Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Canadian Human Rights Commission Report on Equality Rights of Aboriginal People

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications list a Canadian Human Rights Commission Report on Equality Rights of Aboriginal People:
"This report describes the impact of persistent conditions of disadvantage on the daily lives of Aboriginal people across Canada. "

"Drawn primarily from Statistics Canada surveys, the report compares Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people across a spectrum of indicators, including education, employment, economic well-being, health, and housing."

"These comparisons confirm the persistence of barriers to equality of opportunity faced by Aboriginal people."

"The report provides as comprehensive a statistical portrait as can be drawn from available data. Aboriginal people living off reserve are better represented in statistical surveys. On reserve, the gaps are significant. In some cases, data is simply not available."

"The report shows that, compared to non-Aboriginal people, Aboriginal people living in Canada: 
  • Have lower median after-tax income;
  • Are more likely to experience unemployment;
  • Are more likely to collect employment insurance and social assistance; 
  • Are more likely to live in housing in need of major repairs;
  • Are more likely to experience physical, emotional or sexual abuse; 
  • Are more likely to be victims of violent crimes; and 
  • Are more likely to be incarcerated and less likely to be granted parole." 
"For decades, study after study has chronicled the social injustice faced by Aboriginal people, on and off reserve. This report adds to our understanding by providing an empirical reference point regarding the impacts of systemic discrimination on the equality rights of a group protected by Canadian human rights legislation and international conventions. It is hoped that this report will serve to inform the work of stakeholders and government departments seeking to address these issues."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad. 

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recent Justice Canada Research Reports

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications lists a series of research reports released by Justice Canada in recent months:
  • Health Impacts of Violent Victimization on Women and their Children: "There is growing evidence of the strong links between violence against women and children and significant physical and mental health impairment, and risky health behaviours. These are prevalent among children, youth and adults victimized during childhood and/or adulthood. Certain groups, for example Canada’s Aboriginal women, are at increased risk of more, and more severe, violence, and potentially more significant health impacts. While physical injuries and death form an important sub-set of the health impacts of violence, the more prevalent consequences are longer-term mental health problems, which in turn contribute to health risks as well as increasing the likelihood of being a violent offender or being re-victimized at a later point in time. As well, newer research points to the longer term chronic diseases associated with violent victimization."
  • Gladue Practices in the Provinces and Territories: "This study is intended to provide a status report on pol icies and p ractices in the provinces and territories that reflect the principles set out in the Supreme Court decision in R. v. Gladue regarding (1) specialized courts for Aboriginal accused; (2) training and awareness activities for judges, probation officers, courtworkers and duty counsel; (3) procedures for sentencing, bail and parole hearings when a case involves an Aboriginal offender; and (4) community justice programs and resources for Aboriginal offenders (...) Overall, initiatives and programs that comply with the Gladue decision were identified in all the jurisdictions that took part in the study. Specialized courts for Aboriginal persons seem to be one of the most exemplary initiatives in terms of applying the Gladue decision . In total, 19 specialized courts (whether or not they deal exclusively with cases involving Aboriginal persons) were listed in eight jurisdictions. Gladue training and awareness activities for justice system officials, including judges, are provided in roughly half of the participating jurisdictions. However, one of the participants questioned the quality of the training. Most jurisdictions stated that bail and parole decision - making processes involving Aboriginal persons are informed by Gladue type information. Community justice programs appear to exist in the majority of jurisdictions. However, one of the participants observed that inadequate information sharing, coordination, integration and communication between the various stakeholders in the justice system and the persons in charge of community justice and health programs (e.g. substance abuse and mental health treatments) may prove to be a significant obstacle to the effectiveness of these programs. Another participant pointed that the need for more effective information sharing must also be balanced with privacy and confidentiality considerations. In addition, establishing partnerships between non - governmental organizations (NGOs) and the justice system seems to be an approach that a number of jurisdictions have adopted to jointly identify solutions to the situation experienced by Aboriginal persons in the justice system. Last, legal aid programs may also play an important role in applying Gladue principles as shown by certain exemplary practices established by Legal Aid Ontario."
  • The Path to Justice in a Court-Based Drug treatment court program: "Research has shown that people who graduate from drug treatment court program s are less likely to re-offend. However, the proportion of participants in drug treatment court programs who graduate is typically low. Only about 10% of all participants graduate from the Ottawa drug treatment court program which was the subject of this study. Clearly, the low success rate diminishes the potential impact of drug treatment court programs. Therefore, an important policy issue is why some people graduate from the program while others do not. Any measures that could increase the number of people who graduate would improve the effectiveness of drug treatment court programs. This study takes an access to justice approach in attempting to understand why some treatment court program participants successfully complete the program while others do not. "
  • The Economic Impact of Firearm-related Crime in Canada, 2008: "In 2008, the total economic and social costs of firearm - related crime in Canada were approximately $3.1 billion. This amounted to a per capita cost of $93 in that year. However, this is likely to be a conservative estimate due to the una vailability of data in many areas. For example, victims may develop mental health problems, such as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and suicidal behaviour. The associated costs are not included in this report due to data limitations . The costs outlined herein are borne by the criminal justice system, victims and third parties in general. The costs pertaining to the Canadian criminal justice system in 2008 amounted to approximately $302 million. A breakdown of the total criminal justice costs by sector reveals that policing services used the majority of justice expenditures on firearm - related crime (69.5%), followed by corrections (29.7%), courts (0.3%), prosecution (0.3%) and legal aid (0.2%). Victims bear the most direct and significant impact of crime. Many costs incurred are a direct result of victimization of firearm - related crime, such as health care cost, productivity losses and value of stolen/damaged property. The total victim costs were $2.7 billion in 2008, including both tangible and intangible costs."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Canadian Judicial Council 2012-2013 Annual Report


