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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Resources at the Worcester Law Library

Worcester Law Library
184 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Telephone (508) 831-2525
Hours 8:00-4:30 Monday through Friday

"Ask a Librarian" - from their homepage you can take advantage of the online chat reference service Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 and Wednesday: 5:00-7:00.

Legal questions can often be difficult and sometimes impossible to answer when library budgets do not allow us to purchase the necessary resources. The Trial Court Law Library here in Worcester has those resources. Patrons throughout Massachusetts can access those materials by walking into the library, calling, emailing, or making use of 24/7 online chat. If you choose to visit the library you will find five floors of easy to access materials and the staff to help.

The library has 11 public access computers, a typewriter, copy machines, and they are wireless. If you bring your own laptop you have the additional advantage of being able to print or email the materials to yourself. Through the Lexis and Westlaw databases you can find state and federal primary laws, the Lexis Mass Practice legal series, case law, family law, Mass Continuing Legal Education Series, primary law from other states, and NOLO online. Unfortunately, the Westlaw and Lexis databases do not have remote access.

Anyone who lives in the state of Massachusetts can obtain a library card, borrow a wide range of materials, and have access to the MLIN database. The loan period is two weeks and you can renew for another two weeks (primary sources are limited to overnight loans). Through their catalog you can also request books and other materials from affiliate libraries. If you are not comfortable using an online database you will find that all of the Massachusetts database materials are backed up in print.

You may find that the answers to your questions are available from their website. If you link to "Massachusetts Law About" the librarians have compiled a long list of frequently requested topics. Once you choose a topic you will find links to the appropriate Massachusetts laws, guidelines, regulations, executive orders, federal laws, federal regulations, and other web sources. The second great advantage is the link to legal forms, unique guidelines on where to file those forms, special applications, and other useful information. The librarians have also compiled a list of frequently asked legal questions that provide the answer and source materials.

The fifth floor of the library has three conference rooms that are available to the public. Two of the conference rooms hold 14 people and the third is suitable for 8 people. In addition, they also have a multi-media room, with a smart board, and long tables that accommodate laptops. The multi-media room holds from 27 to 35 people and is also available for booking. They ask that you try to book any of these rooms at least one month in advance. The only disadvantage is that availability is restricted to the hours of 8am and 4:15pm.

The Trial Court Law Library is a valuable resource that should not be overlooked.

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CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608