• 17 Apr 2020 10:30 AM | Alan Kilpatrick (Administrator)

    By Alisa Lazear

    Since last spring, a great number of updates and resources have been added to CanLII. To make sure you’re up to date on recent developments, here’s more about what’s new on CanLII.

    ⚖️ Primary Law

    Beginning with the addition of the decisions from DLRs in 2016, CanLII continues to do historical scanning projects to increase the scope of our caselaw collection. Here are the results of some of those projects over the past year:

          Thanks to the Law Foundation of New Brunswick, we now have primary law covering 50 years for the province of New Brunswick. The annual statutes database now goes back to the Revised Statutes of New Brunswick of 1973. We also added 7,000 decisions published in the New Brunswick Reports between 1969 and 2016 that were missing from CanLII and that have been cited in the CanLII database.

          Over 8,000 cases from the Western Weekly Reports (WWR) were added to CanLII last Spring, bringing in a collection of significant cases from courts in the western provinces.

          We also added over 9,500 decisions from the Manitoba Reports as part of a project funded by the Manitoba Law Foundation.

          Last fall, we also announced that we had added the annual statutes for Alberta, from 1906 to present as part of a project funded by the Alberta Law Foundation.

    We are grateful for all the support we have received to continue to improve the availability of primary law!


    Many developments have been happening in this area for CanLII. CanLII’s commentary section continues to grow with resources written by authors from various backgrounds. Since the launch of the CanLII Author’s Program, we have received submissions from lawyers, legal scholars, and graduate students in law, who see the value in open legal commentary. Have a look at the new layout of our CanLII Authors Program page to learn more, or you can explore what’s already on CanLII here. To help you find the commentary you need, an additional filter feature was added to CanLII to search commentary by subject area.

    Thanks to the County of Carleton Law Association (CCLA), we have started offering access to conference proceedings in addition to law reviews, books, articles, newsletters, and reports. Read on to learn more about recent updates to commentary that have been added to CanLII.


    Below is a list of journals added since last spring. You can see the full list of journals on our website here.

    -        Asper Review of International Business and Trade Law

    -        Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal

    -        Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal

    -        Dalhousie Law Journal

    -        Journal of Commonwealth Law

    -        Journal of Law & Equality

    -        Lakehead Law Journal

    -        Laws | An Open Access Journal from MDPI

    -        Les Cahiers de droit

    -        Osgoode Hall Law Journal

    -        Revue de Droit de l'Université de Montréal

    -        Revue québécoise de droit international

    -        Saskatchewan Law Review

    -        Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues

    The Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues, run by law students at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, recently decided to shift to an Open Access publishing model. We were very pleased to be invited to their Open Access launch event to celebrate this milestone and are happy that they chose to include their work on the CanLII platform.

    We are also grateful to the number of university presses that have published legal scholarship under Creative Commons (CC) licenses, allowing platforms like CanLII to share this content with a wide audience. We encourage content creators to follow the lead of these university presses and consider whether making public legal scholarship openly accessible through avenues like Creative Commons licensing is right for them.


    Last November, we announced a new collaboration with Based on CanLII search queries, stood out as a centre of writing covering legal topics of interest to CanLII users. We then published a collection of ebooks of selected content from in CanLII’s commentary section.

    You can search through CanLII’s entire book collection here, which includes new additions such as JP Boyd on Family Law and the latest update of the eText on Wrongful Dismissal by Lancaster House.

    Reports and papers from several other organizations

    Since our last update, a number of additional organizations have shared their reports and papers with us:

    -        Alberta Law Reform Institute

    -        Canadian Centre for Elder Law (a division of BC Law Institute)

    -        Canadian Conference on Personal Property Security Law

    -        Canadian Forum on Civil Justice

    -        Canadian Human Rights Commission

    -        Environmental Law Centre of Alberta

    -        Government of the Northwest Territories – Department of Justice

    -        Justice & Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia

    -        Law Reform Commission of British Columbia

    -        Vanier Institute of the Family

    CanLII Connects:

    Last spring, we were pleased to announce the completion of the integration of CanLII Connects entries into search results on When you conduct a search on CanLII, you are able to get results of content from CanLII Connects. Now, this important source of case commentary is more findable and better integrated through tools like CanLII’s note up feature than before.

    We are grateful to the writers on CanLII Connects who make it faster and easier for legal professionals and the public to access high-quality legal commentary on Canadian court decisions. If you have professional competence in legal analysis and would like to join CanLII Connects to share your insights, we encourage you to register here.

    Other News:

    If you have been spending time on CanLII since last spring, you will probably have noticed that CanLII underwent a website refresh. Thanks to the feedback from our users and the help of the Lexum team, we got a new look to help improve your CanLII experience.

    More recently, we’ve come up with some new features for conducting efficient legal research that include decision highlights, paragraph-level note-ups, and “decision intensity” indicators represented by blue jalapenos.

    Thanks to a motivated working group formed through the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, we have received instructional materials in the form of videos and handouts to assist users on how to use CanLII. You can find these helpful resources in the footer menu on the CanLII site under “CanLII Guides.”

    Earlier this month, CanLII was thrilled to announce the winner for the inaugural Martin Felsky Award, a contest celebrating excellence in Canadian open legal commentary on the subjects of legal research and legal technology. This year’s award went to Lee-Ann Conrod for her article titled “Smart Devices in Criminal Investigations: How Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Can Better Protect Privacy in the Search of Technology and Seizure of Information”, originally published in the University of Victoria Faculty of Law student-run and open access journal APPEAL: Review Of Current Law And Law Reform.

    We are also happy to welcome Anqi Shen, CanLII’s Community Manager. Anqi has been helping us build engagement through CanLII’s social media and blog since last fall. Her skill and experience have proven to be a great asset to CanLII and we’re excited to continue working with her this year.

    The updates don’t end here! Make sure to follow our newly redesigned blog for the latest CanLII news.

