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.

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