Thursday, December 22, 2016

LawMatters Year in Review

As 2016 comes to an end, I want to thank everyone for a wonderful year – This was my first year as your LawMatters Coordinator and it has been a pleasure working with you!

Here is an overview of some of the things LawMatters worked on this year:

Grants & Collections

Grants are distributed annually to help purchase legal information and reference materials.

This year, LawMatters distributed grants to 67 library systems in British Columbia!

The Law Books for Libraries list was re-organized to help you quickly navigate recommended legal titles for purchase based on subject, size, publisher, and more! In the New Year, I will continue to work on improving this selection tool based on your suggestions and feedback!

Workshops & Training

LawMatters offers training sessions to public librarians to improve their confidence helping the public with legal information questions. 

BC Library Conference 2016 - Stocking you Legal Reference Toolkit

This year I presented at the BC Library Conference with Kate Sloan from New Westminster Public Library.We presented on legal information resources or ‘tools’ you can add to your reference ‘toolkit.’

It was a great conference, I really enjoyed meeting so many of you!

Introduction to Legal Reference and Resources - Workshops

Sunset in Powell River
One of the things I love about the LawMatters program is being able to bring legal information training directly to you! It was great meeting so many passionate and engaged librarians around the province! This year I provided training sessions at:

  • Vancouver Public Library
  • Sechelt Public Library & Gibsons District Public Library
  • Powell River Public Library
  • The Northwest Library Federation Conference at Terrace Public Library 

If your library is interested in an in-person training session, please let me know!

Create, Connect, Communicate Conference 2016 – Public Legal Education and the Access to Justice Movement

A rainy Toronto afternoon

I learned a lot about access to justice initiatives from around the country attending this conference in Toronto. I also had the opportunity to present on one of Courthouse Library BC’s programs: Clicklaw Wikibooks!*

*Clicklaw Wikibooks are collaboratively developed, plain language legal publications that are published and kept up-to-date on a wiki. More than 50 legal professionals contribute to the Clicklaw Wikibooks collection.

Clicklaw Webinar - Introduction to Legal Information & Help Online - Clicklaw Refresher

LawMatters and Clicklaw put together a webinar for you! Looking for a refresher on using Clicklaw? Recording is available here.


Here are some of the organizations we worked with this year:

Civil Resolution Tribunal

The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is Canada’s first online tribunal for resolving strata and small claims disputes. This year, the CRT launched its Strata Dispute Solution Explorer and began accepting strata property disputes for intake. We put on a couple of webinar presentations with CRT Chair Shannon Salter. See the recordings here and here.

Legal Services Society (LSS)

LSS has many great (and free!) legal information publications. LawMatters teamed up with LSS to help get you started with legal info ‘freebies.’ For libraries interested in starting a legal information display (or those of you who wanted to refresh your displays) we offered a Starter Legal Display Kit.

Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry

Nidus presented a series of webinars and public libraries across BC were invited to host personal planning webinars for their patrons.

Nidus also presented a webinar specifically for public librarians and intermediaries. See a recording of the webinar here.


This year, we began an evaluation of the LawMatters program to see how we can best support public libraries and librarians in BC to provide their communities with up-to-date, reliable public legal information. So far, we have conducted a survey and several interviews. We plan to finish the evaluation early 2017.

I want to thank everyone who has participated so far - your feedback and ideas are important in shaping the future of the LawMatters program!

See you in 2017!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Starter Legal Display Kits Arriving Now!

Those of you who ordered legal information pamphlets through Legal Services Society to start your legal displays should be seeing your orders arriving now!

Thank you all for your enthusiasm! I hope that this information will be valuable for you and your patrons. You can order any of the publications for free at any time through Crown Publications.

Okanagan Regional Library's bundles of legal info

Unfortunately, some publications may have been out of stock when ordered - many of them are either being reprinted or redeveloped. These include:

  • Live Safe End Abuse series
    •  The Criminal Court Process (Eng)
    • Parenting (Eng)
    • Safety Planning (Eng)
    • What is Abuse? (Eng)
    • Women Abused By Their Partners (Eng)
  • Living Together or Living Apart (Eng)
  • Need Help with Your Refugee Claim (Eng/Spa)
  • Separation Agreements (Eng)
  • Aboriginal Child Protection wallet card (Eng)

Please contact Patricia Lim at if you have any questions about your order or questions about when publications will become available.

Okanagan Regional Library packing up publications to send out to their branches! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

LawMatters Evaluation Update - Survey Winners!

As many of you may know, CLBC is evaluating the LawMatters program  to see how we can best support public libraries and librarians in BC to provide their communities with up-to-date, reliable public legal information.

The first part of the evaluation process was a survey. I want to thank everyone who participated, it is fantastic to hear all of your ideas and it will really help shape the direction of the program!

We hope to have a report available early 2017.

In the meantime, the survey did have an incentive... there was a draw for 5 $50 gift cards to Chapters/Indigo.

