Calgary Law Library Group

  • 12 Apr 2016 2:41 PM | Anonymous

    Once again, the Faculty of Law and Libraries and Cultural Resources at the University of Calgary is offering it’s a legal research workshop for law students working at firms, government, non-profit or corporate legal offices for the summer.

    The workshop, Research in the Real World, will be held at Murray Fraser Hall, University of Calgary on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 from 8:45 am – 12:30 pm.  Cost is $35.  All presenters are CLLG members!

    If you have summer students working at your firm/organization this summer, you may register them for the program with this Registration Form.  Please submit the Registration Form to Nancy Money at

    The program this year focuses on the topics that were of most interest to last year’s attendees:

    8:45 Welcome and Research Strategy – Kim Clarke, University of Calgary 

    9:00 Statutory Research – Holly Booth, Alberta Law Libraries 

    10:10 Civil Litigation Resources – Helen Mok, Parlee 

    OR Solicitors Transactions – Jennifer Merchant, Field Law 

    11:20 Natural Resources and Energy Law – Nadine Hoffman, University of Calgary

    OR Corporate and Commercial Law – Jacquelyn DeGreeve, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer and Christy MacKinnon, Bennett Jones

    Every session will integrate a hands-on component which will allow the students to use some of the resources discussed in the session.  Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet to complete the hands-on component.  Individuals without laptops or tablets will still be able to participate as the hands-on exercise will be completed in a small group.

    Please contact Kim Clarke at,  if you have any questions about the content of the program.

    Research in the Real World is sponsored by the Cenovus Continuing Legal Education Program.

  • 24 Mar 2016 2:43 PM | Anonymous

    Join us in Calgary for a presentation from Shaunna Mireau of Field LLP. Shaunna will be presenting about her role as Director of Knowledge Management & Process Improvement.

    When: Monday, April 11, 2016
    Where: Banker’s Hall Auditorium
    Time: 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
    Cost: $5.00 for CLLG members and $10.00 for non-members (includes lunch)

    RSVP: to Heather Wylie,, by Thursday, April 7, 2016. Please alert Heather of any food allergies or dietary restrictions you may have.

    Hope to see you there!

  • 19 Feb 2016 2:45 PM | Anonymous


    Competitive Intelligence Research – What does it look like? What are the tools? How is it used?

    Join us for a videoconference presentation on Competitive Intelligence Research with Zena Applebaum.  Zena is the Director of Competitive Intelligence at Bennett Jones LLP.  Zena’s primary responsibilities include practice development, market and competitor performance analysis, client relationship management, counter-intelligence and marketing.  Zena brings a unique perspective to intelligence as a result of broad business development, data management, marketing, and corporate research experience in a variety of sectors. A regular speaker and writer on competitive intelligence topics in Canada and abroad, Zena authored “Business Intelligence for Law Firms” published in November 2012, by The Ark Group.  Zena currently serves as a The Chair of the Special Library Association Competitive Intelligence Division Board of Directors, is a former member of the SCIP Board of Directors and has been designated a Competitive Intelligence Fellow in 2015‎.

    When: Thursday, March 10, 2016
    Time: 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
    Where: Bennett Jones LLP, 4500 Bankers Hall East, 855 2nd Street SW (in the Jones Boardroom)
    Cost: $5.00 for CLLG members and $10.00 for non-members.

    Lunch will be served.

    RSVP: to Christy MacKinnon ( by Thursday, March 3rd.  Please alert Christy of  any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

  • 12 Feb 2016 2:45 PM | Anonymous

    Professor Wheeler has written a brief article on the future of law libraries. He sees “a bright, techy and Jetson-like future for law libraries. It is a future full of gadgets, robots and smart machines that will revolutionize how we think about the law, how we practice law, how we search law and how we conduct legal research.” All of this is to take place within the next 5 to 10 years!

    How do you see the future of law libraries?

  • 22 Jan 2016 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    Happy New Year!

    While still in the beginning stages, a potential partnership between Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada is being discussed in this article from the Edmonton Journal last week: City, Library and Archives in talks to team up for new Ottawa central library.

  • 16 Dec 2015 10:47 AM | Anonymous

    According to the Public Information page on the Legislative Assembly of Alberta,

    “Since all parliamentary publications produced by the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, including bills and amendments, Order Papers, Votes and Proceedings, Journals, transcripts, and indexes, are available on the Assembly’s public website, subscriptions are no longer available after 2015.”

