Promising Practices: LawMatters’ collaboration with public libraries

LawMatters At Your Local Public Library  is a unique outreach program of the Courthouse Libraries BC. Begun as a project in April 2007, and becoming an ongoing Client Services program in 2010, LawMatters helps public libraries enhance their legal information collections and provides training for public library staff. Together, LawMatters and BC’s public libraries aim to ensure that all BC residents have local access to basic legal information.

Their latest report, Talking to Librarians about LawMatters: Promising Practices,  is now on Clicklaw. This 2011 paper summarizes the findings of a phone survey of 20 public libraries across BC and identifies practices that enhance library staff’s ability to provide legal information.

One of the outcomes of the report is that, in moving forward, a key role for LawMatters in sustaining legal reference services is providing opportunities for ongoing training.  According to program coordinator Janet Freeman, LawMatters will be sponsoring two webinars this spring for public librarians on the topic of Residential Tenancy Law. The webinars will be offered through the Libraries and Literacy Program of the BC Ministry of Education.

To read more from LawMatters see their 2010 report LawMatters At Your Local Public Library: A Report for Public Librarians.

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