Friday, April 22, 2016

How to Host a Legal Topics Webinar for your Patrons: Part 2

How do these legal topics webinars actually work in practice?

To answer this question, here in part 2 of  How to Host a Legal Topics Webinar for your Patrons, Virginia Charron of the Kitimat Public Library shares her library's experiences hosting webinars and answers some of the questions from our last post!

Thanks for sharing!

How many webinars have you hosted?

The Kitimat Public Library has run three successful webinar events presented by Nidus Personal Planning and Resources Centre (Nidus provides information and education on representation agreements, advance directives and more).

How were the webinars received?

We enjoyed good attendance numbers because we advertised extensively and also because the topic was highly relevant to our community. All of the events were well received by senior audience members and we have plans to continue to hold these information sessions annually if possible.I was told by the attendees that they truly appreciated the opportunity to learn in such a friendly and easy way and without cost.

How did you promote the webinar?

We got the word out via Facebook, our Website, in the newspaper, and by distributing flyers around town.

What equipment would I need?

All you need is one laptop connected to wifi, a projector/TV and speakers, mouse and keyboard (wireless preferred because this makes it easier to sit with attendees and type their questions when required).

What did you do to prepare? 

The only prep required was to photocopy handouts (optional), to set up the room with enough chairs, to set up the computer equipment (actually ours are always ready for webinars) and to bring in some snacks.

How many staff members would I need to dedicate to this?

It is easy to coordinate and to lead.  It only requires one person to set up the room which is a snap.That person can stay for the workshop but can leave the group if required. However, it is a good idea for someone to remain in the room in case there is a question to be asked of the webinar facilitator.

If you have any more questions about webinars or have hosted a webinar at your public library and would like to share your experience, please let me know! Contact Shannon McLeod LawMatters Program Coordinator at

Monday, April 18, 2016

How to Host a Legal Topics Webinar for your Patrons: Part 1

Looking for programming on legal topics for your patrons?

Wills and estates, personal planning, and family law are just a few areas of law that members of your community may be interested in learning more about. However, it’s not always easy to find a presenter to host a session at you library. This is where hosting a webinar can be a great alternative.

Hosting a webinar may seem a little daunting at first so I wanted to create a small introduction on how to approach legal topics webinars in this 2-part blog post.

The LawMatters Program is committed to working with you to get legal information to your patrons and this year we will be exploring ways to connect you with webinar hosting opportunities!

Many of you may already be familiar with this format as LawMatters has, and will continue to, host webinars specifically for librarians to provide overviews and introductions to legal topics, new resources, and legal reference services.

Webinar presentations are hosted on the web, and can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. Presentations can also be interactive as they are presented live and participants can often provide feedback and questions. 

Bringing patrons together to view and participate in a webinar is a great way to build connections in your community and to highlight your library’s legal information collection and reference know-how! 

I'm sure you have  a few questions about hosting a webinar:

  • What equipment do I need?
  • How many staff members will I need to dedicate to this?
  • What do I need to prepare? 
  • How do I promote the webinar?

In part 2, Virginia Charron, Library Director of Kitimat Public Library will answer these questions and share her experiences hosting three successful webinars for Kitimat Library's patrons.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Law Week + Make a Will Week 2016

Law Week is an annual national event celebrating the signing of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Law Week events are held in communities throughout British Columbia in April and there are quite a few events happening in BC’s public libraries!

Burnaby Public Library, Vancouver Island Regional Libraries, and Cranbrook Public Library, to name a few, will be hosting seminars for their patrons during Law Week.

Law Week also corresponds with Make-a-Will Week this year so many of the seminars will be covering wills topics!

The purpose of Make-a-Will week is to encourage the people of BC to write their wills, or bring existing wills up to date.


Wills and Personal Planning Resource page
  • Click on Public Librarians and Community Helpers to see what resources you can use to help get your patrons started in a good direction
  • Print out For the Public and use as handouts
  • The PDF guides online are linked to all of the resources listed 
Clicklaw Wikibooks

Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry

See Map below for seminars hosted by BC Public Libraries 

Topics of the sessions are colour coordinated for quick map browsing:

Looking for More?

  • See a full list of Public Legal Information Events here 
  • Patrons have further legal questions? 
    • Dial-A-Lawyer Day April 16 10am-2pm: 
      • BC residents are invited to call in for a free 15-minute legal consultation in six areas of law.
  • MyLawBC 
    • Can help you make a simple will that reflects your wishes and fits your situation. As you work with the site it will explain the decisions you’ll need to make when writing a will and at the end of the process will provide you with a simple form to fill out to create your will. 
  • See Clicklaw Blog for more information about Law Week and Make-a-Will Week.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

BC Law Day: Live Twitter Town Hall

Chief Judge Thomas Crabtree of the Provincial Court of BC will be hosting a live Twitter Town Hall on BC Law Day, April 14, 2016 from 1-3 pm.

