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LawMatters works with public libraries to enhance public access to legal information in all communities throughout British Columbia. Supported by the Law Foundation of British Columbia, LawMatters is Courthouse Libraries BC's outreach program for public librarians.

For materials for public libraries, expand the tab below.

Law Books for Libraries

One of the key components of the LawMatters program is the development of a list of recommended materials for small, medium and large size public libraries:

Law Books for Libraries - LBL 2018 (June 2018)


Legal Collections - Getting Started (March 2018)

How to turn $125 into a Legal Collection (March 2017)

Selection Guidelines

These guidelines are used in the LawMatters program to select materials for the list of recommended titles in Law Books for Libraries, and allows for occasional exceptions.  If you wish to purchase materials not currently on the list, please use the guidelines in making your selection and forward your list to the LawMatters project coordinator before purchasing.

Jurisdiction: BC/Canadian law.

Currency: Published within the last 5 years.

Practical: Legal resources for individual citizens rather than legal theory and analysis.
Legal: Resources include a significant legal component 

  • For non-profit organizations and small businesses, there has to be a significant legal component and not be a resource for a specific business such as Start and Run a Bed and Breakfast
  • Another example: estate planning (primarily law based) but not wealth planning (accounting based).

General Reference: Legal research/legal procedure/legal dictionaries.

Varied: Where possible avoid duplication of similar titles by several publishers

Click here to download LawMatters Selection Guidelines.

Retention and Updating Guide 

Retention and Weeding Guidelines (2017)

The Retention and Weeding Guidelines were used to produce the LawMatters Retention and Weeding Guide and include:

  • How to use the Guide 
  • General Guidelines for Legal Collections
  • Legislation at your Library

Retention and Weeding List (August 2017)

Resources for Community Groups and Libraries

Legal Information & Legal Advice (May 2018)
A quick reference guide for librarians and library staff that contrasts examples of legal information with examples of legal advice.

BC Toll-Free Referral Phone Numbers (August 2016)
Contains phone numbers and websites for many BC legal information and advice services.

A Brief Guide to Finding Court Documents (June 2015)
Gives sample questions, possible responses and tips for searching court documents.  

Beginner's Guide to Finding Legal Information (2015) Clicklaw Wikibooks

Provincial Court Resources - Clicklaw
Resources on Family, Small Claims, and Criminal court that can be printed as handouts.

Community Forums

See the Community Forums page for information about Community Legal Information Forums for your library.

For more information, contact Megan Smiley, Program Coordinator 

604.660.9204 or 1.800.665.2570

Read more about the program on our About page. Program Updates are posted on the BC LawMatters Blog.

LawMatters Evaluation Results

LawMatters Overview and Evaluation Report -  August 2017

LawMatters Overview and Evaluation Infographic - August 2017