For immediate release | February 13, 2014

A guide to providing legal reference

CHICAGO — In recent years the number of Americans who have decided to handle their own legal affairs without the help of a lawyer has skyrocketed. Ranging from people writing their own wills or drafting a contract to those trying to represent themselves in court, they’re going to public and academic libraries for answers. Library staff can combine valuable and ethical legal reference guidance with the practical guidance in “Legal Reference for Librarians: How and Where to Find the Answers,” published by ALA Editions. As both an attorney and a librarian, author Paul D. Healey is uniquely qualified to advise library staff on providing users with the legal information they seek, and in this handbook he:

  • gives a concise orientation on legal research, including strategies for finding information quickly and a handpicked compendium of the best resources;
  • offers guidance on how to provide advice on legal research while steering clear of liability;
  • covers federal legal reference as well as all 50 states, with a comprehensive list of web-based legal resources.

Healey is currently senior instructional services librarian and associate professor of library administration at the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Law Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of "Professional Liability Issues for Librarians and Information Professionals," as well as a number of scholarly and professional articles on a variety of librarianship-related topics, most notably librarian liability and librarian ethics. He was the editorial director of AALL Spectrum, the official monthly magazine of the American Association of Law Libraries, from 2001 to 2007, and worked closely with authors on content for the magazine. He has an extensive background in professional speaking and has been a featured speaker at conferences and seminars across the United States and Canada.

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Related Links

"Legal Reference for Librarians: How and Where to Find the Answers"

"Finding the Answers to Legal Questions: A How-To-Do-It Manual"

"The Library's Legal Answer Book"


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