Thursday, October 29, 2015

Networking Can Be Learned Like Any Other Skill

Leslie Hicks and Tracy Maleeff co-wrote what was judged the best contributed paper at the SLA 2015 conference held in June in Boston. SLA (Special Libraries Association) is an international information professional organization.

The paper - Network Like Nobody’s Watching: Demystifying Networking as a Skill for the Librarian and Information Professional Community - explains how important networking is and how it can be taught like any other skill:
"Networking is an important skill to practice, hone, and have in your professional development toolkit. It is a skill that can be particularly difficult for Information Professionals to master. Too often, the label of "introvert" will be used as an excuse as to why someone hasn't mastered this skill. In this paper, the importance of networking as a skill, and not a byproduct of a personality trait, will be discussed. We will also address strategies and tools that information professionals can use to become better networkers and develop a network that is strong, diverse, and helps them get to where they want to go in their career."
The SLA Blog this week tells the interesting story of how the two met and how they decided to write the article.


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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WILU 2016 Library Instruction Conference in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia will be hosting the 2016 WILU conference May 30-June 1, 2016.

WILU stands for Workshop for Instruction in Library Use and is an annual conference devoted to research and innovations in the area of information literacy and library instruction.

The organizers sent out a call for proposals last week:
"The theme of the WILU 2016 conference is Intersections. Intersections refers to:
  • education that is instructor lead and community generated;
  • the growing interdependence of information literacy and digital literacy;
  • the pedagogical impact on practice in the classroom;
  • the growth of educational innovation and reflective sustainable practices;
  • preparation for academic work and building enthusiasm for life-long learning; and
  • the goals of the library nurturing an information literate community through partnerships outside of our own institutions. "
WILU was founded in 1972.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:56 pm 0 comments

OECD Environment at a Glance Report

This is a follow-up to the post of October 18, 2015 entitled New Climate Initiatives Database that described a database commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers to track initiatives from around the world to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released a report called Environment at a Glance that describes the progress on major environmental issues in advanced industrial economies:
"Environment at a Glance 2015 highlights the many OECD countries that have succeeded in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, and those that have increased their share of renewables in energy supply, improved their waste management, or innovated to more efficiently manage their water resources. The data are there to prove it: whether we are talking about natural resource consumption, waste generation or air emissions, decoupling is possible. These positive developments are attributable both to the rise of the services sector and with it, the displacement of resource- and pollution-intensive production abroad, as well as to policy action and technical progress. The economic crisis also contributed to relieve some pressures on the environment."

"Environment at a Glance also reveals where progress has slowed or is insufficient. There is substantial scope for strengthening air and climate policies, changing patterns of energy consumption, improving waste and materials management, preserving biodiversity and natural assets, and implementing more integrated policies – all critical components of green growth and sustainable development. Many positive developments still take place at the margin and policies often lack coherence, thus undermining efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts."

"Climate change has been on our agenda for many years. It is now an urgent challenge and a potentially irreversible threat to future economic development and well-being. The carbon intensity of the energy used in human activities has hardly changed since 1990 and fossil fuels continue to dominate energy supply. CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, calculated by the International Energy Agency, have increased by 36% globally since 2000, in line with global economic growth. With current policies, global energy-related CO2 emissions are estimated to reach three times the level they need to be at in 2050 to limit the long-term increase in global temperatures to 2°C. More recent estimates indicate a flattening of the CO2 emission growth rate in 2014, not tied to economic activity. Whether this indicates a new trend remains to be seen in the years to come."

"Countries continue to support fossil fuel production and consumption in many ways. Not all fossil fuels are treated equal. Variations in energy tax rates, uneven price signals, low levels of taxation on fuels with high environmental impacts, and exemptions for fuel used in some sectors impede the transition to a low-carbon economy. Coal is usually the least heavily taxed of all fossil fuels but the most carbon-intensive fuel available for electricity generation. This suggests important opportunities for reforming countries’ tax systems, aligning policies and achieving environmental goals more cost effectively."
[Source: Library Journal Infodocket]


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:48 pm 0 comments

When Does an Elected Candidate Become an MP?

This is a follow-up to the post of October 21, 2015 entitled Library of Parliament Article on Opening of Next Parliament.

