Thursday, September 30, 2021

Library Association Contributions to Truth and Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples

Today marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation that is intended to honour the memory of all those who attended Canada's Indian Residential Schools and to draw attention to the legacy of abuse and discrimination of those institutions in Indigenous communities.

The creation of the day comes out of the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2015 that included 94 calls to action aimed at governments, institutions and Canadian society in general.

In reaction to the Commission report, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA), of which the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is a member, created a Truth and Reconciliation Committee whose report in 2017 contains 10 recommendations for the library community. 

One of its main topics is to "Decolonize Access and Classification" (i.e. descriptions in cataloguing and knowledge taxonomies).

In 2018, the So What? podcast produced by students at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University in London, Ontario interviewed Camille Callison from the CFLA who described the origins of the committee and explained how the report was produced.

And the most recent issue of the journal Emerging Library & Information Perspectives features an article on The Shortcomings of Bibliographic Description in Service of Indigenous Peoples in Canada that looks at the problems with current cataloguing practices and standards and draws attention to promising alternatives, some of which have been the subject of presentations at recent CALL conferences.

From the article's conclusion:

"The presence of Indigenous Knowledges and resources cannot be made sufficiently apparent to the Indigenous OPAC user in cataloguing practice as it stands. From the lack of language codes for the multitude of Indigenous languages, to the inaccuracy of the standardized language available to describe Indigenous creators' nationalities, OPACs, and therefore libraries, are failing Indigenous users. Spearheaded by the CFLA-FCAB Report on Truth and Reconciliation, momentum is building for more widespread implementation of Indigenized cataloguing policies. This paper has highlighted just a few examples of harms in bibliographic description, as well as libraries and projects that have developed policies to remedy them."

"Every LIS professional should feel empowered to take action in their workplace to embrace the TRC's ... "Calls to Action." In the face of excuses or apathy, librarians can turn to the hundreds of pages of articles in the LIS literature that advocate for this work and the CFLA-FCAB Report on Truth and Reconciliation that is sponsored by the highest professional librarianship body in what is now known as Canada. As keepers of Indigenous information resources, librarians have an ethical obligation to handle the Indigenous Knowledges in our holdings with the respect they deserve. To do so, LIS professionals must first become educated on the history of the mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples in what is now known as Canada, as well as the ongoing injustices they face. Then they must read the CFLA-FCAB Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations, the summary of the final report of the TRC ... , and the TRC's ... "Calls to Action." Once educated on the basic challenges Indigenous peoples face in libraries and in this country, LIS professionals must work to cultivate relationships with local Indigenous communities so that they may make their voices be heard in their libraries. Bibliographic description is only one part of the shortcomings of library services to Indigenous peoples in what is now known as Canada. The necessary radical change cannot take place overnight, and so it is up to each of us to do our part."

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

LawBytes Podcast on the Legal, Ethical and Policy Implications of Vaccine Passports

 In the most recent LawBytes podcast, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist talks to his colleague Professor Colleen Flood about the legal, ethical, privacy, and policy issues surrounding vaccine passports:

"Vaccine passports or certificates launched in Ontario last week, a development welcomed by some and strongly opposed by others. The launch raises a myriad of legal, ethical, privacy, and policy issues as jurisdictions around the world grapple with the continued global pandemic and the unusual requirements of demonstrating vaccination in order to enter some public or private spaces."

"Professor Colleen Flood, a colleague at the University of Ottawa, has been writing and thinking about these issues for many months. Later today [September 27], she will be part of a panel discussion that explores the policy challenges hosted by the University of Ottawa Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, and the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. She joins the Law Bytes podcast with an advance preview as we discuss the legal balancing act, models from around the world, and the concerns that governments should be thinking about in this next stage of dealing with COVID-19."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:15 pm 0 comments

Monday, September 27, 2021

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of October 2021 Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of upcoming appeals that will be heard in October 2021

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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Thursday, September 23, 2021

40 Short Tips for Better E-mail

Consultant Josh Spector has written a very helpful list of 40 One-Sentence Email Tips that I discovered the other day:

"Email doesn’t have to be a nightmare."

"Here are a collection of concepts to help you write better emails, optimize your inbox, and keep your sanity."

