Thursday, May 29, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference - Expanding the Influence of the Law Library

Greg Lambert, one of the contributors to the well-known site 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, was the final keynote speaker yesterday at the 2014 annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) in Winnipeg.

Lambert, a member of the executive board of the American Association of Law Libraries and the Director of Library & Research Services at Jackson Walker LLP in Houston, Texas, gave a presentation on the "Three Foot Radius of the Law Library" .

By that, he means that law librarians need to stop thinking of the library as a place, and start thinking  instead of the services that are provided. This will require working to get clients to a point where they no longer think of the bricks and mortar, the tables, books on shelves etc. when they think of the law library. In other words, the "3-foot radius" means that where librarians walk through their organization, that is the library. It is less a place and more a "bubble of service".

To put that new brand idea into practice, Lambert had a number of suggestions.
  • Get out: your space does not define you anymore, do you really need to be in physical proximity to the collection(s)? Is it possible to become embedded in the space where faculty members have offices, inside law firm practice groups, or where clients spend their time? This can mean suddenly being able to be part of conversations, and to engage with leaders. As an example, he mentioned a library reference desk being moved out into the foyer of a local family court in Texas
  • Listen: what are leaders discussing, what are they doing and not doing, what are their pain points? Law librarians should be looking for opportunities to get involved to help the organization cope with these stresses. And most of all, law librarians must get over being afraid to ask what leaders are up to, what they need, what they are afraid of
  • Solve problems that help customers get back to their core functions: profs want to teach and research, lawyers want to practice, judges want to hear cases. Yet, to use one example Lambert referred to, many judges find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time helping self-represented litigants understand and fill out forms
  • Expand the library's reach: this can be done by doing non-library things. He gave the example of an entreprising librarian in Travis County, Texas who proposed setting up a self-help centre in the library for self-represented litigants in family law cases. The  librarian convinced the court to assign 2 attorneys to work in the library to help with case-related paperwork and litigants were not authorized to show up in the courtroom until one of the 2 attorneys signed off on the forms. Last year, that local family court handled 80,000 clients and was able to speed up many of its procedures
Lambert said that these are times of stress in law firms, courts, law faculties and in their associated libraries, but these are also times of opportunity the law library profession must grasp. If it is related to research and analysis and process improvement, the law library can and should be doing it, and that includes business development, knowledge management, and involvement in legal project management.


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference - Future of Resource Sharing

One of the workshops I was able to attend at the 2014 annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) in Winnipeg this week was about "Resource Sharing: Where Do We Go Now?"
It tackled questions such as whether inter-library loans are still a valued service and what forms agreements between libraries should take for resource sharing, collaborative collection development and licensing.
Rosalie Fox from the Supreme Court of Canada set the tone by describing the new landscape many are facing. According to her, the cancelling and weeding of print law reporters and textbooks, licensing constraints to resource sharing, and quasi universal access to the same journal databases are creating a situation where collections are becoming more homogeneous across the country.
Kim Nayyer from the University of Victoria presented some preliminary findings of her CALL-sponsored research project into the future of resource sharing among law libraries.
This spring, Nayyer surveyed law librarians across Canada with collection development and management responsibilities on their attitudes towards resource sharing.
Questions covered such things as the scope of resource sharing activities via written and unwritten agreements, with whom such arrangements were made and what they covered, as well as future goals. 
For a slight majority of respondents, agreements were informal, ie not in writing. Written agreements included ILL, document delivery and occasionally the determination of which institution would own the "last copy" in particular categories of material. Unwritten arrangements tended to include the same things, but they often also included agreements for shared purchasing with participating libraries allowed to borrow from each other.
A major area of uncertainty for many respondents had to do with shared or collective licensing. As well, a majority admitted that they have shared materials even when they were uncertain whether their licences allowed it, althought this did not happen very often in most cases.
Should shared licenses be a feasible option, 45% of respondents answered they would want this to be done through CALL, the second highest option being some kind of library consortium. Others mentioned local associations such as the Toronto Association of Law Libraries as well as ad hoc groupings of 2 or 3 local libraries. Other suggestions included law societies, the Canadian Bar Associatior regional bars, as long as they had experience in negotiating consortial licences.
Nayyer concluded by describing many of the current challenges libraries face when contemplating resource sharing: the everyday practical difficulties of rush requests, internal policies that may prevent participation, a restricted ability to engage in negociations for libraries that belong to a larger entity, the possibility of price increases by the publishers to compensate if their market is reduced because of consortial buying.
Andrea Zielinski, a private law firm librarian in Alberta, explained what the situation looks like from the point of view of a solo librarian.
She described recent changes to the Alberta Law Libraries network that significantly reduced the number of locations in the network from which it used to be possible to borrow. Alberta Law Libraries remains her first stop, but cuts to services have reduced the usefulness of the service. 
Another large consotium she can turn to Is called NEOS. It offers a unified catalogue to collections in the province's colleges, universities and tech institutes. NEOS offers ILL, document delivery, and even shared collection development opportunities.
Like many solo librarians or staff in smaller collections, she has to be creative and resourceful. She can use NEOS to find a location for needed material and then go get it physically at the corresponding library and deliver to the lawyer the same day. As a workaround, she uses her public library card to gain access to the  NEOS collection. For electronic resources, she uses a one day pass at the local university. She often just directly contacts the author of journal articles and that gets many good results. And she mentioned the CALL-L listserv as a lifeline.
Gail Hogan from the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador described the situation in her province where there is no local law faculty and where the collections at the department of Justice and three regional law firms have suffered from recent cuts. This has made the Law Society library the last place people can turn to for many documents.

