lawlibrary Libraries Self Represented

National Library Week 2017

“Libraries Transform” is the theme for National Library Week in 2017.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.  

The Anne Arundel County Public Law Library would be a “special library.”  How does a law library transform?  The answer can be found in the library’s Strategic Plan

The right legal information accessed in a timely manner can affect the work of the court and the bar as well as the lives of those who are affected by the legal system.

The law library supports the administration of justice by providing access to resources the court needs to ensure the expedient disposition of justice.

The law library supports the work of small business, by providing resources for attorneys in solo practice and in small firms, who in turn provide service to the citizens and small businesses of Anne Arundel County.

The law library provides the public with the knowledge to better navigate the legal system by providing the means to find the help and information they need through the acquisition and creation of specialized resources; referrals; and by offering special programs.

The law library transforms by providing legal information and referrals to those affected by the law but unfamiliar with the law.  Non-attorneys who visit the law library most often are experiencing a stressful situation.  We are presented with issues such as:

“I am trying to get a reverse mortgage in order to avoid foreclosure. I have guardianship for my husband. The bank says I need to get power of attorney from the court but the court in response to my petition says that I am a fiduciary ……”

We need to file criminal charges against a trespasser.”

our 17 year old daughter is in the hospital for depression. She is out of control and we need help.”

The law library will find the information needed for a better understanding of the situation.  In addition, the law library is the place to find the organizations and programs that are available to provide legal advice or representation. Information and referrals can mean the difference between losing one’s home or not, or finding the care and resources for a family member – the law library transforms!

Although, the law library responds to more questions by non-attorneys these days, the law library still provides a valuable service to Anne Arundel County attorneys.  The law library maintains an excellent collection of print and online resources for attorney use. We assist in the formulation of Westlaw and Lexis online queries and the choice of the best databases to use for a particular issue.  We can point to the best resources to help solve a legal problem with a variety of materials. In effect, the law library can be just one way that the Anne Arundel County supports the work of local small businesses.  The law library provides local law firms not only with all of the access to legal information but with live, in-person librarians who can help find the information needed. The law library puts Anne Arundel County attorneys on the same footing as “big city” attorneys – the law library transforms!

Celebrate National Library Week with a visit to the AACPLL.  Find out what you might be missing. We are always happy to help.

By Joan Bellistri

Law Library Director for the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library

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