My favourite:

38. No one ever says “I wish the paragraphs in that email were longer.”

The one that made me laugh very hard:

 11. The worst time to “do email” is every time you get an email.

[Source: the beSpacific website]


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:28 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Article on Measuring Copyright Anxiety

Amanda Wakaruk, Céline Gareau-Brennan, and Matthew Pietrosanu from the University of Alberta have published an article entitled Introducing the Copyright Anxiety Scale in the newest issue of  The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship:

"Navigating copyright issues can be frustrating to the point of causing anxiety, potentially discouraging or inhibiting legitimate uses of copyright-protected materials. A lack of data about the extent and impact of these phenomena, known as copyright anxiety and copyright chill, respectively, motivated the authors to create the Copyright Anxiety Scale (CAS). This article provides an overview of the CAS’s development and validity testing. Results of an initial survey deployment drawing from a broad cross-section of respondents living in Canada and the United States (n = 521) establishes that the phenomenon of copyright anxiety is prevalent and likely associated with copyright chill."

From the conclusion:

"It is clear from the survey response data that copyright anxiety is a real phenomenon for many and has practical consequences that can impede creativity and potentially legitimate forms of sharing content. Given that more than a quarter of respondents indicated that they had abandoned projects due to copyright-related anxiety, it is fair to say that the phenomenon is in fact prevalent. This research found that a mixture of confusion, stress, and indecision based on questions surrounding copyright prevents users and creators of copyright-protected content from engaging in personal and educational activities that are unlikely to infringe copyright law. The development of CAS provides a useful tool for the analysis of these precursory and potentially causative factors of copyright chill. Given the high degree of internal consistency within the scale, we believe that it can be a useful tool for future observations and research. Over time, further development of the CAS could help provide a more in-depth picture of changing attitudes and understandings of users’ rights."


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

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

New Issue of Information Technology and Libraries Available Online

The most recent issue of the quarterly journal Information Technology and Libraries is now available online.

Among the feature articles that caught my attention are:

  • Expanding and Improving Our Library’s Virtual Chat Service - Discovering Best Practices when Demand Increases: "With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing shutdown of the library building for several months, there was a sudden need to adjust how the Hilton C. Buley Library at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) delivered its services. Overnight, the library’s virtual chat service went from a convenient way to reach a librarian to the primary method by which library patrons contacted the library for help. In this article, the authors will discuss what was learned during this time and how the service has been adjusted to meet user needs. Best practices and future improvements will be discussed."
  • Building a Culture of Resilience in Libraries (Editorial): "We find ourselves a year and a half into the global pandemic, and libraries—just like the rest of the workforce—have been navigating through a drastic amount of change in a short amount of time with no real guideposts as to what may come next. Libraries were completely shut down, library staff displaced, and library services transformed in a short period of time like they hadn’t been before. We’ve also found that as we’ve reopened our libraries there are new patron and staff expectations. It is expected that the changes that we’ve enacted in the middle of a crisis will continue and will be folded into a new service delivery model. Patrons have different expectations of libraries; library staff have different expectations of management and of the technology that drives library services and their day-to-day work. In order to meet these new expectations, we’ve embarked on a path of implementing more flexibility into our environments and workflows. I feel however that the concept of flexibility misses the mark. Flexibility is about being open to change and reacting to it, and possibly taking different paths to solving a common problem. Flexibility though is part of a broader concept that I think we need to embrace, and that is resiliency."
  • Accessibility of Tables in PDF Documents: " The retrieval of important units such as images, figures, algorithms, mathematical formulas, and tables becomes a challenge. Among these elements, tables are particularly important because they can add value to the resource description, discovery, and accessibility of documents not only on the web but also in libraries if they are made retrievable and presentable to readers. Sighted users comprehend tables for sense making using visual cues, but blind and visually impaired users must rely on assistive technologies, including text-to-speech and screen readers, to comprehend tables. However, these technologies do not pay sufficient attention to tables in order to effectively present tables to visually impaired individuals. Therefore, ways must be found to make tables in PDF documents not only retrievable but also comprehensible. Before developing such solutions, it is necessary to review the available assistive technologies, tools, and frameworks for their capabilities, strengths, and limitations from the comprehension perspective of blind and visually impaired people, along with suitable environments like digital libraries. We found no such review article that critically and analytically presents and evaluates these technologies. To fill this gap in the literature, this review paper reports on the current state of the accessibility of PDF documents, digital libraries, assistive technologies, tools, and frameworks that make PDF tables comprehensible and accessible to blind and visually impaired people."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:43 pm 0 comments

