#TBT


#ThrowbackThursday: Renovations Before and After

Visitors to the Library have been raving about our new space, but construction carries on in Phase 2 of our renovations. We haven’t shown too many pictures of the work being done in the Lounge side of the space (simply because we don’t have access to the space like we did to the library), so here are a couple of new before and afters! This side has enormous change happening, and the biggest might be how fresh it feels! So much fresh air and natural light!

Before:

These shots are looking into the library from the Lounge doors. There were cubicle offices along most of the windows, blocking all of the light and views, and lots of bookshelves. Unfortunately, many of the books back here were seldom-used, and aisles became overflow storage.

After:

The lounge will now be extending into this space, and we’ve taken everything off the windows! If you’ve been into the library and seen our massive lights, stay tuned: there will be large, equally impressive lighting going into this space as well. In addition to the nice, new soft seating we’ll have, we’ll also have a long, bar-height counter with stools and power outlets along the windows for a portion of the space (essentially, along the windows where that red work platform is in the first After photo). We expect those seats will be very popular, as the view from this room is pretty great.

Construction of this space is still on schedule, so provided everything continues to go well, we should be ready to welcome you in this fall!

 


#ThrowbackThursday: Demolition Before and After 1

Our apologies for the radio silence on Robeside Assistance this last week or so. We have been *busy* moving back into the Library, and we’re very happy to say that we’re almost ready to open up!

Before:

You’ll certainly remember our old front desk and reception area. This was the first view when you got around the corner, and where the library staff worked. That make-shift wall constructed out of bookshelves served us well, but it was definitely time for a change!

After:

You didn’t think I was going to give that away so easily, did you?! Here’s a mere fuzzy glimpse. You can see the real thing next week!

A few notes on when we open:

  • There are still a few little finishes and tweaks before the space is done done. You’ll still love the space anyways – trust us.
  • We’re only going to have a few computers available, and almost no new furniture, so bear with us! The new stuff (which is really nice and comfortable!) will be here in just a few weeks.
  • We’re shifting our hours a tiny bit, so if you want to talk to any of us in person, we’ll only be here until 4:30 (not 5:00, as it was before).
  • The lounge is still closed, and will be until the fall. We think you’ll be ready for the wait when you see how nicely the library turned out.

#ThrowbackThursday: GCTC / CCLA Lawyer Play 2008

The 2018 GCTC / CCLA Lawyer play starts next week (previews are sold out!), so we’re looking back in today’s #TBT to the 2008 play. When I first started working at the CCLA, I was surprised to hear there was a lawyer play (or lawyer bands, or anything artistic really!). The lawyer play is a long tradition, however, with proceeds going to 18 different charities over the years. This year, the play is “Rule of Three” (by Agatha Christie!), and the charity partner is Tungasuvvingat Inuit.

Back in 2008, the play was “Inherit the Wind.” I love the poster for this!


#ThrowbackThursday: Demolition Before and After

We are getting SO CLOSE to the renovation of the library side of our space being complete! For a project that has taken so many years to get going, that we’re a few weeks away from the new library side of the space is pretty unbelievable. I went in for some recent photos, and lined up a before and after. This week we’ve had flooring installed (as well as some other major milestones, but I won’t spoil the surprise on that!).

Before:

Continue Reading…


#ThrowbackThursday: Demolition Before and After

We should have some exciting news on the renovations project coming soon (subscribe to the CCLA newsletter for all the latest info, of course), but in the meantime, here’s a recent progress shot for you.

This was the old view when you came in through the front doors. Us library staff never particularly liked that we were tucked around the corner, which lead to plenty of awkward moments of people coming in and not knowing where anyone was to talk to.

Continue Reading…


#ThrowbackThursday: Annual Institute of Family Law 1998

As folks head up to Montebello for the 2018 Annual Institute of Family Law this weekend, we’re doing a throwback to the conference from 20 years ago. The 1998 conference was held on May 8th that year, and as was the custom at the time for the Family Law conference, was held in town (in this particular case at the University of Ottawa). Take a look at the program:


#ThrowbackThursday: Demolition Before and After

Things are really starting to take shape in Phase 1 of our renovations project. It’s remarkable how quickly walls go down, come back up, and completely change the look of the space. I have a couple of photos here from before, and the current state of affairs. I’ll also answer a couple FAQs down below!

Before:

Visitors to the library will, of course, recognize where the bathrooms were, the old hallway into legislation (or more accurately for many people, the way over to the lounge), and the inside of the copy room. These walls are mostly all gone now, except for that rounded bit of wall in picture two (take note of that – it’s a load-bearing pillar).Continue Reading…


Finding Bella Kealy

A few months ago, when reading the infamous “Blue Book” of CCLA History, I stumbled upon the bit about the first CCLA librarian. Her name was Bella Kealy (alternatively spelled Kealey, but Kealy seems to be the correct spelling), and it said:

The first County librarian was engaged in 1889. She was Miss Bella Kealy. The early minutes not only record and confirm her spinsterhood but also, by painfully slow degrees, the increases in her salary which started at $0.75 a day for each day’s attendance. The terms of her contract required that she attend in due time five days a week, starting ultimately at 9:00 in the morning and staying until 4:00 p.m. ‘”except during the sittings of the Court when she must remain until the Court rises.”

