Blog

  • 26 Apr 2017 12:02 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    A few weeks ago, I asked CALL members & friends of CALL who blog, Facebook and/or tweet if the website could reuse or mention what you were up to.

    You have been busy this week. Here are a few examples of what's online:

  • 19 Apr 2017 2:58 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Five university libraries in Ontario (at the University of Ottawa, the University of Western Ontario, Queen's, University of Toronto, and McMaster) are participating in the Keep@Downsview partnership, which is a shared last print copy repository project:

    "The project, called Keep@Downsview, aims to consolidate and rationalize low-use print materials held by the partner libraries and ensure long-term preservation of these important scholarly materials in Ontario, while still providing access via document delivery and ILL. In doing so, each of the partner institutions demonstrates its commitment to the stewardship of print collections for future generations while repurposing valuable space on campus. This paper describes the background, rationale, challenges, and lessons learned for this unique Canadian project that leveraged funding from the province of Ontario, the University of Toronto‘s high density preservation facility at Downsview, and the commitment of all partners to preserve the scholarly record in Ontario (...)

    "(...) the five libraries also quickly established the goals of the project and agreed to four key principles:
    • The project strives to save costs while maintaining access to a principal research collection by sharing in the responsibility of storing and maintaining one shared preservation print copy at the Downsview facility.
    • The project includes both journals and monographs.
    • All materials in Downsview are low-demand materials, as determined by the participating institutions.
    • All institutions share ownership of the materials they transfer. "

    [Original article published in Serials Review. An open access version was made available on the Western University institutional repository]

    There has been some discussion (but maybe less action) in relation to the idea of a "last print copy repository" in the specific case of legal materials, as can be seen in these two Slaw.ca articles written in recent years by CALL/ACBD members:

  • 06 Apr 2017 12:33 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    This appears to be a frequent question asked by CALL members on the CALL-L listserv.

    The SOQUIJ blog has a post about that very topic today. It describes the Translated decisions service of SOQUIJ, the Société québécoise d'information juridique, the Crown corporation in charge of publishing Québec court and tribunal decisions.

    These are unofficial English translations of selected judgments of the Court of Appeal of Quebec, the Superior Court of Quebec, the Court of Quebec, the Human Rights Tribunal, and the Professions Tribunal.

    Some rulings are chosen for their "pan-Canadian" value, in other words for their importance in areas of law that are relevant anywhere in Canada such as criminal or bankruptcy law.

    Others that deal with purely provincial matters are selected if they apply legal principles similar to those from the common law tradition. And then there are translations of judgments that attracted media attention even if the issues raised have little equivalent outside of civil law.

    Further reading:

    Louis-Jacques, Lyonette "How to Find Cases in English Translation, Revisited" Slaw, January 23, 2015.

    Tjaden, Ted "Finding English Translations of French Language Court Decisions in Canada" Slaw, March 2, 2011

  • 02 Apr 2017 2:34 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    CALL member Sarah Sutherland wrote a few days ago on Slaw.ca about the many contributions Canadian law librarians have made over the years to the creation of some of our most important legal research tools.

    In particular, she reminds readers of how law librarians (through CALL) pretty much saved the Canadian Abridgment, a commercial product.

    They were also instrumental in the founding of the Index to Canadian Legal Literature, another commercial product.

    But in the context of the multiplication of new publishing platforms for legal information (e.g. CanLII Connects, scholarly blogs) and questions about access to justice, Sutherland does ask about

    "the wisdom of CALL members contributing free labour to a commercial product that is not available to many of the people who most need access to legal information (...)"

    And, as she writes, could it be that what makes us really awesome at our jobs may actually hinder the development and flourishing of new platforms?:

    "As part of their professional ethos, law librarians (and to some degree librarians generally) have looked to certain markers of authority and quality in information sources that these sources may not have: famous authors, bibliographic access points such as indexes and tables of contents, authoritative publishers, and professional editing. This may lead them to undermine these new sources that have so much potential to make the Canadian legal information landscape more accessible."

    Sutherland mentions such products or projects as Clicklaw Wikibooks (Courthouse Library of British Columbia) and Osgoode Digital Commons (Osgoode Law School Library) as examples of valuable new contributions to the dissemination of legal information.

