The Franklin County Law Library is an incredible resource for Central Ohioans seeking legal information. The library, seated in a beautifully renovated space on the 10th floor of 369 S. High Street, provides services for county and state employees, attorneys and those representing themselves (pro se). Everyone is welcome to access the library, but only attorneys can hold library cards and check out items.
Each day, the library serves about 60 visitors in person, over the phone and via email. Requests include information about legal processes and forms, historic state law and issues pertaining to cases. Sometimes staff find themselves in delicate situations where they help both sides of the same case in the same day! Attorneys often visit on breaks and during recess to access information within the library’s collection and online Westlaw, LexisNexis and HeinOnline accounts. The library also hosts depositions and client/attorney meetings in its private meeting room.
Director Angela Baldree enjoys the opportunities each new day presents and appreciates a great staff and board who share a culture of collegiality. She works in collaboration with the Bar Association to promote library services and awareness and sends monthly newsletters to inform members about events and opportunities. The library also hosts a successful series of lunch and learn sessions covering a variety of useful topics like this month’s Hidden Gems. Select sessions have provided continuing legal education credits, furthering attendees’ professional development. For National Library Week, the library has partnered with Columbus Legal Aid and will collect and donate gently used children’s books to the organization. Bonus! Patrons who donate will receive $5 off any accrued fines for each book donated.
Each of the 88 counties in the state has its own law library which range greatly in size and scope of service. The law libraries are funded by revenue from speeding tickets and the Franklin County Law Library supplements their budget through activities like used book sales. The library is a member of Consortium of Ohio County Law Libraries, which allows the libraries to leverage their buying power, share resources and offers grants and consultation services to all of the county law libraries in the state. In turn, the Franklin County Law Library can share savings with Franklin’s other county agencies, building both good rapport and good will.
The Franklin County Law Libary is a bright and vibrant space and an obvious asset to the community.