiction surveyed, adversarial bias was identified as the single most important problem with expert opinion evidence. Guarding against what we term 'advocacy by experts' has become a major focus for stakeholders."

"In response to these concerns, recent amendments to the rules of civil procedure in various jurisdictions have sought two common objectives — formally defining the expert’s duty to the court and placing limits on the allowable scope of the expert’s evidence. Reporting requirements in various jurisdictions now mandate, at a minimum, positive affirmation of the expert’s roles, responsibilities and, in particular, their duty to the court. The persistent concern regarding experts has also led to reduced autonomy regarding the content of their reports. "

"The cost of litigation was the next most cited problem with expert evidence, and it was a close second. The view that expert evidence is expensive is not new. Until recently, however, the dialogue amounted to resigned complaint and not actionable reform. This is beginning to change."

"Rules committees and other stakeholders are now focused on the possible substance and form of procedural reform, the objective being to reduce costs of opinion evidence while maintaining the tenets of the adversarial judicial system favored in each jurisdiction. As a result, innovative approaches to expert evidence are emerging."
The full text of the report is available on the site of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:16 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

CLA Government Library Network Interview With Jason Reid, Public Works and Government Services Canada

The CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has launched 13 Questions With..., a series on its website that profiles a member of the Canadian library and IM community every week.

This week's interview is with Jason Reid, Director, GCDOCS Enterprise Program Management Office, Public Works and Government Services Canada

"Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Public Speaking – Being able to sway an audience to accept your point of view is very important. It is a great way to show senior management that you are passionate and knowledgeable about the subject you are presenting on, they will remember that during a job interview."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:57 pm 0 comments

Handbook for Police and Crown Prosecutors on Criminal Harassment

This week's issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications lists the Handbook for Police and Crown Prosecutors on Criminal Harassment:
"Criminal harassment, which includes 'stalking,' is a crime. While many crimes are defined by conduct that results in a very clear physical outcome (for example, murder), the offence of criminal harassment prohibits deliberate conduct that is psychologically harmful to others. Criminal harassment often consists of repeated conduct that is carried out over a period of time and that causes its targets to reasonably fear for their safety but does not necessarily result in physical injury. It may be a precursor to subsequent violent and/or lethal acts."

"The purpose of this handbook is to provide police and Crown prosecutors with guidelines for the investigation and prosecution of criminal harassment cases and to promote an integrated criminal justice response to stalking. It is intended  to be a starting point for police and Crowns. Police and Crowns are encouraged to adapt these guidelines to reflect the particular needs and circumstances of  each jurisdiction and each case."
"The Handbook was developed by a working group of federal/provincial/territorial criminal justice officials in consultation with criminal justice professionals. It was  first published in 1999 and updated in 2004. The development of these  guidelines was prompted by the findings and recommendations of the 1996 Department of Justice Canada review of the criminal harassment provisions in the Criminal Code. The updates have been published in response to positive feedback regarding the usefulness of the Handbook and requests for more current information."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad.  

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:48 pm 0 comments

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spring 2013 Issue of Law Library Journal Now Available

The Spring 2013 issue of Law Library Journal is available on the website of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Among the many articles, the following attracted my attention:
  • Training in FCIL Librarianship for Tomorrow’s World (by Neel Kant Agrawal, Los Angeles County Law Library): "Foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL) librarianship has grown in importance along with the increased emphasis on global legal research. As the field moves forward, it is important to develop core competencies in FCIL librarianship. These core competencies will provide a common knowledge base among librarians throughout the world. New developments in technology, culture, and legal research necessitate a fresh look at the skills required to be successful in FCIL librarianship. This will then permit a wide range of information professionals to acquire an expertise in FCIL librarianship, through a certification process based on the attainment of these core competencies."
  • Other Uses of Legislative History (by Mary Whisner, University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington):"Although we usually think of using legislative history to determine legislative intent when interpreting statutes, Ms. Whisner shows that legislative documents can be useful for other, less controversial purposes as well."

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

Friday, May 17, 2013

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 May 1st to 15th, 2013 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 9:20 pm 0 comments

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Daniel Caron Resigns as Head of Library and Archives Canada

Daniel Caron, the head of Library and Archives Canada (LAC) who presided over the dismantling of many important services at the institution in the wake of extensive budget cuts, resigned yesterday.