  • 02 Apr 2020 6:45 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    There are so many sources of information out there about the COVID-19 pandemic that it can be hard to figure out what is useful.

    Here are good places to follow library-related and law-related news.

    Lawyer’s Daily COVID-19 Updates - LexisNexis has opened up access to regular updates about COVID-19: "This listing will continue to be updated with the newest items posted on top. Users can also use the Search box at the top of the page and set real-time news alerts for any keyword, including COVID-19, to be informed when new content is published."

    Dossier COVID -19 (CAIJ - Centre d'accès à l'information juridique, the network of courthouse libraries associated with the Barreau du Québec): "Dans le cadre de la pandémie causée par la maladie à coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), notre équipe a regroupé l’information juridique pertinente afin de vous accompagner en télétravail. L’information est organisée par domaines de droit et sera régulièrement enrichie. Vous y trouverez notamment de l’information en matière de force majeure, de santé, de travail et emploi, de faillite et insolvabilité et de droit public et administratif."

    Canadian Lawyer Magazine Daily Court Updates - available from a link on the home page each day – "Courts across Canada are taking extraordinary measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19. Below is a roundup of actions courts are taking across the country."

    Repository of Canadian COVID-19 Emergency Orders (Craig Forcese, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa) 

    COVID-19: Emergency Measures Tracker (McCarthy Tetrault LLP): "In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, our team is closely monitoring updates from governments across Canada as they respond to the pandemic. The following summarizes the emergency measures that have been imposed in each jurisdiction. We will continue to update this summary as further measures are introduced across the country."

    Remote Courts Worldwide (hosted by the Society for Computers and Law, funded by the UK LawTech Delivery Panel, and supported by Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service): "As the coronavirus pandemic spreads and courts around the world are closing, this website is designed to help the global community of justice workers - judges, lawyers, court officials, litigants, court technologists - to share their experiences of 'remote' alternatives to traditional court hearings.

    To ensure ongoing access to justice, governments and judiciaries are rapidly introducing various forms of 'remote court' - audio hearings (largely by telephone), video hearings (for example, by Skype and Zoom), and paper hearings (decisions delivered on the basis of paper submissions). At remarkable speed, new methods and techniques are being developed. However, there is a danger that the wheel is being reinvented and that there is unnecessary duplication of effort across the world. In response, this site offers a systematic way of remote-court innovators and people who work in the justice system to exchange news of operational systems, as well as of plans, ideas, policies, protocols, techniques, and safeguards. By using this site, justice workers can learn from one another's successes and disappointments. "

    So far, the website has contributions from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the US, Singapore, Ireland and others.

    Reports From the Congressional Research Service and Legislative Research Organizations in Australia, Canada, EU, and UK (US-based infoDOCKET website): includes links to COVID-19-related reports from the Congressional Research Service in Washington, the Parliamentary Library in Australia, the Library of Parliament in Ottawa, the European Parliament Research Service and the House of Commons Library in the United Kingdom. The page is updated several times a week.

    Parliamentary research services papers on COVID-19 (Iain Watt, IFLAPARL - Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) - the search in English language sources for "coronavirus OR covid-19 OR covid" for global selected sources today produces more than  1300 results, all of them from parliamentary research services.

    Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Resources for Libraries ( The post is regularly updated and contains links to government websites (public health authorities), the World Health Organization, links for libraries, updates about upcoming library conferences, and access to free full-text articles from medical and scientific publishers.

    COVID-19 and the Global Library Field (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions): "The information and resources below are provided on a non-exhaustive basis but will be updated regularly. It is based on publicly available information, and that submitted to We welcome additional ideas, references, suggestions and corrections to this address." The page is divided into sections on the following topics - Understanding COVID-19 and its spread ; Library closures around the world; Managing different approaches to restrictions; Staying safe at home and work; Providing services remotely; Managing remote working; Reassigning library resources; Actions by Associations, National Libraries and Library Partners.

    Libraries and COVID-19: International News Roundup (infoDOCKET website, regularly updated): "On this page we’re curating a small collection of resources with news, information, and resources about how libraries around the world are dealing with COVID-19. Included on this page is a collection of direct links to operations information for several national libraries."

    Publisher Access Changes, COVID-19 (maintained by librarians at Bryant University, Rhode Island)

    Coronavirus – Accès à des ressources documentaires additionnelles (Biblothèques de l'Université de Montréal): "Plusieurs éditeurs et fournisseurs de ressources électroniques normalement payantes et non accessibles à la communauté UdeM débloquent présentement les accès pour soutenir les efforts des établissements d’enseignement. Ci-dessous des liens pertinents (...) Les offres et modes d’accès aux documents varient grandement d’un fournisseur à l’autre : accès complet ou partiel à des collections; accès en lecture seulement (pas de téléchargement de PDF); inscription requise de l'institution pour accéder au contenu; période de déblocage variée; etc."

    Canadian University ILL Services - COVID-19: explains what ILL services are still running and which are shut down.

  • 27 Mar 2020 7:37 PM | Stef Alexandru (Administrator)

    version française ci-dessous.

    Project Profile: Editing the Canadian Law Library Review/Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit

    Nikki Tanner, Reference/Instruction Librarian | Gerard V. La Forest Law Library, University of New Brunswick and Editor, Canadian Law Library Review

    1.       What is the mandate of the CLLR?

    Canadian Law Library Review/Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit is the official publication of CALL/ACBD. We publish news, developments, articles, reports, and reviews of interest to legal information specialists in Canada and abroad. We also publish surveys and statistical reviews prepared by CALL/ACBD’s various committees and special interest groups; updates from smaller, regional law library groups; and the proceedings of our annual conference.

