• 19 Dec 2017 11:05 AM | Martha Murphy (Administrator)

    Anne C. Matthewman, Chief Law Librarian & Assoc. University Librarian | Sir James Dunn Law Library, University of Dalhousie

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

    I attended the University of Windsor, (Hons B.A. in English and History), and the University of Western Ontario, (MLS).  As I was finishing my undergraduate degree I was not sure what to do next but I did know I did not want to go to teachers’ college which my parents had suggested.  A friend mentioned library school and that seemed like an feasible idea.  When I graduated I got a part-time job at the Essex law Association in Windsor.  They had never had a librarian before and I talked myself into a fulltime job. While I was there, I did an M.A. in English at the University of Windsor.  I had a brief stint in the public library system and then returned to law libraries with the Toronto Lawyers Association and then the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University

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

    I think it was mostly the continuing education opportunities which led to networking which then led to being asked to serve on committees and the Executive Board.  I learned a lot about the profession and being a professional from the examples of others.  The Annual Conferences and workshops (both for CALL/ACBD and AALL) increased my knowledge level considerably.  As the profession has evolved, being involved with Associations helped me move along with all the new developments and changes.  I would never have accomplished these things on my own.

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

    It was both my first job and my first library-related job.  I worked as a page at the John Richardson Children’s Library in Windsor, Ontario during high school.  Another page at the same library was Gail Brown, a fellow CALL/ACBD member.  We also lived across the street from one another but went to different schools.  What I remember most about that job was the endless mending of children’s books.

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

    An ability and desire for continuous learning - often on the fly - as we are frequently asked research questions about things we know very little about.  Fortunately, we know how to find out!  When I first started out in a one-person library I learned a lot about the law from loose-leaf filing

    Diplomacy – We deal with people in all aspects of legal education and practice.  Many of them are in a stressful situation and you have to judge how best to approach the interaction with them. 

    Organizational and prioritization skills – There are often several projects going on at once and we are continually interacting with people (see above).  We must be able to triage reference and research questions along with administrative work and other obligations.  Sometimes you need to drop everything to help someone find an answer and other times you can judge that the question is not so urgent and deal with it later.

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

    I am a terrible cook and left to my own devices I just throw something together so I do not starve.  Fortunately, I am surrounded by family and friends who know their way around a kitchen.  Whenever my husband goes away he leaves the freezer full of things I can defrost and reheat.  

  • 24 Nov 2017 3:13 PM | Martha Murphy (Administrator)

    Danielle Brosseau, Library Manager| Harper Grey LLP, Vancouver BC

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

    I completed a Bachelor of Arts in French and History at McMaster University in Hamilton, then travelled to France for a year to study French at CILEC (Centre International de Langue et Civilisation), and participate in the au-pair program. When it was time to get a job after my European adventure I quickly realized I needed to go back to school, and so made my way to the Burlington Public Library to do some research! While sitting next to the Reference collection, wondering how all the materials got there, and thinking how interesting it would be to collect and organize all this stuff, I realized I was a librarian-to-be! I applied to the Faculty of Information Studies (FIS) at the University of Toronto and haven’t looked back since.

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

    At FIS, it wasn’t long before I was introduced to a vast network of peers and mentors from diverse areas of expertise, interest, and practice. Many generous volunteers came forward, helping me navigate a route to career success while introducing me to the value of networking. Being involved in a professional association like CALL is like being part of a huge support network where there’s always someone to talk to from Vancouver to Halifax, and all the places in-between, not to mention all the fun to be had with an amazingly talented group of professionals!

    What’s one blog, website, or Twitter account that you can’t go one day without checking?

    Our neighbours to the south also benefit from a vibrant, sharing community, and I have also enjoyed and benefited from my membership in the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) throughout my career. These days, I love getting my daily dose of KnowItAALL!, an eNewsletter, delivered straight to my inbox every weekday morning highlighting legal information, industry trends, law, technology, library, and career development topics. It’s now available to non-members, sign up now!

