lawlibrary Libraries

National Library Week April 19 – 25, 2020

National Library Week begins today. The original theme was “Find Your Place at the Law Library.” With so much change in how libraries of all types are operating, an alternate theme was devised.

Maryland Court Law Libraries will be unable to provide in-person assistance until June and as a result are trying to make sure that previous in-person users are aware that law libraries can be accessed remotely.

Maryland public libraries, like the Anne Arundel County Public Library, are offering online programming and access. The Anne Arundel County Public Library provides access to their digital library, resources for learning and an “ask a question” link.

Please take time to visit your local public library and law library in Anne Arundel County to celebrate National Library Week. I know that we will be happy to “see” you online and look forward to seeing you in person in the future.

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Celebrating National Library Week: The 21st Century Library

Why libraries? Why law libraries?

The age of Google and smartphones may seem to put all the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, but the reality is that we still need trained professionals to curate all that information, contextualize it and point us toward new sources an algorithm might miss. There is a serendipity in browsing the stacks of a library that the Internet has yet to replicate.

This from a Baltimore Sun editorial published last October that I clipped and saved : The 21st-century library .  It included a description of how libraries “are an indispensable font of information and support that enables them to meet life’s everyday challenges” and that “it’s not a stretch for them to see their mandates broadly and to seek to help those who come through their doors however they can.

This editorial was in reference to how the Pratt Library in Baltimore City would be making social workers available at neighborhood libraries.  I couldn’t help but compare the program to our Ask a Lawyer in the Library program offered in the courthouse and public library branches.

Law libraries long thought to be the province of lawyers and judges are now also the spot where anyone in need of legal information or referrals can find what they need to assist in solving legal issues.  As a result, public law libraries must find ways to meet the needs of these varied user groups. We are meeting those needs, through existing traditional resources still needed for lawyers and the court; and those resources created for the non-attorney.  We are lucky to have the Maryland People’s Law Library available.  We have also created FAQ pages available on the library’s Pro Bono and Self-Help Wiki. Librarians provide assistance to the non-attorney, too, by explaining legal research and the traditional sources of law. The law library has increased its digital resources and as a result, provides online assistance to attorneys and non-attorneys alike. The court law library is ever-changing as it adapts to changes in legal information and the users of that information, making it relevant as a 21st century library. The AACPLL is a 21st Century Library:

lawlibrary Libraries

Celebrating National Library Week

Why libraries? Why a law library?


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

lawlibrary Libraries Pro Bono Self Represented

National Library Week: Partnerships and Programs

ALA_NLW2015_336x280This week, the Law Library celebrated National Library Week, so what better time than now to highlight the Law Library’s partnerships and programs. The Law Library’s mission is to serve the information needs of the judiciary, court and government agencies, the legal community and the citizens of Anne Arundel County. We are committed to providing access to legal information, resources and referrals for our community. In connection with our mission, the Law Library has developed partnerships with the Anne Arundel County Public Library, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee to promote access to justice through access to legal information and resources.

poster raglandThe Law Library coordinates and administers the Ask a Lawyer in the Library Program, which is a FREE program where volunteer attorneys provide limited legal advice on a one-on-one basis for a wide variety of civil matters (excluding family law matters). Every Wednesday, attorneys from the Anne Arundel County legal community donate their time and expertise to provide program participants with legal assistance and guidance on issues ranging from foreclosure, debt and bankruptcy, real estate transactions, landlord/tenant disputes, employment and wage claims, contract disputes and estate planning.The Ask a Lawyer program is offered monthly on the third Wednesday at the Glen Burnie Regional Library.  Program partners include the Anne Arundel County Public Library, the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers service. Since its inception in 2009, 124 attorneys have volunteered over 1,200 hours to assist nearly 2400 participants!

In addition to the ongoing Ask a Lawyer in the Library Program, the Law Library hosts and coordinates a variety of standalone or short term clinics. One upcoming program is the Personal Bankruptcy Clinic provided by the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, which will be held on April 30, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Law Library. This clinic is an opportunity for attendees to learn experience attorney about filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  This program will be repeated September 17, 2015.

For those you who cannot visit the Law Library in person, we are available via phone (410-222-1387) and email ( The Law Library has developed and continues to update the AACPLL Self Help and Pro Bono WIKI, a public wiki that serves as a guide to pro bono and self-help resources and referrals. Check out the wiki to learn more about family law resources available online, attorney referrals, pro bono and reduced fee legal services and volunteer opportunities.

Don’t forget, the Law Library is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can provide you with one-on-one legal reference assistance.

If you are interested in participating in the programs described in this post as either a volunteer or program participant and would like more information, please contact us!


National Library Week: National Bookmobile Day!

BookmobileDay_Logo_1Today is National Bookmobile Day! Sponsored by the American Library Association’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, this day celebrates bookmobiles and the library professionals who support and provide bookmobile services.

What is a bookmobile? Essentially, it is a vehicle that is designed to hold books and act as a mobile library. The goal is to provide direct-delivery outreach searches, and these bookmobiles accomplish this by providing services to areas and individuals who have difficulty accessing traditional libraries. The collections of materials maintained by bookmobiles will vary based on the needs and demands of the service community and can include technology and other resources.

Here are some fun facts about bookmobiles.*

  • The first bookmobile service in the United States started in 1905 right here in Maryland. Mary Lemis Titcomb, the first librarian of the Washington County Free Library, created a specially-designed “Library Wagon” to serve the information and education needs of the largely rural county.
  • In 1931, the mobile library concept was introduced in India. This two-wheeled cart was supported and promoted by S.R. Ranganathan, the “Father of Library Science” in India.
  • Uganda boasts a camel library service.
  • Elephant libraries are available in Thailand.
  • In 2011, Maryland had 18 bookmobiles in service.
  • The average cost of a bookmobile is $200,000.

For more information about National Bookmobile Day, check out The American Library Association’s webpage.

*National Bookmobile Day 2015 – Bookmobiles at a Glance, available at


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Guest Column: Let’s Celebrate National Library Week

Check out this Guest Column in honor of National Library Week, written by Anne Arundel County Public Library CEO Hampton “Skip” Auld, which was published in The Capital yesterday.

Guest column: Let’s celebrate National Library Week.

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National Library Week and National Legal Research Teach-In!

ALA_NLW2015_336x280This week is National Library Week! Let’s celebrate the contributions made by libraries and librarians, both past and present, across the United States. National Library Week, sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), has a long history in the United States, with the first celebration occurring in 1958. Running from April 12, 2015 through April 18, 2015 this year, National Library Week celebrates the contributions made by libraries of all types, including public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries and special libraries, all of which will participate in this weeklong celebration in order to promote library use and support. If you are interested in participating in a National Library Week event, check out the National Events posted on the ALA’s website.

In conjunction with this week’s National Library Week celebration, the American Association of Law Libraries is sponsoring the 23rd National Legal Research Teach-In. The National Legal Research Teach-In was born in 1993  to address the need to improve the research skills of students and new attorneys and to celebrate legal research instruction and acknowledge and demonstrate the value of law librarians in teaching legal research skills. Law Librarians are uniquely positioned to address the research instruction needs of the legal community.The Law Library will be celebrating the National Legal Research Teach-In by launching a series of instructional presentations later this year. Stay tuned, but in the meantime, come visit the Law Library for one-on-one training and a tour!