Washington State Law Library May Have to Close

By , May 9, 2011 10:33 am

by Kris Henderson

The situation is dire for the Washington State Law Library. It would have to close if the State Senate budget proposal, with a budget of $1 million over 2 years, prevails during the current special session. You may have already read the postings to Law Librarian Blog or KCLL Klues. They both feature this article from an Olympia attorney about what the loss of the State Law Library would mean for both the Washington legal community and the general citizenry who don’t have lawyers.

You probably know that the State Law Library has a complete collection of Washington State Supreme Court and Court of Appeals briefs. If I am not mistaken, that is the only complete collection of these briefs. The library has a very modestly priced document delivery service, and it will send books from the collection, again at a very modest cost. The State Law Library oversees the live chat service that the King County Law Library* participates in. The State Law Library will provide materials from the following databases free to anyone who asks (assuming the material is part of the library’s subscription): Westlaw, Shepard’s, HeinOnline, Loislaw, CCH – Labor and Employment and the Nolo databases. I’ll bet you think that all of these services enhance access to legal information for all Washingtonians.

In my position (librarian at the King County Law Library), I can’t advocate with respect to pending legislation, so I’m just informing you, in case this is news . . . .

*Still getting used to the name Public Law Library of King County.

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