    2.       What are your responsibilities as the editor in chief of the Canadian Law Library Review?

    For every issue, column editors and feature article editors send me their content in Word files, which I edit, then send to my associate editor for another edit. When she is finished, I give them another read and then send the files to our liaison at the CALL/ACBD head office. He takes care of translation and sends the files to our designer. Once the designer has compiled the content into a PDF draft of the issue, my associate editor and I do another round of proofreading and ensure that the layout isn’t wonky (weird spaces, no space where it should be, etc.). Then, I do 2–4 more passes on the PDF until I’m satisfied. I’ve always loved editing and read grammar books for fun, so I almost always find tiny mistakes to fix, but eventually I have to cut myself off and let it go into the world, otherwise we’d never have an issue!

    I also write a letter from the editor for each issue, and that’s the hardest part of the whole process sometimes. It can be difficult to think of something new to say four times a year! Luckily, we publish fantastic and engaging feature articles, so I can draw from those.

    Other than the copy editing, I do two reports per year for the executive, prepare a yearly budget, recruit new people for the editorial board when necessary, and think of ideas to improve or add columns. I have a few ideas, some of which our editor emerita/associate editor, Susan Barker, handed down to me. So far they have mostly been plans and not yet action, but I am working to carve out the time needed to follow through.

    3.       What skills have you or are you developing through your work?
    One of the biggest things I’ve had to learn is to let things go. In university, I picked apart my papers several times before passing them in, and if given the chance I’d spend my life rereading each issue. But I’ve learned that perfectionism isn’t my friend, so I’ve calmed down a bit (even though what I wrote above doesn’t necessarily show it).

    I’ve also learned to trust my instincts more. I’m still a new law librarian, having started at Dalhousie in September 2015 and moving to UNB in July 2016. So I’ve had to deal with imposter syndrome a lot, but I’ve gotten better.

    4.       What lessons have you learned?

    I covered this a bit above, but I also learned not to worry if I don’t know something. I mentioned learning to trust my instincts, but I also had to trust that it was okay to not know or understand something and to just ask questions. After all, I’m constantly telling my students to come to me immediately if they can’t find something and not to suffer through hitting research walls, so I learned to take my own advice.

    5.       What challenges have you encountered?

    The most challenging aspect is the time it takes to edit and produce an issue, coupled with the fact that when I’m at work I’m on reference duty all day, every day (my office is in the library, not out back, and my door is always open to students). It can be tough to get things done during the school year; the summer is much better as there aren’t as many students around.
    Another challenge has been keeping up with all the little things the editor does that I’m often unaware of until they come up (i.e., the first time I had to prepare a budget or November report). Luckily, I have Susan Barker to help with all that fun stuff.

    6.       Do you have tips for library professionals considering getting involved in editorial work? Why might someone want to be involved?

    I suggest learning more about writing, grammar, and punctuation. You’ll learn by doing, but it helps to know these things beforehand. Also, read articles, essays, professional blog posts, etc., to get a feel for how to organize content and strengthen arguments. And please, memorize your McGill Guide!

    Being involved with CLLR keeps you on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the law library world in Canada and beyond. I know that I’ve personally learned a lot over the years from the great content provided by our amazing editorial team, without whom I’d be lost. Depending on what you’re in charge of, you’ll learn about new research (features editor), new books (book review editors), what colleagues are doing in different parts of the country (local and regional updates editor), the latest research being published elsewhere (bibliographic notes editor), and new research products and tools (advertising manager). You’ll also form relationships with legal information specialists and librarians from all over the country. And it looks great on your CV!

    If you’re interested in joining the CLLR team, keep your eyes open for calls for volunteers on the CALL-L listserv. Or, you can contact me and I’ll keep you in mind when we have an opening. I became editor by reaching out to Susan Barker when she was running the show to see if there were any openings on the editorial board. I had previous publishing experience, so she brought me on as associate editor with the plan to transition into editor the following year. So don’t hesitate to reach out!

    Profil de projet: La rédaction de la Canadian Law Library Review/Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit

    Nikki Tanner, bibliothécaire de référence | Bibliothèque de droit Gerard V. La Forest, Université du Nouveau-Brunswick et Rédactrice en Chef, Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit

    1.       Quel est le mandat de la RCBD?

    La Canadian Law Library Review/Revue canadienne des bibliothèques de droit est la publication officielle de l’ACBD/CALL. Nous publions des nouvelles, des récents développements, des articles, des rapports et des études susceptibles d’intéresser les spécialistes de l’information juridique au Canada et à l’étranger. Nous publions également des enquêtes et des études statistiques préparées par les différents comités et groupes d’intérêt spécial de l’ACBD/CALL, des nouvelles des groupes régionales de bibliothèques de droit ainsi que les actes de notre congrès annuel.

    2.       Quelles sont vos responsabilités en tant que rédactrice en chef de la RCBD?

    Pour chacun des numéros publiés, les équipes de rédaction des chroniques et des articles de fond m’envoient les textes en fichiers Word afin que je les révise. J’achemine ensuite les fichiers à ma rédactrice adjointe pour une deuxième révision. Une fois qu’elle a terminé, je fais une dernière lecture et j’envoie les fichiers à notre agent de liaison au bureau de l’ACBD/CALL. Ce dernier s’occupe de faire traduire les textes et envoie les fichiers à notre graphiste. Une fois que le visuel est conçu, la première ébauche est sauvegardée en format PDF. Mon adjointe et moi procédons à une correction d’épreuves afin de nous assurer que la mise en page est exempte de coquilles (p. ex., espaces bizarres ou manquantes). Ensuite, je peux relire de deux à quatre fois la version PDF jusqu’à ce que je sois satisfaite. Comme j’ai toujours adoré lire des livres de grammaire et rédiger pour le plaisir, je trouve presque toujours des petites coquilles à corriger. Mais je dois éventuellement m’arrêter et accepter de sortir le numéro, sinon nous n’aurions jamais de revue!

    Je rédige également un mot de la rédaction pour chaque numéro, et cela se révèle parfois la partie la plus difficile de tout le processus. Ce n’est pas facile de penser à quelque chose de nouveau à dire quatre fois par année! Heureusement, comme nous publions des articles de fond intéressants et formidables je peux m’en inspirer.

