Friday, September 15, 2017

LawMatters Evaluation: Results

Last year, Courthouse Libraries BC embarked on an evaluation to assess the LawMatters program. We are pleased to share a summary of the results through this infographic:

These documents are also available on the LawMatters Website.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Coming Soon! New Clicklaw Wikibooks for your Library!

We will begin our mail out of Law Students’ Legal Advice Program (LSLAP) Manual and the Legal Help Guide for British Columbians next week!

This year, LawMatters is pleased to announce that we will be providing print versions of the following Clicklaw Wikibooks to public libraries:

Legal Help Guide for British Columbians (Updated)

For over 40 common legal problems, the Guide provides first steps to address the problem and options for further information or help - all written in plain language!

Law Students’ Legal Advice Program (LSLAP) Manual (New)

The Law Students' Legal Advice Program's (LSLAP) Manual provides quick answers to many legal issues. Originally designed as an educational resource for LSLAP students, it is now used by hundreds of organizations across BC. Clicklaw Wikibooks and LSLAP have joined efforts to bring the Manual to the Clicklaw Wikibooks format.

JP Boyd on Family Law (Updated)

Written in plain language, with definitions for key legal terms, JP Boyd on Family Law provides practical, in-depth explanation of family law and divorce law in British Columbia.


What are Clicklaw Wikibooks?

In a nut-shell, Clicklaw Wikibooks are online, collaboratively published, plain language resources covering a range of legal information topics.

Why provide print copies?

One of the goals of the print initiative is to help libraries have an established core collection of legal information. The other goal is to provide a format (print & online) that can make legal information accessible in every community.

Who gets a print copy?

All public library systems in BC will be receiving copies of our new publications – copies will be distributed with library size in mind. For example, smaller libraries or libraries with one location will receive 1 copy (of each wikibook).

Your library does not have to be participating in the LawMatters grants program to receive these publications.

If you have questions about this, please email me at 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Weeding Tips Part 2: A Tour of Legislation

Your may have legislation in your collection – what do you do with it?

Just for clarification here are some images of legislative volumes – your library may have one or all of these.

1996 Revised Statutes of British Columbia – aka“the grey binders.”

The main benefit of these binders is that one can see, in print, a fairly up-to-date version of British Columbian laws. The ‘1996’ refers to the last time the laws were consolidated; subscription filings are what make them current.*

Fortunately, this information is all freely available now on The online versions will be the most current. These binders are updated by subscription so if you are thinking of weeding these binders, make sure your subscription is not still active.

Statutes of British Columbia - BC Legislative Volumes (bound)

These are the official published BC Laws. These can be a little tricky to navigate as they don’t contain BC Laws consolidated (all in one place). Legislative volumes contain new legislation, amendments, and tables of legislative changes.

Statutes of Canada (bound)

These are the printed laws of Canada (Federal legislation) – Please note that these are also available online - the online version and the print are BOTH considered official.

* Please note that the online version of BC laws and the content in the binders are not considered the ‘official’ versions; the official laws are bound in statute volumes. Conversely, Federal Laws online at are considered official.


Having legislation available in print can be an important access point for your patrons researching the law. There are a few things to consider when evaluating this portion of your legal collection:

  • Space – do you have room for these volumes?
  • Format – is print access to laws important for your community? BC Laws are all available online now – will this be accessible?
  • Time – are you filing updates to your legislation?

If you are receiving bound (federal) legislative volumes, before weeding your legislation, it might be good to check if your library is actually designated as a depository for those materials: You may have to refer to the Depository Services Program of Canada and contact them to see what requirements are needed for your library.


If you can access laws and provide print from the online resource BCLaws, you do not have the space or time to maintain legislative subscriptions (like the grey binders), and you are NOT a depository – you can weed your legislation as needed for your library.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Weeding Tips Part 1: General Guidelines for Legal Collections

General Guidelines for Legal Collections

Jurisdiction and currency are important factors in retention and weeding. The jurisdiction should be Canada and/or British Columbia. The currency can get a little tricky:

In general a title may be considered current if published within the last 5 years BUT there are some important exceptions:

If the laws have changed, materials should be updated to reflect the most recent changes.

As a general rule, in the following areas of law, items should be discarded and replaced if they are published before the following dates:
  • Criminal Law – Most current possible (within 2-3 years max)
    • The Criminal Code is amended every year
  • Family Law – March 2013
    • New Family Law Act repealed and replaced the old Family Relations Act, effective March 2013.
  • Immigration – Most current possible (within 2-3 years max)
    • The Immigration and Refugee Protection has had massive changes in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015; there are changes made fairly regularly.
  • Insurance Act – July 2012
    • The Insurance Act was revised in 2012 consolidating the previously existing act and its amendments.
  • Local Government Act – January 2016
    • This act governs municipalities –if your library collects municipal legal information, update to reflect the latest updates.
  • Societies Act – November 2016
    • A new Societies Act will replace the existing Society Act effective November 2016. This act governs how societies (not-for-profit corporations) are created and run in BC.
  • Wills, Estates, and Personal Planning – March 2014
    • Effective March 2014, the Wills, Estates, and Succession Act (WESA) repealed and replaced:
      • Estate Administration Act
      • Probate Recognition Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 376 
      • Wills Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 489 
      • Wills Variation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 490 
      • And parts of…
        • Law and Equity Act
        • Survivorship and Presumption of Death Act

This information can be found in the full Retention and Weeding Guidelines (Word).
See also the Retention and Weeding List (Excel)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Law Books for Libraries - LBL 2017 August Update

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

The List has already been updated twice this year - once in March and once in May. The August update includes titles that are new or have been updated since March 2017. I have indicated in the notes when each title was added.

New titles are recently published items, titles that haven't been on the list before, and a couple of returning titles (new editions).

I have made an abbreviated update which includes ONLY the new and updated items and I am also uploading the full LBL with the August updates included.

Friday, July 21, 2017

B.C. Provincial Court News & Resources

Going to court can be an intimidating experience, especially for people presenting their case without a lawyer.

Guidelines for Using a Support Person in Provincial Court

Many self-represented litigants find that having a trusted friend or family member with them to provide emotional support, take notes, and organize documents can be a big help. In recognition of this, the Provincial Court of B.C. has adopted Guidelines for self-represented litigants to use a support person during a trial:

More Information

Clicklaw has a few great starting points for people seeking information about going to B.C. Provincial Court.

The resources listed are also available in PDF format so you can print them out!

Big Changes to Small Claims
On June 1, 2017, the limit for small claims increased to $35,000. The Civil Resolution Tribunal also began accepting small claims disputes up to $5,000. More information here.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Clicklaw Refresher: Introduction to Legal Information & Help Online

Last week we presented an interactive webinar on using Clicklaw. Thank you everyone who tuned in and participated!

We covered the basics of using the site and went through some practice questions together using polls and live demonstrations.

If you were unable to attend or you want to revisit the presentation, we have made a recording available!

Check it out:

Clicklaw Refresher for Libraries and Community Helpers-Webinar Recording from Courthouse Libraries BC on Vimeo.