Commissioners assume responsibility for law library

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Grayson County commissioners say the pledge Tuesday in the east courtroom at the Grayson County courthouse

The entity responsible for the Judge R.C. Vaughan County Law Library changed on Tuesday. The law library, which has changed locations a number of times in the last five years, has been under the umbrella of the District Attorney’s Office for many years.

Tuesday, Grayson County commissioners voted to return it to their domain. They held an executive session to discuss the matter, then came out and took the vote without any public discussion of the matter.

In a phone call after the meeting, Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said the law library was originally managed by the commissioners court but was, for a number of years, overseen by the D.A.’s Office. He said he and Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith have had ongoing discussions about the law library and recently they decided now was the time to make a change.

The law library provides specialized legal reference resources for the legal community, litigants and any residents of Grayson County. It was established in 1940 and is funded through money received from filing fees, user fees and donations. The library is currently closed to the public. When it not closed, the public may access the library Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m.

Besides serving as a place where those charged with crimes can look up information about their cases, the law library is a place where Grayson County residents can access a wealth of information on topics such a wills and estates, and uncontested divorces. The person in charge of the library has traditionally not been an attorney and not allowed to give leagal advice, but that person has been trained to help people find the forms they might need to file for a divorce or to probate a will.

Once housed just down the hall from the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office, the library has moved a number of times over the last decade. The first move took it across the street to the second floow of the Grayson County Courthouse where it welcomed folks in a spot between the two restored courtrooms on that floor. In that location, those who were using the library could look out over the towering oak trees that cover the courthouse lawn and watch the traffic go by on Houston Street.

The second move took it across the hall to a much smaller location. One reason behind the moves has been the continuing need for less space. Once housed in multiple series of books, today’s legal research and forms can almost all be found on line with the click of a mouse.