Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Petition to House of Commons to Fix Crown Copyright

University of Alberta Copyright Librarian Amanda Wakaruk is asking people to sign the petition she started to get the Canadian government to fix Crown copyright.

Her text has quickly been shared on social media and various librarian discussion lists:
"Canada is one of many countries stating a commitment to Open Government. It is also, conversely, one of a decreasing number of countries to retain a legal provision that gives the government the sole right to reproduce and distribute works produced for public consumption. For example, the vast majority of federal US government works are in the public domain (i.e., not protected by copyright and thus available for the public to re-use without permission)."

"Decades of stakeholder requests to abolish or at least update the Crown copyright provision in the Copyright Act have been largely ignored. This has resulted in a barrier to the re-use of government publications prepared for and paid for by Canadian taxpayers. For example, the refusal of government departments to allow for the copying of content made freely available on their web sites, and then deleted from those same sites, resulted in the loss of countless digital government works in recent years. (Note that very few government publications continue to be produced in paper.)"

"Removing copyright protection from government works made available to the public will allow individuals, corporations, and other organizations to make better use of these important resources. It will also allow librarians to continue their role as stewards of government information in a digital world."

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Northwest Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Conference August 2017

Librarians who handle inter-library loans will be interested in the Northwest Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing Conference taking place August 10-11 2017 at Portland State University in downtown Portland, Oregon.

The program will look at issues relating to:
  • Copyright issues and interlibrary loan
  • Leadership and management in resource sharing
  • ILL workflow solutions for all library types
  • Emerging and changing technology in interlibrary loan and resource sharing
Early Bird Registration ends July 10, 2017.

You can have a look at the content of past conferences online.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on US Courts and Judicial Opinions

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is hosting a webinar on June 22, 2017 called US Courts and Judicial Opinions for the Canadian Legal Researcher (Part Two) . It starts at 1PM Eastern time:
"This program will cover the structure of the US court system and the sources of judicial opinions, comparing the US with Canada. Focusing on stare decisis and other characteristics of US judicial opinions, differences between US and Canadian publication practices will be emphasized."
The speaker is Professor Penny A. Hazelton who has worked at the University of Washington, the US Supreme Court Library, and the University of Maine.

Part One of the webinar, US Legislation for Canadian Legal Researchers (Part One), took place March 2.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Canadian Bar Association Child Rights Toolkit

The Canadian Bar Association has developed a Child Rights Toolkit "for professionals working in legal and administrative decision-making who want to better understand and implement a child rights based approach in practice and strengthen their advocacy for children."

There are four topics covered:
  • Fundamentals: where child rights come from, what they are, who is responsible and the status of child rights in Canada
  • The System: Cross-Cutting Themes: independent human rights institutions and child rights impact assessments
  • The Child: Cross-Cutting Themes: Charter rights, best interests of the child, child participation, legal representation and freedom from all forms of violence.
  • Legal Areas: information and law in specific legal domains such as child protection, family law, youth criminal justice, and immigration


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Master List of Competencies for Information Professionals

The website has compiled a list of Competencies for Information Professionals developed by associations and other professional bodies.

The list breaks down into the following categories:
  • General
  • Academic Librarianship
  • Archives
  • Art Librarianship 
  • Assessment
  • Children and Youth Librarianship
  • Collections Management
  • Data Management
  • Government Librarianship
  • Health and Medical Librarianship
  • Information / Document / Records Management
  • Law Librarianship
  • Library Technicians
  • Map Librarianship
  • Metadata and Cataloguing
  • Music Librarianship
  • Reference and Information Services
  • Scholarly Communications
  • School Librarianship
The Canadian Association of Law Libraries in recent years has prepared two documents on so-called Professional Development Pathways:
  • Implementing CALL/ACBD Professional Development Pathways: "The Canadian Association of Law Libraries, through the Professional Development Committee, will make best efforts to provide a broad array of professional development opportunities that are designed to build members’ knowledge and skill in the following areas:
    • Collection Development, Cataloguing, Metadata and Information Organization
    • Information Technology 
    • Instruction 
    • Knowledge Management 
    • Leadership, Management and Professionalism 
    • Reference and Research Services 
    • Substantive Law"
  • CALL/ACBD Professional Development Pathways (list of competencies)

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Recording Available for Webinar on New Open Access Repository LawArXiv

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy posting of April 18, 2017 called Legal Information Preservation Alliance Webinar on Open Access Law Repositories.

