Residents needing legal help can now get it for free with Phoenix Public Library's Legal Information Reference Center.

The center is available online to anyone with a Phoenix library card. It offers advice on business and corporations, family affairs and divorce, immigration and travel, money and financial planning, patents, copyrights, trademarks, property and real estate, rights and disputes, wills and estate planning and more. The website contains thousands of legal forms as well as legal advice. It also includes statutes by state.

"Nolo Law books are some of the most popular self-help legal books in the library's collection and are frequently checked out," said Rita Marko, management assistant for Phoenix Public Library. "The Legal Information Reference Center provides chapter-by-chapter access to these books online."

Marko said some of the most popular titles include "The New Bankruptcy, Credit Repair, Long Term Care, Special Needs Trusts, as well as books about retirement planning and IRAs, purchasing a home, and similar topics."

The website allows customers to search by category as well as book title.

So far, the program is doing well.

"Since the library made the resource available through its website on Jan. 1, customers have executed more than 220 searches," Marko said.

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