Friday, October 02, 2015

Quickscribe Annotations Update for September 2015

Just a quick note to mention the statutes that received new annotations on Quickscribe 2.0 this past month:
  • Mary Brunton, Reed Pope Law Corporation - Strata Property Act
  • John-Paul Boyd, Canadian Research Institute For Law And The Family– Family Law Act
  • Emma McArthur, Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP - Wills, Estates and Succession Act
Quickscribe 2.0 has more than 20 local legal professionals who create annotations to BC legislation. To sign up for a free trial, visit

Friday, September 18, 2015

2015 Pacific Legal Technology Conference

On Friday Oct 2, 2015, the ninth Pacific Legal Technology Conference will take place at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Once again I am lucky enough to be on the program presenting, this time with Darin Thompson from the BC Ministry of Justice and my old friend Michael Roman from Clark Wilson LLP. We'll be speaking on the IAIT2 panel session titled, Emerging Canadian Legal Technology.

The focus will be on new and emerging Canadian legal tech products, web services and SaaS offerings, and hopefully cover a wide enough sampling of companies that everyone in the audience can discover something new. After reviewing a dozen (or so) new Canadian services, Darin Thompson will also discuss how Governments are looking to leverage cloud infrastructures, and the potential impacts of that direction for law firms. As an example, he will present a short case study for a project he's been working on, involving the use of ODR for BCs Civil Resolution Tribunal.

The session should have both a good survey/discovery component, and a more detailed example with Darin's piece. Getting it all in under an hour will be the tricky part! But we're hoping the outcome will be the same: to provide some practical context as to what's happening within the Canadian legal cloud in 2015.

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Quickscribe Annotations Update for August 2015

Here's a look at which legislation on Quickscribe 2.0 received new annotations in August -- you'll find expert commentary from:
  • Peter Roberts, Lawson Lundell LLP – Partition of Property Act
  • Michael Hargraves, Stewart, McDannold, Stuart – Community Charter
  • Paul Wilson, Fasken Martineau – Consultation and Notification Regulation 279/2010, Drilling and Production Regulation 282/2010, Oil & Gas Activities Act, Petroleum and Natural Gas Act

Quickscribe 2.0 has more than 20 local legal professionals providing annotations for BC legislation. To sign up for a free trial, visit

Friday, August 07, 2015

Should the US Librarian of Congress be a Librarian or an Academic?

Slaw columnist Bob Berring published an important piece yesterday, and I'm afraid it's going to go under the radar.

Berring discusses the impending retirement of current US Librarian of Congress, Dr. James Billington, who at 86 years of age will leave the post after 28 years. Billington, who is neither a Librarian or an information professional, has long been the subject of critique from within the profession. The Washington Post article that Berring cites gives a small glimpse into the failing ecosystem that evolved under Billington's tenure.

The assessment offered by Berring should be required reading for anyone working in Libraries, and yes, even in Canada. The US Library of Congress has always played a leading roles in guiding our profession's standards. Libraries, globally, didn't function in the same unified manner last century without a strong LC -- LC Classification, Control Numbers, Subject Headings, literacy movements -- it's role was academic, had cultural influence, offered professional cohesion, and was emulated widely.

The digital age, as we know, has created an entirely new set of challenges. While I don't think as a profession that we are exactly behind on those changes, what we do need is help to conceive and achieve much bigger ideas. Librarians have always been willing to roll up their sleeves, but big ideas don't happen without leadership. In my view, that's always been our biggest weakness: we really need better leaders.

The glimmer of hope for Berring, and me for that matter, is that there's a chance to bring in a new visionary. Do I care if that individual is an Academic or a Librarian? A little, I'll admit. But it's less of an issue about academic qualifications, and more about having a love for the work. I wouldn't turn down a Jonathan Zittrain or a Brewster Kahle.

The US Library of Congress is at a crossroad, and not just in recruiting a new leader, but whether it has a leadership role to play for the profession. Can librarians look to the LC for unifying guidance the way they once did? Perhaps. But what we won't survive is another country club retirement gig for an aging academic.