    Outre mes tâches de révision, je rédige deux rapports par année pour le conseil exécutif, je prépare un budget annuel, je recrute de nouvelles personnes pour le comité de rédaction, s’il y a lieu, et je réfléchis à des façons d’améliorer les chroniques ou en ajouter. J’ai déjà quelques petites idées, dont certaines m’ont été transmises par notre rédactrice émérite et rédactrice adjointe Susan Barker. Ces projets sont encore au stade de planification, mais j’essaie de trouver le temps nécessaire pour y donner suite.

    3.       Quelles compétences avez-vous acquises ou améliorées dans le cadre de votre travail?

    L’une des principales choses que j’ai dû apprendre est de lâcher prise. Lorsque j’étais étudiante à l’université, je décortiquais mes travaux plusieurs fois avant de les remettre. Et si on me donnait l’occasion maintenant, je passerais ma vie à relire chaque numéro. Mais j’ai appris que le perfectionnisme est plutôt mon ennemi, alors je me suis un peu calmée (même si ce que j’ai écrit ci-dessus ne semble pas forcément le démontrer).

    J’ai aussi appris à faire davantage confiance à mon instinct. Je suis encore une nouvelle bibliothécaire de droit, ayant commencé à travailler à l’Université Dalhousie en septembre 2015, puis à l’UNB depuis juillet 2016. J’ai donc dû surmonter le syndrome de l’imposteur à plusieurs reprises, mais je m’améliore.

    4.       Quelles leçons avez-vous tirées de votre expérience?

    J’ai déjà abordé un peu ce sujet plus haut, mais j’ai aussi appris à ne pas m’en faire si je ne sais pas quelque chose. J’ai mentionné que j’avais appris à me fier à mon instinct, mais j’ai aussi dû me convaincre qu’il est acceptable de ne pas comprendre ou savoir quelque chose et de se contenter de poser des questions. Après tout, je dis continuellement à mes étudiants de venir me voir immédiatement s’ils ne trouvent pas quelque chose plutôt que d’attendre de frapper un mur, alors j’ai appris à suivre mes propres conseils.

    5.       Quelles sont les difficultés auxquelles vous avez dû faire face?

    L’aspect le plus difficile est de trouver le temps qu’il faut pour réviser et produire un numéro, car lorsque je suis au travail, je dois offrir des services de référence en tout temps (mon bureau est dans la bibliothèque, non pas dans un recoin, et ma porte est toujours ouverte aux étudiants). C’est parfois difficile d’accomplir des choses pendant les semestres d’automne et d’hiver, mais c’est plus facile l’été parce qu’il y a moins d’étudiants dans les parages.

    Un autre défi est de me familiariser avec toutes les petites choses que je dois faire dans mes fonctions et que j’ignore jusqu’à ce qu’elles se pointent (comme la première fois où j’ai dû préparer un budget ou le rapport de novembre). Heureusement, je peux compter sur Susan Barker pour m’aider à faire toutes ces choses amusantes.

    6.       Avez-vous des conseils à donner aux professionnels en bibliothéconomie qui aimeraient s’impliquer dans des travaux de rédaction? Pourquoi une personne voudrait-elle s’impliquer?

    Je suggère d’en apprendre davantage sur les mécanismes de rédaction et les règles de grammaire et de ponctuation. Même si on apprend par la pratique, il est utile de connaître ces notions avant. Je recommande aussi de lire des articles, des essais et des billets de blogue professionnel pour comprendre comment on peut organiser le contenu et renforcer les arguments. Et surtout, il ne faut pas oublier de mémoriser le guide McGill!

    En s’impliquant dans la RCBD, cela permet de rester à l’affût de ce qui se passe dans le monde des bibliothèques de droit au Canada et à l’étranger. Je sais que j’ai personnellement beaucoup appris au fil des ans grâce à l’excellent contenu fourni par notre formidable équipe de rédaction, sans qui je serais perdue. Selon les responsabilités exercées, on apprend à connaître les nouvelles recherches (rédaction des chroniques), les nouveaux ouvrages (rédaction des comptes rendus de lecture), ce que font nos collègues dans les différentes régions du pays (rédaction des nouvelles régionales), les dernières recherches publiées ailleurs (rédaction des chroniques bibliographiques) et les nouveaux produits et outils de recherche (responsable de la publicité). Cela permet également de nouer des relations avec des spécialistes de l’information juridique et des bibliothécaires de tout le pays. De plus, ça paraît très bien sur un curriculum vitae!

    Si vous souhaitez vous joindre à l’équipe de la RCBD, surveillez l’appel aux bénévoles dans la liste de discussion CALL-L. Vous pouvez aussi me contacter afin que je vous tienne au courant des postes qui peuvent s’ouvrir. Je suis devenue rédactrice en chef en contactant Susan Barker lorsqu’elle dirigeait l’équipe afin de savoir s’il y avait des postes vacants au sein du comité de rédaction. Comme j’avais déjà de l’expérience dans le domaine, elle m’a offert le poste de rédactrice adjointe en vue de prendre les rênes de son poste l’année suivante. N’hésitez donc pas à nous contacter!
  • 13 Mar 2020 3:06 PM | Alan Kilpatrick (Administrator)

    Every year we look forward to our annual conference as an important time to connect, share and learn together. We are facing a unique global challenge with the introduction of the COVID-19 pandemic, sparking alarming global public health concerns.

    After very careful consideration, we have decided to postpone our annual conference to a later date in the year to ensure we do our part to limit the spread of this virus, and to accommodate those who are facing current and anticipated travel restrictions prohibiting their attendance. We want to ensure we are able to continue our tradition of connecting, sharing and learning together, but at a time that is safe to do so.
    We have made this decision factoring in the on-going uncertainty around COVID-19 and its potential impacts on the health and safety of the participants, exhibitors, speakers, and the local host community. 

    We would like to offer our sincerest gratitude for your commitment in participating in the 2020 CALL/ACBD Conference.  If you have already registered, your registration will be automatically transferred to our conference in the Fall. The new date will be announced shortlyIf you are unable to attend the new conference date, please reach out to CALL’s National Office for information on obtaining a refund.

    CALL/ACBD sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. However, during this unprecedented time, delay of the annual national conference is a mitigation strategy to potentially reduce the impact of a national outbreak and prioritize the safety of our conference participants and crucial healthcare workforce.  We also trust that postponing the conference will permit more of our delegates to be able to attend the conference to share their exciting and important work.  

    We understand some may have already made airline bookings to attend the conference.  Air Canada and Westjet are offering some limited opportunities to change flights.  If you have trip cancellation insurance, it may cover you in the event of a business meeting postponement; if you did not purchase trip cancellation insurance, we would encourage you to check with your credit card company as you may have coverage through them, depending on the card.  

    We are most grateful for your understanding, and please do not hesitate to be in touch with our National Office with any questions or concerns.  

    Many Thanks,

    Shaunna Mireau

    CALL/ACBD President

  • 10 Mar 2020 3:54 PM | Alan Kilpatrick (Administrator)

    Canadians are concerned about COVID-19. The virus responsible for COVID-19 is having a serious impact on individuals who contract it, on reactive world markets, and increasingly on travel.

    Every year the CALL/ABCD Conference is an important time to connect, share and learn together.  A lot of planning goes into this important industry event and it is a critical component to our member value proposition. Given the COVID-19 virus and its rising media profile, we felt compelled to update you as to how it may impact our Conference event.

    For starters, the health, safety and comfort of our members and guests is the top priority at all of our events.  No matter the operating environment, we consistently review our procedures to make sure we are doing all we can so that you may enjoy the meaningful networking and professional development that events do provide.  

    Registration is open for the 2020 CALL/ACBD Conference taking place in Hamilton, Ontario on May 24-27 and the event is scheduled to take place as planned. As a reminder, CALL/ACBD awards the Eunice Beeson Memorial Travel Fund to assist CALL/ACBD members who wish to attend the conference but, for financial reasons, are unable to do so. Bursaries are provided to cover travel expenses and/or accommodation. Applications are due to Sooin Kim by April 17.

    Registration is also open for the 2020 New Law Librarians' Institute taking place at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton on June 16-19 and the event is scheduled to take place as planned.

    There are currently no federal or provincial restrictions in place to prevent meetings and travel in Canada due to COVID-19 and there are no confirmed cases in Hamilton. The city of Hamilton publicly states that the risk of getting COVID-19 in Hamilton is low. The Public Health Agency of Canada has also assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada. Nevertheless, CALL/ABCD is working closely with all our event partners to create an environment conducive for the connecting, sharing and learning that is the spirit of our Conference and we look forward to welcoming you in Hamilton.

    Should there be any need to update you further we will do so again directly.  We respect that many are getting information from a variety of sources but if you have any questions or specific concerns please contact CALL/ACBD National Office at 647-346-8723 x 1. 

    Thank you,

    Shaunna Mireau
    CALL/ACBD President

  • 25 Feb 2020 2:18 PM | Stef Alexandru (Administrator)

    version française ci-dessous.

    Iain Sinclair, Knowledge Manager | Stewart McKelvey

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

    I did an undergraduate degree at the University of King’s College in my hometown of Halifax, majoring in political science and economics. After working and travelling for a few years, I enrolled at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Following graduation, I worked for a few years at a law firm on Bay Street, but eventually decided that private practice was not the life for me. I had worked in university libraries throughout my undergraduate degree, as well as at Nova Scotia’s Provincial Library prior to law school, and really enjoyed the library environment. So I decided to go back to school to obtain a library degree, which I completed at the University of Sheffield. I then worked at the Patrick Power Library at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax for about a year when a friend advised me of a library position at Stewart McKelvey in Saint John. I was keen to put my legal training to use in a library environment so applied for the position and was successful. I’ve been with Stewart McKelvey for over 21 years now.

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

    As a solo librarian and the only private law firm librarian in New Brunswick, I was very fortunate to have Cyndi Murphy as a colleague and mentor from our Halifax office. She had ensured that the firm’s job description for my position included funding for membership in CALL and attendance at the annual CALL conferences. My first CALL conference was the site of the 2020 conference - Hamilton - and I met people there who I am still in touch with today, both on a professional and personal level. CALL has been vital in allowing me to develop a contact network of fellow legal information professionals. This network has allowed me to achieve a performance standard at my work that would not otherwise have been possible. In addition to the personal contacts I have made through CALL, attendance and participation at the annual conference has greatly contributed to my professional development. Volunteering for a variety of positions with CALL over the years, including various special interest groups, committees, and the CALL executive, has also contributed enormously to my understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of our profession.

    3.         What’s one blog, website, or Twitter account that you can’t go one day without checking? A wonderful non-paywalled news source.

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

    Join and participate in CALL! It will provide you with multiple avenues to learn about the profession (e.g. through the mentorship program and the New Law Librarians’ Institute) and to make contacts in the industry.

    5.         What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

    I have a petanque court in my back yard. A word of advice – if you purchase petanque balls in France, don’t try to bring them back with you in your carry-on luggage!