Without further ado, the winners are:
  • Debby from Fraser Valley Regional Library 
  • Sherry from Granisle Public Library
  • James from Okanagan Regional Library
  • Sam from Okanagan Regional Library
  • Jane from Radium Public Library
The second phase of the LawMatters evaluation is an interview - if you are one of my LawMatters contacts and want your voice heard, email me ( and I can set you up for an interview! Thank you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Legal Information Display – Q&A with Sechelt Public Library

For today’s blog post, I did a Q & A with Lorinda at Sechelt Public library. Lorinda is the main LawMatters contact as Sechelt Public Library and has been putting up a legal information display for years! She shares her experiences with us here – Thanks Lorinda!

How long have you had your legal info freebie display?

Pretty much from the start of the LawMatters project. The list "Law Books for Libraries" has always been a big help with this.

How do you order your free materials?

Once again - the "Law Books for Libraries" list is a great resource.

All the sources for freebies are listed.  I've created an account with the Queen's Printer and it's quick and easy.

Is it easy to keep up?

Pretty much.  It is amazing how fast some of the titles disappear - in particular anything to do with wills and estates.  I have to keep a close eye that we are not running out.

What about space concerns?

We have set aside dedicated display space for our legal pamphlets.  We find that a 4 or 5 foot slat wall display unit, in addition to a couple of spinning display holders is plenty.

What are your frustrations with free materials?

The main frustration is over time I have noticed fewer and fewer titles available in print format.  Print is important to our patrons for a number of reasons.  First of all, there are many seniors in
Sechelt, and many of them are not comfortable with online technology.

Secondly, many people are unaware these legal resources exist - and an eye catching display is the best way to get the word out.  A poster giving a website just doesn't have the same impact.

What is the reception? (How do your patrons like the freebies?)

We have had a great deal of positive response - proven by the large numbers of pamphlets that go out the door each week.

What titles/subjects do you see the most use out of?

For our demographics here in Sechelt it is mainly wills and estates and services related to seniors.

What benefits have you seen from putting on a legal display?

The pamphlets serve as an excellent segue from general information, to
more detailed and specific information.  

The pamphlets give an overview of the topic, a glossary of legal terminology, and then ideas about where to go for more information.  Library staff can then assist with either tracking down more in-depth print resources, or helping the patron access appropriate online resources.

Picture by Lorinda

If you have any questions about ordering free legal information materials or about the Law Books for Libraries List, please contact me at

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Personal Planning Month is here! Events at Public Libraries

This November, Nidus Personal Planning and Resource Registry will be presenting the following webinars:
  • The Essentials of a Basic Plan for Your Future
  • End-of-Life: at home? In hospital? In a care facility?
  • Adult Guardianship - What does it mean in 2016?
  • Expressing Wishes - That Don't Backfire!

Public libraries across BC are participating by hosting personal planning webinars for their patrons - some are hosting multiple presentations!

So far, there are 21 webinar presentations scheduled at libraries! Check out the map below for more details.

Click this icon on the map to see the full list of locations and webinars.

Nidus will also be updating their scheduled presentations for Personal Planning Month here.

Curious about the difference between Personal Planning and Estate Planning? See this common question on Clicklaw

If your library would like to host a live-stream of one of Nidus's information webinars, please send me an email at

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Get Ready for Personal Planning Month!

LawMatters is once again partnering with Nidus Personal Planning and Resource Registry to help promote personal planning information sessions at public libraries! LawMatters has previously worked with Nidus and public libraries with great success!

This November, Nidus will be presenting the following webinars:
  • The Essentials of a Basic Plan for Your Future
  • End-of-Life: at home? In hospital? In a care facility?
  • Adult Guardianship - What does it mean in 2016?
  • Expressing Wishes - That Don't Backfire!

Public libraries are invited to host these webinars for their patrons!
The following libraries will be offering live viewings of several webinars:

In person sessions will be held at Vancouver Public Library (Firehall Branch) and Burnaby Public Library (Bob Prittie Metrotown Branch)!

For more information on each of the webinar sessions as well as locations for viewing - please see the following posters.


It's not too late to sign up! 

If your library would like to host a live-stream of one of Nidus's information webinars, please send me an email at

Monday, October 3, 2016

Get Legal Info at Your Local Library - LawMatters Overview

This post originally appeared on Clicklaw Blog September 28, 2016

By Shannon McLeod
LawMatters Program Coordinator

October is only a few days away, and it is Canadian Library Month, an excellent opportunity to recognize the role public libraries play in providing legal information to their communities.

Since 2007, Courthouse Libraries BC has been proud to partner with BC’s public libraries through the LawMatters program. Supported by the Law Foundation of British Columbia, LawMatters is Courthouse Libraries BC's outreach program for public librarians. Through this partnership we are working to enhance public access to legal information in all communities across British Columba. The LawMatters program focuses on four main areas to help support public libraries:


Financial assistance is given to all public libraries that choose to participate through our grants program. Grants are distributed annually to help purchase legal information and reference materials.

