Court of Common Pleas Law Library
|The Law Library strives to fulfill the legal research needs of the judicial system at the trial court level. The Law Library is open to the public.|
WELCOME to the Law Library, a department of the 23rd District Court of Common Pleas under the supervision of the Board of Judges and the District Court Administrator.
The Law Library has been in operation since 1859 when it was incorporated by a group of local attorneys as the Berks County Law Library. For many years it was managed by a committee of the Berks County Bar Association with an attorney serving as a parttime librarian. The 1859 charter indicated its purpose was to "establish and perpetuate a Law and Miscellaneous Library for the use of the Judges of the Court, the Members of the Bar, and the Commissioners of Berks County."
In 1978, the Pennsylvania Judicial Code mandated that each County support a law library and that it be open to the public (42 Pa.C.S.A. §3724). The Law Library now maintains a book collection of over 30,000 volumes providing current federal and Pennsylvania statutes, case law and regulatory law as well as various treatises in specific subject areas. Access to on-line databases greatly enhance the Law Library's resources.
The Law Library serves the judges of the Court, the members of the bar, County departmental staff, and the public. The Law Library is staffed during regular business hours (8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday) by librarians who provide reference assistance, but not legal advice, to patrons. Circulation of library materials is governed by Court rules. Interlibrary loan service is available to the Library's primary patrons in accordance with the Pennsylvania Interlibrary Loan Code of 1994.