June 24, 2013
Update on Law Libraries
The Bristol Law Library and the Fitchburg Law Library are operating on a reduced schedule on an interim basis. They both are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and offer full services, including book circulation.
In April, the Trial Court announced the closure of the two law libraries as a result of low utilization, outdated facilities and staff reductions. Fifteen other law libraries remain open full time, including the libraries in Fall River (South Main Street), New Bedford (County Street), Brockton (Belmont Street), and the Worcester Law Library on Main Street.
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 has the lowest number of walk-in users and occupies a deteriorating building. Bristol has 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.
For further information:
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
Bristol Law Library -- 508-824-7632
Fitchburg Law Library -- 978-345-6726
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