The Law Society library manages to cope through formal agreements with law societiies in other regions, the provincial legislative library and the med school at Memorial University. Formal agreements for resource sharing amongst law libraries in the Atlantic region also allow for the sharing of bar admission materials, CLE materials and legislative materials. 
However, as she noted, agreements easily become forgotten at the first sign of budget cuts.
Overall, the Law Society library does enjoy institutional support. The Law Society fact has increased the library's financing in recognition of its central role in promoting legal research by lawyers.
In her final comments, Hogan encouraged people to be persistent in asking when in need of materials and to be less afraid of our licences which may allow more occasional lending than we assume.
Anne Matthewman from Dalhousie University in Halifax offered the perspective from an academic library.
The province of Nova Scotia has a library network known as NovaNet based on a formal agreement among institutions for ILL and document delivery but it contains many restrictions, For instance, the network has a lot of the materials law firms want but it cannot supply them fast enough to rushed lawyers. On the other hand, firms can visit member libraries and make  copies locally.
There are many Informal arrangements in terms of collection development. Dalhousie has agreed to collect in maritime, health, environmental law, etc., but it will not buy oil and gas or aerospace because other universities have special collections in those areas.
Questions do persist in relation to long-term preservation. Matthewman asked what happens in 10 years if people involved in informal arrangements retire and new directors or managers decide that any agreements are no longer valid.
As to whether formal or informal, or smaller or larger arrangements are more advantageous, Matthewman remarked that smaller, informal arrangements at the local level may be better because of their flexibility and because it is easier to work around any constraints. Larger, more formal agreements may often tie participants' hands.
Last but not least, she reminded people that there are many innovative consortia out there that focus on long-term preservation of historical materials and that are flexible when it comes to sharing: NELLCO, LLMC, Early. Canadiana Online, Internet Archive, etc.
Roxalie Fox summed up much of the discussion by pointing out a number of trends. 
One thing that is clear is that speed of delivery is important for many clients. The idea that is gaining currency in parts of the US of shared repositories for print collections to which contributing members would have access may therefore not be applicable in Canada because delivery of materials could be considered too slow. She suggested that city-specific initiatives may be more suitable.
She also drew attention to the elephant in the room: Canada's National Union Catalogue AMICUS that should be the source of ILL information is no longer reliable. Fewer and fewer libraries report their holdings to its sponsor, Library and Archives Canada, with many academic libraries now reporting to OCLC instead and bypassing AMICUS altogether. We are headed towards an ackward situation where a database of an international consortium OCLC is fast becoming the de facto national union catalogue.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing to JurisClasseur Quebec

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) announced yesterday at its annual conference in Winnipeg that the JurisClasseur Quebec encyclopedia (LexisNexis Canada) is the winner of the 2014 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

It honours a publisher (whether for-profit or not-for profit, corporate or non-corporate) that has demonstrated excellence by publishing a work, series, website or e-product that makes a significant contribution to legal research and scholarship.

There was a brief description of the encyclopedia on Slaw.ca in December 2012.

The other nominees for this year's Hugh Lawford award were:
  • The Queen’s Bench Rules of Saskatchewan: Annotated, 4th ed. (Law Society of Saskatchewan Libraries)
  • Copyright Law, Fourth Edition (John Wiley and Sons, Inc.)
  • GALLOP: Government and Legislative Libraries Online Publications Portal (Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada/ L’Association des bibliothèques parlementaires au Canada)
The award honours Hugh Lawford (1933-2009), Professor of Law at Queens’ University and the founder of Quicklaw.


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Monday, May 26, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference Awards

 The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) held its annual awards luncheon earlier today at its annual conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  • Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship: the winner is Nancy McCormack from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. McCormack has authored or co-authored many books on legal research and was editor of the Canadian Law Libraries Review in the recent past
  • The 2013 Research Grant was awarded to Tim Knight of Osgoode Hall Law School and to Sarah Sutherland from CanLII to conduct research on "Exploring the Linked Data Application of The KF Modified Classification". The 2014 grant goes to Greg Wurzer of the University of Saskatchewan who will be researching the origins of headnotes in British caselaw
  • The 2014 Diana M. Priestly Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Veronika Kollbrand. She is currently enrolled in the JD/MLIS program at Dalhousie University 
  • 3 James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship were awarded this year: Jennifer Adams (Sir James Dunn Law Library, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University) received funding to support her attendance at the four day “Certificate in Leadership Excellence” course at St. Mary’s University; Mary-Jo Mustoe (R. Boak Burns Law Library, Welland County Law Association) received funding to attend the U of T iSchool Institute Symposium called “Defining New Metrics for Library Success”; and Bronwyn Guiton (Lawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver) will receive funds to attend a course at 2014 SLA in Vancouver this June. The course is called “CI Success for Librarians and Info Pros, from Start- up to World Class”. 


