Friday, February 9, 2018

Webinar Announcement: Legal Collections 101 for Public Libraries

Last year, we hosted our first "Legal Collections 101 for Public Libraries" - I'm happy to announce that we will be offering this webinar again this year!

The content will largely be the same as our previous webinar, so if you didn't get a chance to attend (or you want a refresher), sign up for this session!

In this presentation, I will be joined once again by Courthouse Libraries BC librarian Megan Smiley for this one hour webinar on building your library's legal collection.

We will be covering:

  • LawMatters collection guides (like the Law Books for Libraries list)
  • An overview and what you can expect from different legal publishers
  • Tips for selecting legal titles
  • Retention and weeding considerations

We will present this webinar on March 8th at 12:30pm PST- hope you can make it!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Mediate BC Offering Programming for Libraries

Mediate BC offers public sessions on a variety of mediation topics.
This year, they are expanding their programming - If you think your patrons might be interested in mediation topics, consider hosting a session!

If you are interested in hosting a session contact Zoe Stryd @ 

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process for solving conflicts (disputes) without going to court. Two or more parties meet in a private and informal setting to try to settle their dispute with the help of a mediator (a person trained to help people settle conflicts together).


Here are a few write-ups for sample programs Mediate BC can offer: 


When making plans to make sure you, or an older parent, have the care to be comfortable in the future, a lot of difficult conversations can come up. Conversations about money, providing care, addressing concerns, and making arrangements may not be easy. Family members might not agree on the best course of action and often these conversations are emotionally complex.

Join a professional mediator and expert in conflict resolution for a free workshop at your local public library. In this session you will learn tools and strategies for making these conversations easier and more successful. You will also learn what options and resources are available should you need some help in coming to an agreement on how to move forward. 


Every workplace has disagreements and conflict. Handled well, they can be opportunities for improvement and innovation. Handled poorly, these conflicts can harm the company and employees through decreased effectiveness and increased stress, mental health issues, and employee turnover.

Join a conflict resolution expert for a free workshop on effectively managing workplace conflict. This session will provide you with tools to handle disagreements with co-workers, supervisors, and clients more easily. We will also discuss what your options are when conflict has escalated and how to save time, money, and stress by resolving your conflict out of court.


Join a professional mediator for a workshop on effectively managing family conflict. We will discuss how to have better conversations where everyone feels respected and heard. This includes managing conflict with teens and tips for effective co-parenting with your current or former partner. We will also discuss resources and options should you need some extra help finding a resolution.

This session is great for any family that wants to have more tools to resolve problems easily and effectively. It is suitable for separated parents and those who are still together.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

New Legal Directory Online

Canadian Bar Association BC Branch (CBABC) Launches New BC Legal Directory 

The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing lawyers, judges and law students across Canada. 

After 30 years in print, the publication is now online and freely accessible to the public for the first time.

This title may sound familiar to you - the print directory has long been included in the LawMatters Law Books for Libraries list. I have removed it from the list but I still recommend that you make this a part of your legal reference toolkit!

This is a tool that can be useful for making referrals. If you have a patron who is looking for a lawyer and doesn't know how to find one, you can show them this directory.

The directory is searchable by:

  • name
  • location
  • languages spoken
  • areas of practice 

“We’ve turned the page on the old BC Legal Directory,” said CBABC president Bill Veenstra. “More than simply accessing information, we’ve evolved it to be very easy to use, with richer content now accessible to everyone on any device. The new directory is a go-to resource for BC lawyers and other legal professionals, along with members of the public who need to access the legal community”
- CBABC Launches New BC Legal Directory, Media release, January 24, 2018

Browse the new BC Legal Directory at and click "Find-A-Lawyer" to start your search.

Other Referral Resources:

Clicklaw HelpMap

If your patron is looking for no-cost or low-cost legal help or services, the Clicklaw HelpMap is a good place to start.

BC Family Unbundling Roster for family law issues.

The BC Family Law Unbundling Roster is a list of family lawyers & paralegals who will perform select legal tasks for clients who do not want or cannot afford full-representation. Unbundled legal services means clients pay for some assistance depending on what help they want & what they can afford.

Friday, January 12, 2018

2018 Training Opportunities

Did you know?

LawMatters provides professional development for library staff - We train on finding and using legal information resources to help you answer legal questions on the reference desk. Plus, training can be customized to suit your library's interests or information needs!

If your library is interested in learning more about legal information and resources (and how to use them!) please email me at OR fill out the Google Form embedded below:

If you have any questions, please send me an email.

In-person training for library staff is FREE - this includes travel!
Check out where we've been recently:

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy 2018 Everyone!

This year, LawMatters will continue to offer collection development guidance, grants, and professional development!

If you are new to the LawMatters program here is a quick overview:

LawMatters believes libraries are the key to informed and connected communities. We work with public libraries to ensure that legal information is accessible for those who need it in every community in BC.

How we help:

Expert collection guidance -

Not sure how to build your legal collection? We provide the subject expertise!

Grants to help you build your legal collection and keep it updated.

Professional development for library staff -
Learn how to find and use legal information and answer legal questions on the reference desk.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

LawMatters Year in Review: Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my overview of LawMatters activities in 2017!

In my previous post, I covered the cornerstones of the LawMatters program - the activities we do every year - including training/professional development, collection guidance, and grant distribution. In this post, I'll be covering some of the 'extra' things we did this year ...

Legal Information at Your Library – FREE BOOKS

Clicklaw Wikibooks

2017 was a big year for Clicklaw Wikibooks!

This year we printed three Wikibook titles: Law Students Legal Advice Manual (LSLAP), Legal Help for British Columbians, and JP Boyd on Family Law – FREE for public libraries in BC.


Boxes of Clicklaw Wikibooks ready to ship!
One of the goals of this print initiative is to help libraries have an established core collection of legal information.

The other goal is to provide a format (print & online) that can make legal information accessible in every community.

This is why LawMatters and Clicklaw Wikibooks continue to work on developing accessible legal information that you can provide at your library!

LawMatters coordinated the mail-out of these 3 titles to 72 public libraries systems in BC:

239 copies of LSLAP
241 copies of Legal Help for British Columbians
241 copies of JP Boyd on Family Law

Wills and Estates Collection

LawMatters teamed up with People's Law School to distribute the limited edition print copy of their Wills and Estates Collection. Each library in BC received at least 1 copy. 

Wills-and-Estates-Collection-full-cover-image.jpgThis collection brought together four popular titles from People's Law School that deal with ageing and death:

Each of these titles is available as a Clicklaw Wikibook separately and, if you want to read them all at once, the Collection is also available as a Clicklaw Wikibook!

New Publications Package - LSS New and Revised Titles

Remember the Starter Legal Display Kit? LawMatters and the Legal Services Society worked together once again to offer a New Publications Package that included 9 new or revised titles and 2 multilingual publication add-ons. 

The kit was intended to introduce libraries to free legal information and to help make it easier to get started with legal 'freebies.' 

Free legal information pamphlets and booklets produced by Legal Services Society AND by People's Law School are all free to order from Crown Publications.


Last year, Courthouse Libraries BC embarked on an evaluation to assess the LawMatters program. We were pleased to share a summary of the results this year with an infographic and full evaluation report.

Click here to view evaluation infographic

Thank you everyone for your support and participation in the LawMatters program!
Looking forward to working with you in 2018!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

LawMatters Year in Review: Part 1

As we approach the end of another year, I wanted to write a 2-part post to reflect on the LawMatters program in 2017.

It's been another busy year, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
Here's an overview of some of our activities:

Grants & Collections

Grants are distributed annually to help purchase legal information and reference materials.

This year, LawMatters distributed grants to 57 library systems in British Columbia!
The Law Books for Libraries (LBL) list was updated and, since the LBL List can be a little overwhelming, we created 2 new guides to help get you started:

“Getting Started” with your Legal Collections – A collection guide for librarians new to legal material and./or the LawMatters Program

“How to turn $125 into a Legal Collection” – A guide for small libraries (recipients of small grants) on purchasing legal materials

Training & Outreach

LawMatters offers professional development for public librarians to improve their confidence helping the public with legal information questions.

Beyond Hope Conference - Prince George

LawMatters teamed up with Legal Services Society to present a session at the Beyond Hope Conference on Family Resources Online. We went over great resources you can add to your legal reference toolkit including Clicklaw, Family Law in British Columbia, and MyLawBC.

BC Library Conference 2017 – Vendor Display

This year, LawMatters set up a vendor table at the BC Library Conference in Vancouver. Thanks to those of you who were able to pop by! It's always nice to see familiar faces (and some new faces too!) from around the province. Of course, you don't have to wait for a conference if you want to chat about legal info - send me an email anytime!

Introduction to Legal Reference and Resources – Presentations

We gave introductory presentations/workshops on legal reference and resources for libraries in the following communities:


“Legal Collections 101 for Public Libraries” Webinar

We presented this webinar in March to correspond with the release of the 2017 Law Books for Libraries List. In this webinar, we discussed different legal publishers, subscription models, and weeding tips! You can still check it out - the recording of our webinar is available here!

“Introduction to Legal Information & Help Online” Webinar

Back for its second year, we presented our Introduction to Legal Information & Help Online aka our Clicklaw Refresher webinar in June. Need a quick refresher? The recording is available here!

This year, library staff we trained reported an 88% increase in confidence using legal information and answering legal information questions.

Part 2 coming soon!