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Resolutions and Intentions

January 6, 2014

I wish I could offer advice about resolutions, something many people make or revisit this time of year, but any lessons from me would be demonstrated in the breach, and so I defer. But I wish you well.

My resolutions have devolved into intentions for the next moment and my wish that whatever I do next be done with kindness and compassion. Challenge enough.

If you have resolved to represent yourself in civil court this year, we may have a program for you. The library will host a Virtual Pro Se Clinic the third Tuesday of every month beginning January 21^st .

“Pro Se” is legal Latin for representing oneself in court. “Virtual” describes a large swath of modern life, meaning “online” or via the Internet. “Clinic” is a source of counseling or instruction.

Thus, you can come the library and, in the privacy of the tutor room, conduct a video session online with a volunteer attorney who can guide you through the forms and procedures pertinent to your civil case.

To quote the flyer: “A free legal clinic for parties who have no attorney, will be featured from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM on the THIRD TUESDAY of each month at the Salida Regional Library at 405 E St, Salida, CO81201.

“By computer link, volunteer attorneys will answer questions, help fill out forms, and explain the process and procedure for all areas of civil litigation, including family law, property law, probate law, collections, appeals, landlord-tenant law, small claims, and civil protection orders. Walk-ins are welcome, and everyone will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis.”

This effort is supported also by the local bar association, the local courts, and the “Access to Justice” committee, all of which recognize the need to support the increasing number of pro se litigants. The support helps the citizens and the courts, both.

The library helps people as much as possible with negotiating legal and government information, much of which is had only online now. However, needless to say, library staff does not offer legal advice, and our role is limited to pointing—to a form, a book, a website.

The Virtual Pro Se Clinic gets more expert pointing into the library. Please note that this is not legal representation. The volunteer attorneys merely help with process and procedure, thus smoothing the way for both the pro se litigants and the courts. But “merely” is not quite the appropriate word, for it will be a huge help to anyone struggling with court forms and procedure.

Please feel free to see me for more information.

And wait! I do have a New Year’s resolution. I have resolved to clean up our patron database. You might remember that two years ago in December we migrated the library to the Marmot Library Network.

Because of technical difficulties, we had not purged inactive cards for several years and then were thwarted doing so before migration. So I’ve been waiting.

Now, after two years in the Marmot network, I’m going to delete all cards that have not been used in Marmot. I reviewed this very large list, and it was a trip down Memory Lane, seeing names of long-time library patrons who have moved or died.

But also, there are people yet alive and resident here on the list. Nevertheless, this is an excellent opportunity to clean our files, and so we will. If you haven’t used the library in a while and come in only to find yourself gone, please don’t be offended. We will welcome you back.

 

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