This past summer, the Canadian legal profession was presented with yet another edition of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation/Manuel canadien de la référence juridique, aka the McGill Guide. This new edition, the 8th in 28 years (an average of one edition every 4 years since its first publication in 1986) was expected, though not anticipated with any enthusiasm. Fellow Slaw columnist Susannah Treadwell has recently posted a review of the work. It seems to me that the changes to the previous edition are few, inconsistent, and not obviously necessary (Another colleague has told me that . . . [more]
Archive for the ‘Legal Information’ Columns
The eighth edition of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (“McGill Guide”) was published in May. The new edition does not make any changes quite as dramatic as in the previous edition; if you were reading SLAW four years ago, you may remember there was a strong reaction to the removal of periods from citations.
A welcome element in the eighth edition is a greater focus on citing digital resources. The two sections of the McGill Guide that primarily deal with electronic resources are section 1.6 (“Online resources”) and section 6.22 (“Electronic sources”). Other information on citing electronic resources . . . [more]
Looking at events with a long-term perspective has been a primary strength of library professionals from time immemorial. Preserve the intellectual heritage of the past, protect the information of the future: that has been one of the profession’s purposes. It is a perspective that is seldom fashionable. Change, constant change, is now part of our daily expectations. As former United States President Dwight D. Eishhower supposedly once said, things today are more like they are now than ever. (Someone else said if first, but the image of President Eisenhower pontificating is a pleasant one.) The pace of change in 2014 . . . [more]
In the United States we recently celebrated Columbus Day on October 13th. The day was established in 1934, as a national holiday to celebrate the Italian-American heritage of exploration; then was moved to the second Monday in October in 1968. Its celebration has become controversial, however, because Columbus did not in fact discover America and his arrival unleashed genocide against the indigenous people already living in the Americas.
In September the third conference on the Cape Town Convention took place at the Law Faculty in Oxford. This treaty deals with international interests in mobile equipment, and was adopted in late 2001. There are three protocols, dealing with aircraft and aircraft engines; rail and space. The details of dates and entry into force can be located on the Unidroit site. The CTC is one of the most successful commercial treaties, having been ratified by 60 countries already.
For my vacation this summer I traveled to Amish country in Ohio where we were given a tour of an Amish furniture manufacturing business and welcomed into an Amish home for a meal. It was a thought provoking and humbling experience to see a community that has so successfully and for so long decided how it wants to live and refused to accept the idea that the way the rest of society lives is inevitable. It made me think about the ways the legal community approaches technology and how technological change can be handled.
I had never had exposure to . . . [more]
I’ve been trying to prepare for the IFLA conference in Lyon, France for months. IFLA is the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and I don’t recall ever attending one of their meetings. But I thought this year, it’s in France, and in Lyon. My first name is Lyonette – it’s fate! And the IFLA Law Libraries Section has been offering great sessions on authentication of and access to digital legal information (such as official gazettes) in various regions of the world. I could look forward to immersing myself in French culture, speaking French, and learning about new developments . . . [more]
Skeuomorphism is a word that describes when a digital object incorporates elements of the equivalent physical object even though it is not necessary to do so. For example the calculator on an iPhone is mimicking a physical calculator in its use of the “C” button. One advantage of skeuomorphism is that it gives users some kind of reference point when switching from a physical to a digital object.
eBooks and e-libraries frequently employ skeuomorphism. eBooks may incorporate elements of physical books such as layout, bookmarks, and page numbers, even though the page numbers may change based on the device used . . . [more]
The academic year ended a few weeks ago and as I wrote my regular farewell note to the finalists, I started to muse on the information related facts I hope they carry with them into their academic, professional and online lives post Oxford.
Here is a list I made in my head. I have added hints/links to some points that might be useful for SLAW readers. If you have other golden rules to add to this list, please do. BTW, I use the term ‘Wexis’ to denote commercial legal databases, and not to promote one over another!
- Sometimes there just
One of the challenges for legal librarians is making sure that library users get the most out of the resources available to them. There is an incredible amount of legal information available, but if a researcher cannot find the information he or she needs, the information might as well not exist. Fortunately there are a number of tools out there to make the process easier. On a wider level, these tools include library catalogues and bibliographies, and on a narrower level these tools include tables of contents and indexes.
A good index can be worth its weight in gold, helping . . . [more]
The latest issue of Legal Information Management focuses on legal biography – sources thereof and methods of compiling. The wonderful articles raised some intriguing questions for me. How do you locate biographical information about non-prominent persons? What can we do to facilitate more biographies about legal scholars and lawyers whose ideas fall outside conventional legal thinking? Who was the first lesbian lawyer in the UK? You can write a legal biography of a book or building!
You can write biographies of judges, lawyers, law professors, law students, law librarians, publishers, courts, international organizations, associations. Sources for compiling and locating them . . . [more]
This month I chose to write a brief book review of an extremely useful new book – Internet Legal Research on a Budget: Free and Low-cost Resources for Lawyers by Carole A Levitt and Judy K. Davis (2014, 321 pages, $89.95USD). Published by the Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association, the main focus of the book is on United States law. However several of the chapters, such as that on Foreign, International and Comparative Law, could be relevant for any legal practice. I am reviewing the print edition of the work and cite to it, but an ebook . . . [more]