Time is running short for county's trove of law books

It might seem old-fashioned, but her sentiment is echoed by what many in the legal community say: Poring over books makes it easier to collect information than Internet search tools, and provides a hands-on connection to the laws of our country.

"That's not possible on a computer," Clayton said. "The law could not exist without its books."

VS.

Nobody uses the books anymore," Commissioner Shannon Staub said at a recent budget meeting. "It's on the Internet, and forget the law library."

Full article here.

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Where the law resides

I recall an original Star Trek epsiode where Kirk is brought up on charges. His defense counsel is an old man who has his own stacks. When Kirk sugests the computer, his counsel scoffs, saying his books is where the law lives.

Captain Kirk

You can see the video mentioned in the comment above here:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5858641426894412205&hl=en#

Captain Kirk

This story also made me think of the Star Trek episode, which is entitled "Court Martial". A description of the episode can be found in the book Star Trek: Visions of Law and Justice
Thanks for posting the link to the video, Bibliofuture!

All very valid but...

The simple cost of providing print and online access in some cases can be crippling enough.
Of course it's a better way to learn how to search for things, retain knowledge etc but then no everyone can do that. If you have to find out something quickly you could search by keyword rather than reading 10 years of a journal, if you are looking for information in an area of law you're not working aware of (eg military law) then you won't have the time.
It's great if you've spent your career learning everything (after all don't we all have in-depth knowledge of our own specialist areas after years on the job) but people new to the field don't. And the point about people learning how to sort out their own legal affairs, surely that is part of what the normal public library system and consumer affairs bodies are there to help with?

What they are going to do with all the older books once they close is an important piece though. Just because it's no longer added to doesn't stop it being useful for those who DO want to look through it. It's just that in hard times and when there are cheaper but just as valuable resources some things often have to go.

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