Discussions regarding the Medina County Law Library’s current location, 24-hour access and the potential of finding a new location are underway as members of both the Medina County Law Library Association and the Medina County Law Library Resources Board attended the Medina County commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday.
In October, the county commissioners approved the lease agreement with the city of Medina regarding the 1969 Courthouse, which was built in 1969 and considered county property, to house the Medina Municipal Court.
According to the agreement, the city now has exclusive use of 28,222 square feet of the 1969 Courthouse, excluding the space currently used by the County Law Library Resources Board for the law library.
As drafted agreements were written and discussed regarding the space, members of the Law Library Association spoke on the possible reinstatement of 24-hour access to the law library.
Medina County Commissioner Aaron Harrison has worked to get a better understanding of the beliefs of the Law Library Association and the Law Library Resources Board regarding the space, to have a better alignment of what they would like to see for the law library’s future.
“The question that we had before us the last time we discussed this was whether we’d be open to relocating the facility to a place that was more conducive to 24-hour access,” Harrison said. “We identified some space at 72 Public Square that is available and could be the library’s home.”
A few weeks ago, Harrison took several members of both the Law Library Association and the Resources Board on a tour of the potential space.
Harrison stated that objectively, it is not on par with the space within the courthouse now and would need some changes, but it would be able to offer 24-hour access.
In addition, Harrison said that it will likely be the law library’s temporary home during any construction the city will do on the 1969 Courthouse in the future.
Harrison said someone asked that if the county is going to move the law library to 72 Public Square temporarily during potential construction, why not move it there permanently and provide 24-hour access.
Medina County Law Library Association President Pat Walker said members have clearly stated that 24-hour access is important to them.
“The association has said that if we can get appropriate 24/7 access in a reasonable facility, which we have determined that 72 Public Square would be reasonable, that we do believe that we can resolve that issue,” Walker said.
On the other hand, Ian Haberman of the Medina County Law Library Resources Board said that while 24-hour access is an important factor, it is not important enough to move from the current space in the 1969 Courthouse.
Haberman said that the space discussed at 72 Public Square would not be suitable for the law library.
While there has not been a formal decision made by the Resources Board, Haberman believes that 24-hour access is not that critical.
“I would suggest that the Resources Board wants to stay where we are,” he said.
As conversations continued Tuesday, Harrison said there are several opinions regarding the topic and what would be the best solution.
“I want clarity. I really don’t want that clarity to come at the expense of us picking one side over the other,” Harrison said. “I just want clarity.”
Harrison believes that clarity will come if it’s possible to get all parties to move forward on a more universal solution.
He suggested a potential solution of creating an annex space in 72 Public Square that would provide attorneys a 24-hour access point to research what they need to, while still maintaining the law library’s current location.
“We’ve given a fair bit of time for there to be a consensus between the organizations, one has not materialized,” Harrison said. “So these kinds of hybrid solutions, I think that’s what we’re left with.”