Day: April 28, 2014

The Brass Tacks of Librarianship

Posted on Updated on

By Alan Kilpatrick

Last week, Slaw posted an engaging article, Australian Study Highlights Big Bang for the Buck of Law Libraries, by Michel-Adrien Sheppard.  Michel-Adrian Sheppard is a law librarian in Ottawa and a frequent contributor to Slaw.

The Slaw article highlights a recent Australian study, Putting a Value on Priceless – An Independent Assessment of the Return on Investment of Special Libraries in Australia, promoting the value of law libraries.   As an information professional, I am confident libraries can continue to support, compliment, and add value to the legal profession.

The independent study, commissioned by a variety of Australian library associations, discusses the return on investment of special libraries.  Special libraries include law, health, corporate, and government libraries.  “The indicative result from this work is that special libraries have been found to return $5.43 for every $1 invested — and that’s a conservative estimate of their real contribution.”  The study indicates that the knowledge and expertise of a professional librarian “is essential to achieving the $5.43 for every dollar return on investment”.

The incredible return on investment made me think about how information professionals can continue to demonstrate value.  The American Association of Law Libraries explains,

Law Librarians are resource evaluators, access facilitators, expert researchers, teachers, and trainers. Law librarians possess the knowledge and skills to realize the full value of information in a changing work environment. Law librarians can bring value to organizations by reducing research time and information costs, thus saving money and resources.

On Firmer Ground is a collaborative blog created by law librarians, the Special Library Association, and the Canadian Association of Law Librarians.  The blog promotes the worth of law firm librarians and discusses the challenges they face.   On Firmer Ground’s belief is that,

In an era of information overload, law librarians possess the expertise to find those golden nuggets of information that allow law firm leaders to make actionable decisions that benefit firms and clients alike.         

When you come down to the brass tacks, librarians are a valuable commodity.  Bonnie Swoger, a science and technology librarian, firmly explains why librarians need bigger egos,

Because librarians are smart.  Damned smart.  They are talented, knowledgable, hardworking and willing to go out their way to help others out.  If you want to find something out or get something done you should definitely ask a librarian.   

What is your opinion on the value of librarians and law libraries?  Do you agree with the study?  Please post your comments!  If you have any legal research questions, please feel free to contact the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library at or 306-569-8020.

New Ebooks Added to Collection

Posted on

By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

Earlier this year, we offered our members a one-month free trial of several ebook publications from the Working With the Law series by Emond Montgomery. Due to positive feedback, we have acquired the complete series of over 30 titles and it is now available in the Members’ Section. There are titles from several areas of the law including:

  • Criminal Law for Legal Professionals
  • Family Law: Practice and Procedure
  • Wills and Estates
  • Civil Litigation
  • Fundamentals of Contract Law

If you have any suggestions for other resources the library should acquire, please contact Melanie Hodges Neufeld at

Book Review – Reconciling Sovereignties: Aboriginal Nations and Canada

Posted on

By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

Reconciling SovereigntiesAboriginal Nations and Canada
By Felix Hoehn
Saskatoon: Native Law Centre University of Saskatchewan, 2012
286 pp


Anyone interested in Aboriginal Law should check out Reconciling Sovereignties by Felix Hoehn. Felix Hoehn is an Assistant Professor at the College of Law and the book is the winner of “Scholarly Writing” at the 2013 Saskatchewan Book Awards. The following description is from the Native Law Centre website:

 Reconciling pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty with de facto Crown sovereignty will not threaten the territory of Canada, nor will it result in a legal vacuum. Rather, it will facilitate the self-determination of Aboriginal peoples within Canada and strengthen Canada’s claim to territorial integrity in the eyes of international law.

In Reconciling Sovereignties, Felix Hoehn presents a persuasive case that the once unquestioned and uncritical acceptance of the Crown’s assertion of sovereignty over Aboriginal peoples and their territories is now being replaced by an emerging paradigm that recognizes the equality of Aboriginal and settler peoples and requires these peoples to negotiate how they will share sovereignty in Canada.

Hoehn concludes that the Supreme Court of Canada has taken us to the threshold of a new paradigm for Aboriginal law that

(a) rejects the doctrines of discovery and terra nullius,
(b) accepts that Aboriginal sovereignty continues, and
(c) holds that only treaties can elevate the Crown from de facto sovereignty to a de jure sovereignty that is shared with Aboriginal peoples. The sovereignty paradigm will provide needed answers to the pressing moral and practical crises that plague the old paradigm, and it holds the greatest promise for reconciliation.

Please stop by the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library to check out this valuable legal resource. Call Number: KF 8210 .H69 2012.

In the Legal Sourcery book review, new, thought-provoking, and notable library resources are reviewed. If you would like to read any of the resources reviewed, please contact our library at or (306) 569-8020. Let us know if there is a book you would like reviewed.