After going months without a librarian, Grayson County’s Judge RC Vaughan Law Library, located in the Grayson County Courthouse, finally has a new keeper. Terrie Campbell, an experienced paralegal, now heads the library.
Though its hours have been cut, the library is still open to the public and provides a number of legal resources for the public, attorneys and inmates.
Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith said when the last law librarian quit, the county had trouble replacing her. The amount of money the county wanted to pay for the position, he said, was not enough to draw qualified candidates. The position sat empty for months. And so did the law library a lot of the time.
“There wasn’t enough foot traffic,” Smith said of keeping the library open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
So, Smith decided to combine the law librarian job with a job at the D.A.’s office that was also open. That job called for someone to scan documents a few hours a day. Now, Campbell scans documents at the D.A.’s Office in the morning before opening the law library at 10 a.m. and closing it at 3 p.m. She then goes back to the D.A.’s office and scans documents until leaving at 5 p.m.
Smith said the combination of the two jobs means the county saves money on the salary for the law librarian and D.A. Office gets a very qualified candidate to work both positions.
The law library is mostly used by county inmates, and the staff at the library gets specific request from those inmates and sends them the case law or statutes they request, Smith said. The rest of the time, the staff at the law library help civilians look up forms needed for pro se legal actions like divorce or probate.
Those forms are kept on a computer that people are shown to once they come to the law library. Additionally, people can access Westlaw on the computers at the law library. That applies to civilians as well as any attorney who might not be able to afford their own subscription to the legal research service.
In 2017, the county downsized the law library by moving it across the hall from its previous location.