April 16, 2013
Law Libraries to Consolidate Two Locations
The Trial Court has announced the closure of two law libraries as a result of low utilization, outdated facilities and staff reductions. The Bristol Law Library in Taunton and the Fitchburg Law Library will cease operation as of May 10, 2013, and discontinue circulation of their materials as of April 19, 2013. The library consolidation allows the Trial Court to redeploy staff to nearby sites and better serve the public statewide.
Fifteen other law libraries remain open. Patrons of the Bristol Law Library can use the libraries in Fall River (South Main Street), New Bedford (County Street) or Brockton (Belmont Street). The Worcester Law Library on Main Street across from the Worcester Trial Court will serve the northern Worcester County communities.
In recent years the law libraries increasingly have shifted their services to expand electronic resources in response to changes in technology and user needs. Of the 17 law libraries across the state, Fitchburg had the lowest number of walk-in users and occupies a deteriorating building. Bristol had the second lowest user activity and no longer has permanent full-time staff.
In Fiscal Year 2012, the 17 locations served 282,000 patrons, while the Law Library website at www.lawlib.state.ma.us recorded more than 39 million visitors. The website provides e-reference and live chat, as well as document delivery, e-books and remote access to databases. All law libraries provide free wi-fi access.
Brockton Law Library -- 72 Belmont Street, 508-586-7110
Fall River Law Library -- 186 South Main Street, 508-491-3475
New Bedford Library -- 441 County Street, 508-992-8077
Worcester Law Library -- 184 Main Street, 508-831-2525