Canada’s online legal magazine.

Screencasting Triumph

I attended an American Association of Law Libraries webinar on screencasting and podcasting this week. I heard about this session via Slaw and decided to attend to see if this tech would fit in nicely with our current Intranet offerings.

Kerry Fitz-Gerald, Reference Librarian, Seattle University School of Law Library and Rita Kaiser, Reference Services Librarian, King County Law Library educated and inspired me. The session was just over an hour, and due to my longitunal location ran from 11 a.m. to 12ish.

I was so inspired, I bought a headset with a mic at lunch, and proceeded to avoid . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

The Secret’s Out – Special Librarianship a Great Job for Political Junkies

I doubt that this is much of a surprise to the law library community. US New and World Report has discovered that special librarianship is a great career choice for those who enjoy watching politics. I can’t imagine doing this job without some interest in and knowledge of the machinery of government and the workings of the political process!

Other jobs mentioned in the article: lobbyist, tour guide, reporter, translator/interpreter, journalist. Folks, I think we picked the right one (although journalism wouldn’t be bad…)

If you weren’t following your current career, what would you do?

(Hat tip to the Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

DLA Piper Talks Merger With Fasken

According to an article in legalweek.com DLA Piper, the Anglo-American giant law firm, has held talks with Fasken Martineau about a potential link between or merger of the firms. DLA Piper has more than 3,700 lawyers in offices in 38 countries, but has no office in Canada. The article also says that DLA Piper is considering, alternatively, opening up an independent office here. Fasken reportedly has said that they may be prepared to talk in January.

An irrelevant coda: DLA Piper uses gangbuster rotating images on its main website page, quite unlike the usual staid graphics found on law . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing

Google Does It Again

Google introduced a really clever website over the last few days. Although they’re always getting flak for all the personal info they gather from you, there really are some pretty interesting things they can do with all that information. Like make the Centre for Disease Control obsolete.

OK, maybe that’s a bit too hyperbolic, but their new program has managed to closely approximate the CDC’s tracking of flu bugs, simply through aggregating all the web searches people do on the topic. Apparently the number of people who google “Neo Citran” or other similar terms gives you a great idea . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Quicklaw’s Auto Link and WestlaweCARSWELL’s CiteLinkCanada

Although both of the Canadian tools below have been available for some time now, I have only recently started to experiment with them.

Both products – which are free but which each require subscriptions/passwords – will “auto-populate” your research memos with hypertext links to the cases cited in your memo.

The Quicklaw product is Auto Link which will add hypertext links to the Quicklaw version of cases cited in your memo (it allows you to do this in bulk, that is, with more than one memo at a time). Related to this product on the same page is downloadable software . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Interesting New Documents From the UN

I have a thing for government documents. “GovDocs” was my best class in library school.

I have a particular thing for UN documents because the UN deals with just about anything and everything.

Here are a few recent ones:

  • Our World 2.0: the United Nations University (yes, they have their own university) launched a webzine this past summer about solutions for the planet’s climate, oil and food security messes
  • Toolkit to Combat Human Trafficking: the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has developed a “toolkit” that provides guidance to policymakers, law enforcers, judges, prosecutors, and victim service providers
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

New Canadian Legal Blogs

I just put up a new post over on Stem’s blog about the latest Canadian legal blog additions to LawBlogs.ca… and thought the relay here might help our newly minted bloggers.

On average, we’re still seeing 1-2 new blogs each month, including Canadian lawyers, students, librarians, and other legal pros. And for your surfing pleasure, those latest blogs are:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Economics of Spam

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and UC, San Diego have published a paper on a study they did on spam.

They actually took over part of an existing spam botnet, and sent their own spam to test the response. We all wonder why anyone would actually fall for the scam, and know that the uptake must be low – but how low?

In their case, 350 million emails sent resulted in 28 “sales” – a response rate of 0.00001%.

Commentary ranges from the thought that the rewards for spammers are decreasing to math showing how lucrative it can . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Time for Wireless…or Wireless for Time

♬To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose..♬

Words and Music by Ecclesiastes/Seeger, recorded by The Byrds.

The one thing that none of us can bank is time. So how do we best make use of our time – especially these days – given that we have to spend a certain amount of it waiting or on trains or in transit somewhere? How can we check our email, read (and edit) attachments, check our appointments, refer to . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Payment Trends for Digital Licenses

Any thoughts on whether you think any sort of trend has emerged re how libraries are paying for licensed content/databases/periodicals? In other words, are libraries paying on a per use basis, or as annual, quarterly, etc., subscription fees, or otherwise?

Please post your comments here or at: www.licensingdigitalcontent.blogspot.com. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

LCO Issues First Full Report

The “new” Law Commission of Ontario has released its first full report, just over a year after we began operations. Our report on Fees for Cashing Government Cheques is a response to the reality that a disproportionate number of low income individuals cash their government cheques at cheque cashing businesses. This issue is consistent with the government “poverty initiative” and the recommendations are complementary to the pay day loan legislation enacted by the Ontario Legislature. The LCO’s recommendations acknowledge that some people prefer cash chequing business to banks; thus their focus in on ensuring informed choice and options that address . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Pomegranate, Smartest of Smart Phones

This is simply brilliant.

I don’t know whom Nova Scotia employed to come up with this Flash presentation, but in my opinion it’s worth every penny they paid for it. Every single aspect of the website is worth visiting, from the Pomegranate holder to the use of the Pomegranate as a harmonica. And what’s more, the damn thing is stylish as hell. (Clearly someone’s taking cues from Apple.)

When you’ve seen enough and want the secret let out of the bag, click on the “release date” button at the top right.

Oh, and if the music loop gets too much . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous