Thursday, November 25, 2004

Great New Look @ the Great Library

I just popped onto the Great Library's website (Law Society of Upper Canada), and noticed they have a great new design to their web page. It looks terrific: lots more info directly at the user's fingertips, including a web-enabled photocopy request form, livelier catalogue interface (AdvoCAT), staff directory, and lots more. I use this website a lot, so will enjoy the changes.

Orange You Glad?

The December issue of Quill & Quire has an article on page 6 about the recent trend of orange covers for literature releases. A quote from Melanie Wood, former president of Color Marketing Group, says that people who feel overwhelmed by the state of the world "want to get the war behind us, start anew and have fun again. Colors that refresh and rejuvenate will lead the way, with innocent tones of pink and peach giving us a sense of freshness and promise of tomorrow." The article goes on to say orange restores an optimism of life.

Okay, so that explains why I picked these particular colours for my blog; however, I STILL don't regret getting rid of those orange chairs that were in our library....

Shirley Elliott - A Life Well Lived

There was a wonderfully written obituary in the Globe and Mail about Shirley Elliott, Nova Scotia Legislature Librarian from 1954 - 1982, written by Allison Lawlor. Article on the The Globe and Mail website. The paper edition has her photo--my edition has it on page S7. She sounds like a very interesting person; I'm sorry never to have known her!

(Idea for the title of this post from Martha!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Buying Mittens When You Really Want a Hat

Okay, back to the REAL world after that lovely interlude. Law libraries had been notified by Factiva that we will no longer be served by Factiva, that they had made an arrangement with LexisNexis to provide us support. Okay, LexisNexis knows us better so perhaps that makes sense. We were complaining about Factiva service since, unless you are a big customer, you just don't get any personal service. So maybe this would address that. My one big concern was: how is LexisNexis going to support two platforms?? (Three in Canada, what with Quicklaw).

Well, today my concern was answered with another notice: they are not going to support two platforms. As of March 1, 2005, they are putting the Factiva content onto the LexisNexis platform. Now, this may be nice business for LexisNexis, but the two interfaces function completely differently and how am I going to make this work?

I feel like the kid being kicked out of the house by her parents: "You're 16 now, you're old enough to work.". Yikes. Or better yet, what about this analogy: "Sorry, we don't sell our hats to people with blonde hair. But we have an arrangement with the fellow down the street who will sell you some mittens instead...".

I'm sure regretting whining about difficulties using InfoGlobe years ago!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Stop and smell the roses....

Thursday night I helped out with a firm client event. Actually, I kind of invited myself along. But they seem to have appreciated my presence, and I was given this beautiful flower arrangement at the end of the evening as thanks. Posting here for all to enjoy! Posted by Hello

Flowers Posted by Hello

Flowers Posted by Hello

Legal Blog Watch

The people at American Lawyer Media are catching the wave, bringing us the Legal Blog Watch. For now they are monitoring seven lawyer blogs, including Matthew Homann's blog the [non]billable hour which I've spoken of in a previous posting. Congratulations, Matt!

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Party's Over...

I'm sad to see the Internet Librarian conference end. And I wasn't even there! Reading the blogs each day was quite thrilling. Thank you, IL bloggers. I've learned a lot from their postings, both snippets and full-blown commentary. It was like watching the highlights reel, really. And now I will count the days until my CD comes in the mail. I will have to report back as to my impressions once I've seen it.

Not only has it given me a few ideas for work, but also various professional activities I'm involved in. Can't you see the wheels turning in my brain? They've definitely given us a glimpse of the future of conference-going.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

New Digs for LexisNexis Canada (a.k.a. Quicklaw)

LexisNexis Canada had a nice reception last night for library managers in their new downtown Toronto office at 181 University Ave. (at Adelaide St.). For those who didn't have the privilege to attend, I must say it was nice to see they have increased capacity for classes, adding a few more computers. Our friends from the former Quicklaw, Inc. have more individual work space, with larger offices and/or cubicles (depending on their position). They aren't quite as close to the downtown core as in their former space, but it is well worth the trip over. Those of us who were there have decided all future contract negotiations must be held in their offices rather than ours. Just so we can stretch out a little more! Heh.