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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference - Vendor Demos

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) annual conference started this weekend in Winnipeg.

A major segment of each annual conference is devoted to presentations by vendors of new products and product enhancements. 

Here are summaries of a few of the demos from earlier today:

Wolters Kluwer CCH:
This publisher has been adding "Roadmaps" and "Smart Charts" to many loose-leafs and online publications. Roadmaps are easy-to-use how to guides offering brief summaries of a specific area of law. Online Smart Charts are easy-to-build FAQ-style charts on a topic that can contain links to key documents such as statutes and other summary information.

They have also adding new precedents in corporate and commercial law (e.g. Non-disclosure agreements), tables of concordance, reference charts (e.g. In the case of guides on director's liability: Charts for statutes, what constitutes a breach, liability and statutory defences and limitation periods), as well as new commentary in the Ontario Real Estate Guide on mortgage guarantees, purchase of property, condos and equitable remedies.

The company is also commencing beta testing of a new version of Canadian Legislative Pulse, its legislative tracking tool. It will no longer use Java and will be viewable in browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Justis.com:
Over the next few months, this British company will launch a new research platform that will combine its citator product JustCite with a vastly expanded collection of full-text caselaw including unreported judgments. It has been developing a new subject taxonomy for UK, Canadian and Australian caselaw that will offer multiple subject angles to the same case. For example, the same case may be findable under such  categories as construction, employment, damages etc.

SOQUIJ:
SOQUIJ, a Quebec public sector legal information publisher, has been developing a new "Recherche juridique" platform that will eventually replace its well-known Juris.doc caselaw / statutory / doctrine research product. The new platform radically simplifies the Juris.doc search interface. The user can add lines to the search, with each new line being for a different search field, add filters for sources, year, type of publication, jurisdiction, subject heading (using the sophisticated SOQUIJ topical taxonomy), launch the search, then filter and re-filter results all on one page. There is no firm deadline for the launch of the new platform, still in testing.

HeinOnline:
The American provider has been adding new "libraries" to its online collections, some of the most recent additions being the Women and the Law Library (books, journals and biographies, historical and comtemporary, on feminism and legal theory), the US International Trade Library and the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law Publications (from Columbia University). New libraries in development include the Revised Statutes of British Columbia and eventually of other provinces and a World Treaty Library.

The big news of the year was the partnership between HeinOnline and US caselaw provider Fastcase. Under the partnership, US federal and state case law citations in journal articles on HeinOnline have been turned into inline hyperlinks. All the user has to do is click on the link to be taken to the full text of the case on Fastcase, even without being a Fastcase subsriber.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference - Annual Reports from Special Interest Groups

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post called Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference - More Annual Reports.

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is beginning its 2014 annual conference this weekend in Winnipeg.

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

Here are summaries of some of the SIG reports:

Academic Law Libraries SIG:
The SIG is sponsoring a session at the conference entitled Legal Research Instruction: A Whole Different Classroom, given by Eunice Friesen, Associate Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at the University of Manitoba.

The SIG also maintains an active listserv. Some of the activity last year on the listserv included an invitation for members to take part in a study to investigate what effect(s) the act of conducting research has on professional practice; a discussion on learning management systems; questions about whether libraries are paying for web access to newspapers which have introduced paywalls; and a media release of Melbourne Law School’s new blog “Opinions on High” the first legal academic blog covering the High Court of Australia.

At its business meeting in Winnipeg, the SIG will discuss issues such as how the role of law librarian is changing with changing strategic plans at host institutions, chat services, what is being kept in print in legislative collections, and new ways to increase the awareness of faculty of library services.

Access and Resources Sharing SIG:
The implementation of the new cataloguing rules, Resource Description and Access (RDA), is underway. Over the next year the SIG will review the available training materials and assess the need for materials related specifically to the cataloguing of legal resources in Canadian law libraries.

The SIG is sponsoring a pre-conference workshop called “A Conversation on the Semantic Web and Legal Information”. It aims to provide an “overview of the emerging linked data and semantic web in the context of legal information aimed at an audience with little pre-existing understanding of the subject.”

Courthouse and Law Society Libraries SIG:
The main focus of the SIG has been the organizing of a conference session on "Resource sharing: Where do we go now?"

From the description: "Is interlibrary loan still a valued library service? What does resource sharing mean in the digital library landscape? Are formal agreements between libraries for resource sharing, reciprocal borrowing, and other collaborative collection decisions still relevant? Does a last print copy repository make sense for Canada, given our geographic size and institutional diversity?"

Government Libraries SIG:
The SIG has been updating the 2004 document Law Libraries in Canada to provide an overview of the organization and operation of government law libraries across the country, and to give librarians guidance on which library might be best suited to help when looking for assistance in a particular jurisdiction. This should be completed in 2014-2015 and the final document will be published on the CALL website.

Prison Libraries SIG:
The SIG is sponsoring a session at the conference on library services to prisons in Manitoba. Next year, the SIG hopes to work more closely with the recently formed Prison Library SIG of the Canadian Library Association.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference - More Annual Reports

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post called Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference Annual Reports.

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is beginning its 2014 annual conference this weekend in Winnipeg.

