See the trees
Oct 16, 2014
What scares you? Horror movies? Scary stories around a camp fire? Those viral videos where the screen is picturesque and then a scary face pops up (I sent one to my boss and she swore vengeance upon my soul)? Turns out people are equally terrified of law libraries. Well, not the building, per se, but having to do research in the building. Good thing your friendly neighborhood law Librarian is waiting there to help you see the forest for the trees (or, in this case, find the resources you need to get the job done).
For instance, say you were just served with an Unlawful Detainer notice (i.e. you are being evicted). EVICTED!?! I'm current on my rent! I don't throw loud parties (well, not very loud)! Why is this happening to me? Determined not to be tossed out on the street, you resolve to fight and you run over to your local county law library. You open the front door, peek inside and see ROWS AND ROWS of books. Brown books, red books, black books, yellow books, and some two-toned books. There are thick books, thin books, some books with stickers on them, no less than three dictionaries in plain view. So much stuff in one place - it's like a twisted Dr. Seuss book! What should you do first?! Where should you begin your search?!? How do you begin?!?!
Well, a good place to start might be to first stop is the front reference desk. Yeah - don't bother with the books until you've spoken to the reference Librarian. We know what we have in our collection and we are better able to select the resources that meet your needs, such as:
- California Civil Practice: Real Property (West)
- California Practice Guide (Rutter): Landlord Tenant (West)
- California Eviction Defense Manual (CEB)
- California Landlord Tenant Practice (CEB)
- California Tenant's Rights (Nolo Press)
- The California Landlords Law Book: Evictions (Nolo Press)
Of course, we have many other titles that can help you wend your way through the morass that makes up the California litigation system (but I don't want to overwhelm you with the majesty of all that is the RCLL). Isn't it a good thing, then, that you have a great county law library (and immensely qualified law Librarians) at your disposal to help you find the precise resources you need to answer your most pressing legal needs? Yes. Yes, it is.
Bret is a Legal Research & Instructional Services Librarian at our Main Library.