Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Essential Law Library

I was poking around in the terrific law library resources on LibraryCo's website once again, and found The Essential Law Library. This is a list of essential texts that should be in all Canadian (or, at least, Ontario) law libraries. It was compiled by Karen MacLaurin, Anne Matthewman, Janine Miller, Suzan Hebditch and Wendy Hearder-Moan, and is a great resource for anyone starting to put together a basic collection, or for someone to check an existing collection for gaps. It appears to be current to 2002, so quite current. They give a good explanation of their selection criteria at the top.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Internet Librarian 2004 on its way!

I had a call yesterday saying my copy of the CD of proceedings from Internet Librarian 2004 is now ready and being shipped. Now, there's a nifty little Christmas surprise! I can't wait....will promise to post anything good I learn.

Leading Parallel Lives....

In a Parallel Universe (let me call it, say, "Vancouver") there is a law firm library manager, heavily involved in the local Association of Law Libraries, keeping a nifty little blog for Canadian law librarians that points out neat new things and makes lots of personal comments. Check out Steve Matthews' Vancouver Law Librarian Blog.

Wow! I had heard about him, and the rumours are true. We are leading parallel lives. I had a nice note this week from Steve introducing himself and finally had a look at his blog for myself as a result.

I'm relieved to finally have another Canadian law librarian blogging. Welcome, Steve!


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Hooked on Reading - Online Bookclub Idea

Western Counties Regional Library (in Nova Scotia) offer several Online Book Clubs. You provide them with an e-mail address, and they provide you a portion of reading from a book via e-mail each day. Each week you read 2-3 chapters. If you like what you have read, then you are supposed to sign the book out of the library. They have various book categories, including one of books before publication.

I haven't signed up for anything yet, but it is an interesting idea. I wonder how we could use this idea in law libraries? Make sample newsletters available to lawyers before they commit to signing up? Feed them portions of our personal diatribes each day until they have read 2-3 rants per week. Oh, the ideas are endless....

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Google Versus the Library - Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

Word is spreading far and wide about today's press release from Google: Google Checks Out Library Books. Google has made agreements with a number of prominent libraries to digitize large portions of their book collections.

Google co-founder Larry Page quoted in the press release: "Google's mission is to organize the world's information, and we're excited to be working with libraries to help make this mission a reality." Well, apparently the library world is excited about this prospect also.

Here are the related headlines from around the world courtesy of (who else?) Google News: News about Google.

I particularly like the write-up in the New York Times: Google Is Adding Major Libraries to Its Database". (You will need to register for a free NYTimes password if you don't have one already. Which leads me to ask: why don't you?) The second page in particular includes a discussion of how this could potentially affect libraries, with roles changing from storehousing and indexing of printed materials to organizing and retaining digitized materials. Looks like the experience of law libraries and other specialized libraries could be increasingly felt in academic and public circles as well. If it isn't already, which really would be hard to believe.

Perhaps what we are most thrilled about is the world apparently excited about accessing library materials that, for the most part, have been forgotten in this Age of Google. Which, if it really happens, would be a good thing. After all, there was life before 1996. It may be difficult to remember, but that is what the Library is there for, isn't it?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Reference re Same-Sex Marriage

Apparently I've been AWOL the last few days...too busy getting caught up from being off sick in September and October!

I would be remiss, however, if I didn't post a link to the Supreme Court of Canada's Reference re Same-Sex Marriage. The outcome, that the Parliament may put forward legislation regarding same sex marriage and that it is constitutional, is a positive one. Now we wait for the proposed legislation to be introduced, reportedly sometime in the new year. Stay tuned!