Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Daily Bread Food Bank - Toronto law firm food and fundraising challenge

Each year the articling students at Blakes challenge all other downtown Toronto law firms to raise food and funds for the Daily Bread Food Bank. Since they started challenging everyone 3 years ago, $320,000 has been raised by these firms. Click on Law firm challenge to find your firm's page and make a donation! Or click on my firm's name and help us surpass the others! ;-)

See also:
2007 Update
2009 Update - Holiday Law Firm Challenge: Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank (2009)

Monday, November 27, 2006

CALL 2006 Salary and Benefits Survey

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2006 Compensation Survey was released last week. This survey only comes out every two or three years. It is available on the public side of the website.

What surprised me with this survey is that, in most cases academic, law society and courthouse librarians are paid more than law firm librarians according to Figure 5: Salary by Job Position and Library Type. I was under the delusion that, except for perhaps the head directors of some of the larger academic and law society libraries, law firm librarians would receive the highest pay. Apparently I thought wrong.

Back in October the Toronto Association of Law Libraries released its annual survey. That one is only available to TALL members. A quick look through it shows me they haven't made the distinction of type of library. Possibly there aren't enough libraries in all the types to make this feasible. For example, there is only one law society and only two academic law libraries.

Bermuda Firm Looking for Law Librarian

I noticed the Bermuda firm Conyers Dill and Pearman has reposted their library manager position. I asked the current library manager, Jim Spence, about it. For those of you keeping score, he's the fellow I replaced when I moved into my current firm. It's been 9 years for both of us, and he is looking for a change. Apparently law librarian is now a job category that is excepted from the work permit time limits, so anyone taking the position could theoretically renew the work permit indefinitely.

About the position, he tells me: "it might be worth noting that we're not looking for anyone with an exclusively U.S. law library background. Nothing against our Amercian friends, but we use almost exclusively UK resources down here (with a smattering of other Commonwealth resources)."

There are only a few law librarians in Bermuda and often they have been hired from Toronto, including former TALL President Danielle Brousseau. I wrote about her move in this article. The full position at CDP is posted below:


We require a Manager for our busy Information Resources Department. Core functions of this department include:

• Supervision of Information Resources Department staff
• Information gathering and the provision of research/reference services using print and electronic sources.
• Creating and maintaining information resources through the firm Intranet, and the production of several electronic current awareness e-mail publications.
• Records management through the maintenance, indexing and controlled circulation of original legal documents kept in a secure vault.
• Company, property and litigation ("audit letter") search services, which involve obtaining information and documents from government and court registries, and other sources.
• Maintenance and administration of two separate library physical plants: receiving, recording, processing, maintaining and organising print materials; ordering materials; invoice processing; and, other clerical and administrative tasks.
• Providing library and information support services for the firm’s non-Bermuda offices.
• Training lawyers, law students and staff in the use of information resources.

Applicants must have:

• A Masters degree in Library or Information Science (or an equivalent degree) from an accredited university.
• A minimum of five years of employment experience in a professional capacity in a law library or equivalent information resource centre setting, preferably with a law firm.
• A minimum of two years of employment experience in a managerial capacity in a law library or equivalent information resource centre setting, preferably with a law firm.
• Strong computer skills, including a working knowledge of basic webpage design and creation; experience using a library and records management software system would be a definite asset.
• Expertise in the provision of business and legal research services using print and electronic sources of information such as LEXIS-NEXIS, The Electronic Law Reports (JUSTIS) and Internet sources.
• Familiarity with, and experience in using UK legal materials and resources.
• Exemplary oral and written communication skills.
• Exemplary organisational skills, including the ability to effectively and efficiently juggle several projects simultaneously.
• Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills, and confidence in dealing with legal and business professionals, clients, projects, job complexities and fellow employees.

Written applications, with curriculum vitae, should be addressed in confidence to:

Manager of Human Resources
Conyers Dill & Pearman
P.O. Box HM 666
Hamilton, Bermuda HM CX
Fax: 232-3134
Email: Web site

"We are an equal opportunity employer
Welcoming applications from all sectors of our community"

Posted with permission.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Podonomics: Mesh Mini-Podcasts Are In the Can

Leesa Barnes of Ponomics did a number of short interviews at the Mesh meetup which will hopefully be available soon. In the meantime, her post about it, Mesh Mini-Podcasts Are In the Can has a terrific list of all the things she does once a recording has taken place to turn it into a podcast.

Living Large in Library 2.0

I've spent the last couple of days even more emersed in Web 2.0/Library 2.0.

We've put together a fantastic resource for tonight's SLA Toronto Web 2.0 panel attendess: Web 2.0 for Special Libraries. This is a wiki with resources from our panelists, and I have added in a nice summary of upcoming conferences and seminars you should check out at the bottom of the first page. Many of these are taking place in Toronto or via the web so are nicely accessible to those of you in this city.

Last night I decided to give another chance to Second Life. I do find the learning curve on SL very steep for--thus far--not a lot of return. I finally managed to get to InfoIsland to see what was there, and visited the equivalent health island that also has library resources. I want to explore those more before I do any sort of write-up of those.

The strangest thing I find about SL is that it is either eerily quiet (i.e. little or no people around) or so crowded I feel too intimidated to seek out people for any interaction--akin to being at a large party where you don't recognize anyone, and everyone appears to know each other.