I was one of the later people to arrive, and it was fun to see lots of familiar faces from the law librarian community and also meet a few new ones.

I also got a kick out of Pat's framed photo of the old 9600-baud Quicklaw-designated terminals that ruled when I first started in law libraries in the 80s. How far we have come! And I still remember when 9600-baud seemed like lightning speed. Whew! Okay, so I've been on this computer train longer than some might have thought...I even remember 300-baud. Heck, I've even used punch cards. So there. And I wonder if anyone under 30 understands what I'm talking about? I've said too much already....

Teaching Library Staff How to Blog

Link to PowerPoint presentation from Internet Librarian 2004, presented by Stephen M. Cohen and Michael Stevens: Get
'Em Started: Teaching Weblogs to Library Staff

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Blogger in League With Factiva?

I was just posting a rant with links to Factiva's website, and it was "zapped" by Blogger. Do I smell a conspiracy?!? News at eleven....

Just Like Being There! - CD of Internet Librarian 2004 available

I've been reading along with a number of blogs, and can't help wish I was there! Soon I will be able to at least pretend, once I obtain my copy of the sessions on CD-ROM. It's available from The Digital Record Inc. website (scroll down to "Internet Librarian"). Cost is $96 US if you purchase online; $160 US otherwise. Also available in cassette or audio CD flavours. It will be sent out approximately 3 weeks after the conference.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Search Engine Optimization

Article in Backbone Magazine, The Strength of E-Business, discusses search engine optimization (SEO). Overall I believe it's an excellent article, although I disagree with the use of metatags; I think their usefulness for SEO is waning. I think Google disregards them nowadays.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Can't be in Monterey?

Like me, you can instead subscribe to the Feedster RSS Search and read all the blog postings about the Internet Librarian conference instead. Think positive thoughts, and perhaps SOMEDAY we'll get there in person!

Thanks to Jessamyn for the tip on

CIRA - Proposed Policy for Internet Domain Name Privacy

CIRA (the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the body that registers the Canadian domain .ca) today released a draft policy to restrict information available to the public from its "Whois" directory in a bid to give domain owners increased privacy. See the press release: NEW POLICY TO SET STANDARD FOR INTERNET DOMAIN NAME PRIVACY. Public comments are being taken via a web form until January 12, 2005.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Legal Periodicals Blog

Where was I? Oh yes, before the CALL 2005 e-mail came in and got me all excited, I was checking out this new Legal Periodicals blog by John Doyle, Washington & Lee Law Library as pointed out in Sabrina Pacifici's newsletter beSpacific .

Posting it here merely for my own future reference. Of course, you are allowed to look at it too, I suppose!

CALL/ACBD 2005 Conference Website

The website for the Canadian Association of Law Libraries/Association Canadienne des bibliotheques de droit 2005 Annual Conference has just been opened up! CALL/ACBD 2005 will be held in St. John's, Newfoundland May 15-18, 2005. I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Shoe on Other Foot

California-based library school student Marielle is hoping for entrance to Canada: sensible shoes...waiting for the revolution since 1965. She doesn't allow us to post comments on her blog or e-mail her; however, with her sense of style, I think she should be a shoe-in for admittance!

Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)

Just discovered the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) based out of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law. I was hunting around for info on the Creative Commons, in particular Canada's involvement, and found CIPPIC. Hmmmm....wonder how many of my colleagues know about this?

David Boies Biography a Hit!

I purchased the new David Boies biography Courting Justice: From New York Yankees v. Major League Baseball to Bush v. Gore, 1997-2000 for our office on a whim. Boies is the litigation powerhouse who represented Al Gore during the controversial 2000 U.S. elections.

