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Library Boy

Legal research news from an Ottawa law librarian

Updated: 2017-12-16T06:50:38.810-05:00


Law Library Benchmarks 2018-19


New York-based Primary Research Group has released Law Library Benchmarks 2018-19 Edition:
"The report looks closely at the current policies and plans of North American law libraries in many areas, focusing especially on plans for information spending, with specific data on databases, books, reporters, eBooks, directories, magazines, newspapers, and other information vehicles. It also gives detailed information on how a sampling of law librarians view the information use training and other policies of major vendors of legal information.  They also discuss their plans for information purchases in the future.  The report includes a highly detailed segment on what librarians are doing in the area of artificial intelligence, including data on use of products from many specific AI vendors, and librarians’ perceptions about how they view AI and how it is viewed by top non-library management in their organizations.  The report also gives trend data on overall library budgets."

"This biennial study of law firms presents data from 42 law libraries in the USA and Canada.  Data is broken out by type of law library (corporate, university, courthouse, other) and by number of librarians employed, and for US and Canadian law libraries."
Print and PDF versions are available for $139.00 (US). Site licenses are also available.

December 2017 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries


The December 2017 issue of In Session is available online.

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

Canadian Government Response to Crown Copyright E-Petition


This is a follow-up to the October 18, 2017 Library Boy post entitled Crown Copyright E-Petition Update.

Earlier this year, University of Alberta Copyright Librarian Amanda Wakaruk circulated a petition asking the Government of Canada to make publicly available government works part of the public domain.

On December 4, 2017, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) and Sean Casey, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (PCH), responded to the petition.

Wakaruk analyzed the government response on the Fix Crown Copyright website.

Library Boy on Hiatus for a Month


I m taking some time away from blogging to recharge the old mental batteries.

See ya in December.

Law Commission of Ontario Releases Consultation Paper on Defamation Law in the Internet Age


This week, the Law Commission of Ontario launched province‐wide consultations for its Defamation Law in the Internet Age project.

As part of the process, it published a Consultation Paper on the issue.

From the Executive Summary:
"The LCO’s Defamation in the Internet Age project considers whether or how defamation law should be reformed in light of fast-moving and far-reaching developments in law, technology and social values (...)"

"Defamation law in Ontario has not remained static in face of these developments. In recent years, both courts and legislatures have responded to important issues and concerns in order to bring defamation law into the internet age. This approach, while obviously an effective means of addressing specific defamation issues, is not a comprehensive response to the far-reaching challenges posed by 'internet speech'."

"This project is designed to meet that challenge. The LCO’s project is the most comprehensive analysis of Ontario’s defamation law framework to date. It is designed to analyze the underlying purpose and function of defamation law and to update the law to reflect the social and technological developments that will continue well into the future."

"The issues addressed in the project and the Consultation Paper include:
  • The law of defamation in Ontario today and its limitations;
  • How the legal, technological, and social landscape of the early 21st century influences and challenges “traditional” defamation law;
  • A consideration of the legal elements of defamation in light of “internet speech”;
  • Access to justice in defamation matters;
  • Privacy and its relationship to defamation;
  • Internet intermediary liability; and,
  • Alternative dispute resolution."
The consultation runs to March 30, 2018.

Library Success Wiki to End in 2018


Librarian Meredith Farkas, who writes the blog Information Wants To Be Free, developed the  collaborative site or wiki known as the Library Success wiki back in 2005. It had been created to be "a one-stop shop for great ideas and information for all types of librarians. All over the world, librarians are developing successful programs and doing innovative things with technology that no one outside of their library knows about."

Farkas announced this week that the wiki will be going dark on February 2, 2018:
"Knowledge-sharing has always been a passion of mine and a wiki was a good tool (at the time) for collecting knowledge from a diverse array of librarians across the world. In 2005, Facebook didn’t exist (to the public at least). Twitter didn’t exist. Google Docs didn’t exist. Google Sites didn’t exist. A whole bunch of other collaboration and CMS-type tools didn’t exist. At the time, a wiki was one of the only free ways to collect knowledge from lots of different people, many of whom the person creating the wiki didn’t know. And it received contributions from thousands of librarians and certain pages were THE place to find information on that topic."

"But now, other more stable tools exist for this. Mediawiki software is vulnerable to spam and is not the most stable thing out there. I (and my husband when it’s beyond my capabilities) have spent so much time over the past twelve years troubleshooting the software, reverting spam, and blocking spammers. And, all the while, usage of the wiki has declined and many pages have become painfully stale and dated."