In July, the Library of Parliament updated a publication that explains When Does an Elected Candidate Become a Member of the House of Commons?:
"It is not entirely clear at what precise moment a successful candidate in a federal election technically becomes a member of the House of Commons. Among the dates used to mark this transition, the most important are:
  • polling day/election day;
  • the day the election writ is returned to the Chief Electoral Officer;
  • the day the Chief Electoral Officer sends a certified list of members to the Clerk of the House of Commons;
  • the day the member takes the oath of office; and
  • the day the member takes his or her seat."
"This paper will examine arguments for and against each of these as the date on which a duly elected person should be considered a member of the House of Commons."

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Public Service Survey Confirms Supreme Court of Canada as Best Workplace

Every three years, the Treasury Board Secretariat and Statistics Canada conduct a Public Service Employee Survey to measure employees' opinions about their wokrplace.

As reported in an article by Jake Cole in the most recent issue of The Hill Times [registration required], the Supreme Court of Canada once again stands out as the best place to work in the federal public service.

As you can see from the survey results for the Court, the levels of satisfaction and confidence in upper management expressed by Court employees are often way above the average of the entire public service.

As Cole writes:
"Open communications is preached and practised. Employees are kept fully apprised of senior-level decisions and, in many cases, get to have a say in those decisions."

"A lot of effort goes into training, learning and professional development for all employees at all levels. Staff are also encouraged and given as many opportunities as possible to work in different sectors within the SCC. For example, interdisciplinary groups are established and a cross-section of employees is currently working on an agency-wide effort to simplify business processes at SCC."

"Mr. Bilodeau [Roger Bilodeau, Registrar of the Court] tries to communicate personally, as much as possible, with all of his staff. With respect to implementing changes, he says that he makes every effort to explain why changes are needed, to solicit suggested adjustments, and then to ask how to best implement those changes."
Cole also describes some of the Court's values and best practices:
"It appears that Mr. Bilodeau knows everyone at the court by their first name and employees have ready access to him."

"Staff want to do well and get ahead but more for the good of the agency than just for themselves."

"The Supreme Court holds bi-weekly 'tips and tricks' presentations where employees can learn such things as novel research techniques to help improve their work." [note: the sessions are now once a month]

"Periodic all-staff meetings are also arranged so employees can see what court cases are coming up and the key issues involved."

"SCC organizes a number of social events for all employees during the year."
As one staffer interviewed by Cole explains:
"My work makes me feel like I'm becoming part of history."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:42 pm 1 comments

Monday, October 26, 2015

Supreme Court of Canada Hearings Calendar for November 2015

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for November 2015.

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 4:00 pm 0 comments

Saturday, October 24, 2015

New Study Supports the Wikibook Model of Public Legal Education

This is an update to the Library Boy post of October 19, 2015 entitled New Guide for Self-Representing Litigants in British Columbia.

That post referred to a new wikibook on legal research for the general public launched by Courthouse Libraries BC. Wikibooks are e-books created using the same platform as the collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Courthouse Libraries BC has a public legal education website called Clicklaw that produces its collection of wikibooks.

The Clicklaw blog last week posted an article about a recent evaluation of one of its wikibooks, JP Boyd on Family Law:
"During the five-month data collection period, an estimated 63,000 users accessed the wikibook. Our evaluation showed that users consider the wikibook to be a highly informative resource. It is used both by members of the public and legal professionals, and many users had accessed the site on more than one occasion. Most users said that the wikibook is easy to use, they knew more after visiting the wikibook than they had before, and they would recommend the wikibook to others. Almost all users found the wikibook useful, agreed that they were able to find the information they needed quickly and easily, and were able to understand that information."

"When asked what they liked best about the wikibook, the most common responses were that the website is easy to navigate, easy to understand, and very informative. When asked what they liked least about the wikibook, the most common comments were that, despite the significant breadth of the resource, it did not have the information they were looking for or the information they found was not presented in sufficient depth."

"Interestingly, only one-third of users who said that they were currently dealing with a legal problem said that they had a lawyer. Most users with a legal problem said that the information in the wikibook helped them to deal with their problem and that the information would help them in the future.  Further, our findings suggest that the wikibook is being used by a large number self-represented litigants, as well as residents in smaller communities where access to legal information may be limited."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:35 pm 0 comments

40 Year Timeline of the Australian Law Reform Commission

The Australian Law Reform Commission is celebrating its 40th anniverary.