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

    It’s difficult to look 10 years into the future when change and innovation is happening so fast every day, but I think a lot about the future of libraries in the digital age. Especially in law where people so often identify libraries with physical books, the proliferation of digital information and communication technologies has many speculating whether libraries are obsolete. What is our role and responsibility as we continue to expand our online services and adopt new legal technology to add value to our collections and services? Information access has always been a core value of the library profession, and will continue to force libraries to both take on new roles and perform traditional roles in new ways.

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

    I don’t get out to the movies as much as I used to with young children at home, but when a bad cold hit a few weeks ago I turned to Netflix to catch up on a few movies I had missed. I stumbled upon the 2016 film based on the Marvel Comics superhero Doctor Strange, and of course loved the scene where Strange visits the library for a book, only to be warned by the librarian about what happens if he steals the book: be killed before leaving the building. I always enjoy encountering fictional libraries and librarians in movies and books. We are currently reading the Harry Potter books with the kids at bedtime, and I especially look forward to reliving moments at Hogwarts Library with Madam Irma Pince. What’s your favourite fictional library and who’s your favourite fictional librarian?

  • 01 Nov 2017 4:19 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Here are just a few examples of what members and "friends" of CALL have been up to in recent weeks on social media. I describe friends as non-members of CALL who either follow us on the CALL listserv or who have attended a CALL event. 

    Vous trouverez ci-dessous quelques exemples de ce que font les membres et "amis" de l'ACBD depuis quelques semaines sur les réseaux sociaux. Les amis sont des non-membres qui nous suivent sur la liste de discussion CALL-L ou qui ont déjà assisté à une activité de l'association.

  • 26 Sep 2017 3:03 PM | Martha Murphy (Administrator)

    Megan Siu, Community Development & Education Specialist, Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA)

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

    I am a new professional in the field of law librarianship with 3 years of professional library experience under my belt. I received a BA in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Alberta in 2013 and an MLIS from the University of Western Ontario in 2014.

    I have an older brother with intellectual and developmental disabilities who is very near and dear to my heart. Almost all my life, I’ve been exposed to the policies, laws, and regulations that impact how he lives his life. When I had to start thinking about what I wanted to do career-wise, law was definitely on my mind, but I wasn’t entirely sure about how I wanted to pursue it. During the summer of my first year in university, it was pretty tough to find a job. With a bit of desperation, I pulled up a list of law firms and other law-related bodies in Edmonton and reached out to them about any opportunities they had. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up finding anything for that summer, but I received a tip about a part-time library assistant position at the courthouse during the regular school year. That fall, I started working for the Alberta Law Libraries in Edmonton and it is still one of my favourite places of employment to date. Near the end of my undergraduate degree, a mentor suggested that I apply for library school. After finding out that such a thing existed, I jumped at the opportunity and spent the following year working towards my MLIS at Western University in London, Ontario.

    While I was in library school, I tried to keep my options open and diversified the courses I was taking and even found a part-time job at an academic library. However, when I graduated, my heart was still set on law libraries. Shortly after moving back to Edmonton, I started my first professional library job as the solo librarian for a mid-sized law firm in Edmonton where I worked for a year and a half. I am now employed by CPLEA, a not-for-profit organization that aims to help vulnerable communities understand their legal rights and responsibilities through public legal education and I’m loving every minute of it!

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

    While I was exposed to CALL/ACBD through the student branch at the University of Western Ontario, I really started becoming familiar with the Association when I started my first law librarian job. Being a solo librarian is hard, especially when you’re new to the profession and don’t have anyone to show you the ropes. I was the only person in the office with a library background, so making informed decisions and proving my worth was quite challenging at times. CALL/ACBD has supplied me with many official and unofficial mentors, who I am eternally grateful for. These mentors have provided me with much support, which has continued to help me grow and test my potential. I also feel so fortunate to have received the Eunice Beeson Memorial Travel Fund to assist my attendance at the CALL/ACBD Annual Conference, where I learned from and networked with esteemed law librarians and legal information professionals from across Canada. I appreciate the diverse set of internal committees and special interest groups – I’m currently involved with the Membership Development Committee, Webinar Sub-Committee, and New Professionals SIG. I’m very excited to be spending the next 2 years co-chairing the 2019 CALL/ACBD Conference Planning Committee alongside my fellow co-chair and mentor, Josette McEachern and working with the rest of our Edmonton superstar crew!

