March 2012 Bar Bulletin
Progress in the Public Law Library
By Rita Dermody
How do we measure progress? Libraries are notorious for keeping statistics and the Public Law Library is no exception. We note how many times people use our public access computers, how often Lexis and Westlaw are used, how many books are checked out of the library, and how many reference questions we answer. The list goes on.
Another statistic we keep is the number of visitors to the library, which increased significantly in 2011. An additional 2,000 people visited us in Kent and 16,000 more people visited us in Seattle in 2011. In Kent, this was a 15% increase over 2010 and in Seattle it was a 20% increase!
What draws people to the Public Law Library? We are friendly. We offer attorneys and the public resources, referrals, and maybe hope. We point people to the statutes, case law, forms and, where available, instructions; texts that explain statutes and case law; and referrals to clinics where attorneys can help them with their legal questions.
Currently, the Neighborhood Legal Clinic and the Debt Collection Defense Clinic meet regularly in the Law Library. The Young Lawyers Division of the King County Bar Association held a walk-in clinic in the Law Library for three weeks this fall.
We can only speculate that the economy has been a factor in the increase of visitors to our doors. We hope that the services we provide assist them in resolving their legal matters.
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