This is an unprecedented opportunity for the public to chat with the Chief Judge on Twitter during BC Law Week. 

Topics that will be discussed include:

How to Participate

 Follow @BCProvCourt

Tweet using the hashtag, #AskChiefJudge

You can post questions any time before April 14th if you aren't available on that date.

Don't have Twitter?

Email questions to: before April 14th.


The Chief Judge cannot comment on individual cases, and may not be able to answer all questions during the Town Hall, but efforts will be made to answer outstanding questions on the Court’s website after the event.


Monday, March 21, 2016

New Legal Information Online - March 2016

New on Clicklaw

Residential Tenancy –Calculators BC Residential Tenancy Branch, 2016

Landlords and Tenants: Online Applications for Dispute Resolution [Video] BC Residential Tenancy Branch, 2016

Tips for using Personal Planning Documents Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, 2016

Legal Rights and Resources for people living with cerebral palsy and other disabilities The Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia, 2015

Clicklaw Blog

New Information on Certificates of Divorce Clicklaw Blog, Feb 12, 2016

SOPA Program for Newcomers Clicklaw Blog Feb 25, 2016

Introducing Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) Clicklaw Blog March 8, 2016

Is that email a scam? Clicklaw Blog March 21, 2016

Blogs & Journal Articles

Who can witness a living will?  Ask JoanneNidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, January 30, 2016

Getting Charter Rights Right British Columbia Civil Liberties Association Blog, February 1, 2016

Asked & Answered: How do I apply for a Constitutional Remedy under charter section 11(b) for a traffic violation? The Stream Blog, February 12, 2016

Locating a lost will through the Law Society of British Columbia Rule of Law Blog, February 13, 2016

Dealing with Pets after Separation Part 1 (JP Boyd) LawNow March 1, 2016


Coping with Separation [Handbook] Legal Services Society, 2015


When I'm 64 - Services People’s Law School, 2015

When I'm 64 - Benefits People’s Law School, 2015

Power of Attorney People’s Law School, 2015

Being an Executor People’s Law School, 2016
Updated to January 2016. Please note that print copies of this update are currently unavailable. Electronic copies can be accessed through link.

Writing you Will People’s Law School, 2016
Updated to January 2016. Please note that print copies of this update are currently unavailable. Electronic copies can be accessed through link.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

LBL 2016: Quick Update on Law Books for Libraries List

Something a little different this year…

Previously, the recommendation list came in an excel format with 3 tabs. The 3 tabs allowed you to browse titles as they were organized by 1) Size of Library 2) Title list 3) Subject. This year, the titles have now all been consolidated into one excel list.

You can now use filters to sort the titles to customize your list! I hope that this will make using, searching, and organizing the list easier and more efficient for you. 

You can now sort your list by:

Size: When you download the list, the titles will be ordered by size (Essential, Small, Medium , Large), as they were in the original (2015) list. However, if you want, you can sort the list to display only certain sizes (for example to only display Medium and Essential titles).

Price: If you are looking within a certain price range this may be helpful, or if you just want to filter and display ‘free’ titles you can do that too.

Subject Heading: A primary subject heading is given and in some cases a secondary subject heading where a title either covers two subjects or a specific aspect of a subject.

Notes: I have added notes for only some titles. On your list you can add your own notes as you go!

Finally, you can also sort by publication date and author.

If you are only interested in updated (highlighted in green) or new (highlighted in purple) titles, you can filter by colour!

What about the Free Titles List?

The Free Titles List will not be produced as it duplicates information on the LBL 2016 list.
LBL 2016 has the option of sorting by free titles and by publishers. If the publication is available in a language other than English, you can check the “Other Languages” heading.  Please note that some of these free titles are available in more languages when viewed online. This list only reflects the print availability. 

As always, I welcome any feedback, let me know how you find the new list.

Happy Collecting!

Monday, March 7, 2016

LawMatters Grants Overview

It’s that time of year again! Many of you will already be familiar with this, but for any newcomers to the LawMatters program (welcome!) or returning participants (welcome back!), I thought it might be worthwhile to provide an overview of the grants process.

A Grant Agreement Letter is emailed to the chief librarians/directors of all the participating libraries in BC along with the following:

Selection Guidelines
Law Books for Libraries (LBL) for 2016

All documents except for the Grant Agreement Letter are available online to view/download at Lawmatters website.

The Process:

1) Agreement Letter
  • Sign & Send us a copy
  • Keep a copy for your records
2) Receive your grant
  • We send you a cheque for the amount specified in your agreement letter
3) Collect & Consult
  • Use LBL 2016 as your guide to purchasing materials with the grant
  • See something not on the list? Check our Guidelines and contact the Program Coordinator before purchasing
4) Report
  • Let us know how you spent your grant
  • Send us a report in by September 5 with the titles you purchased and for which of your locations (if applicable)
Please let me know if you prefer to have a print copy of the Grant Agreement Letter sent to you by mail. Send me an email or give me a call 604-660-9204 if you have further questions.