Saskatchewan Library Association Conference 2016

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sla2016By Alan Kilpatrick

The annual Saskatchewan Libraries Association Conference is being held in Saskatoon from May 5 to May 7.  The theme for this year’s conference is Cooperation: Saskatchewan Style.  The conference will feature a variety of instructive sessions and provide an opportunity for library workers in the province to network and learn from each other.

As the Law Society’s Reference Librarian in Regina, I will be presenting a session on how libraries can help improve the public’s access to justice. Here is the session description:

May 6th | 3:30 pm – 3:55 pm | Fence at the Top of the Cliff: Legal Resources for Librarians

Access to justice has become a major issue in Canada. Legal services have become increasingly unaffordable and inaccessible. Libraries can play an important role in improving access to justice. A 2010 survey conducted by Courthouse Libraries BC estimated that public libraries in BC receive about 35,000 legal questions every year. As such, libraries are the natural place to connect with members of the public who have legal information needs.

Join Alan Kilpatrick, Reference Librarian at Law Society of Saskatchewan Library, for this session exploring basic legal resources. Participants will learn about key legal resources and the organizations in Saskatchewan that provide free legal advice. Importantly, participants will leave this session with greater confidence to assist library patrons seeking legal information.

The Access to Civil and Family Justice: A Roadmap for Change report identified a need for intermediaries who can help members of the public locate credible online legal information.  While there is more legal information online than ever before, it is less clear what legal information is credible.

Librarians are these intermediaries.  We have the specialized skills to provide accurate referrals to organizations that provide legal assistance and to locate credible legal information.

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