The CLA Govt Library & IM Professionals Network, a division of the Canadian Library Association, has compiled links to media coverage of the announcement.The Ottawa Citizen article in particular contains some very eloquent quotes from representatives of professional associations.

Earlier Library Boy posts about the recent changes at LAC include:
  • Canadian Library Association Dismayed by Federal Budget Impact (May 2, 2012): "The Canadian Library Association (CLA) today released a statement criticizing the 2012 federal budget which it believes will hit federal libraries and Libraries and Archives Canada very hard."
  • September 2012 Campaign Update of Save Library and Archives Canada (September 27, 2012): "The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) launched a campaign this year called Save Library and Archives Canada (LAC) because of its fear that recent federal budget cuts would hamper the institution's many collections and activities. The campaign has just published a September 2012 Campaign Update (...)" 
  • Library and Archives Canada Terminates Inter-Library Loan Service (October 31, 2012): "The CLA Govt Library & Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association, has published an announcement from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) that the institution is putting an end to its inter-library loan service in the next few weeks. The LAC's service has been an indispensable tool nationwide for researchers and libraries. "
  • CLA Member Advocacy Survey: The Impact of Federal Budget Cuts on Canada’s Libraries (December 15, 2012): "The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has released the results of its survey on the impact of federal budget cuts (...) More than 400 individuals provided detailed responses to the survey questions. They overwhelmingly agreed that the cuts will impact both local and national library services, with 98% of respondents indicating concern. Areas most likely to be affected were identified, and include: access to material/information, research, interlibrary loans, Community Access Program, preservation, staffing cuts, digital issues."
  • Canadian Association of Law Libraries Urges Reconsideration of LAC Code of Conduct (March 27, 2013): "Earlier this month, it was revealed that Library and Archives Canada (LAC) management was proposing a new code of conduct, a move that sparked a lot of controversy and some apprehension that information professionals were perhaps being muzzled at one of Canada's most important national cultural heritage institutions at a time when it is facing cutbacks and a change in its service mix. In particular, many objections were made to the description of traditional public engagements such as teaching and going to librarian and archivist conferences as potentially 'high risk activities' that may pose a problem under the code's provisions."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:10 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Justice Canada 2013 Victims of Crime Research Digest

Last week's issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications lists the 2013 Victims of Crime Research Digest. Published by Justice Canada, it includes short, accessible articles on victims of crime research:
"Welcome to sixth issue of  the Victims of Crime Research Digest which is being released during the eighth annual National Victims of  Crime Awareness Week (NVCAW) (April 21-27, 2013).  The theme of  the 2013 NVCAW is 'We All Have a Role.' This theme recognizes that criminal justice professionals and volunteers play a crucial role in reaching out to victims, that all levels of  government play a role in reaching out to victims, and that all Canadians can play a role in reaching out to victims through their support and understanding."

"The articles in this issue all touch on the many different services that are available, or are being developed, to assist victims of crime in this country. In the first article, Susan McDonald examines how research is supporting the development of children’s advocacy centres across the country. Melissa Northcott, in the second article, summarizes three studies with survivors of sexual violence that included men in two provinces, women in three provinces, and men and women in the Northwest Territories. The survivors spoke about their experiences with the criminal justice system. In the third article, Katie Scrim and Clarinda Spijkerman employ GIS software to map services for victims in the Northwest Territories with incidents of police-reported violent crime in 2010/11. In the fourth article, Lisa Ha describes the results from a study of the nature of elder abuse cases handled by the Ottawa Police Service. And finally, Marie Manikis describes the enforceability regimes of victims’ rights at the US federal level and in England and Wales."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad. 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:37 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

International Association of Law Libraries 2013 Website Award

Nominations are open for the International Association of Law Libraries' 2013 Website Award.

The Award seeks to "recognise and promote free legal information websites that are authoritative, comprehensive, up-to-date, useful, and user-friendly."

The selection panel for the 2013 Award is composed of Ligita Gjortlere (Riga Graduate School of Law), Teresa Miguel-Stearns (Yale Law School), Mirela Roznovschi (New York University School of Law, and Ivo Vogel (Berlin State Library).

The 2013 Award winner will be announced at the IALL's 32th Annual Course on International Legal Information and Law, Barcelona, Spain in September.

Nominations can be made until July 1, 2013.

