The Bemidji Public Library is committed to providing the community with informational resources to enrich their lives. They provide a wide range of services to its patrons including WIFI, fax, printing, copying and their new Legal Kiosk.
As courts and legal aid offices were moving online, legal aid organizations struggled with how to address increased legal needs, while protecting public health concerns. Now for some Minnesotans, going to speak to their attorney now means heading to their nearest kiosk.
St. Paul-based Legal Services State Support hopes to double the number of residents who access legal services using its mobile app. With the new improvements, LegalCORPS embedded the LawHelpMN.org website into many of the 250 "Legal Kiosks" it has scattered around the state.
The Bemidji Public Library has partnered with the Minnesota Legal Service Coalition to help bridge the digital divide that community members are facing during COVID. As a result of the pandemic, many legal services and hearings have been moved to online formats. Court hearings are held over Zoom, and paperwork must be scanned and emailed, putting people who do not have access to technology at a disadvantage.
Reach Justice Minnesota has deployed more than 250 Legal Kiosks statewide to expand access to free legal services for vulnerable populations. The kiosks are stationed in a variety of community locations offering the public the ability to apply for civil legal aid services, access legal resources, and, in some cases, attend online meetings and remote court hearings in privacy.
Reach Justice Minnesota is a series of initiatives that leverage technology and emergency staffing to help protect Minnesotans’ basic civil and human rights in the face of an unprecedented emergency and disaster.