We are hearing more and more about budget crises impacting court-related law libraries.
For example, West Virginia is closing its regional law libraries.
Similarly, law libraries in Texas, Washington State, and Connecticut are facing urgent funding problems.
I note that the reason for the West Virginia closures is stated to be“lack of use,” and, indeed technology is fundamentally changing the attorney usage picture.
I know nothing about the individual law libraries involved, but to me the moral is clear: if court and government law libraries are going to survive, they are going to have to stretch themselves to meet the urgent and ever increasing need for assistance from the self-represented — and indeed from the public libraries that more and more are working to meeting that need.
There are now plenty of models for this work , and I doubt that law libraries will find the advocates they need unless they move in this direction.