The Commission reserves one seat for a representative from the California Council of County Law Libraries (CCCLL). John Adkins, executive director of the San Diego Law Library, has served in that capacity for the past 5 years. John has been very active on the Communications Committee, helping with our new branding, crafting the newsletter, and expanding our recipient list. Now his tenure is coming to a premature end because he is retiring this summer. John says:
“Being an Access to Justice Commissioner has been a highlight of my professional life. What a wonderful opportunity to meet and work with the brightest lights in California’s legal access community! It has been an honor to serve and represent county law libraries.”
During his time on the Commission, John gave presentations on what county law libraries do and how they help expand the public’s access to justice through the availability of free legal information and expert research consultants. CCCLL partnered with the Commission after the horrific firestorms to distribute legal services booklets to help bring disaster relief to the people who needed it. More partnership opportunities are in the works as both groups look to find ways to connect public law library services with Access Commission projects.
This year CCCLL celebrates the 130th anniversary of the state law mandating every county to create and support a free law library open to everyone. The Legislature knew that without such a resource, only lawyers would know the law and be able to access the justice system. Power to the people arrived in 1891, and county law libraries are still expanding their reach and their services to include remote access to online databases, virtual one-on-one help with searching the Internet to find the law, and providing research training and legal information classes in an online setting. The technological future — once only a vision — is here. The Commission salutes the efforts of our county law libraries to stretch themselves to meet the growing and changing needs of Californians everywhere, and will happily welcome the next CCCLL representative.
The Commission thanks John Adkins for his contributions and wishes him the best of luck in retirement. (And thanks to quick-thinking Communications Committee Chair Janis Hirohama for snagging John to continue as a non-commissioner member. He isn’t gone, just repurposed — and he tells us he is very happy to continue his service.)