Moving Library from County Courthouse to Another Building


“My library’s board just learned of a plan to move our library from our wonderful space in the county courthouse, to some undecided space in another building (yet to be considered). We barely managed to stall a vote on the decision yesterday, and have just till Monday for the next meeting and vote. The County wants to convert our space to a jury room.”

“I wonder how those of you who moved from the courthouse have fared? I would appreciate any letters/messages expressing your experiences, thoughts, or ideas of help. We’re rallying as much help from all sources as possible”


“We moved from the county courthouse to a renovated building, a joint venture with the county of …, across the street. It was a carefully planned project and not forced by the county to move. We are very happy to move into the new facility.”

“Your situation is different from ours. You have to tell the county why you should stay at where you are. It’s politics which you need to present your case and lobby with the decision makers. It sounds like the court wants the space and has asked the county to pursue on their behalf. Good luck on pursuing your case.”
“I’m not the best to speak about this (bc I wasn’t here at the time), but the … County Public Law Library happily moved out of the … Superior courthouse approximately 5 years ago. We love the ‘new’ law library space in a renovated building about 2 blocks away from the courthouse.

There is much more space for patrons, the collection, patron computers and staff; we have a great Training Center where we offer classes of all kinds to attorneys and self-represented litigants; and so on. The best thing is that we can now offer our patrons extended evening and Saturday hours (including offering classes on evenings and Saturdays).

It has been a real win-win situation. I am aware of the former space that the law library occupied in the courthouse basement, and it was insufficient for our needs & dark (we now have windows – yay). But the court has utilized this space for their needs, and they are very tight for space.

I don’t know what your situation is, and it can be ideal to be inside the courthouse for many reasons. That said, being outside may also offer opportunities for good growth and change.

But I agree with …: you need to enlist the aid of some stake holders to lobby the powers that be, if you truly feel that this is a mistake. Who can help you with this effort? Do you have patrons that could speak on your behalf and clearly articulate why it is important to them for the law library to remain in the courthouse? Do you have local politicians who could speak up on your behalf? What about your Board? What about the general public library (eg, is it beneficial from their perspective to have you in the courthouse – or – will they speak up on your behalf)?

If you cannot change their minds (from moving you out of the courthouse), then use your stake holders to assist you in obtaining the right space in the right building that is close to the courthouse.

List the pros & cons of moving and good luck with your efforts.”
“It may just simply be that the Court is not aware of how much use your library gets; and not just by those who have business with the Court. It also sounds like you have a small library – this could be a chance to LOBBY for a convenient location that has more space.”

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