Providing access to legal information is one of the main purposes of the Access to Justice Committee. LLNE Legal Link, which has been in existence for many years, recently received a complete review with updates ongoing. This presents an opportunity to think about what additional information may be useful for public libraries or members of the public.
Legal Link currently provides general information on legal materials and the ins and outs of legal reference. Each state also has a section that lists law libraries open to the public, information about free and low cost legal help, and legislative process information. Legal Link has also provided timely information, such as the Covid eviction protections for each state.
There are many possibilities for additional information that may help members of the public access information. One idea already presented to the committee is providing information about criminal record expungement for each state. Do you have an idea for commonly-sought legal information that we could provide through Legal Link? Contact the chair of the Access to Justice committee at email@example.com.
I am Anne Rajotte, the chair of the Access to Justice Committee. I am joined this year by three members: Dana Lucisano, Misty Peltz-Steele, and Sara McMahon. The Committee is actively seeking opportunities for outreach to public libraries and the community generally. Some possible initiatives this year include creating additional informational resources through Legal Link and submitting proposals to present at regional library conferences on topics related to assisting public library patrons with locating reliable legal information.
This fall’s virtual meeting, which focuses on technology and access to justice, should provide some inspiration and ideas for how law librarians can use their skills and resources to begin to bridge the justice gap. As our profession combines information seeking, legal knowledge, and technological innovation, we are natural participants in the movement to increase access to justice.
The Access to Justice Committee welcomes new members! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining us.
Hi! We are Phoebe and Rupert and Josh LaPorte is our person!
Ellen: Hi, Phoebe and Rupert. Thanks for sitting down with us today.
Sara: Thank you for granting us this exclusive interview.
Ellen: We want to get to know the real Josh better and we thought we could start by asking you a few questions.
Phoebe: I really don’t understand why you want to talk to me about Josh when you could talk to me about myself, but whatever cranks your tractor.
Rupert: I love Josh, he is my favorite human. What would you like to know?
Sara: What does Josh do for fun?
Phoebe: Josh likes to cook and I always supervise him in the kitchen. He bakes a lot of bread and will never give us any of the dough because he read that it can expand in our stomachs and make us blow up but I think that is an unproven theory and the only way we can prove it is incorrect is if Josh gives me some dough.
Rupert: Josh knows I love vegetable scraps and always gives them to me when Phoebe isn’t looking. If she sees she steals them.
Phoebe: Those two are thick as thieves. Men always sticking up for each other. I should get those scraps!
Ellen: What is your favorite thing about Josh?
Rupert: Josh spends a lot of time on the couch watching 1980s tv; The Golden Girls, Dynasty, Designing Women, Murder She Wrote. He lets me snuggle on the couch with him. I love big hair and shoulder pads and time on the couch.
Phoebe: Josh is very easy for me to boss around. He is such a sucker for cute looks, which means I get more things to eat. And yes, those people in the 1980s lived by my motto (paraphrasing Dolly Parton): The bigger the hair, the closer to God.
Sara: What is your least favorite thing about Josh?
Phoebe: Josh simply refuses to acknowledge that I am a grown dog and can make my own decisions. I have to bark a lot to get through to him. He also fails to see that I need several meals a day; after all, one must keep one’s strength up!
Rupert: Josh spends a lot of time at this place he calls “work.” I really hate when he goes anywhere without me and it’s been nice having him spending more time at home with me because of what he calls “the pandemic,” whatever that is.
Ellen: What is Josh’s favorite guilty pleasure?
Phoebe: Josh is always listening to Céline Dion. If I have to listen to “where does my heart beat now” one more time I will eat Josh’s slippers just to teach him a lesson. Do you know all the lyrics to “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi?” Unfortunately, I do. I also know that Céline won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988 with that awful song. Josh even makes us watch the terrible video with Céline wearing a grotesque and horrible white ballerina skirt with a double-breasted blazer and terrible permed hair. Emetic!
Rupert: I don’t mind if Josh listens to Céline Dion, as long as he lets me snuggle on the couch with him while he does it. But his real favorite guilty pleasure is baths. He is always in the tub and it bothers me because I can’t get in with him so I just lie on the bathmat until he gets out.
Sara: This brings us to our final question: If Josh won the lottery what would he do with the money?
Phoebe: Josh is always yammering on about community organizing and collective power. I think he would use the money to fund organizing efforts. This is dumb, he should use the money to buy a house with a big yard I can run free in!
Rupert: I agree with Phoebe. But I also hope that Josh will get a ramp so I can get on the couch by myself, I can’t jump up by myself anymore.