Blog

  • 10 Jan 2021 9:00 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    The winners of the 2020 Canadian Law Blog Awards (known as the Clawbies) were announced right before the New Year.

    The Clawbies exist to reward the best and most innovative Canadian blogs, podcasts, videos, legal newsletters, and other forms of online commentary.

    The 2020 Fodden Award for the very best in Canadian legal commentary went to the National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP):

    Since its inception in 2013, the NSRLP has won several Clawbies for specific streams of content: their blog, their podcast and self-help resources; this year, we are awarding the NSRLP’s collective body of work with the Fodden Award. The organization’s effort in amplifying the stories and voices of stakeholders involved in the Canadian self-represented litigant phenomenon–from litigants to A2J groups to judges to lawyers–is well deserving of this recognition.

    Nominations praised the NSRLP for:

    • “their continued effort in making the legal system more accessible to SRLs. Their recent primer is an essential tool for SRLs to be better prepared”
    • “maintaining a current list of court changes nationwide due to COVID-19 ever since shutdowns started!”
    • “promoting dialogue between self-reps and members of the legal profession.  Understanding the ‘other’ side’s experiences and concerns is a very necessary part of resolving the current A2J crisis” 

    There are awards in many categories, including one for Best Law Library Resources. The winners in that group are:

    @greatlibrary Twitter Account
    Only on Twitter since March of 2020, the Law Society of Ontario’s Law Library “leads the way with its engaging, effective, and entertaining Twitter account.” This feed shares useful and interesting information, uses photos to great effect, and runs weekly fun facts, legal research tips and more."

    Great LEXpectations
    The Law Society of Manitoba’s Great Library blog is a one-stop shop for court notices & practice directions, library news & resources, substantive law updates, legislation, legal research tips and local legal community blog posts. An invaluable current awareness tool for Manitoba legal professionals."

    Library Boy
    For an incredible 15 years now, SCC librarian Michel-Adrien Sheppard has been steadfastly sharing the things well-rounded and well-informed law library folks need to know (aka “law library blogaliciousness”). From conferences to research, statistics to court news, Library Boy captures an astonishingly wide variety of citations related to the library and legal worlds."

    The other categories are:

    • Best Blogs & Commentary
    • Best Bloggers on a Platform or Group Blog
    • Best Podcasts
    • Best Twitter Accounts
    • Best Innovative Projects
    • Best Student Projects
    • Best Multi-Platform Presence
    • Law & Laughter Awards
    • 2020 Clawbies Hall of Fame Inductees

    The Clawbies are organized by Stem Legal, a B.C.-based strategy firm.

  • 18 Dec 2020 10:30 AM | Alexandra Farolan (Administrator)

    Dominique Garingan, Library Manager | Parlee McLaws LLP, Calgary

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

    My journey to the legal information profession was unanticipated, to say the least. I started with a BA in communications and a minor in journalism. After working in marketing and research for a few years, I wanted a change and was drawn to working and doing research for public/not-for-profit organizations. I applied for and received my first job in the legal field as a Legal Services Officer for the Legal Aid Society of Alberta. This role required meeting with members of the public; conducting intake procedures; opening and shepherding criminal, family, civil, and immigration matters; and acting as liaison for parties and other legal agencies, social supports, and actors in the court system. Though saddening at times, I loved this job as it was here where I began to appreciate the legal system and learn about how it affected various populations, principally marginalized ones.

    After a few years, I went on to work as a member of the judicial staff at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. I worked as the Assistant to Case Management Counsel for Calgary, assisting justices, legal counsel, and parties as they went through the Court’s mandated dispute resolution and case management processes. Being able to see and help administer matters from the perspective of the Court was inspiring. It allowed me to appreciate the rich intricacies of legislation and jurisprudence, along with the court’s role in facilitating access to justice and a bringing parties together through a common understanding of the law. Learning about the evolution of the law through new areas of legal development and the intricate variations of legal matters was also something I found very stimulating. 

    Given these experiences, I decided to take up formal legal education. My intention was not to become a lawyer but to study the subject in more detail. At the time, this did not seem like a very practical motive, but I went through with it. I also wanted justification for extensive travel. This is how I ended up doing a joint advanced entry LL.B. / LL.M degree with the University of Liverpool in England. While doing this degree, I spent two summers at the Hague attending summer courses on public and private international law subjects. These grad student years were a wonderful experience. It was then when I was finally introduced to law libraries, the study of legal information services, and the possibility of pursuing law librarianship as a career. While writing my LL.M. dissertation at home in Calgary, I held various concurrent part-time jobs such as teaching with Bow Valley College and the University of Calgary’s Continuing Education Unit and working at the Calgary Public Library as a Library Experience Facilitator. I loved all these roles as they embodied the importance of continued learning and being part of a larger social and academically-minded community that valued access to and evaluation of information and the process of building knowledge within communities.

    After finishing my dissertation, and instead of pursuing articles or the NCA accreditation exams, I applied for my first, formal law library role at Parlee McLaws LLP, a regional corporate/commercial mid-sized firm based in Alberta. Although I did not have a traditional MLIS degree at the time (it was still forthcoming), I did have some legal, judiciary, academic, and library experience, and, to my extreme gratitude, was given the job. The rest is recent history. I feel very elated to have found this profession and to have had such wonderful library and non-library colleagues along the way.  

    2. How has being involved in CALL helped you professionally?

    I have been a member of CALL since March of 2019. This is not a long time, compared to many other members. To me, CALL has been an amazing community of legal information professionals that covers almost all current and emerging aspects of the profession. To this day, I find myself reveling at the work of CALL’s various committees and special interest groups.

    During my first year, the CALL Mentorship Program was a wonderful opportunity to get to know a long-serving and recognized member of CALL and discuss many facets of the profession. This was a lovely experience. Being a part of the Canadian Law Library Review Editorial Board has provided an avenue for me to keep abreast with current and emerging issues and dialogues in the legal information profession. Working with members of the CALL Vendor Liaison Committee has helped me learn more about legal technology and gain confidence in terms of communicating and engaging with legal publishers and vendors.

    Although I have only been to one in-person conference, the CALL Annual Conferences are a wonderful place to meet fellow peers and immerse one’s self in riveting seminars and learning opportunities. I do find my professional life meaningfully enriched by CALL and hope to continue being a member for years to come.

    3. What is one thing that has surprised you about the legal information profession?

    Although not surprising, I am constantly in awe and amazement of the people I meet or hear of within the profession. I think CALL members continuously embody the different areas and heights in which you can take the profession. Upon joining CALL, I was also pleasantly surprised by the opportunities for collaboration. Reading about members’ projects and accomplishments is always inspiring, and the collective sharing of achievements make them seem like wins for all legal information professionals. To this day, I am still in awe of how the legal information profession is very multi-faceted. Technology, outreach, research, cataloguing, collections development, research, knowledge management, and the scholarship of teaching and learning are just some of the few areas which you can explore within the discipline.

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

    I truly think that the outlook for the legal information industry is a positive one, and that areas of evolution, especially in legal information technology, are only limited by one’s imagination. I think that much of the legal information profession will depend on what its members decide to do and make of it, as some may be in unique positions to shape their roles and integrate them with emerging areas. It is not difficult to imagine quantitative and qualitative legal data analytics, legal information technology, and AI settling themselves in areas like legal research, dispute resolution, drafting, discovery, and competitive intelligence. Given the collaborative opportunities with other disciplines such as teaching and learning, data science, programming, marketing, publishing, and access to justice, many of the boundaries that used to define the profession may shift and blur at an even greater rate.

    Alongside the profession’s evolution, I can also foresee some legal information retrospectives. Championing legal information literacy, access to information, and research ethics will always be pertinent, and one of the characteristics of the legal information profession that resonates with me is the seemingly equal importance of looking back and looking at where things are going. As much as it may seem great to go wild with what the prevalence and ubiquity of legal data and technology can or will be accomplishing ten years from now, I think that those in the profession will always have a duty to critically reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of resulting applications and developments. As a legal information professional, it’s an exciting role to play, being on that edge.

    5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to break into the legal information industry?

    Find and appreciate the beauty and intricacies of the law and stay curious about as many aspects of the legal information profession as you can. :-) Build relationships with and foster genuine caring for the patrons and information consumers served by your organization. Also, reach out to and learn from peers and colleagues. Don’t be afraid to volunteer your help, participate in projects, and learn along the way!

    Member Profile nominations and Project Profile ideas are welcome for 2021. Please email Alexandra Farolan at afarolan@courthouselibrary.ca for more information, ideas, and nominations.

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

    Mon parcours vers la profession de bibliothécaire juridique était tout à fait insoupçonné. Mes études ont d’abord mené à l’obtention d’un baccalauréat en communication avec une mineure en journalisme. Après avoir travaillé dans le domaine du marketing et des études de marché pendant quelques années, je voulais un changement et j’étais attirée par le travail et la recherche au sein d’un organisme sans but lucratif du secteur public. J’ai obtenu mon premier emploi dans le domaine juridique en tant que responsable des services juridiques pour la Legal Aid Society of Alberta. Mes fonctions consistaient à rencontrer des membres du public, à effectuer des procédures d’admission, à ouvrir et orienter les dossiers en matière d’affaires criminelles, familiales, civiles et d’immigration, ainsi qu’à assurer la liaison entre les parties et les autres organismes juridiques, les services de soutien social et les acteurs du système judiciaire. Même si certaines situations étaient attristantes, j’ai bien aimé ce travail puisque c’est pendant cette période que j’ai commencé à apprécier le système juridique et à apprendre comment il pouvait affecter diverses populations, principalement les marginaux.

    Après quelques années, j’ai accepté un poste au sein du personnel judiciaire de la Cour du Banc de la Reine de l’Alberta. J’ai travaillé comme adjointe au service de gestion des dossiers de Calgary, en aidant les juges, les avocats et les parties dans le cadre des processus de règlement des litiges et de gestion des cas mandatés par la Cour. Le fait d’être en mesure de voir et d’aider à gérer les dossiers du point de vue de la Cour a été une source d’inspiration. Cela m’a permis d’apprécier la richesse et la complexité des lois et de la jurisprudence, ainsi que le rôle du tribunal pour faciliter l’accès à la justice et rapprocher les parties grâce à une compréhension commune de la loi. Apprendre à connaître comment le droit a évolué à travers les nouveaux secteurs du droit et les questions juridiques complexes et variées a également été quelque chose que j’ai trouvé très stimulant.

