Monday, April 20, 2015

Publications Nominated for the 2015 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing

Every year, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) hands out the Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

It honours a publisher that has demonstrated excellence by publishing a work, series, website or e-product that makes a significant contribution to legal research and scholarship.

The nominees for this year are:
The award honours Hugh Lawford (1933-2009), Professor of Law at Queens’ University and the founder of Quicklaw.

The award will be presented to the winner at a reception during the 2015 CALL Annual Meeting in Moncton, New Brunswick in May. 

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

April 2015 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 April 2015 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 1:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Upcoming Webinar on Library Polices: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Education Institute, the continuing education program developed by The Partnership of Provincial and Territorial Library Associations of Canada, is organizing a webinar on Library Polices: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly on April 23, 2015:
"All libraries have policies. But when was the last time your reviewed them and ask yourself, 'Is this policy really necessary?' In this one hour session, Michael will share his experiences and stories of speaking with librarians about their policies over the past twenty years. And, even if you don’t change any of your library’s policies when it’s all over, you’ll at least be asking yourself, or your administration, 'Just why do we have this policy?' "
The one-hour webinar is $45 for members/$55 for non-members and begins at 12PM EST.

The instructor is Michael Sauers, Technology Innovation Librarian for the Nebraska Library Commission.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

SLA Survey on Strategies for Demonstrating Your Contributions

The international information professional organization SLA (Special Libraries Association) is conducting a survey on strategies people use to demonstrate how they contribute to the success of their organization:
"We are seeking real-world examples that will become the core of a toolkit of readily-adaptable templates that can be used by any member."

"Please complete this survey in the spirit of sharing and networking that helps SLA work for the benefit of its members. It should only take 15-20 minutes."

"Please respond no later than Thursday, April 30."
Results will inform an event at the SLA 2015 annual conference in Boston.

SLA reported earlier this week on its blog that preliminary results show that:
  • 3 out of 4 respondents provide a regular report on services to stakeholders;
  • 8 out of 10 chose language carefully when explaining the value of their operation;
  • over 60% have specific vision/mission statements and values;
  • 70% don’t benchmark services; and
  • over 30% have a pre-prepared pitch for chance conversations

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:11 pm 0 comments links to this post

International Inter-Library Loan Survey

The International Interlibrary Loan Committee of the Reference and User Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, is conducting a survey about international inter-library loan activities. It was developed for the Committee by the University of Washington.

The questions deal with:
  • Total number of ILL Borrowing and also Lending requests received within a recent (last three years) 12 month period
  • Total number of International Borrowing and also International Lending requests received within a recent (last three years) 12 month period
  • Average turnaround time for all borrowing requests regardless of source
  • The top five countries borrowed from and also the top five loaned to
Two previous international ILL reports are available on the RUSA website:

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2015 Law via the Internet Conference Call for Papers

The organizers of the 2014 Law via the Internet conference have posted a call for submissions on a range of topics from sports law online to user-generated legal content.

The event takes place at the University of New South Wales 10-11 November, 2015. The submission deadline for abstracts is July 24, 2015.

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 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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American Library Association Preservation Week

The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association, is celebrating Preservation Week from April 26-May 2, 2015.

As part of the week, it s offering a series of free webinars:

April 28th - Moving Image Preservation 101
This presentation covers the basic composition and history of film and video technology, particularly as it relates to formats found within personal and family collections. Tips and tricks for preserving your personal moving image materials will be addressed so that future generations can continue to enjoy your family movies and videos.
More information: http://www.ala.org/alcts/confevents/upcoming/webinar/042815

April 30th - Digital Preservation for Individuals and Small Groups
As technology changes, the greatest threat to preserving digital files is obsolescence. Files may get stuck on obsolete media or in some form that may become unusable in time. This webinar can help increase your understanding of what it takes to preserve commonly used digital files such photos, recordings, videos and documents. Learn about the nature of the digital-preservation challenge and hear about some simple, practical tips and tools to help you preserve your digital stuff.
More information: http://www.ala.org/alcts/confevents/upcoming/webinar/043015

May 1st - Disaster Response Q&A
Once a disaster strikes, the knee-jerk reaction is to rush in and save everything, but racing in without advance planning puts collections at risk of more damage and staff at risk of injury. This session will feature a live question-and-answer session.
More information: http://www.ala.org/alcts/confevents/upcoming/webinar/050115

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Article on University of Toronto's Searchable Database of Edward Snowden Documents

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of March 6, 2015 entitled Canadians Create New Searchable Database of Edward Snowden Documents.