    A CLLG member has confirmed this through the Hansard Office.

  • 18 Nov 2015 10:44 AM | Anonymous

    On June 30, we posted an update regarding the activities of the Alberta Law Libraries Review Committee. Upon request, we are sharing the Executive Summary below. The full final report and recommendations are available on the Alberta Law Libraries website.

    Executive Summary

    Alberta Law Libraries (ALL) support the administration of justice and the rule of law in the Province of Alberta. ALL manages a comprehensive collection of primary and secondary legal resources, in print and electronic media, and provides reference and legal research services which are delivered by law librarians and coordinators.

    In April 2015, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General convened the Alberta Law Libraries Review Committee (ALLRC), comprised of library stakeholders, to provide strategic guidance and options for the future of Alberta Law Libraries in a digital age. Specifically, the ALLRC was asked to provide options and recommendations regarding ALL’s mission (i.e., scope and purpose), operating (i.e., service delivery) model, funding and governance.

    Review Approach
    Over seventy structured one-on-one and group interviews, in-person and telephone, were conducted with Committee members and ALL stakeholders (i.e., the judiciary, legal counsel, Alberta Crown Prosecution Service, Legal Services Division, and the legal profession); other players in Alberta’s justice system such as the Law Information Centres and Legal Aid Alberta; law firm, municipal and university law libraries; and law libraries in other jurisdictions. Print and electronic surveys were made available to members of the public who visited the libraries over the course of the review and to members of the Law Society of Alberta.

    The main findings of the stakeholder consultation were as follows:

    • The administration of justice is increasingly complex. This has increased the demand for efficient and effective access to high quality legal information.
    • ALL is an essential element of Alberta’s justice system and the rule of law, which are the underpinnings of civil society. ALL is critical to the effective functioning of Alberta’s justice system.
    • Separate judicial libraries are an important feature of the current service delivery model.
    • The scope of required legal resources is far more than statutes and case law. Up-to-date textbooks are crucial to effective and efficient legal research.
    • The 2013 budget cuts resulted in a significant reduction in ALL’s print resources, to the point that stakeholders say they have fewer resources than they need.
    • The role of the law librarian is viewed as “hugely critical” to the effective operation of ALL and, by extension, to the functioning of Alberta’s justice system. Librarians provide essential training in legal research as well as valued current awareness services. The majority of stakeholders interviewed preferred interacting face-to-face with a law librarian.
    • While the use of online legal resources is established across all stakeholder groups, the “digital age” of libraries is, currently, more myth than reality.
    • Law libraries are ‘price takers’ in terms of print and online legal resources; they are subject to frequent, unpredictable and sometimes extremely large percentage price increases. Licensing restrictions have a negative impact on accessibility and collection cost management.

    ALL is at a critical decision point with respect to its future. The review and analysis undertaken by the Committee have established the following:

    • ALL’s current service delivery model is not meeting the needs of the library users.
    • Maintaining current funding levels or proceeding with planned reductions in funding would result in further cuts to staff or the ALL collection to levels which would be unacceptable to library users.
    • No service delivery alternatives have been identified which would be acceptable to the library users, would maintain or enhance ALL services and which would be sustainable given expressed funding constraints.

    The ALLRC recommends the following:

    1. More funding is required. ALL funders should meet at the earliest opportunity to explore a sustainable funding regime which will enable ALL to maintain, for the long term, a high quality collection and superior library services. The Committee recognizes that discussion and implementation of any changes will take time; in the interim, bridge funding may be required to meet the needs of library users and address staff wellness issues.
    2. The existing governance model is not working. Design and implementation of a more robust governance structure and supporting processes which foster trust among ALL stakeholders is a critical next step in achieving operational stability.The Committee is in agreement that any new governance structure should be supported by a new principle-based Memorandum of Understanding among ALL’s stakeholders, confirming the Library’s mission, funding contributions by funder, and establishing high-level collection and service standards. It should also enshrine the funders’ commitment to consultation with all stakeholders prior to implementation of decisions which could impact ALL’s execution of its mission.
    3. The assumption that all legal information is either available for free on the internet or through paid subscriptions is false. No database carries all legal texts; some materials are only available in print. Doing proper legal research online is often an impossible task for the average user. When the online format becomes adequate, a transition period will be required for users to familiarize themselves with the resources found in what will be a wholly new library and information services environment.
    4. Alberta Justice and Solicitor General and the Law Society of Alberta should work together to promote a national coalition of Ministries of Justice and the Federation of Law Societies, with the objective of addressing copyright/licensing, pricing and usability issues with the two largest legal publishers.
  • 17 Nov 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    At the end of October, I was given the opportunity (with funding from the CLLG Education Grant) to attend the Internet Librarian (IL) conference in the beautiful ocean-side City of Monterey, California.  IL offers practical workshops, conference sessions, and keynotes, sharing the latest trends in technology, innovation & of course the Internet. Here are some of my random thoughts on the conference:

    • 16 of the 19 IL conferences have been held in Monterey (CALL take note)
    • 700 attendees & 17 countries were represented at this year’s conference
    • event organization is focused on good content & excellent speakers ( there’s no free food expect for  breakfast & attendees make their own social fun) (CALL take note)
    • lots of content to choose from (4 tracks of 45 minutes sessions from 9am to 5pm) sometimes making it difficult to decide which sessions to attend
    • exhibit hall/vendors is small & not flashy
    • not too much talk about “libraries or librarians” as many libraries and librarians have been transformed into 21st century marketers; talk is about Information professionals wanting to offer their clients what the Internet cannot, to show their worth over the Internet
    • the language information professionals are using has changed; they use business phrases like ROI (return on investment), think and behave like business startups, know their client’s psyche or way of learning and find new ways to show their worth/value to management & anyone else who holds the budgetary purse strings
    • reliable information is out there in great quantities but so is information overload; librarians the “original search engine” have the necessary skills and know how to cull that information, separating the wheat from the chaff to create valuable, focused & meaningful deliverables to clients
    • heard at the conference: “don’t provide a service you can’t sustain”; “provide information, even if your client is not asking”; “failure is just feedback” and “perfect is the enemy of good”
    • information specialists working in small firms/organizations can create great opportunities to collaborate with their IT departments to drive projects but you better learn to speak their language and by the way social media is not IT (don’t ask IT how to set up your Twitter or Instagram account)
    • information specialists need to “raise their hand” & say “I can do that” even if at the moment you cannot, learn how, teach yourself, read a lot, invest in your education even if your employer does not
    • test your students after instruction with the fun app Kahoot! where trainees/students answer multiple choice questions in real time with all of their classmates.  Its a free online quiz type game that will have your students wanting to answer those Canadian Abridgement questions!
    • when writing for the web, write like you talk, and simplify; use “to” instead of “in order to”, “for” instead of “to ensure”; read anything you write out loud, its amazing how many errors you catch when you read what you have written out loud. Try it!
    • create deliverables that support business decisions (be proactive, don’t wait for requests, find the right topics (eg. frequent questions) to deliver; don’t create deliverables that are not being read or used even though you might think they are great (check usage)
    • your databases are expensive! make sure they are being used and discovered/found; deep linking of books to QL in your catalog for example may help to expose your users to your QL database
    • make your library website Google-ish ;  keep it simple, don’t give your users too much stuff, give value for free (add free things to your catalog, such as Google Scholar); make your catalog good enough for users to find what they want, but not perfect; advertising your library could be as simple as including a short feedback form in your email & other communication formats; protect your market (make sure you are the place to go for everything!)
    • Librarian in the Cloud also attended IL 2015 and provides her notes from the sessions she attended
    • many of these presentations talk about public libraries or academic libraries services, don’t ignore them, much of what goes on there can be applied in your firm/organization
    • If you’d like to view what was presented at IL 2015 you can access all available presentations at this URL: 

    Thanks again, CLLG!

  • 03 Oct 2015 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    Membership in CLLG

    October 22, 2015

    Yes, it’s that time of year!  It’s time to renew your CLLG membership for the 2015/2016 membership year.  To make it easier, you can now renew your membership online using the General Membership form and pay for your membership online via Paypal.  You may pay using a PayPal account (if you have one) or with a major credit card.  Note, that when using a credit card to pay for your membership, the billing information entered must match that of your credit card.

    A free membership is offered to students enrolled in an MLS or Library Technician program.  Students, please use the Student Membership form to become a CLLG member.

    Not a member? Consider joining CLLG.  Find out more about the value of a CLLG membership.

