Clicklaw Wikibooks

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Clicklaw Wikibooks

  1. 1. Clicklaw WikibooksAn experiment in born-digital publishingDrew Jackson, Courthouse Libraries BC October 6, 2011
  2. 2. In the next 20 slides• Courthouse Libraries BC context: what we do for the public• Legal Help for British Columbians: a great guidebook that we wanted to enable more people to access• Wikibooks: Why we choose to produce the Guide as a wikibook• Demo: A few snapshots of the wikibook in action• Next steps: What’s next for Clicklaw wikibooks
  3. 3. Courthouse Libraries context We have a four pillar approach to meeting the public side of our mission…
  4. 4. LawStartBC: How we help thepublic find and use legalinformation • A website with plain language legal info • A search tool to find assistance with legal problems • Helping public libraries provide current legal information • Helping the legal community and the public find and use legal information
  5. 5. More on our LawMatters program for public libraries• 240 public libraries in BC• Community-based, not restricted to “courthouse hours”• First point of contact for information in their communities• 35,000-40,000 questions with a legal dimension asked in public libraries every year• Our LawMatters program recommends books, coordinates grants, provides training
  6. 6. The plain language guide “LegalHelp for British Columbians” wassuch a nice starting point for 30common legal problems that we gotcopies for all public libraries in BC
  7. 7. Challenges But as good as the Legal Help Guide was, there were some challenges• Within a year, the Legal Help Guide needed updating• Without institutional support, it was at risk (the guide was published by a lawyer more or less on his own)• We put a PDF of the guide online, but it was not very findable or usable online - at 75 pages, not easily searchable, external links not practical – and this info could be so helpful online!• Yet the print continued to be highly valued in library settings where computer literacy can be a major issue
  8. 8. Core values At Courthouse Libraries BC, our core values include innovation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing – which contributed to the solution we arrived at…
  9. 9. Why a Wikibook? We decided to turn the Legal Help Guide into a “wikibook”,• We wanted a collaborative authoring using the Mediawiki environment to enable updating by platform that powers many contributors Wikipedia• We wanted an affordable tool: Mediawiki is an open source platform• We wanted it to be easy for users: As it looks & feels like Wikipedia, the end user experience is familiar• We wanted online and print versions: A wikibook is born-digital but can also produce print from the same source
  10. 10. We used the wikiplatform to put theGuide online, openingup access to it
  11. 11. We recruited adozen lawyersand other subjectmatter experts tobe contributors &reviewers
  12. 12. Because we are using thesame platform that powersWikipedia (although ourown install of the platform),it offers a familiarexperience for end users Various ways to navigate within the Guide, including searching
  13. 13. As the guide is now on a wiki, it can include external links to key resourcesAnd we’ve integrated itwith our ClicklawHelpMap, to provideeasy access to optionsfor legal assistance
  14. 14. The wiki can beupdated collaborativelyover the Internet bymultiple contributors
  15. 15. The wiki’s strong versioncomparison tools supportcollaboration, transparency
  16. 16. The wiki platform’s “bookextension” enables us toassemble wiki pages into asingle PDF file that canthen be printed
  17. 17. Creative CommonsWe’re making the Guideavailable under aCreative Commonslicense, which provide asimple, standardized wayto give the publicpermission to share anduse your creative work -on conditions of yourchoice.
  18. 18. A sign Creative Commonshas gone mainstream: It’san option when you uploada video to YouTube
  19. 19. Next Steps• Updating the Legal Help Guide (4th edition, current to Fall 2012), using the wiki platform• Investigating print-on-demand options• Supporting People’s Law School in experimenting with the wiki platform• Working with Vancouver lawyer JP Boyd to migrate his outstanding family law website onto the wiki platform
  20. 20. Clicklaw wikibooks, atwiki.clicklaw.bc.ca

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