To mark the occasion, the Commission has produced a graphic timeline on its website.

The timeline contains "snapshots of pivotal moments, sound bites from eminent alumni, photos and more."

Since its foundation in 1975, the Commission has played an important role in independently researching, consulting on and evaluating Australia’s laws and legal frameworks.

Many Canadian provinces still have law reform commissions but the federal Law Commission of Canada was abolished in 2006 by the recently defeated Conservative government of Stephen Harper.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Most Notable Documents in United Nations History

The Dag Hammarskjöld Library at the United Nations headquarters in New York recently held a contest asking visitors to its website to vote for the most important United Nations documents since the founding of the international organization 70 years ago.

One document was chosen for each decade:
  • 1946 - 1955: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
  • 1956 - 1965: Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959)
  • 1966 - 1975: Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
  • 1976 - 1985: Security Council resolutions on establishment of UNIFIL (1978)
  • 1986 - 1995: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change established (1988)
  • 1996 - 2005: UN Millennium Declaration (2000)
  • 2006 - 2015: Adoption of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015)
There have been other library-sponsored contests of a similar nature in the past.

GODORT, the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association, used to organize an annual contest asking people to nominate government documents for consideration for an annual review article in Library Journal. Government documents could be American or international (so this includes Canadian material).

One Canadian government document recognized by GODORT was Learning from SARS: Renewal of Public Health in Canada; A Report of the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health (Health Canada, 2003)

The GODORT contest ran from 1983 to 2006.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Library of Parliament Article on Opening of Next Parliament

The Library of Parliament's HillNotes blog published an article called Welcome to Canada’s 42nd Parliament! that explains what happens now that the federal elections are over.

It covers the following steps:
  • Convening Parliament 
  • Swearing-in procedure
  • Formal opening of Parliament 
  • Parliamentary committees

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:01 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Webinar on Collaborating to Preserve and Access Legal Information

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is holding a webinar on October 28, 2015 on Collaborating to Preserve and Access Legal Information.

The event will take place from 1 to 2:30PM Eastern time.

From the summary:
"The rate at which information is created in the modern world is astonishing. 90% of the world's data has been generated in the past two years! This explosive pace is quickly exceeding our ability to manage legal information using traditional management models. The need to collaborate around the preservation of and access to legal information has never been more apparent."

"Law libraries are straddling two worlds; print and digital. Some materials are available as print only, some e-only, and some can be acquired in both formats. And while information may be exploding, library budgets are not. In fact, many of our libraries are shrinking while we slowly dispose of our legacy print collections. In order for law libraries in Canada to continue to serve their constituent bases, strong and sustainable collaborations are needed. In this webinar, Kim Nayyer will share some key findings of her CALL/ACBD-funded research into resource sharing goals of the multi-sector Canadian law library community. Tracy Thompson will highlight a specific example currently under way in the US: The PALMPrint Project (Preserving America's Legal Materials in Print) brings together over 60 law libraries to address the need for long-term, just-in-case access to print legal materials in a reliable and cost-effective way. Louis Mirando will explore areas of need for law library collaboration in Canada amongst institutions of all types and sizes. The webinar will end with an open discussion of possible next steps."
The speakers are:
  • Tracy L. Thompson, Executive Director of the NELLCOlaw library consortium
  • Louis Mirando, Chief Law Librarian at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University
  • Kim Nayyer, Associate University Librarian for Law at the University of Victoria

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:42 pm 0 comments

Monday, October 19, 2015

New Guide for Self-Representing Litigants in British Columbia

Courthouse Libraries BC recently launched a new wikibook entitled Beginner's Guide to Finding Legal Information.

Topics include:
  • What Is My Legal Topic and What Are My Rights?
  • Which Area of Law Does My Problem Fall Under?
  • How Do I Find the Laws That Concern My Legal Problem?
  • Do I Need to Go to Court?
  • Which Court Do I Need to Go to?
  • How Do I Find Court Forms?
  • How Do I Find Case Law?
  • How Do I Find Out About Court Procedures?
  • Primary Sources and How to Find Them
  • Secondary Resources and How to Find Them
  • How Can I Tell If a Secondary Resource Is Reliable and If I Should Use It?
The full list of wikibooks is available on the Clicklaw website.

