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Congratulations to everyone for a fantastic Law Week 2021! Law Week is a wonderful opportunity for libraries to highlight their Find Legal Answers service and to provide interesting and useful legal information to their community.
After last year's successful online-only Law Week, it was great to see libraries welcoming the community back to attend law talks in person. But of course there is still a place for online events and it was also good to see libraries offer online talks. Some libraries chose to move their Find Legal Answers Tool Kit to a new location, and many of you worked with Legal Aid and other legal service providers.
Check out some of the highlights below.
All Northern Beaches Library Service branches created prominent displays to mark Law Week, incorporating the Find Legal Answers Tool Kit, banners and brochures. Several branches used this as an opportunity to trial the Tool Kit in a more visible location. Staff were available to help customers to use the books in the Tool Kit as well as the Find Legal Answers website. Law Week provided an opportunity to remind library staff about the Tool Kits, and a feature about these resources was included in the weekly staff newsletter, encouraging staff to direct customers to these resources as their first port of call.
Wagga Wagga Library has a permanent Find Legal Answers display, however for Law Week 2021 they moved it to the entrance of the library for greater exposure, adding the free showbags for something extra.
Inverell Shire Public Library had a library display which included running the How Laws Are Made video.
Many libraries invited local solicitors and other organisations to talk on legal subjects of interest to the community.
Tamworth Library partnered with UNE SMART Region Incubator to host a Law Week panel about starting a small business. The expert panelists provided information about the rules, regulations and reality for entrepreneurs, focusing on contracts, workplace mediation, tax implications, and what to look out for when starting a business.
Goulburn Mulwaree Library ran a wills workshop, designed for people with simple assets and beneficiaries to fill in a will template and have it witnessed. They also ran a Talking about Death session, with a panel including a solicitor, funeral director, counsellor, end of life doula, and palliative care worker, about things to think about when planning for end of life.
Shoalhaven Libraries hosted Law Week presentations with solicitors from the ShoalCoast Community Legal Centre at three of their branches. Nowra Library and Sanctuary Point Library held tenancy and housing law presentations, with Nowra Library pairing the talk with a screening of classic Australian film The Castle. Ulladulla Library’s talk was on planning ahead, covering wills, Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardianship and Advanced Care Directives.
Blacktown Library worked with local law firms and a community legal centre. Local firms presented talks on family law and wills and Power of Attorney. Marrickville Legal Centre presented strata law, chosen due to the increase of high-rise development in Blacktown.
Randwick Library presented four events: one for adults (Your Neighbours and the Law with Legal Aid), one for seniors (Things to know as you get older with the Seniors Rights Service), and two for young people (Let's talk about consent with Legal Aid). For the youth events, they invited local high school Legal Studies students in Years 11 and 12, with over 50 students attending.
Narromine Library partnered with the Western NSW Community Legal Centre to host talks on guardianship and Power of Attorney at Narromine Library and wills at Trangie Library.
Solicitors from the Western Sydney Community Legal Centre offer free legal advice to the community on a fortnightly basis at Auburn Library. During Law Week, they held an open-door session. The same lawyers provided talks about family violence issues at the Auburn and Merrylands branches.
The Snowy Monaro Regional Library surveyed their library members to find what topics they were interested in. As a result of the survey, a series of talks called Planning ahead – Wills, Power of Attorney & more were scheduled. The Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre gave presentations in Cooma, Bombala and Jindabyne to audiences of a wide age range, including a Legal Studies class from a local high school in Jindabyne. In Cooma, a wills specialist from a local law firm gave a presentation on estates and trusts, which included a discussion about disputes that can occur after death.
Legal Aid talks
LIAC worked with Legal Aid NSW to present two community legal information talks in public libraries during Law Week:
Your money and the law
Dealing with money troubles can be stressful. Sometimes you need help to know your rights and how the law can help. This workshop will introduce the organisations and resources you can use to help with some of the more common money problems like being chased for money, being owed money and borrowing money.
Your neighbours and the law
Disputes can happen between neighbours for many reasons and can make life stressful. This workshop will introduce the resources, organisations and laws you can use to help with some of the more common neighbour issues like fences, trees, animals and noise.
The talks were held at 21 public libraries. Most libraries hosted in-person talks, while some chose to host online talks. Willoughby City Library was able to offer Your money and the law in English and Mandarin.
Comments from participating libraries included:
- This program was very well received and generated a lot of interest for future talks.
- We will definitely be interested in having Legal aid for more regular info sessions in the future.
- I was really impressed by the standard of the speakers and how engaged our audiences were.
- This workshop generated a lot of interest in our community and booked out in a couple of weeks, before posters even reached the library branches!
These talks are now available to be presented at any time of year - find out more on the Law talks in your library page.
Social media campaign
A social media campaign was created for public libraries to use. Sample posts and images were provided that could be used on different social media channels. The posts highlighted content on the Find Legal Answers website and information from legal agencies.
Although this campaign was originally prepared for Law Week, you can use it to let your community know about the legal information available to them at any time of the year.
Law Week website
LIAC staff worked with the Marrickville Legal Centre and Legal Aid NSW to create a new Law Week website. The website listed events held during Law Week by libraries and legal service providers. We look forward to seeing even more library events listed on the website next year!
Congratulations to everyone for a great Law Week 2021!