There is a list of previous winners on the IALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:54 pm 0 comments

Monday, May 13, 2013

Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan Final Report on Waiver of Legal Fees for the Needy

The Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan published its final report on Access to Justice – Needy Person Certificates and Waiver of Fees:
"As the costs of litigation and other legal services rise, concern about financial barriers to access to justice is increasing. Under The Queen’s Bench Rules , a potential litigant may, in some circumstances, obtain a waiver of court fees by obtaining a Needy Person Certificate. Needy Person Certificates are useful, but challenges exist respecting their scope and availability under the QB Rules . A further challenge is that Certificates are only available to litigants in the Court of Queen’s Bench and Court of Appeal. Individual rights are also adjudicated in the Small Claims Court and by boards and tribunals, which have varying policies regarding fee waivers. Responses to the Consultation Paper generally affirm that Needy Person Certificates and fee waivers in Saskatchewan need to be updated and expanded. This Final Report sets out the Commission’s proposals on improving access to justice for the less advantage d members of our community through fee waivers."
The report looked at fee waivers in Ontario and British Columbia.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:06 pm 0 comments

Saskatchewan Law Reform Commission Report on Civil Rights in long-Term care Facilities

The Saskatchewan Law Reform Commission has released its final report on Civil Rights in Saskatchewan Long-term Care Facilities:
"Elderly people and others in long - term care are entitled to the same respect as other citizens. Violation of civil rights of long - term care residents is a form of abuse which may range from life threatening abuse to simple disrespect for the autonomy and privacy of residents. The focus of this paper is on violations of the rights of residents, partic ularly when they do not involve physical abuse, and particularly when they may not be effectively addressed by existing protocols designed to deal with more blatant forms of abuse. Responses to the Consultation Paper highlighted that long - term care staff, residents, and resident families and supporters may be unfamiliar with rights in long - term care, including how to assert these rights and seek remedy for their breach. New steps should be taken to ensure civil rights are recognized in long - term care. This Final Report sets out the Commission’s proposals to improve civil rights in long - term care facilities."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:02 pm 0 comments

CLA Government Library Network Interview With Dawn Bassett, Canadian Grain Commission

The CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has launched 13 Questions With..., a series on its website that profiles a member of the Canadian library and IM community every week.

This week's interview is with Dawn Bassett, Coordinator of Library Services at the Canadian Grain Commission.


"How do you stay current in your field?
I am involved in a number of professional organizations and committees both inside and outside of my workplace. I try to read as much library/information related news and experiment with new technology and new social media tools as I can. I try to take advantage of learning opportunities that come my way. I I receive most of my library/tech news these days through RSS, Twitter, LinkedIn and my favorite blogs. I try to connect with my colleagues as often as I can either through one of the social media networks or in person."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:58 pm 0 comments

Sunday, May 12, 2013

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 April 16-30, 2013 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 3:38 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada Hearings Calendar for May 2013

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for May 2013.

To find out more about any particular case, the Court's website has a section that allows users to find docket information, case summaries as well as factums from the parties. All you need to do is click on a case name.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:37 pm 0 comments

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2013 Conference - Redesigning Products and Processes

One of the big themes running through many of the workshops at this week’s CALL conference in Montreal was redesign of products, platforms and processes. The conference ended yesterday.

The Monday session entitled “Please Don't Make Me Think: User Testing a Faceted Search Engine” was about how the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (CAIJ), Quebec’s Courthouse library Network, conducted user testing sessions to validate the ergonomic and design aspects of many of its tools, including its new faceted search engine JuriBistro UNIK.

I served as a guinea pig at the session. I volunteered to go up on stage and “test” a music store website. I was told to try to order the latest Céline Dion CD for a Mother’s Day gift and failed miserably. The presenter then explained that she had deliberately chosen a badly designed website. My embarrassment served as a perfect introduction to the importance of usability testing.

During user tests relating to JuriBistro UNIIK, CAIJ made some very surprising discoveries about how people think about their searching, what they see and do not see on your site, and how they (mis)interpret symbols or language that appear perfectly clear to project members.

Lo and behold, they discovered that lawyers - their users - READ text and do not see or even understand many of the pretty and cute pictograms designers provided as shortcuts to very important features such as the fulltext of cases. So they replaced icons with text like “Texte intégral - Jurisprudence” and all the guinea pigs (sorry, I mean test lawyers) were happy.

