Wednesday, July 6, 2016

LawMatters + Clicklaw Webinar Now Available

Do you regularly help people with their legal information questions?

Brush up your legal reference skills with this great introduction (or review) to using Clicklaw to answer legal information questions.

This webinar session was presented June 28th. We reviewed how to search Clicklaw for reliable legal information specific to B.C. as well as how to use Clicklaw Wikibooks and the Clicklaw Helpmap to make better referrals.

If you were unable to attend the webinar and want to learn more about Clicklaw, we have made a recording available:

Introduction to Legal Information & Help Online - Clicklaw Refresher from Courthouse Libraries BC on Vimeo.

Please feel free to share with your colleagues!

Here are a couple of resources that summarise some of the resources we discussed:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Host a Legal Information Forum at your Library!

Host a legal information forum at your library!

A forum is a great opportunity to discuss legal services and information in your community. The purpose of a forum is to create an opportunity for local community groups to meet and share their knowledge and ideas about legal information services in your community.

Hosting a forum can help inform your referrals and encourage collaboration by connecting legal information service providers with your library and with each other.

The LawMatters Program assists libraries to host half-day community legal information forums.

The goals of a forum:

  • Enhance local community groups' knowledge of local and provincial legal information resources
  • Highlight the legal information resources at the local public library
  • Share legal information from the LawMatters program, the Clicklaw website and Courthouse Libraries BC 

How to host a community legal information forum at your library:

LawMatters staff can help you prepare and hold this event. Start by taking a look at the LawMatters Community Legal Information Forums Planning Guide which provides a step-by-step planning process, templates for invitations and agendas, and an evaluation form.

Hosting a forum can be combined with training: LawMatters may be able to provide a legal information training workshop to library staff in advance of a forum.

Interested? Have any more questions? Let me know!
Shannon McLeod at 1-800-665-2570 or 604-660-9204

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New Legal Information Online - June 2016

New on Clicklaw:

My Support Calculator - Calculate a starting point figure for child support and/or spousal support. – MySupportCalculator, 2016

Preparing for B.C.’s New Societies Act: A Guide to the Transition Process - A guide with basic information about the transition process and other matters that societies may wish to consider over the coming months - BC Registry Services, 2016

TRU Community Legal Clinic (CLC) - The Community Legal Clinic (CLC) is the first student-staffed pro bono legal clinic in the Interior of British Columbia.

Clicklaw Blog:

Take the first step: Wills and Personal Planning Clicklaw Blog, April 6, 2016

Mediation Advisors Now Available to Assist People with Civil Disputes Clicklaw Blog, May 18, 2016

Rise Women’s Legal Centre: Changing the Legal Landscape Clicklaw Blog, June 8 2016

Blogs & Journal Articles

Asked & Answered: How do I apply for a restraining order - Peace Bonds and Family Protection Orders
The Stream, April 1, 2016

Dealing with Pets after Separation, Part 2: Going to Court – (JP Boyd) Law Now, May 3, 2016
(Part 1)

MyLawBC - MyLawBC has information on separation, divorce and family orders, abuse and family violence, missed mortgage payments, and wills and personal planning - Legal Services Society, 2016

What is the status of physician assisted dying legislation? Ask Joanne, Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, June 6, 2016


Leaving Abuse, Legal Services Society, 2016

Roads to Safety: Legal Information for Older Women in BC - A plain language handbook addressing legal challenges that impact older women survivors of violence by West Coast LEAF and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law - May 2016

Nidus fact sheets:

General and Specific Authorities in an Enduring Power of Attorney (2016)

Guide to Making & Registering Your Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)  (2016)

Adult Guardianship in BC: Private Committeeship and Statutory (Public) Guardianship (2016)

Monday, June 6, 2016

MyLawBC helps resolve common legal problems

By Nate Prossner
Online Outreach Coordinator, Legal Services Society

When people have complicated problems, the library is often the first stop they make and the librarian is the first person they talk to. When those problems are legal problems, it puts librarians in a position where they are asked to help navigate the legal system. MyLawBC, a new website from the Legal Services Society, is just the tool for this situation.

MyLawBC takes a new approach to delivering legal information. The website is based around the idea of interactive guided pathways. This is a question-and-answer approach that diagnoses users’ legal problems and then gives them an action plan specific to their situation.  The action plan helps them solve their legal problems. For librarians, MyLawBC can be a great tool to help patrons.

MyLawBC covers common legal problems that people face. This includes:

issues surrounding divorce and separation;
the impacts of family violence and abuse;
what to do if you've missed a mortgage payment; and
typical end-of- life issues, such as writing a will or representation agreements.

