THE CHANGING FACE OF THE LAW LIBRARIES: VIRTUAL REFERENCE
January 2013 saw the launch of the new online chat option and website “Ask a Law Librarian, Delaware” at http://courts.delaware.gov/lawlibraries/index.stm. While still in its infancy, the online chat feature has provided the citizens of Delaware with a new point of access to locating legal information.
Developed through the collaborative efforts of the Judicial Law Libraries and the Delaware Division of Libraries, the goal of “Ask a Law Librarian, Delaware” is to provide legal information support to the general public through cutting edge technology. Through these efforts, the law librarians hope to be able to reach a broader base of Delaware citizens that have legal reference questions.
The site provides instant access to a law librarian on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 11am-12 noon. Questions may also be sent by email and are answered within 72 hours or less. Public library patrons may access the site by logging on either through the website or through any Delaware Division of Libraries website at http://lib.de.us/askalibrarian. Additionally, the Judicial Law Librarians have provided informative seminars on legal reference to public librarians throughout the State of Delaware. Leah Chandler, Sussex County Law Librarian, notes that “the law libraries are adapting to keep pace in a new digital era and therefore redefining the traditional law library image. Not only do we strive to provide excellent assistance to the bench and bar through traditional means of legal research, but we are actively expanding awareness of legal information resources to the citizens of Delaware by virtual reference.”
Look this summer for new online interactive tutorials on some of the most requested legal topics such as 1) Researching in the Delaware Code – online and book format; 2) Locating Legal Forms; 3) Delaware Rules of Court; and 4) How to complete a Delaware Legislative History.
The Judicial Law Librarians wish to extend a very special thanks to Amy Whitman (AOC) for helping to bring the website to fruition.
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