We won't. It's that simple.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Quickscribe Annotations Update for June 2015

Here's a look at what's new on Quickscribe 2.0. In June, the following experts added annotations to various pieces of legislation:

  • Bill Buholzer, Young Anderson – Local Government Act, Oil & Gas Activities Act, Environmental Protection and Management Regulation 200/2010, Petroleum and Natural Gas Act
  • Paul Wilson, Fasken Martinau – Environmental Protection and Management Regulation 200/2010, Petroleum and Natural Gas Act
  • John-Paul Boyd, Canadian Research Institute For Law And The Family – Family Law Act
To learn more about Quickscribe 2.0 and the 20+ local legal professionals who annotate BC legislation, and to sign up for a free trial, visit

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Fun Friday Find: Digital Public Library of America

Have you heard of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)? It's an ambitious project that aims to give free access to online collections in more than a thousand American libraries, archives and museums, and today it came one step closer to reaching a major goal.

The Knight and Sloan Foundations announced a $3.4 million gift to the DPLA that will help bring institutions in all 50 states on board by 2017.

I was not familiar with the DPLA but I'm glad I had a chance to check out their website, which is really a portal. There are some interesting and powerful ways to search the contents of the DPLA, including by geographic area and by timeline - even by colour!

At first I wasn't sure whether there'd be much Canadian content there, but I was pleasantly surprised. I used the map function and narrowed in on the location options to Canada, then browsed  the results I got for Washington state to see what might be there in terms of BC content. I found some cool old pictures of Pender Street (1923), and a girls' race at Brockton Point (1922), and an old-time sightseeing tour bus in Vancouver (1923). While looking for Winnipeg-related artifacts I came across this "silver dollar launching coin", a memento given to a Winnipeg-born shipbuilder upon the successful launch of a ship in San Francisco. That particular artifact was from a Smithsonian museum - which has more than a million records in the DPLA.

I encourage you to check out the DPLA and the incredible content it gives access to... kind of a fun Friday activity!

On a related note, you might be interested the announcement of the second Knight News Challenge on innovation in libraries, an international contest which will run early in 2016. Last year's contest funded 22 projects with $3 million (among them was The Internet Archive, creator of our beloved Wayback Machine). Check the winners out here or learn about them in this video:

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Quickscribe Annotations Update for May 2015

Here's a quick look at what's new on Quickscribe 2.0. In the month of May, annotations were added to the:
  • Local Government Act by Bill Buholzer, Young Anderson 
  • Employment Standards Act by Daniel Sorensen, Sorensen Smith LLP 
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Act, Liquified Natural Gas Facility Regulation by Paul Wilson, Fasken Martineau 
  • Local Government Act by Michael Hargreaves, Stewart McDannold Stuart LLP 
  • Family Law Act by John-Paul Boyd, Canadian Research Institute For Law And The Family 
To learn more about Quickscribe 2.0 and the 20+ local legal professionals who annotate BC legislation, and to sign up for a free trial, visit

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Will CALL Lower Student Membership Fees?

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries has had reduced membership fees for students for quite some time, offering the same 30% reduction that the Association gives its retired members. At the upcoming conference in Moncton, there will be a special resolution at the AGM to take those reductions further. Members will be voting to lower student dues to a nominal flat fee of $15.00, plus the appropriate taxes.

The Student SIG, Membership Committee, and the CALL Executive should all be commended for bringing such a simple change forward. Students are not only the base of future membership, but a group that often brings much more than their membership fees to the table. This is a group that (when tapped) offers volunteer time, energy and fresh ideas.

At $15, membership would effectively be free for students; with the nominal fee being just enough of a deterrent for students who might "join for the sake of joining." The student who is exploring his or her range of career possibilities, and has even the smallest interest in law librarianship, would see the financial barrier to entry as minimal.

This seems like a smart move. I hope it goes through.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Newly Added Annotations in Quickscribe 2.0

For several years now, we've been posting a monthly summary of updated Quickscribe hardcopy manuals here on VLLB. Since Quickscribe's services are always evolving, we're going to change things up too.

