Farewell to a Favourite Source

I received a sad note today from Courthouse Libraries BC. It was not unexpected, but I am still sorry to report that the two wonderful loose-leaf print publications that this venerable organization has laboured over for many years will cease June 30th, 2010. Farewell to BC Legislative Digest and the Canada Legislative Index.

These publications began in 1979 and 1980 respectively and have been wonderful sources. As the letter states “they grew out of a need for a timely method of tracking BC and federal legislative changes”. The CLI in particular (given my firm’s jurisdiction is not in BC) has been occupying my shelves since I arrived and it is one resource that I would never do without.

I acknowledge that equivalent information is available from electronic sources, either a reasonable fee or free, and that the web delivered replacements currently available are excellent tools themselves.

Still, I reserve the right to be sad that an old friend, who has saved my bacon on many occasions, will only be lightly used for historical research in the future. Don’t worry dear little black binders, you will still have shelf space here, and I will open you from time to time.


  1. Sad news! These publications have been an invaluable tool for us at CLEBC. I agree that we’ll be able to find equivalent information elsewhere, but I do share Shaunna’s pang at this change.

  2. My condolences, Shaunna. I remember with fondness the Canada Legislative Index, which was my first choice time and again at the Federal Court. The BC Courthouse Libraries continues (IMO) to be one of the best examples of innovation and quality in library services.

  3. Here at Courthouse Libraries, we really appreciate this feedback about the value of our legislative publications. Over the last decade, we saw subscriptions decline steadily and dramatically, to the point where we simply couldn’t justify the cost of producing the publications, especially in terms of staff resources and time. As much as we loved working on the legislative publications, we want to shift more into engaging with our clients directly, including in digital spaces like the amazing community that is Slaw. Like libraries everywhere, we’re evolving. Thanks again for the recognition!

  4. I relied on the Canada Legislative Index many times for reference, especially when other printed materials and websites have not been user-friendly or clear in their delivery of legislative information. All the historical bill information can still be accessed from the prior updates of the loose-leaf or on a legislative website, but users are never sure when information can be taken off of the web sites or the sites itself re-designed, which might make legislative information harder to access.

    I hope that there may be a place for the Canada Legislative Index and similar publications on the Internet.