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

Here are summaries of some of them:

Oral History Project:
The Oral History Project was established to capture the association’s history as it approached its 50th anniversary in 2013. Interviews with CALL veteran Denis Lemay (Université Laval) have been completed. The Project will shortly begin a new oral history with Anne Crocker, who served as president of CALL from 1995 to 1997.

Vendor Liaison Committee:
The Committee will be hosting the Vendor’s Open Forum at the 2014 conference where the membership will have the opportunity to ask questions to major Canadian publishers such as Carswell, LexisNexis, CCH and SOQUIJ. The Committee will also report back to the membership on publishers’ presentations notably Westlaw, CCH, Minesoft, Justis Publishing Ltd., SOQUIJ, William Hein.

Canadian Abridgment Editorial Advisory Board:
The Board meets formally twice a year with representatives from Carswell, the publisher of the Abridgment. The Board was advised that 2013 was a busy publishing year with reissues of the volumes of case digests on pensions, natural resources, public law, guarantee and indemnity, financial institutions, communications, conflict of laws, commercial law, and intellectual property. Labour and Employment will be reissued in 2014. Civil Practice and Procedure will be reissued in 2015.

In terms of the Index to Canadian Legal Literature (ICLL), more provincial reports are being added, mostly for the western provinces, as well as 2 new publications: Impact and Canadian Employer. There was 1 new contributor to the ICLL in 2013: Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec. A new subject heading specific to CLE/CPD materials is being added on a go forward basis. Carswell asked the Board members if blogs and podcasts should be included in the ICLL. Legal podcasts from reputable institutions such as McGill will be indexed, but blog articles will not for the moment.

New Canadian Encyclopedic Digest volumes published in 2013 include those on Alternate Dispute Resolution, Human Rights, Municipal Corporations (split into 3 parts: Administration and Counsel; Bylaws, Permits, and Legal Proceedings; and General), Pensions - Private, and Pensions - Public. As well, Carswell will be updating approximately 95 or so titles per year, at least for the next few years.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2014 Conference Annual Reports

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is beginning its 2014 annual conference this weekend in Winnipeg.

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

Here are summaries of some of them:  

Education Committee: 
The New Law Librarians Institute (a crash course in law librarianship for new professionals in the sector) is being held June 8 to 12, 2014 at the University of Ottawa. Margo Jeske of the University of Ottawa’s Brian Dickson Law Library is the coordinator of this year’s session, and has carried out the planning for this event in close conjunction with CALL head office. Next year, the Committee will put a lot of effort into the work of the Core Competencies Working Group. The spring 2014 CALL Members Survey revealed an expressed need for more professional training and the Committee already helps accomplish this through its extremely active Webinar Subcommittee, which held 6 successful sessions in the 2013-2014 season:
  • How Can Law Libraries Use Social Media to Connect With Their Communities?
  • Staying Alert: The 411 on Free & Subscription Based Content
  • Taking the Business Case Approach
  • Google: Search Below the Surface
  • Civil Procedure 101 – An Overview for Legal Information Professionals - Legal Research and Knowledge Management Support of a Litigation Practice
  • Competitive Intelligence: How Intelligence Accelerates New Client Acquisitions for Law Firms
Membership Development Committee:
In 2014, the Committee conducted an in-depth survey of member needs and aspirations (findings will be made public later this year; they have been shared with committees and the executive of CALL). There is a strong indication from the survey that CALL needs to reach out more to students, reconsider a different membership model and redesign the website. The MDC would hope to reach out to non-members with a revamped website and promotional materials to present a fresh polished image.

It has also undertaken follow-up / outreach initiatives with expired members and it intends to be more active in getting existing members to renew membership. One of the big outreach activities of the Committee consisted of education visits to library technician and graduate library studies programs across Canada.

The mentoring subcommittee organized the mentoring program and advertised by email and on the CALL website. A couple of CALL blog posts and social media spots advertised the regular mentoring program and a "speed mentoring" event at the CALL conference in Winnipeg. Targeted emails were sent to all new CALL members. The program closed April 4 and 6 mentoring matches were made this year.

Scholarships and Awards Committee:
  • The 2014 Diana M. Priestly Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Veronika Kollbrand. She is currently enrolled in the JD/MLIS program at Dalhousie University 
  • 3 James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship were awarded this year: Jennifer Adams (Sir James Dunn Law Library, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University) received funding to support her attendance at the four day “Certificate in Leadership Excellence” course at St. Mary’s University; Mary-Jo Mustoe (R. Boak Burns Law Library, Welland County Law Association) received funding to attend the U of T iSchool Institute Symposium called “Defining New Metrics for Library Success”; and Bronwyn Guiton (Lawson Lundell LLP, Vancouver) will receive funds to attend a course at 2014 SLA in Vancouver this June. The course is called “CI Success for Librarians and Info Pros, from Start- up to World Class”. 
  • Education Reserve Fund: CALL members were invited to apply for funding from the Education Reserve Fund to support their attendance at the 2014 New Law Librarians’ Institute to be held at the University of Ottawa, June 8-12. Katherine Laundy (Manager, Collection Development, Supreme Court of Canada Library) will receive funding to attend
  • Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship: the winner will be announced at the Winnipeg conference
Canadian Law Library Review:
Publication of 38 (3 - 4) at the end of 2013 marked the beginning of a new partnership between the Canadian Law Library Review and Managing Matters, the company that took over the management of the association in 2013. The Review has been focusing on developing policies, procedures and timelines for managing the non-editorial aspects of publication. In 2014-2015 it will be focusing on developing a production style guide. For volume 39(2) the Review conducted a complete physical redesign, adding graphic elements and enhancing readability in preparation for the migration of CLLR from print to electronic. The Member Survey indicates that 25% of members read the CLLR from cover to cover and another 42% read some but not all of the articles.