    Ces expériences m’ont donné le goût de faire des études en droit. Mon but n’était pas de devenir avocate, mais je voulais approfondir ce domaine. Même si cette raison ne semblait pas très pratique à ce moment-là, je suis allée jusqu’au bout. Je cherchais également à justifier mon long voyage à l’étranger. C’est ainsi que j’ai abouti dans le programme combiné de 1er cycle et de 2e cycle en droit à l’Université de Liverpool, en Angleterre. Au cours de ces études, j’ai passé deux étés à La Haye pour suivre des cours d’été en droit international des secteurs privé et public. J’ai vécu une expérience formidable pendant ces années. C’est aussi pendant cette période que j’ai découvert les bibliothèques de droit, les services de l’information juridique et la possibilité de faire carrière en bibliothéconomie juridique. Pendant que je rédigeais ma thèse de maîtrise en droit chez moi, à Calgary, j’ai occupé différents emplois à temps partiel en même temps, comme donner un cours au Bow Valley College et au service d’éducation permanente de l’Université de Calgary, et j’ai travaillé à la bibliothèque publique de Calgary en tant que facilitatrice de l’expérience en bibliothèque. J’ai adoré tous ces rôles puisqu’ils incarnent l’importance de la formation continue et de l’appartenance à une communauté sociale et universitaire plus large qui valorise l’accès à l’information et l’évaluation de cette information, ainsi que le processus de construction du savoir au sein des communautés. Après avoir terminé ma thèse, et au lieu de continuer à rédiger des articles ou de faire l’examen d’agrément du Comité national sur les équivalences des diplômes de droit, j’ai postulé pour mon premier emploi officiel de bibliothécaire juridique chez Parlee McLaws LLP, un cabinet d’avocats de moyenne envergure œuvrant en droit commercial et droit des sociétés en Alberta. Même si je n’avais pas encore de diplôme officiel en bibliothéconomie et science de l’information (l’équivalence du diplôme était encore à venir), j’avais acquis une certaine expérience dans les milieux juridiques, judiciaires, universitaires et de bibliothèques et on m’a confié le poste à mon immense gratitude. Le reste fait partie de l’histoire récente. Je suis ravie d’avoir trouvé cette profession et d’avoir rencontré de formidables collègues bibliothécaires et d’autres domaines tout au long de mon parcours. 

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

    Je suis membre de l’ACBD/CALL depuis mars 2019. Cela ne fait pas très longtemps comparativement à bien d’autres membres. Pour moi, l’ACBD/CALL constitue une merveilleuse communauté de professionnels de l’information juridique qui couvre presque tous les aspects actuels et émergents de la profession. Je suis très contente du travail accompli par les différents comités et groupes d’intérêt spécial de l’association. Au cours de ma première année d’adhésion, le programme de mentorat a été une merveilleuse occasion pour moi de faire la connaissance d’un membre reconnu siégeant à différents comités de l’ACBD/CALL depuis longtemps, et de discuter des nombreuses facettes de la profession. Ce fut une très belle expérience. Faire partie du comité de rédaction de la Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit m’a permis de me tenir au courant des questions et des dialogues actuels et émergents au sein de la profession. Travailler avec les membres du comité de liaison avec les éditeurs de l’ACBD/CALL m’a aussi permis d’en apprendre davantage sur la technologie juridique et de gagner en confiance pour communiquer et établir des liens avec les éditeurs et les fournisseurs juridiques. Même si je n’ai assisté qu’à un seul congrès en personne, le congrès annuel de l’ACBD/CALL représente un excellent événement pour rencontrer des pairs et s’immerger dans des activités de formation et de séminaires fascinants. Je trouve que ma vie professionnelle a été enrichie grâce à l’ACBD/CALL, et je compte continuer à être membre pendant de nombreuses années.

    3. Qu’est-ce qui vous a surprise dans le domaine de l’information juridique?

    Quoique pas surprenant, je suis toujours impressionnée et pleine d’admiration devant les personnes que je rencontre ou dont j’entends parler au sein de la profession. Je pense que les membres de l’ACBD/CALL incarnent continuellement les différents domaines et les nouveaux sommets où nous pouvons amener la profession. En me joignant à l’association, j’ai également été agréablement surprise par les possibilités de collaboration. La lecture des projets et des réalisations des membres est toujours une source d’inspiration, et le partage collectif des réalisations les fait paraître comme des victoires pour tous les professionnels de l’information juridique. Je suis toujours aussi fascinée par les multiples facettes de la profession de l’information juridique. La technologie, la communication, la recherche, le catalogage, le développement des collections, la gestion du savoir, l’enseignement et l’apprentissage ne sont que quelques-uns des domaines que nous pouvons explorer au sein de cette discipline.

    4. Où voyez-vous notre industrie et/ou la profession dans dix ans?

    Je pense vraiment que les perspectives du secteur de l’information juridique sont positives et que les domaines d’évolution, en particulier celui des technologies de l’information juridique, ne sont limités que par l’imagination. Je pense qu’une grande partie de cette profession dépendra de ce que ses membres décideront de faire et de l’utilisation qu’ils en feront puisque certains se trouvent dans des postes influents pour redéfinir leur rôle et l’intégrer à des domaines émergents. On peut facilement imaginer que l’analyse quantitative et qualitative des données juridiques, les technologies de l’information juridique et l’IA s’implanteront dans les domaines comme la recherche juridique, le règlement des litiges, la rédaction, la divulgation et l’intelligence concurrentielle. Étant donné les possibilités de collaboration avec d’autres disciplines (p. ex., l’enseignement et l’apprentissage, la science des données, la programmation, le marketing, l’édition et l’accès à la justice), de nombreux champs d’exercice qui définissaient la profession peuvent changer et provoquer un flou à un rythme encore plus rapide.

    Parallèlement à l’évolution de la profession, je peux également anticiper un regard rétrospectif sur l’information juridique. Il sera toujours pertinent de défendre les notions de l’information juridique, l’accès à l’information et l’éthique de la recherche. Notamment, l’une des caractéristiques de la profession qui m’interpelle est l’égale importance en apparence de regarder dans le passé et de se demander vers où l’on s’en va. Même si cela peut sembler très intéressant de se laisser aller avec ce que peut accomplir la prévalence et l’omniprésence des données et des technologies juridiques en ce moment ou ce qu’elles pourront accomplir dans dix ans, je pense que les membres de la profession auront toujours le devoir d’examiner de manière critique les avantages et les inconvénients des applications et des développements qui en découlent. En tant que professionnels de l’information juridique, c’est un rôle passionnant à jouer que d’être à l’avant-garde.

