Date Approved

5-5-1997

Embargo Period

8-26-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship

Department

Special Educational Services/Instruction

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Levy, Lynne

Subject(s)

Law libraries; Legal aid--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia; Legal research

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

Abstract

Although the goal of a comprehensive legal library is to be a resource to professionals and the general public, the issue of providing legal assistance to laypersons via the library is a complex one. Compiling the legal resources to benefit the lay public is challenging. This paper attempts to systematically identify and suggest resources following pre-set criteria of affordability, content usefulness, timeliness and reasonableness of management.

The primary form of this paper is a bibliography following a subject specific format. The bibliography is further defined into sections of legal reference books, internet sites, legal directories, general references and agencies. The bibliography was compiled with the primary goal of assisting in the start up phase of a self-help legal reference room for the use of nonprofessionals. This addition to a library would allow the general public to access information without undue assistance from library staff or professional patrons of a legal library. With that in mind the resources suggested are intended to be user-friendly and self explanatory. Although comprehensive, these materials would not over-extend the facilities of a public library. The writer offers this bibliography as a reference for those legal libraries interested in this approach to a growing phenomenon of non-professionals seeking information in an attempt to manage their own legal proceedings.

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