It described a webinar about LaxArxiv, a new open access site for legal scholarship that is the result of a collaboration between the Legal Information Preservation Alliance, the Mid-America Law Library Consortium, the NELLCO Law Library Consortium, and the Cornell Law Library.

The webinar, which was held on April 27, highlights the importance of open access repositories and the features of the LawArXiv platform. A recording of the webinar is available to view.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Complete Collection of Alter Ego Treatises Now Available on CAIJ Quebec Legal Info Portal

All of the books in the Alter Ego series by Montreal-based publisher Wilson & Lafleur are now available on the website of the CAIJ, the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association).

This includes the following works:
  • Chartes des droits de la personne (Alter Ego 2016)
  • Code de procédure civile du Québec (Alter Ego 2016)
  • Code du travail du Québec (Alter Ego 2014)
  • Loi sur la faillite et l'insolvabilité (Alter Ego 2010)
  • Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles (Alter Ego 2014)
  • Loi sur les normes du travail (Alter Ego 2016)
This material will be added to a collection that already includes full-text commentary and textbooks including:
  • the Développements récents (annual reviews of areas of law)
  • the Collection de droit (Bar School materials)
  • proceedings of the annual Quebec Bar Association congresses
  • a growing number of other treatises from publisher Wilson & Lafleur
  • legal analysis and commentary from dozens of major law firms
  • numerous annotated acts, both federal and Quebec
  • case law
  • and a list of thousands of legal questions with their corresponding answers classified by legal topic.
All for free!

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CanLII Adds Book on Domestic Violence to Collection of Secondary Sources

The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), the law society-supported open access Internet site for finding Canadian jurisprudence and legislation, has added a new e-book to its collection of secondary materials: Responding to Domestic Violence in Family Law, Civil Protection & Child Protection Cases by Dr. Linda C. Neilson.

CanLII's secondary sources include a few e-books but mostly the tens of thousands of case summaries and commentaries on the CanLII Connects platform.

CanLII Connects allows publishers, law firms and academics to share commentary on Canadian cases and legislation for anyone to read free of charge

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Article on Harvard Law's Anti-Link Rot Tool

This is related to the April 18, 2016 Library Boy post Harvard Law Receives Major Grant to Continue Developing its Anti-Link Rot Tool.

The most recent issue of D-Lib Magazine includes the article Scaling Up Ensuring the Integrity of the Digital Scholarly Record that describes work to continue developing the Harvard Library Innovation Lab's web archiving service. is a well-regarded too used to fight "link rot".