    What are three things on your bucket list?

    • I would like to visit every province and territory in Canada at least once and I’m getting there.  I just have Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory, Nunavut, Newfoundland and Labrador to go!
    • My late maternal grandfather was an oil paint artist and art professor in Hong Kong and the Philippines. I would really like to visit some of the places that my grandfather painted to really take in his artwork and see how the landscapes have changed over time.
    •    I’m very new to gardening, but there is something so satisfying about literally harvesting the fruits of your labour. So far, I’ve grown a single cherry tomato plant on my balcony. I’d like to branch out to other produce!

    What’s one change in the profession or industry you’ve embraced?

    The versatility of the MLIS degree! As technology advances, so does the entire field of library and information science. People with MLIS degrees aren’t all necessarily traditional librarians anymore. Nowadays, in addition to traditional librarians in the streams of public, academic, and special libraries, librarians are information managers, project managers, records managers, knowledge managers, information specialists, researchers, and more!

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

    • Receptive – to learning and to new ideas
    • Communicative – to clientele, colleagues, and higher-ups and in various formats
    • Willing to advocate – for the profession and for colleagues (both new and experienced)

  • 11 Sep 2017 11:58 AM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Here are just a few examples of what members and "friends" of CALL have been up to in recent weeks on social media.

    I describe friends as non-members of CALL who either follow us on the CALL listserv or who have attended a CALL event. 

    Vous trouverez ci-dessous quelques exemples de ce que font les membres et "amis" de l'ACBD depuis quelques semaines sur les réseaux sociaux.

    Les amis sont des non-membres qui nous suivent sur la liste de discussion CALL-L ou qui ont déjà assisté à une activité de l'association.

  • 24 Aug 2017 9:47 AM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Ann Marie Melvie
    Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan (Regina) ; President, Canadian Association of Law Libraries

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

    Right after high school, I attended the University of Saskatchewan and obtained a Bachelor of Education degree. Soon afterwards, I got the idea that working in a library might be an interesting thing to do, so I enrolled in the Library Technician course at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology in Saskatoon. My first job as a library tech was at Robertson Stromberg, a large law firm in the city. I was hired as the assistant to a lawyer who also had her Masters in Library and Information Studies. I’ll always be grateful for everything she taught me about law librarianship. Two years after I started at the firm, she left to pursue employment elsewhere, and I was left in charge of the library. Thank goodness for Peta Bates, the librarian at the Law Society Library, and luckily for me, my mentor! I am grateful for her time and for all the knowledge she passed on to me. Both of these fine librarians encouraged me to join and take an active part in CALL/ACBD.

    I enjoyed my job at the law firm, but after eight years, it was time to move on. I went to Brandon, Manitoba, to work in the Assiniboine Community College Library. I liked working in an educational institution, but soon found that I missed working with what I know – legal materials. There were lawyers on staff who taught courses in the Business division of the college. Whenever they needed assistance in the library, I would practically lunge at the counter to help them. The librarian at the College encouraged me to think about obtaining my Master’s degree. I’m not sure if she saw promise in me, or if she was just tired of working with me, but three years later, I moved to Edmonton, Alberta, to pursue my MLIS.

    During my second year of library school, I found out that the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan was looking for a librarian. I applied for the job, was interviewed, and started the job right after graduation. That was sixteen years ago, and I’ve been at the Court ever since!                                                                                                      

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

    CALL/ACBD has been an important aspect of my continuing education as a law librarian in all of the ways you mentioned. I distinctly remember a presentation made to my library school class at the University of Alberta. I don’t recall who spoke to us, but she told us how important it is for librarians/information professionals to become involved in a professional association. I knew what she said was true, because I had had the chance to be involved in CALL/ACBD when I worked at the law firm.