Collection Support

We provide libraries with a core list of titles to use as a guide for selecting and ordering materials. The list is evaluated annually for currency and accuracy. We are also available to offer suggestions and work with librarians to support local collection needs. Working with Clicklaw Wikibooks, LawMatters has previously distributed print copies of Clicklaw Wikibook titles Legal Help for British Columbians, JP Boyd on Family Law, and Dial-A-Law free of charge to libraries throughout BC to support legal collections.

Skills Development

We offer training sessions to public librarians to improve their confidence helping the public with legal information questions. This includes how to use legal resources, the basics of legal research, and general legal reference skills.


Our goal is to increase access to legal information for all communities in BC and empower librarians and to provide legal information, reference, and referral. We aim to build community capacity through partnerships which we continue to explore with libraries and other organizations. We encourage and consult with public libraries to host community forums to connect with local organizations that work with the public to help them find legal information.

For more information on the growing role of public libraries and public librarians as partners in access to justice, see “LawMatters at Your Local Public Library; A History of BC’s Program for Public Legal Information and Education in Public Libraries.”

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Legal Information Online - August 2016

New on Clicklaw

What is the difference between Personal Planning and Estate Planning? - Clicklaw Common Question, June 2016

What can a landlord ask or require of me before renting? - Clicklaw Common Question, June 2016

I’m a refugee abroad. How can I get to BC (Canada)? - Clicklaw Common Question, June 2016

Protecting Children - Your Role as a Relative - BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, 2016

Disclosing Your Disability: A Legal Guide for People with Disabilities in BC - Disability Alliance BC (formerly BC Coalition of People with Disabilities) and Law Foundation of BC, 2016

Clicklaw Blog

Moving in together, “Common-Law Relationships” and Unmarried Spouses in BC - Clicklaw Blog August 10, 2016

Residential Tenancy Rights: Where to go for help? - Clicklaw Blog, August 17, 2016

Blogs & Journal Articles 

Canada’s Law on Medical Assistance in Dying – Ask Joanne, Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, June 18, 2016

Asked & Answered: What is the BC Building Code? – The Stream, Aug 5, 2016

Tenancy: Human Rights - Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Strata Property Disputes and the Civil Resolution Tribunal – Webinar Announcement

As of July 2016, most strata property disputes must be resolved using the new online Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) instead of the court.

Join us for a free* webinar on the CRT:

Civil Resolution Tribunal Intake Process 
Presented by CRT Chair Shannon Salter
September 8, 12:30-1:30pm PDT

The online Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is up and running to resolve strata (condominium) property disputes. This session will show you how to use the CRT’s online information and application systems, and answer some common questions about how to help your clients use the CRT. The webinar will be recorded and made available after the presentation to help users navigate this fantastic tool.

*This is a FREE event aimed towards public librarians, community workers and advocates.

Want to know more about the CRT?
Want to know more about the CRT? Shannon Salter provides us with a great overview:

The CRT’s goal is to improve access to justice by using technology to provide accessible and affordable dispute resolution services. As a first step, the CRT’s Solution Explorer software application provides free legal information and self-help tools. You can access the Solution Explorer here. These tools help to diagnose problems and resolve them through information, videos, and template letters that are directly relevant to the dispute.   

Accessible 24/7 from computers and smart phones, the Solution Explorer helps people resolve their disputes without having to go to court or use the CRT process.

If people cannot resolve a dispute themselves using these tools, they can begin a CRT claim from within the Solution Explorer. The CRT then issues a notice package, which the applicant serves on the other parties to the dispute. The claim goes through a facilitation phase, where a dispute resolution expert works with the parties to achieve an agreement between the parties. If this is not possible, an expert, independent tribunal member will make a binding decision after a hearing. This CRT decision is enforceable as a court order.

We hope you can join us!
Check out our previous CRT webinar for a refresher on the Solution Explorer!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Starter Legal Display Kit: Now Available to Order for a Limited Time!

This kit is a limited time offer with the purpose of promoting handouts in legal displays for public libraries. Legal handouts can offer another access point for patrons: access to print information they can take away for themselves.

LawMatters is pleased to partner with Legal Services Society (LSS) to bring you this kit. The Starter Display Kit includes a Basic Kit of handouts and any Specialized Add-ons you choose to order. All of this information, including titles, subjects, dimensions, and more, are on the order form.

Download the order form here (Word Document).
Fill out your library’s information and send your form to me at

Please note that this is for public libraries only. We hope this will be a great start or addition to your legal display.

Currently this kit includes LSS publications. You can add other publications (from People’s Law School, for example) to your Starter Display or re-stock titles from Crown Publications.

LawMatters and LSS welcome your feedback as it helps us shape future resources and services. Please let us know your thoughts and experiences!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Law Books for Libraries - LBL 2016 August Update

The August update for the Law Books for Librarians (LBL) list is now available!