    Thomson Reuters and IBM to Collaborate on Watson Cognitive Solutions

    October 21, 2015

    Annamarie of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, thought the membership might be interested in this post from the Dewey B Strategic Blog.  Interesting to see where legal research might go and Thomson Reuters’ role in that process.

    I would also like to say that in general I really enjoy following the Dewey B. Strategic Blog, a blog on “risk, value, strategy, libraries, knowledge and the legal profession”.  Jane O’Grady, the author of the blog, always provides interesting and thought provoking posts.

    Open Access Open Mic Night

    October 14, 2015

    Are you a part of the Calgary library community?  Come share your experiences with Open Access and hear what others have to say!

    Sign up for a 2-minute lightning talk onsite or just come and listen.

    Tuesday, October 20 from 6-9 p.m.
    Joyce on 4th – 506 24th Avenue SW (basement)

    This is a free event and registration is not required.

    Upcoming CLLG Vendor’s Forum

    October 13, 2015

    When: Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Time: 11:45am – 1:30pm

    Where: Calgary Public Library, Central Branch
    Lower Floor Meeting Room
    616 Macleod Trail, SE


    Lunch will be provided!

    Eugene Meehan on Librarians

    October 8, 2015 / Leave a comment

    Our library distributes the Supreme Advocacy Newsletter to lawyers in our firm.  The newsletter, in addition to being fun and interesting, keeps the reader up-to-date with the latest SCC decisions and Leaves to Appeal.  Today’s issue was particularly interesting to me where under the ‘Last Words’ section of the newsletter, Mr. Meehan writes on the importance of librarians.  As a lawyer and researcher he knows that library services are “extremely important” and that what librarians do are “super important”!

    He then asks Linda Boss, the librarian at a firm that he had once worked in, to write down her 7 Tips for lawyers (or anyone else!) who require information.  He particularly agrees with Tip #1.  I think Linda was right on with all of her 7 tips.  Thanks Eugene & Linda!

    Here are Linda’s 7 Tips:

    1. Make your librarian your friend if you are fortunate enough to have one. He/she is often faster and more cost effective at locating what you need than a student. Students often come straight to us.
    2. Librarians are curators, managers, evaluators and navigators of electronic & print sources/collections. Not everything is online and not all sources are reputable. We are the shortcut.
    3. Librarians really want to assist with your research/request for information.  Please allow reasonable notice to complete the task.
    4. Provide the details of what you require, not the source you think it is in. The information needed is often in many sources, some of which our firm may already have.
    5. Your librarian/information specialist has connections—and can obtain or borrow materials your office doesn’t have.
    6. Functions performed by libraries (and librarians) are still needed but the stereotype must change from the idea of physical buildings and books to the idea of librarians supporting and assisting in the process of using information and transforming it into knowledge.
    7. And last, sign out your materials. Sometimes we can guess who has the item needed—and go looking—but not always and we know you need this urgently.

    Million Short search engine

    October 8, 2015 / Leave a comment

    Have you ever wondered what lies beyond the first page of search results in Google?  We’ve all heard of the research indicating most users generally do not browse beyond the first page or two of search engine results.  Information professionals may go a bit further by viewing up to the forth or fifth page.

    The Million Short search engine (in beta) allows you to quickly remove up to the first one million results.  You can also filter results by removing e-commerce sites and those that feature advertising or chat.  This may allow you to discover previously hidden but relevant material.

    The company behind the search engine is Canadian and based out of Toronto.  They presented at the WebSearch University conference in September.  Their team is extremely interested in obtaining feedback from the information professional community on improving the search engine and adding new features.

    So go ahead, try it out, and discover “What haven’t you found?”.

  • 01 Sep 2015 10:37 AM | Anonymous

    In praise of law libraries

    September 22, 2015  

    In response to the proposed redevelopment of the Inner Temple Library. UK solicitor David Allen Green beautifully answers the question, “So What is a Good Law Library?

    Response: Ontario E-laws Detailed Legislative History Tables

    September 10, 2015

    Back in May, we posted about the petition to re-instate the detailed legislative history tables on E-laws.

    The President of CALL/ACBD has heard back from the Ontario Attorney General and has shared it with the law library community. You can see the original petition and the full response on


The Calgary Law Library Group (CLLG) is a community of members working in or associated with law libraries. CLLG is made up of a number of committees to address specific topics relating to the practice of law librarianship.



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