    Iain Sinclair, Gestionnaire des Connaissances | Stewart McKelvey

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

    J’ai fait mes études à l’Université de King’s College, dans ma ville natale de Halifax, où j’ai obtenu un baccalauréat en économie et en sciences politiques. Après avoir travaillé et voyagé pendant quelques années, je me suis inscrit à la Faculté de droit de l’Université de Toronto. Une fois mon diplôme en poche, j’ai travaillé pendant quelques années dans un cabinet d’avocats sur Bay Street. Cependant, je me suis rendu compte que la pratique privée n’était pas une vie qui me convenait. Au cours de mes études de premier cycle, j’avais travaillé dans des bibliothèques universitaires ainsi qu’à la Bibliothèque provinciale de la Nouvelle-Écosse avant d’entrer à la faculté de droit et j’aimais beaucoup ce milieu. J’ai donc décidé de retourner aux études pour obtenir un diplôme en bibliothéconomie de l’Université de Sheffield. Je travaillais à la bibliothèque Patrick Power de l’Université Saint Mary’s, à Halifax, depuis près d’un an lorsqu’un ami m’a informé qu’un poste de bibliothécaire était ouvert à la bibliothèque du cabinet d’avocats Stewart McKelvey à Saint John. Comme je souhaitais mettre ma formation juridique en pratique dans un milieu de bibliothèque, j’ai postulé et j’ai décroché l’emploi. Je travaille maintenant chez Stewart McKelvey depuis plus de 21 ans.

    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)?

    En tant que seul bibliothécaire où je travaille et seul bibliothécaire de droit en cabinet privé au Nouveau-Brunswick, j’ai eu la chance de pouvoir compter sur Cyndi Murphy, une collègue et mentor qui travaille à notre bureau de Halifax. Elle avait veillé à ce que la description d’emploi de mon poste comprenne le paiement de l’adhésion à l’ACBD et des frais de participation au congrès annuel par le cabinet. Le premier congrès de l’ACBD auquel j’ai assisté était à Hamilton, où se déroulera le congrès 2020, et j’y ai rencontré des gens avec qui je suis toujours en contact aujourd’hui, tant sur le plan professionnel que personnel. L’ACBD m’a été indispensable pour établir un réseau de contacts avec d’autres professionnels de l’information juridique. Ce réseau m’a permis de répondre à des critères de rendement dans mon travail qui autrement auraient été hors d’atteinte. En plus des liens personnels tissés grâce à l’ACBD, ma participation aux congrès annuels m’a grandement aidé à me perfectionner sur le plan professionnel. Les divers postes de bénévolat occupés à l’ACBD, notamment au sein de divers groupes d’intérêt spécial, de comités et du conseil d’administration, ont aussi énormément contribué à ma compréhension et mon appréciation de notre profession et au plaisir d’exercer ce métier.

    3.         Quel est le blogue, le site Web ou le compte Twitter dont vous ne pouvez vous passer pendant une journée?

    Le site qui est une merveilleuse source d’information gratuite. 

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

    Adhérez à l’ACBD et participez aux activités! L’association vous fournira de multiples occasions pour vous familiariser avec la profession (par l’entremise du programme de mentorat et de l’Institut pour les nouveaux bibliothécaires de droit par exemple) et faire des contacts dans le domaine. 

    5.         Qu’est-ce que les gens seraient surpris de savoir de vous?

    J’ai un terrain de pétanque dans ma cour. Un petit conseil : si vous achetez des boules de pétanque en France, n’essayez pas de les ramener dans votre bagage à main!

  • 04 Feb 2020 11:49 AM | Alan Kilpatrick (Administrator)

    “Ask the question.” That was a phrase often heard at morning leadership meetings (AKA coffee with my admin colleagues) at my former law firm. Asking the question was intended to mean that we shouldn’t assume that others in the firm noticed the same problems that we did. It is a call to collaborate, ideate, and create solutions as a team. On February 19 at 1 PM EST the @CALLACBD Executive Board will be asking the question, quite a few questions actually, using a Twitter Chat with the hashtag #CALLACBDCHAT.

    This format will allow for broad participation. All you need to participate is a Twitter account. If you choose to observe rather than having your say (I hope you will chime in), you do not need an account, just follow the conversation here.

    For those who haven’t participated in a Twitter Chat, the process is straightforward. The @CALLACBD account will pose some questions that will have the #CALLACBDCHAT hashtag and a question number, i.e. Q1. Anyone can chime in with answers using a corresponding answer number; A1 and include #CALLACBDCHAT and any other hashtags you wish. We expect that the questions will be asked over one hour but the conversation may continue past that time. I will be chiming in from my account @smireau.

    The goal of this Twitter Chat is to engage this community in thinking about legal information specialists and how to increase awareness and relevance of CALL/ACBD. We want more people in our conversation about legal information so that we have engaging discussions, valuable knowledge sharing and fresh and interesting ideas to bring to our organizations. The CALL/ACBD Executive Board is exploring the big existential questions – who are we and why are we here? Think of this as a dinner party where you can participate in every conversation in the room.

    To give you an idea of the input we are interested in, here is one of the questions that we will ask:

    The objects of CALL/ACBD are currently:

    1.       To promote law librarianship, to develop and increase the usefulness of Canadian law libraries, and to foster a spirit of co-operation among them. 

    2.       To provide a forum for meetings of persons engaged or interested in law library work and to encourage professional self-development. 

    3.       To co-operate with other organizations which tend to promote the objects of the Association or the interests of its members. 

    Should these be altered?

    As I said, big existential questions. I hope that you will join in!

    Shaunna Mireau

  • 14 Jan 2020 12:56 PM | Stef Alexandru (Administrator)

    version française ci-dessous.

    Project Profile: Law Clerk Exit Interviews with the Supreme Court of Canada Library

    Krisandra Ivings, Reference Librarian | Supreme Court of Canada

    The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) Library serves all of the organization’s employees, but its largest user group has consistently been the Court’s group of 36 law clerks. In past years, the Library has endeavoured to collect feedback from law clerks by asking departing clerks to fill out a short exit survey. This year, to supplement the survey, I asked to conduct in-person exit interviews with selected law clerks to gather more qualitative feedback on library services.

    The Court’s two reference librarians, myself and a colleague, conducted interviews with a total of 9 law clerks. In conjunction with the Manager of Reference & Research, we selected the law clerks to be interviewed, aiming to gather feedback from a group which represented gender, racial, language, and geographical diversity, as well as different law schools and judicial chambers. We also looked to interview some clerks who used the library frequently, and some who did not.

