Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2017 Conference: More Annual Reports & Meetings

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of May 4, 2017 entitled Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2017 Conference Annual Reports.

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has been holding its 2017 annual conference in Ottawa since the weekend.

I will report on some of the educational sessions later this week, but an important part of the event involves the meetings of CALL committees and special interest groups.

Here are summaries of some of the annual reports submitted and of meetings I attended.

Canadian Abridgment Editorial Advisory Committee
The Canadian Abridgment is a topical compilation of Canadian case digests produced by Carswell (Westlaw Canada). The Board, composed of 7 CALL members, meets twice a year with the editorial staff of the Canadian Abridgment.

According to the Committee, the Criminal Law volumes will be reissued by the end of 2017. For those libraries still collecting the print edition, this will require a major consideration for space requirements as this reissue is projected to be 54 volumes. This is partly due to the consolidation of Carswell and Canada Law Book content from Criminal Reports and Canadian Criminal Cases.

Carswell is planning some additional changes to make the Abridgment more prominent in WestlawNext Canada. For example, the “Related Abridgment Classifications” box will be open by default on case law documents; and users will be able to filter search results by Abridgment classification as well as subject area filters.

The Index to Canadian Legal Literature recently added the Toronto Law Journal, as well as articles from Relations industrielles/Industrial Relations. The editorial policy was also updated recently to start adding blogs to the index, starting with thecourt.ca.

Courthouse & Law Society Librarians Special Interest Group (SIG)
I attended this meeting on Sunday morning. Attendees discussed three topics: preservation issues; proving the value of the library; and improvements to CanLII (Canadian Institute for Legal Information).

How to prove the value of the law library sparked a lot of discussion. Some participants suggested looking to models such as the American Library Association's Library Value Calculator (that would need to be adapted to the law library context) as well as to the template for gathering statistics on the LibraryCo website (Ontario courthouse library network). Others argued that satisfaction surveys and focus groups could produce good results. It was also suggested to take a page from the Day in the Life (of a library) project and recruit CALL members to document everything they accomplish on one specific day to be determined.

The SIG will work to develop a series of tools to help members show their value to funders and stakeholders. In 2010, the SIG had published a document on Best practices for demonstrating the value of your library services. It is a good point of departure but would need to be updated.

 Membership Development Committee meeting
I summarized the committee's annual report in an earlier post. Attendees at the committee meeting on Sunday started a discussion on a strategic plan for the next year that would involve more energetic reaching out to less active members (current members not involved in a committee or SIG, new members who have not attended an annual conference in a certain period, lapsed members).

Various mechanisms can be explored (phoning, e-mail, discussion forums, Twitter chats) to find out what services are valuable to members: salary surveys, further engagement on developing professional competencies, resources specific to the life cycle of a law librarian, etc.

It will also look into gathering and publicizing member testimonials on how CALL has helped them in various ways as well as mentor/mentee testimonials as a way of promoting the value of the association.

Website Editorial Board (WEB)
Members of the WEB discussed what kinds of additional content can be produced or repurposed for the website.
  • Many CALL members probably have already read that the association's Canadian Law Library Review will become an open and free access journal which means moving the electronic versions from the member’s only section of the CALL website to the public area that all visitors can access. The details need to be worked out but the CALL Executive has agreed to this change.
  • Attendees also agreed to look into creating a brief section with information about the history of CALL as well as an advocacy section to gather together and highlight CALL's official statements and position papers on issues such as copyright and other public policy issues.
  •  They also discussed many other long-term ideas such as creating an index to previous conference proceedings (if feasible), making the association archives held at the University of Manitoba more visible/findable, and seeing what the WEB can do to help those SIGs and committees that have made known their intention to create new content. For example, the Legal Research & Writing SIG has started compiling an Instructional Resources Bank (CALL members only section)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:39 pm

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