Monday, November 3, 2014

I’m Mad! Can we talk? Mediate BC Events in Public Libraries


Mediate BC Executive Director Kari Boyle at VPL Central
Continuing on our theme of partnering with other community groups, the LawMatters program collaborated with Mediate BC for its province-wide Conflict Resolution Week October 11 - 18. Public libraries in seven communities around the province signed up to host a public event about mediation, including Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, North Vancouver City, White Rock, Ladysmith and North Vancouver District. Other events may still take place after the week in various communities.

The launch for the week was held at Vancouver Public Library's Central Branch, where Executive Director Kari Boyle demonstrated how mediation is effective, affordable and timely. Her slides are available here, and include a slide showing a useful cost comparison, see below.                                            
Attendance numbers for the events were not high, but organizers gathered some valuable learnings, such as:
  • Ladysmith Library was able to draw the largest audience, with 12 members of the public attending their event. Library Manager Stephen Warren commented that "The response was very good and we would welcome the chance to host again in the future. We prepared a press release for the local paper to announce the event – I think this had the biggest impact as most attendees were not regular library users." 
  • The mediator presenter in Ladysmith also posted the event to a number of publications, which likely helped to drive attendance.  
  • Public libraries need lots of advance notice to host events; some explained that 2 - 3 months or more is preferable. 
  • Even with a small attendance, considering this is the first year this initiative was launched, the mediator presenters felt the sessions were very worthwhile to do.
Mediate BC hopes to repeat the Conflict Resolution Week again next year, and plan to incorporate what they have learned, including a sample promotional piece all libraries can use.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Public Libraries and Nidus Personal Planning Events


Nidus event at VPL Central Library - photo courtesy of Nidus
                                                   
In September, the LawMatters program tried something new: we partnered with the community group Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry to celebrate their Personal Planning Month.

We asked public libraries to host some Nidus events, and 9 libraries signed up for a series of 15 public events, including presentations and webinars for the public. Over 400 people attended the events that explained Representation Agreements and other planning tools.

The launch of the series was held at Vancouver Public Library and attracted over 250 people. A panel of speakers included an innovative example of using audience participation to get the message across. Watch the video of “Gonna Get a Rep Agreement” sung to “Sentimental Journey” – it was a crowd hit!


Capacity crowds also attended presentations by Nidus staff at the Burnaby, West Vancouver and Richmond Public Libraries. 

Libraries throughout the province were able to host several Nidus webinars for the public. The webinars brought crowds as large as 50 people to libraries in New Westminster, Kitimat, Victoria, Greenwood, North Vancouver District and Whistler. Nidus presenter Joanne Taylor encouraged questions from the audience through virtual chat. 

Comments from webinar host librarians included:

“Feedback from the audience overall was very positive, and several people said that Joanne's presentation was easy to follow given how complex the subject was. I especially appreciated Joanne showing her face briefly to say "hello" and put a face to the voice.”

“We had 50 people attend our webinar. I didn’t have any technological glitches reported to me, which is good! I think there was a fair bit of community interest in this webinar, so I’m glad we were able to host. There was a lot of interest in the next webinar about Representation Agreements.”

“Audience response - all were appreciative. One Credit Union employee attended and said she had never heard of Nidus, and that the info would be useful to her at work--I'm guessing maybe they get requests to access accounts by family or friends of people with dementia and now can direct them to Nidus to get a representation agreement.”

Librarians also collected some feedback from patrons:


"This was an extremely useful program. I was unaware of Representation Agreements and signed up for the workshop because I am thinking of updating my will. This workshop provided invaluable information on a topic everyone should be aware of. As a person now retired and feeling the pinch of a lower income, to be able to access this legal information at no charge was most helpful.”

“I appreciated being given information from a legitimate source in an environment I trusted. No selling or unwanted advice given! I would be interested in attending similar events."


"I found the discussion session very useful. It was much better than watching a webinar on my own."

Nidus offers a regular monthly series of free webinars, and any library can register for future events for the public on the presentation page.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Legal Information Online August 2014


New on Clicklaw Blog

Do It Yourself Separation Guide Now Available

Supreme Court Family Law Forms: New Fillable Forms from the Legal Services Society

Social Security Tribunal for CPP Disability



New or Updated Resources on Clicklaw

The Legal landscape: A Scan of Public Legal Education and Information materials for Non-Profits People's Law School and Artists’ Legal Outreach, 2013

Social Assistance on Reserve in BC Legal Services Society, 2014

Your rights on reserve; A legal tool-kit for Aboriginal Women in BC Atira Women's Resource Society, 2014

Other new web resources:

BC Hear the Child Society (in family justice decision-making) [website]

Canada's Law on Spam and Other Electronic Threats [website] Industry Canada

Collaborative Divorce Vancouver [website]

Métis Law in Canada  Jean Teillet, Pape, Salter & Teillet [PDF 331 pp] 2013

Settlement Smarts For Self-­‐Represented Litigants; How To Use Settlement Processes Knowledgeably and Effectively Dr Julie Macfarlane, National Self-Represented Litigants Project [PDF 22 pp] July 2014

Blogs and articles

Child Abduction and AMBER Alerts JP Boyd on Family Law Blog, July 2014

Copyright Flowchart: Can I Use It? Yes? No? If This… Then… Langwitches Blog June 2014