You can find a link to the excel document (to download) here, or from the NEW: Librarians' Guides section on the LawMatters website.

I have included titles that have been updated since our last list (March 2016) and added a few new titles as well.

New titles include recently published items as well as titles that haven't been on the list before.There are a couple that are so new they don't have a link yet; I will update the links when they become available. I wanted to put these on your radar in the meantime!

Here are a few of the new additions to the list (images linked to publishers' websites):

  • Cause of Action: Professional Negligence, Carswell 2016
  • Oral History on Trial: Recognizing Aboriginal Narratives in Courts, UBC Press 2012
  • Digital Copyright Law, Irwin Law 2016


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

LawMatters + Clicklaw Webinar Now Available

Do you regularly help people with their legal information questions?

Brush up your legal reference skills with this great introduction (or review) to using Clicklaw to answer legal information questions.

This webinar session was presented June 28th. We reviewed how to search Clicklaw for reliable legal information specific to B.C. as well as how to use Clicklaw Wikibooks and the Clicklaw Helpmap to make better referrals.

If you were unable to attend the webinar and want to learn more about Clicklaw, we have made a recording available:

Introduction to Legal Information & Help Online - Clicklaw Refresher from Courthouse Libraries BC on Vimeo.

Please feel free to share with your colleagues!

Here are a couple of resources that summarise some of the resources we discussed:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Host a Legal Information Forum at your Library!

Host a legal information forum at your library!

A forum is a great opportunity to discuss legal services and information in your community. The purpose of a forum is to create an opportunity for local community groups to meet and share their knowledge and ideas about legal information services in your community.

Hosting a forum can help inform your referrals and encourage collaboration by connecting legal information service providers with your library and with each other.

The LawMatters Program assists libraries to host half-day community legal information forums.

The goals of a forum:

  • Enhance local community groups' knowledge of local and provincial legal information resources
  • Highlight the legal information resources at the local public library
  • Share legal information from the LawMatters program, the Clicklaw website and Courthouse Libraries BC 

How to host a community legal information forum at your library:

LawMatters staff can help you prepare and hold this event. Start by taking a look at the LawMatters Community Legal Information Forums Planning Guide which provides a step-by-step planning process, templates for invitations and agendas, and an evaluation form.

Hosting a forum can be combined with training: LawMatters may be able to provide a legal information training workshop to library staff in advance of a forum.

Interested? Have any more questions? Let me know!
Shannon McLeod at 1-800-665-2570 or 604-660-9204

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New Legal Information Online - June 2016

New on Clicklaw:

My Support Calculator - Calculate a starting point figure for child support and/or spousal support. – MySupportCalculator, 2016

Preparing for B.C.’s New Societies Act: A Guide to the Transition Process - A guide with basic information about the transition process and other matters that societies may wish to consider over the coming months - BC Registry Services, 2016

TRU Community Legal Clinic (CLC) - The Community Legal Clinic (CLC) is the first student-staffed pro bono legal clinic in the Interior of British Columbia.

Clicklaw Blog:

Take the first step: Wills and Personal Planning Clicklaw Blog, April 6, 2016

Mediation Advisors Now Available to Assist People with Civil Disputes Clicklaw Blog, May 18, 2016

Rise Women’s Legal Centre: Changing the Legal Landscape Clicklaw Blog, June 8 2016

Blogs & Journal Articles

Asked & Answered: How do I apply for a restraining order - Peace Bonds and Family Protection Orders
The Stream, April 1, 2016

Dealing with Pets after Separation, Part 2: Going to Court – (JP Boyd) Law Now, May 3, 2016
(Part 1)

MyLawBC - MyLawBC has information on separation, divorce and family orders, abuse and family violence, missed mortgage payments, and wills and personal planning - Legal Services Society, 2016

What is the status of physician assisted dying legislation? Ask Joanne, Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, June 6, 2016


Leaving Abuse, Legal Services Society, 2016

Roads to Safety: Legal Information for Older Women in BC - A plain language handbook addressing legal challenges that impact older women survivors of violence by West Coast LEAF and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law - May 2016

Nidus fact sheets:

General and Specific Authorities in an Enduring Power of Attorney (2016)

Guide to Making & Registering Your Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)  (2016)

Adult Guardianship in BC: Private Committeeship and Statutory (Public) Guardianship (2016)

Monday, June 6, 2016

MyLawBC helps resolve common legal problems

By Nate Prossner
Online Outreach Coordinator, Legal Services Society

When people have complicated problems, the library is often the first stop they make and the librarian is the first person they talk to. When those problems are legal problems, it puts librarians in a position where they are asked to help navigate the legal system. MyLawBC, a new website from the Legal Services Society, is just the tool for this situation.

MyLawBC takes a new approach to delivering legal information. The website is based around the idea of interactive guided pathways. This is a question-and-answer approach that diagnoses users’ legal problems and then gives them an action plan specific to their situation.  The action plan helps them solve their legal problems. For librarians, MyLawBC can be a great tool to help patrons.

