Tuesday, February 28, 2006

“The Little Law Library That Could” Celebrates Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting, Proclamation


Just a little over three years ago, the Dane County Legal Resource Center (DCLRC; formerly Dane County Law Library) faced closure and staff layoffs due to a Dane County budget crisis. On Monday April 3 at 2:00 p.m., the “Little Law Library that Could” is celebrating its move into a larger space in the new courthouse with a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony and reception.

DCLRC is a branch of the State Law Library funded through a contractual arrangement with Dane County. Nearly 30,000 people use the DCLRC each year. Librarian Paula Seeger estimates that about 75-80% of DCLRC’s users are members of the public interested in representing themselves in court actions. “Pro se folks are by far our biggest user group, and often our most challenging,” says Seeger. “They have the widest variety of requests and really keep us on our toes.”

DCLRC moved into a new library space on the lower level of the Dane County Courthouse January 13. “People have been able to locate us, and, if anything, I’d say we’re a bit busier now than in our old space,” admits Seeger. “We wanted to wait until we were settled in before having our grand opening.” DCLRC’s grand opening corresponds to National Library Week, April 2-8, and features week long events, classes, and door prizes. Visit the DCLRC website to access a full list of events: http://wsll.state.wi.us/branch/dclrc/servicesevents.html.

Seeger confesses, “There were times we thought we’d never make it to the new library, with budget problem after budget problem. We kept on. We cut where we could, collaborated more, and found creative solutions to our problems. All in all I think we offer more services now than we ever did and do a great job of keeping our users informed of the latest court procedures and laws.” For more information about the Dane County Legal Resource Center, visit their website at: http://wsll.state.wi.us/branch/dclrc/index.html or call 266-6316.