Canada’s online legal magazine.

Legal Research Roundtable in the CBA’s the “National”

The Canadian Bar Association‘s Oct/Nov 2005 edition of the “National” has a piece I was involved with entitled “Legal Research Roundtable.” There is nothing likely too earth-shattering in the piece for most experienced legal researchers. What was fun about the experience was the opportunity to speak with the three other participants (Gregory Pun, Peter Nagy and Cynthia Simpson) and Melanie Raymond (from the CBA) to see what other colleagues are up to.

It never surprises me but sometimes surprises others the extent to which legal research continues to involve print-based resources (with the fear that those who rely solely . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Access to Court Records

Two items:

The Canadian Judicial Council has issued a model policy on court records. It provides for public access to most court information, if you actually visit the courthouse, but greatly limits electronic remote access.

The policy is at

Also, the Federation of Law Socities will be meeting this weeking, November the 5th in Ottawa for a one-day workshop on Dissemination of Legal Information in Canada. This is a closed meeting for the Federation, but I understand they will be addressing three topics: major challenges and issues in the next 5 to 10 years; the potential for national initiatives; . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

New Study: Training Gaps Analysis for Professional Librarians and Library Technicians

From the Press Release:

The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC), a not-for-profit national Sector Council, has hired the 8Rs Research Team (University of Alberta) to undertake a Training Gaps Analysis for professional librarians and library technicians. The project is overseen by CHRC’s Library Steering Committee which includes representatives of the Association pour l’avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation (ASTED), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Canadian Library Association, the Canadian Urban Library Council, Library technicians education programs, and Masters level library schools.

The 8Rs Research Team has conducted in-depth research on libraries as workplaces for the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Computer Labs – Necessary?

I was musing on the subway this morning about our computer lab — actually we have two of them. They take up a lot of space and of course are resource-intensive, needing continual upgrades in hardware and software. Does anyone still think we will need them in say, five years time?

Most of our students now have laptops. They’re more ubiquitous than ever and getting smaller, lighter and with longer battery life. And of course our students are more IT-literate than ever before — and that will only increase. Our libraries are wireless. Printing is wireless. In the future I . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

How Fast the Wikisphere Works

Reading about Justice Samuel Alito yesterday, the Post and the Times both linked to the Wikipedia biography of the nominee.,_Jr.

It seems to be written in real time, with links to the White House statement, and newspaper commentaries, as well as good links back to his judgments and pre-judicial career.
What was really impressive was how fast this was current and running, a better site than any of the conventional papers and a tribute to web-based collaboration. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

We Seem to Be Worth $4,084.20

I stumbled on an odd site that values Blogs – and who knows what the methodology is but it values slaw at $4,084.20

Funny that it doesn’t know what industry we’re in.

At the base of the page is its valuation of our links out.

Top 100 Incoming Links
This is a list of the most valuable incoming links at the time OTHER blogs are indexed. It is indicative of FUTURE value not CURRENT value.

Xanada (B$1,086.76)
Vancouver Law Librarian Blog (B$939.06)
excited utterances (B$325.98)
CS-SIS Blawgs Committee (B$296.85)
Stark County Law Library Blawg (B$185.51)
Connie Crosby (B$124.28)

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Did the Evolution of Searching Stop?

When I started using QL back in 1975 – a statement which dates me I realize – I recall being struck by the crudity of Boolean searching and its scant contact with the concept and context driven research behaviour of experienced searchers. Search questions had to be bent out of shape to fit into Boolean: paradoxically legal jargon and Latin was easier to search. The entire process put a premium on knowing the vocabulary and logical structure of the law.

Then we learned how to game Boolean. With nested searches and lengthy synonyms and then proximity locators. We overcame the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canlii Find — Revisited

It seems that my initial bookmarklet Canlii Find won’t work in IE on Windows (but does in IE on a Mac — which is where I made it). I’ve done another version that should work on IE in the way that the original works in Firefox.

So here they are, renamed for clarity: Canlii Find (IE) and CANLII Find (FF)

Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming with respect to the new one, too, please. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Annotated US Constitution Online – Canadian Equivalent

Sabrina I. Pacifici on her BeSpacific website/blog mentions the US GPO website providing free online access to an annotated US Constitution prepared by the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. This site appears to be an excellent (and free) source of information for online researchers.

The Canadian equivalent (but not quite) are the Canadian Charter of Rights Decisions Digests prepared by Graham Garton of the Department of Justice and available on CanLII. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Microsoft Joins Digital Library Inititiaves

This is a link to an article on the Chronicle of Higher Education: “Microsoft, Joining Growing Digital-Library Effort, Will Pay for Scanning of 150,000 Books.

Six of the participants are Canadian universities: Toronto, York, McMaster, Ottawa, Memorial, and UBC. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous