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 Ask the Lawyer




South Central Regional Library Council has acquired the services of an attorney to offer members timely input on intellectual property, digital rights management, vendor contracts, first amendment, civil rights, human resources, employment law and other legal issues that can impact library operations. This service is offered in collaboration with the other nine councils comprising the Empire State Library Network. This service also incorporates Ask an HR Expert. 


SCRLC members are eligible to participate -- as are the member libraries of SCRLC's public and school library systems. The service is currently provided at no cost to eligible members.

To submit an inquiry to SCRLC's Ask the Lawyer service, use the form linked below. Prior to completing the form, please check the Recently Asked Questions (RAQ) on the WNYLRC website. Another library may have already asked the same question.


The completed form will be reviewed confidentially by a SCRLC staff member and the lawyer. Responses 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 library type,
  • an addition to the "Recently Asked Questions (RAQ) " on the WNYLRC web site, or
  • a memo shared only with the member library requesting the information and the SCRLC staff liaison to the service.

Responses shared in the RAQs are anonymous, i.e. the asking institution is not identified.


Please keep in mind that the Ask the Lawyer service is not legal advice to 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 that threshold! Please complete the form to initiate a response.


For immediate HR personnel related questions, the Council will fund the initial response from the attorney, but cannot guarantee any further financial support for legal services associated with the specific question.


Please complete the form in one sitting-- the form cannot be saved to continue later. Provide as much information as possible when completing the form. If you have documentation that would assist the attorney in answering your inquiry, you may upload files at the bottom of the form.


Inquiries about this service should be sent to Mary-Carol Lindbloom or call 607-273-9106 ext. 203.

RAQs: Recently Asked Questions

Ask the Lawyer Request Form

Past Ask The Lawyer Recordings

Ready Set Policy! Using the 2022 Collection Management Policy and Guide (July 19, 2022)
ESLN Services: Ask The Lawyer (May 27, 2022)
Libraries and First Amendment Audits (April 26, 2022)

Calm, Legally Cool, and Collected: Tactics for Libraries Facing Book Challenges and Collection-based Protests (December 2, 2022)
New Sick Leave Law (January 13, 2021)
Know Your Rights: Copyright Hacks for Librarians and Educators (May 14, 2020)

About the Lawyer

The attorney for this service is Stephanie ("Cole") Adams, who 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 the participating library councils to craft useful replies to member library questions.


Ask the Lawyer is a service to South Central Regional Library Council, Western New York Library Resources Council, and the other participating Councils. It is not legal advice to any organization other than SCRLC, WNYLRC, and the other Councils who utilize the service to provide general guidance, updates, forms, and training events to aid their members.

Contact Us

 Email  1300 Dryden Road, Ithaca, NY 14850

 (607) 273-9106

 Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 4:00pm

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