From the article abstract:
"IMLS [the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services] awarded the Harvard Library Innovation Lab a National Digital Platform grant to further develop the Lab's web archiving service. The funds will be used to provide technical enhancements to support an expanded user base, aid in outreach efforts to implement in the nation's academic libraries, and develop a commercial model for the service that will sustain the free service for the academic community. is a web archiving tool that puts the ability to archive a source in the hands of the author who is citing it. Once saved, assigns the source a new URL, which can be added to the original URL cited in the author's work, so that if the original link rots or is changed the URL will still lead to the original source. is being used widely in the legal community with great success; the IMLS grant will make the tool available to other areas of scholarship where link rot occurs and will provide a solution for those in the commercial arena who do not currently have one."
Earlier Library Boy posts about link rot include:
  • Most Recent Issue of Law Library Journal (November 5, 2010): "Among the articles that attracted my attention: ... Breaking Down Link Rot: The Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archives Examination of URL Stability: 'Ms. Rhodes explores URL stability, measured by the prevalence of link rot over a three-year period, among the original URLs for law- and policy-related materials published to the web and archived though the Chesapeake Project, a collaborative digital preservation initiative under way in the law library community. The results demonstrate a significant increase in link rot over time in materials originally published to seemingly stable organization, government, and state web sites'."
  • Fifth Annual Link Rot Report of the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group (May 3, 2012): "The Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group has just published its 5th annual study of link rot among the original URLs for online law- and policy-related materials it has been archiving since 2007 (...) In 2012, 218 out of 579 URLs in the sample no longer provide access to the content that was originally selected, captured, and archived by the Chesapeake Group. In other words, link rot has increased to 37.7 percent within five years."
  • CBC Radio Interview about Link Rot in Court Decisions (October 28, 2013): "The most recent episode of the CBC Radio show Spark includes an interview with Harvard Law School researcher Kendra Albert who co-authored an article about link rot in US Supreme Court decisions (...) In the case of the URLs in US Supreme Court decisions, the authors found a link rot rate of 50%. The Spark researchers checked URLs in Supreme Court of Canada decisions and found many broken links to texts from the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Law Society of Alberta and the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, among others."
  • Georgetown University Symposium Searches for Solutions for Link Rot (March 16, 2015): "Retired Supreme Court of the United States librarian Judith Gaskell published an article today on called Link Rot: the Problem Is Getting Bigger, but Solutions Are Being Developed. The article describes a symposium in the fall of 2014 at Georgetown University that examined emerging solutions to the problem of link rot.." 
  • Profile Article About Inventor of Anti-Link Rot Web Tool (September 27, 2015): "The ABA Journal last week published a profile of "Legal Rebel" Jonathan Zittrain, the director of the Harvard Law Library. The Law School invented the tool that helps organizations create an archive of permanent links for web citations. It acts as a tool to deal with the growing menace of link rot."
  • US Supreme Court Tackles Link Rot Problem (October 11, 2015): "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."
  • Law Library of Congress Tackles Link Rot (April 14, 2016): "... the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. adopted, a tool developed at Harvard to help law journals and courts deal with link rot."
  • Supreme Court of Canada Tackles Link Rot With New Online Archive (January 26, 2017): "To combat link rot, the Supreme Court of Canada today launched an online archive of Internet Sources Cited in SCC Judgments (1998 – 2016)."

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

United Nations Digital Library Now Free to All Users

The United Nations Digital Library which is a single access point for current and historical UN documents from a range of bodies and agencies is now available globally free of charge.

According to an explanation from a UN official provided on the beSpacific website:
"The new platform runs on innovative open source technology developed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and is a result of the successful collaboration between the Dag Hammarskjöld Library at UN Headquarters and our sister library at the UN Office in Geneva. In very simple terms, phase 1 of the UNDL features the integration of the 3 UNBISnet databases into one; it incorporates digital content, mainly official UN documents and selected UN maps, with metadata from UNBISnet for UN-produced materials, as well as speech and voting records.   UNDL metadata records will link to open access UN content.   We plan to add and integrate additional collections of digital materials as they are created or are made available to us by UN departments, offices, and agencies."
UNBISnet is the UN Bibliographic Information System, the primary index to United Nations documentation published by the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva. It also includes the catalogue of the collections of the Dag Hammarskjold Library and two specialized databases: the Index to Speeches and the Voting Records databases.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Short Introduction to Citation Performance Indicators

The Scholarly Kitchen blog published an article yesterday called Citation Performance Indicators — A Very Short Introduction:
"In June, Clarivate ... will release the Journal Citation Report (JCR), an annual summary of the citation performances of more than ten thousand academic journals. While the JCR includes a variety of benchmark performance indicators, most users are focused on just one metric — the Journal Impact Factor."

"Designed as a tool for measuring and ranking the performance of journals within a field, the Impact Factor is now over 40 years old. In recent years, other citation-based metrics have been developed to complement, or compete with, the Impact Factor."

"The purpose of this post is to provide a brief summary of the main citation indicators used today. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor is it intended to opine on which indicator is best. It is geared for casual users of performance metrics and not bibliometricians. No indicator is perfect; the goal of the table below is simply to highlight their salient strengths and weaknesses."
[Source: infoDOCKET]


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Survey on GALLOP Government and Legislative Libraries Online Publications Portal

GALLOP, the Government and Legislative Libraries Online Publications Portal, was launched in 2013 by the Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada.