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

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the first half of the month of October 2015 is now available on the Court website.

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

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

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Canadian Newspapers Release 9th Annual National Freedom of Information Audit

Last week, Newspapers Canada, a joint initiative of the Canadian Newspaper Association and the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, released its 9th annual National Freedom of Information Audit report:
"The 2015 FOI audit sent almost 450 access requests to federal government departments and crown corporations, ministries, departments and agencies in all provinces and territories, and to municipalities and police forces. As in previous audits, identical requests were sent to all government bodies at each level of government, allowing their responses to be compared on how fast they responded, how much information they released and the fees they charged. This year, each government body also received its own unique request. These were on specific and topical issues."

"The results showed familiar, entrenched patterns, and some new ones. If you want to obtain information from Canada’s cities, you can expect reasonably speedy service. Provinces, on average, take a little longer, and the federal government trails far behind. You should be prepared to wait a long time, and have more information blacked out, if you file a request under the Access to Information Act. Federal agencies, on average, twice as long to reply as the municipalities to answer requests, and that doesn’t include the requests that had not had a reply by the end of the audit."


"But speed is only part of the picture. The audit also looked at how much information was released, and found the government bodies most open with information were Halifax and Moncton (though the Moncton total doesn’t include police requests) and the least open were, for varying reasons, the Province of Quebec, and Nunavut. The federal government was toward the back of the pack."
The Association was particularly harsh in its comments about the federal government's access to information practices:
"There is no doubt that the federal access system is critically sick. Departments can take months to answer requests, even though the normal time from start to finish is supposed to be 30 days or fewer. Departments routinely disregard requests to provide data in machine-readable formats. And departments ask for clarifications on minor points in requests, warning that requests will be 'deemed abandoned' if answers are not received."

"The glacial slowness of the federal access system was perhaps best exemplified by the more than two months it took for Environment Canada to release a list of the department’s Twitter user names. That compared to nine provincial and municipal bodies that released the same information in a day or less ..."

"Indeed, the federal government routinely takes longer to process requests than provincial and municipal governments asked for exactly the same information."
As in previous audits, the Association highlighted a few darts (negative results) and laurels:

  • Environment Canada for taking two months to provide a list of Twitter user names
  • Canada Post for refusing all access to records created in the past two years dealing with the impact of the conversion from home-delivery to community mailboxes on elderly Canadians and Canadians with disabilities. Governments at all levels for refusing to provide electronic records in machine-readable formats, rendering data difficult to use.
  • Police forces across Canada for, as a group, their reluctance to release information in the audit. Winnipeg police in particular for suggesting it would take years to respond to a request for police calls data, and Toronto police, for extending the time to respond to the same request by nine months.
  • P.E.I. and Saskatchewan for continuing to exclude municipal police forces from their access regimes, and P.E.I. for being the only province to shield municipal governments from this important accountability information.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador for removing all application fees, and drastically paring back other fees, as part of an overhaul of its access regime.
  • Halifax and Moncton for earning a grade of A for both speed of response and completeness of disclosure 
  • Quebec City police for being the only police force in the country to fully release an electronic file of officers, their ranks and their salary ranges.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and PEI for releasing all of the requests for data in full, in machine readable formats.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:30 pm 0 comments

Enhancements to MetaLib Federated Search Tool for U.S. Federal Government Information

This is an update to the Library Boy post of October 18, 2010 entitled MetaLib Federated Search Tool for U.S. Federal Government Information.

The Metalib search tool, which allows users to simultaneously search through multiple collections of United States government, legislative, technical and scientific information, recently announced a number of enhancements:
  • in Advanced search, it is possible to search for freedom-of-information (FOI) requests
  • there are a number of new databases that have been added: in addition to those pertaining to FOI, there are new Department of Energy collections, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Historical Maps and Charts and access to library catalogues of agencies such as the U.S. Fire Administration Library

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:58 pm 0 comments

New Climate Initiatives Database

The Nordic Council of Ministers has commissioned a database called the Climate Initiatives Platform to track initiatives from around the world to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

From the About section:
"The Website is currently a work in progress or 'open beta' release and presents interim results of this ongoing project. The information included on initiatives in this first phase is a 'snapshot' drawn from information provided on publicly available websites and documents. Information was gathered during Autumn 2014 and the authors have attempted to faithfully represent basic information about the initiatives in order to steer the user to the initiative and its work."
Initiatives cover a range of areas including  energy production and supply and renewable energy policy and they have been launched by national and subnational governments, NGOs and corporations.

