Public Libraries and Access to Justice Training
January 11-12, 2010, Austin, Texas
With the economic downturn more people are turning to their public libraries to access online resources and as hubs of information.
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the National Center for State Courts, the Center-hosted Self-Represented Litigation Network, in cooperation with the Legal Services Corporation, is presenting a two-day conference that addresses how public libraries can improve access to online legal information at libraries. The conference will be a unique opportunity for participants to meet with public librarians and with legal and court experts to discuss strategies for integrating access to legal information into their programs, including how to locate the best content and tools, how to talk about the content with library patrons, how to work with content partners to make sure that needed content is developed, how to share what they have learned statewide, and how to use successful programs to advocate for the importance of public libraries as gateways to government institutions.
The conference organizers will select between 10 and 15 teams of two to three people from across the country to attend the conference. Preference will generally be given to teams that include a person who plays a statewide library staff educational or organizational role; a local librarian with a strong interest in expanding the use of public libraries for access to justice; and one of the following: a legal aid staff member; a court online information expert; or a member of a self help center currently not using online tools to provide services. Applicant teams are encouraged to put together a group that will be the most effective in their area of service to spread the word in their states. The decision of the selection group will be final.
(Note of clarification added after initial applications received: it may be helpful to re-iterate that the focus of the Training is on Public Libraries. Thus, while law librarians are certainly welcome as part of a team, we should re-emphasize the value of having public librarians as part of the team, both as the statewide person and as the local librarian.)
The deadline to apply is Friday, December 11, 2009.