Legal Studies teachers would be well aware of the amazing services provided by the Legal Information Access Centre located in, and part of, the State Library of NSW. For all Preliminary and HSC topics you can find a vast array of information to support teaching of the topics for both new and experienced teachers. Research guides and publications have helped teachers and students stay up to date with legal developments. In the past, LIAC has been funded externally and this funding is no longer available. While support for Legal Studies teachers and students will be provided by more generalist services offered by the library, the research guides will no longer be updated. The LIAc website states: "Specialist support for HSC Legal Studies students and teachers will not continue after 27 June 2014, but will be integrated into the Library’s HSC support programs."
LIAC publishes the Hot Topics magazines which focus on one issue found in the syllabus (e.g. Shelter) and provide a range of articles with updated legal information. Until recently these have been published as hard copies for schools. At the recent Legal Studies Association Conference it was announced that the Hot Topics magazines would no longer be published as hard copies, but would only be available online. Thankfully, the LIAC staff are very organised and sourcing the online copies is relatively easy and they are quite user friendly. It would appear that these will now no longer be published. LIAC also maintained a blog of updated information for Legal Studies students with links to articles and updated legislation which will also no longer be maintained. Regardless, the State Library of NSW still has a vast array of online resources and a library card enables staff and students to access their online database of updated journal articles, legislation and other resources.
HSC Online for Legal Studies has relied solely on links to the LIAC Research Guides in previous years. In a political environment that has seen many state and regional office jobs cut in the previous few years from the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the demise of LIAC will have a profound impact on providing updated resources for our students. This will put added pressure on teachers and professional associations (mostly run by teachers).
Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the new Geoactive book series.
Student resource sites: