Libraries

What are libraries for, if no longer just places for books?

More than just places to find or read books, libraries offer access to the information resources and technology needed by their communities. As safe, neutral public spaces and hubs for community education, libraries are essential to access to justice for many reasons, including:

• Libraries are places where people come to access information

• Librarians are key players in forming partnerships and collaborations to implement live assistance in the Library

• Public libraries have evolved into a primary source for public Internet access in many communities

• Librarians are trained to help people access the resources and online information they need

• Law librarians provide training to public librarians to expand public access to legal information and facilitate referrals

Public Libraries

The American Library Association (ALA) represents all types of libraries - public, school, academic, state and special libraries. The State of America’s Libraries 2015: A Report from the American Library Association recognizes American libraries as “community anchor institutions” whose missions include providing equitable access to information, technology and digital content as well as building communities. Learn more about the American Library Association’s advocacy efforts at ILoveLibraries.org, an initiative that focuses on getting communities to value their libraries.

Law Libraries

Facilitating access to legal information is a core function of law libraries. More information about the three general categories of law libraries – academic, government and private - can be found on the website of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the primary professional association serving law librarians and other legal information professionals. The American Association of Law Libraries’ 2015 Law Libraries and Access to Justice report underscores the critical role that librarians of all types have in helping to expand access to and understanding of legal information.

American Association of Law Librarians (AALL) 2018 Annual Conference, Baltimore

The 2018 AALL annual conference will occur in Baltimore, Maryland and will focus on moving from knowledge to action. For more information see the conference webpage.

Brief: Intro to Design Thinking (SRLN 2017)

In the Access to Justice space, design thinking practices from the technology space are increasingly embraced to improve the way people access legal services and to improve and simplify the processes themselves.

Report: Resource Guide on Serving Self-Represented Litigants Remotely (SRLN 2016)

The Resource Guide provides options for courts and other entities interested in providing services to self-represented litigants using means that are not face-to-face, instead of, or in addition to, in-person alternatives

Delivery of Legal Services to Maryland Public Librarians

In Maryland, each year the use of public library services rises as the state’s population increases. Along with this increase in library customers, the number of people who need, but struggle to afford legal help, continues to grow.

Public Legal Information: Pro Bono that Keeps on Giving

This article offers a look at People’s Law, an educational outreach program of the Maryland State Law Library, that works to

Survey: SRLN Library Working Group National Self-Help in Libraries Survey (SRLN 2013)

The Law Librarians’ Working Group of the Self-Represented Litigation Network surveyed law libraries in the summer of 2013 about their services, including self-help programs.

Resource: Equal Access Unit of the California Center for Families, Children & the Courts (California 2015)

The Equal Access Unit of the Center for Families, Children & the Courts has materials available for courts, court­based self­help programs, and other nonprofit providers of legal

Report: The Self-Help Center Census: A National Survey (ABA 2014)

Using responses to an online survey, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services issued  “The Self-Help Center Census: A

Curriculum: SRLN Court Solutions Conference Leadership Package (SRLN 2008)

The Self-Represented Litigation Leadership Package was prepared by the Self-Represented Litigation Network and launched at the Court Solutions Conference on September 8-10, 2008, in Baltimore, Maryland. The core of the Package is fifteen modules,

SRLN Brief: Case for Key Innovations to Support 100% Access (SRLN 2007)

Collection of single page briefing papers prepared by the SRLN in 2007 to help interested parties make the "case for" key innovations. The following topics are covered:  • The Case for Self-Help Programs