    According to Sutherland, it should not be one or the other (expensive online subscription databases that lock out "average" citizens vs. free online resources for the masses).

    Of course, the big question is: where will the money come from for new sustainable publishing endeavours that are high quality, accessible and cheap?

    Gary Rodrigues, who has extensive senior level experience in the Canadian legal information publishing, offers one intriguing suggestion in the comments section below Sutherland's article.

  • 29 Mar 2017 1:32 PM | Nicole Cork (Administrator)

    A signed copy of the following letter from CALL/ACBD President Connie Crosby has been sent today to The Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, with a copy to Deputy Minister Marie Lemay and selected other stakeholders, urging them to take care before eliminating the print version of the Statutes of Canada. An offer of feedback and guidance from our members has also been extended. 


  • 24 Mar 2017 11:20 AM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Le texte français suit. 

    CALL member Alan Kilpatrick blogged a few days ago about the digitization of the first ever edition of Halsbury's Laws of England by the University of Toronto Robarts Library.

    The entire work has been made available for free. This is a great tool for anyone needing to do historical legal research.

    As Kilpatrick writes, the work is:

    "a comprehensive and popular legal encyclopedia covering all areas of English law (...) published for over a century and (...) currently in its fifth edition."

    "For some, the first edition of Halsburys constitutes a benchmark for Canadian (...) law. Fortunately, you can now access the first edition of this seminal encyclopedia, originally published from 1907 to 1917 across 31 volumes, right on your desktop."

    [Source: Legal Sourcery, the blog of the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library]

    Alan Kilpatrick , un de nos membres ici à l'ACBD, a publié un billet de blogue il y a quelques jours qui traite de la numérisation de la toute première édition de Halsbury's Laws of England par la bibliothèque Robarts de l'Université de Toronto.

    Le texte intégral de l'ouvrage est disponible gratuitement en ligne. Il s'agit d'un formidable outil pour quiconque doit effectuer des recherches sur l'histoire du droit.

    Comme l'explique Kilpatrick, l'ouvrage est une:

    "encyclopédie juridique exhaustive et populaire couvrant tous les domaines du droit anglais (...) publiée depuis plus d'un siècle et maintenant dans sa cinquième edition." 

    "Pour certains, la première edition de Halsbury's constitue une référence en droit canadien (...) Heureusement, vous pouvez maintenant avoir accès directement sur votre écran à la première edition de cette encyclopédie phare publiée pour la première fois entre 1907 et 1917 en 31 volumes." [trad. libre Michel-Adrien Sheppard]

    [Source: Legal Sourcery, le blogue de la bibliothèque de la Law Society of Saskatchewan]

  • 23 Mar 2017 11:49 AM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Library Journal has released its 2017 list of Library Movers and Shakers:

    "Now in its 16th year, LJ’s Movers & Shakers provides an annual snapshot of the transformative work being done by those in libraries of all types and sizes and across the field. At a time when individual and collective actions matter more than ever, the 52 people profiled here reflect the outsize impact librarians can have through the services and programs they deliver, their deep community connections and collaborations with partner organizations, and their one-on-one interactions with patrons."

    Winners were chosen in the following categories:

    • Change agents
    • Innovators
    • Advocates
    • Educatotrs
    • Digital developers
    • Community builders

    Among this year's winners is Colette Poitras, Public Services Manager, Northern Lights Regional Library System (NLLS) in Elk Point, Alberta.

    Poitras, a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, has worked on introducing indigenous programs into local libraries:

    "Poitras has provided cultural awareness training to the NLLS board and staff and has brought staff to First Nation pow-wows and Treaty Days celebrations, where they connected with tribal officials and community members, resulting in an arrangement to provide remote services to another First Nation reserve and Métis settlement, with more in the works. She also facilitated a history 'Learning Day' at the First Nations–owned and operated Blue Quills University, formerly a residential school, and has purchased culturally appropriate library materials."

    The publication provides a map of all the Movers and Shakers from 2002 to 2017.  Over the years, quite a few Canadians have been recognized as "Movers and Shakers".

