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!

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