Many law libraries make it their goal to serve all patrons equally, but what about patrons who have no legal background? Further, how do law librarians serve a population that needs extra help and assistance with research, while having to deal with shrinking materials budgets and staff reductions? Librarians from academic and court libraries will discuss data from courts on the reasons pro se litigants are unsuccessful, as well as new and fresh approaches to better serve this patron base. Examples will demonstrate how difficult it is to complete various types of legal forms, and suggestions will be offered on how law libraries can collaborate with other related organizations to provide better outreach to those patrons who need it the most.
Takeaway 1: Participants will be able to identify the exact reasons pro se cases fail in the court system.
Takeaway 2: Participants will be better able to create and manage innovative and cost-effective library services and programs to help people without lawyers better navigate the legal system.
Takeaway 3: Participants will acquire tools and techniques that will enable them to better collaborate with different stakeholders and interested parties to achieve an objective.
Who should attend: Court librarians and academic public law librarians seeking to develop new services and programs to better serve people without lawyers; AALL members who want to foster their project management skills and facilitate their library's collaboration with other stakeholders and interested parties; AALL members who are interested in reaching out to underserved populations
Track(s): Reference, Research and Client Services
Sarah Jaramillo is a reference librarian at Fordham University Law Library. Her research interests include quanititative analysis of the pro se experience and access to justice issues generally. She is also vice-chair of the Social Responsibilities Special Interest Section of AALL.
Sonia Poulin was appointed Director, Alberta Law Libraries, in April of 2008. She is accountable for the vision, leadership, direction and management of legal information resources and services to the judiciary, practicing bar and public in Alberta. This is achieved through a province-wide network of 50 law libraries and 4 Law Information Centres.
Prior to joining Alberta Law Libraries, Ms. Poulin held a number of progressively responsible law librarian positions in both academia and private law firms in Montreal, Vancouver, Moncton and Ottawa. She was also in charge of credited Legal Research courses for more than 1700 law students and taught legal research and advanced legal research at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Trilingual, she has a BA in Linguistics and French Studies (second language teaching concentration) (Concordia), a Master of Library and Information Studies degree (McGill). She has also studied Law (University of London) and completed courses towards a PhD (McGill). She currently is completing an MBA (Strathclyde Business School).
She lives outside of Edmonton and plays in the Rockies with her family, 5 dogs and one cat.
Rick Stroup, currently the Assistant Director at the Public Law Library of King County (PLLKC) in Seattle, Washington, has spent his entire professional career in public law librarianship. A 1988 graduate of the University of Washington Library School--now known as the Information School--Rick has been active in the American Association of Law Libraries and in the Law Librarians of Puget Sound, the Washington chapter of AALL. While at PLLKC, Rick has worked on numerous projects whose ultimate goal has been to promote and improve law library services to the local bar and to the general public, to improve the latter's understanding and appreciation for our justice system, and to work with other court operations to increase the accessiblity and usability of court services.