The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) has published its annual report for 2012-2013.

The CJC was created in 1971. Its role is to improve the quality of judicial service in all superior courts in Canada. It is composed of the chief justices and associate chief justices of Canada's superior courts. The Council is chaired by The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada.

One of its essential functions is to examine complaints concerning the acts of federally-appointed judges.

Among the highlights of the report:

  • For fiscal year 2012-2013 (reporting as of 21 March 2013) a total of 138 new complaint files were opened. The total number of complaint files closed for the same period was 131. As of 21 March 2013, there were 44 complaint files under review at various stages of the complaint process.The report summarizes 9 of the complaints.
  • As of 21 March 2013, 233 letters were sent to individuals who were seeking clarity on Council’s mandate or who were expressing dissatisfaction with a judge’s decisions or who were complaining about the conduct of an official not within Council’s jurisdiction (ie. provincial judge, master, lawyer). This is an increase from 163 such letters in 2011-12; 114 such letters in 2010-11 and 83 such letters in 2009-10.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:22 pm 0 comments links to this post

CLA Government Library Network Interview With Aimee Ellis

For the past few months, the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has been publishing 13 Questions With..., a series on its website that profiles a member of the Canadian library and IM community every week.

This week's interview is with Aimee Ellis, Manager, Yukon Energy, Mines and Resources Library:
"How do you stay current in your field?
Living so geographically isolated, I depend on online resources and tools to try to keep current. I also try to hire co-op students and to work with new grads, as they are usually the most current in the field. In addition, I try to attend or present at a conference in-person every couple of years."

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Questions on Library and Archives Canada Héritage Digitization Project

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of June 21, 2013 entitled Roundup of Coverage on Library and Archives Canada Heritage Digitization Plan.

The Héritage Project is an ambitious initiative that involves the digitization of approximately 60 million pages of primary-source documents from the collections of Library and Archives Canada (LAC). The digitization would be done by the non-profit library consortium Canadiana.org which would be granted a 10-year exclusive right to monetize the collections. Each year 10% of the collections would convert into Open Access available free of charge to Canadians. At the end of the project term 100% will be Open Access.

Ariel Katz, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, last week outlined Some Questions on the Héritage Project on his blog:
"From a legal perspective, the decision to grant Canadiana.org a 10-year exclusive right to monetize the collections raises a few interesting questions: (a) can LAC monetize its collections; or (b) can LAC enter into an agreement with third parties for that purpose; and (c) can it do it by granting an exclusive right?"