    I performed the English-language interviews with law clerks (5 interviews), while my colleague performed interviews in French (4 interviews). Using our combined notes, I produced a report summarizing all of the feedback we received, which was then circulated to library staff and upper management.

    Though we had created a list of potential questions beforehand, interviews were very open-ended and we encouraged the clerks to direct the discussion. The feedback we gathered from these exit interviews has proved extremely valuable. Not only did we gather important feedback about our existing products and services, but law clerks enthusiastically brainstormed ideas for new or improved procedures and products. They also shared many positive comments about the library staff, services, and collections. Personally, I also found the process a great opportunity to learn about the work demands and process of the law clerks, and this has allowed me to better understand how the library fits in and can facilitate their work at the Court.

    The interviews required only minimal funding (we offered to purchase coffee for each of the clerks interviewed), but of course, projects like this require a significant investment of staff hours. Recognizing that many libraries may not be able to spare the staff time required, I would encourage collecting user feedback through interviews, and particularly exit interviews, whenever possible. In our case, we were able to collect meaningful qualitative data and brainstorm ideas with our primary client group, improving our services for all our users. We are excited to repeat the exercise again in 2020, and to potentially reach out to permanent staff from other branches for interviews in the future.

    Profil de projet Entrevues de départ réalisées auprès d’auxiliaires juridiques de la bibliothèque de la Cour suprême du Canada

    Krisandra Ivings, bibliothécaire de référence | Cour suprême du Canada

    La bibliothèque de la Cour suprême du Canada (CSC) dessert tous les employés de l’organisation, mais son principal groupe d’usagers a toujours été celui des 36 auxiliaires juridiques de la Cour. Au cours des dernières années, le personnel de la bibliothèque a entrepris de recueillir des commentaires auprès des auxiliaires qui quittaient leur poste en leur demandant de remplir un court questionnaire de départ. Cette année, en complément de ce questionnaire, j’ai demandé de mener des entrevues de départ en personne auprès d’auxiliaires sélectionnés afin de recueillir des commentaires plus poussés sur les services offerts par la bibliothèque.

    Une collègue et moi, les deux bibliothécaires de référence de la Cour, avons donc mené des entrevues auprès de neuf auxiliaires juridiques. En collaboration avec le gestionnaire, Référence et recherche, nous avons sélectionné des auxiliaires à interroger pour recueillir des commentaires auprès d’un groupe représentant la diversité hommes-femmes, raciale, linguistique et géographique de même que différents tribunaux judiciaires et facultés de droit. Nous cherchions également à interroger des auxiliaires qui utilisaient fréquemment la bibliothèque et d’autres qui n’utilisaient pas nos services.

    J’ai effectué les entrevues en anglais (5 entrevues) tandis que ma collègue a effectué les entrevues en français (4 entrevues). J’ai ensuite réuni nos notes afin de rédiger un rapport résumant les commentaires recueillis. Ce rapport a ensuite été distribué au personnel de la bibliothèque et à la haute direction.

    Même si nous avions dressé une liste de questions au préalable, les entrevues étaient non directives et les auxiliaires étaient invités à orienter la discussion. Les commentaires recueillis lors de ces entrevues de départ se sont avérés très utiles. Outre les informations importantes recueillies sur nos produits et services existants, les auxiliaires ont participé avec enthousiasme à l’échange d’idées pour améliorer les procédures et produits ou trouver de nouvelles solutions. Ils ont également fait part de nombreux commentaires positifs à l’égard du personnel, des services et des collections de la bibliothèque. Personnellement, j’ai également trouvé que cette démarche était une excellente occasion d’en apprendre davantage sur les fonctions et le processus de travail des auxiliaires juridiques. Cela m’a permis de mieux comprendre la place de la bibliothèque dans leur travail, et comment nous pourrions faciliter leurs tâches à la Cour.

    Même si les entrevues n’ont pas coûté grand-chose (nous avons offert l’achat d’un café aux auxiliaires interrogés), un tel projet nécessite évidemment un grand investissement de temps de la part du personnel. Je suis consciente que de nombreuses bibliothèques pourraient ne pas être en mesure d’investir du précieux temps de personnel, mais j’encourage la collecte des commentaires auprès des usagers au moyen d’entretiens, et notamment d’entrevues de départ, chaque fois que cela est possible. En ce qui nous concerne, ce projet nous a permis de recueillir des données qualitatives pertinentes et de trouver de nouvelles idées avec l’aide de notre principal groupe de clients, ce qui nous a permis d’améliorer nos services pour tous nos usagers. Nous sommes enthousiastes à l’idée de refaire cet exercice en 2020 et de rejoindre éventuellement le personnel permanent d’autres divisions afin de mener des entrevues.

  • 14 Jan 2020 12:49 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)
    The winners of the 2019 Canadian Law Blog Awards (known as the Clawbies) were announced a little while ago over the holidays.

    The Fodden Award 2019 for the very best in Canadian legal commentary went to the Supreme Advocacy Newsletter:
    "A veritable institution in the Canadian legal community, readers come for the Supreme Court of Canada case news and stay for the Last Word. Eugene Meehan and his team have been generously sharing their expertise with an enjoyable side of miscellany since the mid ‘90s. The newsletter represents an impressive commitment to free and open sharing of legal knowledge—the true hallmark of any Fodden Award winner."
    Two sites were recognized as the Best Law Library Resource:
    There’s really only one word—stellar—to describe David Whelan’s blog, where he writes first-person reflections on law libraries and technology. From the nominations: “One of the most useful sites where I learn things to move forward with my work.”
    CALL for Innovation Podcast
    Colin Lachance recorded this series of interviews at the 2019 CALL/ACBD conference in partnership with vLex—we think this is probably the first-ever Canadian law library podcast! More please!"
    There were awards in many other categories.

