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Bar News - January 13, 2012

Morning Mail: Bar Urged to Help State Law Library

In New Hampshire there is only one public law library and that is the NH Law Library at the Supreme Court. Due to budget constraints the library has recently abbreviated hours on three days a week and indicated that it will soon discontinue Wi-Fi, a service that many patrons consider almost essential when engaged in research. The cutbacks by the Library are counter productive, particularly for sole practitioners and the public who often rely on the library as their principal legal research resource.

As New Hampshire has a unified Bar and no Bar Association library, I would like to suggest that in these days of limited state resources that the NH Bar Association contribute to the upkeep and maintenance of a first-class law library to enable the Supreme Court to restore library hours and maintain basic services, including wi-fi. The use of Bar dues for this purpose would be in the interests of not only the NH Bar but also the general public. Thus, I urge the Association to allocate a portion of member dues to assist the Court in restoring the Libraryís hours and maintaining basic services for the Bar and public.

Eric Taussig

Editorís Note: The NHBA Board of Governors is considering similar suggestions to the writerís and has scheduled this topic for discussion at an upcoming meeting. According to State Law Librarian Mary Searles, wi-fi service in the library will be eliminated by the end of February, unless lower pricing is obtained or some other funding source is identified. Budget cutbacks to the law library have resulted in the termination of more than 250 secondary-source indexes, other acquisitions have been cut back, and the library is closed to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings due to reduced staffing. Primary source subscriptions, such as the West NH Digest, and online access to Westlaw and Lexis, have so far been maintained.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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