It is a portal providing access to often hard-to-find federal and provincial government publications.

The Association is asking users to fill out a survey about their experience with the Portal.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from May 1 to 15, 2017 is now available on the Court website.

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


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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Demystifying Legislation Talk at the Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2017 Conference

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) finished its 2017 annual conference in Ottawa last Wednesday.

One of the talks I attended was entitled "Demystifying Legislation: Drafting and Research" and featured three speakers who discussed how federal legislation comes about and how to research legislative intent.

The three speakers were:
  • Aleksander Hynna, legal counsel at Justice Canada
  • Wendy Gordon, House of Commons Law Clerk Office
  • Emily Landriault, University of Ottawa
Hynna described the often complex process that leads to the presentation of government bills in Parliament.

Many players are involved: Cabinet, political staff, Justice department legal counsel and jurilinguists, departmental subject matter experts, etc.

One interesting detail was the care with which those involved try to ensure that drafts in English and in French take into account legal issues and vocabulary from both the common law and civil law traditions. Drafts have to be truly blingual and bijural. English and French legislative drafters receive the same instructions and each drafts a version of the bill in light of what the colleague from the other language is creating. The process is not one of translation but rather of "co-drafting".

Hynna was able to give attendees the feeling of being inside the drafting room (an actual office space). He described in detail what he calls the back-and-forth "drafting shuttle" with drafts going back to departments and experts for comments which then get incorporated into newer versions, etc.

Gordon explained the process of drafting private members bills, bills sponsored by backbenchers which are not official government legislative proposals.

In the previous (41st) Parliament, 503 private members bills were introduced in the House of Commons. 34 made it all the way through Parliament and received royal assent. Most died on the order paper, Some 58 actually made it far enough in the debates but were defeated.

According to Gordon, royal assent is not the only measure of success. Often, bills are introduced to allow local constituents to have a voice in the political process, to spark debate, to put the parties on official record on a controversial issue, etc.

One important fact Gordon stressed is that her office, which is in charge of drafting private members bills, takes its role very seriously despite the low odds of success.

Contrary to government bills, private members bills are written in one language and translated. Research input comes from the Library of Parliament. MPs can ask for help on any topic within obvious limits: is the matter federal? does it comply with the Constitution? is there a similar bill on a similar topic in front of Parliament? As well, a private members bill can not raise money.

Drafting is done on a first come first served basis but not all bills are equal when it comes to them being introduced in the House. Priority is based a raffle or draw to establish an "order of precedence" for presentation in Parliament.

Finally, Landriault outlined the various sources for finding the intent being federal legislation. This is more familiar territory for any Canadian law librarian. She described sources such as government websites for backgrounders, the LEGISinfo parliamentary site for more recent bills as well as online parliamentary materials such as Hansard and committee reports and evidence. For earlier bills, print Hansard and print committee documentation are part of the law librarian's tool kit.

She did draw attention to the less well-known RIAS that help determine background for regulations. RIAS stands for the "regulatory impact assessment statement", a backgrounder that accompanies proposed regulations published in the Canada Gazette pt. I and official versions of new regulations published in the Canada Gazette pt. II.

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Vote for the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

Members of the public can help determine the winner of the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The prize, which is sponsored by ABA Journal and the University of Alabama School of Law, is intended to recognize a work of fiction that best exemplifies the role of lawyers in society.

The three finalists this year are:
There is a judging panel of four:
  • Deborah Johnson, winner of the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for The Secret of Magic
  • Cassandra King, author of The Same Sweet Girls Guide to Life
  • Don Noble, host of Alabama Public Radio’s book-review series
  • Han Nolan, author of Dancing on the Edge
The public vote will act as a fifth judge. Voting is open until June 30 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.

The award is named after author Harper Lee, whose novel To Kill A Mockingbird, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:52 pm 0 comments

2017 Law via the Internet Conference Call for Papers

The organizers of the 2017 Law via the Internet conference have posted a call for submissions.

The event takes place at the Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey, October 19-21, 2017.

