Legal reference


Though legal issues can feel intimidating for library staff, public libraries are well positioned to help patrons with civil legal questions by providing more access points to legal information and services. A wide range of resources and examples are available to help support library staff in both connecting with local and regional experts, and developing their own skills in answering these essential reference questions.

In partnership with the Legal Services Corporation, WebJunction offers learning opportunities and resources for library staff to support the civil legal needs of patrons through the Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice through Public Libraries inititative. Key resources developed for supporting patron civil legal needs include:

Most Recently Added

Civil Legal Issues of Natural Disasters Persist, but Change over Time

Publish Date: News / 21 November 2022

What do document replacement, contractor scams, and lease terminations have in common? They are all examples of civil legal issues that can stem from a natural disaster, and questions about these could show up at your library’s reference desk. Patron...

Libraries at the Disaster Preparedness Table

Publish Date: News / 3 August 2022

Libraries have an important role to play in disaster response planning, and their contributions are welcomed at community disaster preparedness exercises. Building on its Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice foundational course series, WebJunctio...

How to Run an Expungement Clinic at Your Library

Publish Date: News / 28 June 2022

Staff at the Worcester County Library (MD) were offering workforce development services for their community when they learned how many patrons encounter roadblocks due to their previous criminal history. Staff also knew that expungement–the process b...