Susannah Tredwell's blog

Legal links for May 2, 2011

New Parliament of Canada website

The Parliament of Canada has unveiled its new website.The changes are intended to "provide users with easier access to content about Parliament, its institutions and processes, as well as enhanced access to legislation."

LEGISinfo now displays bills with a "progress bar" so that you can see at a glance how far a bill has travelled in the legislative process. You can refine the results by bill type, sponsor and/or status. LEGISinfo has also introduced an overview option, whereby bills are sorted based on the stage they have reached (e.g. Third reading, Committee, etc.)

CanLII now has RSS feeds for searches

CanLII announced yesterday that users can now set up RSS feeds for their CanLII searches. An orange RSS feed symbol will now appear at the top of search results; clicking on this symbol allows users to subscribe to an RSS feed for that specific search.

CanLII also announced that it has changed the way that search results for searches involving proximity operators are displayed. Instead of highlighting all the search terms (whether or not they were in proximity to each other) it will now highlight only the keywords that match the query.

The full text of the announcement can be found here: http://www.canlii.org/en/blog/index.php?/archives/52-Major-Improvements-to-Search-Tools.html.

Legal links for March 3, 2011

  • Ted Tjaden has written a great article on SLAW on Finding English Translations of French Language Court Decisions in Canada.
  • Luigina Vileno's recent article "Testing the Usability of Two Online Research Guides" in Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research  looks at usability testing of online research guides. The conclusions are probably the most relevant part of the article for law librarians; they include avoiding jargon, making "greater use of headings and subheadings", removing links to pdf pages, creating shorter pages and hyperlinking significant words.
  • A summary of Roberta Schaffer's (she's the Law Librarian of Congress) keynote speech at the AALL Vendor Colloquium can be found here and here. Schaffer looks at trends in publishing and knowledge sharing.
  • Michel-Adrien Sheppard of the SCC library has some useful links to metrics for measuring (and showing) your library's value.
  • Steven A. Lastres has a recent blog post (February 26, 2011) on SLA's Future Ready 365 blog on "Knowledge Management in a Changing World".

Legal links for February 23, 2011

Legal links for January 13, 2011

Legal links for December 9, 2010

And last (but not least, given the current weather in Vancouver):

CLA Copyright Grassroots Advocacy Kit now available

From: cla-bounces@lists.cla.ca [mailto:cla-bounces@lists.cla.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 3:45 PM
To: cla@lists.cla.ca
Subject: [cla] CLA Copyright Grassroots Advocacy Kit now available

Copyright is a key issue for parliament this fall, and CLA is continuing its advocacy efforts to ensure that government and department officials know our views on the proposed legislation.  Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, will have second reading in the House of Commons on 2 November.

We need your help to get the message to all MPs now.  This Copyright Advocacy Kit provides you with all the tools you need to contact your Member of Parliament and communicate our key points.  The kit includes a list of 8 key messages, a sample form letter to your MP, a guide for holding an in-person meeting, and a link to find contact information for your MP.  The kit also contains background information, including the latest CLA Position Statement “Protecting the Public Interest in the Digital World: the views of the Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques on Bill C-32, An Act to amend the Copyright Act”.

Copyright impacts all of us.  Contact your MP today!

CLA Vancouver Event: Finding the Sweet Spots: The Value-Added Special Librarian

Thursday, October 28, 2010, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Delta Vancouver Suites, 550 West Hastings Street, Innes Thompson Room

Whether they like to think so or not, info pros have a brand, and the clients’ perception of that brand will influence their careers.

In this session, Ulla traces the similarities and dissimilarities between well known consumer products’ and companies’ brands and ours, discussing the need to build a professional image consciously to foster client confidence in the quality and value of our services.

Illustrating how seemingly superficial “signalers” send messages clients pick up on, Ulla provides a checklist of tips for selecting and supporting the brand we want to project.

Alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw in Law Firms

A recent article by Laura Justiss ("A Survey of Electronic Research Alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw in Law Firms") looks at what alternatives exist to Lexis and Westlaw in U.S. law firms.

The abstract reads as follows:

Mrs. Justiss conducted a survey of law firm librarians in 2010 that identified electronic research database alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw and ranked them by subscription frequency. The survey included research databases for primary source alternatives; court docket and case information services; secondary sources for topical legal research and legal periodicals; financial, business and news sources; public records; and non-legal and legal-related sources, including intellectual property databases. The survey also generated information regarding suggested or mandated legal research policies in law firms for the use of alternatives to Lexis and Westlaw and examined their applicability to billable and non-billable research. Lastly, it examined the prevalence in firms of flat rate pricing agreements with Lexis, Westlaw or both.

The link to the article can be found here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1649471

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