U of T News,  the news website of the University of Toronto, published an article yesterday about the Snowden Surveillance Archive, a database of all the publicly released classified documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The Archive project was led by the university's Andrew Clement, a professor at the institution's "iSchool" (information studies):
"Launched in partnership with the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, the archive is just one part of an international effort led by the iSchool's Clement to develop constructive responses by iSchools around the world to the growing challenge of mass state surveillance."

"A public statement endorsed by Clement and faculty at iSchools across North America calls for universities to: develop curriculum that addresses issues of mass state surveillance and prepare students to understand better the surveillance to which they are exposed; invite NSA and other government officials as guest course speakers to address issues of mass state surveillance and respond to student questions; and invite NSA whistleblowers and journalists who have covered the NSA disclosures as guest speakers to address issues of mass state surveillance and respond to student questions."


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Saturday, April 11, 2015

British Library Exhibition on 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta

This is a follow-up to the February 7, 2015 Library Boy post entitled More on the Magna Carta's 800th Anniversary that mentioned an online exhibition at the British Library about the anniversary of the document considered the foundation for the concept of the rule of law.

The British Library's Medieval Manuscripts Blog has an article on Pictures At An Exhibition that describes some of the prints, drawings and paintings that present the Magna Carta in its historical context.

The items come from the British Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum; the National Portrait Gallery; HM The Queen and the Royal Collection, Windsor; the Palace of Westminster; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; and the Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

Earlier Library Boy posts about the Magna Carta include:

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Bill C-49: An Act to amend the Competition Act

The Library of Parliament recently published a legislative summary of Bill C-49: An Act to amend the Competition Act (short title: Price Transparency Act):
"Bill C-49: An Act to amend the Competition Act (short title: Price Transparency Act)1 was introduced and given first reading in the House of Commons on 9 December 2014. Fundamentally, the bill aims to end geographic price discrimination, which, according to the government, is one of the key contributors to the Canada–U.S. price gap for consumer goods."

"The bill gives the Commissioner of Competition the authority to investigate alleged cases of price discrimination between the two countries. The Commissioner’s findings, which are to be publicly reported, must include the apparent reasons for price differences and shed light on any unjustified differences (...)"

"Bill C-49 received a mixed response from stakeholders following its introduction and first reading in the House of Commons. According to media reports, the main criticism of the bill is that it will probably not be effective in reducing the consumer goods price gap between Canada and the United States. The C.D. Howe Institute suggested that the bill might even diminish competition in Canada by discouraging foreign companies from doing business in Canada. "

"However, the Retail Council of Canada expressed support for the bill. It believes that some foreign manufacturers sell their products at a higher price to Canadian retailers than to U.S. retailers, simply because they believe that Canadians are willing to pay more for the same product. The council believes that the bill will identify manufacturers who practise geographical price discrimination and allow Canadians to know which ones are treating them fairly."
It is possible to follow the progress of the Bill in Parliament on the LEGISinfo website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:50 pm 0 comments links to this post

Statistics Canada Article on Legal Aid in Canada, 2013/14

Statistics Canada has published an article in its publication Juristat entitled Legal aid in Canada, 2013/2014:
"Access to justice in Canada is a priority of governments, policy-makers, legal professionals and the public ... One aspect of access to justice is access to legal services. Not all Canadians have the resources to pay for a lawyer. Legal aid plans have been established in all provinces and territories with the common goal of assisting lower-income Canadians who require legal services either for criminal or civil matters ... This Juristat bulletin presents results for 2013/2014 of the Legal Aid Survey, which collects information on the operation of Canada’s 13 legal aid plans."

"Legal aid plans receive funding to operate and to provide legal services from governments (both federal and provincial or territorial), as well as from client contributions, cost recoveries from legal settlements, and from contributions from the legal profession and other sources."

"The federal government provides funding for legal aid to the provinces and territories. According to data from the Legal Aid Survey, the federal government, through the Department of Justice Legal Aid Program, reported providing a total of $112 million to the provinces and territories for the delivery of criminal and civil legal aid. Provincial and territorial governments directly fund both criminal and civil legal aid. In 2013/2014, provincial and territorial governments reported contributing $643 million to legal aid plans across Canada."

