Member Blog

Call for submissions for CALL 2014

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries has put out a call for program submissions for their 2014 conference. The conference will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 25–28, 2014. Program submissions are due by October 18, 2013.

For more information and the program submission form, go to

If you have any questions, please contact Karen Sawatzky at

The CanLII Conference and Hackathon next week

The CanLII Conference and Hackathon is running next week on September 13-14. The first day is a conference style and the second day is a hackathon. You can find out more about the event here, and register here.

The event will be livecast, and the hope is to have remote participants. Registration is free, so hopefully you will have time to participate if you are interested.

VALL member Susannah Tredwell's Slaw column was published today

VALL member Susannah Tredwell posted a very useful column today: Measuring the Performance of Law Firm Libraries:

It is challenging for law firm libraries to measure the performance of their libraries. Traditional library metrics are less helpful for law firm libraries compared to public or academic libraries; for example, circulation statistics are often used as an indicator of library usage and what parts of the library collection are in highest demand. In law firm libraries, many of the materials are used primarily in the library or are signed out to a single lawyer for months (in some cases for years) at a time. The circulation statistics for a given book will therefore suggest that it was never or rarely taken out and so the metrician will wrongly conclude that it was a non-valuable part of the collection. . .

I was very impressed with her discussion of ways of measuring ROI in firms.

Discussion On Specialization in Law Libraries

In her daily PinHawk Librarian News Digest today, Nina Platt mentioned this post from Hildebrandt Institute about the pressures on lawyers to be highly specialized. She extrapolates this to law librarians:

Some of you may remember that I've often said that (in this economy) law firm librarians who specialize are likely to have a job long after those who don't specialize are laid off including law firm library directors. Like anything in business, we are defined by the value we add that is based on what we can do that no one else can do. In the New Normal, lawyers are facing the same scrutiny as evidenced by Kandy Hopkins, Hildebrandt Institute blog post that asks "is specialization the key to law firms' future?" Maybe there is a place for more specialization in law firm libraries?

You can subscribe to Nina's newsletter here.

New Supreme Court Website

The Supreme Court of Canada announced a new website and links today. 

The launch of the new SCC internet website is in response to the introduction of Treasury Board’s new Standard on Web Usability and interoperability.

60 Sites in 60 Minutes

The slides from the SLA conference presentation "60 Sites in 60 Minutes" can be found here: The presenters were Gayle Lynn-Nelson (LexisNexis Librarian Relations Group), Sam Wiggins (Norton Rose Fulbright LLP), and John DiGilio (Reed Smith LLP).The presentation talks about 60 websites that you might not have heard of, including some legal ones.

SLA presentation materials now available

SLA has made the presentation materials available for a number of the sessions at its upcoming conference. Materials that might be of interest to VALL members include:

eBook on copyright

The University of Ottawa Press has made the eBook "How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law" available to download for free. The eBook, edited by Michael Geist, "represents the first comprehensive scholarly analysis" of the five copyright rulings made by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2012.

CALL presentations now available

The presentation materials for a number of conference sessions from the recent Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference in Montreal are now available. These conference materials include:

My blog entry on reference work in law libraries

I've been running a blog since last fall where I conduct literature reviews to consider best practices for librariy technicians in certain areas of library work.  Here is the URL to my blog post on reference work in law libraries.
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