Friday, January 29, 2010

Legal iPhone Apps - Is there a Librarian for that?

The answer unfortunately is no. At least not so far, or to my knowledge... but there should be!

You see, after reading Bob Ambrogi's post this AM critiquing FR Evidence, a (U.S. based) iPhone app, which promised "to provide the complete text of the Federal Rules of Evidence" but is missing a rule (502) that was added in Sept. 19, 2008, I am concerned.

My concern is that law librarians, who have historically played an important role in reviewing reference materials, especially with issues like accuracy & currency, seem to be lagging when it comes to the evolving mobile-web space.

Over the next couple years, the rate of new delivery devices is going to simply explode: Kindles & other e-book readers, Apple's new iPad and other tablet-like devices, smart phones, etc. Getting beyond these gadgets and knowing which tools (and publishers) can be trusted is going to be a huge issue!

So I'm just putting it out there. If law librarians were willing to review CD-Rom products 10 years ago, why hasn't anyone stepped forward to review mobile legal information products?

Quickscribe Manual Updates for January 2010

There were three Quickscribe manuals updated in January:
As always, you can check for daily updates to BC statutes & regulations.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Gowlings' Trendwatch 2010

An item we just posted over on Stem news, Gowlings has released their 2010 Trendwatch report.

The topics in this year's edition range from the changing nature of Canadian class actions to the fallout from upcoming HST changes in BC & Ontario.

Another interesting element, at least for me, is that 5 of the 6 legal trend items were delivered via video format. We weren't directly involved in this project's production, so I'm not trying to (indirectly) pat myself on the back when I say this... but I thought the videos were nicely done. The lawyers didn't look uptight, most were even smiling; the commentary didn't seem overly scripted, and the number of topics covered was 'just enough' and didn't overwhelm the viewer.

I can't help but think this is going to be a big year for video...

Friday, January 08, 2010

BC's Three Biggest Newspapers up for Grabs?

More news coming out regarding the assets of Canwest's newspaper division:
"Canwest Global Communications (TSXV:CGS) is being acquired by the insolvent company's banks for $925 million as they aim to get their loans repaid by selling the National Post and other big-city dailies to the highest bidder in an auction that starts next week."
This should prove to be an interesting story for the next few weeks. BC's three largest newspapers - The Province, Sun & Times Columnist - are all included. Presumably the group of newspapers will get sold as a single unit, and considering the NYTimes tells us they are "solidly profitable on an operating basis", it's hard to see this not happening.

That's a bit unfortunate. I'm probably not the only person who wishes they would break up the business interests and let BC papers compete again - especially The Province & Sun. There have been a number of occasions where I've noticed the lead story in the business section of the Saturday Sun showing up in the Sunday Province. Not an enjoyable experience, considering the company's sales pressure to subscribe to both products.

I know change is extremely unlikely; but it does seem an odd duopoly to have. And that our cross-town rival papers would benefit from competing ownership. ... Who knows though. Given the state of print journalism globally & that creditor protection is in effect, stranger things have happened.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

VALL Group on LinkedIn

A belated Happy New Year!

This is still in the early stages (16 hours old in fact), but the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries now has an official group on LinkedIn. The group was started by Susannah Tredwell, Library Manager at Lawson Lundell LLP.

While some of the functionality is replicated from our Association's portal, LinkedIn continues to be a hub for all professionals, and I find it a very welcome addition to place a VALL badge on my LinkedIn profile.

If you are a past or present VALL member, please consider joining to show your support.