Big changes are afoot for our East County and South Bay library branches. We will no longer be providing library services at the courthouse branches. Instead, we are partnering with regional public libraries in El Cajon and Chula Vista to provide law library services in their branches. The physical branches in the courthouses will be used to host clinics and perform other community activities. The East County courthouse location will also be the home of our forthcoming legal archive facility.
This decision is the end result of several ongoing trends. First, law library revenue has fallen nearly 40% since the 2009 fiscal year. This caused the library to shrink full-time staff from 32 down to 19. Second, foot traffic in East County and South Bay branches declined precipitously after civil cases were consolidated at the Downtown Courthouse three years ago. Third, we are partnering with two vibrant community libraries so we can reach the people who don’t come the courthouses. This is already proving to be a success. Our weekly Thomas Jefferson Law School clinic moved from the courthouse to the El Cajon public library and attendance has doubled.
Stay tuned for more information about these exciting partnerships.