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Ask the Archivist

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Ask the Archivist Request Form & Recently Asked Questions

Each participating Council provides, at no cost to members, the Ask the Archivist service. To request the service, members must complete the "Ask the Archivist Request Form.” Members should provide as much information as possible on the issue to ensure the archivist 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 archivist who is reviewing the issue.

If your inquiry is appropriate for the service, then the archivist will be contacted to formulate a response to your inquiry.  If your question has already been answered by the service or is beyond the scope of the service, we will contact you with suggestions for next steps. Please note: Members should check the RAQ section first before completing the form. Another member may have already asked the same question! If you are a school or public library, please check first with your library system before submitting an inquiry.  Your system may already have the information you need.

Ask the Lawyer

Ask the Lawyer




Ask the Lawyer RAQs: Recently Asked Questions
Ask the Lawyer Resources
How to Submit a Question

The Western New York Library Resources Council retains an attorney to offer WNYLRC and its members timely input on human resources, intellectual property, digital rights management, vendor contracts, first amendment, civil rights, employment law, and other legal issues that can impact library operations.

"Ask the Lawyer" was developed and piloted by the Western New Library Resources Council in 2016 and is now a service to members of all nine regional library councils in New York. All "Ask the Lawyer" answers are the copyright of author Stephanie Adams. This service, and its content, are in service of the missions of New York State's libraries. Reproduction of this content, other than for internal use by a council member organization, can only be done with permission. For all other inquiries to reproduce this content, please write to the hosting library council, who will reach out to the author, or write [email protected].

About Our Attorney

The service is staffed by Buffalo attorney 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 WNYLRC and other library Councils to craft useful replies to member library questions.

Ask Us 24/7

AskUs 24/7




Virtual reference has become an important component of library service today and one that can bolster a library's effectiveness and visibility as an information provider. To help WNYLRC member libraries and library systems implement virtual reference, WNYLRC's Regional Advisory Committee oversees a regional virtual reference service called Ask Us 24/7 using Springshare's LibAnswers software (formerly 24/7 Reference). The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and includes back-up from libraries statewide and internationally. Funding to support marketing materials and Springshare subscription costs is provided through RBDB grant money as well as participation fees from libraries providing desk time to the service for their patrons.  Is your library participating? Visit our website for more information!

Libraries interested in joining the service can contact Caitlin Kenney at [email protected] or 716-633-0705, ext. 115.