Friday, July 26, 2019

Free Public Webinars for Personal Planning in October

Nidus: The Personal Planning Resource Centre is offering free public webinars in October covering the important topic of personal planning (living persons who may need representation due to illness, disability, or injury).  Personal planning is particularly relevant to seniors and people living with illness or disabilities.  

Nidus is seeking public libraries to share this opportunity by:  
1) Hosting a public viewing. Contact Nidus to schedule  
2)  Sharing this promotional poster to raise awareness either in your branch or on social media (members of the public can register to view on their own computers or device).  
  • Joint ownership – the good, the bad, and the risky  
  • Tuesday, Oct 1 | 10:30 am–12:00 pm (morning)  
  • Thursday, Oct 3 | 7:00–8:30 pm (evening)  
  • Tips for making a will & what happens if someone is not capable to make a will  
  • Tuesday, Oct 8 | 10:30 am–12:00 pm (morning)  
  • Thursday, Oct 10 | 7:00–8:30 pm (evening)  
  • The myths & realities of planning  
  • Tuesday, Oct 22 | 10:30 am–12:00 pm (morning)  
  • Thursday, Oct 24 | 7:00–8:30 pm (evening)  
  • Consent: What is the law in BC for health care? It’s time to update old ideas & old practices!  
  • Tuesday, Oct 29 | 10:30 am–12:00 pm (morning)  
  • Tuesday, Oct 29 | 7:00–8:30 pm (evening)  
Please forward this information to your colleagues or community partners!  
For more info, visit Nidus’ website or contact them directly

Thursday, May 16, 2019

2019 Starter Legal Display Kit - Order forms available now!

LawMatters is pleased to partner once again with Legal Services Society (LSS) to bring you this updated kit.

The purpose of the kit is to promote handouts in legal displays for public libraries in a way that makes it easier for busy library staff to manage. Legal handouts can offer another access point for patrons: access to print information they can take away for themselves.

The order form includes titles, subjects, dimensions, and currency dates - plus they are grouped together into a 'Basic Kit' and subject specific add-ons, making it easy to order! Multilingual options are also listed - you need only check off which ones you would like.

Basic Kit includes freebies on:
  • General Legal Aid
  • Aboriginal Law
  • Family Law
  • Family Violence
  • Benefits & Welfare
Specialized add-ons include:
  • Aboriginal Law
  • Abuse & Family Violence
  • Family Law
  • Immigration
  • Resources in languages other than English

Download the order form here, or find it under "Resources for Librarians" on the LawMatters  website.

You can send your filled out form to or and you selected materials will be sent directly to your library.

Please note that this is for public libraries only. Currently this kit includes LSS publications. You can add other publications (from People’s Law School, for example) to your Starter Display or re-stock titles from Crown Publications.

No matter your library size or budget, give a legal display a try! Thanks to Maple Ridge Public Library for sharing pics of their displays - they look great!

Feel free to get in touch with any questions you may have. LawMatters and LSS welcome your feedback as it helps us shape future resources and services. Please let us know your thoughts and experiences!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Make-A-Will Week in BC is around the corner!

Next week (April 7 to 13) is Make-a-Will Week in British Columbia. The provincial government promotes this week every year to encourage the public to write their will or bring an existing will up-to-date.
Looking for resources for patrons?
You can find a complete list of resources and services, prepared for various audiences (including public librarians) on the Courthouse Libraries BC website here:

At the Wills & Personal Planning Resources page, you could also find information about personal planning documents, such as Representation Agreements and Enduring Power of Attorney.

Printable handouts

For a quick overview, this one-pager for everyone (PDF) comes handy. The handout is also available for public librarians & community helpers (PDF), as well as for lawyers & legal professionals (PDF). Feel free to print and distribute these handouts, but please highlight the short URL that directs back to the Wills & Personal Planning Resources page:

What events are going on?

As part of BC Law WeekPeople’s Law School has made free public legal education classes available in various locations in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Many of them are about wills and personal planning. You can see the complete listings here and find one to attend.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 13. From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm that day, you can call 604.687.3221 or 1.800.663.1919 and speak with a wills & estates lawyer for FREE for up to 15 minutes. This great service for anyone in BC is made possible by the Canadian Bar Association BCas part of their annual event Dial-A-Lawyer Day. Other areas of law available for the phone call are business, employment, family, immigration, and tort & motor vehicle.
Want to share the Wills & Personal Planning Resources page? Use this short redirect URL:

Thursday, March 21, 2019

LawMatters is Growing!

The news is official! The Law Foundation of BC has most generously approved a significant increase in funding for the enhancement of the LawMatters program.

What does this mean? Increased collection grants, increased training opportunities, increased legal information resources and guides for public libraries, and more. In order to implement these enhancements and build the program, we need to grow!

Courthouse Libraries BC is hiring two Outreach Librarians - one with a legal reference focus and one with a public legal education and information focus - both of whom will be supporting the LawMatters program as part of their work. You'll find all the information needed to apply on the Courthouse Libraries BC website.The deadline for applications is March 31 - please share widely!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Fall 2018 Research Report

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.

Key Recommendations:

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!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Legal Help for 60's Scoop Survivors

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.
Please note that these services are being offered in-person in Vancouver. 
For those of you outside the lower mainland, you can direct any patrons asking for assistance with completing the forms to contact Collectiva at 1-844-287-4270 or by email at They are able to provide support over the phone. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Essay Contest for Grade 12 Students

Do you know any BC high school students who like to write and are interested in law? Pass the word about this contest!

The Law Society of BC is inviting BC secondary school students to participate in an essay contest about the Rule of Law.
The Rule of Law Essay Contest
Submission deadline is April 5, 2019
All grade 12 students in BC and any BC secondary student who is currently enrolled in, or has taken, either law 12 or civic studies 11.
How would you explain the concept of the rule of law to a new classmate who recently arrived in Canada? Please provide examples of its application to our daily lives, which may include a discussion of any current challenges or threats to the rule of law.
The winner and runner-up will receive cash prizes of $1,000 and $500, respectively, at an awards presentation at the Law Society in Vancouver.
For contest details, including submission guidelines and a downloadable flyer, go to the contest page at the Law Society of BC website.