    5. Quel conseil donneriez-vous à quelqu’un qui cherche à percer dans l’industrie de l’information juridique?

    Découvrez et appréciez la beauté et les subtilités du droit et intéressez-vous au plus grand nombre possible de facettes de la profession. :-) Établissez des relations avec les clients et les consommateurs d’informations desservis par votre organisation et ayez véritablement à cœur leurs besoins. Aussi, communiquez avec vos pairs et collègues et apprenez d’eux. N’hésitez pas à offrir votre aide, à participer à des projets et à apprendre en cours de route!

  • 18 Dec 2020 9:16 AM | National Office (Administrator)

    The Courthouse and Law Society SIG Committee is conducting a survey which relates to library services and operational plans prior to the pandemic as well as the circumstances surrounding reopening.

    The survey results will be the focus during a CLSL SIG meeting early in the new year where we hope to generate discussion offering tips and suggestions for our library environments and “home office space” where appropriate and possible! Prior to the meeting, the survey results will be posted to the CALL/ACBD website under the CLSL SIG.

    In order to eliminate duplicate results, we kindly request ONE person from your library complete the survey. The survey will take approximately fifteen minutes to complete and will close at the end of day on January 15, 2021.

    COMPLETE THE SURVEY


  • 02 Dec 2020 11:37 AM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Le texte français suit.

    The nomination period for the 15th annual Clawbies is now open. 

    The Clawbies, or Canadian Law Blog Awards, exist to reward the best and most innovative Canadian "blogs, podcasts, videos, social accounts, legal newsletters, platform commentary, CanLII Connects, whitepapers, and beyond."

    As the website explains:

    Nominate up to three digital publications or authors via blog post or tweets (using the hashtag #clawbies2020). Please include a brief explanation of why you think those authors deserve an award!

    Nominations will be accepted until the end of day on Friday, December 18th, 2020.

    Then stay tuned, because this year’s winners will be announced on New Year’s Eve.

    Over the years, quite a few CALL members have been recognized. Among them:

    • Great LEXpectations (Law Society of Manitoba - Karen Sawatzky)
    • Legal Sourcery (Law Society of Saskatchewan Library - Alan Kilpatrick, Ken Fox, Melanie Hodges Neufeld)
    • Robeside Assistance (County of Carleton Law Association - Jennifer Walker, Brenda Lauritzen)
    • SlawTips (initiative of Slaw.ca - Susannah Tredwell)
    • CALL for Innovation ("The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) partnered with vLex for an exclusive podcast series in which Colin Lachance, interim General Manager of North America for vLex, carried out out brief interviews with CALL / ACBD 2019 conference speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and organizers, about their experience at the May 2019 conference, what’s hot in their world, and their thoughts on the future.")

    So don't procrastinate, nominate before the end of the day on Dec. 18th!

    La période de mises en candidatures pour les 15e prix annuels Clawbies est maintenant ouverte.

    Les Clawbies existent pour reconnaître les meilleures plateformes canadiennes de commentaires juridiques, qu'il s'agisse de blogues, de balados, de vidéos, de comptes sur les réseaux sociaux, de bulletins d'info, de commentaires sur CanLII Connecte, de livres blancs, etc.

    Comme membres de la communauté juridique, vous pouvez proposer jusqu'à 3 candidatures (publications numériques ou auteurs) via des billets de blogue ou des gazouillis (en utilisant le mot-clic #clawbies2020).

    Le site des Clawbies demande que vous expliquiez brièvement pourquoi vous pensez que ces auteurs ou sites méritent un prix.

    Les mises en candidature seront acceptées jusqu'à la fin de la journée du vendredi, 18 décembre 2020.

    L'identité des gagnants sera dévoilée la veille du Jour de l'An.

    Depuis la création des Clawbies, plusieurs membres de l'ACBD ont obtenu un prix. En voici une liste partielle:

    • Great LEXpectations (Law Society of Manitoba - Karen Sawatzky)
    • Legal Sourcery (Law Society of Saskatchewan Library - Alan Kilpatrick, Ken Fox, Melanie Hodges Neufeld)
    • Robeside Assistance (County of Carleton Law Association - Jennifer Walker, Brenda Lauritzen)
    • SlawTips (Slaw.ca - Susannah Tredwell)
    • CALL for Innovation (à la conférence annuelle de l'association en 2019, l'ACBD et Colin Lachance de vLex ont créé une série spéciale de balados avec des organisateurs/trices, des conférenciers/ères et des représentants/es de fournisseurs pour discuter de l'événement, des grandes tendances dans leur secteur et de leur vision de l'avenir)

    Alors, n'attendez pas, envoyez vos candidatures avant la fin de la journée du 18 décembre!

  • 28 Oct 2020 10:37 AM | Shaunna Mireau (Administrator)

    On October 22, members of CALL/ACBD voted in favour of Resolution 2020/1. The Term of office for President of CALL/ACBD is now one year and there is a progression for persons standing for leadership from Vice-President 2 (elected every year) to VP 1 (only elected when VP2 is vacant, as it will be for our February 2021 election) and then to President and finally immediate Past President.

    The CALL/ACBD Bylaw will be amended as outlined by the Resolution https://www.callacbd.ca/resources/Documents/Resolution-BylawChanges2020FINAL.pdf

    This change is now in effect. Here is a chart of the new terms of office.

