Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Legal Information Community Forum: Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System – Kamloops

Joëlle Samson of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System Library hosted a legal information forum at the TNRD Kamloops branch in November. We had 16 representatives from a variety of community groups attend, including:

Ask Wellness Society
Canadian Mental Health Association, Kamloops
Courthouse Libraries BC, Kamloops
Elizabeth Fry Society
Family Justice Services
Kamloops Immigrant Services
Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre
MS Society Kamloops
RCMP Victim Services
Thompson Rivers University
TNRD Library

Attendees discussed services as well as challenges in providing legal information and support in the community. They also agreed it was a good opportunity to touch base with other organizations in the area and that it would be beneficial to have more opportunities to keep in contact.

Thank you Joëlle and TNRD Library for hosting it was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the organizations and resources available in the Kamloops community. Thank you everyone for attending and for sharing information about your organizations!

Libraries interested in hosting a forum in their community can view the Planning Guide and contact Shannon McLeod at for more information

Monday, December 7, 2015

LawMatters keynote address at Ontario's Libraries and Justice event

LawMatters Program Coordinator Janet Freeman spoke at an exciting event in Toronto October 29th entitled "Libraries and Justice: Innovative Access for Rural and Remote Communities.” A group of seventy-five lawyers, librarians and other legal information providers met at a day-long event to discuss how Ontario might develop partnerships to provide effective legal information and referral resources in non-urban communities.

BC's experience with both the LawMatters Program and the Legal Services Society's Public Library Program were seen as pioneering and time-tested models of delivery, and our Clicklaw Wikibooks program was also viewed as an innovative legal information publishing tool.

As you can see by the graphic representation I've included, the event brought forth a good deal of valuable discussion and ideas for further action planning.

You can view the LawMatters powerpoint presentation on the LawMatters Conference Materials page.

More details and pictures of the event are included in the blog post "Establish, enhance, engage: reflections on a libraries and justice partnerships event" by Sabreena Delhon, Manager of the Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) at the Law Society of Upper Canada,

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

History of LawMatters article published by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice

 LawMatters at Your Local Public Library; A History of BC’s Program for Public Legal Information and Education in Public Libraries has recently been published by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice in their November 2015 Newsletter. As described in their A2J Blog:
This article, written by Janet Freeman, Courthouse Libraries BC LawMatters Program Coordinator and Nancy Hannum, LawMatters Program Consultant, charts the growing role of public libraries and public librarians as partners in access to justice. It includes a timeline of recommendations for an increase in legal information materials in public libraries and more training for public librarians, that subsequently shaped the current public legal education and information service in BC's libraries. This history references the 1975 Law Commission Report, the 1974 British Columbia Justice Development Commission Report, the 1975 Legal information Services Program (LISP), the Public Library Program (PLP) and the Legal Resource Centre (LRC). Read about the success of this unique program and how British Columbia became the first jurisdiction in Canada (and possibly the English-speaking world) to develop an ongoing program to help public libraries provide legal information to the public.