Ask the Lawyer!

The Central New York Library Resources Council has aquired the services of an attorney to offer CLRC and its members timely input on intellectual property, digital rights management, vendor contracts, and other legal issues that can impact library operations. Questions sent to “Ask the Lawyer!” will be reviewed by CLRC staff and sent to counsel for responses. This project is being offered in collaboration with the Western New York Library Resources Council.

All CLRC member libraries are eligible to participate, as are the member library systems and their member libraries. To submit an inquiry to the CLRC “Ask the Lawyer!” service you must complete the Ask the Lawyer! Request Form. Members should provide as much information as possible on the issue to ensure the attorney has the information needed to fully answer the member library’s inquiry. Member libraries also have the ability to upload documents that might be helpful in assisting the attorney who is reviewing the issue. Prior to completing the form, please check the RAQs: Recently Asked Questions on the WNYLRC website. Another library may have already asked the same question.

Questions sent to CLRC’s “Ask the Lawyer” service will be reviewed by a CLRC staff member, who is the service liaison, and sent to our attorney for answers. Responses and answers may be provided in several formats:

  • a memo shared with all members if the issue is pertinent to more than one member library,
  • a training session if the issue is pertinent to a group of member libraries or type of library members,
  • an addition to the “RAQs: Recently Asked Questions” on the WNYLRC website, or
  • a memo shared only with the member library requesting the information and the CLRC service liaison who manages the service.

Please keep in mind, the “Ask the Lawyer” service is not legal representation of your organization. Always alert officers at your institution if a lawsuit is threatened or if a matter is so specific or critical that your own institution’s attorney should be involved. And yes – you can always “Ask the Lawyer” if you don’t know if a particular issue hits the threshold!

About Our Attorney

Buffalo attorney Stephanie (“Cole”) Adams first developed a deep connection to libraries working as a page, then clerk, at her hometown library in New Hartford, NY. Ms. Adams went on to work at the libraries of her Alma Maters, Hampshire College, and SUNY Buffalo School of Law. She served for over 10 years as the in-house counsel at Niagara University, in Niagara Falls, NY. An attorney admitted to practice in both the state and federal courts of New York, Ms. Adams has extensive experience with the issues confronting information professionals. Ms. Adams works closely with WNYLRC and other library Councils to craft useful replies to member library questions.