Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to turn $125 into a Legal Collection

New guide with examples!

Check it out here:

How to turn $125 into a Legal Collection (Word doc),

The guide is also available off of the LawMatters website

The smallest LawMatters grant given out is $125 –The purpose of this short guide is to give you examples of how you can build a great introductory legal collection with $125!

The examples  have been selected from the Law Books for Libraries 2017 (LBL) list with small libraries in mind – price, space, and subjects have been considered.

Step 1 is to start with free information!

You can collect quite a lot of information using free materials! Most titles included in the examples in the guide are available digitally or in print!

If space is a concern for your library or you don’t have a place to display pamphlets or booklets you can:
  • Access these online
  • Link them to your catalogue or website (if that is an option for you)
  • Download the PDF versions to access them offline

Step 2 is choosing books you want to spend your grant on!

Other tools for selection:

  • Legal Collections – Getting Started: This document contains some similar information but considers collection sizes from small to large and also recommends items for ‘all library collections.’ Included are electronic resources and a broader range of subject matter.
  • Law Books for Libraries 2017: This is an Excel document that contains ALL recommended titles for public libraries. Titles on this list can be filtered and organized by subject area, library size, price, and more. It is also colour coded to alert you to updated titles and new titles added to the list.

If you have any questions, please contact LawMatters Program Coordinator Shannon McLeod at

Monday, March 27, 2017

Where are the Self-Counsel Press titles?

You may have noticed a change in the Law Books for Libraries list: a number of Self-Counsel Press (SCP) titles have been removed. Books by this publisher are often fairly popular - they have good name recognition.

The reason some SCP titles are not represented on the list is because many of them are intended to be used by a single purchaser. SCP no longer sells many of their kits to libraries – these are individually marked as such on their website as ‘not for sale to libraries.’

Please note that there are still some SPC titles on the LBL list – you should be able to order them as they do not have the library restriction marked on them.

Here is the list of titles not sold to libraries (don’t worry; I’m including some alternative resources so you can still find information on these topics!):

British Columbia Probate Kit: Everything you need to probate or administer an estate

I’m applying for probate; where can I find the forms required?
I am the executor of my mother's will and am doing the work myself
How do I know if a will has been probated?

Being an Executor (booklet)

British Columbia Do Your Own Divorce Kit


Family Law in British Columbia - Divorce & Separation
Our marriage is over; do we have to go to court?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Legal Collections 101 for Public Libraries - Recorded Webinar Now Available

A recorded version of this webinar is now available!

Webinar Summary:

Join LawMatters Coordinator Shannon McLeod and Courthouse Libraries BC librarian Megan Smiley for this one hour webinar on building your library's legal collection.

Whether you have been handling your library's legal collection for a while or you are new to collecting legal materials, tune in to learn more about:

- Using the Law Books for Libraries (LBL) list
- An overview and what you can expect from different legal publishers
- Tips for selecting legal titles

We presented this webinar on March 8th - Check it out below!

Legal Collections 101 for Public Libraries Recorded Webinar from Courthouse Libraries BC on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Getting Started with your Legal Collection – New Guide!

This year I’ve created a new document to help get you started with your legal collection.

Whether you are new to your role in collections, new to the LawMatters program, or are looking for a little more guidance making selections, I hope you will find this guide helpful! 

You have given me some great feedback about the collection support that LawMatters offers and one of the things I heard was that many of you would like a way to help prioritize purchases – a clearer way to figure out the best starting points for your legal collection.

The main selection tool provided by LawMatters is the Law Books for Libraries list. This list has been organized with filters to help you make selections by subject, library collection size, and more.

I recognize that this excel document can be a little overwhelming with over 230 titles currently listed! This new guide will provide information more “at-a-glance!” It is organized by subject and provides titles recommended for different size collections. All titles are also linked to the publishers’ pages.

This is a Word document so check out the headings in the Navigation Pane to quickly jump to the subject you want to explore.

Download the document here or check out the LawMatters website.

Take a look and let me know what you think!

Example from the Guide

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Grant Offers & New Law Books for Libraries List

It’s that time of year again! This week, LawMatters will be sending out grant offers to public libraries to be put towards building legal information collections.

How can my library participate?

A Grant Agreement Letter will be emailed to the chief librarians/directors of public libraries in BC along with the following:

  • Legal Collections – Getting Started (NEW)
  • Selection Guidelines
  • Law Books for Libraries (LBL) for 2017 (UPDATED)

All documents except for the Grant Agreement Letter are available online to view/download from the 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 2017 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 October 16 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.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Legal Information Workshop and Community Discussion in Prince Rupert

Look at that sunset!
Last week I was in Prince Rupert to give a presentation on legal information and to help  facilitate discussion on local resources. It was a whirlwind trip but I had a great time!

My visit consisted of two parts (maybe three if you count watching the sunset):

Library Staff Presentation:

I gave a presentation to Prince Rupert Public Library staff on Legal Information and Help Online using Clicklaw. Everyone had great questions and experiences to share.

We covered accessing legal resources online, the differences between legal information and legal advice, and practice questions!

Community Discussion on Legal Information:

The library hosted representatives from community groups to discuss legal information and services in Prince Rupert.  I helped facilitate this discussion and highlighted the great legal resources that are available at the library!

This meeting provided an opportunity to make face-to-face connections, brainstorm ideas, and learn about resources like Clicklaw.

Thank You!

Joe and the staff at Prince Rupert Public Library for inviting me to give my presentation and for hosting the community discussion!

All of our participants at the Community Discussion on Legal Information for sharing their experiences, stories, and ideas!

All of this is a part of the services offered by the LawMatters Program. If you are interested in training or hosting a community discussion at your library, send me an email at!