Tag Archives: Wellington City Libraries

Law for Lunch fills community information gap #RL2013

Last night we held the second Reality Librarianship 2013 event with Celia Lillis & Rebecca Chilton from Wellington City Libraries (WCL), talking about their successful Law for Lunch series.

Starting out in 2007, WCL & the Community Law Centre have created Law for Lunch, a series of lunchtime events delivered over five weeks, with two series run each year.

Celia & Rebecca talked about the practicalities of developing a partnership with a community provider who had the networks & expertise to deliver sessions covering a wide-range of legal issues in order to fill an information gap for their community. From tenants’ rights to Family Trusts, from issues relating to employment or relationships, the topics are varied and relevant for the community. And the community is certainly turning out to these events, with 80+ attending some sessions!

The key ideas that resonate for me to replicate this type of partnership in your library :

  1. Identify an information gap for your community. For WCL, this was ‘legal’ issues, but it could just as easily be health or technology or life skills.
  2. Find a community partner who has a similar values & community needs, and discuss how you can “share” your target audience.
  3. Market widely. Use your networks & your partner’s networks, and take a multi-pronged approach (e.g. social media, posters, newspapers).
  4. Debrief regularly to make sure that you are both still benefiting from the partnership.

For me, Law for Lunch demonstrates how libraries successfully create & develop partnerships to benefit our communities. We don’t need to be the experts delivering the content for everything, but we facilitate learning in our communities by providing the space & the ongoing support for these events. As with last week’s Chalkle° session, it’s all about the lasting partnerships we create & sustain for our communities.

We’ve created a Storify of the Twitter chat, rounding up the comments with #RL2013 hashtag, and Abigail Willemse has also blogged her summary of the event.


We have two more community partnership events coming up. Next week Paula Eskett will be talking about the partnership between Riccarton High School & Christchurch City Libraries. Learn more.