The guided pathways serve as a quick and easy way to get patrons the information they need. Where time and resources may be an issue, a short introduction to MyLawBC can empower patrons and give them the tools they need to research independently.

These pathways can also serve as a directory. At the end of each pathway, MyLawBC gives the user, among other things, a list of resources and services that can help. If you encounter a patron with a more complicated legal problem, this can be a reliable way to connect them with experts who can help.

Finally, the website also has quick links to all of the Legal Services Society’s publications, searchable by subject or title, as well as instructions on how to order print copies for free.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Webinar Announcement: LawMatters + Clicklaw Collaboration

Brush up your legal reference skills with this great introduction (or review) to using Clicklaw to answer legal information questions.

We are pleased to announce that LawMatters and Clicklaw will be collaborating on an upcoming webinar: 

Introduction to Legal Information & Help Online presented by Audrey Jun and Shannon McLeod
June 28th 1:00-2:00pm PST*
*This a FREE event is aimed towards public librarians, community workers, and advocates.

We will be reviewing how to search Clicklaw for reliable legal information as well as how to use Clicklaw Wikibooks and the Clicklaw Helpmap.

Raise your awareness of different resources, publishers, and organizations and sign up today!

Clicklaw's Story:

Clicklaw was developed with a project grant from the Law Foundation of BC. Clicklaw was launched in 2009 with the mission to improve public access to legal information. In 2015, Clicklaw also went mobile-friendly! Clicklaw is operated by the Courthouse Libraries BC and features legal information and education resources aimed at the public. The website is used by front-line workers to help their clients find information and get referred to the right services. Clicklaw is made possible by a community of over 30 contributor organizations.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

LawMatters Presents at the 2016 BC Library Conference

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the BC Library Conference (my first time!). The sessions I was able to attend gave me a lot of food for thought and I appreciated the insights and personal experiences that the presenters shared.I really enjoyed learning about how the library community is disrupting and transforming how we work, connect, and create. Meeting so many librarians from all across BC was a real highlight for me. Many of you I have spoken to through email before, but it was so nice to connect with you in person!

I partnered with Kate Sloan from the New Westminster Public Library to present on legal reference tools (thank all of you who were able to attend!). Kate and I met while both working as Client Services Librarians at Courthouse Libraries BC. We provided front-line reference to members of the legal community as well as members of the public. We learned a lot about helpful tools for patrons and were so pleased to be able to share what we learned with you.

We presented “Stocking Your Legal Reference Toolkit: Having the Legal Tools to Empower Your Patrons.” Here is a little bit about the session:

There has been a growing trend in the number of people representing themselves in court and doing their own legal research. Navigating the legal system can be frustrating for people. There is increasingly more information available, but in many different formats and through many different organizations.

There is a lot of information out there; where do you start?

Librarians can help navigate information overload and legal jargon by helping our patrons get started in a good direction using our skills and knowledge to transform their experiences with legal information.

In the spirit of this, Courthouse Libraries BC has produced the wikibook, Beginner’s Guide to Finding Legal Information specifically as a guide to beginning legal research.

If you missed our presentation or would like to take a look at what we covered, the PowerPoint Presentation and resource handout are now available on the LawMatters website!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Quick Tips for Ordering Legal Materials: Looseleafs & Release Collections

Looseleafs and Release Collections

Some legal titles are looseleaf publications and require a subscription. These titles are also known as ‘supplemented’ titles. There is a cost for each update/supplement and they need to be filed regularly to keep the title current.

Publishers on LBL that may have supplemented titles include Carswell and Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (CLE).

In the LBL list, these titles have the following note in the notes field:

Please note that this is a looseleaf subscription: updates cost extra and must be filed to keep the title current. Please contact the publisher for pricing models.

Generally, there will be information on the publishers' website either in the title information page or in your shopping cart that will indicate that the title is a subscription title.

For example, in Carswell's title information, the anticipated cost per supplement and estimated number of supplements (per year) are listed:

If you decide to order a looseleaf title keep this in mind. There are other pricing models such as Carswell’s Release Collection option (see information under “Subscriptions & Standing Orders”). Carswell does not have an option to ‘opt-out’ of looseleaf subscriptions as they do with Standing Orders, so you may need to contact them directly.

CLE, on the other hand, has the same opt-out option as they do with ordering their other subscription titles.

For more information on how Courthouse Libraries has chosen to approach these types of titles see the blog post: Courthouse Libraries Looseleafs To Receive Annual Physicals