Reference tools

These tools and guides are designed to help raise awareness of legal information sources and services available to you and the public, and are meant increase your confidence using them in your day-to-day work.  

LawMatters blog

Stay current with practical updates on legal resources related to emergent issues, new resources created for the public from community legal organizations, and upcoming training opportunities for public library staff. Subscribe to receive semi-monthly updates.

Guides for public libraries

Community Legal Information Forums: A Planning Guide

  • This guide will help you when planning and hosting community forums in your library. It also includes sample documents like invitations and agendas used in previous community forums.

Guide to legal terminology

  • Wondering what words you should use to find accurate information? This guide helps you define the legal terms you need for your searching!

Helping patrons with court forms

  • Questions about court forms are common when individuals are starting or are involved in a legal action. This guide will help you answer questions that may come up when patrons are using these court forms. 

Legal information & legal advice

  • Librarians are in the business of providing information services (but not advisory services), keep this by your reference desk as a reminder of the difference!


  • This guide features a list of resources for wills and personal planning, and is meant to help you when patrons have questions about making a will or planning for their future.

Plain language legal resources

  • Plain language resources provide information in a way that is accessible to the public. There are a number of online resources that provide legal information using plain language.

Toll-free Referral Phone Numbers for Legal Information and Advice (July 2023)

  • A list of Province-wide sources of legal support services accessible my phone, and in some cases, in-person. You can also use the Clicklaw HelpMap to find legal support services in your area.

Legal information handouts

Feel free to download these handouts and keep them at the desk to quickly refer to during your reference work.

Clicklaw - An Introduction

This handout provides an overview of how to use Clicklaw, an easily searchable database of trusted online legal information in British Columbia.

Clicklaw Wikibooks - An Introduction

This handout provides an overview of Clicklaw Wikibooks, plain language legal publications meant to help British Columbians understand their legal problems. They are available online and in many public libraries in BC!