Monday, January 31, 2022

Most Recent Issue of Law Library Journal on Support for Democracy

The most recent issue of Law Library Journal just caught my attention. It is the official journal of the American Association of Law Libraries.

The issue is devoted to how law libraries are “knowledge institutions supporting democracy.” 

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

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Space Telescopes and the Law of Outer Space

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., recently published a post on Space Telescopes and the Law of Outer Space.

It examines what kind of oversight and guidance on international law there is related to outer space. 

It refers to major United Nations treaties on the topic and to many documents in the library's collections.

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

Decolonizing Canadiana Metadata

The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) that is responsible for the Canadiana collection of digitized documentary heritage has replaced the subject heading “Indians of North America” with “Indigenous peoples.” This will effect a little under 2,000 records.

"The content, metadata, and resource descriptions in the Canadiana collections contain language that reflects the biases, norms, and perspectives of the time in which they were created. With the guidance of CRKN’s Preservation and Access Committee (PAC), CRKN staff are replacing inappropriate language in the metadata and resource descriptions introduced during legacy cataloguing practices. The first phase of this critical three-phase project is now complete."

The next phase will involve removing the term “Indian” from subject headings indicating individual communities and updating Indigenous names.

The CKRN has worked on this initiative with:

  • Indigenous community websites 
  • Greater Victoria Public Library 
  • Manitoba Archival Information Network 
  • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit – Indigenous Ontology (FNMIIO), created by the National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA) and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA)
  • the X̱wi7x̱wa Library

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

What Do You Call a Law Firm Library?

The HBR legal consulting group website published an article last week on the age old question What’s in a Name? The Future of Law Firm Library Departments:

"Those shelves full of legal tomes are largely relics of the past, replaced by online legal research tools, and rather than simply tracking down court opinions or an obscure law review article, law firm library professionals are expected to assist lawyers with far more." 
"The law firm library department’s functional evolution has been accompanied by the introduction of new nomenclature describing who we are and what we do. Are we still the Library? Or are we Information Services? Or maybe Knowledge Management? Or some amalgamation of all the above? Moreover, where do we fit inside the firm’s administrative org chart?"

It is a good overview of the discussions about the vocabulary used to describe legal research/information departments and the roles they fulfill.

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

Monday, January 24, 2022

LawBytes Podcast on Protecting Society from Surveillance Software

In the most recent LawBytes podcast, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist talks about surveillance software with Professor Ron Deibert who leads the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto:

"The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, led by Professor Ron Deibert, has a well-earned reputation for uncovering surveillance technologies and security vulnerabilities with research and reports that attract immediate attention worldwide. Professor Deibert has won an incredible array of awards and accolades for his remarkable work, including the Order of Ontario and the EFF’s Pioneer Award. In 2020, he delivered the Massey Lectures, based on his book for the lectures, Reset:  Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society. Professor Deibert joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the lab, his work, and the threat of what he calls 'despotism as a service', where spyware is used to target journalists, activists, and civil society groups."

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

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Library of Congress Report on Lifecycle of Parliamentary Documents

The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. recently published a report on the Lifecycle of Parliamentary Documents:

"Parliamentary documents subject to processing in the jurisdictions surveyed often include documents and records that are produced in parliament, such as bills and related information, explanatory memoranda and bill digests, petitions, tabled papers, written and audio reports of parliamentary proceedings, and parliamentary research publications (...)"

"Access to parliamentary documents is guaranteed under constitutional provisions in France, Japan, Portugal, and Sweden. The production, publication, and preservation of parliamentary documents in all surveyed jurisdictions are also governed by legislation, standing orders, resolutions, and procedural rules of the relevant parliamentary chambers."

"National or parliamentary archives have traditionally engaged in official record keeping of parliamentary documents in some jurisdictions, with national or parliamentary libraries also contributing by collecting and providing access to various parliamentary documents along with reference and analysis to advise members, where applicable."

"The jurisdictional surveys of Australia, Canada, the European Parliament, Germany, Israel, and Portugal describe special procedures for documenting, correcting, and approving recording of floor proceedings and hearing minutes in the plenum and in committees, with different rules applicable in some jurisdictions for confidential hearings and records."

"Subject to restrictions on dissemination of certain sensitive documents, information sharing among legislative agencies and within parliamentary departments is a common practice. Projects for preservation of and access to digital records of parliamentary documents exist in all surveyed jurisdictions with procedures in place for coordinating digitization of multiple types of parliamentary documents by designated bodies, such as parliamentary or national libraries and archives."

The report looks at Australia, Canada, the European Parliament, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK.

The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2 and a half million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

Over the years, it has published dozens of comparative law reports which are a treasure trove for legal research on a huge variety of issues. 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:47 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 20, 2022

New ALA Report on Best Practices for Library Interviews

Core, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has published a new report on Best Practices for Academic Interviews.

Many of the ideas can apply to job interviews in other library types.

