| Apr 15, 2015
Yesterday Courthouse Libraries BC teamed up with the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch to announce by formal press release
the addition of CBABC's Dial-A-Law scripts to Clicklaw Wikibooks
. It's an exciting step for us, as the host of Clicklaw Wikibooks, since Dial-A-Law scripts are perhaps the longest-surviving example of the BC legal profession's dedication to helping the public with free legal information. The scripts cover over 130 legal topics, and have existed in various formats for over 30 years. Dial-A-Law started in 1983 with help from the BC Law Foundation
and its scripts have been edited by volunteer lawyers ever since. For many years you phoned in to hear the scripts read out loud to you. This is still one way you can access them
, in fact. And with the popularity of the Web, the scripts soon came online. Many of them have even been translated into Punjabi and Simplified Chinese.
is significant because now the scripts are even more accessible. Clicklaw Wikibooks are all about keeping legal information in a single spot so that editors and lawyers can update it—this is one of the benefits of a Wikipedia-style platform—but letting the end user choose whether to print, read online, or otherwise export the content in a way that meets their needs.
Users can download whole contents, or only portions, of Clicklaw Wikibook in PDF or EPUB. They can order a printed book for cost, or they can of course read it online. The open-source nature of the Mediawiki publishing platform means it is a tool that is affordable to implement, but also well-supported by a community of developers who are all about open access and the democratization of information.
Basically, Clicklaw Wikibooks is about smart, society-friendly use of technology, including print technology.
As our CEO, Johanne Blenkin, says in the release "many continue to rely on community libraries and printed materials, so keeping quality legal information in print is also important. Clicklaw Wikibooks is about helping content partners offer their up-to-date legal information in a range of digital and physical formats.”
Dial-A-Law books will be printed and shipped to public libraries across BC.Cover image for Dial-A-Law on Clicklaw Wikibooks