Other features that test subjects overlooked or failed to understand included such things as sort options, the concept of "keywords in context", links to help and search tips and the icon for further filtering of results which people thought looked like a martini glass (it was the Excel spreadsheet symbol for filter). Most of these items were replaced with text links.

The speakers, CAIJ’s Monique Stam and Anastasia Simitsis, User Experience Director with Digital Intelligence, used the Céline Dion example to emphasize a point. User focus groups are insufficient, watching what potential users do when replicating real-life scenarios is required.The experience of listening to test participants think out loud as they try (and very frequently fail) to do stuff on your test site is usually an eye opener for project team members, designers and your boss.

They explained the various possible flavours of usability testing, but they all offer similar benefits:
  • identifying and fixing problems early (“why does CAIJ have a martini glass on its results page?”)
  • validating assumptions
  • solving opinion battles among team members (web designer: "I think the filter pictogram should go here"; project manager: "No, I am sure the users will be more at ease if the filter is over there"; your boss: "I say the filter belongs next to the results"; of course, the test users are all going: "What's with the CAIJ and all their stupid martini glasses all over my results page?")
  • establishing a baseline to measure improvements
  • reducing risk and reducing costs (it is way cheaper to fix problems during design than after launch).
Another Monday session on "Technology Project Management: Complexities and Challenges” offered three perspectives on how to manage large projects as well as stakeholder expectations.

Julie Allard from the Quebec public corporation SOQUIJ shared her experiences with the design of the new product that will replace its AZIMUT Juris.doc legal information search tool in the fall of 2013. The project is highly complex, has incredibly short deadlines, involves a multidisciplinary team and clients are demanding. [SOQUIJ held a breakfast demo of its new search product on Tuesday morning. The changes can be easily summarized: extreme simplification of the interface. You search and find and manipulate results on just 2 screens. Everything happens on the first search screen and then on one single results screen. Full stop. Quite impressive.]

Getting the preliminary project planning right is key. This involves consulting customers and deciding what is and what is definitely NOT part of the project to maintain focus and avoid mission or project creep, probably the kiss of death of many projects. How many times does this simple truth get overlooked? Figure out what is NOT part of the game plan and you will be happier.

Among the successful strategies Allard mentioned for not losing control: chunking the project into shorter cycles with precise interim deliverables to ensure the project team achieves small but constant victories along the way; managing change requests ; user testing, and quality assurance/control during the entire process to make sure any changes are in line with the needs expressed by customers (testing and quality assurance are too often overlooked until the very end); tracking problems and anomalies as well as tracking measures taken to address them.

Managing stakeholders and their expectations requires a lot more thought than we often assumer. In the case of SOQUIJ, they came up with a series of clear roles: a dedicated project manager, a project sponsor, a person to act as the representative of the customers, the project team, testers, etc. All clearly delineated roles.

Frédérique Tessier, project coordinator at Éducaloi, an award-winning website for public legal education, took the audience through the recent redesign of the site which included the complete reorganization of its content as well as migration to a new open source platform. The organization asked an outside firm to evaluate a list of prospective agencies who could manage the project in cooperation with Éducaloi members and external contributors (lawyer-writers).

Finding content seemed to be one problem with the old site. 10 people were involved in a card sorting exercise to categorize the site’s hundreds of articles into a clearer classification scheme based on 10 broad topics (e.g. family), then broken down into nodes (“divorce”) and then into narrower areas (“child support”). On the page of any given article on the new site, there are links to other material within the same node and topic as well as in related nodes under different topics. The big behind-the-scenes change for content producers has to do with how changes/updates to content are managed. The new content management system uses screens to add changes to any piece of legislation such as new section numbers or wording and find which pages link to that statute. If many articles refer to the same statutory information, they can all be updated at the same time on one legislative input screen.

The final presenter at that session was François Montreuil, director of IT at Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ). He focussed on streamlining stakeholder management during major technology projects.

BAnQ used to run projects with a 15-19 member project management committee. Meetings were long, unwieldy. A new executive committee was created with 7 people that meets before the larger committee. It invites stakeholders to address it according to need and expertise and they are asked to leave after they have made their presentation. Actual projects are run by project teams with specific mandates and deadlines.

Everyone agreed there is no perfect structure but clear communications, follow-up, and reporting structures as well as behind-the-scenes communications to minimize irritants and deal with differing interpretations of how a project should proceed (i.e. politics) are essential elements.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:05 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2013 Conference - Being A More Effective Presenter

The 2013 annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries ended earlier today.

I will get to some of the main workshops on issues such as licensing and website/database redesign later this week.

Right now, I want to discuss a presentation yesterday afternoon by Kate Bligh, a Montreal-based theatre director, dramaturg and teacher. She gave a presentation on how librarians could become more effective speakers and trainers. It was called "Coping With Interruption and Interaction in an Era of Social Media".

She broke her talk down into 3 parts: body language and interactions with the audience; gaining and retaining attention; and structuring content.

The body language component was the most surprising because most of us are unaware of how we move our bodies when speaking.

Bligh summarized her advice by saying body language must be open, visible, strong, symmetrical and with appropriate arm gestures.

By open body language, she meant avoiding hiding behind a podium, crossing arms, not directly facing the audience. Any closing of the body, for example, by clasping hands in front of the body or folding arms sends an unconscious message to listeners that you are uncomfortable and they become more aware of your perceived nervousness or lack of confidence, So arms open, be visible (standing if possible facing the audience).

By strong, she meant avoid leaning on or against the podium or table, You might think this makes you look laid back and comfortable. Unconsciously, listeners may think you are unable to "support" what you are saying. She had many other suggestions as to how to comport yourself physically that all reinforce a message of openness and confidence (even if you do not feel that way).

In terms of how you speak and articulate, she cautioned against long run-on sentences. Do not use AND or BUT. Stop, breathe and start a new sentence. Use clear, short sentennces. Occasionally stop and ask for questions. Bligh explained it is OK if your request for questions is followed by silence. The audience is thinking. If you tend to speak in a monotone, this can be unlearned. Consciously decide to change your pitch slightly when introducing a new idea or tangent. Practice alone by singing melodies.

Eye contact: share it, Bligh said. Be like "a butterfly in a bush". Do not focus on one person, make your eyes wander in a friendly way to different people - they will look back at you. And do no stare at bothersome or annoying people because this means you have given over control to them. Smile from time to time, plan (plant) some questions here and there.
Her second theme was about gaining and retaining attention.

At the outset, ask trainees what they need to learn or identify those needs for them: "This is important because you need to know this for your assignment".

Also, depending on the audience, you should signal your expectations and provide ground rules. Bligh deals with many Millennials in their early 20s, a generation used to being distracted and - according to her - not always good at self-discipline. She insists in her classes that everyone turn off cell phones and laptops and tablets and refuses to start until everyone complies. She explained that Millennials often are very appreciative when someone lays down rules for them.

Finally, she offered a few simple tips on structuring content: offer a minimum amount (do not hose them with a flood of info - they will be overwhelmed, you will panic about running out of time). Reduce content to 3-5 points. And tell them what you plan on telling them; tell it to them in those 3-5 points; and then tell them what you just told them. End off by asking them to suggest a few things they have learned.

And there you have it: you made an effective, memorable presentation.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:33 pm 1 comments

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Canadian Association of Law Libraries E-Books Roundtable

On Sunday afternoon at the 2013 annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) in Montreal, there was a group discussion on the challenges that e-books represent for collection development.

There were many questions examined, including why types of books individual law libraries preferred purchasing in print or in electronic format, what library clients use or gain when libraries buy fewer print books, and how libraries promote the use of e-materials.

Some libraries (in the academic world it appears) have shifted dramatically to an "e-book preferred" purchase policy based on the PDA model ("patron-driven acquisition" - e-book records are downloaded into the catalogue and books are purchased or rented once a certain number of actions occur: a minimum number of patrons click on a book link, read for more than a given number of minutes, or download more than a given number of pages). Other libraries appear more reticent and are waiting to see.

There was a lot of discussion about what types of material did not lend themselves easily to presentation in an e-format. The consensus was that print is better when the user needs to read a significant amount of text or browse between sections (when the user does not know what he or she is looking for). As well, there was consensus when it came to legislative research: here, print still seems to be the preferred option because researchers often need to compare many volumes or editions or versions and they like to spread 7 or 8 volumes on a table to be able to glance back and forth. E-platforms are incapable to reproducting this experience.

