Congratulations to LLOPS member, Penny A. Hazelton on being named as one of the 2015 Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award recipients! She will be recognized at the 2015 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference in Philadelphia at the Association Luncheon.
The Public Law Library of King County is pleased to announce that Marc Lampson has joined the Public Law Library to serve as the library’s first Public Services Attorney. The newly created position is an innovative response to the ever growing phenomenon of people representing themselves in legal proceedings. Recent statistics from the King County Superior Court show that in 63% of general civil cases at least one party was not represented by a lawyer. In domestic or family law cases, the percentage climbed to 80%. In 91% of the landlord/tenant or eviction cases, only the landlord was represented by a lawyer. In 50% of family law cases, neither side was represented. This trend is typical throughout the United States, and law librarians have found that these unrepresented litigants frequently come to the law library for help.
As a result, a few law libraries in other states have developed self-help centers to provide their patrons with not only research assistance, but legal assistance as well. Similarly, Marc’s work at the law library will include both traditional library reference duties as well as providing limited legal assistance to those patrons who are representing themselves in legal proceedings in King County. His work will eventually entail establishing a self-help center in the library to provide direct legal assistance for patrons and to coordinate further legal assistance through referrals, clinics, workshops, and innovative online methods for the delivery of legal services.
Marc has long been involved in Washington’s access to justice community. He served as the director of the Unemployment Law Project for the past eight years and during that time served on many committees of the Access to Justice Board. He has previously worked as an attorney for the Washington Appellate Defender Association and the Institutions Project at Evergreen Legal Services. He received his Master of Library and Information Science degree, with a specialization in law librarianship, from the University of Washington’s Information School in 1999 and his law degree from Antioch School of Law in 1984.
Many LLOPS and AALL members also retain ALA membership, and are gearing up for the 2015 ALA Election. Seattle’s own Joe Janes is a candidate for ALA President. Joe Janes has been with UW’s Information School since 1999, and is the current chair of the MLIS program.
Read more about Joe and other ALA Presidential Candidates on the ALA Election Information webpage!
by Michelle Bagley
Dean of Clark Libraries and Academic Success Services
Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed October as National Information Literacy Awareness Month in Washington State! Thank you for your partnership on this important initiative. As stated by the National Forum for Information Literacy (NFIL): “As a member of the 21st century workforce skills movement, the practice of information literacy nurtures the development of a critical skill set needed so that any learner and/or worker can thrive and compete effectively in today’s global digital economy. As we move further into the 21st century, we are convinced that information literacy will become the standard-bearer for academic achievement, workforce productivity, competitive advantage, and national security.”
Post a link to your social networking sites using this link- http://librariesthriving.org/partnerships/2014-information-literacy-campaign or use the digital badge to show your support.
National Information Literacy Awareness Month
Washington joins the more than twenty three states and one U.S. territory who have issued IL Proclamations! http://infolit.org/nfil-proclamation-campaign-project/ . Learn more about the 2014 Information Literacy Campaign here – http://www.librariesthriving.org/partnerships/2014-information-literacy-campaign.
by Peggy Jarrett
This week’s AALL e-news includes this urgent message about H.R. 4195, a bill which removes the statutory requirement to print the Federal Register and CFR and eliminates all requirements to produce indexes for these materials:
Act Now: Tell Congress to Oppose H.R. 4195, the Federal Register Modernization Act
The Government Relations Office has learned that the House of Representatives may soon vote on H.R. 4195, the Federal Register Modernization Act. Please contact your representative NOW to urge him or her to vote NO on H.R. 4195. The bill, which AALL opposes, would remove the requirements to print the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations and their indexes. Read more about the bill in our advocacy one-pager. Thank you in advance for taking action!
This post has been reposted from the Public Law Library of King County
Inmates with family support during incarceration are less likely to reoffend, according to the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC). One of the family support programs offered through the DOC allows for video visits with inmates at most facilities, at a cost of $12.95 for a thirty-minute visit.
The Public Law Library of King County is now offering free video conferencing between inmates housed in a DOC facility and their friends or family members who are on an approved visitors list.
The Law Library was awarded funds from a class action settlement regarding inmate collect calls. The settlement funds are generally limited to projects that directly benefit inmates and their families. The Law Library has used a portion of these funds to purchase video conference equipment at both library locations (at the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent). Each private video visit meeting room is equipped with a large flat-screen television, web camera with audio, and computer.
In addition, the settlement funds will be used to reimburse video visits participants for the cost of the visit. To qualify for reimbursement, the video visit must be scheduled in advance and take place at one of the Law Library locations. A participant will first schedule and pay for his or her appointment through the third party vendor’s website and then contact the Law Library to schedule a video visit appointment. At the end of the visit, the participant will receive a cash payment of $12.95 as provided by the settlement funds.