The conference brings together people from the Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) from different countries and continents that together form the Free Access to Law Movement.

The submission deadline for abstracts is July 30, 2017. Organizers are looking for papers on the following topics:
  • Development and Implementation of Standards for Preserving and Presenting Legal Information
  • New Initiatives in Free Access to Law
  • Technical initiatives and developments in Legal Informatics
  • Tools for Facilitating Access to Justice
  • The state of LII Initiatives
  • Sustainability of Open Access to Law Initiatives
The goal of the LIIs is to maximize free access to public legal information such as legislation and case law from as many countries and international institutions as possible.  

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, and  Lexum, which publishes the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada online, are prominent members of the movement.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:34 pm 0 comments

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of Upcoming May 2017 Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for May 2017.

To find out more about any particular case, click on the docket number in parentheses next to each case name to find docket information, case summaries as well as facta from the parties.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:14 pm 0 comments

Understanding Organization of American States Documents

The blog of the International Association of Law Libraries recently published a post entitled Understanding OAS Documents.

It provides a quick overview of reports produced by human rights bodies of the Organization of American States in areas such as:
  • Women's rights
  • Children and family rights
  • Migrants
  • The "right to the truth"
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Detention and deprivation of liberty by authorities
  • Xenophobia and racism
  • Freedom of expression
  • Economic, social and cultural rights

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

New Law Library of Congress Report on Lobbying Disclosure Laws

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. recently released a new report on Lobbying Disclosure Laws that examines laws governing the registration of lobbyists and foreign agents in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom:
"Current French law does not require lobbyists to register, but France recently enacted a law requiring registration that will go into effect on July 1, 2017. It will require lobbyists to provide information that will become publicly available, including the identity of organizations with interests related to the registrant’s representation."

"The UK enacted a lobbying registration law in 2014 that requires lobbyists whose annual lobbying business reaches a certain threshold to disclose specified information. The information provided is made available in a public register. Among the information that must be disclosed is the identity of lobbyists’ clients."

"Germany does not have a mandatory register for lobbyists at the federal level, although it does have a voluntary register. (One state, Saxony-Anhalt, has a mandatory register for lobbyists at the state parliament.) There have been initiatives supporting a mandatory register at the federal level, and the Social Democratic Party has submitted draft legislation to establish one."
In 2011, the Library of Parliament in Ottawa published a research publication on the Canadian situation entitled The Federal Lobbying System: The Lobbying Act and the Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct.

Reports written by the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada are published on the Office website.

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lightning Talks at the Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2017 Conference

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) finished its 2017 annual conference in Ottawa earlier today.

I will report on some of the educational sessions later this week but I want to draw attention to a conference favourite (aside from all the social events and get togethers where legal information professionals from across Canada and abroad can network and exchange info).

I am referring to the so-called Lightning Talks, a series of quick presentations on an issue, a technology, or a project (maximum of 7 minutes).

In a hour or an hour and half, attendees are offered an overview of the creativity and passion of their colleagues, a very busy bunch of professionals indeed.

There were 8 Lightning Talks this year :
  • John Kerr (Wellington Law Association) talked about Raspberry Pi as Public Access Terminal: Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer the size of a deck of cards that is Linux-based, network-ready, and low-energy that can be used as a cheap public terminal.
  • Alan Kilpatrick (Law Society of Saskatchewan) described library Access to Justice projects in that province. These include expanded access to the province's caselaw on the free CanLII website; the Pro Bono Librarians group that provides free research assistance to pro bono lawyers; a weekly free family law clinic in Regina (now starting in other cities); and a partnership between libraries and public legal education associations to ensure that the public can access reliable up-to-date legal information.
  • Hannah Steeves (Dalhousie University) talked about the use of a flipped classroom model to teach legal research and writing classes. In a flipped classroom, students read or watch lecture materials beforehand and then spend classtime in active hands-on work.
  • John Miller and Josee Daris of DOCIP (the Indigenous peoples’ Centre for Documentation, Research and Information, Geneva) described the structure and services of their institution.
  • Fiona McPherson (Justice Canada) introduced attendees to "The Neutral Zone" style of meeting described as "a safe haven, a place to comment, talk, question and unload, which will carry no repercussions after the meeting is over."
  • Channarong Intahchomphoo (University of Ottawa) showed the emojis the university law library created as a way of engaging in a more fun way with students on chat and other social media apps.
  • Greg Wurzer (University of Saskatchewan) explained how he worked with an instructional designer to create online modules to teach Canadian legislative research. 
  • finally Veronika Kollbrand (University of British Columbia) explained how the CALL Special Interest Group for library students, the Student SIG, transformed into the New Professionals SIG with a broader mandate and an already growing membership including both students, law librarians in the early stages of their career and mentors.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2017 Conference: More Annual Reports & Meetings

