Sunday, October 31, 2004

Reasons to Get Out of KM

This essay by Dave Pollard on his blog "How to Save the World": If You're in Information Technology, Please Get Out is brilliant. As organizations become more focussed on cost savings rather than innovation, they are pulling resources out of Knowledge Management (KM). Pollard argues that those intelligent, creative people who are currently in KM should get out of the organizations while they can and become entrepreneurs. He has expressed some of the sentiments I have felt for a while.

Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload

Good article with some excellent ideas: Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload. The basic premise is to set a good example for others, and then he lists some principles for good message sending. I admit to being guilty sending some poor messages. I notice when I am out of the office I have fewer messages than when I am in, evidence that I help to generate a lot of the e-mail that comes back to me.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Hectic week!

Sorry to be incommunicado this week, everyone. I was in budget hell getting my numbers together (still have to finish the whole report), we ran a Hallowe'en costume challenge in our library today so I spent a good part of my evenings making my costume, and I had lots and lots of professional activities-type work to do. Despite the stress it really was a lot of fun. Yes, even getting the budget numbers together. It's my one big time of the year to use my advanced math skills! Plus I learned more about using Excel spreadsheets this time around. 8-)

I hope at some point to get the photos working on this website so I can post a photo or two of my Hallowe'en costumes (this year and last year).

This weekend I will be setting up another blog for the blog course I am taking, likely using a different software so I can try something else out. I am learning A TON from the course. If I create anything interesting I promise to post a link here. Some ideas:
- health and wellness blog for librarians (not to be confused with a blog by a medical/health librarian)
- Crosby family blog
- books I have read
- music or movie links and reviews
- photos of things in my house. Okay, this sounds weird but there are some interesting architectural features and piles of stuff that might look cool if photographed in the right light....
- personal diary of stuff I am doing (which could pretty much incorporate all of the above)

None of these really grab me just yet. I love the idea of a family blog, but will work on that later. I am already working on drafts of two other blogs: one for my bookclub, and one for my association (TALL). Okay, I'm a little blogged right now...

....can't wait for the extra hour of sleep when we turn back the clocks tomorrow night!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Button Maker

If you would like to create small buttons for linking, such as the Bloglines, Blogarama and BlogsCanada buttons to the right on this blog, there is now a free buttonmaker here: Button Maker from the Kalsey Consulting Group. Very cool. I just created one for my Intranet, although now I've got to figure out what to do with it! Heh. I like these little buttons, however, because they all look similar and give a neat, professional appearance to links on a page. The button is created as a graphic, so to use it you need to save it to a server and link to it on the server. Since I don't have my own server (yet) to link to I won't be able to show you my new button unfortunately!

RFID in Libraries - Who Does Tagging?

As they did with barcoding, Wal-mark is now mandating their suppliers mark their products with RFID tags: Wal-Mart to Expand RFID in 2005. Why do we not do the same with libraries; why do we not require the publishers to include tags on books? Possibly the "big box" booksellers will require this, and we will be able to use this to our benefit. But in our industry, law librarianship, we often purchase directly from the publisher. When, then, will this just be an industry standard? Is it in our own interest to force the issue, or should we wait it out? And then the question of older books: will it be worthwhile going back and tagging books we already own?

Monday, October 18, 2004

Toronto and North York Bylaws

York University has an excellent guide page on Toronto and North York Bylaws. It gives guidance as to where to find these By-laws before and after the Greater Toronto Area amalgamation a few years ago. The page is a little slow at opening, but worth the wait.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

New E-mail Address

I have now changed e-mail addresses for this blog. I have switched to an account with Sympatico. Hotmail had recently changed their settings so that I have to use very low security settings in my browser to access it, and even when turning my security off, I still have problems accessing the account. I tried to discuss this with one of their customer service reps, but that was not helpful (he gave me advice on how to close the account!) So, I will be closing it down sometime this week.

Friday, October 15, 2004

WestlaweCarswell - Quebec cases & French language option added

News bulletin from Carswell about changes to their online product WestlaweCarswell. They have added some cases previously only found on the Quebec system SOQUIJ, which is good news for those of us outside Quebec who do not access SOQUIJ.

