Friday, February 25, 2005

Postjudgment and prejudgment interest rates - Ontario

Anyone looking for the interest rates in the Ontario Gazette may have missed them recently. Rather than being indexed under "Courts of Justice Act", they are now simply listed under "Postjudgment and prejudgment interest rates". An example is in the
December 18, 2004 Ontario Gazette

I think this change is actually clearer (before you had to know the interest rates come out under the Courts of Justice Act); however, if you don't know to look under "P" rather than "C", you could easily miss it!

By the way, the interest rates are also now readily available from the Ministry of the Attorney General website, for anyone who doesn't need to obtain them from the official source: Postjudgment and Prejudgment Interest Rates.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

ICLR Law Reports back on Lexis

We had heard the ICLR Law Reports (UK law reports), untimely ripped from the LexisNexis Butterworths womb, had been returned. One of my colleagues had confirmation today from her Lexis Nexis Canada rep that they are indeed being returned to our local LexisNexis as well. Too bad they didn't send a press release to Canadian customers--would have made good news since we were anxious to find out!!

CALL 2003 - Presentations still available

Some people may not realize that the CALL 2003 Program has links to most of the presentations that were made. This was the Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference held in 2003 in Niagara.

Presentations available:

  • the two "KF Modified" sessions by Humayun Rashid and Tim Knight
  • "Business Plan Strategies" by Jane Dysart, Partner, Dysart & Jones Associates
  • "In vino veritas?: Researching International Environmental Law with a Clear Head in the Hazy Era of Climate Change and Sustainable Development" - Marilyn Raisch's PowerPoint presentation and bibliography
  • Jerry Dupont's notes from the panel discussion "Managing the Past; or Old Wine: Is It Still Any Good?"
  • "Copyright Potpourri" - draft for discussion included
  • Lisa Daulby's presentation from "Uncorking the Past: The Role of the Corporate Archives in Support of the Law Department"
  • "Genie in a bottle: Intellectual Property Legislation and the Flow of Information" by Dr. Margaret Ann Wilkinson, Professor at the University of Western Ontario
  • "Securities North and South: Canadian Securities Research in a 'New York State of Mind'" by Louis Mirando and Michael Hoffman
  • "When I'm 64: Succession Planning Strategies for Law Libraries and Information Organizations" by Vicki Whitmell and Yasmin Khan

Passport Office: Introduction to passport on-line form

If you haven't discovered this yet, it is worthwhile if you are a Canadian citizen looking to obtain a new passport: Passport Office: Introduction to passport on-line form. Currently only available for Canadian citizens, 16 years or older and living in Canada.

Apparently this reduces the need to stand in a long line!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Random Thoughts While Sitting at my Computer

I've been rushing around all day, and finally took a moment to look up from my keyboard and out my window. There are all these huge, giant snowflakes flying in all directions. I feel like I am inside a snow globe!! What would it say on my snow globe? Perhaps "Hello from a Toronto Winterland". I am now waving out at all the people in sunnier places. 8-)


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

This is way cool: the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online from Library and Archives Canada. It covers biographies from 1000 to 1930.

The advanced search page is great--I tried the Flash search, but HTML is also available if Flash gives you grief. You can search biographies by geography, "identification" (by profession or cultural group), time period and/or gender. Under "Identification", the category "Miscellaneous" appears to be the most interesting (e.g. exorcist, filibuster, free thinker, snake charmer). You can also do a free-text search of all entries.

The bios themselves appear to be quite lengthy with references to other more detailed sources. Each bio has a link at the bottom to the general bibliography for the entire project.

I am usually looking for biographical material for people still alive, so probably won't be referring to this very often; however, it is good to know about "just in case". Also it is an excellent example of a quick-to-search web-based database.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Can I Have Another Steve Matthews Please?

Well, this is my smile for the day! Today's post in the Vancouver Law Librarian Blog by Steve Matthews is entitled Can I Have Another Connie Crosby Please?. Hee hee!