    Like many other professions, ours is one that is constantly evolving. There’s no better way to keep up than by attending conferences, participating in webinars, and by getting to know colleagues who work in various parts of Canada and around the world! The educational sessions at the conferences have been a tremendous help to me. The webinars are an excellent way to keep up with what is happening in our profession. And the networking has been invaluable!

    During my second year of library school, I was thrilled to be chosen as the recipient of the Diana M. Priestly Memorial Scholarship, which is intended to support professional development in our field. I still remember opening the envelope that contained the cheque for $2500! It helped me so much during that year of school.

    What’s one change in the profession or industry you’ve embraced?

    Free, open access to legal information! Be it to the wealth of legal information on CanLII, BAILII, and AustLII, to open access journals such as the Canadian Bar Review, to having free online access to such things as the Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan (a shameless plug here), free access to legal information is a powerful thing!

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

    Be open to whatever career opportunities come your way. You may have in mind that you want to work in a particular type of law library, but be open to working in other types of law libraries that you may not have considered. You may be pleasantly surprised!

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

    When I was a child, I lived for three years in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon, Africa. One of my favourite memories is sitting in a mango tree with my friends, eating delicious mangos, with the juice dripping down my arms. Then one day, I fell out of a mango tree!  Want to know what happened next? Ask me to tell you the story when I see you at the 2018 CALL/ACBD annual conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia (another shameless plug)!

  • 03 Aug 2017 12:53 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Last month, York University lost a case in Federal Court of Canada in its legal dispute with the collective licensing agency Access Copyright.

    Access Copyright had sued the school, alleging it had been improperly reproducing and authorizing the copying of protected works.

    The university argued that any portion of protected materials copied for course packs was covered by the “fair dealing” provisions of Canadian copyright legislation as interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada and thus exempt from copyright fees.

    York announced this week that it would appeal the ruling.

    Reaction to the decision includes:

  • 24 Jul 2017 5:29 PM | Ken Fox (Administrator)

    I guess we all breathed a sigh of relief in 2012. The Supreme Court of Canada issued a pentalogy of judgments reinforcing the notion of fair dealing as a users’ right and Parliament passed a copyright amendment that elucidated fair dealing and added a few modern exceptions.

    So, having gone through all that, fair dealing and the balance between the rights of the copyright holder and those of the user should be a done deal – from 2012 onward it’s just a matter of applying the law, right?


    Not according to Dr. Michael Geist, Law Professor at University of Ottawa and renowned expert in copyright law. Dr. Geist gave a plenary talk at the 2017 CALL/ACBD Conference in Ottawa, and issued a wake-up call to anyone who feels complacent that copyright matters were settled in 2012.

    Copyright debates are not going away. Ever.

    They may only get bigger. The online world has enabled and expanded the creation of works in which copyright may subsist, and has greatly accelerated the means to reproduce and distribute these works. The fair dealing interpretation arising from the SCC’s decision in CCH v. LSUC is also obscured in the increasingly contractual arena of online licensing.

    The current field of battle is section 92 of the Copyright Act, which mandates a Parliamentary review of the legislation to begin no later than November 2017. So far, the efforts have been one-sided. Slide after slide after slide of Dr. Geist’s presentation showed his review of the active and early efforts of rights holders to redirect the review away from the 2012 outcomes.

    Fair dealing has been characterized as having turned into a “free for all” policy in what Geist describes as a fake panic. Notably, he pointed to lobbyists on behalf of segments of the publishing industry blaming fair dealing applications for declining sales, despite the variety of ways the education sector obtains materials, which includes consortia database licensing, open access, transactional licensing, and de minimis (copying so minimal that a fair use analysis is not warranted), as well as book purchases and fair dealing.

    Geist outlined a basic laundry list of reforms. For example, prefacing the list of fair dealing exceptions in section 29 with the phrase “such as” would make the exception open-ended, like the “fair use” provision in paragraph 107 of the US Copyright Law, Title 17 of the US Code. Geist also proposes a clear exception to the anti-circumvention provisions around technological protection measures (TPMs aka “digital locks”), as the government proposed in 2012, but never delivered. TPMs make many activities that would be legal with analog technology illegal in the digital realm. The proposed exception would legalise circumventing a TPM for purposes that are otherwise legal.

    The relationship between contract law and copyright law should be further explored. If fair dealing continues to be considered a user’s right, what is this right’s interaction with a license agreement? This question becomes increasingly important as we access more and more of our content by way of online licensing agreements.

    For Crown Copyright, Geist would like to see more open-ended licensing for non-commercial use – or even better, abolish Crown Copyright altogether.

    But for the most part, Geist advocates for a defensive position against challenges to balanced copyright. He opposes, for example, the notion that Canada is a “piracy haven,” and needs to institute a notice-&-takedown system to replace our internationally-lauded notice-&-notice system. Aside from a few uncertainties noted above, Canada’s current law seems to strike an effective balance between the rights of industry and users. Therefore, he envisions the review as a benchmarking exercise, to assess the progress of cultural industries under the current legislative regime, rather than an occasion for a major overhaul.

    Geist ended his presentation with a reminder that the fight for balanced copyright is not over, and that thus far, very few have spoken out on behalf of user’s rights, or even argued for maintaining the current balance. As such, he calls for CALL/ACBD members to add their ideas, evidence and voice to the debate.

    2012 was not the end, it was the beginning.

    If you would like to be involved in the review process, please contact copyright committee co-chair Kim Nayyer or Ken Fox.

    A version of this piece was posted June 14, 2017 on Legal Sourcery.

  • 15 Jul 2017 2:34 PM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Here are just a few examples of what members and "friends" of CALL have been up to in recent weeks on social media.

    I describe friends as non-members of CALL who either follow us on the CALL listserv or who have attended a CALL event.

  • 29 Jun 2017 9:49 AM | Michel-Adrien Sheppard (Administrator)

    Le texte français suit ci-dessous. 

    Policy Options, a publication of the Montreal-based Institute for Research on Public Policy, is taking a closer look this month at Reviewing Canadian Copyright Policy as the Canadian government prepares for a mandatory legislative review of the Copyright Act that starts later this year.

     "Reforming the Copyright Act was a tough slog the last time around, a balancing act for policy-makers and legislators, who heard from wildly different perspectives on what would be best for consumers, creators, and the businesses that deal with original work. Five years have passed, and the time has come for the required review of the Act. Our contributors, writing from multiple vantage points, offer their analyses of the current state of the copyright regime in Canada, what should be changed, and what should be left alone."

    One of the articles is Libraries and the copyright (balancing) act by Victoria Owen. Owen is the chair of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ Copyright Committee.

    Options politiques,  la revue de l'Institut de recherche en politiques publiques basé à Montréal, publie une série d'articles intitulée Repenser la politique canadienne sur le droit d’auteur quelques mois avant que le gouvernement fédéral n'entame l'examen périodique obligatoire de la Loi sur le droit d'auteur.

    "La dernière révision de la Loi sur le droit d’auteur n’a pas été de tout repos, imposant aux décideurs et aux législateurs de trouver le juste équilibre entre des avis très divergents sur les meilleurs intérêts des consommateurs, des créateurs et des entreprises touchés par l’épineuse question des œuvres originales. C’était il y a cinq ans, et revoici déjà le moment de réexaminer la Loi. Les collaborateurs d’Options politiques, qui soutiennent eux-mêmes différents points de vue, analysent le régime actuel du droit d’auteur, les dispositions qu’il faut conserver et les changements à mettre en œuvre."

    Un des articles est Libraries and the copyright (balancing) act par Victoria Owen. Owen est la présidente du Comité sur le droit d’auteur de la Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques.

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