Skiff – used as “skiff of snow” Slang in Saskatchewan for a few millimeters of fallen snow, not worth shovelling.

I’d like to think that Simon Fodden would approve of the fillips that will bookend this final blog post.

Simon Fodden, law professor, associate dean of law and pioneering blogger, died on February 10, 2018. Fodden, Simon Chester, Connie Crosby and Steve Matthews founded the definitive legal blog called focusing on developments in legal information, research, and technology.

And although I did not meet him, we circulated in the same legal and libraries sphere. Of course, you can read about him at length on Slaw. Simon was curious about the world, generous with his time when we emailed, and an intellectual without being snobbish.

Without Simon’s seminal efforts in law blogging bringing librarians into the conversation, there is a strong probability that Karen Sawatzky and I would not have started our blog. For more than a decade Slaw has grown to become a standard bearer for legal blogs. Its influence is wide reaching as I still refer to it as a way of keeping current in legal research and practice. Reading Slaw became a habit and a source of information for many readers.

In 2005 when Slaw emerged,  the world was a dramatically different place. Paul Martin was the prime minister of Canada. The Kyoto protocol on reducing greenhouse emissions was signed. The iPhone didn’t exist yet as Blackberry was the dominant player in the emerging smart phone industry. And I had left my home town to start a new life in Winnipeg. Unknown to me I would become the library manager for a major law firm further developing my interest in private law libraries.

After moving away from law libraries and Toronto, I can appreciate the skill building as well as the subject knowledge that I gained. My fellow blogger Karen Sawatzky has moved on as the Director of Legal Resources at the Law Society of Manitoba. I am now the reference librarian at a public library in rural Saskatchewan.

I don’t know what the future holds for me professionally. But both Karen and I are pulled in diverging areas. With Simon Fodden’s passing, this seems like a final chapter. We have enjoyed sharing information and trends over the past years, but this is our final blog post.

The law and courts are often seen as a private club with its own arbitrary rules and archaic language. Other professions also have obscure idioms almost akin to a secret language. Grandfather clocks in this digital age still exist, and those that repair pendulum clocks have their own language. Establishing a rhythm through beats is not just about drum beats for musicians as clock repairer’s talk devote great detail to “setting the beat.”

Setting the beat of a pendulum clock is adjusting the clock mechanism to achieve an even sounding TICK and TOCK rhythm. If you really need to know more information:

5 Responses to “Goodbye”

  1. 1 Karen Sawatzky

    It was Brenda’s idea to start this blog. When we started way back in 2008, not that many library technicians were blogging, and we wanted to provide a voice for our profession. Simon asked me to be a columnist on legal information for Slaw, and I did that for a few years as well. Thanks to the longevity of the internet, I’m sure we’ll be around forever, even without new content.

  2. I’ve enjoyed your posts over the last near-decade. Thank you.

  3. 4 Sarah Sutherland

    Thank you Brenda and Karen for keeping up this blog. I have enjoyed reading it.

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