Vision: access to justice through access to legal information
In order to support the mission of the Anne Arundel County Government, the Maryland Judiciary, and the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court; the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library aligns its mission and goals with its parent organizations:
● Mission: The Maryland Judiciary provides fair, efficient and effective justice for all.
● Vision: The Maryland Judiciary advances justice for all who come to Maryland’s courts. We are an efficient, innovative and accessible court system that works collaboratively with justice partners to serve the people with integrity and transparency.
● Mission: The mission and responsibility of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County is to provide a forum for expedient disposition of justice in accordance with the laws of the State of Maryland. (Circuit Court FY2017 Proposed Budget)
Anne Arundel County Public Law Library
Mission: The Anne Arundel County Public Law Library serves the needs of Anne Arundel County’s court, attorneys, government and citizens by providing access to legal information resources; promoting access to these resources; creating educational opportunities that enhance the understanding of legal information; and providing access to programs providing legal advice to the public.
This plans looks to the future to determine how the law library can transform to fulfill its mission in the 21st century. By meeting these goals, the library seeks to be more responsive and efficient in meeting the needs of all library users.
Legal information providing access to justice can transform lives. 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.
- Provide access to justice
“The Maryland Judiciary ensures equal access to justice. The courts develop services and programs that facilitate access to and understanding of court processes.” To meet this GOAL, the Anne Arundel Public Law Library will:
- Provide cost-effective and equal access to legal information resources in multiple formats.
- Identify and respond to information needs of the judiciary and attorneys.
- Identify and respond to areas where self-represented litigants request assistance to legal information.
- Remove barriers that may prevent access to legal information and services.
- Ensure that people who come to our courts without a lawyer know that legal resources are available to them through the law library.
- Strengthen public awareness and understanding of the Judiciary through library resources and programs.
- Expand self-help programs and resources.
- Continue outreach through partnerships for such programs as Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day.
- Be responsive and adaptable to changing community needs
“The Maryland Judiciary provides responsive leadership, ensures a respectful forum for justice, and proactively addresses the changing needs of its constituents and employees. With the aim of helping families and our communities and, in particular, our most vulnerable citizens, children and seniors.” The AACPLL will:
- Retain a sufficient amount of print-based legal information to meet the needs of those with limited computer skills who access the courts.
- Wisely experiment with newer technologies, such as e-books, “discovery” tools (online catalog) and expanded databases.
- Provide access to resources to assist the non-attorney and self-represented litigant.
- Promote and use language access resources.
- Communicate effectively with stakeholders
“The Maryland Judiciary communicates effectively to inform and educate the public, the bar, justice partners and staff.” The law library will:
- Provide legal research training to Judiciary staff, as needed.
- Provide programs for courthouse staff on legal resources available to the public.
- Provide training to the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library staff on legal research, reference, and referrals.
- Create and develop talks, open to the public and courthouse staff, on topics relating to “Everyday Law.”
- Provide information about library resources and referrals to local government departments and elected officials.
- Continue to partner with the local bar association, legal service providers and public libraries to provide “Lawyer in the Library” programs.
- Keep current and distribute law library information brochures.
- Create, update and distribute local legal referral information.
- Continue to work with the Anne Arundel County Pro Bono Committee to promote pro bono service by Anne Arundel attorneys.
- Promote library resources of interest to the court and bar through the use of varied communication methods.
- Create and maintain online information sources for the general public.
- Improve systems and processes
“The Maryland Judiciary is forward-thinking and focused on continuous improvements to systems and processes, helping the courts to better serve the people and provide for prompt, efficient and just resolution of cases.”
In order to achieve this GOAL, the law library will:
- Maintain Mutual Aid Agreements with other Maryland Law Libraries as part of the Court’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).
- Provide access to computers and programs needed for document creation and e-filing.
- Review and revise law library procedures as needed to meet the information needs of users.
- Coordinate with court IT so that technology needed to provide the services needed by all is available.
- Be accountable
“The Maryland Judiciary holds itself to the highest standards of excellence and administers justice with diligence and integrity.”
To reach this GOAL the law library will:
- Adhere to CMCLLD standards for library operation and resources.
- Provide reports to court administration on library operations.
- Assure the highest level of service
Because a dedicated and professional workforce is essential to providing quality service to all, the Maryland Judiciary trains, develops and supports a professional and skilled workforce. Our action plans include:
- Providing the training needed for professional development of court library staff.
- Participating in continuing education.
- Participating in professional library and legal services organizations.
- Providing access to the information to meet the needs of all user communities.
- Build partnerships
The Maryland Judiciary works collaboratively with its justice partners and the public to fulfill its mission. This action plans includes:
- Collaborating with the Anne Arundel Bar Association to promote pro bono in Anne Arundel County.
- Supporting the work of other court departments to ensure they have the information needed for the work of the department and those they serve.
- Collaborating with the Conference of Maryland Court Law Library Directors in matters relating to the operation, management and leadership of the court libraries.
- Coordinating with the Judiciary’s Access to Justice Department to enhance library programs and resources.
- Participate in the work of the Judicial Council Community Access and Community Relations Committee to provide the perspective of court law libraries.
- Communicating with the Maryland Access to Justice Commission to ensure awareness of law library programs and resources.
- Working with the Anne Arundel County Public Library to expand law library services and programs.
- Developing and continuing partnerships Maryland legal service providers to provide services to those of low and middle income
- Collaborating with Legal Aid in Anne Arundel County to coordinate legal information resources needed to support the Family Law Self-Help Center.
- Participating in the work of the Government Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries; the Self Represented Litigation Network Law Librarians Working Group and the Education and Strategy Working Group; the Law Library Association of Maryland; and the Maryland Library Association.
- Use resources wisely
The Maryland Judiciary uses public funds wisely to assure sufficient resources for personnel, facilities, programs, equipment and technology, all with the aim of efficiently administering justice and providing exceptional public service. Our action plan includes:
- Providing transparent budgeting processes.
- Leveraging additional assistance through the use of library interns and volunteers.
- Sharing resources through inter-library loan and document delivery.
- Assessing resources for relevancy to the needs of all user groups.
- Working with vendors to maximize library material/resource dollars.