Librarians on the Front Line

How to Serve Patrons Seeking Help with Legal Matters

  • Public librarians are on the front line in serving patrons who seek help with legal matters.
  • Numerous online and community resources exist but patrons generally need guidance to find the appropriate resources.
  • Public librarians may facilitate access to legal information but not legal advice.

Survey of New York Public Librarians

The Permanent Commission and Modern Courts conducted a survey of public librarians in 2015 to assess if they were asked by patrons for legal information and resources, and which topics were the most frequently requested.

  • Over 100 librarians responded to the survey.
  • 82% of the surveyed librarians responded that patrons do seek legal information from public librarians.


This graph shows the most commonly requested legal information sought by subject.

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