"With a heavy heart, I’m announcing that, unless someone else wants to run the Library Success Wiki on their own server, the wiki will be going dark on February 2, 2018. This should give people time to move information important to them to other collaboration tools and for a knight in shining armor who wants the hassle of managing the wiki themselves to emerge. It can be hard to let go of services that no longer have the ROI they used to, and I’ve wrestled with the idea of saying goodbye to the wiki for years. It’s time. It’s past time."

Part Two of LLRX Series on State of Law Library eBooks 2017-18


This is a follow-up to the October 11, 2017 post entitled Three-Part Series on State of Law Library eBooks 2017-18.

Ellyssa Kroski, Director of Information Technology at the New York Law Institute (NYLI), is writing a three-part series about e-books for the website

The second article in the series appeared yesterday:
"This article will discuss the different pricing models that are currently available and the pros and cons to each; subscription-based, patron-driven acquisitions, short term loans, access-to-own, etc. as well as strategies for controlling costs, and questions to ask before choosing an eBook solution."

Most Recent Issue of LawNow: Special Report: Access to Justice


The most recent issue of LawNow is available online.

The magazine is published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

The issue contains a special report on access to justice.

Survey for Law Library Benchmarks, 2018-19


New York-based Primary Research Group will soon publish a new edition of Law Library Benchmarks, a survey of law libraries.

US and Canadian law libraries that contribute through a survey will receive a free copy of Law Library Benchmarks, 2018-19 Edition:
"Primary Research Group, Inc., a publisher of surveys, monographs and research reports, is planning to publish a new edition of Law Library Benchmarks, a survey of law libraries. University, corporate, law firm, government agency, int'l organization and other law libraries are eligible. Participants receive a free pdf copy of the report when it is published. Your institution will be listed as a participant but the information that you provide is absolutely confidential; all data is amalgamated in a statistical package; no data is presented for individual institutions. Only law libraries from the USA or Canada are eligible for this particular study (though many of our studies are international in scope)."
Primary Research Group has published many law library-related surveys in the past.

November 2017 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries


The November 2017 issue of In Session is available online.

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

Feedback Sought on Format of Annual Federal Statutes


The Publishing and Depository Services Directorate of Public Services and Procurement Canada is looking for feedback about the format of the 2016 print edition of the Annual Statutes of Canada.

According to a message distributed on the listserv of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries:
"In 2016, the Department of Justice modernized the print and PDF appearance of federal legislation. As a result of the new layout for legislation, we [i.e the Government] are planning to produce the upcoming print edition of the Annual Statutes of Canada in a more standard format (8 ½ by 11 inches, longer lines, use of different fonts, etc.). The new Justice Canada layout does not change the wording or meaning of the legislation, but makes it more user‑friendly and easier to read."

"Please let us know by November 16, 2017 if you have any feedback or concerns regarding this modification to the print version of the Annual Statutes of Canada, which requires the repeal of the Publication of Statutes Regulations. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter."
Feedback should be sent to publications AT

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles


The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from October 16th to 31st, 2017 is now available on the Court website.
It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

Legislative Assembly of Ontario Website Survey


The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is planning on updating its website.

As part of the process, it will be collecting feedback on the usefulness of the current site.

Visitors are being invited to fill out a short survey now posted at the bottom of every page on

British Columbia Law Institute Blog Series on Financing Litigation


This is a follow up to the Library Boy post of February 8, 2016 entitled BC Law Institute Starts Project on Cost Effective Ways of Hiring Lawyers.

Earlier this month,  the British Columbia Law Institute published a Study Paper on Financing Litigation that looks at six financing models that have emerged both in Canada and internationally that litigants use to pay for litigation:
  • Unbundled legal services
  • Third-party litigation funding
  • Alternative fee arrangements
  • Crowdfunding
  • Legal expense insurance
  • Publicly funded litigation funds
The Institute has started a 6-part blog series on the topic. Each blog post will showcase one of the financing models. The first post is on Unbundled Legal Services.

Stop Worryjng About Artificial Intelligence: Librarian Job Numbers To Grow


The following article caught my attention recently on On Firmer Ground, a blog promoting the value of law firm librarians.