"The short answer, in my view, is: (a) LAC does not have the power to monetize its collections; (b) LAC can allow (or indeed cannot prevent), others from providing services based on its collections and monetize those services; but (c) LAC cannot grant an exclusive right to monetize the collections."

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Comparing Case Digest Systems

In her most recent post on her Canadian Legal Research Blog, Catherine Best discusses the usefulness of different case digest systems in Canadian law.

She looks at:
  • When digests are most useful
  • The frailties of digest classifications
  • How to improve retrieval of relevant digests

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Law Commission of Ontario Final Report on Increasing Access to Family Justice

The Law Commission of Ontario earlier this week released its final report on Increasing Access to Family Justice through Comprehensive Entry Points and Inclusivity:
"The family law system has been the subject of much comment in recent years and many reports recommending changes to the system. Since 2010, there have been reforms in relation to procedures to address domestic violence against women, provision of information, methods of resolving disputes other than the courts, changes in the courts and other efforts to improve the system. Yet persons facing family disputes still find the system complex and difficult to navigate. The LCO’s Final Report focuses on the initial stages of the system, notably the provision of information, ways of providing initial advice and the interrelationship of legal problems with other kinds of problems."

"The Report emphasizes the need for the system to respond to the evolving pluralist nature of Ontario’s population, and addresses how factors such as literacy levels, cognitive disabilities and, geographic location, among other characteristics, affect how easily people can access and use information, the affordability of legal representation and the degree to which legal problems are affected by other kinds of problems. It recommends the creation or enhancement of multidisciplinary, multifunctional centres or networks that link with “trusted intermediaries” such as cultural centres."

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Police-Reported Crime Statistics, 2012

Statistics Canada today published an article on Police-reported crime statistics, 2012:
"The police-reported crime rate, which measures the overall volume of crime that came to the attention of police, continued a long-term decline in 2012, falling 3% from 2011. The Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the severity of crime, also decreased 3%."

"Canadian police services reported almost 2 million criminal incidents (excluding traffic) in 2012, about 36,000 fewer than in the previous year."

"After peaking in 1991, the police-reported crime rate has followed a downward trend, and, in 2012, reached its lowest level since 1972."

"The CSI was down 28% over the 10 years since 2002. The decline in the crime rate in 2012 was driven by decreases in some of the most common offences, including mischief, break and enter, disturbing the peace, motor vehicle theft and possession of stolen property."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:23 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

English Law Commission Discussion Paper on Insanity and Automatism Defences

The English Law Commission has published a discussion paper examining the rules governing the defences of insanity and automatism.

Law Commissioner David Ormerod:

"In our 2012 scoping paper and fact-finding exercise we asked whether the law governing the insanity defence was causing problems in practice. From the responses we received, it is clear that there are indeed problems, but that practitioners largely work round them. However, it is also clear that practitioners think the work the Law Commission is doing to reform the law on unfitness to plead is more urgently needed and, for this reason, we are prioritising our work in this area. We would like, in due course, to return to our investigation of the insanity defence. In the meantime, we offer this paper to inform the continuing discussion on whether the law has the right test to distinguish between those who should be held criminally responsible for what they have done, and those who should not."

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

June 2013 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The June 2013 issue of Connected is available online. The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media on US courts.

In this issue:
  • Bench blogging
  • Judge social media accounts and public records requests
  • Conference of Court Public Information Officers fourth annual new media survey
  • Connected Courts
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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Monday, July 22, 2013

International Federation of Library Associations Launches Digital Library

IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, has launched the IFLA Library, a  repository to collect together IFLA’s own publications.

There are more than 160 publications available so far, including papers to be presented next month at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Singapore. Other IFLA publications will be added in the future.

All content will be discoverable via Google and Google Scholar.




