When people in the US cannot afford an attorney’s services or don’t know the answers to legal questions, they often turn to their local library. Which is exactly why the Law Librarians of New England and its Access to Justice Committee offers targeted resources, education, and outreach to public librarians in their region. The right … Continue reading Justice for All
Aaron Mason, Cleveland Public Library’s (CPL) director of outreach and programming services, says that example from one of CPL’s monthly legal aid clinics shows how a number of libraries are filling a significant need in their communities by connecting patrons to civil legal aid. Civil legal matters encompass noncriminal issues such as health care, housing, … Continue reading Meeting Legal Needs
Letters of the Law is a column exploring a wide range of legal issues that arise in libraries. It is written by two leading authorities: Mary Minow, a librarian with a law degree, and Tom Lipinski, a lawyer with a library degree. Together they have authored four books on the subject, including The Library’s Legal … Continue reading Must My Library Accommodate Service and Support Animals?
Macmillan Ebook Policy Draws Fire Macmillan Publishers announced a policy preventing libraries from purchasing more than one copy of a new ebook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release. In protest, American Library Association (ALA) launched the #eBooksForAll petition, which by November 27 had garnered more than 216,000 signatures. Said ALA President … Continue reading 2019 Year in Review
Will that change? No one is certain. Though ICE’s official policy states it will avoid carrying out enforcement actions at “sensitive locations” such as daycares and places of worship, libraries are not specifically named among those locations. In this politically tense climate when immigration has been a major focus, some libraries wonder how they should … Continue reading Know Your Rights—and Theirs
Our online column Letters of the Law explores a wide range of legal issues that arise in libraries, with the help of a pair of leading authorities: Mary Minow, a librarian who became a lawyer, and Tomas A. Lipinski, a lawyer who became a librarian. Together they have authored four books on the subject, including … Continue reading Is My Library Liable for Fake News?
In 2016, more than half of federal appeals were filed by citizens acting as their own attorney, a process called pro se representation. According to the Legal Services Corporation, almost 90% of civil matters involving low-income Americans receive little or no legal help. With nowhere else to turn, such patrons often seek out legal information … Continue reading Unauthorized Practice of Law in the Library
Letters of the Law is a new online column exploring a wide range of legal issues that arise in libraries, from a pair of leading authorities: Mary Minow, a librarian who became a lawyer, and Tomas A. Lipinski, a lawyer who became a librarian. Together they have authored four books on the subject, including The … Continue reading Can My Library Ban Guns?
“The American Library Association agrees that there is a ‘substantial mismatch’ between the Commerce Secretary’s decision and the rationale he provided for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to at least temporarily block the addition of the question. ALA has consistently opposed the addition of the question on … Continue reading ALA Statement on SCOTUS Census Ruling
Queries addressed topics ranging from privacy issues to unruly teens, from how to respond to police warrants to dealing with people experiencing homelessness. The topic of patron behavior—and attendant issues of penalty policy and compassion—struck a chord, as the session’s format evolved from question-and-answer to open exchange among librarians raising questions and weighing in to … Continue reading Following the Letter of the Library Law
Her talk was moderated by her longtime editor Jill Santopolo, associate publisher of Philomel Books. Sotomayor noted that as a child she could never sit still and was soon walking the aisles of the auditorium—followed closely by her security detail—telling her story, hugging attendees, and being serenaded for her upcoming birthday (June 25). Sotomayor said … Continue reading Sonia Sotomayor Embraces Librarians—Literally
That’s the reasoning behind the community-court model, which has been around since the early 1990s. Designed with restorative justice in mind, community courts typically focus on nonviolent cases. The legally binding sentences they issue usually include community service as well as a commitment on the part of the defendant to get help, such as drug … Continue reading Courting Libraries