TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — The Baltimore County Public Library is hitting the road to debut its Mobile Library Law Center, offering residents a chance to get free consultation on bankruptcy, child custody and support, debt collection, expungements, housing, various government benefits and other legal matters.

A partnership with Maryland Legal Aid, the program is heading to eastern and western parts of the county with the goal of reaching people with disabilities, seniors, veterans and low-income residents.
An attorney from Maryland Legal Aid and a librarian will staff the vehicle to offer legal advice and information about resources.
“This first-of-its-kind project will help expand access to essential and life changing services for our most vulnerable neighbors,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. said in a statement. “Our libraries have always been anchors of our communities and as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic we remain focused on innovative and compassionate efforts like this to help ensure access to equal justice for every resident across Baltimore County.”
Even though the program was designed prior to the pandemic, the arrival of the vehicle comes as many renters are in a tenuous situation with the recently extended federal eviction moratorium set to expire in October, the library system’s announcement noted.
As WJZ reported on Tuesday, Baltimore County has distributed $19.5 million in county money to pay landlords and utility companies for families who apply and are eligible.
“We are proud to be the first library system in the country to own and operate a mobile legal vehicle, servicing those who don’t have access to legal help due to financial means, immobility or lack of transportation,” Baltimore County Public Library Director Sonia Alcántara-Antoine said in a statement. “Libraries are democratic institutions, giving everyone equal access to resources that will truly create an inclusive society.  Initiatives such as this ensure that those most in need have equal access to justice.”
The Mobile Library Law Center is retrofitted with two meeting spaces and has solar panels and internet access.
Starting Aug. 11, the vehicle will travel to the Woodlawn area on Wednesdays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Essex area on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CBS Baltimore Staff