MyLawBC covers common legal problems that people face. This includes:

issues surrounding divorce and separation;
the impacts of family violence and abuse;
what to do if you've missed a mortgage payment; and
typical end-of- life issues, such as writing a will or representation agreements.

The guided pathways serve as a quick and easy way to get patrons the information they need. Where time and resources may be an issue, a short introduction to MyLawBC can empower patrons and give them the tools they need to research independently.

These pathways can also serve as a directory. At the end of each pathway, MyLawBC gives the user, among other things, a list of resources and services that can help. If you encounter a patron with a more complicated legal problem, this can be a reliable way to connect them with experts who can help.

Finally, the website also has quick links to all of the Legal Services Society’s publications, searchable by subject or title, as well as instructions on how to order print copies for free.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Webinar Announcement: LawMatters + Clicklaw Collaboration

Brush up your legal reference skills with this great introduction (or review) to using Clicklaw to answer legal information questions.

We are pleased to announce that LawMatters and Clicklaw will be collaborating on an upcoming webinar: 

Introduction to Legal Information & Help Online presented by Audrey Jun and Shannon McLeod
June 28th 1:00-2:00pm PST*
*This a FREE event is aimed towards public librarians, community workers, and advocates.

We will be reviewing how to search Clicklaw for reliable legal information as well as how to use Clicklaw Wikibooks and the Clicklaw Helpmap.

Raise your awareness of different resources, publishers, and organizations and sign up today!

Clicklaw's Story:

Clicklaw was developed with a project grant from the Law Foundation of BC. Clicklaw was launched in 2009 with the mission to improve public access to legal information. In 2015, Clicklaw also went mobile-friendly! Clicklaw is operated by the Courthouse Libraries BC and features legal information and education resources aimed at the public. The website is used by front-line workers to help their clients find information and get referred to the right services. Clicklaw is made possible by a community of over 30 contributor organizations.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

LawMatters Presents at the 2016 BC Library Conference

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the BC Library Conference (my first time!). The sessions I was able to attend gave me a lot of food for thought and I appreciated the insights and personal experiences that the presenters shared.I really enjoyed learning about how the library community is disrupting and transforming how we work, connect, and create. Meeting so many librarians from all across BC was a real highlight for me. Many of you I have spoken to through email before, but it was so nice to connect with you in person!

I partnered with Kate Sloan from the New Westminster Public Library to present on legal reference tools (thank all of you who were able to attend!). Kate and I met while both working as Client Services Librarians at Courthouse Libraries BC. We provided front-line reference to members of the legal community as well as members of the public. We learned a lot about helpful tools for patrons and were so pleased to be able to share what we learned with you.

We presented “Stocking Your Legal Reference Toolkit: Having the Legal Tools to Empower Your Patrons.” Here is a little bit about the session:

There has been a growing trend in the number of people representing themselves in court and doing their own legal research. Navigating the legal system can be frustrating for people. There is increasingly more information available, but in many different formats and through many different organizations.

There is a lot of information out there; where do you start?

Librarians can help navigate information overload and legal jargon by helping our patrons get started in a good direction using our skills and knowledge to transform their experiences with legal information.

In the spirit of this, Courthouse Libraries BC has produced the wikibook, Beginner’s Guide to Finding Legal Information specifically as a guide to beginning legal research.

If you missed our presentation or would like to take a look at what we covered, the PowerPoint Presentation and resource handout are now available on the LawMatters website!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Quick Tips for Ordering Legal Materials: Looseleafs & Release Collections

Looseleafs and Release Collections

Some legal titles are looseleaf publications and require a subscription. These titles are also known as ‘supplemented’ titles. There is a cost for each update/supplement and they need to be filed regularly to keep the title current.

Publishers on LBL that may have supplemented titles include Carswell and Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (CLE).

In the LBL list, these titles have the following note in the notes field:

Please note that this is a looseleaf subscription: updates cost extra and must be filed to keep the title current. Please contact the publisher for pricing models.

Generally, there will be information on the publishers' website either in the title information page or in your shopping cart that will indicate that the title is a subscription title.

For example, in Carswell's title information, the anticipated cost per supplement and estimated number of supplements (per year) are listed:

If you decide to order a looseleaf title keep this in mind. There are other pricing models such as Carswell’s Release Collection option (see information under “Subscriptions & Standing Orders”). Carswell does not have an option to ‘opt-out’ of looseleaf subscriptions as they do with Standing Orders, so you may need to contact them directly.

CLE, on the other hand, has the same opt-out option as they do with ordering their other subscription titles.

For more information on how Courthouse Libraries has chosen to approach these types of titles see the blog post: Courthouse Libraries Looseleafs To Receive Annual Physicals

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Quick Tips for Ordering Legal Materials: Standing Orders

Standing Orders & Subscriptions

When browsing through titles on a publisher's website, you may notice that some say “Annual volumes supplied on standing order subscription” or “Annual Standing Order Terms Apply.” These will often appear on titles that are updated annually such as annotated acts.