Monday, September 20, 2021

New and Updated Globalex Research Guides on Foreign and International Law Topics

GlobaLex, a very good electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, has published and updated a number of research guides recently:

  • Judicial Power and High Courts in Latin America: "The Latin American legal systems are within the tradition of civil law with elements of Roman law. They have been articulated with liberal rationalist reforms of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Europe, mediated by the Spanish and Portuguese colonial administration, as well as some reproduction of the North American constitutionalist model. The way these systems were adopted showed some hybridity between public law (based on the separation of American and French powers) and civil law (adapted from the Napoleonic Code). Historically, the concentration of power and procedures typical of colonial characteristics resulted in a greater presence of the centralist aspects of the French system than the control and balance mechanisms of the North American system. From this system, the presidential form of government was taken, as well as the federal model, which was widely adopted in the nineteenth century, and which is still maintained today by the most extensive and populated countries (such as Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina).During the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, the judiciary in Latin America began to undergo a profound rethinking to accommodate demands for the effective application of the law and the need to carry out judicial reforms aimed at ensuring greater efficiency and autonomy with respect to executive powers. For this reason, after democratic transitions, the Latin American judicial powers were considered more relevant to understand the political functioning of the region."
  • Discovering the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA): "The objective of this article is to serve as a one stop research guide to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and to point out some of the changes instituted by the passage of USMCA and the annulment of NAFTA. The major documents and institutions related to the USMCA Agreement are identified, and a citation to the item is given. The websites cited were chosen for the authority and reputation of the sponsor of the website and the completeness of information provided. The updating policy and the ease of navigation of the websites were also considered for inclusion into this article. Also, free websites were favored over websites that required payment. Websites with little information on the website itself and consisting mainly of links to other websites for the actual desired information were avoided. Most of the citations found in this article are annotated as to content and research value of the website. "
  • UPDATE: International Commercial Contracts: "Transactions conducted under international commercial contracts, especially those related to the sale of goods, are considered to form the backbone of international trade. The goal of this research guide is to provide an overview of the major primary sources of law for international commercial contracts, in particular those related to sales, and the related research resources. The focus is global, and the guide does not cover regionally focused instruments or economic integration organizations, such as the European Union. "
  • UPDATE: Researching International Marine Environmental Law: "Today, although nations with expansive marine coasts and harbors can be considered fortunate in that they have easy access to global trade, they have also become the recipients of marine pollution caused by oceanic traffic. Naturally, there is a call for an increase in the regulation of growing environmental harm caused by international vessel traffic. For decades, such calls are handled by the International Maritime Organization (IMO, or the Organization). It is a special agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating maritime affairs and oceanic shipping. However, before proceeding to learn more about the responsibilities and functioning of the Organization, due recognition must be given to several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and inter-governmental organization (IGOs), which operate at regional or local levels and complement or supplement the efforts of the IMO. Many of these organizations, as well as the IMO, have developed impressive websites. An exhaustive treatment of the non-IMO resources would fill up volumes and take considerable time and money, so, for the time being, this article will briefly discuss prominent websites and emphasize sources that reflect and assist the efforts of the IMO to develop international instruments to regulate the marine environment. For the most part, the information at these sites is made available at no charge. However, sources that charge for information access, as well as the sources that provide restricted access, are included when appropriate."

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

Free Access to Oxford University Press International Law Materials Until End of October

Oxford University Press is offering free access to chapters and articles from its collection on the theme “Changes in International Lawmaking” until October 31, 2021:

"Explore our collection of free chapters and articles on the theme “Changes in International Lawmaking”, created to accompany the European Society of International Law conference held 9-11 September 2021."

"Read about how the sources, actors, and mechanisms involved in international lawmaking have developed over time, covering areas such as human rights, criminal law, environmental law, space law, investment law and more."

There is content from Max Planck Encyclopedias of International Law, textbooks and Oxford journals.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:06 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

LawBytes Podcast Masterclass on Copyright and User Rights

In his 100th LawBytes podcast, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist talks to Osgoode Hall Law School Professor David Vaver about the history of copyright in Canada:

"The recipient of the Order of Canada, Professor Vaver provided the scholarly grounding for the emergence of user rights in copyright in Canada and around the world. In this episode, he gives a masterclass on the history of copyright, the emergence of user rights, Supreme Court copyright jurisprudence, and potential future copyright reforms."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:34 pm 0 comments

Monday, September 13, 2021

Annotated Bibliography of COVID-19 Legal Literature on AustLII

AustLII, the open access Australasian Legal Information Institute, hosts the Annotated Bibliography of COVID-19 Legal Literature that was created by the Law School at the University of Melbourne.

