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.
See our "About Us" Pamphlet.
Our LawMatters program focuses on four main areas to help support public libraries:
Financial assistance is given to all public libraries that choose to participate through our grants program. Grants are distributed annually to help purchase legal information and reference materials.
We provide libraries with a core list of titles to use as a guide for selecting and ordering materials. The list is evaluated annually for currency and accuracy. We are also available to offer suggestions and work with librarians to support local collection needs.
Working with Clicklaw Wikibooks LawMatters have previously distributed print copies of Clicklaw Wikibook titles Legal Help for British Columbians, JP Boyd on Family Law, and Dial-A-Law free of charge to libraries throughout BC to support legal collections.
We offer training sessions to public librarians to improve their confidence helping the public with legal information questions. This includes how to use legal resources, the basics of legal research, and general legal reference skills.
Our goal is to increase access to legal information for all communities in BC and empower librarians and community libraries to provide legal information, reference, and referral.
We aim to build community capacity through partnerships which we continue to explore with libraries and other orgnaizations. We encourage and consult with public libraries to host community forums to connect with local organizations that work with the public to help them find legal information.
Program Updates are posted on the BC LawMatters Blog.
A virtual public launch for LawMatters took place April 22, 2009.
- Minutes From LawMatters Pilot Project Librarians Consultation November 16, 2007
- Summary of LawMatters Focus Group Held November 21, 2008
- Summary of Activities and Evaluation Findings August 2009
- Includes training activities and 2009 legal reference survey.
- Training Follow-Up Survey Final Report (December 2009)
- Summarizes the findings of a survey of public library staff who attended the LawMatters Legal Reference Introductory Training in 2008 - 2009.
- LawMatters Public Library Legal Resources Project Final Training and Legal Reference Survey Findings Final Report (April 2010)
- LawMatters At Your Local Public Library: A Report for Public Librarians (December 2010)
- Talking to Librarians about LawMatters: Promising Practices (September 2011)
- The report of a telephone survey of 20 small- and medium-size public libraries in BC.