Maryland Judiciary Creates New Advisory Group
on Law Libraries and Legal Information
(Annapolis, MD — April 24, 2008) As part of its continuing efforts to provide the public with improved educational and legal information services at court libraries across the state, the Maryland Judiciary has created a statewide advisory group to advise the Judiciary on law library and legal information matters. Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals today announced the creation of the Conference of Maryland Court Law Library Directors.
The new Conference will also address court library management and leadership, such as library standards, coordination of collection development, public services and enhancing libraries' roles as partners in providing education and legal information, said Steven P. Anderson, director of the Maryland State Law Library.
“More people now conduct their own research on the law and even represent themselves in court matters,” Anderson said. “County law libraries serve as excellent resources for people to find out more about both their own cases and the law in general.”
Librarians are striving to provide greater technological and subject-matter expertise to help people research and access information from both the free Web and for-pay databases like LexisNexis or Westlaw, said Catherine McGuire, the State Law Library's outreach services librarian.
“Circuit Court libraries and the State Law Library have come together to discuss how to coordinate and collaborate in significant efforts to improve collections and services,” McGuire said. “Library directors are also discussing ways to streamline communications with other court departments and provide information on library user needs in order to improve information on the People's Law Library Web site.”
“We are honored that the Conference of Maryland Court Law Library Directors has been added to those organizations created to support the Judiciary. It is our goal that through this organization we make it known that the court library’s role in providing access to information is an essential element in the court’s ability to provide access to justice,” said the Conference's first chair, Joan Bellistri, director of the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library. Bellistri and vice chair, Janet Camillo, director of the Montgomery County Circuit Court Law Library, will guide the new organization.
For more information, contact the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488.