    Executive Board Position   Term of Office Responsibilites 
    1st Vice President
    1 year – Elevated from the position of 2nd Vice President; acclaimed unless 2nd VP is vacant Succeeds to the office of President should that office become vacant. Liaises with groups as appointed by the president including the Bylaws Advisor. Shares liaison duties relating to professional development with 2nd Vice President. Votes on decisions of the Executive Board.
    2nd Vice President 1 year – elected every year Liaises with groups as appointed by the president including the Vendor Liaison Committee. Shares liaison duties relating to professional development with 1st Vice President. Votes on decisions of the Executive Board.
    Member-at-Large (2 positions) 2 years – elected every second year Members at large are appointed to either the Member Services or Publications portfolios. They liaise with their portfolios and vote in decisions of the Executive Board.
    Past President 1 year – elevated from the position of President Liaises with groups as appointed by the president, including the Archivist and Canadian Abridgement Editorial Advisory Board. Manages the Honoured Member nominations process and Chairs the Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.
    President  1 year – Elevated from the position of 1st Vice President; acclaimed unless 1st VP is vacant

    Chairs meetings of the Executive Board and Members. Liaises with sister associations and CFLA. Appoints Committee Chairs. Acts as CEO of CALL/ACBD. Votes only to break a tie.

    Secretary 2 years – elected every second year Responsible for taking minutes at meetings of the Executive Board and the membership as well as notices of meetings. Unless running for office, coordinates elections. Liaises with all Special Interest Groups. Votes on decisions of the board.
    Treasurer 2 years – elected every second year Responsible for the funds of the association, liaising with a financial advisory committee. Votes on decisions of the Executive Board.

    For the 2021 Election, the Nominations Committee chaired by Past President, Ann Marie Melvie will be seeking candidates for

    •        1st VP
    •        2nd VP
    •        Member at Large (x2)
    •        Secretary
    •        Treasurer

    Kim Nayyer will ascend to President of CALL/ACBD and serve a one year term.

    Shaunna Mireau will move to the ex-officio position of Past President and serve in that role for one year.

  • 10 Oct 2020 7:05 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Many CALL members may have heard of Trusted Intermediary-Legal Information Network (TI-LI Network).

    In 2019, the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI) joined forces with the BC LawMatters Program and the National Self Represented Litigants Project’s Family Law in the Library Project to establish the Network to encourage cooperation between legal information providers in order to enhance access to justice.

    Yesterday, the blog of the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries published an invitation calling on law librarians to join the Network that has more than 80 contributors across Canada:

    "The organizers recognize that user-centred design, interdisciplinary approaches, and networks are needed to address urgent, complex access to justice problems, especially during these uncertain times. The TI-LI Network thus connects legal information providers from across Canada to exchange information and maximize efficiency by encouraging collaboration and adapting of resources and materials related to legal information provision by trusted intermediaries."

    "The justice landscape is changing in response to the current crisis with COVID-19 and TI-LI Network member organizations are creating new responses that are shared with trusted intermediaries to address current needs that have arose as a result of COVID-19."

    The next meeting will be held on October 27th. The blog post contains contact information.

    There were a number of presentations about the Network at the 2019 annual CALL conference:

    • Part 1: The Role of Legal Information Providers and Public Libraries in Promoting Access to Justice: Exploring Opportunities and Challenges (Brea Lowenberger, Melanie Hodges Neufeld: "In part 1 of this session, Melanie and Brea will facilitate a macro discussion to set the stage for conversation about establishing a 'National Trusted Intermediaries – Legal Information Network' (TI-LI Network). They will draw on their experience in co-establishing the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information (SALI) Project to share their observations on the need for a establishing a national network, and invite participants' feedback on this emerging development."
    • Part 2: The Role of Legal Information Providers and Public Libraries in Promoting Access to Justice: Exploring Opportunities and Challenges (Dayna Cornwall, Megan Smiley): "In part 2 of this session, Dayna and Megan will facilitate a micro discussion on lessons learned in establishing, like the SALI Project, library and legal information projects in Ontario and British Columbia. Dayna will share initial lessons learned in establishing the 'Family Law at the Library', a new project that involves partnering with libraries in the Windsor area, and Megan will share how Courthouse Libraries BC has worked since 2007 with public libraries to enhance public access to legal information in all communities throughout British Columbia."
  • 11 Sep 2020 11:49 AM | Shaunna Mireau (Administrator)

    A small team of members lead by Matthew Renaud put together some guidance on opening a law library with consideration for COVID-19. The guide contains links to public health resources and precedents to assist law librarians working in a variety of settings. We hope that CALL/ACBD Members find it helpful. 

    Read the Guide

  • 26 Aug 2020 6:59 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Kim Nayyer, Vice-President of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, has been named to the 2020 list of Fastcase 50 legal innovators

    Kim is currently the Edward Cornell Law Librarian and Associate Dean for Library Services, Cornell Law in the state of New York.

    “Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions.”

    “ 'Every part of the legal market is changing right now – from law school through every part of the practice,' said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. 'That change can be daunting or discouraging to many people. And that’s one reason that our team enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of the Fastcase 50. These are people who inspire us by their intelligence, creativity, and leadership. We hope they will inspire others as well, especially during a time of great change for the profession'. ”

    Here is what Fastcase published about her:

    Fastcase is an American-based provider of electronic versions of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions).

    Simon Fodden, the founder of Slaw.ca, Canada's preeminent online legal magazine, was recognized as one of the Fastcase 50 in 2014.