There are also worries about what users may be losing in the transition to e-books. For example, will e-book licences lock down and forbid inter-library loans? As well, some participants noted that many users have a mental map of where they found something in print e.g. (in the stacks in a given row on a given shelf or inside a book such as "near the beginning" or "in the 2nd chapter") whereas e-book pages are all the same with fewer visual reminders of "where" one is. One page looks like all the other pages. A further change introduced by any major transition to e-books concerns library workflow: there may be a lot of extra work for technical services when it comes to proper cataloguing and checking for link rot. One librarian added that web-scale discovery tools usually do not include legal materials from the big vendors in their megaindexes, which translates into extra promotion work for instructional and reference librarians who must train people on the discovery tools and the legal databases.

Participants are quite creative when it comes to thinking up means of promoting e-books in their collection: some libraries put labels on the spine of print volumes pointing to e-versions, others provide separate cataloguing records or call numbers for e-books (for virtual shelf browsing), some use smartphone-readable QR codes on shelves, e-books also get promoted on practice area web pages, research guides, new acquisitions pages on library websites and in training presentations.

Evaluating user satisfaction with e-books has been proving difficult for a number of reasons. Surveys have not been able to gather much useful information about satisfaction with e-books specifically. One participant mentioned that some institutions use IP recognition to authenticate e-book users which means that users can't really tell the difference between one kind of e-resource and another, for them an electronic version of a  Carswell loose-leaf, a book chunked into chapters, sections and subsections on Quicklaw, or a database all look pretty much the same. They wouldn't even know they were in an "e-book" or know what is an "e-book".

Finally, participants had a wish list for improving the user experience of e-books:
  • vendors need to come up with an e-book standard through ISO or some other organization
  • vendors need to do a better job of notifying customers when URLs change
  • participants did not like the fact there is often a delay between the print release and the release of the e-book equivalent
  • they added there is a need for a scanned or PDF version of what the print equivalent visually looks like (pagination, paragraph structure, overall look and feel)
  • librarians also want access to an archive of older editions of material that is frequently updated

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

Monday, May 06, 2013

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2013 Conference Awards Luncheon

As part of its annual conference in Montreal, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) held its Awards Luncheon earlier today.

The winners of various CALL awards and scholarships were officially announced.

  • Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing:
    The Award acknowledges the work done by publishers to provide the legal community with high quality materials. This year's award goes to the Canadian Yearbook of International Law (UBC Press). 
  • Diana M. Priestley Memorial Scholarship:
    The Scholarship is intended to support professional development in the field. This year's recipient is Sarah Richmond, a member of the Ontario Bar currently enrolled in the MLIS program at the University of Western Ontario. 
  • James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship:
    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. Recipients are Liana Giovando (for studies at the iSchool at the University of Toronto), Susannah Tredwell (attendance at courses at the Simon Fraser University Publishing Program), Amy Kaufman (atrendance at the Charleston Conference on "Book and Serials Acquisition" in South Carolina), and Catherine Cotter (attendance at the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Libraries).
  • Janine Miller Fellowship:
    This provides funding annually for one CALL member to attend the Law via the Internet Conference, an initiative of the Legal Information Institutes worldwide that constitute the Free Access to Law Movement. The winner is Rosalie Fox, director of the Supreme Court of Canada. She has played a major role in the dissemination of free legal information via CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, and LexUM, which is the publisher of Supreme Court decisions online. This year's conference is on the Isle of Jersey in the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy.
  • Canadian Law Library Review Feature Article Award:
    The recipient is Jenny Thornhill for her article in vol. 37, no. 1 on "Judicial Judgments: A Template" on the development of standards for the production of judgments by the Nunavut Court of Justice. 
  • The Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship: Not awarded this year.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:39 pm 0 comments

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2013 Conference Annual Reports

The 2013 conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries began today in Montreal. In preparation for the event, committees and special interest groups (SIGs) published annual reports about their activities last year.

Yesterday, I wrote about committee reports. Today, here is information from some of the SIG reports.

Academic Law Libraries:
The SIG uses its own listserv to communicate with members. It has used it ask for feedback on issues such as how to teach students to search SSRN (the open access Social Science Research Network). The SIG is also looking into creating a wiki to centralize research guides, tutorials and other teaching materials.
Government Libraries:

Last year, the former Department of Justice and Attorney General Libraries SIG changed focus to become the new Government Libraries SIG to include professionals from judicial, legislative, justice department and attorney general libraries.

One of big projects of this SIG is the updating of "Law Libraries in Canada", a profile of what is out there published in 2004.