It is called Will a Robot Take My Job? Study Predicts Increased Demand for Lawyers and Librarians Through 2030:
"I am an optimist by nature and I have remained skeptical of  dark forecasts which predict the future based on one dominant trend  (AI comes to mind) while ignoring multiple factors that are likely to moderate or change an expected trajectory.  Imagine my surprise and delight to read about a  recent study on the future of work that predicted that both lawyers and librarians are two of the careers  which are expected to experience increased demand through 2030. The Future of Skills - Employment in 2030 was produced as the result of a collaboration by Pearson – the educational publisher, NESTA-  a global innovation foundation and the Oxford Martin School."

"The report even highlights the surprising inclusion that  librarians are listed in the high growth professions (...)"

Beyond the Stacks: New Series on Causes Supported by Canadian Librarians

2017-10-29T19:00:44.261-04:00 has started a series called Beyond the Stacks about causes supported by members of Canada's library community.

The first profile is about Ottawa government librarian Rachel Samulack and her involvement with Roger Neilson House, a pediatric palliative care hospice built on grounds of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Canada's capital.

Statistics Canada Article on Court Outcomes of Police-Reported Sexual Assaults in Canada


The Statistics Canada publication Juristat has published an article entitled From arrest to conviction: Court outcomes of police-reported sexual assaults in Canada, 2009 to 2014.From the summary:"While conviction rates and severity of sentencing outcomes are often used as measures of criminal justice, neither take into account the potentially large volume of cases that never made it to court. For the first time, this Juristat measures the 'fall-out' of sexual assault cases in the Canadian criminal justice system in order to provide vital context for how sexual assaults are handled in the justice system. Using linked data from police services and criminal courts, this study presents new findings on the attrition rate of sexual assaults as well as court outcomes for those that make it to court. Attrition and conviction outcomes are also analyzed by characteristics of the sexual assault incident (e.g., location, weapon use, delay in reporting to police), the accused, the victim (e.g., age, sex, physical injury), and the relationship between them in order to provide more detail on how certain factors may be related to a higher likelihood of dropping out of the justice system. Findings are compared with physical assault outcomes where appropriate in order to provide an analytical reference point." Among the highlights:Over a six‑year period between 2009 and 2014, sexual assault cases experienced attrition at all levels of the criminal justice system: an accused was identified in three in five (59%) sexual assault incidents reported by police; less than half (43%) of sexual assault incidents resulted in a charge being laid; of these, half (49%) proceeded to court; of which just over half (55%) led to a conviction; of which just over half (56%) were sentenced to custody. Overall, one in five (21%) sexual assaults reported by police led to a completed court case within the six‑year reference period. This is compared with nearly double the proportion (39%) of physical assaults.About 1 in 10 (12%) sexual assaults reported by police led to a criminal conviction, and 7% resulted in a custody sentence. This is compared with 23% and 8%, respectively, for physical assaults.Three in five (60%) sexual assault charges recommended by police were changed to another offence type once in court; most were changed to other types of sexual offences, physical assault, or administration of justice‑related offences.When compared with physical assaults, sexual assaults were far more prone to dropping out of the justice system between police and court: while three‑quarters (75%) of physical assaults proceeded to court after being charged by police, only half (49%) of sexual assaults did.Of incidents retained in the justice system, sexual assaults were marginally less likely than physical assaults to result in conviction (55% versus 59%), but if convicted, were far more likely to result in a custody sentence (56% versus 36%). It may be suggested that the small proportion of sexual assaults that proceed to court are among the most serious in nature or have the greatest likelihood of conviction based on available evidence, which may explain why conviction rates are similar and sentencing outcomes are harsher when compared with physical assaults.[...]

Alberta Law Reform Institute Paper on Property Division for Common-law Couples


The Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) published a discussion paper in September 2017 on Property Division: Common Law Couples and Adult Interdependent Partners.

The ALRI is now seeking feedback on its preliminary recommendations, before it makes final recommendations to the government of Alberta:
"In recent decades, the number of common-law relationships has been growing faster than the number of marriages. In Alberta, however, there are no legislated rules for property division upon the breakdown of a common-law relationship. The Matrimonial Property Act applies only to married spouses. Property division for common-law partners is based on legal ownership and the law of unjust enrichment, which is judge-made law. When common-law partners separate, there are no presumptions or formulas about how they should divide property. If they cannot agree, they face litigation which can be time-consuming, expensive, and risky."

Canadian Federation of Library Associations Statement on Quebec's Anti Face-Covering Law


The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) has issued a statement on Quebec's Bill 62 on "religious neutrality" (essentially an anti-niqab bill):
"The Canadian Federation of Library Associations / Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB) maintains that diversity and inclusion is a core value of libraries and central to our country’s identity. Libraries have a responsibility to contribute to a culture that recognizes diversity and fosters social inclusion."