"Legal aid plans in Canada reported receiving funding of $823 million in 2013/2014 ... Government sources contributed the vast majority of this amount—92% of the total. The remaining 8% of funding was received from client contributions, cost recoveries from legal settlements, and contributions from the legal profession and other sources."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles March 2015

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

The web page explains: "The Supreme Court of Canada Library lends materials from all but the most recent New Library Titles list in accordance with its Interlibrary Loan Policy."

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

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

All Supreme Court of Canada Decisions Back to its Founding Now Available on the SCC Judgments Website

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that all decisions published in the Supreme Court Reports dating back to 1876 are now available on the SCC Judgments website run for the Court by the company Lexum.

According to today's press release:
"Over the past 20 years, the SCC and Lexum have been working collaboratively, together with partners such as the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Law Foundation of British Columbia, the Alberta Law Foundation, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique in Quebec, CanLII and others, to fill in gaps in the Supreme Court judgment database. We are pleased that the work begun so many years ago is nearly complete." 


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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Canadian Lawyer Magazine Cover Story on Supreme Court Justice Andromache Karakatsanis

The most recent issue of Canadian Lawyer has a cover story on Supreme Court Justice Andromache Karakatsanis:
"The relative calm of the morning is a break in what has been a very busy and sometimes controversial past few years at the Supreme Court. During that period, the court has struck down some of the federal government’s crime legislation and ruled against its attempt to unilaterally amend the terms of senators. It quashed some of the country’s prostitution laws, struck down the ban on assisted suicide, ruled that Marc Nadon was not eligible to be appointed to its bench, and concluded there is a constitutional right to strike."

"Sitting with her colleagues in all of those cases was Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, who has already carved out a profile at the court in the three-and-half-years since she was elevated from the Ontario Court of Appeal. In addition to her role in the majority decisions that received the most media attention, she has been the author of a number of major rulings that will impact the legal community and the administration of justice. They include decisions designed to streamline civil litigation, protect the privacy rights of sexual assault victims, and remove a potential obstacle for individuals who are suing police over alleged misconduct. She has not hesitated to write strong dissents in areas as diverse as competition law to warning against allowing the state broad powers that might infringe the privacy rights of people under police investigation."
At the bottom of the article, readers can find a list of her "noteworthy Supreme Court rulings".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:13 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada Hearings Calendar for April 2015

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

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

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Monday, April 06, 2015

Association of College and Research Libraries 2015 Conference Proceedings Available Online

The proceedings of the latest Association of College and Research Libraries conference held in Portland, Oregon in late March are now online, all 828 pages of them in one single PDF file.

Lots of cool stuff. Enjoy!

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:29 pm 0 comments links to this post

New Blog on the Future of the Canadian Library Association

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has been discussing a major reorganization in recent months.

The CLA is proposing a new model based on the concept of a federated "association of associations" to replace the existing direct membership model that is seen as inadequate and obsolete. It would somehow bring together existing provincial/territorial and national sectoral associations (e.g. health, law, etc.).

A new blog called Future CLA has been launched by the CLA Executive to disseminate information about the ongoing discussions.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:26 pm 0 comments links to this post

Statistics Canada Article on Police Resources in Canada

At the end of March, the Statistics Canada publication Juristat published an article on Police resources in Canada, 2014.

The article examines trends in police resources for Canada, the provinces and territories, and census metropolitan areas (CMAs). The number of police officers per 100,000 population (rate of police strength) is presented for each of the national, provincial/territorial, and CMA levels.

Additionally, other police personnel statistics, including gender, hirings, departures, and eligibility to retire of police officers, and data on expenditures on policing (a component of justice system spending) are presented for the national and provincial/territorial levels. Finally, selected personnel data are presented at the national level, including rank, age group, and years of service of police officers, as well as the number of civilians.

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Friday, April 03, 2015

Canada's Information Commissioner Proposes Major Expansion of Access to Information Legislation

Suzanne Legault, the Information Commissioner of Canada, earlier this week proposed a major modernization of the federal Access to Information Act that would extend the legislation's coverage to currently exempt government bodies.

Under the Act passed more than 30 years ago, any Canadian citizen can ask federal government departments and agencies for access to internal documents with some exceptions (defence, law enforcement investigations, cabinet confidences, etc.). Those agencies must respond within 30 days or explain why a delay is required.

Annual reports by the Office of the Information Commissioner have documented major delays as well as problems related to the exclusion under the Act of many types of important documents and of many government bodies.