From now on, we'll be bringing you a monthly summary of which legal experts have contributed annotations in Quickscribe 2.0, the company's online legislation service.

Here's a look at which BC laws and bills got new annotations within Quickscribe Online 2.0 in March:
  • Supreme Court Civil Rules (B.C. Reg. 168/2009) by Erik Magraken, MacIsaac & Company LLP
  • [2015 Bill 24] Societies Act, Society Act by Margaret Mason, Bull Housser & Tupper LLP 
  • Employment Standards Act by Daniel Sorensen, Sorensen Smith LLP
  • Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act and the Health Professions Act by Guy Brown, Harper Grey LLP 
  • [2015 Bill 3] Building Act by Michael Hargreaves, Stewart McDannold Stuart LLP
  • WESA and the Supreme Court Civil Rules (B.C. Reg. 168/2009) by Stan Rule, Sabey Rule LLP
  • Family Law Act by John-Paul Boyd, Canadian Research Institute For Law And The Family
  • Strata Property Act  by Mary Brunton, Reed Pope Law Corporation
  • Property Law Act by Peter Roberts, Lawson Lundell LLP
Annotations are a subscriber benefit; if you'd like to try out Quickscribe 2.0, you can sign up for a free trial online. Or click on an expert's name in the list above for a bio and sample annotations.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Quickscribe Manual Updates for January 2015

Just one Quickscribe Manual update for this month: the Forest Legislation Manual.

Don't forget: free daily updates to BC statutes and regulations are available at,  courtesy of Quickscribe.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Free Upcoming Webinar: Research, Track and Share Annotated Legislation with Quickscribe 2.0

Our friend Mike Pasta, of Quickcribe Services Ltd over in Victoria, will be presenting a free seminar for Courthouse Libraries BC next Wednesday, January 15th: Research, Track and Share Annotated Legislation Using Quickscribe 2.0.

In the webinar, Mike will explain how to use Quickscribe Online 2.0 for annotating, setting up alerts, tracking and finding point-in-time versions of BC statutes and regulations. The lunch-hour webinar qualifies for one hour of Law Society-approved CPD, so let your lawyer colleagues know (90% of surveyed previous attendees said they'd recommend it to a colleague). Get your free webinar ticket ASAP!

Quickscribe Online is available for free at CLBC branches and many BC law firms. Read more about the expert annotations the service includes in this VLLB post from a couple months ago.

On a related note, Mike shares with us that there were several Quickscribe manual updates last month:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

#Clawbies2014 Nomination Roundup

The Canadian Law Blog Awards started here on the Vancouver Law Librarian Blog way back in 2006, and even though they've got their own domain now (, we always like to come back to this space in mid-December to share a roundup of nominations to date. There's still one week left to get your blogged, tweeted or emailed nominations in, so keep 'em coming!

Blogged nominations:

  • Sarah Roussel-Lewis on behalf of the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library (FamilyLLB, Wise Law, The Court)
  • Russell Alexander at Family LLB (Avoid a Claim, David Whelan, Ontario Condo Law Blog)
  • Paul Daly at Administrative Law Matters (Double Aspect, Colin Lachance, Bora Laskin Law Library)
  • Yosie Saint-Cyr at First Reference Talks (Labour Pains, Youth and Work, Global Workplace Insider)
  • Yves Faguy at the National Magazine Blog ( À bon droit, Double Aspect, CanLII Connects)
  •  Leonid Sirota at Double Aspect (Administrative Law Matters, À bon droit, Michael Spratt)
  • ABlawg (CanLII Connects, Administrative Law Matters, Susan on the Soapbox, IFLS Blog & Slaw)
  • JP Boyd on Family Law (ABlawg, CanLII Connects, The Stream, barbara findlay, Lawdiva, Fertility Law Canada)
  • Lisa Silver at IdeaBlawg (CanLII Connects)
  • Karim Renno at À bon droit (CanLII Connecte, Double Aspect, Administrative Law Matters + runners up National Magazine Blog, SOQUIJ, Barry Sookman, Yves Boisvert, Letters Bloggatory)
  • Laura Easton at Davis (Legal Feeds Blog, ABlawg)
Selected tweeted nominations:

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Quickscribe Manual Updates for November 2014

Just one Quickscribe Manual update to mention this month: the BC Labour Legislation manual was updated in November.