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of May 4, 2017 entitled Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2017 Conference Annual Reports.

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has been holding its 2017 annual conference in Ottawa since the weekend.

I will report on some of the educational sessions later this week, but an important part of the event involves the meetings of CALL committees and special interest groups.

Here are summaries of some of the annual reports submitted and of meetings I attended.

Canadian Abridgment Editorial Advisory Committee
The Canadian Abridgment is a topical compilation of Canadian case digests produced by Carswell (Westlaw Canada). The Board, composed of 7 CALL members, meets twice a year with the editorial staff of the Canadian Abridgment.

According to the Committee, the Criminal Law volumes will be reissued by the end of 2017. For those libraries still collecting the print edition, this will require a major consideration for space requirements as this reissue is projected to be 54 volumes. This is partly due to the consolidation of Carswell and Canada Law Book content from Criminal Reports and Canadian Criminal Cases.

Carswell is planning some additional changes to make the Abridgment more prominent in WestlawNext Canada. For example, the “Related Abridgment Classifications” box will be open by default on case law documents; and users will be able to filter search results by Abridgment classification as well as subject area filters.

The Index to Canadian Legal Literature recently added the Toronto Law Journal, as well as articles from Relations industrielles/Industrial Relations. The editorial policy was also updated recently to start adding blogs to the index, starting with

Courthouse & Law Society Librarians Special Interest Group (SIG)
I attended this meeting on Sunday morning. Attendees discussed three topics: preservation issues; proving the value of the library; and improvements to CanLII (Canadian Institute for Legal Information).

How to prove the value of the law library sparked a lot of discussion. Some participants suggested looking to models such as the American Library Association's Library Value Calculator (that would need to be adapted to the law library context) as well as to the template for gathering statistics on the LibraryCo website (Ontario courthouse library network). Others argued that satisfaction surveys and focus groups could produce good results. It was also suggested to take a page from the Day in the Life (of a library) project and recruit CALL members to document everything they accomplish on one specific day to be determined.

The SIG will work to develop a series of tools to help members show their value to funders and stakeholders. In 2010, the SIG had published a document on Best practices for demonstrating the value of your library services. It is a good point of departure but would need to be updated.

 Membership Development Committee meeting
I summarized the committee's annual report in an earlier post. Attendees at the committee meeting on Sunday started a discussion on a strategic plan for the next year that would involve more energetic reaching out to less active members (current members not involved in a committee or SIG, new members who have not attended an annual conference in a certain period, lapsed members).

Various mechanisms can be explored (phoning, e-mail, discussion forums, Twitter chats) to find out what services are valuable to members: salary surveys, further engagement on developing professional competencies, resources specific to the life cycle of a law librarian, etc.

It will also look into gathering and publicizing member testimonials on how CALL has helped them in various ways as well as mentor/mentee testimonials as a way of promoting the value of the association.