Mme. Legault is therefore recommending that the Act:
  •  cover the Prime Minister’s Office, ministers’ offices, the institutions that support Parliament and the administration of the courts
  • add a legal duty to document the decision-making process to ensure that official records are created, and a legal duty to report the unauthorised destruction or loss of information
  • require that any delay beyond 60 days  be subject to the authorization of the Office of the Commissioner
  • outline that clear limits be placed on the exemptions that must remain to protect specific types of information

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:51 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

March 2015 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The March 2015 issue of Connected is available online. The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media on courts.

In this month's issue:
  • Social media bill riding its way to the Texas House
  • Court 'unfriends' interns' social media proposal
  • India's Supreme Court strikes down social media law
  • North Carolina lawyers allowed to connect with judges on LinkedIn
  • Social media tip of the month (hint: grammar matters)
The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:27 pm 0 comments links to this post

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

The April  2015 issue of In Session is available online.

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

The current issue has lots of information about the upcoming annual CALL conference in Moncton, New Brunswick, May 3-6, 2015.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Recording Available of US Webinar on Law Library Services to Self-Represented Litigants

A recording of the March 24, 2015 webinar A2J: Best Practices for Court, County, and Government Law Libraries is now available on the website of the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN):
"As we claim our role in alleviating the justice gap, law librarians provide unique services for self-represented litigants and are critical advocates for essential library services. This webinar is specifically for court, county, and government law librarians who want to learn basic service benchmarks as well as touchstones for evolving services. Whether a practical lesson or best practice for library self help programs, these guiding principles will energize attendees. The program will  serve as a catalyst for enhancing services in all public law libraries, no matter  how small or large. It will also convince law librarians that they can and must promote law library services among other collaborators in the legal community."
The event was jointly organized by SRLN and the State, Court, County Law Libraries Special Interest Group of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Speakers were:
  • James G. Durham, Deputy Director of the Maryland State Law Library
  • Janine Liebert, Senior Public Interest Librarian within the Programs & Partnerships team at LA Law Library
  • Joan Bellistri, Director of the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library (Annapolis, Maryland)
  • Sara Galligan, Director of the Ramsey County Law Library (St.Paul, Minnesota)
Slides for the presentation are also available on the webpage.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

American Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Security Issues in Law Libraries

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is hosting a webinar on Security Issues in Law Libraries on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Central Time):
"Security risks in law libraries, courthouses, and law schools require an expert response. During this webinar, experienced administrators will provide guidance about how to identify security risks in law libraries; how to compile security plans that address library concerns; and where to go for assistance as the library security plan is implemented. Coverage will include digital security, protection of rare books and other special collections, and the physical security of staff and facilities."
Speakers will be:
  • Michelle Rigual, Law Library Acting Director, University of New Mexico School of Law
  • Richard Parris, Chief Security Officer for the District of Columbia Courts
The webinar is free for AALL Members; Non-AALL Members - $60  (US).

People must register by April 20.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre Proposes Sweeping Reform of Canadian Charity Law

The University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre has released a report that calls on the federal government to introduce a major reform of charity law to bring it in line with other jurisdictions like the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and England.

The report was commissioned by the environmental group DeSmog Canada.

Under current legislation, registered Canadian charities cannot spend more than 10 per cent of resources on political activity or advocacy.

In 2012, the federal government announced a new audit program by the Canada Revenue Agency to investigate whether any charities may have violated political spending limits. Those charities audited include Amnesty International Canada and Pen Canada, as well as some of Canada’s most prominent environmental charities, including the David Suzuki Foundation, Tides Canada, West Coast Environmental Law, the Pembina Foundation, Environmental Defence, Equiterre and the Ecology Action Centre.

Since many of the audited groups have been highly critical of government action, many have expressed the fear that the new audit policy is either intended to silence them or will produce that effect indirectly. In theory, if auditors find that a registered charity has exceeded the cap on the amount of donated money that can be spent on political advocacy, it could see its charitable status revoked.

The report recommends:
  • clearer statutory rules about what constitutes permissible political activity and a more generous limit on allowable political activities
  • amending the Income Tax Act and policies to provide for less draconian penalties for inadvertent, non-repetitive or minor exceedances of limits on political activities
  • establishing a politically independent Canadian Charities Commission
  • modernizing the definition of “charitable purposes” to allow charitable organizations to pursue, as their primary objective, political activities in support of a charitable purpose such as the "prevention of poverty" (as opposed to the currently allowed "alleviation of poverty")
The report looks at the practices in a number of other jurisdictions such as Scotland, England and Wales, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, France and the Netherlands.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:15 pm 0 comments links to this post