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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:21 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, July 18, 2013

‘Havana Requiem’ Wins 2013 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

To add to to your summer reading list:

The 2013 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction goes to Stanford law professor Paul Goldstein for his novel Havana Requiem:
"The novel chronicles efforts by a lawyer, recovering alcoholic Michael Seeley, to help a group of aging Cuban jazz musicians and their families reclaim copyrights to their works. When his main client, Héctor Reynoso, goes missing, Seeley begins to realize that there is more to the story than music, and that a far deeper conspiracy is involved that might include both the Cuban secret police and his former law firm."
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 award jury included bestselling authors Michael Connelly (winner of the prize in 2012 for the thriller The Fifth Witness about the collapse of the U.S. mortgage industry)  and Richard North Patterson; U.S. talk show host Katie Couric; Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Dr. Sharon Malone, physician married to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

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

The prize is three years old. The first winner was John Grisham in 2011 for his novel The Confession.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of July 1-15, 2013 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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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:48 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Library of Parliament Background Paper on Anti-hate Laws

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications lists a revised edition of a Library of Parliament paper on Canada's anti-hate laws and freedom of expression.

In  particular, the document looks at proposed changes to s.13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. That section makes it a discriminatory practice to communicate by phone or Internet any message likely to expose someone to hatred or contempt by reason of their belonging to an identifiable protected group.

The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

SLA 2013 Contributed Papers Now Online

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) held its 2013 annual conference last month in San Diego.

Part of the conference included sessions where "contributed papers" were presented. Those papers are now online:
"Last month, information professionals from around the world gathered in San Diego to network with peers, learn from industry leaders, and meet with vendors to test drive the latest products and services. Some of them came for an additional reason–to present papers that addressed topics such as those in the paragraph above. These 'contributed papers' were presented in dedicated conference sessions, with four papers delivered on each day of the conference."

"The papers are now posted in the SLA 2013 Annual Conference online planner. Links to the papers are published below; the papers are organized according to the dates on which they were presented."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:48 pm 1 comments links to this post

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Salary Survey

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is carrying out a salary survey of law library staff working in Canada in order to provide a benchmark for CALL members.

Non-members are also encouraged to complete the survey.

All information provide by survey respondents is confidential and no personal information can be identified.

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

CLA Government Library Network Interview With Laura Lemmens

For the past few months, the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has been publishing 13 Questions With..., a series on its website that profiles a member of the Canadian library and IM community every week.

This week's interview is with Laura Lemmens, Alberta Government Library:
"Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Get involved with associations and communities of practice, network and volunteer! All of these activities will get your name out there and people with think of you when opportunities present themselves. You will make all sorts of connections to ideas and people (...)
How do you stay current in your field?
Staying current is like sinking in quicksand. We are in an information age where information is expanding geometrically and the only way to try and keep up is to network and discussion, sign up for social media sites and blogs related to your areas of interest and more. All things are interesting and the more you know, the more connections you make."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:02 pm 0 comments links to this post

Emerging Roles for Law Librarians

Jordan Furlong, the author of the legal blog Law 21, has written a piece in the July 2003 issue of Thomson Reuter's Practice Innovations newsletter called The Future is Now: Eight Emerging Roles for Law Librarians:
"Law libraries and KM departments have been hit as hard as everyone else by the disruption in the legal market. Law librarians and all legal professionals have witnessed the widespread decentralization of knowledge resources, the relentless pressure to cut costs and shrink physical footprints, and even the incursion of underemployed associates into territory previously inhabited solely by librarians. Now it's time to respond to these changes and gain control over the evolution of functions involving content management and its associated roles in KM, IT, client services, and analytics."

"Starting now, law librarians and KM personnel have the opportunity to integrate themselves into the architecture of the burgeoning new law firm model. The collection, curation, dissemination, and application of knowledge will lie at the heart of profitably efficient law firms of the future, and they are the stewards of that knowledge. Accordingly, here are eight possible new careers with the potential to transform not just law firms, but also the entire profession."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:52 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Statistics Canada Report on Police-Reported Hate Crime

Statistics Canada has published an article on Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2011:
"In Canada, four specific offences are listed as hate crimes in the Criminal Code: advocating genocide, public incitement of hatred, wilful promotion of hatred, and mischief in relation to religious property. In addition, section 718.2(a)(i) of the Criminal Code allows for increased penalties when sentencing any criminal offence (such as assault or mischief) where there is evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hatred toward a particular group."

