May 26, 2011
"They're a victim of technology:" West Virginia shutting down regional public law libraries
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register is reporting that West Virginia's regional law libraries are being closed due to lack of patron use. From Shelley Hanson's article, W.Va. Closes Book on Law Libraries:
[Steven Canterbury, administrative director for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals] said it took the court three to four years to decide whether to close the law libraries. After conducting a study on the Huntington law library, it was determined after a three-month period that not one person used that library. The main law library in Charleston will remain open. Its librarian is Kaye Maerz.
The reason for the low use, he said, is because most law case books can be accessed via the Internet. And most law firms use Internet-based services to read case laws online, in addition to using their personal law libraries.
"They're a victim of technology," Canterbury said of the libraries. "Originally they were established to be a great equalizer for one-lawyer shops. ... They wouldn't be outgunned if they didn't have the materials."