Skip to content

Legal Sourcery: Four Years On

By Alan Kilpatrick

A blog post in celebration of Legal Sourcery’s fourth anniversary.

Can you provide some background on Legal Sourcery? 

On March 12, 2014, the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library launched the Legal Sourcery blog.  The blog was an effort to better promote the library, market the library’s services and resources, and develop stronger connections with lawyers and the public.  Four years later, Legal Sourcery has exceeded our expectations.  With almost 1500 posts and 240,000 views, the blog has been awarded three Canadian Law Blog Awards (Clawbies) in 2014, 2015, and 2017.  It has helped raise the profile of the library both within the Law Society and throughout Saskatchewan’s legal community, shape a visible and reenergised library brand, and position the library at the centre of legal information initiatives in the province.

 How did you choose the name Legal Sourcery?

Coming up with the name was a collaborative endeavour.  Our entire library team participated in brainstorming blog names.  Our goal was to create a clever name that represented who we are, what we do, and the value we offer.  The names we considered included Collawboration, Lawstronauts, Gopher Law, and Wind Chill.  Ken Fox, our Saskatoon librarian, aptly suggested Legal Sourcery during the discussion.  The team voted and decided on Ken’s suggestion.  While legal resources are what the library provides, legal sourcery is the expertise, capability, and value we bring to legal information services.  It’s the esoteric skill we use to help lawyers and the public navigate the depths of the legal resources jungle.

 Why did you choose WordPress?

We decided on using WordPress after investigating the various blogging platforms available.  WordPress is an excellent option for blogging.  It requires little knowledge of coding, features professional templates, and is simple to use.  It’s free and allows the user to join the blogosphere within minutes.

 How do you monitor the number of posts and the content by contributors?

Our aim has always been to publish at least one new post daily in order to attract and retain readers.  To meet this output, we designated one library team member, Kelly Chiu, to become the blog’s coordinator.  Kelly ensures the blog is discussed at staff meetings, maintains a blog queue with content for the upcoming week, and prompts us when additional posts are required.  Without a coordinator, Legal Sourcery would not have succeeded.

Our Director of Legal Resources, Melanie Hodges Neufeld, maintains oversight and approves all posts before they are published.  She works hard to attract guest contributors for the blog from the Law Society, the Saskatchewan legal community, and external organizations

Since first launching Legal Sourcery, the entire library team has committed to writing regular posts on top of our assigned duties.  Traditionally, library staff have written the majority of posts that appear on the blog.  However, this is now changing as the number of guest contributors has increased in recent years.

What challenges have you encountered?

Creating and maintaining quality content with a limited pool of writers is inevitably challenging.  Attracting guest contributors is key to combating blog burnout and fatigue.  Initially, we found it difficult to attract guest contributors or to convince people it was worth their time to write for a blog.  As Legal Sourcery has achieved more popularity and recognition, it has become easier to attract guest contributors.  Thankfully, this has reduced the burden on library staff to produce daily posts.

 What are your most popular posts?

A few facts and figures from Legal Sourcery:

• Total views to date: 238 791
• Total posts to date: 1458
• Legal Sourcery’s first post: Welcome to Our Blog!
• Legal Sourcery’s top post: Cross Referencing Footnotes in Word, April 29, 2014 (25126 views)

 What are your future plans for Legal Sourcery?

At first, our goal with Legal Sourcery was to advertise the resources, projects, and expertise the library offered, in one central place, to Saskatchewan’s legal community.  However, over the past four years Legal Sourcery has evolved into the central hub for all legal news relevant to the Law Society, lawyers, and the public in Saskatchewan.  The 2017 Clawbies panel explained:

The pride of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, Legal Sourcery continued its top-quality blogging in 2017 with a steady stream of useful content … While strictly speaking a library blog, this really could be seen as the go-to source for Saskatchewan legal news. 

The blog now regularly disseminates information about the Law Society, legislative updates, news and events relevant to lawyers, free legal clinics, and content from external organizations like CanLII.  For the past two years, Legal Sourcery has been proud to serve as the official blog of Saskatchewan’s annual Access to Justice Week.

We intend to continue this evolution and to promote Legal Sourcery as the premier source of legal information in Saskatchewan.  Stay tuned for future developments.

Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers?

Here are some tips for aspiring legal information bloggers:

• Think about your goals and audience. Understanding your goals and who you are attempting to reach will shape your blog’s development.
• Coming up with content for posts is not difficult. Follow lawyers and legal information professionals on social media, the blogosphere, and listservs.  What you learn can be repurposed into blog posts.  Take the time to write about the interesting things you are working on.
• Promote your blog on social media and via word of mouth. I often let our users know about the blog during conversations at the reference desk and refer to it while responding to research enquiries.
• Common sense is key. Keep posts professional, pay attention to spelling, and be cautious when writing about controversial issues.  Always consider how a blog post will reflect on your larger organization.

(Reposted from Legal Sourcery)


Regina Public Library’s Legal Speaker Series 2018

By Alan Kilpatrick

The Regina Public Library is hosting its third annual Legal Speaker Series on Saturday, February 10th from 10:00am – 4:30pm at the George Bothwell Branch.

Drop in between these hours to attend a variety of free workshops on common legal issues, and to learn more about your legal rights. Some session require registration.  Volunteer lawyers with Pro Bono Law will be offering 30 minutes of free legal advice. Appointments must be pre-booked directly with Pro Bono Law.