Website Editorial Board (WEB)
Members of the WEB discussed what kinds of additional content can be produced or repurposed for the website.
  • Many CALL members probably have already read that the association's Canadian Law Library Review will become an open and free access journal which means moving the electronic versions from the member’s only section of the CALL website to the public area that all visitors can access. The details need to be worked out but the CALL Executive has agreed to this change.
  • Attendees also agreed to look into creating a brief section with information about the history of CALL as well as an advocacy section to gather together and highlight CALL's official statements and position papers on issues such as copyright and other public policy issues.
  •  They also discussed many other long-term ideas such as creating an index to previous conference proceedings (if feasible), making the association archives held at the University of Manitoba more visible/findable, and seeing what the WEB can do to help those SIGs and committees that have made known their intention to create new content. For example, the Legal Research & Writing SIG has started compiling an Instructional Resources Bank (CALL members only section)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:39 pm 0 comments

Friday, May 05, 2017

American Libraries Journal Publishes Library Systems Report 2017

American Libraries recently published Library Systems Report 2017, the latest in a series of annual reports on trends in the library technology industry:
"The library technology industry has entered a new phase: business consolidation and technology innovation. Development of products and services to support the increasingly complex work of libraries remains in an ever-decreasing number of hands. Not only have technology-focused companies consolidated themselves, they have become subsumed within higher-level organizations with broad portfolios of diverse business activities. The survivors of this transformed industry now bear responsibility to deliver innovation from their amassed capacity. Modern web-based systems delivering traditional library automation and discovery capabilities are now merely table stakes. Real progress depends on building out these platforms to support the new areas of service emerging within each type of library."
The 2017 edition looks at corporate consolidation, technical trends such as open source ILS products, and product profiles for the academic, school and special library markets.

It is written by Marshall Breeding, a well-known library tech expert. He also edits the Library Technology Guides website and produces the annual International Library Automation Perceptions Surveys.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:08 pm 0 comments

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2017 Conference Annual Reports

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is beginning its 2017 annual conference this weekend in Ottawa.

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

Here are summaries of some of them:
  • Professional Development Committee
    The Professional Development Committee (PDC) ascertains the needs and wishes of the membership in regard to continuing professional education. It has proposed to video record the CALL conference sessions to extend this educational opportunity to the members who cannot attend a conference. The CALL Executive decided to go forward with this initiative.  One of the PDC subcommittees is the Webinar Subcommittee:
  • Webinar Subcommittee
    It has been very active in the past year with 7 successful sessions in 2016 and 3 so far in 2017. This includes offering 2 separate 2-part webinars in the past few months: two UN-related webinars, and two U.S. Legal Research webinars (first in February 2017, with the second coming in June)
  • New Law Librarians Institute
    • Themost recent New Law Librarians’ Institute was held at the Brian Dickson Law Library at the University of Ottawa from June 12 – 16, 2016. This is an intense one-week course in law librarianship.
    • The 2016 edition welcomed 19 attendees, seven of whom were not CALL members.
    • The event, which generated over $12,500 for CALL, offered substantive law sessions, with introductions to constitutional law, criminal law, labour and employment law, torts, ethic, human rights and social justice, environmental law and copyright. More practical sessions covered secondary sources, finding and updating cases, training students and reference skills
  • Membership Development Committee (MDC)
    • The MDC is in charge of the recruitment, retention and education of members and also runs the Mentorship Program. In 2016-17, there were 16 mentoring partnerships with 14 mentees being students and two working professionals.  For the 2017-2018 year, there are 18 mentoring partnerships established through the Mentorship Program. Eleven of the mentees are students and seven are professionals.
    • The MDC also produced monthly member profiles on the CALL website (until Dec. 2016), something that will start up again this year. The committee hopes to expand the scope of this project in 2017-2018 to include not only member profiles but also profiles of important work projects undertaken by CALL members.
    • In terms of recruitment and retention, the MDC also conducts visits of educational institutions and also regularly reaches out to lapsed members. As well, the MDC has a close informal relationship with the New Professionals Special Interest Group or SIG (ex-Student SIG) which held a webinar in November 2016 entitled "Navigating the Mentoring Relationship" 
  • KF Modified Committee
    • The committee oversees the development of the KF Modified cataloguing standard (KF Classification Modified for Use in Canadian and Common Law Libraries). It produced four quarterly updates and editorial adjustments in 2016 and published a final report on theKF Modified Linked Data Project, funded in part by a grant received from the CALL Committee to Promote Research.
    • The committee is considering tabling a proposal to the CALL Executive Board to make the KF Modified Classification scheme freely available as an open access product
  • Vendor Liaison Committee (a lot of the information is in the Members-only section of the CALL website)
    • It has continued its semi-annual vendor calls with representatives at Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis Canada as a means to achieve greater engagement, deeper dialogue, and improved follow-up with the two main vendors of electronic legal information. 
    • While most documents are restricted to CALL members, the committee has sdecided to publish certain high-value documents (terms of reference, AGM reports, Best practices) on  the public side of the website.
    • In the new year, one initiative of the committee will be to update CALL's last comparative content analysis of Westlaw and Quicklaw
  •  Canadian Law Library Review
    • A cumulative index for volumes 26 to 41 (2001-2016) is underway and will be completed in the next few months.
    • Most importantly, the CALL Executive has agreed with the editorial board’s recommendation that the Review become an open and free access journal. This will include moving the electronic versions from the member’s only section of the CALL website and making the issues in the ISSUU platform publicly available. 
    • This way, non-members will get an opportunity to see more of what CALL does as an organization; there will be an incentive to increase advertising as the CLLR would be more attractive to advertisers as a journal with an unlimited potential audience; and CLLR would become more attractive to potential authors especially those who are required to publish

