What Can Librarians Do To Facilitate Access to Justice?
Latia Ward, JD, MSLS
June 6, 2019
Resources for this session are available at
Access to Justice
Access to justice is the ability to bring your case to court and get a fair resolution or the ability to advocate for your legal rights in situations outside of court and get a fair resolution.
The justice gap is the absence of a resource to meet a legal need.
Legal information consists of general knowledge regarding the law and the legal system.
Legal advice is part of what we know as the practice of law.
Legal advice is the application of law to facts.
Libraries have policies that prohibit librarians from practicing law.
Does the state maintain a monopoly on the practice of law?
Is the state protecting the public?
Generally, patrons who are not affiliated with a law school do not have access to the law school’s subscription databases and in those cases librarians have directed patrons to print resources available in the general reference collection of the library.
Many open access resources are available on the Internet.
Nolo.com's Legal Topics
ABA's Find Legal Help
Cornell's Legal Information Institute
Some patrons feel more comfortable using print resources.
Budgetary constraints may cause law libraries to stop purchasing print resources.
What will law librarians do to assist patrons who prefer using print resources?
To what extent should the records of library patrons be kept confidential?
Confidentiality often refers to a professional's duty to keep information secret.
Privilege is a legal concept.
American Library Association's
American Association of Law Libraries' Ethical Principles
Reference and User Services Association's Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians
Confidentiality of Library Records
Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have statutes addressing the confidentiality of library records. Kentucky and Hawaii have opinions from their attorneys general on maintaining the confidentiality of library records.
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Questions and Answers
If questions or comments occur to you after today's session, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CALIcon19: What Can Librarians Do To Facilitate Access to Justice?
By Latia Ward