If you decide to order a book that has the 'standing order' note, it will automatically be put on standing order unless you specify otherwise. If you do not want to automatically purchase the title on an annual basis, take note of any options to ‘opt out.’

For example, if ordering from the publisher Carswell (includes Canada Law Book), when you finalize your order, you will have an option to de-select the “Standing Order.”

Continuing Legal Education BC (CLE), which produces many regularly updated titles, also has the option to opt out of updates when checking out:

There are a few other titles on the LBL list by other publishers such as LexisNexis, which may also have automatic standing orders applied to titles. If you have any questions about this please contact me at

Monday, May 2, 2016

Quick Tips for Ordering Legal Materials: Crown Publications

Today's post will be the start of a mini-series of posts focusing on the process of purchasing legal materials. I hope that this information will come in handy as you look through the Law Books for Libraries (LBL) list and begin ordering for your collections!

Ordering Free Legal Materials Through Crown Publications

There are many free titles in the LBL list and most of these will be available to order from Crown Publications (links are also provided in the list). I thought I’d provide a quick walk-through of Crown Publications for those of you who may be new to ordering from this site.

  • Login with your Customer ID* and Postal Code
  • Option 1: Search for a specific title in the Search Box
  • Option 2: To browse, navigate to “Quick Links” 
    • Click on “BC Public Legal Education & Information.” This will allow you to browse by subject (and then search within the subject)
  • Option 3: To browse through an organizations publications, select “Other Organizations” – this will include People’s Law School and Legal Services Society, two of the the main publishers listed in LBL
    • Click on the organization to browse and search all of their publications
  • When you find the title you want, click on it to open it more information
  • This page will give you a summary and the option to add multiple copies to your Basket**
  • Some items will show up only as a link: they have a folder icon next to them – these are currently only available online
  • Go to your Basket to check out!

*If you're not sure what your Customer ID is, but have received free titles previously, contact me at
**Legal Services Society Publications must be ordered in quantities of either 1 or 25

Friday, April 22, 2016

How to Host a Legal Topics Webinar for your Patrons: Part 2

How do these legal topics webinars actually work in practice?

To answer this question, here in part 2 of  How to Host a Legal Topics Webinar for your Patrons, Virginia Charron of the Kitimat Public Library shares her library's experiences hosting webinars and answers some of the questions from our last post!

Thanks for sharing!

How many webinars have you hosted?

The Kitimat Public Library has run three successful webinar events presented by Nidus Personal Planning and Resources Centre (Nidus provides information and education on representation agreements, advance directives and more).

How were the webinars received?

We enjoyed good attendance numbers because we advertised extensively and also because the topic was highly relevant to our community. All of the events were well received by senior audience members and we have plans to continue to hold these information sessions annually if possible.I was told by the attendees that they truly appreciated the opportunity to learn in such a friendly and easy way and without cost.

How did you promote the webinar?

We got the word out via Facebook, our Website, in the newspaper, and by distributing flyers around town.

What equipment would I need?

All you need is one laptop connected to wifi, a projector/TV and speakers, mouse and keyboard (wireless preferred because this makes it easier to sit with attendees and type their questions when required).

What did you do to prepare? 

The only prep required was to photocopy handouts (optional), to set up the room with enough chairs, to set up the computer equipment (actually ours are always ready for webinars) and to bring in some snacks.

How many staff members would I need to dedicate to this?

It is easy to coordinate and to lead.  It only requires one person to set up the room which is a snap.That person can stay for the workshop but can leave the group if required. However, it is a good idea for someone to remain in the room in case there is a question to be asked of the webinar facilitator.

If you have any more questions about webinars or have hosted a webinar at your public library and would like to share your experience, please let me know! Contact Shannon McLeod LawMatters Program Coordinator at

Monday, April 18, 2016

How to Host a Legal Topics Webinar for your Patrons: Part 1

Looking for programming on legal topics for your patrons?

Wills and estates, personal planning, and family law are just a few areas of law that members of your community may be interested in learning more about. However, it’s not always easy to find a presenter to host a session at you library. This is where hosting a webinar can be a great alternative.

Hosting a webinar may seem a little daunting at first so I wanted to create a small introduction on how to approach legal topics webinars in this 2-part blog post.

The LawMatters Program is committed to working with you to get legal information to your patrons and this year we will be exploring ways to connect you with webinar hosting opportunities!

Many of you may already be familiar with this format as LawMatters has, and will continue to, host webinars specifically for librarians to provide overviews and introductions to legal topics, new resources, and legal reference services.

Webinar presentations are hosted on the web, and can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. Presentations can also be interactive as they are presented live and participants can often provide feedback and questions. 

Bringing patrons together to view and participate in a webinar is a great way to build connections in your community and to highlight your library’s legal information collection and reference know-how! 

