Public libraries provide the Find Legal Answers service to the community of NSW by providing resources and trained staff, with the support of State Library Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) staff. In order to successfully deliver the Find Legal Answers service to the community, each library should appoint one or two staff members to be LIAC contacts.
The LIAC contact:
- joins the LIAC email list
- updates the collections
- organises LIAC training
- promotes the Find Legal Answers service.
LIAC email list
Contact Catherine Bryant to be added to the LIAC email list. You will receive regular emails about collection updates, training, promotional campaigns such as Youth Week, the Seniors Festival and Law Week, and other news.
Find Legal Answers collections
There are two Find Legal Answers collections in public libraries:
- Find Legal Answers Tool Kit
- Law Books for Libraries collection.
Many libraries also have a collection of free legal pamphlets for their available for their community to take away.
The LIAC contact ensures these collections are kept up to date, ordering new titles and discarding old editions as required.
Legal, Drug and Alcohol Information Workshop
The Legal, Drug and Alcohol Information Workshop equips staff with a knowledge of legal, drug and alcohol information resources.
It focuses on the statewide Find Legal Answers and Drug Info services available through public libraries across NSW and online. The workshop builds the capacity of public library staff to answer enquiries about the law, drugs and alcohol. It focuses on why clients need to know about the law, drugs and alcohol, where to find information, and how to deliver law, drug and alcohol information programs to the community. The workshop also includes a standard drink demonstration.
The Legal, Drug and Alcohol Information Workshop is available to be delivered locally on request. To book a workshop session in your library please contact Public Library Services staff.
Find Legal Answers online training
At the end of the Find Legal Answers online training, you will be able to:
- understand what the Find Legal Answers service is
- understand what legal information is
- understand the different types of legal information
- understand the difference between legal information and legal advice
- use the books in the Find Legal Answers Tool Kit collection
- use the Find Legal Answers website
- know how to promote Find Legal Answers to the community.
The training takes about one hour to complete and includes short videos, presentations, learning activities and quizzes.
Libraries can promote the service to the community in many different ways, including taking promotional material to local courts and other agencies, displaying the Tool Kit prominently in the library, talking to community groups, posting on the library or council’s social media platforms, including articles in local newspapers and newsletters, and arranging events.
Many libraries hold events during Law Week. Law Week, held in May each year, is a nationwide initiative to promote community awareness and understanding of the law, the legal system and the legal profession. Courts, legal agencies, solicitors, barristers, police and public libraries are all encouraged to get involved. It’s an excellent opportunity for libraries to promote the Find Legal Answers resources and service to the community.
Events held by libraries include displays, talks on legal topics by local solicitors, expos, plays, stalls and storytime events.
LIAC provides a range of Find Legal Answers promotional material, including flyers, bookmarks, magnets and signage. It is important to make sure libraries have the most recent material on display, and that out of date material is discarded. A list of current promotional material is available, and material can be ordered whenever it is needed.
Support from the State Library
We support public libraries providing the Find Legal Answers service to their communities by:
- communicating regularly with you via the email list, letting you know about updates to the collections, training, special events such as Law Week etc
- updating the Find Legal Answers Tool Kit and Law Books for Libraries collections, and sending instructions about which resources to obtain or discard
- providing two copies of the Tool Kit to every library service free of charge
- providing advice about libraries’ general legal collection
- providing Find Legal Answers training to public library staff
- providing all promotional material
- providing promotional material for Law Week events
- providing information to help plan Law Week events
- providing promotional material for Youth Week and Seniors Festival events
- assisting with legal enquiries when required – libraries can contact LIAC if they have an enquiry from a client and need some assistance
- answering any questions about the service, no matter how large or small.