"Policy and regulation that restrict freedom of expression and belief conflict with the fundamental right of Canadians of access to information and resources, regardless of, race, religion or gender."

"CFLA-FCAB supports our Québec colleagues in ensuring that libraries remain open, inclusive and welcoming places for all."
More on the new law:

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of Upcoming November 2017 Hearings


The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings that will be heard from October 30 to November 10, 2017.

To find out more about any particular case, click on the docket number in parentheses next to each case name to find docket information, case summaries as well as facta from the parties.

Law Library of Congress Report on Right to Counsel for Detained Migrants


The Law Library of Congress has published a report on the Right to Counsel for Detained Migrants:
"This report provides information on the laws of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Sweden, and the United Kingdom regarding the right to counsel for detained migrants. All countries included in the study allow detained migrants to be assisted by a lawyer. In Canada and Israel the authorities are required to inform detained migrants about their right to legal representation, and in France, Germany, and Sweden the right to counsel is considered a constitutional principle. In most of the countries, it is up to the migrant or asylum seeker to hire counsel; the government does not have an obligation to provide legal services to a person who entered the country without a valid visa or is subject to deportation. The United Kingdom appears to be the only country where legal counsel is provided by the government’s legal aid agency free of charge to all migrants in detention. Financial assistance may be requested by those migrants who cannot afford a lawyer at their own expense in France. In some countries, the provision of government-paid legal assistance depends on the specific circumstances. In Sweden, the government has an obligation to provide legal assistance to minors, and to some other migrants because of their needs. In Germany, a legal representative may be appointed by the court if the court deems it necessary. No country was found where the law would prevent a migrant from receiving assistance from volunteer lawyers or legal aid organizations funded by other than national budget sources. The details of each country’s governing laws are provided below, in alphabetical order."

Primary Research Group Report on University Faculty Use of Library Assistance in Navigating Bibliometrics & Altmetrics Tools


New York-based Primary Research Group has just published a report called International Survey of Research University Faculty: Use of Library Assistance in Navigating Bibliometrics & Altmetrics Tools:
"This 76-page report presents data from a sample of 325 faculty from research universities in the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia about their use of library resources in navigating bibliometrics and altmetrics tools. The study reports on the extent of use of library classes, videos, tutorials, brown bag lunch presentations and other sources of assistance to faculty on the growing use of bibliometric and altmetric tools. In addition, the study reports on the percentage of faculty seeking help of any kind in this area, their evaluation of the quality of the help offered, and their needs in this area currently and in the future. Data in the report is broken down by many useful criteria including age, gender, academic title, field of subject specialization, teaching load and other personal variables, as well as institutional variables such as world university ranking, public/private status, host country, and other institutional variables."
Print and PDF versions are available. Site licenses are also available.

Crown Copyright E-Petition Update


This is an update to the Library Boy post of May 31, 2017 entitled Petition to House of Commons to Fix Crown Copyright.

University of Alberta Copyright Librarian Amanda Wakaruk had circulated a petition asking the Government of Canada to make publicly available government works part of the public domain.

Wakaruk provided an update earlier this week on a government information listserv:
"The petition closed on September 23 with almost three times the number of signatories required for certification. It is also one of the few e-petitions to have signatories from all provinces and territories. The e-petition is scheduled for tabling in the House of Commons on Friday, October 20. The Government of Canada will then have 45 days to respond."
Wakaruk has more information on the topic on her Fix Crown Copyright website.

Upcoming Symposium Supreme Court of Canada: Looking to the Future


The Supreme Court of Canada, in conjunction with the National Judicial Institute, is hosting a symposium on Thursday, October 26 on the future of the court:
"Some 110 participants, including the Justices of the Supreme Court, chief justices and judges from several Canadian courts and other courts around the world, legal scholars, lawyers, government representatives and law students will attend the Symposium. The theme of the Symposium is the Supreme Court of Canada: Looking to the Future. An impressive selection of speakers will address four broad themes: Different Models of Supreme Court Judging; the Supreme Court, the Executive and Parliament; the Public Presence of the Supreme Court and the Role of the Media; and the Supreme Court of Canada of the Future: An Open Discussion. During the last segment, short videos will be presented by law students who won a national essay competition whose theme was 'SCC 2067 – the Supreme Court of Canada in Fifty Years’ Time'." [from the press release]
The event will be webcast live.

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles


The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from October1 to 15, 2017 is now available on the Court website.

It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.