Copyright Committee:
The Committee posted an article on the CALL/ACBD committee space and the CALL/ACBD blog on the Authors Guild v Google Books, Inc. and Authors Guild v HathiTrust litigation in the US. The post was accompanied by links to articles from the perspective of Canadian copyright lawyers and scholars and a copyright librarian. A co-chair participated in a local community panel discussion on the Authors Guild litigation and the elements of the defence of fair use in US copyright law, the comparisons with fair dealing in Canadian law, and the implications and importance of these themes for libraries and digitization, for Google Books, HathiTrust as research resources, and for authors, publishers, and booksellers.

In conjunction with this, the co-chair produced a curated commentary-based article explaining background to the Authors Guild litigation and the fair use issues implicated in US copyright law and discussing potential outcomes. The link to this article was shared with CALL/ACBD via the Committee blog.

The co-chairs tracked some outcomes of Access Copyright license withdrawal or expected withdrawal, via new practices implemented at their respective institutions. Members attempted to track developments in Access Copyright activities, including the litigation with York University and proceedings with the Copyright Board, via posts to the Committee blog.

In 2014-2015, the Committee will:  prepare a compilation of practices for institutions that have withdrawn from or have plans to withdraw from the Access Copyright license; research and get an understanding of whether legal publishing in Canada, particularly by smaller Canadian legal publishers, is being affected by the trifecta of amendments to the Copyright Act , the 2012 SCC copyright pentalogy, and widespread institutional withdrawal from the Access Copyright license; and monitor or review publishers/vendors’ license agreements to determine whether they include new attempts to work around fair dealing.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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 May 1-15, 2014 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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Monday, May 19, 2014

New Zealand Law Commission Discussion Paper on Contempt

The Law Commission of New Zealand has released an "Issue Paper" entitled Contempt in Modern New Zealand.

The document seeks feedback on a package of far-reaching changes to the law of contempt in New Zealand.

It proposes that judge-made laws of contempt of court be replaced by a more limited and clearer set of legislative provisions that better reconcile protecting the integrity of the justice system and fair trial rights with the importance of freedom of speech.

It examines a number of issues, such as contempt in the face of the court, publication contempt, juror contempt, scandalising the court and civil contempt.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

May/June 2014 Issue of LawNow on Vulnerable Youth and the Law

The most recent issue of LawNow is available online.

The magazine is published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

The current issue is devoted to vulnerable youth. There is also a "special report" on copyright law.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

HeinOnline and Fastcase Win American Association of Law Libraries New Product of the Year Award

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) announced this week that Fastcase and William S. Hein Co. are the joint winners of its 2014 New Product of the Year Award.

According to AALL:
"This award honors new commercial information products that enhance or improve existing law library services or procedures or innovative products which improve access to legal information, the legal research process, or procedures for technical processing of library materials. A "new" product is one which has been in the library-related marketplace for two years or less."
Under the partnership with Fastcase announced last July, HeinOnline provides federal and state case law to its subscribers via inline hyperlinks. Citations to caselaw in journal articles available on HeinOnline now link to the fulltext of the cases supplied by Fastcase.

Coverage includes judicial opinions of the U.S Supreme Court (1754-present), Federal Circuits (1924-present), Board of Tax Appeals (vols. 1-47), Tax Court Memorandum Decisions (vols. 1-59), U.S. Customs Court (vols. 1-70), Board of Immigration Appeals (1996-present), Federal District Courts (1924-present), and Federal Bankruptcy Courts (1 B.R. 1-present). The state case law covers all fifty states, with nearly half of the states dating back to the 1800s. Coverage for the remaining states dates back to approximately 1950.

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries hands out its own annual award for legal publishing, the Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

The nominees for this year are:
  • The Queen’s Bench Rules of Saskatchewan: Annotated, 4th ed. (Law Society of Saskatchewan Libraries)
  • Juris Classeur Québec (LexisNexis Canada)
  • Copyright Law, Fourth Edition (John Wiley and Sons, Inc.)
  • GALLOP: Government and Legislative Libraries Online Publications Portal (Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada/ L’Association des bibliothèques parlementaires au Canada)
The award honours Hugh Lawford (1933-2009), Professor of Law at Queens’ University and the founder of the Quicklaw legal research database.

The award will be presented to the recipient at a reception during the 2014 CALL Annual Meeting in Winnipeg in late May.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More on University of Saskatchewan Library Closures

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of May 11, 2014 called Canadian Association of Law Libraries Response to Closure of University of Saskatchewan Law Library.

Annette Demers, President of the Association (CALL), wrote a letter to the Acting Dean, University of Saskatchewan Library, to criticize the decision to consolidate the university's library system, which will include shutting the law library.

The CALL website has reprinted Demers' letter.

