WebJunction is partnering with the nonprofit organization, Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to offer Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice through Public Libraries, a free national training initiative for public library staff to help strengthen access to civil legal justice.
Barriers to civil legal justice disproportionately affect low-income people in the US, creating the justice gap—the divide between the civil legal needs of low-income people and the resources to meet those needs. Though legal issues can be intimidating for library staff, public libraries are well positioned to help reduce this justice gap by providing more access points to legal information and services.
“Legal matters are unfortunately one of life’s necessities, yet too many Americans lack the knowledge and resources to access civil legal justice. There is a larger role for public libraries to assume in improving access to legal justice for all our community members, and this free training intends to fill this void,” says Chris Le Beau, former President of ALA’s Reference & User Services Association.
WebJunction will host a webinar on February 11, Civil Legal Justice: The Crucial Role of Libraries, where participants will learn about the status of civil legal justice in our system, the vital role public libraries can play in reducing the justice gap, and about the live, multi-week course to be offered in April, which takes a deeper look at supporting people to navigate the complexities of the legal system.