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!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Grants, Law Books List, Webinar Training … oh my!

Yes it’s that time of year again: the LawMattesr grants offers will be going out in March to the directors of your library systems … I will also be sending out the updated Law Books for Libraries (LBL) list! For those of you who may not be familiar, the LBL list is your guide to help make collections decisions.

Speaking of collections decisions … I am trying a little something different this year –

With the release of the grant offers and the LBL, I am also offering a webinar:

“Legal Collections 101"

March 8

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 LBL
  • An overview of what you can expect from different legal publishers
  • Tips for selecting legal titles

I will also be producing a couple more collections guides to help get you started!

As part of LawMatters, I want to make sure that you have the choice in deciding what legal materials are right for your library and your community – and that you have the tools to make these decisions. I hope that providing these guides and this webinar will help make using the grant and collecting legal materials easier!

New Webinar Series focuses on Making Connections: Organization Spotlights

Hello everyone, I am excited to announce a new webinar series we are trying with the LawMatter’s program this year: Organization Spotlights!

The legal information world can get confusing at times – there are many organizations and many acronyms! With this webinar series, I want to help you navigate public legal education and information (PLEI) – see there’s an acronym already!

Do you do outreach at your library?
Do you know who offers legal help or services in your community?

We are inviting organizations to share information about their services in this spotlight series to help shed some light on making local referrals and also exploring potential connections. We will be focusing on organizations that either have a physical presence across BC or are accessible throughout the province (phone services for example).

The first spotlight is March 2, 2017

Legal Services Society (LSS)
with Alex Peel,  Acting Community Engagement Coordinator
12:30pm - 1:30pm

How do people access legal aid in BC? The Legal Services Society (LSS) offers a range of legal help for British Columbians. In this webinar, learn what LSS provides and how you can direct patrons in your community to get free legal representation, advice, and information. With over 55 in-person locations in BC, there is likely even a local office you could send your patrons to. We’ll tell you where they are and what services they provide.

Stay tuned for more spotlights!