Member Blog

Report on the ROI of special libraries

A group of Australian library associations has released a report called "Putting a Value on ‘Priceless’: an independent assessment of the return on investment of special libraries in Australia". 

According to the report:

[T]his work is that special libraries have been found to return $5.43 for every $1 invested — and that's a conservative estimate of their real contribution. For example, it takes into account the time saved by doctors, lawyers, corporate executives and political advisors searching for answers, but it does not take into account the improved quality of the results supplied by trained information specialists. It looks at how much it would cost users to have to buy the information they gain for free from the library, but it does not assess the savings achieved by library staff negotiating advantageous prices with information suppliers.

The report can be found at

(via Michel-Adrien Sheppard)

Digital materials at the Courthouse Libraries

Courthouse Libraries BC has provided details of its move away from print materials and towards electronic materials on its website: The posting notes that:

In 2014, we are cancelling print law reports, print legislation (except for British Columbia legislation), and updates to most of the loose-leaf services we subscribe to.

It goes on to explain the problems with loose-leaf subscriptions, something which should be familiar to all of us in the VALL community:

Why is the library cancelling loose-leafs?

In short, because loose-leafs have become prohibitively expensive. Loose-leafs have always presented challenges for libraries: they take up a great deal of staff time to file updates (1,900 hours in 2013), the updates often include only minor substantive improvements, and loose-leafs frequently have pages go missing. Loose-leafs lack the benefits of digital titles (which feature full-text search, fillable forms, and ability to email excerpts), and lack the portability of texts.

CanLII Connects is live!

CanLII Connects a new site focussed on crowd sourcing commentary on Canadian caselaw has gone live today. Here is some more information from the blog:

Registration for the New Law Librarians' Institute 2014 now open

The New Law Librarians' Institute, sponsored by CALL/ACBD, is an intensive, week-long program aimed at developing librarians' skills in the key competencies of law librarianship. The program will feature expert instruction from leading law librarians and law professors, small class size, a mix of lectures and practical sessions, hands on sessions, and valuable take-home materials. The Institute will be held at the Brian Dickson Law Library, University of Ottawa with accommodation in the university's residences.

Sessions to be included:
Introduction to Property Law
Introduction to Quebec Civil Law
Introduction to Aboriginal Law
Introduction to Constitutional Law

Volunteering at SLA in Vancouver

Hello VALL colleagues,

The SLA Annual Conference is coming up, June 8-10, 2014 in Vancouver.

If you're likely attending the conference this year, and might be available to join us at the host chapter 2014 table for a bit, please complete this very short survey. Not familiar with every restaurant, sightseeing option, or tour?  No worries, we will have maps and quick answer sheets for you.

Debbie Millward
Host table coordinator, SLA 2014

Patricia Cia & Christina de Castell
Vancouver 2014 Host Committee co-chairs

CALL-ACBD webinar registration open: Civil Procedure 101 with Ted Tjaden

The CALL Webinar Sub-Committee is pleased to announce our next Webinar…

Civil Procedure 101 – An Overview for Legal Information Professionals: Legal Research and Knowledge Management Support of a Litigation Practice:

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

1:00pm to 2:30pm EDT


Ted Tjaden, a long-time member of CALL/ACBD and the 2010 recipient of the Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship, is the national litigation precedents lawyer in Gowlings’ Toronto office. Ted works closely with the firm’s national precedents team and litigation lawyers to organize and annotate the firm’s litigation research and precedents for use by the firm’s advocacy professionals. Ted has extensive experience as a litigator and knowledge management lawyer and is called to the bar in both British Columbia and Ontario. In addition to being the author of Legal Research and Writing, 3rd ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2010) and The Law of Independent Legal Advice, 2nd ed (Toronto: Carswell, 2013), he is a regular speaker at conferences on issues of knowledge management, technology and the effective organization of litigation documents.


This webinar, aimed at legal information professionals, will provide an overview of the litigation process. The goal will be to explain the various elements of a lawsuit and show the various ways that legal research and knowledge management impact – and are affected by – litigation.

2014 WestPac Annual Conference in Seattle, WA

Happy 2014 everyone! We wanted to let you know we are full speed ahead with the planning of this year's WestPac Conference, scheduled for October 9 -11, 2014 in beautiful Seattle, Washington. The conference is graciously being hosted by Penny Hazelton,
Director of the Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington School of Law.

We have secured the Watertown Hotel, located at 4242 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105. For those who like to plan early, you can make your reservations now directly through the hotel - group code #141009AALL.

  1. Reservation Desk at (866)866-7977 (use group code or mention WestPac)
  2. Email request to
  3. Reserve Online at (This option will only allow you to reserve for the nights of the 9th and 10th. For those staying longer, reservations must be made via telephone or email in order to receive the group discount).

Details about the hotel will be on the WestPac web site<> as we get closer to the event date. Registration costs are still being determined, but we anticipate they will be the same or close to last year's rates.

Buying books from Craigslist & Kijiji

This week I'm in the position of trying to buy a long-out-of-print textbook that I've only been able to locate on Kijiji in another province.

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for how to try to ensure one doesn't get ripped off in cases like this.

I assume transactions like this come down to just having faith that the seller is going to hold up their own end of the bargain, but if you have any experience in this area I would be interested in hearing about it!

CALL/ACBD 2014 Conference Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the 2014 Canadian Association of Law Libraries Annual Conference. This year’s conference will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Fort Garry Hotel from May 25-28.

James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship fund

From Ann Marie Melvie:

A reminder to CALL/ACBD members that March 15 is the next deadline for applications to the James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship fund.

Members of CALL/ACBD who have been in good standing for a minimum of twelve months are invited to apply for funding. The scholarship is designed to support attendance at a continuing education program, be it a workshop, certificate program or other similar activity deemed appropriate by the CALL/ACBD Scholarships and Awards Committee. Support for attendance at annual conferences normally does not fall within the terms of reference for this scholarship.

This scholarship fund was established in memory of James D. Lang, a long-time employee of Carswell and member of CALL/ ACBD. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to further your professional education.

An application form is available under Scholarships and Awards on the CALL/ACBD website. Please e-mail the completed form and attachments to:

Ann Marie Melvie
Chair, CALL/ACBD Scholarships and Awards Committee

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