Shaunna Mireau on Canadian Legal Research

Tips on Canadian legal research from the Library at Field LLP.
Postings are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the firm.

April 08, 2008

New ways to access the same old stuff

I recently learned the value of current awareness service.

Usually, I am on the sending end of current awareness services. The Field Libraries send out copies of contents of our recently acquired paper material; we watch legislation for status changes and make sure that practice groups are alerted when there is something relevant to them; I spontaneously forward bits of judicial or eclectic wisdom from my RSS feeds to colleagues who (hopefully) are interested in the topic. Most of the material that I regularly monitor is of specific interest only to me...I use my feeds for organizational reasons, and to cut down on the reviewing time for picking up relevant bits of information to pass along.

Something that crossed my virtual desk recently brought home to me how much I get out of monitoring things for others.

Way back in September 2007, I posted about the QL Tips Wiki. When I started contributing to this wiki, I set up the notification feature (see the bottom of this PBwiki page for the notification settings link). What a boon that simple setting has made to the work flows at Field Law!

Alicia Loo, from the Supreme Court of Canada Library posted some direct links to databases and their search templates that were given to her by LexisNexis. By reading the format of the links and running some tests, I figured out links to a few more databases that are frequently used here and posted them to the wiki as well. The user id, password, and client identifier are all collected when these links are selected.

This valuable information reduces the number of steps for users zipping into LNQL for a specific type of search. Monitoring the wiki was a fabulous way to learn this information that I didn't know I wanted to know!