Access to Justice Week BC 2023

February 4 to 10 marks Access to Justice (A2J) week in BC in 2023. This week is an opportunity to learn more about and participate in access to justice work being done around the province.  

Access to Justice is key to what we do here at LawMatters. Partnering with public libraries and supporting the amazing work you do allows us to work collectively toward providing local access to the legal information that people need.  

In the past, we’ve discussed the importance of partnerships when it comes to access to justice work. Whether it's hosting a lawyer in your library or attending networking events with legal advocates in your area, this is an important aspect of access to justice. But partnerships are only one element of this work. Access to justice doesn’t always take the traditional form of a person seeking legal advice, needing a referral to a legal help program, or appearing in a court room.  

This week, we want to encourage you to think about other in-roads to access to justice work beside this traditional model, as well as provide an example. In the past few years, LawMatters has formalized the process for libraries to use their grant funding toward print-based projects. These special projects can (and have!) include a wide variety of different ideas. Projects in the past few years have included:  

  • Purchasing multiple copies of books to give away to patrons at National Day of Truth and Reconciliation events. 

  • Purchasing book club sets of titles focused on Indigenous and anti-racist topics.  

  • Creating satellite collections hosted in other organizations around the community. Past projects include a collection hosted in the local friendship centre and the local Elders’ library. 

  • Printing online materials for patrons who prefer to access legal information in print.  

All of these initiatives - although maybe not the typical approach - support access to justice work, by providing patrons with the information and perspectives they need to address their legal issues and promote a more just society.  

If you want to purchase materials for a special project, please use our Selection Guidelines; these guidelines were designed to help you decide which law books are appropriate or needed in your library.  

Have a special project in mind and want to talk it over? Feel free to get in touch with us at LawMatters’ grants are coming this spring!