Every year, the LII receives thousands of questions by email from users of their website asking for help in finding a statute, regulation, or opinion. Likewise, many academic, county, state, court, and other public law libraries also deal with self-represented litigants and help them to find legal information relevant to their particular legal situation. Different users may ask the same or similar questions, just like law librarians may answer different patrons’ questions with the same or similar information or resources.
To better serve a greater public, the LII created a Reference Desk in the likeness of a public forum so that these users and patrons would have a place to ask their questions and have them be answered by experts in legal information resources and in finding legal information. The LII Reference Desk is the place where all categories of users can ask their questions about finding legal information with the intention that the questions, answers, and resources will then be available to everyone. The LII Reference Desk will be a go-to resource for posting questions and finding answers, as well as a knowledge bank for sharing resources, experiences, and expertise.
Elizabeth Farrell-Clifford (Florida State University) and Charlotte Schneider (Rutgers School of Law-Camden) have put together a group of stellar law librarian volunteers from around the country to monitor the Reference Desk to help answer users’ questions about finding legal information. Anyone with an internet connection can benefit from the information available from this public forum, but we want and encourage all (human) users with a question, a curiosity, or a bit of legal knowledge worth sharing to join the forum site and start posting. Any law librarians who are interested in contributing as a volunteer should register for the site and email Elizabeth or Charlotte at help AT liicornell DOT org.