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Gehrke makes library an indispensable resource

By: Erika Strebel, [email protected]//December 3, 2015//

Gehrke makes library an indispensable resource

By: Erika Strebel, [email protected]//December 3, 2015//

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Lynn Gehrke - Milwaukee County Law Library
Lynn Gehrke – Milwaukee County Law Library

Since Lynne Gehrke became the reference librarian at the Milwaukee County Law Library, it has gone from serving about 400 people a week in 2010 to more than 1,000 people a week.

“I like that we help people, and we do it every day,” she said.

But Gerhke said she could not have achieved what she has at the library by herself. She credits her staff members, mostly part-time employees, for helping her and former Chief Judge Jeffrey Kremers, for his continued interest in the library.

“This place would not exist without him,” she said.

Gehrke was hired in 2010, when the library was set to close because of state budget cuts. But, she said, Kremers’ efforts kept it open.

And that library continues to serve people from all walks of life, from pro se litigants to attorneys who practice solo or with small firms. Judges also use the library’s services, often attending classes in a program Gehrke developed.

She and her staff are also resources for clerks, who are often new lawyers. For one particularly unusual question, a clerk spent weeks looking for answers and finally came to Gehrke and her staff, who found the answer within 24 hours.

In many cases, Gehrke and her staff help pro se litigants find the forms and information they need.

“She’s just patient with them, calms them down,” said Donna Anderson, secretary to Chief Judge Maxine White. “She is courteous to whoever comes in.”

And if someone needs the extra boost, Gehrke even walks some pro se filers to the chief judge’s office to file a fee waiver.

“We just can’t talk highly enough about her,” Anderson said. “We appreciate her a lot. She is a real asset to the courthouse.”

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