Steve is calling for more "home-grown" Canadian law library blogs. I couldn't agree with Steve more! So many people tell me they read my blog, and yet it would be nice to hear their voices once in a while.

Why aren't you blogging your ideas?

Malcolm Gladwell Talk at U of T

I was fortunate to have a seat for the University of Toronto talk by Malcolm Gladwell last night. It was a packed auditorium!

I wasn't sure what to expect with Gladwell's talk, never having heard him speak before, even on TV or radio. My friends and I were not disappointed: his speaking voice is much the same as the voice used in his writing. As in his books Blink! and The Tipping Point, his story-telling skills are strong. He is very good at giving anecdotal examples to make his point and allowing his audience to apply the underlying argument to their own situations.

Particularly entertaining was the question-and-answer period, with the professor who said she didn't like him initially because he was writing in her field and was so popular, but who changed her mind upon hearing him, and the woman who asked why he didn't cut his hair.

Since the talk was held at the University of Toronto, the audience seemed to be an eclectic mix of the general public and academia ("Oh yeah, I forgot we're here at the University!"). There were the hard-core fans who have read everything he has written, and those who had just heard him on the radio that week and were intrigued. I fall somewhere in the middle, having read his two books and made others read it.

If you happen to have the opportunity to attend one of his talks, do attend. And do read his books!

SurfWax -- News and Articles On Law Librarian

The day just keeps on getting more interesting...this website has gathered articles on various topics, including "law librarian": SurfWax -- News and Articles On Law Librarian. I was interviewed for the Toronto International Film Festival last September by a Florida reporter, and that article is indexed here.

Amazing what you find when you google yourself. Oh yes, and in my spare time I'm a rower and Jungian psychologist. Bet you didn't know that!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Frequently Asked Questions about RSS

I'm doing some background research on using RSS, and found this great resource page: Frequently Asked Questions about RSS. Lots of good info here.

Group Calling for FOI Reform

In a press release that just came out from the Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA), they are calling for more freedom of information. In light of the current investigations into the federal sponsorship scandal, they are calling for increased transparency of government and are pressing for updated FOI laws.

I like this quote from Anne Kothawala, Pres. & CEO of the CNA:
"Peel away the spectacle of testifying Prime Ministers and what's left is a sordid soap opera in which freedom of information law is routinely flaunted with impunity."


Law in a Box

I'm not exactly sure what Law in a Box is. It is a cool law website based out of the UK, possibly from a law school. They were thinking "outside the box" when they created it. That is about all I can tell. I found it during one of my websurfing escapades, and am now blogging it so I can go back and find it again. If you can figure out what it is exactly, do let me know. Thanks!

PLI - The Law Library 2005

Last year I was fortunate to attend the Practicing Law Institute (PLI) programme for law library managers, The Law Library 2004. It was excellent. I recommend this, either in person or the webcast. (I haven't tried out the webcast method yet!). This year's programme looks interesting--

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ontario Hansard Searching Made Easier

My colleague Vanessa discovered this week that the Ontario Hansard (i.e. Legislative Debates) now has improved searchability--if that is a word--since the last time we used it. Check out the Legislative Debates Search Page (Advanced Search)!

Content goes all the way back to June 1985 (wow!) and allows for searches by keyword, date, type of business, topic, and speaker.

What is really great is the way the resulting documents come up: we are given just the text needed, not the whole Hansard issue. Apparently they have broken the issues apart by topic for better access. It used to be we either had to print out reams of paper or spend hours electronically cutting and pasting the desired sections into a Word document. Now we can just print (or compile a list of the links) quickly as we go along. And, if necessary, the full Hansard issue is still just a click away.

For anyone doing major recent historical research with Ontario legislation, it is no longer necessary to keep Hansards on the shelf...this is a lot faster way to go. (Note the disclaimer, though, that printed version is still the official version).

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Heiress vs the Establishment

I have just finished reading The Heiress vs the Establishment by Constance Backhouse and Nancy L. Backhouse. It is published by UBC Press and The Osgoode Society, known for their law-related histories.

I found it very interesting, not only for the story told, but also for the format. They have taken an infamous autobiography by our heroine, Mrs. Campbell, called Where Angels Fear to Tread, reprinted it, and added on to it. They have added extensive discussion and footnotes. Reading all of the footnotes did slow me down a fair bit; nevertheless, it was worth the extra work.

Mrs. Campbell, whose family was very much a part of the legal establishment in Ontario, took on her uncle and bencher Mr. Hogg over her mother's estate. Few lawyers were willing to help her in court, so she ended up largely representing herself at the Supreme Court of Canada and at the Privy Council in London. Amazingly, she did win her case at the Privy Council. Backhouse & Backhouse go on to tell the story after this.

I found Backhouse & Backhouse had done extensive research, so that we had good background on the myriad of legal characters (counsel, benchers, and judges) as they come and go through the story. I gained a look at some of the lawyers I have heard about, including a number who have lent their names, or at least their work, to the large Toronto law firms we know today.

I usually read fiction, and to me this is the sort of thing authors like Atwood and Ondaatje try to achieve on a fictional level: mixing formats, and moving in and out of non-fiction texts; or like David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers with story-between-the-lines revealed via extensive footnotes, endnotes, forewords, epilogues and the like.

I think those working in the area of law, especially Ontario, will find this of most interest. Others might not find it worth the work.

Lehman's Zoning Trilogy

I am just renewing our subscription to Lehman's Zoning Trilogy and wondered if others have heard of this resource. I admit not using it often, but our planners like it. This website was created out of the original "Zoning Trilogy", a three-part reference manual. The first part is a zoning dictionary, second includes samples of zoning provisions, and third are sample diagrams.

The website goes beyond that, having a question-and-answer section about zoning (useful for municipalities, for example), and there is a "zoning resources" section, with links to a lot of different websites.

Friday, February 04, 2005

More Faculty Positions Opening Up

Wow! More Library faculty positions, this time part-time instructors at Western: Faculty of Information & Media Studies - Notice of Anticipated Limited-Duties Appointments. These sound like they cover more practical areas: cataloguing, reference, library planning, marketing, database management and the like. They are looking for PhDs, but will also take Masters degrees with professional work experience and university-level teaching. Hmmmm....this I might actually be qualified for....

As someone said to me the other day: sure, why not just add more in to your schedule, Connie! You have lots of time. Shhhhhhure.....

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Wild Stuff - Library Faculty positions

Five (count them: 5) faculty positions have opened up at the University of Toronto Faculty of Information Studies: Job description. Specialty is pretty much open. The biggest thing is the PhD requirement. Wild stuff.

It makes me wonder if it is worthwhile doing a PhD part-time (over 6 years) to be ready for the next big openings? But then I would have to think about what my specialty would be. Blogging? Envisioning projects for other people? Opening cans of worms? Writing wordy communiques? Surfing the web for fun and profit? Oh, the list could go on.....

Getting Copies of Ontario Court Filings from Outside Ontario

Something I just learned today, which others might want to know:

if you need copies of documents filed with Ontario Courts, there supposedly isn't a commercial service available for this purpose. A lawyer from outside Ontario would need an agent. That is, an agency file would need to be set up with a local lawyer, and that lawyer or law firm would then request the documents from the court.

I've suspected this was the case, but today was contacted by a librarian in the U.S. who had talked to the courts, gotten the runaround, and then had difficulty in finding a service. I was able to confirm this with our court clerk as well. I don't know if any of the commercial process servers out their would help with this or not...

Funky-looking Management Course

"Funky" as in "cool" not "fetid". Heh.

I was just poking around the web and came across this course from the McLuhan Centre at University of Toronto: Applied McLuhan for Managers. It is a non-credit course.