Editor’s Note: This is the 11th of 13 weekly columns on Clinton County departments leading up to the celebration of the courthouse’s 100th anniversary celebration. Today’s column features the Clinton County Law Library.
The law library has been located on the third floor in the Clinton County Courthouse since the courthouse was completed in 1919.
There have been numerous law librarians since its inception; the current law librarian is Martha Worstine.
The law library functions under the direction of its Law Library Resources Board. The current members of the board are Lauren Raizk and Brian Shidaker, who are Co-Chairs; Brett Rudduck, Secretary; John Porter and Mary Ann Foland.
The law library receives its operating funds through various fines, penalties and forfeitures collected from the Clinton County Common Pleas Court, Clinton County Juvenile Court, the City of Wilmington, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clinton County Municipal Court.
The law library offers extensive collections of case law books and treatises dating back into the early 1800s. Much of the legal research done today is found on the internet or by paid subscription(s) online.
The law library has two workstations that offer both options and which attorneys use frequently for those purposes. There are numerous law books that are still kept up-to-date, which is only a part of the librarian’s responsibilities and budget.
Unbeknownst to most, legal research online is very costly and providing access to it is one of the biggest expenses in the library’s annual budget. As a cost-saving measure, the law library is a member of the Consortium of County Law Library Resources Boards. If there is a publication or case citation that a patron or attorney is looking for and this particular law library doesn’t have access to it, a request is sent out to the other libraries belonging to the consortium to see if any of them have it. It can then be faxed, emailed or mailed through the post office to the library requesting the material.
Other business conducted in the law library happens in the Larry Lyons Conference Room that is usually quite busy with attorneys taking depositions, attorney/client meetings, separation during hearings of witnesses/victims, mediation, board meetings, and numerous county departmental meetings.
Unrelated library business includes, but not limited to, the librarian working in close contact with the Clinton County Bar Association handling most of its administrative business, scheduling bar meetings, sending notices, paying bills and developing CLE (Continuing Legal Education) programming.
The law library is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.