Law Week 2017

Congratulations to you all for a fantastic Law Week 2017! It’s a great opportunity for libraries to highlight their Find Legal Answers service and to provide interesting and useful legal information to their community.  

Many libraries chose to highlight the legal collections with a display. Simply by moving the collection from its usual spot to a more prominent place in the library is a great way of drawing attention to the resources. Many of you utilised your glass display cases to create attractive displays. Some libraries had a display in their mobile libraries, and many used the Law Week showbags as part of a display as well as filling them with pamphlets and other goodies to give away. It was also great to see libraries use their Drug Info standard drinks kit as part of their Law Week displays.

Law Week display at Grafton Library

Law Week display at Grafton Library

Many libraries were able to find local solicitors to talk on legal subjects of interest to the community. Subjects addressed include wills and planning ahead, family law, strata living, scam awareness, shopping rights, buying and selling property, and financial management.  Many of these talks were in community languages.

Over 15 libraries partnered with Legal Aid NSW to present talks on cyber safety and traffic law. These events were very successful, with comments from the participating libraries including:

  • The event was well received and participants had plenty of questions to ask
  • The event was a great success. We had 20 bookings and 20 people came (this never happens!) The presenters we very friendly and spoke confidently about the topic. They were very easy to work with. I'd recommend libraries book a talk with Legal Aid.
  • Event was excellent.  Those that attended were engaged and expressed they learnt much from the talk.
  • Happy with the result. Numbers were comfortable for our meeting room. Attendees very positive and engaged throughout the talks. Lawyer was great to work with and so good with the attendees. Organisation was straightforward with help of LIAC and Legal Aid staff.
  • Those that attended found the informal Q and A style of delivery very relevant and worthwhile. The participants reported that they “learnt so many things to be careful of when using the internet and the different types of scams” and “loved being able to ask questions and receive some advice from a solicitor”.


Here are some more of the wonderful events held this year:

Albury LibraryMuseum held a Legal Questions Day. They invited the local community to meet members of the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service (HRCLS) and discuss any legal issues they may need help with. They also organised the local refugee group to attend the library that day as well. The presentation was well received by the refugee community with connections made with other groups within the local CALD community for the HRCLS. It was a great morning of barriers being broken and connections being made.

Man and woman in library

Members of the Bhutanese community at Albury Libary

One of the events presented at the Max Webber Library, Blacktown was Financial Hardship - Debt Management presented by the Financial Rights Legal Centre. They also displayed the Debt Dating video in the foyer to promote and support the talk.

Ku-Ring-Gai Library invited Bill Hosking, author of Justice Denied to speak about his book, which covers how the justice system works, and looks back at the author’s career as a criminal barrister in a candid account of his time at the bar. 

The Coonabarabran branch of the Macquarie Regional Library presented Terrrorism and criminal laws: how are they developed? a special presentation by former head of Federal Crime and Security Policy at the Attorney General’s Department, Geoff McDonald PSM.

Newcastle Region Library presented Underbelly: Stories of the Hunter's infamous crimes, held in the bar of the Civic Theatre. There were two speakers - Sue Ryan, Local History Librarian at Newcastle Library and Nancy Cushing Senior Lecturer and Head of History at Newcastle University.  Michael Giles from the Hunter Community Legal Centre opened the day with an introduction to the work of Community Legal Centres in New South Wales. The event provided an opportunity to promote the Legal Tool Kit and other services provided by LIAC, as well as putting the Library's extensive Local History collection into the spotlight.

The Queanbeyan Palerang Library Service held a trivia night in Library and Information Week (the week following Law Week) with a round of law questions to be answered using material from the Find Legal Answers Tool Kit and legal pamphlets.

Singleton Library celebrated Law Week with the ninth consecutive performance of The Law Week Play. Students from a local high school partnered once again with the Library, with generous donations of time given to the Library by the local police, Local Court Registrar, and a local solicitor. The play was written, produced and directed by year 11 drama students. This year’s play focused on internet/mobile phone crime. 

The Miranda branch of Sutherland Shire Libraries presented a talk by the Seniors Rights Service, explaining the services they provide and how they may be of use to older people.

Wentworth Shire Library had guest speakers from the police force. A retired Detective Chief Inspector chatted about his life as a Police Officer and the impact of the changing environment (eg Ice, mobile phones, faster cars) on families. Three police officers, including the domestic violence liaison Officer and the Aboriginal community liaison officer spoke about family and domestic violence with in the community.

Social media

LIAC supported public libraries with a Law Week social media campaign, using Twitter and Facebook. We had a scheduled program of tweets and posts, promoting each day's activities at public libraries. Libraries were encouraged to use the hastags #nswpubliclibraries and #LawWeek so we could follow the conversations. The campaign proved very successful once again, with a significant increase in our Facebook and Twitter audience reach and followers over Law Week.

Thanks to all of you who provided feedback and photos. You can check out the photos on the Law Week Pinterest board.

Catherine Bryant