    Michael Mills, one of the Fastcase 50 in 2012, wrote in 2015 on LinkedIn about how the winners of the previous 5 years had begun to form an ecosystem of innovation:
    “They champion transparency—in lawyer/client relations, in government data, policy, and practice, in judicial proceedings, and in legal education. They advocate for access—to the law itself, and to justice. They build structures, systems, and tools for access, quality, economy, and efficiency.”

    They also collaborate. A tour of the five classes found time and again 50’s who are working together across organizations and projects, who influence and inspire one another.” [my emphasis]
    Using his company as an example, Mills writes that “from any one person among the Fastcase 250, there are lines linking in many directions to many others.” 

    That has only become truer with time.


  • 26 Jul 2020 11:01 AM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    This is a follow-up to the May 20, 2020 blog post on the reopening of libraries.

    After months of working remotely, you may be planning the reopening of your physical operations.

    That much dreamed of "return to normal".

    Happy happy, joy joy! 

    Shared microwaves!

    Chit-chat in the elevators! At the coffee machine! In the mailroom!

    And all those clients handling and touching the books. And the printer. And the photocopier. And the staplers!

    Uh oh.

    There is an awful lot to ponder and plan for if you are going to do things smartly and safely and in a way your staff and clients will trust. You want to make that dream turn into something positive.

    Two good places to start:

    • the webpage created by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)  COVID-19 and the Global Library FieldOne of the sections is about the reopening of libraries.
    • the Checklist for reopening libraries created by the Australian Library and Information Association which is very practical:

      "Each library will have its own plans for reopening, depending on the sector and the specific needs of the library’s community, but the checklist provides a practical framework which outlines major considerations that library managers should be addressing, when planning to reopen their library."

    The Great Library at the Law Society of Ontario has shared a series of resources to help law firms plan their reopening:
    "These guides and checklists cover practical return to work considerations from physical distancing and PPE to employee accommodations and communications. As well, we’ve included links to a few recent articles that provide some food for thought on the potential redesign of law firm offices and legal practices in a post-pandemic world."

    COVID-19 raises many privacy issues.

    Justin Ling published an article in CBA National in June 2020 on Getting Back to Work: Sorting through the many privacy issues as businesses get their workplaces ready.

    In it, Éloise Gratton, national co-leader on privacy and data protection at BLG, and David Fraser, partner at McInnes Cooper in Halifax, explain the minefield that employers will be facing as workplaces gradually reopen.  A minefield "where employment, labour, health, and privacy law all meet".

    Some of the issues managers will be juggling:

    • How much health-related information can employers ask from their staff?
    • What kinds of technologies can they employ to keep people safe? Contact tracing keycards? Location tracking?
    • Where does the data get kept? For how long? When does it get destroyed?
    • Can much screening can employers impose or recommend? Body temperature checks? Swabs? Serological tests (i.e. blood work)?
    • Can people be told to return to work? What if they are immuno-compromised?
    • If an office does not reopen, does that change the conditions of employment under the employment contract?

    Recordings from a recent international symposium on the reopening of research libraries are available.

    The event was organized by the International Alliance of Research Library Associations (IARLA) and took place in June:

    "IARLA convened an international symposium on 3 June 2020, which explored the plans that research libraries are putting in place to reopen their physical library buildings and reinstate their onsite services in the post-, or continuing-, Covid-19 landscape. The symposium included presentations from speakers in the United States, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Australia, who shared the plans and preparations that they are putting in place for the reopening of their libraries, how these relate to their wider institutional context, and how they correspond with their national and regional experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic."

    One of the speakers was Vivian Lewis, University Librarian, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

    The international information professional association Special Libraries Association (SLA) recently organized a virtual roundtable What Will Reopening Look Like? Planning, Procedures, and Solutions for Reopening Libraries.

    Professionals from government, law, manufacturing, construction, academia, and a variety of other work environments took part.

    There was also a chat discussion:

    "Chat comments included the following:
    • Library management has created shared documents for each of us to contribute our concerns we have about reopening—everything from hours of operation to what should we do if someone asks to borrow a pen.
    • We’re discussing letting visitors handle materials but going to set those materials aside for 3 days, which means we’re going to need to limit how much we can pull off the shelves for them.
    • Is anyone else considering moving to closed stacks? We are strongly leaning to doing that.
    • We have a new cohort of researchers arriving in September, and I’m thinking of at least starting off with 'curbside' pickup and then slowly allowing browsing (by appointment?).
    • I like the idea of delivery but may pose increased risk to exposure while delivering items to patrons in the building."

    The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project is a collaboration between OCLC, an international library services cooperative, the US government agency Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle, an R&D organization.

    "This research collaboration will provide information on how long the virus survives on surfaces and how—or if—materials can be handled to mitigate exposure."

    "To achieve these goals, the partnership is initiating work on several fronts:

    • Collect, review, and summarize authoritative research that applies to materials commonly found in the collections and facilities of archives, libraries, and museums
    • Ongoing consultation and engagement with a project steering committee, working groups, and other subject matter experts from archives, libraries, and museums
    • Laboratory testing of how COVID-19 interacts with a selection of materials commonly found in archives, libraries, and museums; and identifying methods of handling and remediation
    • Synthesize the above inputs into toolkit resources that support reopening and operational considerations
    • Share project information and toolkit resources through the project website and amplified by member associations and support organizations that serve archives, libraries, and/or museums."

    Among other things, it has been investigating how long the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 remains detectable on various library surfaces and materials.

    So far, it has looked at:

    • Braille paper pages
    • Glossy paper pages from a coffee table book
    • Magazine pages
    • Children's board book
    • Archival folders
    • Cover of hardcover books (buckram cloth)
    • Cover of softback books
    • Pplain paper pages inside a closed book
    • Mylar protective book cover jackets
    • Plastic DVD cases.