  • 10 Mar 2017 12:15 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

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

    This week, CAIJ announced that it will now feature texts written by lawyers from the firm of  McCarthy Tétrault. This means there are 29 law firms that share material with CAIJ in English and French.

    Their material 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, a growing number of treatises from publisher Wilson  & Lafleur, numerous annotated acts, case law, and a list of thousands of legal questions with their corresponding answers.

    Readers may also be familiar with similar initiatives such as CanLII Connects that allows publishers, law firms and academics to share commentary on cases and legislation on the CanLII website funded by Canada’s provincial and territorial law societies.

    As well, sites such as Fee Fie Foe Firm and Lexology allow searchers to find material published by law firms.

    [Cross-posted to Slaw.ca]

    Michel-Adrien Sheppard
    Supreme Court of Canada

  • 03 Mar 2017 3:57 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Last week, we hosted a focus group at my place of work to ask staff lawyers what they thought of our library reference services.

    One of the questions had to do with our ongoing program of "Tips and Tricks" training sessions.

    Once a month, we organize quick 15-20 minute meetings where we show how to research a topic (public international law, Quebec Civil Code, criminal law, UN Treaties, etc.).

    We demo databases or websites online and have a nice, clean, readable PDF handout for attendees. We also publish all our training PDFs on our library Intranet. We have a few dozen topical handouts so far.

    But the lawyers at the focus group became very excited when one attendee suddently suggested that everything be available on demand in audiovisual format, a sort of "library Netflix".

    And lo and behold, today I came across the YouTube channel created by the Education and Reference Department of the Boston College Law Library.

    Like: wow!

    Is anyone aware of Canadian law libraries using YouTube for training purposes? Or other A/V tools?

    Michel-Adrien Sheppard
    Supreme Court of Canada

     

     

  • 16 Dec 2016 11:04 AM | Helen Mok (Administrator)

    Yasmin Khan
    Head Librarian
    City of Toronto Legal Services Library

    Tell us a little about your educational background and how you entered the legal information industry.

    I've been working in libraries since grade school.  It started with volunteering in the library in junior high and then working at the circulation desks in my high school and undergraduate libraries. It wasn't until I reached second year of undergrad and went to a career fair that learned about the Master of Information Studies (MISt) at the University of Toronto (U of T). After I completed a BA Honours in English, I was accepted into the MISt program at U of T, a two year program. In my first year of the program, I obtained a summer position at the Department of Justice law library in the Ontario Regional Office in Toronto. I worked there part-time throughout my second year as part of the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP). The part-time position at the Department of Justice then evolved into a permanent full-time reference librarian position after I graduated. I worked at the Department of Justice until 2008.  When the opportunity to work at the City of Toronto Legal Library as their Head Librarian became available, I moved there and I’ve been in that position since 2008.

    In my current position, my role has expanded to include knowledge management, and I am responsible for developing our Portal to include practice pages and precedent databases. However, I wanted to specialize in knowledge management, so I decided to pursue higher education once again. I graduated from the Information and Knowledge Strategy Program at Columbia University in December 2015. This was a rigorous 16 month program offered by the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University. I was awarded an Innovation Scholarship and profiled in an article from the faculty. The program opened up new horizons for me to think about knowledge services, management and leadership, emerging technology and new ways to collaborate with various stakeholders (such as lawyers, students, and IT), and how to develop greater alignment with senior management.

    How has being involved in CALL helped you professionally (e.g. scholarships & grants, continuing education, networking)?

    CALL is a diverse network of legal information professionals. I have learned so much from individual members and from serving on various committees over the years. The CALL Conference is a great forum to engage in the discussion of issues and opportunities within our profession as well as learn about new technology that has the promise to make legal practice even better.

    What’s one blog, website, or Twitter account that you can’t go one day without checking?

    I can't pick one source! The Slaw blog has excellent coverage for legal practice and technology and is a go-to source. However, the variety of aggregated LinkedIn posts that link to or summarize new articles and publications are quite good too.  

    Where do you see our industry and/or profession in 10 years?

    I think legal information professionals have an opportunity to facilitate innovation and change by helping lawyers work with new technology or building new tools that enhance legal research.

    What’s one change in the profession or industry you’ve embraced?

    I'm actively following the emerging legal start-up culture in Toronto and following how technology is looking to disrupt current business models.

