lawlibrary Self Represented

Open to the Public: How Law Libraries Are Serving Self-Represented Litigants Across the Country

Maryland Court Law Libraries serve a wide variety of customers from judges and attorneys to students and those dealing with a legal issue without an attorney. How law libraries across the country serve these self-represented litigants (SRLs) was the subject of a recent survey by the AALL GLL (Government Law Libraries SIS of the American Association of Law Libraries) and the SRLN Law Librarian’s Working Group through a research grant from LexisNexis.

For an introduction check out this video:

You can dig into the details of the survey with the Story Map. Law libraries serve the SRL through the collections, technology, reference, referrals and partnerships.

If you find the AACPLL on the map you will see that we fit within all the criteria for an intermediate law library:

  • Basic levels
  • Guides and Pathfinders
  • Law Library Website
  • Email (AskLawLibrarian)
  • Interpreter Services
  • Referral Systems/Triage
  • E-Filing
  • Limited English Language Resources
  • More Court Forms (Online forms with document assembly and guided interviews)
  • Public Librarian Partnerships (training opportunities for public librarians)
  • Partnerships with Others in the Legal Community
  • Self-Help Center in the Law Library or Lawyer in the Library Program
  • Support for External Self-Help Centers as Available

The Anne Arundel County Public Law Library would be excited to move to the advanced level, a library with a staff attorney to provide brief legal advice, but for now will continue to provide the best service that we can to all in need.


lawlibrary Legal Technology

Security Planner for Online Safety

computerSecurity Planner by Citizen Lab is an online tool that provides information on improving online security.  It is described on the site’s “about” page like this:

Security Planner is an easy-to-use guide with expert-reviewed advice for staying safer online. It provides recommendations on implementing basic online practices, like enabling two-factor authentication on important accounts, making sure software stays updated, and using encrypted chats to protect private communications. More advanced users can receive advice on where to go for more help.

Security Planner is a project of the Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary group based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. It was incubated by Jigsaw (then known as Google Ideas) and handed off to the Citizen Lab in December 2015.

Security Planner recommendations are made by a committee of experts in digital security and have gone through a rigorous peer review evaluation, led by the Citizen Lab. We’re supported by a community of organizations, including non-profits, educational institutions, and foundations, and never accept funds or services in exchange for making a recommendation.

The Law Librarians Working Group of the Self Represented Litigation Network recently had the opportunity to hear about this service on a recent conference call meeting.  As a result we will be doing what we can to get the word out about this tool.  Please share with those who might benefit.