I'm sure you have  a few questions about hosting a webinar:

  • What equipment do I need?
  • How many staff members will I need to dedicate to this?
  • What do I need to prepare? 
  • How do I promote the webinar?

In part 2, Virginia Charron, Library Director of Kitimat Public Library will answer these questions and share her experiences hosting three successful webinars for Kitimat Library's patrons.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Law Week + Make a Will Week 2016

Law Week is an annual national event celebrating the signing of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Law Week events are held in communities throughout British Columbia in April and there are quite a few events happening in BC’s public libraries!

Burnaby Public Library, Vancouver Island Regional Libraries, and Cranbrook Public Library, to name a few, will be hosting seminars for their patrons during Law Week.

Law Week also corresponds with Make-a-Will Week this year so many of the seminars will be covering wills topics!

The purpose of Make-a-Will week is to encourage the people of BC to write their wills, or bring existing wills up to date.


Wills and Personal Planning Resource page
  • Click on Public Librarians and Community Helpers to see what resources you can use to help get your patrons started in a good direction
  • Print out For the Public and use as handouts
  • The PDF guides online are linked to all of the resources listed 
Clicklaw Wikibooks

Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry

See Map below for seminars hosted by BC Public Libraries 

Topics of the sessions are colour coordinated for quick map browsing:

Looking for More?

  • See a full list of Public Legal Information Events here 
  • Patrons have further legal questions? 
    • Dial-A-Lawyer Day April 16 10am-2pm: 
      • BC residents are invited to call in for a free 15-minute legal consultation in six areas of law.
  • MyLawBC 
    • Can help you make a simple will that reflects your wishes and fits your situation. As you work with the site it will explain the decisions you’ll need to make when writing a will and at the end of the process will provide you with a simple form to fill out to create your will. 
  • See Clicklaw Blog for more information about Law Week and Make-a-Will Week.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

BC Law Day: Live Twitter Town Hall

Chief Judge Thomas Crabtree of the Provincial Court of BC will be hosting a live Twitter Town Hall on BC Law Day, April 14, 2016 from 1-3 pm.

This is an unprecedented opportunity for the public to chat with the Chief Judge on Twitter during BC Law Week. 

Topics that will be discussed include:

How to Participate

 Follow @BCProvCourt

Tweet using the hashtag, #AskChiefJudge

You can post questions any time before April 14th if you aren't available on that date.

Don't have Twitter?

Email questions to: before April 14th.


The Chief Judge cannot comment on individual cases, and may not be able to answer all questions during the Town Hall, but efforts will be made to answer outstanding questions on the Court’s website after the event.


Monday, March 21, 2016

New Legal Information Online - March 2016

New on Clicklaw

Residential Tenancy –Calculators BC Residential Tenancy Branch, 2016

Landlords and Tenants: Online Applications for Dispute Resolution [Video] BC Residential Tenancy Branch, 2016

Tips for using Personal Planning Documents Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, 2016

Legal Rights and Resources for people living with cerebral palsy and other disabilities The Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia, 2015

Clicklaw Blog

New Information on Certificates of Divorce Clicklaw Blog, Feb 12, 2016

SOPA Program for Newcomers Clicklaw Blog Feb 25, 2016

Introducing Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) Clicklaw Blog March 8, 2016

Is that email a scam? Clicklaw Blog March 21, 2016

Blogs & Journal Articles

Who can witness a living will?  Ask JoanneNidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, January 30, 2016

Getting Charter Rights Right British Columbia Civil Liberties Association Blog, February 1, 2016

Asked & Answered: How do I apply for a Constitutional Remedy under charter section 11(b) for a traffic violation? The Stream Blog, February 12, 2016

Locating a lost will through the Law Society of British Columbia Rule of Law Blog, February 13, 2016

Dealing with Pets after Separation Part 1 (JP Boyd) LawNow March 1, 2016


Coping with Separation [Handbook] Legal Services Society, 2015


When I'm 64 - Services People’s Law School, 2015

When I'm 64 - Benefits People’s Law School, 2015

Power of Attorney People’s Law School, 2015

Being an Executor People’s Law School, 2016
Updated to January 2016. Please note that print copies of this update are currently unavailable. Electronic copies can be accessed through link.

Writing you Will People’s Law School, 2016
Updated to January 2016. Please note that print copies of this update are currently unavailable. Electronic copies can be accessed through link.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

LBL 2016: Quick Update on Law Books for Libraries List

Something a little different this year…

Previously, the recommendation list came in an excel format with 3 tabs. The 3 tabs allowed you to browse titles as they were organized by 1) Size of Library 2) Title list 3) Subject. This year, the titles have now all been consolidated into one excel list.

You can now use filters to sort the titles to customize your list! I hope that this will make using, searching, and organizing the list easier and more efficient for you. 

You can now sort your list by:

Size: When you download the list, the titles will be ordered by size (Essential, Small, Medium , Large), as they were in the original (2015) list. However, if you want, you can sort the list to display only certain sizes (for example to only display Medium and Essential titles).