The same web page also includes an endorsement of the CALL position by the Saskatchewan Library Association:
"As an association we feel strongly about the important place that librarians play in legal education in our province and we call on the University of Saskatchewan to take actions that ensure that the important place the Law Library plays in the education of lawyers, the study of law and the building of the professional community be protected."
And at the bottom of the page, there is a link to a clarifying statement from the University of Saskatchewan Dean of Law and Dean of the University Library.


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CALL President Reacts to Justice Canada Cuts to Research

This is a follow-up to Monday's  Library Boy post called Cutbacks to Justice Canada Research.

Today on Slaw.ca, Annette Demers, the President of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, analyzes the decision by Justice Canada to cut its research budget by 20%.


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Quebec Legal Info Service CAIJ Adds Commentary From 7 Major Law Firms

CAIJ, the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (the network of law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has signed resource sharing agreements with 7 major law firms in Québec that will make their legal commentary publications freely available on the CAIJ website as of June.

The firms in question are:
  • Borden Ladner Gervais,
  • Dentons,
  • Fasken Martineau,
  • Lavery,
  • Miller Thomson,
  • Norton Rose Fullbright,
  • Stikeman Elliott. 
Their guides, bulletins and commentary articles will be added to a collection that already includes full-text commentary and textbooks including the Développements récents (annual reviews of areas of law), the Collection de droit (Bar School materials), proceedings of the annual Quebec Bar Association congresses and a growing number of treatises from publisher Wilson & Lafleur.

Earlier Library Boy posts about CAIJ include:
  • RSS Feeds for Reference Questions Handled by Quebec Law Libraries (December 22, 2008): "... it is possible to subscribe to RSS feeds from CAIJ ... There are RSS feeds for new library acquisitions, for legislative updates, and for news by topic. The most interesting RSS feed for me is the one for new reference questions added to the JuriBistro Topo collection."
  • Free Access to Quebec Bar Association Materials On CAIJ (January 31, 2009): "Continuing education materials from the Quebec Bar Association have been available for free since the fall of 2008 on the website of CAIJ. This includes: Bar School texts; annual conference papers; the Développements récents collection (recent developments in specific areas of law)"
  • Quebec Legal Info Service CAIJ Launches New Website (November 10, 2011): "CAIJ, the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (the network of law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has a revamped website with many new research features: the UNIK search engine (...) the eDoctrine collection of free full-text commentary and textbooks (...) the eLOIS collection of annotated laws (...) "
  • Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2012 Conference - Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing (May 7, 2012): "The 2012 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing was announced today at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries in Toronto. The Award goes to JuriBistro UNIK, the global search engine on the website of CAIJ, the network of courthouse libraries in Quebec."
  • Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2013 Conference - Redesigning Products and Processes (May 9, 2013): "One of the big themes running through many of the workshops at this week’s CALL conference in Montreal was redesign of products, platforms and processes. The conference ended yesterday. The Monday session entitled “Please Don't Make Me Think: User Testing a Faceted Search Engine” was about how the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (CAIJ), Quebec’s Courthouse library Network, conducted user testing sessions to validate the ergonomic and design aspects of many of its tools, including its new faceted search engine JuriBistro UNIK. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:02 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, May 12, 2014

Recent Legislative Summaries from Library of Parliament

The Library of Parliament has recently published a number of legislative summaries describing federal bills:
  • Legislative Summary of Bill C-24: An Act to amend the Citizenship Act: "The bill makes substantial changes to legislative provisions connected with Canadian citizenship in the areas of eligibility requirements, security and fraud, and application processing and review of decisions. The current Citizenship Act originally came into force in 1977. While there have been previous attempts at comprehensive amendment, none has been successful. Nevertheless, some of the provisions proposed before are found in the new legislation. Other provisions in the bill refine amendments enacted within the last six years. In addition, many changes in Bill C-24 align the Citizenship Act more closely with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which brought about a complete overhaul of immigration law when it came into force in 2002."
  • Legislative Summary of Bill C-26: Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act: "The bill amends the provisions of the Criminal Code that deal with sexual offences committed against children and young persons by increasing the mandatory minimum penalties and maximum penalties for such offences. Bill C-26 also makes the following changes to the law: It increases maximum penalties for violations of prohibition orders, probation orders and peace bonds. It sets out rules for the imposition of consecutive and concurrent sentences. It requires courts to impose consecutive sentences on offenders who commit sexual offences against more than one child. It amends the Canada Evidence Act  to ensure that spouses of accused persons can be called as witnesses for the prosecution in child pornography cases. It amends the Sex Offender Information Registration Act to increase the reporting obligations of sex offenders who travel outside Canada. It enacts the High Risk Child Sex Offender Database Act to establish a publicly accessible database that contains information with respect to persons who are found guilty of sexual offences against children and who pose a high risk of committing crimes of a sexual nature."
  • Legislative Summary of Bill C-30: An Act to amend the Canada Grain Act and the Canada Transportation Act: "Through the amendments to the Canada Grain Act  and the Canada Transportation Act, the Government aims to get grain to its destination market more quickly. It also aims to increase supply chain transparency and strengthen contracts between producers and shippers. The bill establishes requirements regarding the minimum amount of grain to be moved by certain rail companies. It sets maximum penalties of $100,000 a day for rail companies that do not meet these requirements. These measures are in force until 1 August 2016, or until a later date adopted by resolution by both houses of Parliament."
It is possible to follow the progress of federal bills, find links to related parliamentary debates and other background information on the LEGISinfo website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:38 pm 0 comments links to this post

Cutbacks to Justice Canada Research

The Canadian Press agency is reporting (article on the CBC News website) that Justice Canada is cutting 20% from its research budget.