    The architecture firm IF_DO, in partnership with Libraries Connected and the UK library association CILIP, has developed a COVID-19 Safer Libraries Guide, available for free download.

    It looks at issues such as: 

    • staff safety
    • ventilation
    • safe materials borrowing and return strategies
    • seating
    • décor and signage

    Talking of signage, the website Super Library Marketing has a number of suggestions for How to Tackle Library Signage in a Pandemic and Make Visitors Feel Comfortable With Your New Rules:

    "When COVID-19 forced libraries to close, library marketing abruptly shifted to digital tactics. But now, as libraries move toward reopening, the debate over signage has returned to professional groups and library staff discussions. Signage is now crucial for communicating new rules about mask-wearing, social distancing, and time limits within physical library spaces."

    "In the old days, I would have encouraged staff to use less signage and do more talking with patrons. That’s not possible right now."

    "But we can still think strategically about how we place our signage, how it is designed, and how much of it we use. Here are some tips for planning your signage as your library moves toward reopening physical spaces."

    It is written from the point of view of public libraries but many of the ideas apply to other kinds of libraries.

    U.S. library consulting firm Aaron Cohen Associates recently published a text on its website on ReOpening the Library: Guidelines to Consider.

    It has a number of good ideas for starting to think about how to fit library users into their 2-metre little bubbles when institutions re-open:
    "Here are ideas on how to approach learning space occupancy and how you can start applying them. We included some strategies to develop a basic up-to-date, fact-based library plan framework. You can use this information to update your library services. And at corporations, colleges or Universities, these guidelines can be used to define collaboration and provide individual work environments."

    It also includes a link to a white paper from Steelcase Education for classroom and collaborative spaces.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the COVID-19 Law Lab in association with other major international organizations:

    "The COVID-19 Law Lab is a database of laws that countries have implemented in response to the pandemic. It includes state of emergency declarations, quarantine measures, disease surveillance, legal measures relating to mask-wearing, social distancing, and access to medication and vaccines. The database will continue to grow as more countries and themes are added."
    "It will also feature research on different legal frameworks for COVID-19. These analyses will focus on the human rights impacts of public health laws and help countries identify best practices to guide their immediate responses to COVID-19 and socioeconomic recovery efforts once the pandemic is under control."
    There are legal documents from over 190 countries.

    In addition to the WHO, the project involves the United Nations Development Programme, the UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.



  • 23 Jun 2020 5:08 PM | Stef Alexandru (Administrator)

    Alan Kilpatrick (@Alan_Kilpat, Librarycanuck.com)| Reference Librarian, Law Society of Saskatchewan

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

    My journey to legal librarianship was fortuitous.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Vancouver Island University (VIU), I took some time to reflect on what I wanted to do with my life.  Throughout my undergraduate degree, I worked weekends and summers as an Army Reservist and part time as a library page at VIU’s library and the Vancouver Island Regional Library.  Shortly after graduating from VIU, I spent a year working with the Canadian Forces security effort at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. While this was an amazing experience, I realized it wasn’t the correct career path for me. 

    Here, the connections I had made with the library world as a page paid off.  After speaking with several librarians, I decided that attending Western University’s Master of Library & Information Science program was the right professional move. 

    At Western, I developed my career goals and identified my professional interests.  I gained an interest in reference service, legal research, and government information after a co-op with Transport Canada’s Ottawa Library as a reference librarian.  I discovered an interest in copyright law and instruction after an exciting opportunity to research and present on Western Library’s Access Copyright agreement.

    Following graduation, I received a summer internship with Saskatchewan’s Legislative Library.  During this time, I learned about the Law Society Library.  After handing in a resume in 2013, an opportunity presented itself and I haven’t looked back since. 

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

    CALL membership has been extremely beneficial professionally.  When I became a law librarian, CALL connected me to a large professional network and with mentors who helped me develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this industry.  Attendance at CALL’s New Law Librarian Institute helped me further develop my knowledge and create a competitive legal information skill set.  I frequently contact the colleagues I’ve met through CALL for advice, assistance, and encouragement. 

    Our association’s annual conference has been a source of wonderful networking opportunities and topnotch professional development.  As legal innovation accelerates and legal information resources evolve, our skill set must keep pace.  I’m confident CALL will help me do this. 

    As my career grows, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the association through various committees, including being on the Board of Directors for the 2019-2021 term.   

    3. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to break into the legal information industry?

    Network!  During CALL’s 2018 conference in Halifax, I was privileged to co-present Taking the ‘Work’ Out of Networking: Build Relationships, Not a Stack of Business Cards with Bronwyn Guiton, Veronica Kollbrand, and Megan Siu.  During the presentation, I made five networking suggestions for new and prospective legal information professionals: 

    • It’s never too early to start networking: It’s been valuable at every stage of my career.   
    • Get Active: Joining a professional association is a great way to network.
    • Network widely and wisely: Don’t limit your networking horizons.
    • Share your story: We’re all doing interesting things as information professionals.  Tell people about it!
    • Embrace new situations: Networking can be intimidating.  Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. 

    4. What are three skills/attributes you think legal information professionals need to have?

    • Act Boldly: Boldly market yourself and boldly reimagine what a library can be. 
    • Embrace Change: Embrace change in the legal information field.    
    • Learn Continuously:  Commit yourself to lifelong learning.  Integrate what you learn into your professional practice.    

