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Hundreds of people all around the state visited their local libraries during Law Week this year. There were displays, legal talks, training sessions, presentations to schools, a play, information stalls and much more.
Law Week is 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.
Sylvania Library had a crime and justice display next to the self check machines, with their crime fiction and non fiction books and DVDs displayed with the Find Legal Answers Tool Kit and legal pamphlets.
Wingecarribee Library created subject related showbags, filling their bags with free pamphlets on different legal topics.
Canada Bay Library highlighted the Tool Kit in its display case, and Snowy Monaro used balloons to draw attention to their display!
Piano forte program with Legal Aid
Seventeen libraries partnered with Legal Aid NSW and other legal agencies to present Piano forte, a film and panel discussion about elder financial abuse. These events were very successful, with libraries commenting that it definitely led to new partnerships and other event opportunities and that the customers really enjoyed the film and they had a great discussion.
Expressions of interest to host Piano forte over the next 12 months will shortly be offered to libraries.
Road trips to local schools
Some libraries chose to do Law Week events for schools.
Kyogle Library took legal information on the road, reaching over 500 students in three locations.
Congratulation to Singleton Library who presented the 10th annual Law Week play in partnership with a local high school. The topics covered this year were drug use, drink spiking and online bullying, showing what happens to the offenders at court. The cast included a local solicitor, police (two senior constables) and a Court Registrar.
The young audience were all fully engaged, riveted to their seats without a shuffle or word throughout the entire performance.
Seventy students attended the first performance, and the library is in the process of setting a date for a road trip to Aberdeen. The Community Services Bus, driven by the local police officer, will travel to Aberdeen, where a further 200 students will be in the audience. The police officer commented that she cannot think of a better way to get the message across to young people.
Snowy Monaro Regional Library in Cooma gave presentations to two local high schools – a year 10 class which visited the library to learn about road safety and party drugs, and a trip out to the local high school to visit year 12 legal, commerce, and Aboriginal studies students who were looking at different aspects of the law. The students did beer goggles and standard drinks activities and a worksheet based on the Find Legal Answers awareness training program.
Feedback was that the presentation was extremely relevant to the curriculum and the students were impressed by the quantity and depth of information available both in print and on the websites. Each of the 40 students were issued with a certificate, which was very much appreciated. The teachers are now more aware of the range of information on the library’s website and indicated that they will incorporate them as part of their curriculum resources.
All of the libraries also included the Tool Kit books and other free legal information as part of their programs. Congratulations to Kyogle, Singleton and Cooma!
Some libraries chose to do some training for Law Week.
Port Stephens Library (Tomaree branch) modified the Find Legal Answers awareness training to create a program for the community. The participants enjoyed the opportunity to answer questions using the hard copy Tool Kit books and appreciated the demonstration of the website with sample questions and search strategies.
Librarians from around the Central West – Parkes, Oberon, Mudgee, Dubbo, Gilgandra, Bathurst, Forbes, Orange, Cowra and Canowindra – met in Orange to learn the latest news about copyright legislation, rules and reviews. They had an overview of copyright law, and discussed copyright essentials, infringements, exceptions and how libraries navigate copyright.
Congratulations to everyone for a great Law Week 2018!