Assistance

CLBC employees are proud to serve both the legal community and the public. All clients and staff can expect to be treated with respect. Inappropriate behaviour is not acceptable.

To learn about behaviour expectations, please visit our Library Use Protocol.

What do CLBC reference librarians do?

The librarian’s role is to facilitate access to information, and clarify the search process. Key aspects of the role are to:

  1. clarify the client's question,
  2. act as a guide to getting a client started on their research, and
  3. connect the client to the next step of research (be it another organization or professional service) if the librarian or library does not themselves carry that expertise.

To note, a librarian's role is neither to interpret nor answer research questions on behalf of a client. Librarians do not determine action, nor can they provide substantial emotional support.

Our Libraries

Frontline staff in the seven larger full-time libraries (Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Prince George, Vancouver, and Victoria) are trained law librarians. They assist the legal community and the public with their legal information questions Monday – Friday (excluding statutory holidays), in person and via phone and email.

Staff in the 21 smaller locations (the Local Branches) provide basic information and referral assistance in person or over the phone. These branches operate at reduced hours.

Visit Locations & Contact for library hours, email, phone number and address information.

Philosophy of Reference

We try to answer all queries that come to us using the resources in our collection (print and online resources) in whatever format is most appropriate. If we are unable to answer a query using our own resources, we always try to refer the user to the nearest source likely to provide the needed information.

We aim to provide our clients with access to accurate information in a timely manner, so the focus is to assess the needs of the client and decide how they can most efficiently and effectively be helped.

Professional Guidelines

Professionally in Canada, librarians follow guidelines and codes of ethics offered by professional associations such as the BC Libraries Association (BCLA) and the American Library Association (ALA)