Law Week was different this year as library buildings were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead of the usual displays, legal talks in the library, presentations to schools and legal information stalls, libraries went online to inform and educate their communities about the law.
Law Week Online
LIAC staff provided recommended content for library websites or newsletters as well as suggested social media posts and images. The content and posts highlighted legal resources including:
- Free online books available on the Find Legal Answers website – The Law Handbook: Your Practical Guide to the Law in NSW, Rest Assured: A Legal guide to Wills, Estates, Planning Ahead and Funerals in NSW and Neighbours and the law
- Sources of legal help, including help for issues due to COVID-19
- A short video created for Law Week by Legal Aid NSW, which highlighted where to find legal help and information
- Webinars presented online by community legal centres
- Legal Aid podcasts and videos.
Many libraries made use of this content, posting on their social media channels and including it in news items on their library websites.
Thank you SLNSW for your support as we managed to get the message out to our community via our website and on Facebook throughout Law Week, and included a few COVID-19-specific legal info posts.
Legal information delivery
As well as using social media, libraries reached their communities in other ways:
- Port Stephens Library made a short video showing their library users how to use the Find Legal Answers website to find legal information.
- Northern Beaches Libraries used their Library2U delivery service to promote Law Week 2020. Five hundred customers received a Find Legal Answers brochure with their Library2U deliveries during Law Week.
By delivering Find Legal Answers brochures directly to customers' doors with their books we were able to successfully reach customers who were home in isolation, giving them the opportunity to look at the resources online.
Online webinars and law talks
Although they couldn’t host legal talks in the library this year, four libraries partnered with a local solicitor or their community legal centre to present online talks:
- Shoalhaven Library had booked the ShoalCoast Community Legal Centre to do a face-to-face talk during Law Week. This talk had to be cancelled due to COVD-19, so they decided to move the presentation to Facebook. They filmed Principal Solicitor Justine O'Reilly from Shoalcoast as she discussed the legal issues surrounding COVID-19, including tenancy, employment, family law, and credit and debt. The library team edited the video and added slides from Justine's PowerPoint presentation. The presentation premiered on the library Facebook page on Thursday 21 May and was posted for a second time the following Saturday.
- Liverpool Library partnered with the South West Sydney Legal Centre to present two legal talks – on parenting arrangements and employee rights during COVID-19. Both were half hour sessions with questions at the end. They were presented via Zoom and livestreamed to Facebook. There were 18-21 attendees at the live events and each video has since had over 300 views each.
- Epping Library (City of Parramatta) presented a talk by a local solicitor on retirement village living, transitioning from your own home to a retirement village and understanding the different models of ownership and licensing in retirement villages. The talk was pre-recorded and made available on YouTube.
- Hornsby Library recorded three short (1-2 minute) videos on wills by a local lawyer. The videos were posted on the library and council Facebook pages and promoted on the library's website.
Congratulations to everyone for a great Law Week 2020!