"This report uses data from the 2011 Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2), which collects information from police services, to examine police-reported hate crime in Canada. More specifically, this report looks at the number of police-reported hate crime incidents in various jurisdictions as well as the characteristics of these incidents, victims, and those accused of these crimes. For the survey, a hate crime is defined as a criminal offence committed against a person or property, where there is evidence that the offence was motivated by hate, based on the victim’s race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor."

"Information on hate crimes is subject to reporting behaviour. The number of incidents actually reported to police as hate crimes may be influenced by public awareness and concern, as well as special hate crime initiatives and policies among police services. This report looks only at police-reported hate crimes, which likely underestimate the true extent of hate crime of various types."
Among the highlights:
  • There were 1,332 police-reported hate crime incidents in Canada in 2011, 5% fewer than the number reported in 2010. As a result, the hate crime rate declined from 4.1 to 3.9 incidents per 100,000 population.
  • About half (52%) of police-reported hate crimes in 2011 were motivated by race or ethnicity. Another 25% were related to religion and 18% to sexual orientation.
  • Mischief was the most commonly reported offence among police-reported hate crimes, making up half (50%) of all hate crime incidents. Overall, the majority of hate crimes involved non-violent offences.
  • The proportion of police-reported hate crimes involving violent offences, such as assault and uttering threats, grew from 34% in 2010 to 39% in 2011. Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation (65%) or race/ethnicity (41%) were the most likely to involve violent offences.
  • The majority of police-reported hate crime incidents were concentrated in major cities. The ten largest cities accounted for 51% of the Canadian population, but reported 64% of total hate crimes. In 2011, the cities with the highest rates of police-reported hate crime were Peterborough and Hamilton.
  • In crimes motivated by hate, the accused were predominantly young and male. Among persons accused of hate crimes in 2011, 88% were male, and 60% were under age 25.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:04 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wave of Legal Challenges to NSA Electronic Surveillance

The revelations by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency has been conducting widespread snooping against pretty much everyone, everywhere, all the time has provoked more than just political and diplomatic fallout.

As can be expected, there are several new lawsuits.

The American non-profit investigative journalism website Pro Publica has created the NSA Surveillance Lawsuit Tracker that lists the "key legal challenges to [U.S.] government surveillance and secrecy" since 2006. The last lawsuit added to the list was filed on July 8th.
For a Canadian take on government whistleblowers, I recommend the work of the NGO FAIR (Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform).

FAIR produces a monthly newsletter, the most recent issue being from June 2013. One of the articles is Canada slow to protect whistleblowing spies, soldiers.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:57 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Library Boy Taking Time Off - See You in 10 Days

I will be taking some downtime, unplugging, chilling, not looking at e-mail or Facebook or Twitter or blogs for a few days.

Until next week.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:58 pm 0 comments links to this post

Law Library of Congress Redesigns Legal Blawg Archive

The Law Library of Congress has updated the user interface of its Legal Blawg Archive.

Since about 2007, the Library has been collecting snapshots of select legal blawgs on a monthly basis. The vast majority are American but there are a few Canadian blawgs, including Slaw.ca.

As explained in a post yesterday in In Custodia Legis, the Law Library of Congress blog, the changes include:
"(1) thumbnail images for each of the archived blogs, which are embedded into both the results list and the individual item records; (2) faceted search options on the left-hand side of the results list, which allow search results to be narrowed by the year of the web capture, the specific legal subject of the blog, and the state/country/continent of origin for the blog; and (3) individual item records that include all web captures for blogs that have had changes in their URLs."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:54 pm 0 comments links to this post

CLA Government Library Network Interview With Karine Burger

For the past few months, the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has been publishing 13 Questions With..., a series on its website that profiles a member of the Canadian library and IM community every week.

This week's interview is with Karine Burger, Digital Archivist, International Monetary Fund:

Excerpt:

"Career advice – what’s your top tip? It’s early years, but so far my best advice is to be fearless! Trust your instincts; do what you know is right for you; and be kind to yourself (...)

How do you stay current in your field?
Monitoring select blogs, listservs and twitter for the latest developments in my field and related ones. Attending conferences is essential for inspiration, practical learning, and making professional connections. I’m currently a digital information and preservation specialist; the domain is constantly evolving."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:43 pm 0 comments links to this post