Results of a Survey on Library Budgets

Louise Hamel of the Judges' Library, Ontario Courts surveyed Canadian law libraries on their budget perspective. Here is her summary of the survey results:

87 individuals responded to the survey. From some of the comments it may still be too early to say what the impact will be on law libraries.

1. Have you been informed of or do you expect a budget cut?

  • 15% still did not know
  • 30% indicated an impact for this fiscal
  • 15% indicated an impact for next fiscal
  • 12% both fiscals would be impacted
  • 29% indicated status quo

It appears from the comments that there is uncertainty over all. Only one commented on the annual impact of price increases as a budget cut.

2. What percentage of cut is expected?

The impact in this fiscal: 67% indicated that they were looking at up to 10% budget reduction, with various other responses for cuts greater than 10%; 11% indicated they still did not know.

The impact for next fiscal: 54% indicated cuts up to 10%; 35% indicated they had not been advised.

Winner of Peter Bark Bursary announced

We are delighted to announce that Andy Froese is the winner of this year's Peter Bark Bursary. Andy will be using the bursary to attend the SLA Conference in Washington DC in June 2009.

The Peter Bark Professional Development Bursary was established by VALL to commemorate Peter Bark and his contribution to VALL and law librarianship. The Bursary assists VALL members demonstrating financial need in attending meetings of the Canadian Association of Law Librarians or other law library associations, continuing education workshops or other professional development.

CanLII invites you to a user meeting in Vancouver

CanLII will be doing a presentation in Vancouver to demonstrate some of the new features on the site.  In particular they will show SATAL, the new point-in-time searching capability for statutes and the availability of the BC statutes on the site.

The presentation will take place on Monday April 20 at 5:30pm at the Law Society of British Columbia. For more information, see

VALL Lunch on April 16, 2009: Who's Lying and Who's Telling the Truth: How does a Judge Determine Credibility

Please join us as we welcome Madam Justice Susan A. Griffin, previously senior litigation partner with Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. Madam Justice Griffin was appointed judge of the British Columbia Supreme Court on February 19, 2008. She joined FMC's Vancouver office in 1999, and served as Co-Chair of the firm's National Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group until her appointment to the bench. During that time, she developed a strong reputation as a skilled and highly professional advocate. Throughout her career, she has appeared before all levels of courts, and in a wide variety of practice areas. In addition to her courtroom experience, Madam Justice Griffin acted as counsel to a judicial commission, annually edited a leading manual for civil practitioners, taught every year at a respected advocacy workshop and has appeared as guest lecturer in courses designed for the education of the judges.

The deadline for registration and payment is Thursday April 9, 2009. (Note the change in date due to the Easter holiday weekend)

VALL announces Lifetime Memberships

The VALL Executive have decided to create a new category of member: that of Lifetime Member. Lifetime membership is complimentary and is open to VALL Members who have retired from the profession.

A lifetime member is entitled to:

  • a password that allows access to the online VALL Directory and VALL Review
  • receive luncheon and workshop notices by e-mail
  • be the guest of VALL at the December luncheon in the year they receive the Lifetime Membership.

Please contact the Membership Secretary if you are interested in becoming a lifetime member.

CANLII announces new point-in-time legislation

CanLII has announced that its new legislation publishing system (providing access to historical versions of statutes and regulations) is now live. Currently this new system covers Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and the Federal jurisdiction. The other provinces and territories will be added by the end of the summer 2009.

Benefits of the new system include:

  • Versions of statutes and regulations reflect real changes;
  • Legislative updates are carried out on a weekly basis;
  • Users can search a legislative text as it was legally binding on a particular date in the past. Historical coverage is approximately five years;
  • Users can compare two different versions of a particular document;
  • Users can noteup statutes’ sections;
  • RSS feeds are available to inform users about legislative changes of a particular statute or database.

Latest issue of PLL Perspectives on cost-cutting

The latest issue of PLL Perspectives (the newsletter of AALL's Private Law Libraries SIS) includes the following articles:

  • Savings Costs May Save Jobs: Take it Seriously — lots of suggestions as how to cut library costs. U.S.-centric (naturally) but still useful
  • PLL Webinar: Law Library Budgeting During Hard Economic Times
  • Cost-Effective Research in U.S. Bankruptcy Law

VALL Membership Directory 2008-09

The second edition of the printable PDF version of the VALL Membership Directory 2008-2009, current to February 24, 2009, is now available. Members can access the directory under Member Resources. Please note that you will need to sign in to the website in order to access the file.

If you find any errors or omissions, please notify the Membership Secretary so our database can be updated.  Also, please take this opportunity to make sure your own profile is displaying your current information on this website.


Christina de Castell, Manager of InfoAction, will talk to VALL about InfoAction and the services it can provide members of VALL.

Christina is an experienced business and legal researcher who specializes in conducting background searches on companies and individuals, legal research, and technology subjects. She is an expert at using commercial databases, particularly LexisNexis, Quicklaw, FPInfomart and Factiva.

Prior to joining InfoAction, Christina worked at the BC Securities Commission where she conducted background research for investigations, litigation and policy development, and designed web-based information and educational materials for the securities industry.

Christina teaches a module on using commercial databases for Internet for Investigations, a course in BCIT's Forensic Investigations program. She is a regular speaker at UBC's School of Library and Information Studies and at library conferences.

Date: Thursday, March 19, 2008

Time: Registration - 11:45 Lunch -12:00 noon

Place: Law Courts Inn, 800 Smithe Street, 5th floor

Deadline for Registration: Friday, March 13, 2009 (Registration is not permitted at the door)

Cost: $18.25

AALL's Tools for Success in Today's Economy

AALLnet has put together a wiki on "Tools for Success in Today's Economy" at The wiki includes a number of resources in the following areas:

  • Career Tools (e.g. salary negotiation, networking, finding a job)
  • Financial Tools (e.g. budgeting, negotiation)
  • Management Tools (e.g. conflict resolution, hiring staff)
  • Public Relations Tools
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