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MIDDLETOWN Law libraries in Connecticut have suffered major cutbacks in the last three years, but the local one at Middletown Superior Court is still working to be a portal into the legal system for the public.
"I see librarians as being where the strength is at the moment," Doherty said. "They work very hard to produce a program to educate the public. The librarians have been very active Dionysus Gucci Shoulder Bag
Law libraries open to serve the public
There are 13 law libraries still open in the state, one in every judicial district. They offer a wide range of help for those involved in the justice system. Quinn said the law libraries offer help to those looking for aid in their court cases and attorneys who may not have access certain kinds of information and secondary sources.
"People with good information have a much better understanding of what is involved, and that makes for a smoother time when they Gucci Handbag Latest Collection
"If you truly want to give citizens of Connecticut access to justice, there needs to be a portal," Doherty said. "Keep them open, curtail hours, but keep the doors open. Keep the access point available. We have a dedicated staff."
Doherty said that the librarians have been very active in the transparency initiatives, but slowed down due to the various cutbacks. The website has a large accessibility. It has self representative materials that explain how to do certain things in the legal system and there is a generic email account people can use to send questions to the librarians and guides to resources, along with Pathfinders with very in depth studies, Doherty said.
"People believe because so much is online it makes them less needed," Quinn said. "But many things are not online. There is and will continue to be a need for the libraries. They serve an important role in the access to justice initiative."
The statistics for law libraries in the past three years seem grim. Two law libraries have closed since 2009 one in Norwich and the other in Milford but Quinn said they were closed due to less frequent use and access to other law libraries in the same district.
In recent years, the Connecticut judicial system has been working toward a goal of transparency with the public. The judges and court personnel have been working to make the court system more accessible by ways of programs and additional information available both online and in the courthouse.
law services for the Connecticut Judicial Branch, said the librarians "act as interpreters but don't translate," meaning they are able to explain the system but not give advice on the cases.
"The Middletown law library is still running functionally and beautifully," Chief Court Administrator Judge Barbara Quinn said. "We have been working very hard to preserve what we have."
Doherty spoke highly of the law librarians, saying she could not praise them enough for their dedication to the true belief that everyone should have access to the resources. Doherty expressed the sentiment that the law libraries are one of those things you don't think about until you need it, and then you hope it is there.
get into the courtroom," Doherty said.
Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers said in a letter about the report that while the judicial system "continues to economize, we still require adequate resources to fulfill these essential functions." Quinn said in her remarks on the report that there has been a hiring freeze in effect for the past several years. Doherty confirmed there is still a hiring freeze in effect for law librarians and said the curtailed staff is a stressor for the system.
"There is basically no budget in appropriations for law libraries," Quinn said. "It is a very important resource, and at this point no others are in risk of closing."
Law librarians help the public when Gucci Purse Costume in need of assistance in finding the materials and laws regarding their cases. The librarians, who must have a master's degrees in library science, can help the public print materials regarding cases, draft motions and point them in the right direction to move along their cases. Ann Doherty, deputy director of Gucci Backpack Gg Supreme
in trying to bring non attorneys into the realm of courthouse processes."
According to the judicial website, the mission statement for judicial branch is "to resolve matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner." In the last biennial report issued for the Connecticut Judicial Branch in 2010, the theme was "doing more with less."
Quinn confirmed that in 2009 there were 27 staff members for the state's law libraries, and as of February 2012, the staffing is down to 17, with two being on leave of absences. Additionally, the budget spent in 2009 was $2.485 million, and the estimate budget expenditure for 2012 is $1.1 million, Quinn said.
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