The database is being updated to present the most recent data and developments during the upcoming COP21 climate conference in Paris. The database will be transferred after the conference to the United Nations Environment Programme.

[Source: Infodocket]

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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Statistics Canada Article on Trends in Offences Against the Administration of Justice

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat today published an article on Trends in offences against the administration of justice.

Administration of justice offences include Criminal Code violations such as failure to comply with conditions, to comply with an order, to appear in court and breach of probation.

In 2014, about 1 in 10 Criminal Code (excluding traffic) police-reported offences was such an offence.

Among the highlights of the report:
  • In adult criminal courts, over one-third of all completed cases involved at least one administration of justice charge. 
  • The rate of police-reported incidents of offences against the administration of justice decreased by 7% between 2004 and 2014, much less than the 34% decline in the overall crime rate. Despite the decrease in the rate of administration of justice offences, there has been an increase in the proportion of them that result in a charge, especially for women (+21% since 2004).
  • Despite the overall decline in police-reported incidents of administration of justice offences over the past decade, the most common police-reported administration of justice offence – failure to comply with conditions – increased in 2014. The proportion of completed adult criminal court cases that included administration of justice offences increased from 2005/2006 to 2013/2014.
  • In 2013/2014, 39% of cases completed in adult criminal courts included at least one offence against the administration of justice among the charges. Findings of guilt were more common in these cases than in cases that did not include administration of justice charges.

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Law Commission of England Final Report on Patents, Trade Marks and Designs: Unjustified Threats

The Law Commission of England and Wales this week published a final report on Patents, Trade Marks and Designs: Unjustified Threats along with a draft bill for consideration by the UK Parliament:
"Patents, trade marks and design rights are valuable intellectual property (IP) rights and a vital foundation of economic growth. These rights ensure that innovation is rewarded and encouraged. The law provides a means by which they can be effectively enforced; however, this can be misused to stifle new ideas and competition. The mere threat of infringement proceedings is capable of causing significant commercial damage to a business by driving customers away."
The Commission is proposing new legal provisions to:
  • protect retailers, suppliers and customers against threats,
  • provide more certainty over what approaches can be made legitimately to potential infringers,
  • bring more clarity over when businesses can safely threaten competitors who do infringe their IP rights, and
  • protect professional advisers from being sued for making threats when they act for their clients

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

Updated Guide to Research on Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

GlobaLex, the electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, recently updated its Guide to Research on Vienna Convention on Consular Relations:
"Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which 177 nations are party, requires a nation arresting or detaining a foreign national to afford the detainee access to his or her consulate and to notify the foreign national of the right of consular access. In the number of U.S. cases involving foreign nationals, defendants have raised the issue of failure by the detaining authorities to make the necessary notifications. Many of these cases have involved death penalty and a number of cases have been heard by the Supreme Court. A series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions have underscored the difficulty of this issue: treaties are negotiated on behalf of the United States, while arrests and prosecutions are made on the local level. Although the principle of U.S. compliance with the treaty obligations is accepted, enforcement has been spotty, and there has been no meaningful penalty for non-compliance at the local level. Foreign governments have brought challenges to the United States in the International Court of Justice, which has ruled against the United States on three occasions during the period from 1998 through 2004. Following the latest ICJ ruling, the Bush Administration withdrew from the Optional Protocol to the Consular Convention submitting to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. This guide describes sources required to research the issue of compliance with the Vienna Convention notification obligations; whether the need is of a practical or scholarly nature."
The Guide is divided into sections on:
  • treaty sources
  • preparatory works
  • materials on implementation and interpretation in the USA
  • jurisprudence
  • secondary sources

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:53 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Upcoming Interview Series With Past Decade's Clawbie Winners

For the past 10 years, the Clawbies (Canadian Law Blog Awards) have recognized the most interesting, timely and helpful law or legal-industry-related blogs in Canada.

