Happy Library Month! Meet Rachel, our newest Outreach Librarian

October is Canadian Library month, a time to recognize the all the great work that libraries do in their communities. To celebrate, we are highlighting the work of one our favorite librarians – Rachel Carlson!

Rachel joined the LawMatters team in April 2020, but she’s been so busy we haven’t had the time to properly introduce her. With Canadian Library Worker’s Day coming up on October 16, this is the perfect time to do so and to show off some of the amazing work she’s been doing to make legal information more accessible to those who need it.

Reference Tools and Online Guides

Rachel took on the task of developing tools to help public librarians and library staff navigate legal reference questions. Her goal was to create practical, plain language guides that could be bookmarked and easily accessed when needed. Keep an eye on the Reference Tools page of our website – more are on the way. Stay tuned! For now, check these out:

  • Guide to Legal Terminology helps find the right legal terms to conduct effective keyword searches. It includes definitions for common words and phrases and a 'legal translation' section that puts commonly used but misleading 'layman's terms' phrases into proper legal terms.
  • Helping Patrons with Court Forms will help you answer questions about where to find forms, which forms your patron needs, and how to fill them out. Links to online sources and recommendations for useful prints resources are included.
  • Plain Language Legal Resources highlights trusted, BC-based sources of information for answers to common questions and next steps for patrons seeking help with legal issues. Topics covered include family law, wills & estates, residential tenancies, civil law, and consumer law.

Rachel also been working as part of a team to update the COVID-19 Resources for British Columbians Wikibook, maintaining our Twitter account, hosting webinars, and answering loads of reference questions at CLBC branches in New Westminster and Vancouver.

She is an active member of CLBC's Truth and Reconciliation Working Group, and was instrumental in forming the brand new Prison Outreach Working Group. We couldn’t be more delighted to have her as part of our team!

And now... here she is!

Image of a smiling young woman with short blond hair

Hello from Rachel:

I’m very excited to have joined the LawMatters team this year! Some of you may have ‘met’ me already through attending our JP Boyd on Family Law Webinar Series earlier this year or through my reference work at Courthouse Libraries BC.

Working at CLBC has been a learning experience right from the start – though an enjoyable one! I feel like I learn more about the law and its complexities everyday, and realize anew just how important legal information is. I believe that librarians are essential actors in helping people address their legal issues by empowering them with information to get the justice they need. This is why I feel very proud to be part of the LawMatters and CLBC team. When I’m not at my desk, you can usually find me reading a good book, watching some nineties sci-fi, and hanging out with my cats.

I’m very much looking forward to getting to know you all better. If you have any questions for me, or just want to say hello, please feel free to email me at rcarlson@courthouselibrary.ca