Finding the Law
Training Law Librarians in Australian legal research has a long history with offerings commencing in New South Wales in the mid 1970's. In 1975, the NSW Australian Law Librarians' Group (ALLG) (as ALLA then was) ran the Reader Services Committee Workshop.
In the years since a variety of training opportunities have been run by the ALLA Divisions with a variety of different names, everything from a two-day Law Librarian Workshop, an Introduction to Legal Research Materials workshop, a Legal Information workshop, Effective Research Techniques. By the 1990's the Victorian Australian Law Librarians' Group began delivering the Finding the Law workshops.
By the early 2000's a move to a blended version (with both face-to-face and an online module) was made by the ALLA Victorian Division. Up until now, the course was updated and run annually, or as demand required. Here were saw the name change to Finding the Law Online (FLO).
The Victorian Division's Finding the Law Online (FLO) is a web based online tutorial, which aims to give the basic research and legal information skills you need to be a Legal Librarian. By the 2020's, ALLA Victoria and the ALLA Ltd National Board recognised the need to expand FLO to be a national offering, updated to modern online learning and legal research practices.
“We possess the basic ingredients for a national legal information policy. What we need is the will to bring it all together and make it a reality”
- Rob Brian, 1988
(retired ALLG/ALLA member)
In 2022, the National Finding the Law Online (FLO) Project was established with Anastasia Stepanovic as Project Lead and Alice Hewitt as Project Coordinator. They are joined volunteer ALLA Members from all over Australia who are helping provide their jurisdictional expertise to the project.
The FLO Project Team uses the above quote from Rob Brian, captured from Australian Law Librarians’ Group Newsletter ((1988, Issue 88, September-October), 193-202) [available on HeinOnline], to motivate and remind us that this course is of importance to all Law Librarians and Legal Information Professionals and that there is value in producing a truly national offering.
The Project Team is currently reviewing, expanding and updating previous iterations of FLO, and will be inclusive of all States and Territories. The new course is an initiative of the ALLA Ltd National Board and built by ALLA volunteers across Australia. The Project Team is excited to rebuild and reinvigorate this much beloved course.
The online modules are expected to be returned to the ALLA Ltd National Board in Q2 2023, with blended learning opportunities such as Workshops to be rolled out in the following months.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Project Team, volunteers and suggestions are welcomed and encouraged in any of the areas:
Tips & tricks that are worth knowing about in a State or Territory (let us know "what's your weird")
What target audiences we should consider when designing the content
Blended and online learning designers
Experienced (or willing to learn) Articulate 360 module developers, including video and quiz development
Proofing and user testing of modules
Possible new title of the initiative - is it a perfect time for a change?
Keep Up To Date
Updates about the progress of the National FLO Project will be published on the ALLA (WA) Blog and shared via the ALLA social media channels.
Get In Touch
If you'd like to discuss volunteering, or have any questions or comments, please contact the National FLO Project Team at ALLA Learning:
Project Lead: Anastasia Stepanovic
Project Coordinator: Alice Hewitt