The Pierce County Law Library, a satellite law library within the larger Pierce County Library System, recently was honored by the American Association of Law Libraries for its community engagement.

The association bestowed the 2019 Excellence in Community Engagement Award to the library to highlight its innovative approach to serving the legal needs of community members in remote locations and establishing satellite law libraries inside the Gig Harbor and Lakewood Public Libraries — two of the county’s largest libraries.

“Our partnership with the Pierce County Public Library allowed us to take the law out of the courthouse and to the neighborhoods where people live and work,” Pierce County Law Library board of trustees president James H. Bush said in a statement. “The success of these branch libraries proves that legal information is a resource everyone needs and should be available without cost.”

Despite the fact that the libraries are a relatively new fixture in the community — having come online in June 2018 and May 2019, respectively — they have been incredibly popular. In 2019 alone, close to 490,000 patrons visited the two satellite branches to access print and electronic collections on myriad issues including elder law, probate resources, family law, and landlord tenant law, with reference assistance if needed.

“The (Pierce County Library) partnership with Pierce County Law Library is another example of good government as we collaborate to make information and resources available to more people,” Pierce County Library executive director Georgia Lomax said in a statement. “Having (the satellite branches) easily accessible in a public library brings legal resources to more people in a convenient place.”

The award presentation currently is slated for July.