For more information, visit http://kcll.org/services/inmate-video-visits, email email@example.com or call 206-477-1305.
by Philippe Cloutier
Catching the bus downtown from the quiet realms of Capitol Hill I often pop into the AP News app and apprise myself of the day’s latest. Imagine my shock upon seeing this headline. How dare these librarians sully our respected title in a cheating scandal, garnering national attention and vilifying us throughout the world! I always thought putting librarians in charge of nukes a safe prospect but alas: At Core of Nuke Cheating Ring: 4 ‘Librarians’. As I read further the single quote marks around our honored label was thusly processed:
Investigators dubbed them “the librarians,” four Air Force nuclear missile launch officers at the center of a still-unfolding scandal over cheating on proficiency tests. “They tended to be at the hub” of illicit exchanges of test information… it was the four “librarians” who allegedly facilitated the cheating, in part by transmitting test answers via text message.
Damn those four “librarians”! Yet, what exactly makes them “librarians” according to these so called “investigators”? All I gathered is that they were the hub for text messages, applying this logic: high school kids and one’s children who never call are “librarians” as well.
My jest aside, our membership continually faces label issues and debates. Every year a new gauntlet is thrown down hoping to remove “librarian” or “library” assignments, aiming for more modern “information”, “knowledge”, etc. types. If the article says anything positive about “librarian”, in between the lines, it is that we are known for relaying, managing, and assessing quality information, even if by text. For better or worse, sensationalist headlines like this make it clear that the term “librarian” is generally and immediately recognizable; and, scandals excluded, esteemed.
by Mary Whisner
This post has been adapted from a post on the Trial Ad (and other) Notes blog.
It’s tough enough to handle litigation when you’re a lawyer, but it’s incredibly stressful and daunting when you don’t.
CBC’s Day Six has a 15-minute story on self-represented litigants (May 18, 2013). It begins with a moving interview of middle-class Vancouver woman who ran out of money for her lawyer about five months and $50,000 into her case. She’s well-spoken and well-educated (master’s degree) and was still overwhelmed.
Next the host interviews Julie Macfarlane, a law professor who conducted a study of unrepresented litigants in three provinces (BC, Alberta, Ontario). The report: Julie Macfarlane, The National Self-Represented Litigants Project: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Self-Represented Litigants: Final Report (May 2013). One of the researchers on the report was a librarian who surveyed the court materials available to self-represented litigants.
I have just scrolled through the report quickly, but it looks very interesting. Canadians and the Canadian court system are similar enough to US folks and the US legal system that the report is very relevant to our access-to-justice issues.
Julie Macfarlane teaches law at the University of Windsor. Her faculty bio is here.
by Tal Noznisky
The San Francisco Law Library is facing a less than desirable relocation. Scheduled for eviction from its current location, it has stayed put by challenging the legal grounds of the city’s plan. Last month, however, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance subcommittee approved a decision to grant the library 20,000 square feet, significantly less than the 30,000—35,000 requested.
According to San Francisco’s City Charter, the library must be allotted adequate space for its collection of 250,000 books. All of those books and print materials, argued the library and its supporters, are essential, costly, and potentially unattainable.
The Law Library currently lives at the War Veterans Memorial Building, across the street from City Hall. It landed there almost 20 years ago as a temporary arrangement. The Memorial Building location only has 14,310 sq. ft. Two-thirds of the library’s collection must be stored in a nearby basement facility. When the city secured funds to renovate the Memorial Building in 2010, finding a sustainable storage and location solution became urgent.The Law Library is currently awaiting a judge’s decision on whether it may remain at its current location until some significant issues are permanently resolved. Though the city-approved 20,000 sq. ft. would seem like an improvement, Jon Streeter, another supportive voice from San Francisco’s legal community, disagrees. “It is not a matter of a stack of old dusty books being warehoused somewhere,” he said, “It is a matter of providing basic access to the courthouse to the public.”
by Grace Feldman
Public access to legal materials, digitization and authentication of legal materials, and budget cuts are frequent topics covered in conferences, literature and blogs like this one. These interrelated issues have been discussed and debated ad nauseum, so when Hollee Schwartz Temple’s Are Digitization and Budget Cuts Compromising History? was published in the ABA Journal, the article may have looked like one you already read several times. While some of the stories were familiar, Temple’s coverage of LLMC’s preserved print collection in salt mines 650 feet below ground gave a whole new meaning to the expression, “back to the salt mines.”
Recognizing debates over public access, digitization, authentication and budget cuts will continue indefinitely, for a moment let’s appreciate the ingenuity these problems have inspired: preservation in salt mines, UELMA, collaboration (like that between California and LLMC to digitize all of the state’s session laws), etc.
Okay, now back to the salt mines… really.