Public Libraries and Access to Justice--Materials from Jan 2010 Conference
These are the materials from a Conference held in January 2010 on Public Libraries and Access to Justice by the Self‐Represented Litigation Network of the National Center for State Courts. All files are in PDF format.
The Self-Represented Litigation Network is an open and growing group of organizations and working groups dedicated to fulfilling the promise of a justice system that works for all, including those who cannot afford lawyers and who go to court on their own. The Network brings together a range of organizations including courts, and access to justice organizations in support of innovations in services for the self‐represented. It operates in a number of Working Groups and is hosted by the National Center for State Courts under a Memorandum of Understanding. Participant organizations are listed in the materials.
We hope that you will find the Conference materials energizing, and helpful. Above all, we hope that they will cement your commitment to the use of public libraries for access to justice, and that it will help you build the partnerships and give you the tools to be effective in this work.
Public libraries are critical access points to government institutions. As times get tougher, it becomes more and more important that people have libraries where they can find out how to protect their rights and navigate the complexities of our society. It also becomes more and more important that libraries can show how important and effective they are at meeting this need.
This collection of materials has been copyrighted by the National Center for State Courts. You are free to reproduce those of these materials directly copyrighted by the National Center for State Courts, for governmental and nonprofit use in access to justice training programs.
Public Libraries and Access to Justice
0. Overall Information
Listing of Materials, Conference Agenda This includes a general description, including of copyright issues, a listing of the available package, and the agenda and faculty of the Austin Conference, for possible use as model.
Listing of Faculty This document includes biographies and emails of the faculty. They may be of use in obtaining speakers for a conference.
1. Welcome and Introduction
PowerPoint #1: Welcome and Introduction This PowerPoint summarizes the introduction as given at the conference, and can be used as a template for other gatherings.
Ensuring Access to Justice in Tough Economic Times This paper, by Richard Zorza, and Maryland State Court Administrator Frank Broccolina, summarizes a number of low-cost approaches to solving the access to justice problem. It appeared in Judicature.
2. The Role of Public Libraries in Assisting Patrons in Locating and Using Legal Information and Tools
PowerPoint #2: The Role of Public Libraries This PowerPoint summarizes the role of libraries in the access to justice solution. It tells a number of stories, discusses the benefits of collaboration for the varied stakeholders, and summarizes the online tools available from these partners as access to justice tools for library patrons
How May We Help You PowerPoint, New Jersey This PowerPoint was prepared for New Jersey Library staff, and is a useful model for staff outreach.
The Law and You, Ohio Bar Download site screenshot This screenshot shows how the Ohio bar provides resources of use.
Ohio Handy Legal and Government Websites This listing is of use as a training sample.
Austin Court Access Map A great model of a court easing access through a map.
Texas Forms Handout Texas makes sure that resources are used.
3. What Public Librarians Can Do: Ethical and Legal Issues
PowerPoint #3: What Public Librarians Can Do This important PowerPoint, prepared by Montana Law Librarian Judy Meadows, explores and clarifies the rules governing appropriate informational assistance that can be provided by library staff.
Can/Cannot Handout for Patrons This is the handout that Montana uses to communicate these ideas to patrons.
4. Online Legal Problem Solving: Using Varied Legal Information and Tools
PowerPoint #4: Online Legal Problem Solving This PowerPoint gives examples from a wide variety of legal areas, of how such assistance can be provided. Before you can use this effectively, you will need to identify the appropriate local and state resources to which patrons can be directed. The FAQ Template referenced in this PowerPoint is available to qualified members on www.selfhelpsupport.org.
Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library Law and Government Subject Areas — Website Links This document shows model links for one county. It is the kind of thing that can be produced using the FAQ and Links Template.
Limited English Proficiency, Federal Agency Brochure This federal brochure outlines the rights of those with limited English proficiency, and the obligations of government agencies.
Executive Order 13166 This Executive Order provides much of the law governing limited English proficiency issues.
Memorandum of Agreement between Maine Judicial Branch and United States This Memorandum of Agreement between is illustrative of the Agreements and rules that are being put in place under the Executive Order.
5. Team Meetings
PowerPoint #5: Team Meetings This PowerPoint can be used to set up and manage team or group meetings. We encourage regional meetings whenever possible.
Team Planning and Reporting Tool This tool is designed to assist regional groups plan and report on their plans.
6. Technical and Privacy Issues in Public Library Legal Information Services
PowerPoint #6: Technical and Privacy Issues This PowerPoint discusses the technical requirements to use of the online tools that are being discussed. It also covers how to protect the online and library privacy of patrons.
7. The Roles of Public Libraries in the Access to Justice Movement
PowerPoint #7: The Role of Public Libraries in the Access to Justice Movement This PowerPoint discusses the role of public libraries in the access to justice movement, and how public libraries can become more involved in the state and local planning processes that are already in place. A very fine article on Access to Justice Commissions is online at: http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/sclaid/atjresourcecenter/downloads/grayechols.pdf.
8. Legal Aid, Law Library, and Court Collaborations for Public Libraries
PowerPoint #8: Legal Aid, Law Library, and Court Collaborations for Public Libraries This important PowerPoint gives examples of partnering, discusses the benefits, and sets out model goals for partnerships in access to justice.
Illinois Partnering Materials. Several documents from Illinois show how partnering works in practice:
- Illinois Legal Self-Help Center homepage
- Three Models of Legal Self-Help Centers in Illinois
- Training example on www.IllinoisLegalAid.org
9. Workshop on Customizing the FAQ
PowerPoint #9: Customizing the FAQ This PowerPoint introduces the process of customizing the FAQ for a state or local area. It emphasizes the need for expert input, and organization.
State Customization Resources State by state resources for customization.
Law for the Layperson Publishers A summary of publishers which provide materials for use by those without lawyers.
Website Directories of Potential Collaborators for Public Libraries A companion listing of website directories of use in customizing the FAQ.
10. Role Playing of Teaching the Materials
PowerPoint #10: Role Playing of Teaching the Materials Leadership comes with practice. This PowerPoint structures having all participants experiment with being a presenter, and getting feedback.
Instructions for Group Activity Instructions for the above.
11. Planning for the Future
PowerPoint #11: Planning for the Future This PowerPoint structures a concluding session in which the group as a whole plans for its role in promoting access to justice.
Future Ideas and Evaluation This document is the reporting tool used to evaluate the conference and report participants’ ideas for the future.
This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License