    5. What are three things on your bucket list?


    Alan Kilpatrick
    (@Alan_Kilpat, Librarycanuck.com)| bibliothécaire de référence, Barreau de la Saskatchewan

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

    Le parcours qui m’a conduit à la bibliothéconomie juridique a été un pur hasard. Après l’obtention de mon baccalauréat ès arts de l’Université de l’île de Vancouver (VIU), j’ai pris du temps pour réfléchir à ce que je voulais faire dans la vie. Au cours de mes études, je travaillais les week-ends et les étés comme réserviste de l’Armée canadienne et à temps partiel comme aide de bibliothèque à la bibliothèque de la VIU et à la bibliothèque régionale de l’île de Vancouver. Peu de temps après l’obtention de mon diplôme, j’ai passé un an à assurer la sécurité avec les Forces armées canadiennes pour les Jeux olympiques de Vancouver de 2010. Même si l’expérience fut extraordinaire, je me suis rendu compte que ça n’était pas la bonne carrière pour moi.

    C’est à ce moment-là que les liens que j’avais tissés comme aide dans l’univers de la bibliothéconomie ont été payants. Après avoir parlé à plusieurs bibliothécaires, j’ai décidé que le programme de maîtrise en bibliothéconomie et en sciences de l’information de l’Université Western était la bonne voie professionnelle.

    Au cours de mes études, j’ai précisé mes objectifs de carrière et cerné mes intérêts professionnels. Je me suis intéressé aux services de référence, à la recherche juridique et à l’information gouvernementale après avoir fait un stage à la bibliothèque de Transports Canada à Ottawa en tant que bibliothécaire de référence. J’ai découvert un intérêt pour le droit d’auteur et l’enseignement après avoir eu une occasion formidable de faire de la recherche liée à l’entente de l’Université Western avec Access Copyright et de faire une présentation sur ce sujet.

    Après l’obtention de ma maîtrise, j’ai effectué un stage d’été à la bibliothèque de l’Assemblée législative de la Saskatchewan. C’est au cours de cette période que j’ai découvert la bibliothèque du Barreau de la Saskatchewan. J’ai envoyé mon c.v. en 2013 pour répondre à une offre d’emploi, et je n’ai jamais regretté cette décision.

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

    L’adhésion à l’ACBD/CALL m’a été extrêmement bénéfique sur le plan professionnel. Lorsque je suis devenu bibliothécaire juridique, l’association m’a permis d’accéder à un vaste réseau de professionnels et de mentors qui m’ont aidé à améliorer les connaissances et compétences requises pour réussir dans ce domaine. Ma participation à l’Institut pour les nouveaux bibliothécaires de droit m’a permis de perfectionner mes connaissances et d’acquérir des compétences nettement plus aiguisées dans le domaine de l’information juridique. Je contacte souvent des collègues que j’ai rencontrés par l’intermédiaire de l’ACBD/CALL pour obtenir des conseils, de l’aide ou des encouragements. 

    Le congrès annuel de notre association offre une excellence façon d’établir des contacts et d’obtenir du perfectionnement professionnel de qualité. Il faut maintenir nos compétences à jour pour suivre l’innovation juridique et l’évolution des ressources de renseignements juridiques. Je suis convaincu que l’ACBD/CALL m’aidera à y parvenir. 

    Tout en cheminant dans ma carrière, je suis reconnaissant d’avoir la possibilité de servir l’association par le biais de divers comités, notamment en siégeant au conseil d’administration pour le mandat de 2019-2021.

    3. Quel conseil donneriez-vous à quelqu’un qui cherche à percer dans l’industrie de l’information juridique?

    Faites du réseautage! Lors du congrès 2018 de l’ACBD/CALL à Halifax, j’ai eu le privilège de coprésenter la conférence intitulée Taking the ‘Work’ Out of Networking: Build Relationships, Not a Stack of Business Cards avec Bronwyn Guiton, Veronica Kollbrand et Megan Siu. Dans le cadre de cette présentation, j’avais donné cinq conseils de réseautage pour les nouveaux et futurs professionnels de l’information juridique :

    • Il n’est jamais trop tôt pour commencer à faire du réseautage : connaître des gens m’a été utile à chaque étape de ma carrière.
    • Soyez actifs : se joindre à une association professionnelle est une excellente façon de se constituer un réseau.
    • Entretenez beaucoup de contacts de manière intelligente : essayez d’élargir autant que possible vos horizons de réseautage.
    • Partagez votre histoire : nous faisons tous des choses intéressantes en tant que professionnels de l’information. Parlez-en aux gens!
    • Adoptez une vision plus large des nouvelles situations qui s’offrent à vous : faire du réseautage peut être intimidant. N’ayez pas peur de sortir de votre zone de confort. 

    4. Selon vous, quelles sont les trois compétences ou qualités que les professionnels de l’information juridique doivent détenir?

    • Faire preuve d’audace : mettez vos compétences en valeur et réinventez de façon audacieuse à quoi pourrait ressembler la bibliothèque de demain. 
    • Accueillir le changement : soyez ouverts aux changements dans le domaine de l’information juridique.   
    • Apprendre sans cesse : engagez-vous sur la voie de l’apprentissage continu et intégrez ce que vous apprenez dans votre pratique professionnelle. 

    5. Quelles sont trois choses que vous aimeriez réaliser avant de mourir?

    • Explorer l’histoire de la guerre froide en parcourant l’Europe de l’Est en voiture.
    • Restaurer une automobile American Motors Corporation (AMC) Gremlin des années 1970.
    • Visiter à nouveau l’Inde (au cours du dernier semestre de mes études en bibliothéconomie, j’ai fait un stage extraordinaire dans un organisme d’alphabétisation à Bangalore).
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