Articles Tagged with Public libraries

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Multnomah County Library (MCL) patrons know that materials, signs, events, and librarians bring multi-lingual expertise to their patrons, but did you know that the Multnomah County Library and other public libraries around Oregon (and likely other states) also provide “language line” service to their patrons.

I recently asked MCL if they still have the service and here was their response:

“Thank you for contacting Multnomah County Library about the “Language Line” service. We do still use telephone interpretation services to help us assist patrons who may not be fluent in English. I’m sorry that information isn’t readily available on our website–I will suggest that it be added.

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From the AALL (American Association of Law Libraries), LISP (Legal Information Services to the Public) special interest section:

Public Library Toolkit:

“This is a toolkit meant to help public librarians understand the process of legal research, effectively develop and use the information located within their libraries, utilize information located outside their libraries, with the end goal of helping the patron locate the legal information they need ...”

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The IRS does still distribute some paper tax forms. It does this through their Tax Forms Outlet Program.

“The Tax Forms Outlet Program offers tax products to the American public primarily through participating post offices and libraries.

For Free Tax Help in Oregon: Libraries, Post Offices, Senior and Community Centers, etc.

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Our favorite and first-stop legal self-help website is Oregon Law Help.

If you need legal information and referrals on domestic violence, custody, child support, landlord-tenant, foreclosure, bankruptcy, taxes, wages and hours, employment discrimination, public benefits, immigration and workplace safety, elder law, estate planning, disability law, special education, or related topics, make Oregon Law Help one of your first stops on the Internet.

Your next stops might be 211 Info, your public library, and your public law library. And there’s more! But we’ll save those for another blog post.

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1) There are excellent legal research guides and links at the Oregon Law Help website. Legal aid lawyers compile these materials and links to a wide range of organizations.

2) The Multnomah Bar Association produces English and Spanish versions of:

Youth Faces the Law: A Juvenile Rights Handbook and Domestic Violence: A Guide to Your Rights

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The American Bar Association’s  Equal Justice Conference (EJC) 2014 will be held in Portland, Oregon.

You may register for a pre-conference session for $75, without having to register for the entire EJC conference!

Among other EJC and pre-conference programs, there is one for Access to Justice (A2J) professionals, public law librarians, and those who are interested public law library or public library legal reference services and A2J (access to justice) issues:

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Here in Oregon we are in a strange sort of campaign for continued county law library funding. If you would like to weigh in on the subject, but don’t know anything about the business of public law libraries, you need to do a little research.

Public law libraries have management and service profiles, and demands, that are different from academic (law school) and law firm libraries, sometimes hugely different.

You can talk to your county law librarian if you have one, you can talk to me, or, you can do some independent reading.

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We work with a lot of public library reference librarians and library assistants and are always on the lookout for materials that could help them help their public library patrons who ask legal reference and legal research questions.

One day we’ll write that quick and dirty legal reference guide for public libraries, but in the meantime, the Drake Law Library in Iowa has linked to, and annotated, a list of many of my favorite guides at their website that explain the unauthorized practice of law, differences between legal information and advice, and legal research techniques:

Self-represented litigant resources