Friday, June 19, 2009

Media reports: LawMatters on CBC Radio and other stories about legal information

* On April 22nd, the day of the LawMatters public launch, Courthouse Libraries BC Executive Director Johanne Blenkin was interviewed by Mark Forsythe on the Almanac program of CBC radio. Mark commented on the picture of the Radium Hot Springs legal collection on the LawMatters blog: "There it is, all on one shelf and easy to access." Johanne mentioned that many people in small towns may prefer to find legal information themselves and not have to ask for help, since confidentiality could be an issue. Johanne also stressed that the LawMatters resources in public libraries are intended to help people solve legal problems before they become serious, as well as assist people who must make a formal legal claim. She emphasized that people still need lawyers for legal advice, but having good legal information is a powerful tool when dealing with the legal system.

* Playing Jeopardy in Prince George reports on a workshop presented at a library conference June 8. Presenters were Drew Jackson of the new Clicklaw website, and Janet Freeman of the LawMatters project. We devised legal questions with answers from both Clicklaw and LawMatters resources, and even managed to stump the audience occasionally! See the blog posting for pictures of the game show format.
Another blog post titled Early word of mouth about Clicklaw includes a piece on Vancouver Public Library's Guy Cribdon, who was also interviewed on CBC radio. Guy did a great job explaining how the Clicklaw site will help the public looking for legal information.

* [Alberta's] Legal Resource Centre a boon to all; Non-profit groups find information invaluable
Edmonton Journal, June 17, 2009

* Job hunters turn to the library News from globeandmail.com, June 8, 2009. [LawMatters recommended list of Law Books for Libraries includes 15 titles on employment law]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Legal Information Online Update

* JP Boyd's Family Law Resource Blog 17 May 2009: Why you DON'T want a cohabitation agreement

* New on the Family Law in BC website of Legal Services Society, June 2009:
- One new frequently asked question: How much are the court fees for a divorce?
- One revised self-help guide: How to fill out a Supreme Court Financial Statement (Form 89)

* The Homeless Hub is a national site where community services providers, researchers, government representatives, and the general public can access and share research, stories, and best practices. Launched in 2007.

* Clicklaw and Beyond: Public Legal Education and Information Materials in BC This report examines public legal education and information resources available in BC in order to identify and analyze gaps and overlaps. Courthouse Libraries BC [70 pp PDF] 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First LawMatters Community Forum on Legal Information Hosted by Chilliwack Public Library

LawMatters project staff met with representatives from community groups at Chilliwack Public Library May 27 for the pilot event of the next phase of the LawMatters at your local public library project. The purpose of the forums is to bring together public libraries and community groups that provide legal information. We discovered that many of the forum participants had not met each other before, and were very appreciative of the opportunity to learn about each other's programs, and discuss gaps in services. Participants commented on public library legal resources they had never seen, as well as services they did not know existed. The forum included participants from transition houses, police and specialized victim services, Community Response Networks [for vulnerable seniors], Family Justice Services, Native Courtworkers, immigrant services, adult literacy, public library, and legal aid services.

We plan to hold legal information forums around the province; if you would like a forum in your community, please contact jfreeman@courthouselibrary.ca .