Access Services and Resource Sharing:
With the implementation of new cataloguing rules (Resource Description and Access or RDA), the SIG is focussing on training activities, providing links on the CALL website to resources on RDA and blogging to help members with the transition to new rules.

The SIG's subcommittee on classification has completed its updates to the KF Modified Schedule for the areas of aboriginal law and taxation law. Since 2008, the subcommittee in conjunction with CALL's KF Modified Committee had been working on 7 major enhancements and they are now all done (the other areas being Quebec civil law, immigration, citizenship law, environmental law and labour law).

Private Law Libraries:
The SIG conducted a member survey to find out whether law firms have been moving toward subscribing to only one of either Quicklaw or Westlaw Canada. The results are at (you may need to login with your member ID).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:50 pm 0 comments

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2013 Conference - Annual Reports

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is beginning its 2013 annual conference tomorrow in Montreal.

Annual reports of committees and special interest groups have been submitted in anticipation of the general meeting.

Here are some of them:

Last summer, CALL donated $1,500 to the University of Manitoba to hire a summer student to complete the organizing of all outstanding association records and to create a finding aid for researchers.

Education Committee:
Its major activities are the New Law Librarians Institute (NLLI), an intensive, week-long program aimed at developing librarians' skills in the key competencies of law librarianship, and the organization of continuing education webinars.

The next NLLI will be hosted in 2014 at the University of Ottawa.

As for the webinars subcomittee, it held 5 successful sessions in 2012-2013 on legislative research, "60 sites in 60 minutes", new trends and issues in copyright, key resources for foreign and international legal research, and the integration of public legal information into private enterprise research tools. Net revenue from webinars last year was close to $6,000. 2013-2014 webinar ideas include: social media in law libraries, economical current awareness tools, making a business case, competitive intelligence, web searching tips, teaching with technology.

Committee to Promote Research:
Last year, to encourage applications for the association's research grants, the committee broadened its criteria so that “applicants may apply individually or in partnership with another researcher.” Applicants must be a member of CALL/ACBD, but their research partners do not need to be members. As there were no applications for the 2012 Research Grant in March, a second competition was conducted in October for the Research Grant of $3,000. The 2012 Research Grant was awarded to Kim Nayyer for her project “Resource ‐ Sharing Options for Canadian Law Libraries.”

Membership Development Committee:
The committee has been quite active in contacting lapsed members. The process revealed that CALL/ACBD can do a better job of advising members to renew. In terms of recruitment, many schools were visited including the Library and Information Technology program in the School of Business at the Nova Scotia Community College, the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa, and the iSchool, University of Toronto, Legal Librarianship class.

The committee also runs CALL's mentorship program and it conducted a student survey to gauge student interest in CALL. According to the survey, CALL must:
  • Market more aggressively and increase the number of Student Member Special Interest Groups (SIG’ S) to increase presence among the student population. Many of the students that completed the survey were unaware of what CALL/ACBD could offer them. 
  • Simplify the registration process by eliminating the need to have a faculty member sign the registration form. 
  • Focus on services that help connect students with jobs . Examples of services include job shadowing, law library tours, networking and mentoring programmes. 
  • Consider reducing student membership fees and/or offering special membershi p deals. Both the environment al scan and the survey showed that CALL/ACBD student fee s are high relative to other niche professional associations
KF Modified Classification Committee:
The regular updates to the KF Modified classification schedule (Library of Congress cataloguing system) have been completed along with the enhancement of the section on "Indians. Native Peoples. Aboriginals. Inuit". The enhancement of the Taxation section has also been finished and the Committee will review this work with plans to incorporate it into the classification schedule later this year. This leaves the enhancement for Access to Information/Privacy left to complete.

Canadian Law Library Review:
There are changes to the editorial board, the most notable being the nomination of Susan Barker as the new editor as of May 2013. Other notable happenings include the completion by Janet Moss of the history of CALL's most recent 25 years. During 2013, this history will be published in four parts in the pages of the Review.

As well, Cambridge University Press, which publishes the journal Legal Information Management (Brtitish and Irish Association of Law Librarians), has approached CALL to consider a publishing relationship. If things work out and CALL and Cambridge find a way of cooperating, this could broaden the Review's audience tremendously.

Canadian Abridgment Editorial Advisory Board:
It meets twice a year with Carswell, the publisher owned by Westlaw.