"The library profession has seen radical change in people’s thinking about all aspects of work and life, due in part to the sudden and prolonged shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing calls for social justice and antiracism in our services and practices. While many manuals for hiring and interviewing exist, including those in professional library associations and organizations, they may already be out of step with the rapid changes of recent years. The free document, 'Core Best Practices for Academic Interviews', seeks to capture emerging best practices as well as recommendations to encourage organizations to audit their interview processes to determine how unexamined assumptions and traditional practices may be disadvantageous to some applicants."

"Sections cover each stage of the interview process, recommendations for each interview format (in person, online, hybrid), and an extensive list of additional resources. The principles and suggested action items provide flexibility to try out new interview schedules and models, always maintaining focus on candidate-friendly and anti-bias practices."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:49 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Going Digital: the Canadian Law Library Review Experience

The Canadian Law Library Review (CCLR) is the journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries. published an interview today with Susan Barker, the CLLR's current acting editor, about the decision to become a digital-only publication in 2015:

"One thing that made it easier was that the changes were made incrementally and so we were able to make sure one thing worked before moving on to the next. Step 1 was the redesign in 2013. Then we moved to providing a PDF version while still producing in print. Then the print was discontinued and a PDF link was provided to members on our website and we set up access via ISSUU. The next step was to discontinue the print entirely. Once digital – we were able to go open access, no longer limit our readership to members and paid subscribers (although we only had a few of those) and to adopt a Creative Commons license. Finally, our partnership with CanLII made true open access possible."

The interview ends with some considerations that are important when going digital:

"What knowledge gaps need to be filled? 

  • Understanding digital publication best practices. Changes in processes, management, and training. 
  • An opportunity for reinvention and innovation. 

How will the change impact readership?

  • Digital publication and open licensing allows for the content to be shared more widely than ever before. 

What are the cost implications?

  • Digital formats allow for more possibilities and fewer costs in design features (colours, number of pages, multimedia), linking to other resources, and gathering usage metrics, for example."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:46 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Statistics Canada Article on Experiences of Serious Problems or Disputes

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat published an article today on Experiences of serious problems or disputes in the Canadian provinces, 2021.

The article looks at the frequency of serious problems experienced by people living in Canada's provinces, the actions they took to address or resolve these problems (whether they resolved the problem through informal means or through a legal process), and the impacts these problems had on their everyday life. 

Based on a new survey, the article reveals that in 2021, 18% of people aged 18 years and older, or 5.5 million people, reported experiencing at least one serious problem or civil dispute in the previous three years.

Among the highlights:

  • The most commonly reported problems were problems in the neighbourhood, including vandalism and property damage (21%), receiving poor or incorrect medical treatment (16%), being harassed (16%), being discriminated against (16%), or having a problem with a large purchase or service (15%).
  • Almost four in ten (39%) people living in Canada’s provinces who reported experiencing at least one serious problem said that their problem happened during the COVID-19 pandemic (after March 16, 2020).
  • Among those who reported experiencing a serious legal problem, more than half (55%) experienced one problem, while 22% experienced two serious problems and an additional 23% experienced three or more serious problems over the three-year period.
  • Almost nine in ten (87%) Canadians who experienced a serious problem reported taking some form of action to address it, with most seeking resolution outside of the formal justice system.
  • Two in ten (21%) people living in Canada’s provinces who had experienced a serious problem in the last three years said that their most serious problem had been resolved, with just under two in ten (19%) more stating that their serious problem was still in progress of being resolved. Just over one in ten (12%) Canadians who had reported a serious problem said that they had dropped or given up on resolving their serious problem.
  • More than four in ten (42%) Canadians who had experienced a serious problem said that their dispute or problem worsened or became more difficult to resolve as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no significant differences between men and women.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:47 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 17, 2022

Legal Skies Podcast Episode on Librarians and Access to Justice

The most recent episode on Legal Skies, a podcast produced by the Law Society of Saskatchewan, is about the role librarians can play in access to justice:

"What role do legal information professionals (otherwise known as law librarians) play in the legal industry?"

"To learn more, we speak to three guests in today’s Law Society of Saskatchewan Legal Skies podcast episode: Alan Kilpatrick, Co-Director of Legal Resources at the Law Society of Saskatchewan, Shaunna Mireau, Past-President of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, and Kim Nayyer, Associate Dean of the Cornell Law School and President of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries."

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Sunday, January 16, 2022

January 2022 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The January 2022 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 7:07 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Intervention in Upcoming Supreme Court of Canada Copyright Case

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has been granted intervener status in the January 18, 2022 Supreme Court of Canada hearing in the case Supreme Court of Canada case Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, et al. v. Entertainment Software Association, et al. 

CALL members Susannah Tredwell, Manager of Library Services at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP in Vancouver and James Bachmann, Instructional Librarian, Law Library, University of British Columbia, wrote a blog post about the case and CALL's copyright advocacy over the years:

"This case addresses the question of how the concepts of 'communication to the public by telecommunication' and 'making available on demand' as used in the Copyright Act should be understood."