The Law Society of Saskatchewan Library is excited to participate in the event again this year and to connect with members of the public. I will be hosting a workshop on “Doing Your Own Legal Research” for self-represented litigants from 11:15am – 12:15pm:

11:15 – 12:15 – Doing Your Own Legal Research
Doing your own legal research for a court case can be intimidating, especially if you have no formal legal training. However, there is help out there for people wanting to represent themselves. Join reference librarian Alan Kilpatrick from the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library to learn about CanLII, a free legal service that can be accessed by anyone via the Internet. The presentation contains federal and provincial case law, legislation, and more.

Do you need to learn how to conduct your own legal research? Are you just curious about Canadian law? Don’t miss this exciting session with the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library!

We look forward to seeing you there!  Click here to learn more.

(Reposted from Legal Sourcery)

Great LEXpectations

By Alan Kilpatrick

Our colleagues at the Law Society of Manitoba Library recently launched a new blog called Great LEXpectations. It is written and maintained by the Law Society of Manitoba’s Librarian, Karen Sawatzky, and Library Assistant, Stafany Shirley, with new posts every week or two.

On Great LEXpectations, you will find research tips, resources, and news of interest to members of the Manitoba legal profession. Some recent posts include:

• Welcome vLex
• A Sign of the Times
• Free Mandatory Minimum Sentence Monitoring Website

As the Legal Sourcery team has indicated in the past, coming up with a good blog name can be difficult. The About GreatLEXpectations page describes how their blog name was created:

Great LEXpectations is a play on words of the Dickens novel, Great Expectations, and lex, the latin word for law. The library for the Law Society of Manitoba and the legal profession, is called the Great Library, thus the mashup of “Great LEXpectations”.

We look forward to following Great LEXpectations! You can find it online at

(Reposted from Legal Sourcery)

Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project Conference

By Alan Kilpatrick

I had the opportunity to represent the Saskatchewan Library Association recently at the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI) Conference.

The SALI conference took place on October 20-21 at the University of Saskatchewan: The Role of Legal Information Providers and Public Libraries in Promoting Access to Justice. The conference brought together representatives from every library region in the province, justice industry stakeholders, and a variety of community organizations to discuss how to increase and improve access to justice and legal information for Saskatchewan’s residents. SALI was first created in 2016 out of the recognition that gaps exist in the public’s access to basic legal information. You can learn more about SALI’s creation here.

The exciting conference featured an action oriented agenda, a variety of diverse panels, and plenty of opportunity for small group discussion:

• Panel 1: Welcome and Opening Remarks
• Panel 2: Reflections on Data Collection in Public Libraries and Legal Information Needs
• Keynote 1: Legal Information, Legal Advice, and Access to Justice
• Panel 3: Accessing Legal Information Resources
• Panel 4: Recognizing Context: Diverse and Overlapping Needs in Rural, Remote, and Urban Centres
• Keynote 2: Accessing Resources and Developing Collections Lists
• Keynote 3: Ongoing Partnerships Model and Moving Forward

Those who missed the conference can still watch the recorded livestream by contacting Katie Riley by email (

Legal Information Innovation in Saskatchewan

By Alan Kilpatrick

The Law Society of Saskatchewan Library’s ground-breaking efforts to improve access to legal information and justice were recently featured in Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research. This peer-reviewed journal is the official publication of the Partnership, a national network of Canada’s provincial library associations.

The article, “Legal Information Innovation in Saskatchewan”, explores the work libraries are doing to innovative access to justice.  We encourage you to read the article and share it widely among your colleagues.

Access to legal information enables people to identify the full range of legal options available to them. In some cases, access to legal information allows people to resolve legal problems outside the court system altogether. Unfortunately, access to legal information in Canada has been described as poor. At the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library, we have been exploring the role libraries can play in improving access to legal information. Over the past three years, we have participated in a multitude of legal information initiatives with justice, community, and library stakeholders. I am here to tell you about these initiatives and what we have learned about promoting access to legal information in a library setting. This article is adapted from presentations given at the 2017 Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference and the 2017 Saskatchewan Library Association Conference.

Suggested Citation

Kilpatrick, A. (2017). “Legal Information Innovation in Saskatchewan”. Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 12(1).


Ordinances of the Northwest Territories

By Alan Kilpatrick

Saskatchewan, or the area that now makes up Saskatchewan, was part of the Northwest Territories before it became a province.  The Ordinances of the Northwest Territories helped form Saskatchewan’s laws when the province was created in 1905.  Where can you locate these Ordinances?

The Law Society of Saskatchewan Library carries a complete print set of the Ordinances of the Northwest Territories.  Additionally, the Alberta Heritage Digitization Project has scanned and digitized all of the Ordinances from 1877 to 1905 and made them freely available on their website.  They can be found online at:

It can be difficult to trace particular sections of the Ordinances.  If you require any assistance researching the Ordinances, please contact a Law Society Librarian.


Alberta Heritage Digitization Project. (2010). About the Alberta Law Collection. Retrieved from

(Reposted from Legal Sourcery)

Subscribe to HeinOnline’s Blog!

By Alan Kilpatrick

HeinOnline is a popular full-text journal database available in the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library’s Members’ Section.

Did you know that HeinOnline has an excellent blog?  Here are some recent research tips from their blog:

• Five Things You Can Do in Less Than 15 Seconds in HeinOnline
• Primary Sources, Secondary Sources and Beyond
• Comprehensive Search Results in HeinOnline Just Got Better
• Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals: Did You Know…?
• HeinOnline: Where Books Rule

We encourage you to consider subscribing to HeinOnline’s blog!

(Reposted from Legal Sourcery)