    Parlez-nous un peu de vos antécédents scolaires et de la manière dont vous vous êtes intégrée au secteur de l’information juridique.

    Je travaille dans les bibliothèques depuis ma jeunesse. J'ai commencé à faire du bénévolat à la bibliothèque à l'école intermédiaire, puis j'ai travaillé au bureau des prêts de la bibliothèque de mon école secondaire et de mon université. Ce n'est qu'à la deuxième année de mes études de premier cycle universitaire que j'ai assisté à un salon des carrières où j'ai appris l'existence du programme de maîtrise en sciences de l'information à l'Université de Toronto. Après avoir obtenu mon baccalauréat avec spécialisation en anglais, j'ai été acceptée dans ce programme d'une durée de deux ans. Au cours de la première année, j'ai décroché un poste d'été à la bibliothèque de droit du ministère de la Justice, au Bureau régional de l'Ontario, à Toronto. J'ai continué d'y travailler à temps partiel tout au long de ma deuxième année dans le cadre du Programme fédéral d'expérience de travail étudiant (PFETE). Mon poste à temps partiel au ministère de la Justice est devenu, une fois mon diplôme obtenu, un poste permanent à temps plein de bibliothécaire de référence. J'ai travaillé au Ministère jusqu'en 2008. Lorsque l'occasion s'est présentée de travailler pour la bibliothèque de droit de la Ville de Toronto, le poste de bibliothécaire en chef s'étant libéré, je l'ai saisie, et j'occupe ce poste depuis 2008.

    Mon rôle s'est élargi au fil du temps pour inclure la gestion des connaissances, et je suis chargée de la mise sur pied de notre portail, qui comprendra des pages sur la pratique et des bases de données jurisprudentielles. Cependant, comme je voulais me spécialiser dans la gestion des connaissances, j'ai décidé de retourner à l'école pour faire d'autres études supérieures. En décembre 2015, j'ai obtenu mon diplôme du programme de stratégie en matière d'information et de connaissances à l'Université Columbia. Il s'agissait d'un programme rigoureux de 16 mois offert par l'École des études professionnelles de cette université. On m'a remis une bourse d'innovation et mon profil a été publié dans un article de la faculté. Le programme m'a ouvert de nouveaux horizons dans ma façon de concevoir les services relatifs aux connaissances, la gestion et le leadership ainsi que les technologies émergentes, et il m'a offert de nouvelles manières de collaborer avec divers intervenants (comme des avocats, des étudiants et des spécialistes des TI) et de mieux être en phase avec la haute direction.

    En quoi votre adhésion à l’ACBD/CALL vous a-t-elle été utile sur le plan professionnel (par ex. : bourses et subventions, formation continue, réseautage)?

    L'ACBD est un réseau diversifié de professionnels de l'information juridique. J'ai tellement appris auprès de certains membres et lorsque j'ai siégé à divers comités au fil des ans. Le congrès de l'ACBD est une tribune fantastique pour discuter des problématiques et des possibilités qui touchent notre profession et pour en apprendre sur les nouvelles technologies prometteuses qui pourraient bien améliorer encore davantage la pratique juridique.

    Y a-t-il un blogue, un site Web ou un compte Twitter que vous ne pouvez pas négliger de consulter tous les jours?

    Je ne saurais n'en choisir qu'un! Le blogue Slaw est un incontournable et traite à fond de la pratique juridique et de la technologie. En revanche, il y a aussi une variété de billets regroupés dans LinkedIn qui résument de nouveaux articles ou de nouvelles publications ou qui y mènent et qui sont plutôt bien.

    Où voyez-vous notre industrie ou notre profession dans dix ans?

    Je crois que les professionnels de l'information juridique ont l'occasion de faciliter l'innovation et le changement en aidant les avocats à travailler avec les nouvelles technologies ou en créant de nouveaux outils qui améliorent la recherche juridique.

    Y a-t-il un changement relatif à la profession ou à l’industrie auquel vous vous êtes adaptée?

    Je surveille activement la culture émergente de nouveaux cabinets de droit à Toronto et la manière dont la technologie s'apprête à ébranler les modèles d'affaires actuels.

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