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

  • 12 Dec 2019 12:44 PM | Stef Alexandru (Administrator)

    version française ci-dessous.

    Allan Chan, Law Librarian | Fillmore Riley

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

    I started as a shelver for the University of Manitoba Libraries during my undergrad and worked my way up to a Library Assistant 1, 2 and 3. I then completed my MLS at Emporia State University. Upon graduation, I was a medical librarian for the U of M and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. I then took a position as the Occupational Health Librarian for the University of Calgary before moving back to Winnipeg to take on the position of Law Librarian at Fillmore Riley LLP. This was a completely new world for me but with the support of the firm and a few legal research courses from the University of Toronto, I was able to fully immerse myself.

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

    When I first took the position of Law Librarian, CALL and specifically the listserv were very helpful in guiding me to succeed. I was also a participant at the first ever New Law Librarians Institute in 2011 at the University of Western Ontario which was spearheaded by John Sadler. CALL was able to provide me with a grant from the Education Reserve Fund and the James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship to aid me in my attendance. This was a great learning experience and really gave me a solid foundation in my career.

    3.         Who is your favourite library professional—living or dead, real or fictional?

    Living: Ada Ducas – Head of the University of Manitoba Health Libraries. Ada treated everyone with the same amount of respect no matter what position you held. A fabulous mentor who always made time for everyone. She was relentless when it came to accomplishing goals for the Health Libraries and really taught me how to be a professional early on in my career. She was actually the one who lit a fire under me to become a librarian.

    Fictional: Jocasta Nu – Chief Librarian of the Jedi Archives. She controlled access to the contents of the Holocron Vault and helped Jedis find information in the archives. A Jedi librarian, how cool is that?

    4.         What was your first job or your first library-related job?

    I think I was 8 years old when I took my collection of books at home and added due date cards and card pockets to all my books. Friends of mine were always over and wanted to borrow my books so I made my own collection of library books for them. My first real paid library job of course was a shelver at the Elizabeth Dafoe Library. I actually think starting on the very bottom rung of the library world and climbing up each rung of the ladder helped me understand the library as a user, staff member and library professional.

    5.         What are three things on your bucket list?

    1)         To create an open source library for hip hop culture and streetwear.

    2)         To visit every NHL rink in the league.

    3)         To build an RWB Porsche.

    Allan Chan, Bibliothécaire juridique | Fillmore Riley

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

    Pendant mes études de premier cycle, j’ai commencé comme commis dans diverses bibliothèques de l’Université du Manitoba, puis j’ai gravi les échelons pour devenir bibliothécaire adjoint (classes 1, 2 et 3). J’ai ensuite fait une maîtrise en bibliothéconomie et sciences de l’information à l’Emporia State University. Une fois mon diplôme en poche, j’ai travaillé comme bibliothécaire aux dossiers médicaux à l’Université du Manitoba et à l’Office régional de la santé de Winnipeg. Par la suite, j’ai accepté un poste de bibliothécaire en santé du travail à l’Université de Calgary avant de revenir à Winnipeg pour occuper le poste de bibliothécaire juridique au sein du cabinet Fillmore Riley LLP. Même si le monde juridique était tout à fait nouveau pour moi, je me suis pleinement immergé dans le milieu grâce à l’appui du personnel au sein du cabinet et en suivant quelques cours de recherche juridique à l’Université de Toronto.

    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)?

    Lorsque j’ai commencé comme bibliothécaire juridique, l’ACBD et notamment la liste de discussion électronique m’ont grandement aidé à avoir du succès. J’ai également participé au tout premier Institut pour les nouveaux bibliothécaires de droit en 2011 à l’Université Western Ontario, qui était dirigé par John Sadler. J’ai pu recevoir une bourse du Fonds de réserve pour l’éducation ainsi qu’une bourse commémorative James D. Lang de l’ACBD pour me permettre d’assister à cet événement. Ce fut une expérience d’apprentissage très enrichissante qui m’a vraiment donné une base solide pour poursuivre ma carrière.

    3.         Qui est votre professionnel de la bibliothéconomie favori, qu’il soit vivant ou décédé, réel ou fictif?

    Une bibliothécaire vivante : Ada Ducas, directrice des bibliothèques de la santé de l’Université du Manitoba. Ada traitait tout le monde avec le même respect, peu importe le poste qu’on occupait. Elle était une formidable mentore qui avait toujours bien assez de temps pour tout le monde. Elle ne ménageait aucun effort pour atteindre les objectifs des bibliothèques de la santé, et m’a vraiment appris à être professionnel au début de ma carrière. En fait, c’est elle qui éveilla chez moi la passion pour devenir bibliothécaire.

    Une bibliothécaire fictive : Jocasta Nu, bibliothécaire en chef des Archives Jedi. Son rôle consistait à contrôler l’accès à la crypte des holocrons et à aider les Jedi en quête d’informations dans les archives. Une bibliothécaire Jedi, c’est très cool!

    4.         Quel a été votre premier emploi ou votre premier emploi lié à la bibliothéconomie?

    Je crois que j’avais 8 ans lorsque j’ai fabriqué des pochettes, que j’ai ajoutées dans tous mes livres à la maison, et des cartes pour les dates de retour. Comme mes amis venaient toujours chez moi pour emprunter mes livres, j’ai créé ma propre collection de livres pour eux. Mon premier véritable emploi rémunéré dans ce domaine consistait à mettre les livres sur les rayons à la bibliothèque Elizabeth Dafoe. Je pense vraiment que le fait d’avoir commencé au bas de l’échelle et d’avoir gravi les échelons dans l’univers de la bibliothéconomie m’a aidé à comprendre les bibliothèques en tant qu’utilisateur, employé et bibliothécaire.

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

    1) Créer un centre de documentation de source ouverte sur la culture hip-hop et le streetwear.

    2) Visiter toutes les patinoires de la LNH.

    3) Construire une Porsche RWB.

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