Get daily updates to BC stats and regs at, a free service offered by Quickscribe.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Clawbies Season Now Underway!

December 1st is a crazy but fun day for us at Stem... it's Clawbies kickoff day! The 9th annual Canadian Law Blog Awards recognize our country's best and brightest legal bloggers, and this year's launch post has a special Canuck twist... head on over to to read more :)

Which law or law-related blogs can't you do your job without? Which ones consistently make you hit "share"? Which ones merit a fist pump when you spot a new post? We want to hear about them all. Hope to see your nominations soon!

P.S. We'll be tracking the tweeted and blogged nominations as they roll in... check back here mid-December for a roundup.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Quickscribe 2.0 Features Expert Annotations

Better late than never - that's how we feel about mentioning Quickscribe 2.0, the new and revamped version of its popular online BC legislation platform, which officially debuted in mid-August.

The system has been redesigned with the theme of "Annotate. Collaborate. Inform." and in our view, the most noteworthy addition is the expert annotations. Look for nearly 20 BC lawyers' annotations to cases in their respective areas of expertise; you may recognize JP Boyd and Erik Magraken's names from their popular blogs.

JP Boyd, Quickscribe 2.0's family law annotator, highlights a few of the major benefits of the new system:
"the new version will make a very useful addition to the family law lawyer's tool box. First, Quickscribe is likely the only way you're going to get your hands on a complete electronic copy of the Family Law Act without having to jump between parts. Second, the case law is developing at such a rapid pace, that you need a way of faster way keeping up with developments than waiting for the next practice manual or white book; users' ability to make public annotations could give us an extraordinarily useful resource. Third, a number amendments have already been made to the act, and more are in the pipeline, that we need to keep on top of — it's reasonable to assume that still more amendments will be made in the months and years ahead as further wrinkles in the new act are discovered."

To try out the new system for free, visit and click "Free Trial".

Friday, October 03, 2014

Quickscribe Manual Updates for September 2014

One Quickscribe Manual update to share this month: the BC Forest Legislation Manual. A quick reminder, too, that free daily updates to BC legislation can be found at, operated by Quickscribe.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Need to brush up on your legislative research skills?

Unless you do legislative research on a regular basis, it's easy to get a little rusty. But here's your chance to refresh your skills with tips and strategies from the pros, Tracy McLean and Alex McNeur of Courthouse Libraries BC.

A free legislation research skills refresher for VALL members will be held at the downtown location of Courthouse Libraries BC on Tuesday, October 21st from 9:30 to 10:30am. Registration is free but an RSVP is required to reserve your space. See the VALL website for more details! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CBA's Legal Futures Report: Opportunities for Law Librarians?

Almost missed posting about this, but remembered in the nick of time...

CALL is organizing a Twitter discussion on the CBA Legal Futures report and its opportunities for law librarians. CBA Past-President Fred Headon will participate in the chat as well.

The chat takes place tomorrow from 12-1pm EST (that's 9-10am PST). Follow the hashtag #CALLFuture or use it in your tweets to participate in the chat.

We're looking forward to seeing what librarians across the country have to say about the Legal Futures report and its potential for library staff and services.

hat tip: Library Boy

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Quickscribe Manual Updates for July 2014

Just one Quickscribe manual to share this month:
Don't forget, daily updates to provincial statutes and regulations are always available at Quickscribe's BC Legislation Portal (

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Did you miss this year's CALL conference?

If you weren't able to attend this year's CALL conference in Winnipeg (which by all accounts was a big success), the session summaries from the 2014 CALL/ACDB conference are now up - hat tip to Michel-Adrian Sheppard for pointing us to them.

Learn about what Greg Lambert of 3 Geeks and a Law Blog calls the "three foot radius of the law library" (hint: it surrounds you whenever you go!) and get tips on getting published, moving up the management ladder, legal research instruction, and read summaries of many other interesting-sounding sessions.