Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Portage Library's new Law Depot data base offers useful service to library patrons

By Carol Johnson Pfefferkorn*

HOUGHTON -- This morning, I went to the Portage Lake District Library’s website, clicked on PLDL’s new Law Depot resource, and within 20 minutes had created a completed Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney document. All that is left is to print the document, obtain necessary signatures, and make several copies -- one which will be given to my health care provider.

Most patrons have a need for this kind of service. Law Depot claims that 60 percent of all US citizens do not have a will, and fewer than 10 percent of Americans have a Living Will or Medical Power of Attorney.

"Law Depot is intuitive and well organized," says Shawn Leche, PLDL Director. The Law Depot is "an awesome tool that allows patrons to conduct a multitude of legal transactions, such as writing a Last Will and Testament; preparing Living Will documents; preparing a renter’s lease; writing contracts, including real estate and bills of sale -- all from the convenience of your home."

The Law Depot is just one of many services provided to patrons of PLDL, at no cost.

"It fits in with my philosophy for libraries. I believe in a library without walls," Leche notes.

Portage Library also offers Universal Class, where you can enroll in any of 550 courses; Mango Languages, a language learning system offering more than 33 foreign languages and 13 English-as-a-second-language courses; and Learning Express, which provides more than 1,000 online career-oriented and educational learning resources, such as college and admissions prep, career and job search/prep, GED prep.

"My charge is to get the word out, so people can take advantage of a wealth of diverse learning opportunities at the library," Leche explains. "I want people to know about them and use them."

If you have questions, call the Portage Lake District Library at 906- 482-4570. Better yet, visit the PLDL Web site at

*Editor's Note: Keweenaw Now guest writer Carol Johnson Pfeffercorn recently moved to the Keweenaw from the Menominee area. In addition to writing, she is assisting Keweenaw Now with advertising and public relations.

Photo: Portage Lake District Library Director Shawn Leche, pictured here in his office, has acquired new data bases for the library -- accessible from patrons' home computers -- as part of his philosophy of having a "library without walls." (Keweenaw Now file photo)

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