The article is based on a fall 2013 document obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

The agency reports that critics also believe the government is tightening controls to make sure research results are more supportive of government policies.

The article also reports:
"The department has also reduced its subscriptions to print publications and legal databases, including QuickLaw, for savings of about $1.6 million a year starting April this year."

"Justice has an annual budget of $662 million for 2014-2015, with almost 4,600 employees, many of them lawyers."

"Last year, the lawyers group won a 12 per cent pay increase even as the government trimmed benefits and jobs across all departments."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:25 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Response to Closure of University of Saskatchewan Law Library

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of May 8, 2014 called University of Saskatchewan Closing Its Law Library.

Annette Demers, President fo the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, has written a public letter to Ken Ladd, Acting Dean of Libraries at the University.

Here is the text of the letter:
Dear Acting Dean Ladd,
 
We write to you today with grave concerns and sadness about your future plans to consolidate the branch libraries, including the law library, at the University of Saskatchewan.
It is our opinion that any decision to close, or to dissociate qualified staff from the law library undermines the delivery of educational services to students within the College of Law JD program.  
 
According to the 2009 Report of the Federation of Law Societies on the Common Law Degree:
 
“The law school must maintain a law library in electronic and/or paper form that permits it to foster and attain its teaching, learning and research objectives.”   

Lawyers only do justice to their clients when their advice and actions are supported by the best information possible.  The Federation report recognizes the increasing need for legal research skills to be instilled in our law school graduates.  Accordingly some law schools have actually been improving their curriculum in this area.  A robust legal research and writing program can only be successful with dedicated law librarians selecting, organizing, and enabling access to the best information services and resources. 

As you are no doubt aware, Canada’s legal system is based on a common law system where precedent is foundational.  In other words, Canada’s legal system has historical underpinnings, evidenced by a complex array of primary historical legal materials.  Although a few collections of primary materials are available online, a substantial portion of these materials are not available online at all.  These are the collections that you are proposing to put into remote storage,  out of the direct reach of your law students, faculty and the local bar in Saskatchewan.
 
In most provinces, and in particular, in Saskatchewan, the university law library is the primary archive of provincial legal materials that are needed by not only faculty and students, but also by the local bar, judiciary and the public.  In other words, your law library is the provincial steward of legal materials that are essential to our democracy.  The ownership of vital print resources is enduring but once removed or destroyed, print resources can never be replaced.
 
It is important to understand that e-books are not generally widely available from law publishers as of now.  This means that both print and digital materials are still relevant, and will be for some time yet.  The bulk of historical primary materials for Canada are not yet digitized, and current secondary sources for law are by no means available for free online. Although online resources are very attractive as space savers and convenience searching, if their cost becomes prohibitive in future and licences not renewed, or if service providers disappear, all access to such resources is entirely lost, despite the fact that they are paid for each year. Some libraries in Saskatchewan may also have reduced their print collections based on the knowledge that your library holds those titles.
 
This shifting landscape of access to legal information makes the role of the law librarian more vital today than ever, as they are the only ones in our institutions charged with the task of staying abreast of these changes and helping users navigate the complexity of the subject matter.  Ultimately, they are most vital in ensuring that the next generation of lawyers have sufficient knowledge and skills to carry forward with them in to their professional careers.
 
A decision to consolidate services outside of the law library will have significant impact on access to justice in Saskatchewan, not just at your University. There are several law libraries in the country which have made modifications to their operations so as to withstand substantial and crippling budget cuts, while continuing to provide vital services, support and teaching to their faculty and students.  Closure of a library is a low value option.  Instead, budget cutbacks are an opportunity for us to think creatively about how best to align our services more closely with user needs.  Diverting money from collections (just in case) to services (just in time) is a viable alternative that should be explored.
 
We sincerely hope that you will consider these points in your deliberations.  Please understand that decisions such as these have far-reaching impacts on our profession as well.  As library leaders, we must be cognizant of the impact of our decisions on other libraries both now and into the future across the country.
 
Sincerely,
Annette Demers BA LLB MLIS
President, CALL/ACBD

 
AND
 
John Papadopoulos and Jeanne Maddix, Chairs
Canadian Council of Academic Law Library Directors

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:45 am 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Auditor-General Report Predicts Prison Overcrowding Problem

In a report released earlier this week, Auditor-General Michael Ferguson explained that the federal prison system could face overcrowding just a few years after the Canadian government adds thousands more new cells.

2,700 new cells will be added to 37 facilities by 2015.

A large part of the overcrowding will result from a decline in discretionary releases by the Parole Board.

The Auditor-General also found fault with government for not looking at whether population pressures were making it more difficult for inmates to be transferred to lower-security facilities. Inmates are more likely to be granted parole from a low-security institution.

Overcrowding is considered a factor that contributes to more violence in prisons.