Price: If you are looking within a certain price range this may be helpful, or if you just want to filter and display ‘free’ titles you can do that too.

Subject Heading: A primary subject heading is given and in some cases a secondary subject heading where a title either covers two subjects or a specific aspect of a subject.

Notes: I have added notes for only some titles. On your list you can add your own notes as you go!

Finally, you can also sort by publication date and author.

If you are only interested in updated (highlighted in green) or new (highlighted in purple) titles, you can filter by colour!

What about the Free Titles List?

The Free Titles List will not be produced as it duplicates information on the LBL 2016 list.
LBL 2016 has the option of sorting by free titles and by publishers. If the publication is available in a language other than English, you can check the “Other Languages” heading.  Please note that some of these free titles are available in more languages when viewed online. This list only reflects the print availability. 

As always, I welcome any feedback, let me know how you find the new list.

Happy Collecting!

Monday, March 7, 2016

LawMatters Grants Overview

It’s that time of year again! Many of you will already be familiar with this, but for any newcomers to the LawMatters program (welcome!) or returning participants (welcome back!), I thought it might be worthwhile to provide an overview of the grants process.

A Grant Agreement Letter is emailed to the chief librarians/directors of all the participating libraries in BC along with the following:

Selection Guidelines
Law Books for Libraries (LBL) for 2016

All documents except for the Grant Agreement Letter are available online to view/download at Lawmatters website.

The Process:

1) Agreement Letter
  • Sign & Send us a copy
  • Keep a copy for your records
2) Receive your grant
  • We send you a cheque for the amount specified in your agreement letter
3) Collect & Consult
  • Use LBL 2016 as your guide to purchasing materials with the grant
  • See something not on the list? Check our Guidelines and contact the Program Coordinator before purchasing
4) Report
  • Let us know how you spent your grant
  • Send us a report in by September 5 with the titles you purchased and for which of your locations (if applicable)
Please let me know if you prefer to have a print copy of the Grant Agreement Letter sent to you by mail. Send me an email or give me a call 604-660-9204 if you have further questions.

Monday, February 22, 2016

New Strata Information Resource - Webinar Announcement

Do you ever get asked questions about strata problems? Wondering what resources are available for patrons involved in a strata dispute or looking for strata information?

LawMatters and Clickaw are pleased to be offering the upcoming webinar:

Introducing the Civil Resolution Tribunal: Strata Dispute Solution Explorer presented by CRT Chair Shannon Salter
March 22nd 1:00pm-2:000m PST*

*This is a FREE event aimed towards public librarians, community workers and advocates.

So what is the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) and what does it have to do with strata disputes?

In this 1 hour webinar, Shannon will explain what the CRT is, the extent of its jurisdiction, and how the Solution Explorer fits into the dispute resolution process. If you help members of the public in your work, you are invited to come and learn about this new model for civil justice, designed to increase access to justice.

The new online Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) opens this year. The first stage is the launch of the Strata Dispute branch of the “Solution Explorer”.

The Solution Explorer will be the first phase of the dispute resolution process where users are guided to useful information, problem diagnosis and self-help.  Self-help can include tools like templates, calculators or checklists that will help prepare users to take steps toward resolution in their strata issue.

We hope you can join us! Register today!

For further information and updates, see What's New at the CRT or check out Clicklaw Blog's ongoing series on Online Dispute Resolution.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Legal Information Online - January 2016

New on Clicklaw: 

Introducing Kinbrace – Refugee Housing and Support Clicklaw Blog, December 1, 2015

Allard School of Law Launches Business Law Clinic Clicklaw Blog, January 12, 2016

Introducing the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic Clicklaw Blog, January 6, 2016

Refugee Readiness Hub Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia, 2016

How to apply for a family law protection order Legal Services Society, 2015

The New Societies Act BC Registry Services, 2015

New Societies Act: Impact on Pre-existing Societies BC Registry Services, 2016

Challenging A Decision About Your Employment Insurance Claim: Reconsideration and the Social Security Tribunal Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS), 2016

Information on Protection Orders BC Ministry of Justice, 2016

Other web sources:
Criminal Court Process –A brief overview of what you need to know as a victim of a violent crime Victim Justice Network, 2015

Renting it Right: Online Course Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre and Justice Education Society 2016

“The New Litigants”: A Documentary for CBC’s The National The National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog, December 17, 2015
Blog posts and journal articles:

Asked & Answered: Can I file my Court Documents in French in BC? The Stream Blog, Courthouse Libraries BC, November 30, 2015

Asked & Answered: How do I obtain my certificate of Divorce? The Stream Blog, Courthouse Libraries BC, December 18, 2015

Dealing with Pets after Separation JP Boyd on Family Law, December 30, 2015

NSRLP’s Summary Judgment Research Report: Finding a Balance between Process Efficiency & Access to Justice The National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog, January 6, 2016

The Rise of Online Courts The National Self-Represented Litigants Project Blog, January 21, 2016