The Board has been advised of the Abridgment publishing program for the 2013-2014 period: In 2013, ten titles will be reissued, totaling approximately 25 volumes (Debtor and Creditor; Financial Institutions/Guarantee and Indemnity; Public Law; Commercial Law; Communications Law/Conflict of Laws; Intellectual Property; Natural Resources; Pensions); in 2014, Labour and Employment will be reissued. Estates and Trusts was reissued in June 2012 with five volumes. Municipal Law was reissued in August 2012 with 15 volumes. Canada Law Book content, including the Western Legal Publications digest services, will be used to improve the classification digests, especially in Intellectual Property, Communication Law, and Public Law.

As for the Index to Canadian Legal Literature, the Board has been informed about improvements to the indexing of provincial and federal government reports, including Law Reform Commission documents.

Canada Law Book (CLB) content continues to be integrated into Westlaw products. The full ‐ text of the cases available in the Dominion Law Reports and the Canadian Criminal Cases will be included in Westlaw Canada. Thousands of tribunal decisions will be added to Westlaw Canada. CLB and Westlaw Canada treatment types differ, but they are now being combined and are live in Westlaw.

Finally, Carswell is investigating the possibility of making the McGill Guide (Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 7th ed.) available electronically.

I hope to add more information about CALL annual reports tomorrow or Monday.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:53 am 0 comments

New E-Book on Canada's Top Copyright cases

University of Ottawa Press has published The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law available in print and as a free download under a Creative Commons licence. Individual chapters or the entire book can be downloaded:
"In the summer of 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada issued rulings on five copyright cases in a single day. The cases represent a seismic shift in Canadian copyright law, with the Court providing an unequivocal affirmation that copyright exceptions such as fair dealing should be treated as users’ rights, while emphasizing the need for a technology neutral approach to copyright law."

"The Court’s decisions, which were quickly dubbed the 'copyright pentalogy,' included no fees for song previews on services such as iTunes, no additional payment for music included in downloaded video games, and that copying materials for instructional purposes may qualify as fair dealing. The Canadian copyright community soon looked beyond the cases and their litigants and began to debate the larger implications of the decisions. Several issues quickly emerged."

"This book represents an effort by some of Canada’s leading copyright scholars to begin the process of examining the long-term implications of the copyright pentalogy. The diversity of contributors ensures an equally diverse view on these five cases, contributions are grouped into five parts. Part 1 features three chapters on the standard of review in the courts. Part 2 examines the fair dealing implications of the copyright pentalogy, with five chapters on the evolution of fair dealing and its likely interpretation in the years ahead. Part 3 contains two chapters on technological neutrality, which the Court established as a foundational principle of copyright law. The scope of copyright is assessed in Part 4 with two chapters that canvas the exclusive rights under the copyright and the establishment of new “right” associated with user-generated content. Part 5 features two chapters on copyright collective management and its future in the aftermath of the Court’s decisions."

"This volume represents the first comprehensive scholarly analysis of the five rulings. Edited by Professor Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, the volume includes contributions from experts across Canada. This indispensable volume identifies the key aspects of the Court's decisions and considers the implications for the future of copyright law in Canada."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:06 am 0 comments

Thursday, May 02, 2013

New CanLII Single Search Interface

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, has launched a new beta search interface:
"[It is] designed to unify the functionalities of its search engine under a single form that is at once easier and more powerful to use. This beta site allows our users to get comfortable with this new tool, its functionalities and its organization. As this interface evolves over the coming months, we invite you to send us your comments and suggestions."
Of course, the regular CanLII site is not disappearing. CanLII, whose funding comes from members of Canada’s provincial and territorial law societies, makes Canadian jurisprudence and statutes available for free via the Internet. It already contains over 1 million documents across over 200 collections, including the statutes, regulations and current court rulings of all Federal, Provincial and Territorial Jurisdictions.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:04 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

CLA Government Library Network Interview With Seneca Libraries' Graham Lavender

The CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has launched 13 Questions With..., a new series on its website that profiles a member of the Canadian library and IM community every week.

This week's interview is with Graham Lavender, Teaching and Learning Librarian, Seneca Libraries.

"Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Take any opportunity to network, whether you’re a student, a job seeker, or an employed professional. Even if you don’t need to find a job immediately, meeting people now will give you the opportunity to learn from others and build a strong, supportive network (...) ""

"What would you like your headstone to read?
A QR code that links to my blog – in case I find a way to post from beyond the grave."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:50 pm 0 comments