Articles Tagged with Public law libraries

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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 In other words, the easy-stuff is online, but not the right-stuff (that treatise, that superceded statute, that legislative history, etc.).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.

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In less than 3 weeks, about 2,000 law librarians (including the law lib bloggers) and their families will be converging on the Portland Metro area for the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). This is a lot more exciting than you might imagine (and very good for local businesses and the tourism sector).

In honor of the Descent of the Law Librarians, Jenn Dalglish, Clackamas County Law Librarian, and I, Washington County Law Librarian, will talk about all things Law Librarian (a lot more fun than you might imagine!) on the public, cable-access TV program:

Legally Speaking,” on TVCTV, June 26th, 8-9 p.m. (live) (reruns thereafter):49 minutes of Fast Talking about Law Libraries, With Call-In Possibilities.

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