The Legal Services Corporation recently highlighted their 2016 Library Initiative White Paper. The article points out that
“[t]here are more than 16,000 public libraries in the United States, offering free public access to computers, the internet, and to trained staff equipped to help library patrons access information.
Therefore, libraries have untapped potential to help low-income individuals who need assistance with civil legal problems. With the proper training and support, librarians could provide information to a significant number of Americans who quality for LSC-funded legal aid but are turned away due to a lack of resources.”
The advisory committee included the director of the Maryland State Law Library, and a senior public interest librarian from the Los Angeles Law Library.
See The Untapped Potential of Public Libraries to Help Close the Justice Gap for the full article and a link to the white paper.
Oregon’s public county law libraries already provide resources and research assistance for self-represented litigants. But not every state has public law libraries, and even in Oregon self-represented litigants are not always close to a public law library with the resources they need. The Washington County Law Library is extending its services beyond downtown Hillsboro by partnering with the Beaverton City and Tigard Public libraries.