As you may know, last week there was a webinar on the potential of libraries for access to justice. I can now share some of the comments from the evaluations. The comments show just how valuable this kind of cross-silo outreach is. (I do not often do this, but the message was so strong here). Here are some of the comments — note also that 166 people listened in, and a total of 223 registered and will get the materials.
The question was: “Do you feel you better understand the role of libraries in providing legal information to low income and vulnerable Americans, and the agencies that serve them? Why or why not?”
- Yes! I didn’t know about LSC before, nor about public access to courthouse law libraries. Collaborations and partnerships among the various stakeholders, in particular, offer great opportunities to extend access to all.
- Yes, I do feel that I understand libraries’ role in this matter better. I was not aware of the number of resources available online, and I had not thought of libraries as a place that fosters self-help before this webinar.
- Yes, there is a synergy building between the A2J expansion into the community via community based organizations such as public libraries
- Yes. Info about public libraries that I did not know.
- Yes! Libraries are an access point to provide information. It is great that we can help low income families get all their resources.
- Yes. I am familiar with the needs of our patrons but it hadn’t occurred to me that e-filing will soon be mandatory for all and there are many without computers or printers or email.
- Yes. We are a small library and it is nice to know actual websites we can use for helping our patrons when they are sent to us for forms.
- It never occurred to me that public libraries were such a good fit for the needs of low income patrons seeking legal information.
- I understanding much better! I live in a poor county with high unemployment and I see the need for this every day!
- Yes. We don’t get a lot of questions for legal information, but that may be because we don’t advertise that we can help people find this information. We need signs, handouts and publicity. I was not familiar with the LSC or Access to Justice.
- I work in a public law library that is located outside of a courthouse building. Our hours are limited, however. While listening about the availability of hours at the general public vs. courthouse library discussion, it gave me the idea that perhaps our staff might be able to assist some evenings in the other library – or conduct training that highlights our resources and services more to the general public library staff.
Above all, these responses show how big the potential for additional outreach is — it is great that there are going to be more webinars in the series. Please spread the word in your silos and beyond!