Monday, November 26, 2007

Elan: Electronic Legal Aid Newsletter for Community Workers

Legal Services Society of BC issues a bi-monthly subscription newsletter called Elan [look for it in the right hand column of their home page ]. The current issue lists articles on the following topics:
  • Threatening "demand letters" from Ontario
  • Sponsors expected to pay family members' expenses
  • Report recommends improved legal aid services for Aboriginal people
  • Featured resource: Tenant Resource and Advocacy Centre

Plus a link to an amusing public service announcement.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Legal Information Access Centre in New South Wales

I've been researching the topic of programs that help public libraries enhance their legal information collections, and have not found many ongoing programs in North America. There are several law libraries that provide bibliographies of recommended materials, such as the Minnesota Association of Law Libraries and the Utah State Law Library .

The most comprehensive program I've found is the Legal Information Access Centre in New South Wales (LIAC), which opened in 1990. Interestingly, this program was modelled after the Legal Services Society of BC Legal Resource Centre, which was cut in 2002 due to funding cutbacks. The LIAC site contains many useful ideas we might consider for the LawMatters project, such as the regular publication Hot Topics ; legal issues in plain language, and the coordinated pamphlet racks of legal information.

Monday, November 5, 2007

LawMatters Website Now Up

LawMatters now has a website and a domain: The actual URL will show the address as part of the BCCLS website Special Projects section, but both addresses will take you to the site. We have included the 3 page backgrounder to the project, as well as the Core List of Recommended Materials in Excel format. Suggestions are welcome regarding how to develop the site. Some possibilities are: highlighting of new titles and legislation; recommended weeding lists; sample legal questions and answers; templates for legal reference topic guides and training workshops.