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