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Public Librarian Q&A: I hope to post frequently asked legal reference questions that come to us from our dedicated public librarians at their public library reference desks. I receive help answering them from a number of our indomitable Oregon county law librarians, who like to remain nameless, if not also unidentified. Here is another question:

Question: “Law librarians always say to refer patrons to free or low-cost services and provides some examples. What is a good way to find out what services are available for our patrons?”

Answer: Start with the Legal Aid Services of Oregon, which is a page that offers links to legal aid services in each county in Oregon.

A list of available legal aid services by county, maintained by the Oregon Justice Department (State courts).

Don’t assume that all attorneys charge hundreds of dollars an hour. The Oregon State Bar Information Referral service may be able to recommend attorneys who are willing to work for reduced rates.

Finally, legal assistance may also be found through many non-profits and advocacy groups so pull out those handy-dandy lists of local community services resources and remind your patrons that as long as there is one more person or organization to consult all that is wanting is persistence and patience. We all know about serendipity, especially those times when we’ve found the help we needed in the most unlikely places. (Thank you also to the Lane County Law Librarian for assistance answering questions here and on L-net.)

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