I did briefly see a few librarians, however, talking to people at a sort of conference centre. To me this seems the most interesting use of Second Life--personal interaction with other people of same interests.

For those who don't know Second Life, it is a virtual world where people take on alternative identities and walk around as avatars (i.e. electronic human beings). If you become skilled enough, you can make your avatar take on almost any form. Most are human (or human-like, akin to Star Trek) but some look like robots, animals, or something in between. This definitely comes from the gaming world, but there really isn't any game involved per se. One must clothe oneself, create a home, and somehow acquire money (i.e. work). The name "Second Life" is definitely appropriate, since it in many ways is like real life. I don't personally find the fantasy aspect off-sets the real world responsibilities enough for my taste. I wish one did not have to work or acquire money--I think it would be a lot more enjoyable! I do enough of that in the real world (RW) and thus Second Life doesn't seem quite appealing enough to me personally. But I do find it interesting and delve into it every month or two.

Connie calling all special librarians!

I just noticed that Amanda Etches-Johnson, who is speaking with me this evening on the SLA Toronto web 2.0 panel, has a very short survey about Library 2.0 for special librarians: calling all special librarians!

If you haven't filled this out, you might want to do so.


Podcasters Across Borders - Call for Sessions

A call for sessions has gone out for Podcasters Across borders taking place next June in Kingston, Ontario. Deadline is January 30, 2007.

Three tracks of sessions have been announced:

Corporate Track (June 22, 2007) will have scheduled sessions that deal with corporate podcasting, sponsorship and advertising opportunities, and revenue strategies for Podcasters.

Podcasters Across Borders Track (June 23-24, 2007) will have scheduled sessions on technical and soft skills, academic and not-for-profit podcasting, hobby and niche podcasting, and personal podcasting. Essentially, this is the same format as PAB2006.

PodCamp Canada Track (June 23-24, 2007) is for community driven sessions following the PodCamp model, with a focus on the grassroots movement. A block of time will be allocated for sessions that deal with revenue models.

Check out the website for more details!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Start of the Silly Season and a Bevy of Business Cards

I was at two professional / networking events yesterday. The "silly season" has officially begun!

One was the FIS Alumni Tea yesterday afternoon at the University of Toronto, which I mentioned here on the blog a few days ago. Once again I enjoyed reconnecting with a number of people and meeting some new faces. It is always a pleasure to chat with students and see who my future colleagues will be!

Afterward I headed back downtown to the Mesh meetup for an hour or so. I had already been on my feet for a fair bit so unfortunately didn't stay as long as I might have. Still, I met a number of people including fellow bloggers and others interested in Web 2.0 as well as entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Some were even surprised that I blog "for free" and don't have any advertising on the site at all. Dear readers, consider yourself blessed that I have thus far refrained from putting ads on my blog posts!

But I was great to see Leesa and Stuart again and to meet some new people including Sacha, Juan, Ian and Mark. I missed Rob Hyndman this time around unfortunately! It was so crowded (about a 100 people in a space earmarked for the 60 who signed up) that I didn't even see him in the room.

My question for everyone: now that I have my new little collection of business cards, just what should I do with them? Obviously it was a great way to keep track of who I had met, and later add their blogs into this post. Some people have already emailed me to keep in touch and follow up on things we had discussed, which is just fantastic. Super networker Sacha even added me in to her LinkedIn contacts. Cool.

What other ideas do you have for the growing stack of business cards that I am collecting? How is it best to sort them and organize them? How should I store them? Suggestions welcome!

On a related note, I find it is time for me to have some personal business cards made up. I have been scribbling notes and blog addresses on the back of my work business card, but that is somehow inadequate. Any ideas for how to get inexpensive business cards drawn up, and possible design....feel free to let me know! Unfortunately I missed the free Moo photo cards offer on Flickr, but that is definitely one possibility.

Ah, well, time to run to the next professional networking social event, an author's reception with one of the publishers....


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Connie Crosby Speaking on Panel: Library 2.0 in Action

I will be part of a terrific panel speaking at the November educational meeting of the SLA Toronto Chapter:

Library 2.0 in Action: How Special Librarians are actually using the latest tech tools

Blogs, RSS Feeds, RSS Readers, Podcasts, Wikis and more...Hear how your colleagues are using the latest information tools in their special library settings. Learn some tips and tricks for dealing with firewall issues and budget constraints, etc.

Connie Crosby, Dave Hook, Amanda Etches-Johnson and Carolyne Sidey
Register online - Registration closes November 17, 2006

Date: November 23, 2006

Time: 5:30 PM (registration), 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM (event)


MaRS, 101 College St. Room CR-2A


SLA Members: $15.00
Non-Members: $25.00
Students/Retirees/Unemployed: $10.00

Light dinner

Registration due November 17/06

I hope you will join us! It is going to be a great evening. We will have an overview about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, then will talk about our own uses of these applications, and break out into round tables to talk with groups about potential uses of these tools.


Happy 50 @ 50 to Jim Milles!

Over at podcast Check This Out! this week Jim Milles is celebrating the big 5-0 two ways: birthday and podcast show.

I'm honoured to be part of this special show, chatting with him about Flickr and use of photographs in our work. The sounds quality at the beginning is "challenging" but stick with it as it gets better. Also, the special birthday messages from fellow podcasters are a lot of fun.