Church Law Texts

I noticed someone today on one of my listservs asking for a loan of a couple of these books. From U.S. publisher, they look of interest for anyone with a church law collection. Since we do have a practice in this area, am going to consider a few of these titles for our own collection.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Major Canadian Newspaper Loses Copyright Case

Recent report from the CBC: Globe and Mail loses copyright case.

The decision, from the Ontario Court of Appeal website:
Robertson v. Thomson Corporation (October 6, 2004).

This decision goes back to an issue from 1995 when freelance writer Heather Robertson disagreed with the Globe and Mail's publication of her articles in Info Globe (long since absorbed by Dow Jones Interactive, now known as Factiva), the CD-ROM version of the Globe, and an electronic version of the Canadian Periodical Index in addition to the hard copy of her newspaper. The Court of Appeal upheld the lower court's decision. My favourite quote of the decision, included in the CBC article and here taken completely out of any sort of context, is from Madam Justice Karen Weiler: "...a database is not a newspaper..."

The CBC speculates as to the implications for future uses of freelance material; however, this is a moot point. Since this decision (and possibly others like it) went to court back in the mid-90's, newspapers have presumably been covering themselves with appropriate terms of agreement when signing on freelance reporters and writers. I doubt we will see much in the way of change as far as users of electronic databases go.

It is unlikely, however, we will ever see articles from the past reinstated to electronic databases. In many ways this is a shame. They will likely only be retrievable through a paper search which, for those of us who have searched manually through years' worth of old newspapers, is largely dooming those articles to obscurity.

Note this decision makes references back to the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada, [2004] 1 S.C.R. 339; 2004 SCC 13 for definitions of copyright.

Thanks to Canuck Librarian for the tip on this!

On Being a Librarian

For those just starting out in the library industry, or thinking about becoming a librarian, there are some excellent posts on this site: Library Information.

RFID blog

This blog on RFIDs (radio frequency identification tags): The RFID Gazette tracks the latest news and advances, and includes a category for libraries. This is a method of tagging inventory that will hopefully come down in price enough so we can tag individual books. Information can be read from the tags with a reader via radio frequency. This will be a boon to those of us who walk the halls looking for that one missing book....

Monday, October 11, 2004

UBC's Law Library Reference Blog

The Law Library at University of British Columbia has a blog for its reference staff: Law Library Reference Blog. I like how they have categorized postings in an "Archives by Category" feature on the left of the screen. In addition to great links, they also post some of their own research tools. Very useful.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Course on blogging and RSS is putting on a course called Getting Started on Weblogs and RSS. Instructor is Amanda Etches-Johnson of McMaster University. It runs six weeks starting October 12, 2004. It is a web course, with readings and exercises sent weekly by e-mail, a discussion via bulletinboard (the original blog software! Long live BBS!) and one teleconference. has lots of other great courses as well, including Internet and search engine topics.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Parliamentary Website - Main Page Redesigned

The main page of the Parliament of Canada website has been redesigned--just in time for the new session! It seems to have a more 'current awareness' focus with links to the site's new additions. Colour scheme has changed with more orange. Why orange? So far it looks very functional, however.

Monday, October 04, 2004

WSIB Operational Policy Manual - Ontario

The Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board will be putting its Operational Policy Manual onto its website later this fall. It will be free, unlike the paper subscription we currently carry. We plan to switch to the website once available. To be notified when it is available on the website, send an e-mail to .

Friday, October 01, 2004

Speeches on video

C-SPAN has speeches and other important news items on video "archived" on their website. For example, British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaking on Iraq in a number of venues. Content is primarily U.S. sources and issues. For example, the Kerry/Bush debates are currently featured on the front page. Thanks to Vanessa for pointing out this great site!

The Future of Integrated Library Systems

This Library Journal article was sent to me by a colleague earlier this year:The Future of Integrated Library Systems: An LJ Round Table. I haven't had a chance to read it yet so won't comment now, but am putting it here for my future reference.

Client experience - lessons from Starbucks

Today I cleaned out a pile of old e-mail, about 4,000 messages or so (you think I'm kidding, don't you?). Came across a few interesting tidbits to share. I will put them here under separate cover.

See this article: The Starbucks Experience. I've long felt the trend for Libraries is toward becoming more like the trendy bookstores (Chapters, Indigo, Borders). Being more like Starbucks is a similar concept.