How to promote your Find Legal Answers service through partnerships with other agencies
You can let your community know about the plain language information available to them in their public library and online by using promotional material and through partnerships with other agencies.
It's a great idea to let other agencies know about the services libraries can offer. Many of them are unaware that their clients can benefit from visiting the library – to find information and to improve their digital literacy by using free wifi or library computers.
One of the easiest ways to let people know about Find Legal Answers is to display the posters, bookmarks, brochures and magnets in your library, in prominent places such as the information and loans desks. You can also include the bookmarks, magnets and/or brochures in your welcome pack to new library members, and give them out at Law Week or other events. All our promotional material is free of charge. You can check the list of promotional materials, and order top up supplies at any time.
Law Week is an annual event aimed at increasing public awareness about the law, the legal system and the legal profession, as well as educating the community about the legal services available in New South Wales. Law Week is held in May every year. It’s a great opportunity to promote your service, and libraries organise many wonderful events every year. Check out our Law Week pages for more information and ideas for events.
Think of some of the other “weeks” and “days” and how they can be used to promote the service. Examples include:
- Harmony Day – give away the Find Legal Answers and Drug Info multicultural card, or get some pamphlets in community languages to give away
- Youth Week – Legal Aid NSW produce a range of free pamphlets and booklets for young people that can be ordered and given away
- Seniors Week – Legal Aid NSW produce a range of free pamphlets and booklets for older people that can be ordered and given away
Local courts, CLCs and Legal Aid offices
LIAC has conducted training for staff from local courts, community legal centres (CLCs) and Legal Aid offices in over 30 locations across NSW. The Find Legal Answers resources are very useful for people attending local courts and for clients of CLCs and Legal Aid. You could visit your local court, CLC and Legal Aid office and take them some brochures and magnets. It would also be good to invite them along to your library so they can see the wealth of plain English legal information available.
Fair Trading NSW
Contact your local Fair Trading Office. Some libraries have found speakers for Law Week and Seniors Week this way, on a variety of topics including scams and consumer issues.
Centrelink and other government agencies
Some libraries work closely with their local Centrelink office. Many government services such as Centrelink can now only be accessed online. Letting these offices know that their local library has free internet access, often provides technology training for the community (for example Tech Savvy Seniors), provides services such as scanning documents, and that they can refer clients to the library to access government services, is another way to promote the service.
Community Justice Centres
Community Justice Centres offer a free mediation service that assists clients resolve disputes. Mediation is offered in a variety of locations – you could contact them and let them know the library has rooms available. Community Justice Centres could also be approached to give a talk at a Law Week event.
Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program
Legal Aid’s Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program (CLSD) is designed to connect legal service providers, including public libraries, with each other to better assist clients in need of legal information and assistance. Legal Aid is very keen for public library staff to join the CLSD groups. There are twelve regions: Albury, Central Coast, Central Tablelands, Central West, Far West, Hunter, Kempsey/Nambucca, Moree, Northern Rivers, South Coast, Taree/Forster, and Wagga Wagga. If you are in one of these regions, it’s a good idea to attend the CLSD meetings. You get to see what other legal services are doing in your area, to find out useful referral information, and it’s a great way to build up relationships within your community. It’s always a good idea to take along one of the Tool Kit titles – many lawyers have no idea of the wealth of plain language information that is available to their clients. Many libraries have used the contacts they have made at CLSD meetings to find speakers for events, or put on joint events. There is more detail about the program on Legal Aid’s CLSD page.
Many people visit their local MP with legal enquiries, so it’s great for the electoral office staff to be able to refer them to the local library for information. It’s a good idea to visit your local MPs office, taking along some brochures or bookmarks, and perhaps inviting them in for a visit, to remind them of the great plain English legal information available.
There are many other agencies in your local community that you could visit, including the U3A, senior citizens groups, police stations, family counselling organisations, and neighbourhood centres. Take along some promotional material, and let them know about the Tool Kit.
Try contacting your local high schools with students studying legal studies and offer them a presentation. Highlight the HSC Legal Studies research guide, and journal and newspaper databases available via your library or the State Library that they can use in their research.
There are many opportunities to offer training and information about the Find Legal Answers service to your community. You may be asked to give a short presentation at a community meeting, be introducing a Law Week event, or wanting to deliver a more in-depth training package.
Many libraries participate in pop-up events, for example field days, festivals, expos, stands in local shopping centres. Don’t forget to take along your Tool Kit to these events, and to promote the Find Legal Answers website.