Stem Legal, the firm behind the initiative, is launching a series of interviews with many of the candidates to see what they are up to:
"In anticipation of this year’s 10th annual Clawbies, we looked back at those original winners and runners up, and were glad to see so many of them still blogging regularly. Curious about the secrets to their longevity, we asked them to answer a few questions about their decade of blogging expertise. The result is a series of mini-interviews that we’ll publish over the coming weeks here on Law Firm Web Strategy, starting tomorrow with London, Ontario trademark and tech lawyer David Canton. Stay tuned!"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:43 pm 0 comments

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Proposal to Create Federation of Library Associations to Replace Canadian Library Association

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has been meeting in recent months with representatives from other regional and sectoral library associations to discuss the CLA's dissolutioin and its replacement by a new national structure that would reinforce collaboration amongst the associations, and leverage their combined membership to create a stronger, unified national lobbying voice. 

The working group of association stakeholders has written  a proposal entitled Toward a Federation of Library Associations in Canada: Strengthening the national voice for Canadian libraries:
"This paper discusses the current societal and library sector contexts for CLA as a national association. It describes the discussions with and work undertaken by library sector leaders to date to contemplate a new form for Canada’s national library advocacy voice and presents a proposal for the evolution of CLA into a national federation of library associations called Canadian Federation of Library Associations / Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA/FCAB). This evolution would occur through a formal dissolution of CLA and the creation of the new national federation described in this proposal."
Over the upcoming weeks, the various participating associations will be sending out member surveys to solicit input to determine how to push forward.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic of the future of the CLA include:
  • New Blog on the Future of the Canadian Library Association (April 6, 2015): "The CLA is proposing a new model based on the concept of a federated 'association of associations' to replace the existing direct membership model that is seen as inadequate and obsolete. It would somehow bring together existing provincial/territorial and national sectoral associations (e.g. health, law, etc.)."
  • News From Working Group on the Future of the Canadian Library Association (April 25, 2015): "The Future CLA blog set up by the CLA Executive to share information about its reorganization efforts recently published  a number of documents on what has been happening (...)"


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:02 pm 0 comments

US Supreme Court Tackles Link Rot Problem

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of September 27, 2015 entitled Profile Article About Inventor of Anti-Link Rot Web Tool.

That post discussed a recent article about Harvard Law Library director Jonathan Zittrain who played a major role in the creation of a tool to help law journals and courts deal with link rot. Link rot refers to broken URLs or to URLs that direct to the original site but whose corresponding document has been removed or relocated without any information about where to find it.

Zittrain was the co-author of an article a few years ago that found that 50% of the links cited in U.S. Supreme Court opinions no longer worked properly.

The New York Times reported last week that the Court has created a dedicated page on its website where it posts permanent copies of the materials to which it links in its decisions.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:44 pm 0 comments

Thursday, October 08, 2015

SLA Webinar on Disaster Preparedness

The international information professional organization SLA (Special Libraries Association) is organizing a webinar on Thursday, October 22 entitled Disaster Preparedness and Response Cross-collaboration: We Are All in This Together.

The speaker is Dr. Christine Hagar, Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University.

The free one-hour event begins at begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:11 pm 0 comments

Alberta Law Reform Institute Final Report on Matrimonial Property Valuation

The Alberta Law Reform Institute has issued its final report on Matrimonial Property Act: Valuation Date.

The Matrimonial Property Act (MPA) in Alberta sets out the default rules that govern the division of spouses’ matrimonial property after separation and divorce. The term valuation date refers to the date matrimonial property is valued for division. Valuation of matrimonial property is an important part of the division process; but, the MPA does not specify a valuation date.

In recent years, the valuation date in Alberta has been the date of the trial which can be uncertain. Many other Canadian provinces use the date the spouses separate as the valuation date.