Immediately, I was intrigued. The old spinster cat lady librarian trope is well-worn, but for me, well-loved. “Confirmed spinster” Bella Kealy, what was her story?

Through the excellent newspapers.com (who are absolutely not paying me for this blog post – I just think it’s a splendid website), I was able to dig into this. I had spent some time looking at census records before, but somehow missed our Bella. Finding more about her in old news articles certainly helped.

From what I can piece together, Isabelle Kealy was born in Ottawa on June 15, 1875. Her father was Thomas Kealy, and her mother Mary (nee Kilt). They were a fairly traditional working class Irish Catholic family, from what the census records show: several children (most of whom lived to adulthood), and her father was listed as a carter (which, from the brilliant occupation naming conventions of old, meant he moved things around in a cart).

“Hold up, Jen,” you’re thinking. 1875? But she was hired in 1889? This has stymied me too, but unless the census is wrong, and the writing on her entry is quite legible, it looks like 1875 was indeed her birth year, making her 14 or so at that time. The 1881 census lists her birth date as considerably earlier, but from the 1901 census onward, she is listed as being born in 1875. If she was indeed older, and fudged the number for the census, the reason for that is lost to me (to history?) for now.

I’ve since gone back to the minute books to try and tease this out more, and from what I can gather, she actually started working, in some capacity, for the Association in 1888. I like to think she was a bookish and bright girl at the Rideau Street Convent, and someone-who-knew-someone-who-knew the Mother Superior asked them for someone to help straighten books and tidy up in the library.

As the minutes do confirm, she was offered her permanent position as librarian in 1891, though she had been working for the Association continually before then.

The news reports on her are scant for the next several decades. She was heavily involved in the Catholic community, serving on several boards and serivce groups.

I wish this story had a nicer ending than what I found online, but regretfully it doesn’t. On December 17, 1944, Kealy had a heart attack on her way to church. She was with one of her sisters, and brought immediately to a doctor, but unfortunately that wouldn’t be enough. Her funeral was held two days later, and from the news article, was well attended by judges and lawyers from the community. The paper describes her as the “librarian for Carleton County Law Association for many years,” which, if she was still employed at that time, and my math is right, means she worked for the association for 56 years. I would hope that would have earned her a 50 Years umbrella. The blue book confirms that “she served as County librarian for over 30 years” – her retirement date (were she so lucky to have had one) is currently unknown to me. A curiosity of our Association is we don’t always have the most complete set of records from the 20th century, so as time permits, and the record allows, I’d love to continue to dig more into our history (and perhaps close the loop on Kealy’s tenure here).

It is mind-boggling to me that we’ll be moving back into the newly renovated space some of the very books she acquired and processed over 100 years ago, but such is the unique beauty of a law library collection.  We plan to have a nice tribute to Isabelle Kealy in the library once we’re done renovations – but for more on that, you’ll have to wait and see!


#ThrowbackThursday: Our Winter Olympics Appreciation Post

Readers, I hope you’ll forgive our non-legal related Throwback Thursday this week, as we head into the Winter Olympics. We simply can’t help ourselves around here: we love the Olympics. Winter or summer, it doesn’t matter. Brenda handled the summer Olympics a couple of years ago on the blog, and with the opening ceremonies tomorrow in Pyeongchang, I’m taking a look at the winter games today. Here are four big stories tied to today’s date from Canadian Winter Olympics history.

On this Day, 1948 (Ottawa Connection!): 70 years ago today was the closing of the 1948 Winter Olympics, held in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It was the first Winter Olympics held after WWII, and was where Ottawa figure skater Barbara Ann Scott won gold in the women’s competition. Two factoids on this skate: 1. The skating rink was outdoors (!), and during her skate a low-flying plane overhead (!!) caused some audio distraction; and 2: in 1948 there were no Zambonis, so she had to just skate around the chopped up ice from the hockey game the night before.

Here’s a video of her skate:

 

On This Day, 1998: On this day in 1998, Ross Rebagliati won the first ever gold in snowboarding at the Nagano Olympics. Now there’s your legal connection: remember everything that happened after that? You can find the Court of Arbitration for Sport decision on his case here.

 

On this day, 2002: 16 years ago today was the opening ceremonies of the Salt Lake City Games. Some of you may remember this as a games where both the Canadian Women’s and Men’s hockey teams won gold. There was one major news story, however, that dominated those games:

 

On this day, 2014: We’ll end on a happy note – the Dufour-Lapointe sisters! Who doesn’t love this story of the sisters winning Gold and Silver in the Ladies’ mogul event in Sochi?