Does a notice of civil claim or a petition ever expire? Courthouse Libraries BC Asked & Answered January 2014

Human Rights of Transgender Persons Linda McKay-Panos, LawNow, July2014

Is gun ownership a legal right in Canada? Terry Pedwell, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), July 31, 2014 

Nidus (personal planning) and My Voice (Advance Care Planning) (How Do They Differ?) Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, Ask Joanne, July 2014

Online Government Information: Access Kristina Oldenburg, BC Library Association Browser, Volume 6, no. 3 (2014)

Would you recommend a Will kit? Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, Ask Joanne, May 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

LawMatters Events in Nelson

Two LawMatters events were held in Nelson recently: a Community Legal Information Forum, and a Clicklaw workshop for the Nelson Public Library staff.

The community forum was small, but provided excellent discussion of legal information services in Nelson and highlighted the legal collection at the library. Participants included representatives from Nelson Restorative Justice, the MLA Constituency Office, Nelson and Rossland Courthouse Libraries, Nelson Public Library and the Nelson Advocacy Centre. The forum ended with a tour of Nelson’s beautiful courthouse and library.

Pictured below are the tour group: Curtis Bendig, constituency assistant for Michelle Mungall, MLA, Lynn Amann from Nelson and Rossland Courthouse Libraries, Janet Freeman, LawMatters Coordinator, Anne DeGrace, Adult Services Coordinator Nelson Library and Becky Quirk, The Advocacy Centre. Photo thanks to June Stockdale of Nelson Public Library.



On the following day, a Clicklaw workshop was presented to the Nelson library staff:


Monday, May 5, 2014

New Wikibook for BC Public Libraries: Learning About the Law (Expanded Edition, 2014)

                     

                                       
Thanks to People's Law School, a new printed Clicklaw Wikibook has been distributed to all public libraries in BC. Learning About the Law (Expanded Edition, 2014) is a compendium of the following wikibook titles designed for newcomers and ESL classes:

Learning About the Law (Expanded Edition, 2014) is an experiment in combining a number of Clicklaw Wikibooks and is not yet available as one title online, although we hope it will be soon.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Legal Information Online February 2014


New on Clicklaw:


Court rules, forms and self-help guides to court procedures   Clicklaw flow chart, 2014

Fee Mediation Program  Law Society of BC [web page] 2012

HIV and Occupational Exposure: A Guidefor First Responders and their Families  BC Civil Liberties Association [24 pp PDF]

How can you become a guardian?  Legal Services Society [fact sheet] 2013



Incorporating a Society in British Columbia  BC Registry Services, undated

Making an agreement when you live together  Legal Services Society [web page] 2013

Separation Agreements: Your Right to Fairness West Coast LEAF and Legal Services Society [20 pp PDF] 2013


What's the difference between civil, family and criminal law?  Clicklaw common question, 2014

Other new web resources:

Be a Savvy Senior Canadian Centre for Elder Law (English and French fact sheets) January 2014
Presumption of Guilt? The Disclosure of Non-Conviction Records in Police Background Checks Canadian Civil Liberties Association [PDF 52 pp] 2012

Marriage Contract Toolkit Canadian Council of Muslim Women [46 pp PDF] 2010

Recommended consent letter for children travelling abroad  Government of Canada [web page] 2014

Blog posts and journal articles

Corporal Punishment and Domestic Violence:The Case for “Anti-Spanking” Legislation LawNow, January 6, 2014

Court Forms – you have questions, we have answers!  Clicklaw Blog, January 27, 2014

Domestic Violence, Renting and the Law  LawNow, January 6, 2014


Why There is No Place for Presumptions of Shared Parenting in Family Law: A Polemic for the Holiday Season  JP Boyd on Family Law, December 20, 2013


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Legal Information Forum in Victoria Hosts 14 Community Groups

"The future of libraries rest not in their collections, but in their engagement with the communities they serve."        - David Lankes, Community as Collection, November 29, 2013

On November 7th, 2013, Scott Munro of the Greater Victoria Public Library hosted a LawMatters legal information forum at the GVPL Juan de Fuca Branch. A lively group of 18 people representing a range of community groups met to discuss their services and concerns with the provision of legal information. Attending the meeting were representatives from Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Victoria Police Victim Services, Together Against Poverty, BC Families in Transition, Communica (South Island Dispute Resolutions), Restorative Justice Victoria, Action Committee of People with Disabilities, Victoria Disability Resource Centre, Legal Services Society - Legal Aid Lawyer (Local Agent), Ready to Rent BC, Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, Greater Victoria Public Library, Law Courts - Court Registry, and Courthouse Libraries BC (Victoria Regional Library).

Many participants commented that the event was a good opportunity to connect with other groups providing legal information, and update each other on current programs. Some of the comments from the evaluation forms included these recommendations:

  • Join the Coalition for Public Legal Services.
  • More organized networking between/among groups.
  • Keep up written communication to all levels of government to provide greater access to justice.
  • Do these workshops more frequently and do follow-up.

Victoria is the eighth library in the province to host a community legal information forum. Libraries interested in hosting a forum in their community can view the Planning Guide and contact Janet at jfreeman@courthouselibrary.ca for more information.