Ask a Librarian is designed to answer queries regarding BCCLS services, sources for legal information, and legal reference questions. Reference staff at the Vancouver Courthouse Library will respond to your questions with quality research strategies and will refer to resources available through the courthouse library system. All questions will be treated as anonymous. Please send your questions to 604.660.2841, toll free 1.800.665.2570, fax 604.660.2821 or e-mail email@example.com.
I’m looking for a book – how can I tell if the Vancouver Library has it and whether it is on the shelf or checked out?
The Vancouver Courthouse Library recently implemented an automated circulation system. If you’re looking for a book, check the online library catalogue at www.bccls.bc.ca to discover if the Vancouver library has the book, if the book is on the shelf or checked out and whether the book is for library use only. If a book is checked out, the due date is shown and you can request that it be placed on reserve for you. When the book is returned you will be notified. By the summer of 2003 you will be able to place your own reserves and also renew books that you have out. For the moment, all of these features apply only to the books in the Vancouver Courthouse Library. Borrowers using other courthouse library branches should check with their local library for availability of materials. As part of the new system, everyone borrowing books from the Vancouver Courthouse Library needs a library card; download the application form from www.bccls.bc.ca or contact the Circulation Department at 604.660.2838.
Where has the microfiche gone?
The library catalogue is no longer printed and reproduced on microfiche; it is available online at www.bccls.bc.ca. The online catalogue is user-friendly and searchable. Access the “Help” button for explanations and suggestions or call the library if you have questions about using the catalogue.
While the library catalogue is no longer on microfiche, the Vancouver Courthouse Library retains a wealth of historical material on microfiche. This includes materials such as pre-1865 English law reports, the Canada Gazette dating from 1841, House of Commons debates from 1870, B.C. statutes, proclamations and ordinances dating back to the 1850s and other useful sources. In addition to these historical research gems, the library has more recent material on microform, such as older Labour Arbitration decisions, U.S. law reports, House of Commons and Senate committee reports, the Canada Treaty series, Federal and B.C. Royal Commission reports and other items of interest. You can locate these materials by using the online library catalogue. For more information contact the Vancouver Courthouse Library.
This article was published in the April 2003 issue of BarTalk. © 2003 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.