The partners here LOVE it and are passing it around. Great idea if you have a general reading collection or are looking for a Christmas gift for that favourite litigation lawyer. Read the review on

Sunday, November 07, 2004

United Church Ministers to Unionize?

Ontario and British Columbia ministers in the United Church are investigating
signing on to the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union.

CTV story: United Church minister in union drive with CAW.

Official response on the United Church of Canada website.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Uh Oh! I goofed.

I'm in the process of setting up a few different blogs for various personal purposes under my Blogger account. Thought I was changing templates for one of the other ones, but turned out I was working in this one and lost all my customized settings. So, all the links down the side and the statistics link are all gone. Yikes! A hard lesson. Will take me a few days to get things posted again. Sorreeboutdat!

Hallowe'en 2003 Challenge

Hallowe'en 2003 - Costume Challenge  Posted by Hello

I now have the capacity to add photos to this website! Last year I challenged others to wear costumes at work so I wouldn't be the only one in costume. This is a costume from the movie "Kill Bill". At the time the movie had only been out a week or two, so few people knew who I was. However, what more could you want for a costume with a wig, mask and sword?

Hallowe'en 2003 - Connie as Crazy 88 (No. 3) Girl Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Changes are afoot! The International Standards Book Number (ISBN) will be changing from 10 to 13 digits on January 1, 2007. It's reported on the BookNet Canada website under ISBN-13. A couple of highlights:

The ISBN will change from 10 to 13 digits on 1 January 2007

Existing ISBNs will be prefixed by 978

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Practice blog and blog app discussion

In my posting Hectic week! from Oct. 30th, I promised to post any good practice blogs I set up. I decided to play around more with my trial subscription on Typepad (a pablum version of Movable Type) before it closes down. Here it is if you want to check it out: . It is a trial blog for my book club. Unfortunately it will only be open until approx. Friday and then I will be canning it.

Looks great, doesn't it? I really like the look of it. Here are the reasons why I won't be continuing with this software:

- I used their terrific book list feature to set up photos and links to all 70 books my book club has read. I thought this was great until I loaded it onto the blog itself. Unless I show all 70 books on the front page (see down the right side), there is no way for others to view the archives of past books. I asked about having this added as a feature, but was told it would be low priority. Therefore, I am going to try to find a similar low-cost function somewhere else and add it onto a blog set up with a different shop.

- inflexibility of the application. I can't do much in the way of playing around with the look of it since they don't give access to the underlying HTML code. I LOVE Blogger for this reason. Apparently the grander software Movable Type is a lot better in this respect, but it would mean hosting it on my own server.

I have also been playing with WordPress in my Blogs course. It has the flexibility of Blogger, plus the complexity of Movable Type. It is free, open source apparently (so my instructor Amanda tells me). The only drawback is the need for a host; however, this gives more security. Right now Blogger can go down for the day or my blog can get zapped, and I would lose it all. So, might be worthwhile seeing what kind of hosting my subscription includes!

The Business of Blogs for Lawyers

Today I attended a "webinar" (a.k.a. web seminar) along with our marketing manager. It was put on by the Legal Marketing Association, and presenter was Kevin O'Keefe. The session was entitled: Maximizing Your Law Firm's Web Site. A lot of it was common sense, but he had some great insights as well. He talked a lot about the importance of blogs for lawyers, as a way to get rich content onto a website and thereby improve listings on Google. Pretty interesting stuff. The PowerPoint presentation should be posted shortly somewhere.

In the meantime, check out his company LexBlog's website They are in the business of building blogs for lawyers! Kevin's blog, linked from LexBlog in the upper right corner or accessed directly at, also entitled "Real Lawyers Have Blogs(TM)", has a lot of great tools and info for getting lawyers blogging.

I'm quite taken with the idea of having individual lawyers and/or practice groups posting internally, and he has a piece on that called "Blog software for large law firm intranets and knowledge management". It doesn't have quite as much technical info to help me get started as I would like, but it does tell me what they have used blogs for internally, and that Movable Type was the application used.