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:44 pm 0 comments

May 2017 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The May 2017 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 3:43 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

May 2017 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 sectors around the world.

The May 2017 issue has just been published.

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

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:26 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from April 16th to 30th, 2017 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 6:15 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Law Library of Congress Report on Blasphemy and Related Laws

The Law Library of Congress in Washington recently published a report that surveys laws criminalizing blasphemy in 77 jurisdictions around the world:
"This report ... surveys laws criminalizing blasphemy, defaming religion, harming religious feelings, and similar conduct in seventy-seven jurisdictions. In some instances the report also addresses laws criminalizing proselytization. Laws prohibiting incitement to religious hatred and violence are outside the scope of this report, although in some cases such laws are mentioned where they are closely intertwined with blasphemy. The report focuses mostly on laws at the national level, and while it aims to cover the majority of countries with such laws, it does not purport to be comprehensive. For each surveyed country, the law in question is quoted or paraphrased and examples of enforcement actions are briefly described where reports of such actions were found. Blasphemy laws are widely dispersed around the globe; regional patterns are apparent. Such laws are more likely to exist and be actively enforced in Islamic countries."
Despite the fact that active enforcement appears to be more common in Moslem countries, the report notes that there have been prosecutions in recent years in Austria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Under Canada's Criminal Code s. 296, it is an offence to commit “blasphemous libel”. However, that section has not been used since the mid-1930s.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:02 pm 0 comments

Monday, May 01, 2017

Legal Apps and Access to Justice in Canada

Three University of Ottawa law professors have uploaded an article entitled Mobile and Web-Based Legal Apps: Opportunities, Risks and Information Gaps to the SSRN website:
"Mobile and web-based apps are one technology with the potential to improve access to justice, either by helping lawyers increase the efficiency of service delivery or by reducing the need for recourse to lawyers altogether for some legal needs."

"Notwithstanding growing excitement about the potential presented by legal apps, there has been no comprehensive study regarding the range of such apps currently available to Canadians, nor has there been a concrete exploration of what these apps purport to do and whether they have the capacity to actually improve access to justice."

"In this paper, we offer a preliminary taxonomy of the legal apps available in Canada, of which we have identified approximately 50. This taxonomy seeks to identify developers, targeted users and the functions that legal apps are designed to perform. Further, we contribute to future policy discussions about legal apps through an analysis of the potential benefits and risks of using this technology in the pursuit of access to justice. Finally, we conclude with a call for dedicated empirical data and research on legal apps in Canada and for increased policy attention to leveraging the opportunities and mitigating the risks presented by legal apps."
It is possible to open the full-text in PDF format without subscribing to SSRN.

The three profs are Suzanne Bouclin, Jena McGill and Amy Salyzyn. The article will be published in the Fall 2017 issue of the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology.

SSRN is an international repository for the early distribution of abstracts and full text papers from scholars around the world. It includes many specialized collections including the Legal Scholarship Network.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:33 pm 0 comments