"The outcome of this case has the potential to significantly impact various library activities, including controlled digital lending and possibly even the simple use of hyperlinks, particularly in light of the limited scope of current library and education exceptions in the Copyright Act."

"CALL/ACBD's submitted that the court refrain from broadly construing the terms 'making available' and 'Communication to the Public by Telecommunication' and that s. 2.4(1.1) of the act ('Communication to the public by telecommunication') does not need to be understood as creating a new right."

CALL has intervened in the past in front of the Supreme Court of Canada on issues pertaining to Crown copyright and fair dealing. 

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

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Yale Law Journal Article on Prohibition on Giving Legal Advice

A recent article in the Yale Law Journal tackles an issue that I am sure many law librarians and court employees have thought about: the prohibition against non-lawyers providing "legal advice", a very ambiguous concept at times

The text deals with the reality in the United States but many of the issues will appear familiar to Canadians:

"In Part I of this Essay, I discuss the range of “legal advice” limitations promulgated by jurisdictions across the country, which, in many cases, lead to the withholding of critical information from individuals attempting to navigate the legal process. In Part II, I highlight some of the dangers posed by such broadly construed limitations, including constitutional due-process concerns. Finally, in Part III, I argue that courts and legislatures should be more explicit in their definitions of legal advice, eliminating any fear that court personnel may have of violating unauthorized-practice-of-law rules. They should also narrow definitions of legal advice to ensure that they protect rather than undercut unrepresented litigants."


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

Monday, January 10, 2022

January 2022 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 January 2022 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 6:37 pm 0 comments

Library Sector Submissions to 2022 Pre-Budget Consultations

The website has summarized submissions by organizations representing Canada’s GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) sector to the federal government's pre-budget consultations:

"Prior to the dissolution of the 43rd Parliament in August and the calling of the 44th General Election, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC)—the national voices for Canada’s research libraries and major public library systems—had published their recommendations for consideration in the next federal budget."

"The new Standing Committee published the briefs submitted by other associations and organizations representing Canada’s GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) sector as well as other sectors in December 2021."

There are summaries for the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations, the Centre for Equitable Library Access and many others.

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

International Federation of Library Associations Trend Report 2021 Update

The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) has published the Update of its 2021 Trend Report:

"To ensure the sustainability of our communities, institutions and profession, we owe it to ourselves to think through the trends and forces that may shape the world around us in the years to come, be they political, economic, technological, cultural or environmental."
"IFLA’s Trend Report series – launched in 2013, and with updates in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 – is there to support this reflection as a key part of individual and organisational development (...) "
"The Update shares 20 different suggested trends – some complementary, some contradictory – that the people who will be leading our field in ten years felt would mark their professional lives. For each one, a short section highlights key questions and aspects, as well as potential responses for the library field. The trends are: 
  1. Tough times ahead
  2. Virtual is here to stay
  3. The comeback of physical spaces
  4. The rise of soft skills
  5. Diversity gets taken seriously
  6. An environmental reckoning
  7. A mobile popupation
  8. The impatient user
  9. An analogue backlash
  10. Scale matters
  11. Data domination
  12. Search transformed
  13. Race to the extremes
  14. Lifelong learners
  15. A single, global collection
  16. The privatisation of knowledge
  17. Qualifications matter
  18. Information literacy recognised
  19. ‘Open’ raises questions about libraries’ unique selling point
  20. Inequalities deepen"






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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:21 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 06, 2022

New Year's Resolution: Show Your Law Librarians Some Love

I found this article about The Benefits of a Thank-You Folder on the Hack Library School blog.

It tells the story of someone who works in inter-library loans.

One day, a client sent them a thank you note and the librarian kept it. They then started keeping other thank-yous:

"Now, almost eight years later, I have a file folder of all sorts of thank you notes! (Of course, external motivation is all well and good, but harder to quantify and no less important is the pride I feel in myself when I know I’ve done a good job (...)

"I flip through my folder every once in a while, if I’m having a tough day or realize it’s been a while since I’ve looked at it. It’s good to be reminded of the positive things I’ve accomplished at this job the last nine years I’ve been here ..."

At my place of work, we created a folder in our document management system maybe 2-3 years ago where we file away compliments and thank-yous from internal and external clients.

We've already accumulated a few dozen short e-mails with compliments.

We have received comments such as:

  • never seen anything remotely like this from any other library, ever.
  • dogged initiative
  • shockingly quick
  • kept all of the promises they made at the beginning of the year during training of new users
And then there is my favourite, when a user wrote asking if we could "please clone" a certain person.

I have used some of the thank-yous to help write performance evaluations and sometimes simply to spread good vibes. One compliment letter even led to an annual workplace award.

So keep sending some love and appreciation to your hard-working law librarians.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:33 pm 0 comments