At last we are delighted to share the report on our 2018 fall research of rural and remote community libraries. The full report and a summary can both be found on Courthouse Libraries BC's LawMatters page, but a few highlights are listed below to give you a sneak peak. Many thanks to Meg Kwasnicki for all the work she did planning and conducting the research and writing these final reports.
In related news, you'll recall a promise for interviewees to be entered into a draw to win a $100 gift card. Congratulations to Virginia and all the staff at the Kitimat Public Library - you are the lucky recipients!
A big thank you to everyone who participated in this research. You provided us with so much valuable information and insight which we have used to start planning for the future. It's an exciting road that lies ahead!
Some key points you'll find in the report:
1) Public Libraries are coping with a very diverse range of community information priorities. Legal information questions, while infrequent, are still seen as important.
2) A “one-size fits all” granting & program model will not address the unique PLEI needs of small communities. Offering a range of training and support options that can be selected by individual libraries will address this diversity.
3) Libraries are highly connected to other community agencies, but not necessarily around the point of legal information.
4) Legal information needs might be underestimated because the concept of “legal” public
librarians hold is different from PLEI-specialists and legal professionals.
5) Public libraries are being called upon to fill the gap of shuttered government and professional services and are not further resourced by these services to help.
6) Public libraries are not necessarily aware of all the services offered by the range of PLEI
organizations and when they are helpful to access.
To enhance and facilitate public library provision of legal information we recommend increasing funding to LawMatters to allow the program to:
1) Increase LawMatters staff resources to liaise more actively with public libraries.
2) Continue the collection grants adding more options about how to apply the grants to public libraries. Include site visits from CLBC representatives (where possible).
3) Promote online resources and integrate the use of Clicklaw more heavily into the LawMatters activities. Fund activities to mobilize and curate online resources, as these offer a different option and flexibility of use.
4) Develop and provide: Education, Outreach and Knowledge Translation.
5) LawMatters can be a key connector between other PLEI organizations in BC to provide an outreach framework of services to public libraries.
Thanks again and stay tuned for more news about upcoming program enhancements and activities!
Atira in partnership with the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic, the Amici Curiae Friendship Society, and Carnegie Community Centre (with funding support from the Law Foundation of BC), will be offering assistance to 60’s Scoop Survivors to file for the 60’s Scoop Survivors Class Action.
Please note the class action ends August 30, 2019 and they hope to assist as many eligible 60’s Scoop Survivors as they possibly can before then. Atira can assist women to apply and the other organizations listed can help other 60’s Scoop survivors as well.
Contact information for assistance is provided in the attached poster (PDF). Please disseminate/share widely.