The bibliography refers to literature from over 100 countries:

"Part A includes scholarship and selected professional literature. It begins with books and then other literature, which is divided into broad topics - general legal literature followed by more specific topics. Where appropriate, we have included articles under two or more topic headings. A note on the jurisdiction is included if this is not immediately obvious from the citation or abstract. We have only included literature written in English, and relevant literature in other languages is thus inevitably excluded."

"Part B lists selected organisations with dedicated COVID-19 legal publications sites."

"Part C lists selected websites, databases, special issues of journals, blogs and other online fora."

The blog of the International Association of Law Libraries has background on the project

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:32 pm 0 comments

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Diversity Statements in Canadian Academic Librarian Job Advertisements

The International Journal of Information, Diversity, and Inclusion has published an article by York University librarian Norda Bell entitled An Exploratory Study of Diversity Statements in Canadian Academic Librarian Job Advertisements:

"Diversity statements signal an organization’s culture, values, and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Yet, diversity statements are often perceived as somewhat superficial “boilerplate” or basic statements created to comply with employment equity requirements, especially in job advertisements. With the objectives of understanding the presence of diversity statements in job advertisements, differences between types of libraries, and the types of diversity statements and messages contained in these statements, this study analyzed the diversity statements of 50 online job advertisements for Canadian academic librarian and archivist positions (...) Other findings around land acknowledgements, gender identity, and sexual orientation and others are discussed. Recommendations for further studies are included."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:46 pm 0 comments

Thursday, September 09, 2021

CanLII Adds More Law Books

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, has recently added new textbooks to its commentary collection.

It has added entirely new or updated materials on:

CanLII is a portal funded by Canada’s provincial and territorial law societies to make legal information content (court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutes and regulations, commentary) available to Canadians free of charge.

In recent years, it has been rapidly expanding its offerings of legal commentary, including law reviews, reports, newsletters and thousands of case commentaries.

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

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

September 2021 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The September 2021 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 5:26 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

September 2021 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 September 2021 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 etc.
  • listings of papers and readings (white papers, presentations, reports)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:33 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella Exit Interview

The most recent issue of the Rule of Law Report,  a Lexis Nexis publication, features an interview with Supreme Court of Canada Justice Rosalie Abella who recently retired.

Abella, who was born in 1946 to Holocaust survivor parents in a displaced persons' camp in Germany, credits her parents for her commitment to human rights.

In the interview, she notes the evolution of the Canadian legal system since she attended law school in the 1970s:

"Everything about it is different. The emphasis on access to justice; the emphasis on concern for minorities and women; the emphasis on making sure that the judiciary and the legal profession are representative. All of those things I’ve watched and had a chance to participate in. In the course of that, there have been judgments along the way that have been part of that evolution towards more access, more equality, more fairness in the justice system. It’s what every judge strives to do, to be as fair as possible."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:26 pm 0 comments

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Article on Access and Copyright Challenges for Canadian Libraries During COVID-19

The most recent issue of The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship has published an article entitled Canadian Collaborations: Library Communications and Advocacy in the time of COVID-19:

"The COVID-19 pandemic forced libraries to unexpectedly and suddenly close their physical locations, necessitating a remote working environment and a greater reliance on digital and virtual services. While libraries were in a better position than most sectors due to decades of experience in licensing and acquiring digital content and offering virtual services such as chat reference, there still were some services and resources that traditionally had only been offered in a face-to-face environment, or were available in print only. There were questions in the Canadian library community about how, and if these programs could be delivered online and comply with Canadian copyright law. This article will describe the access and copyright challenges that Canadian libraries faced during the first nine months of the pandemic and will outline the collaborative efforts of the Canadian library copyright community to respond to these challenges."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:18 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Most Recent Issue of the Canadian Law Library Review

The most recent issue of the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR) is available online.

Check out the feature articles: 
  • "COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean: Experts Examining Legal Responses", p. 10
  • "Anti-Black Racism Legal Resource Guide", p. 16
The CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL). It is an open access publication.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:27 pm 0 comments

September/October 2021 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The September/October 2021 Issue of AALL Spectrum is now available online.

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

This issue has a series of feature articles on innovation, e-discovery tools, post-pandemic hiring and creating healthy post-COVID work environments.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:22 pm 0 comments