Articles Tagged with Public law libraries

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Open Law Lab is a wonderful website, curious, provocative, funny, wise, and more. It stands on its own (enjoy!) but it is also an excellent companion to Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog.

One of my (several) favorite Open Law Lab “images of law” is the blog post titled: Law for Normal People. It includes a graphic with this text that pretty much sums up everything that makes legal self-help center and public law library program management so confounding:

“People don’t want to talk to lawyers, but they really want legal advice. (See its original posting at the Stanford d. school blog, Whiteboard.) And read more about the lawyer / artist: Margaret Hagan.

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Multnomah County has a job posting for a Library Safety and Security Manager.

If you think this is an easy job, or that libraries are places only for dull dogs, think again (and read Black Belt Librarians).

From the job posting (after the closing date of 4/11/14, start from their main website for other jobs with Multnomah County Library):

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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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If you are a public law librarian, a public law library trustee, or interested in pursuing a career in public law librarianship, here’s a great book and a book review:

Public Law Librarianship: Objectives, Challenges, and Solutions,” by Laurie Selwyn and Virginia Eldridge. IGI Global, 2012, 281 pages.

We have a copy in our Law Library and your law library may have one, too.

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Have you ever wondered about the questions public law librarians are asked? Have you ever thought that answers to lawyer and non-lawyer legal questions are “all online?”

Think again!

The Oregon Special Law Library Association (ORSLA) asked the question. Read the answers (and a few samples below). Public law librarians around the country will recognize these:

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Report on Evolving Role of Law Libraries in the 21st Century,” by Richard Zorza

Law libraries can continue to play an integral role in the courts and justice system in the 21st Century, but only if they change their orientation towards helping the public access the legal system.  A new report released by Zorza & Associates today, titled “The Sustainable 21st Century Law Library: Vision, Deployment and Assessment for Access to Justice,” notes the vast changes to the law library landscape over the past twenty years and the potentially critical new role they can play as an access to justice resource for people without lawyers….” [Link to blog post and full text of report.]

Press release.

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Question: WHO uses the Oregon county law libraries and for what purpose(s)?

Answer: Thousands of people use the Oregon county law libraries, because no other publicly accessible library has their specialized legal research resources, including databases, books, and professional law librarians.

More WHO answers: Government attorneys and other employees, metro-area residents, solo and small law firm attorneys who assist clients with limited income, pro se (self-represented) litigants, especially those with family, small estate, debt collection, landlord-tenant, and traffic court questions, middle and high school students, college, law school, and paralegal students, tax professionals, out of state and non-U.S. attorneys and self-represented litigants with legal interests in Oregon, and more all use the public (county) law library.

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For the past 20 years, at least, law school deans, legislators, law firm managers, lobbyists, jail and prison managers, among others, have been asking why their organizations need law libraries, and heaven forbid, law librarians. After all, “isn’t all the law online?”

My brief response is:

1) No, it’s not all online; only a fraction of it is, and most of that is just online versions of (allegedly official and current) primary sources and a lot of very bad “legal advice”. In other words, the easy-stuff is online, but not the right-stuff (that treatise, that superceded statute, that legislative history, etc.). And, if you don’t know how to use these primary sources in any format, print or otherwise (i.e. do legal research!), woe to those of you who try to make sense of these materials, e.g. the Oregon Laws, online.