Member Blog

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.

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.

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

Court of Appeal for Ontario introduces RSS feed for decisions

From Louise Hamel of the Ontario Judges' library:

The Court of Appeal for Ontario launced today an RSS feed for when:

  • Decisions are added to the decisions page
  • Case lists are available
  • Leave to appeal notifications are posted
  • Non-publication orders and in-camera hearings are announced

Additional feeds are under development and in the future you will be able to subscribe to separate feeds for each service. You can check out this new service at It is now a menu option for the side panel.

Access to Supreme Court of Canada Court Records

Via Rosalie Fox, Director, Supreme Court of Canada Library:

The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada has announced in a Notice to the Profession that its Policy for Access to Supreme Court of Canada Court Records takes effect on February 9, 2009.

With the introduction of this policy, the Court will provide more case information on its web site. In addition to the schedules, docket information, party information and case summaries currently available, the Court will provide webcasts of appeal hearings and will post appeal factums filed on or after February 9, 2009.


Courtroom proceedings will be webcast live unless the case is subject to a publication ban. An archive of webcasts will be maintained on the website. There are restrictions on the use of webcasts. If you want permission to use a webcast, you must submit an online Request to Use Supreme Court of Canada Photographs, Videos or Webcasts.

"How to foster mutually-beneficial librarian-vendor partnerships"

The February 2009 issue of the AALL Spectrum contains an article on "How to foster mutually-beneficial librarian-vendor partnerships". The article discusses how librarians can get the most out of their relationship with vendors.

One paragraph that may be of particular interest to librarians at the moment (given the current economic climate) is:

Communicate Transparently about Constraints — If you have budgetary constraints, project management challenges, [...], or any other predictable issues that might put the brakes on your purchasing, you should discuss these early and clearly. Your vendor will likely need to report back to management on progress, the sales cycle, and so forth. If you put your representative in an informed position, even if the news is negative in the short term, he or she will respect you for it and will appreciate your candor.

(Thanks to Emma Wood for pointing out this article.)

Recovering the Costs of Legal Research

The CLE course materials for Legal Research — 2008 have a section on "Recovering the Costs of Legal Research" by Timothy Outerbridge.

Nina Platt on Online Searching Costs

An interesting article by Nina Platt as to the value of online legal research and why firms should be able to recover costs for online researching.

(via Shaunna Mireau)

Nov. 2008 VALL Review

I enjoyed the latest VALL review, especially Gwendoline's Before the Flood and the conference reports from Christina and Graeme.

Although it's now the home of the Vancouver Art Gallery, echoes of the earlier Courthouse Library linger on.  We still use the rolling ladders from the old library, which now houses the Vancouver Art Gallery Library.  The ladders don't quite reach the ceiling, which must be close to 20 feet high, but they're still tricky to navigate. We keep the institutional archives in the basement near the now vacant jail cells, so the links to the old Courthouse are ever present.

SLA Legal Division Quarterly newsletter

The latest issue of the SLA's Legal Division Quarterly newsletter is up at Contents include an overview of presentations from the 2008 SLA conference including "If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Tales from the Dark Side" (on dealing with vendors) and the "Emerging Technologies Breakfast".
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