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Law Library move to Halifax branch eyed / February 14, 2013
The Halifax Public Library could become the new home of the Law Library, now housed at the Halifax County Courthouse.

Library Director Joe Zappacosta said Tuesday that he had been contacted by Clerk of the Court Bobby Conner to discuss the possibility of relocating the Law Library to the public library branch location in Halifax.

Conner said yesterday he has just begun to explore a move since Circuit Judge Joel Cunningham had expressed an interest in moving the books.

“The Judge and I agreed that few of the attorneys now use the library since most of the information they need is available to them on their office computers,” said Conner, “and of course, we are always clamoring for space around here.”

The Law Library was set up for individuals to use in preparing for their own cases, “but it is not very convenient to the public since anyone using it must first get a key to the room from one of my staff,” Conner said.

He said the room is now used primarily to accommodate trial witnesses as they wait before being called into the courtroom. “I just feel that the books would see greater use and be better preserved at the local library,” said Conner.

Funding to support the Law Library comes from a $2 or $3 charge assessed with each criminal case heard in the local court. While Conner said he was unsure how much revenue the fees bring in each year, he offered an estimate of $4,000. By moving the Law Library, that money could go into the public library system budget.

He said local bar association members will have to be included in the negotiations since they make the decisions about which books and materials to purchase for the law library.

“Right now the only hangup I see is the fact that the Halifax Library is closed on Fridays, but they are open on Saturdays, which the Courthouse is not,” Conner said.

Zappacosta, who informed library board members about the plan during their monthly meeting on Tuesday, said he hopes that with the added revenue, the Halifax branch can open on Fridays. He told board members that he has set aside space near the front of the library to place the law books and a computer if necessary.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, Zappacosta said he has been happy with a volunteer who has come to help out at the library over the past weeks. He welcomed all others who may want to volunteer some of their time to work there. Interested individuals need only to visit either library location in Halifax or South Boston and fill out a volunteer form.

Jessica Pettit with the library staff reviewed several upcoming events and services, pointing especially to Teen Tuesday, which is celebrated every second and fourth Tuesday of the month with special programs. On Feb. 26, there will be a first viewing of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” with another first viewing of “Fun Size” on March 26.

Another special program which has turned out to be very popular is “Needle Socials,” a gathering of knitters, crocheters and others who work with yarn crafts. The program takes place every first Monday of the month in Halifax and every third Thursday in South Boston.

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