Be an Einstein. Use the Library.

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Happy Birthday to Albert Einstein, who was born on this day in 1879. Celebrated as a brilliant theoretical physicist and one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, Einstein's very name is synonymous with genius, but in some ways, he was just a regular guy. He enjoyed smoking his pipetook great pleasure in riding his bicycle, and encouraged playfulness as the key to discovery and creative thought. He also placed great value in visiting the library.

Einstein claimed to possess no special talents but described himself as "passionately curious." What better way to satisfy one's curiosity than to visit the library? He once said, "The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library," a sentiment that we at Harris County Law Library share. Knowing where to access accurate, authoritative, and trustworthy sources of legal information is critical for both legal professionals and the public. Those who represent the best interests of their clients need not only information but a supportive environment in which to work, and those representing themselves need unrestricted access to unbiased sources of information to help them address their legal needs.

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In the digital age, libraries have changed tremendously, evolving from the traditional institutions that Einstein would have known to vibrant, dynamic hives of activity where people from all walks of life come in search of not only information but for guidance, services, education, training, support, and community. We at Harris County Law Library take the needs of our visitors very seriously, and we continue to expand our range of offerings on an ongoing basis.

For guidance, we partner with the Houston Volunteer Lawyers to offer our pro se patrons access to attorneys at no expense (Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm). Our reference staff provide services and support 11 hours a day, 5 days a week by assisting self-represented litigants in finding forms for a variety of legal needs. Our Legal Tech Institute, an ongoing series of free learning opportunities for attorneys and the public, provides legal tech education and skills training in both face-to-face and virtual settings. 

We aim to cultivate a sense of community for our regular visitors, both attorneys and the public, and to create an environment conducive to productivity, exploration, problem-solving, and achieving justice. Knowing where to find this kind of environment and the resources it offers is a must. We like to think that Einstein would agree. 

Court News: March Madness Research Guide, Promoting Successful Brackets for All

March Madness has struck, and the Harris County Law Library has a cure. If you are a Houston Bar Association member who is participating in the Bracket Challenge, or just a college basketball fan in need of some guidance in completing your bracket, the Harris County Law Library can help! We have assembled a March Madness Research Guide with information and links to insider data from sports experts at ESPN, SB Nation, Sports Illustrated, FoxSports, the Bleacher Report, and more. Get the inside scoop from experienced basketball pros, such as statisticians, researchers, and correspondents, as well as former players who know the game from the inside out. On the line-up are:

Chris Dobbertean: College basketball contributor and resident bracketologist at SBNation and editor of Blogging the Bracket

Reid Gettys: Part-time NCAA basketball analyst for ESPN, lead attorney for ExxonMobil, and part of the "Phi Slama Jama" era of the early 1980s, who participated in three Final Fours and had two national championship appearances. Follow him on Twitter @reidgettys.

Joe Lunardi: College basketball analyst for ESPN who is best known for creating Bracketology. He correctly predicted all 65 teams to appear in the 2008 NCAA Tournament and all 68 teams for the 2013 tournament. Wow!

Jerry Palm: Resident Sports Geek at CBS Sports and a pioneer in predicting the March Madness bracket and in understanding the tournament selection process. Follow him online at CBS Sports, NCAA Basketball.

John Rothstein: College Basketball Insider for CBS Sports and host of the College Hoops Today podcast, as well as a driving force behind Bleacher Report. Get the app here for Apple and Android.

Check out what these and other NCAA basketball experts have to offer in helping you build your bracket. Click on the image above to view the Harris County Law Library Research Guide for even more tips from the pros. Good luck, bracket hopefuls. May the best bracket win!