News coverage of the report:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:28 pm 0 comments links to this post

University of Saskatchewan Closing Its Law Library

The law library will be one of four campus libraries that the University of Saskatchewan will be shutting down as part of a multi-million dollar cost-cutting program:
"The university is still exploring how to best use the space left behind by the libraries that close, [acting library dean Ken] Ladd added. Collections and services will be consolidated into the Murray Library, the Leslie and Irene Dube Health Sciences Library and the Science Library, and their operating hours could be expanded."

"Some of the consolidated print collection will be moved into remote storage, elsewhere on campus or to an off-campus facility, something more universities are doing across Canada, Ladd said. Students are increasingly using electronic resources instead of print resources, but the university is not planning any large reductions in its print collection, he added."
Michael Plaxton, a law professor at the university, has attacked the decision:
" '[Law libraries] are places used not only by academics and students, but by members of the legal profession generally — and so, to an extent, are sites where law students are trained to think of themselves as part of a broader community of lawyers and jurists'."

"The university is currently looking at converting at least some of the libraries into additional study space, but Plaxton thinks that without a law library, the law school faces a branding problem."

" 'A law school without a law library looks amateurish and half-finished'."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:17 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

AALL Spectrum May 2014 Issue on Law Library Architecture

The most recent issue of the AALL Spectrum is available online. It is the monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries.

The issue is devoted to law library architecture and design.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:57 pm 0 comments links to this post

Canadian Library Association Feliciter April 2014 Issue

The April 2014 issue of Feliciter, the monthly journal of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), is available on line.

The theme of the issue is data management.

From the editorial:
"If your eyes glaze over when someone mentions data management in libraries, or if you think that data management is a concept reserved for technical services or academic institutions, you are not alone. While soliciting articles for the data management-themed issue of Feliciter, we were surprised at how many of our library peers were convinced that data management is a concept that does not apply to them. The truth is, data management is not something that became relevant in the information age; it is what we have been doing in libraries all along."

"One of the many goals of libraries is the provision of access to information, as well as the delivery of support in interpreting that information. Though these goals have not changed dramatically over time, the nature of information and users’ expectations certainly have. So while our goals have remained unaltered, the path we take to achieve them must change to accommodate the evolving nature of information, and of data.Enter the data management theme issue. We solicited articles for this issue that reflect data management for every library professional, in the hopes of dispelling some of the myths surrounding the topic, such as:
  • Data management involves nothing more than research data.
    While it is true that research data is a big, important issue in data management, there are many aspects of data management, including metadata, patron data, statistical data, and data security, that are also important for libraries.
  • Data management is reserved for technical services.
    Like many library functions, managing data in a meaningful way relies on all stakeholders – from the user to the public services team to the technical services team – playing a role in preserving, manipulating, and protecting data.
  • It is OK to put data management on the back burner.
    Data management is a crucial element of librarianship and one that will help keep our institutions relevant in the future. Acknowledging its centrality and reacting to the changing data environment is an important step in safeguarding the information profession."
"The articles we have selected for this issue cover various aspects of data management and how they apply in disciplines ranging from law to medicine."
Among the feature articles on the subject are:
  • Mischief Managed: A Brief Introduction to Data Management
    by Kim Silk
  • Research Data Management at Concordia University: A Survey of Current Practices
    by Alex Guindon  
  • Is eDiscovery the New Frontier in Information Management?
    by Ariana Ross 
  • Following the Trail of Breadcrumbs: Your Health from Data to Decisions
    by Lee-Anne Ufholz & Lindsey Sikora  
  • Metadata Management on a Budget
    by David Cook  
  • Beyond the Hype: Data Management and Data Governance
    by Melanie Sucha

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:49 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

26 Canadian Library Associations Set the Foundations for Joint Advocacy Strategy

In late March, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) called a meeting of library associations to come up with a joint advocacy strategy to raise the national public profile of the services and expertise offered by libraries, librarians, library technicians, archivists and information professionals.

13 associations were physically represented at the meeting at the University of Windsor. People from 13 other associations joined via conference call.

As CALL President Annette Demers explained:
"We all know what is happening to our libraries in this country; we know the challenges that libraries face in the 21st century. At the same time, we inherently know that the skill set of library professionals is very relevant to the needs of an information age. The question that we need to grapple with as library leaders, is, 'How can we work together to wake people up to this reality? What can we do to make sure those libraries, and all of the knowledge that library professionals bring, is optimized instead of abandoned - in today’s digital information explosion?' "
The next steps include organizing a working group whose mandate would begin with the following tasks:
  • Compile a list of advocacy initiatives and tools that are currently available in partner associations, so as to avoid duplication and redundancy;
  • Compile a list of resources that associations are able to contribute to the initiative;
  • Prepare a collaboration plan for consideration;
  • Prepare a memorandum of understanding for signature by like-minded associations.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:58 pm 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, May 03, 2014

April 2014 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The April 2014 issue of Connected is available online. The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media on courts.

Most of the items are about the United States, but there is occasional coverage of other jurisdictions.

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 10:10 pm 0 comments links to this post

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 April 16-30, 2014 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 10:07 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, May 01, 2014

May 2014 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter

The May 2014 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 1:57 pm 0 comments links to this post