Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice—FAQs

WebJunction /

What is Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice?
What are the benefits of participating in the course?
When is the course?
Who is the course for?
What will the course cover?
How will participants learn?
What is the time commitment?
Will live online sessions be recorded?
What are the requirements for participation?
What will participants receive upon completion?
How do I enroll in the course?
Is it possible for a cohort of staff at the same library branch or system to participate in the course?
Will there be other opportunities to receive this training?

 

What is Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice?

Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice is a free, online instructor-led course developed by WebJunction and made possible thanks to support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Legal Services Corporation, OCLC, and the Susan Crown Exchange.

What are the benefits of participating in the course?

The benefits of participating are to:

  • Strengthen your knowledge and ability to help identify when a patron has a civil legal issue at play
  • Increase your skills in directing library users to relevant, helpful legal information and services
  • Grow your confidence in providing civil legal reference

When is the course?

The course begins April 6, 2020 and runs through May 8, 2020 with live, online sessions hosted on April 7, April 14, April 21 and May 5, 3-4pm Eastern Time.

Who is the course for?

Anyone who works or volunteers in a US public library who wishes to expand their skills in civil legal reference.

What will the course cover?

This course will cover: 

  • Understanding the role of public libraries in addressing the justice gap
  • Recognizing the difference between legal information and legal advice
  • Conducting the legal reference interview; addressing patron stress and anxiety 
  • Reviewing and strengthening your library’s civil legal reference collection
  • Exploring trusted local- and state-specific online self-help resources  
  • Identifying and cultivating relationships with local organizations that offer legal aid, legal referrals

How will participants learn?

  • By participating in four, hour-long, interactive live online class sessions
  • Through assigned readings and videos
  • By completing each week’s assignments, including actively practicing legal reference interviews
  • By sharing their learning with a peer community of public library staff through online discussion forums.

What is the time commitment?

We anticipate a total time commitment of 10 hours of learner time over five weeks. This will include four live online sessions (60 minutes each) and independent readings, online discussion forums, and activities between sessions.

Will live online sessions be recorded?

Yes, live online sessions will be recorded and made available by the next day to participants. However, live participation in the online sessions will be encouraged to the fullest extent possible.

What are the requirements for participation?

Participants are expected to have:

  • Regular access to an Internet-connected computer or laptop, with audio or telephone
  • The capacity to attend the four live online sessions to the fullest extent possible; or commitment to view the session recordings
  • Completion of between-session assignments; engagement in the online community
  • A willingness to learn and motivation to apply what they’ve learned!

What will participants receive upon completion?

Following the conclusion of the course, participants will receive a certificate of completion for the 10-hour course if they have met these requirements:

  • Attended (or viewed recording for) all four live sessions and
  • Completed all course assignments and activities and
  • Reported back on assignments and discussed learnings via online discussion forums.

How do I enroll in the course?

  • Go to the course listing
  • Click on the course title – you will be required to log in. If you don’t already have a free WebJunction account, you will need to create one.
  • Once logged in, scroll to the bottom of the course description and click Enroll me. You will be forwarded to the course page.
  • Please take our short, anonymous learner survey. We will email pre-course instructions in late March.

Enrollment is limited to 300 public library staff.

Is it possible for a cohort of staff at the same library branch or system to participate in the course?

Yes! While each staff member will still need to enroll as an individual participant in the course, we encourage library colleagues to participate in the course together. There are many benefits to training with colleagues. It provides more opportunities to reinforce each staff member’s learning; activities naturally lend themselves to working together with colleagues.

Will there be other opportunities to receive this training?

WebJunction will develop a self-paced online course based on the same curriculum as the live, instructor-led course. This course will launch in October 2020 and will be freely available to anyone in the WebJunction catalog.

In addition, there will be a live, instructor-led Facilitator Training offered in spring of 2021, which will prepare any interested library staff to guide peer learning groups through the self-paced course.

New information about future learning opportunities will be posted to the project page, Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice through Public Libraries, on Facebook, Twitter, and through our newsletter, Crossroads.

 

These FAQs will be updated as new questions come up. If you have a question you don't see here, please contact Brooke Doyle (doyleb@oclc.org).

This project is made possible in part thanks to financial support from these organizations: