Sarah Richmond's blog

2016-2017 VALL Membership Survey

Dear VALL Members,


We would greatly appreciate your taking the time to complete the 2016-2017 VALL Membership Survey! Your constructive feedback is important to us, and will help ensure that future programming meets your needs and expectations. This year’s survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete and your responses remain anonymous.


Many thanks on behalf of the Programs Committee and all of us on the VALL Executive.

Amici Curiae Volunteer Intake Package

On December 1, 2016, Dom Bautista, the Executive Director of the Law Courts Centre, spoke to VALL members about “How Law Librarians Can Give Back”. Dom presented the group with the opportunity to volunteer their time as law librarians through the Amici Curiae workshop series, helping self-represented litigants fill out legal forms. This opportunity is a great way for law librarians to help increase access to justice.

The Amici Curiae Volunteer Intake Package for law librarians is now available (see attached, below). This package will also be circulated by email to VALL members.

Any questions about the volunteer program can be directed to Yvonne Choi, Executive Assistant at

Announcements for Laprise and Silverstein prizes (Thomson Reuters)

Announcement from the Canadian Association of Law Libraries:

On behalf of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL), and as announced at the 2016 annual conference in Vancouver, Thomson Reuters is funding two new prizes launched in memory of members the Association lost in 2015. The prizes remember the significant contributions of Gisèle Laprise and Michael Silverstein. The Gisele Laprise Prize will recognize an outstanding contribution to the understanding of civil and common law systems in Canada and the Michael Silverstein Prize will recognize an outstanding contribution to the understanding of primary law and legal taxonomy.

Applications/nominations for both of these awards will open in early December 2016 and close in February 2017. Further information about the prizes is available on CALL's Scholarships and Awards website. Please remember to include examples of the nominee’s writings for consideration by the panel. The winners will be announced at the annual CALL conference in Ottawa (May 2017).

Can law librarians have a role in increasing access to justice?

Post by Dom Bautista, Executive Director of the Law Courts Center 

Can law librarians have a role in increasing access to justice?

Yes they can!

Amici Curiae can certainly use  the expertise of librarians, starting with completing the legal basis section of the Notice of Civil Claim (Form 1) and Notice of Family Claim (Form F1) for self-represented litigants.

Amici Curiae clinics, which is now in its 5th year of operation, provide assistance to self-represented litigants by drafting their court forms. Amici Curiae volunteers are comprised mostly of paralegals and legal assistants. Their work is supervised by duty counsel. No legal advice is given in its clinics.

Amici Curiae operates 6 clinics (details:

  • BC Court of Appeal;
  • Supreme Court of BC;
  • BC Human Rights Tribunal;
  • Temporary Foreign Workers Uncontested Divorce Application;
  • Battered Women’s Support Services; and
  • Atira Women’s Resource Society at the (Downtown Eastside).

Amici Curiae recently welcomed firm accountants into the fold to help self-represented litigants, notably women and transgender women, prepare their F8 Financial Statement affidavits.

Can law librarians have a role in increasing access to justice?

CALL Conference - Hotel Room Sharing

Attending the CALL conference in Vancouver, and debating a stay in the Conference hotel? The room block is selling out fast, so consider a room-share to keep costs down and secure your spot!

If you’re interested in finding a conference roommate, please make use of the CALL/ACBD Listserv to post a notice and connect with potential roommates, and visit the conference website accommodations page (link: ) to book your room!

Reminder: Peter Bark Bursary Applications due March 1, 2016

Hello VALL Members,

This is a reminder that the Peter Bark Bursary deadline is March 1, 2016. The Bursary will assist the successful applicant(s) in attending professional development meetings, such as the Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference, which will be held in Vancouver in May 2016 (the conference program is now available here).

If you are interested in attending the 2016 CALL conference, or you would like to participate in another professional development conference or continuing education program or course, consider applying for the Peter Bark Bursary.

For further information, please see the Peter Bark Bursary page under Member Resources on the VALL website.

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Richmond at or 604-628-2719.

Coffee Morning at Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP

VALL members are invited to meet and mingle over morning coffee, tea, and pastries on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP between 7:30 and 8:30am. The street address is 700 West Georgia Street and attendees should take the elevator to reception on the 27th floor and ask to be directed to the 27th main lounge.

A morning coffee get-together is a great way to get to know fellow members in a relaxed and friendly setting. We are looking forward to meeting new members and catching up with VALL veterans - see you there! No registration or RSVP required.

Refreshments have been ordered to accommodate the numbers recorded at past socials. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.
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