The report makes a number of recommendations including:

  • The MPA should expressly provide that spouses may agree on a valuation date. An agreement will reduce cost and delay, and allow the spouses to pinpoint the end of their economic partnership.
  • If spouses cannot agree on a valuation date, matrimonial property should be valued at the date of separation. It fits better with the Divorce Act and other family law statutes which already use the date of separation to mark the end of the relationship. Further, using separation as the default valuation date should facilitate settlement, reduce cost and delay, and allow decisions to be made on the basis of more accurate information.
  • Flexibility to respond to changes in the value of matrimonial property that happen after valuation but before division can best be achieved by using section 8 of the MPA.
  • To reflect separation as the default valuation date, the list of factors in section 8 should include post-separation changes in the value of matrimonial property and the circumstances of the change.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:55 pm 0 comments

Webcast of the Quebec Bar Association Federal Election Debate

This is a follow up to the Library Boy post of October 6, 2015 entitled Quebec Bar Association Federal Election Debate Live Webcast Tomorrow.

Yesterday, the Quebec Bar Association organized a debate about justice issues with representatives from parties running in the October 19 federal elections.

The webcast has been archived on the Bar Association's website.

The Bloc québécois, the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party of Canada took part. The Conservatives and the Greens did not take part.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:46 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Academic Law Library Statistics 2013–2014 Report

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) released a new publication earlier this week entitled ARL Academic Law Library Statistics 2013-2014 (available for $170US).

It describes collections, expenditures, personnel, and services in 74 law libraries at ARL member institutions in the US and Canada.

Among the highlights from reporting institutions:

  • they held a median of 446,813 volumes
  • spent a total of $220,389,561 (US)
  • employed 1,831 FTE staff
  • Expenditures for materials and staff accounted for the bulk of total expenditures, at approximately 48% and 44% respectively
Canadian ARL members include University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, Université Laval, McGill, University of Ottawa, Queen's, University of Saskatchewan, University of Toronto, York.

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

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Policy Options October 2015 Issue on Stephen Harper and the Judiciary

Policy Options, the journal of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, has devoted its October 2015 issue to judicial appointments under the federal Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen  Harper.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:13 pm 0 comments

Quebec Bar Association Federal Election Debate Live Webcast Tomorrow

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post Elections 2015: Parties Respond to CBA Questions on Access to Justice of September 24, 2015.

Tomorrow starting at noon, the Quebec Bar Association is organizing a debate in Montreal about what the major federal parties running in the October 19 elections are proposing in terms of justice policies.

The debate will be webcast live on the Association's website

The main topics to be covered in the debate are:
  • access to justice
  • criminal law and sentencing policies
  • administration of justice
  • social issues (right to die, murdered and missing aboriginal women, refugees etc.)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 10:56 am 0 comments

Friday, October 02, 2015

American Museum of Tort Law (the "Ralph Nader" Museum) Opens in Connecticut

Check out the September 28, 2015 article in The New Yorker on Ralph Nader's Tort Museum.

Last month, the American Museum of Tort Law opened in Winsted, Connecticut.

The museum is the idea of the famous American consumer advocate and lawyer Ralph Nader who comes from Winsted:
"Nader’s consumer-protection advocacy is the lifeblood of the museum. In the center of the museum sits a cherry-red Chevrolet Corvair, the car Nader disgraced in his 1965 book 'Unsafe at Any Speed'."(...)

"In an unfortunate irony for the museum, its building is located directly across the street from the local ambulance service and its fleet of ambulances. But during the opening, a group of E.M.T.s walked across the street with a copy of their training textbook for Mr. Nader to sign. 'Why does a car door not fly open in a crash?' one paragraph begins. 'The answer is the Nader pin (named for Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who lobbied for the device), a case-hardened pin in an automobile door. In a collision, the cams in the door locks grasp the pin to keep the door from flying open, preventing occupants from being thrown from the vehicle. All cars sold in the United States since 1966 have the Nader pin.' He signed his name next to this paragraph and requested a copy for the museum."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:04 pm 0 comments

Canadian Forum on Civil Justice September 2015 Access to Justice Newsletter

The non-profit Canadian Forum on Access to Justice (CFCJ) publishes a monthly newsletter about Access to Justice.

The latest issue of the newsletter includes: 
  • an article on the Final Report of the CFCJ’s Cost of Civil Justice Attrition in BC's Courts
  • news about the United Nations Global Study on Legal Aid
  • news about conferences 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:49 pm 0 comments

Thursday, October 01, 2015

October 2015 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter

The October 2015 issue of In Session is available online.

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:37 pm 0 comments