Dayton Metro Library’s Jacqueline Gazda, an Information Services Librarian at Main, was nominated for the Dayton Bar Association (DBA) Liberty Bell Award for her work in orchestrating DML’s Driver’s License Reinstatement and Record Sealing free legal clinics. Gazda has worked with the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project (GVLP), the Montgomery County Public Defenders’ Office, and many other area courts to facilitate such clinics, which began at Main in 2022.
Summer Hawks, Executive Director at GVLP, and Jill Bucaro, Manager of Holistic Defense Services, the Law Office of the Public Defender, nominated Gazda. “I nominated Jacqueline for the incredible leadership she has shown in bringing together community stakeholders to provide access to much needed legal services to our community,” Bucaro said. “The model of hosting these events, which she designed and implemented, at the Library has been a game changer for our community and has resulted in hundreds of people getting access to the services they need.”
This is the first time since 2019 that the Liberty Bell Award has been given, due to a pandemic-related hiatus, and it is bestowed to a community member who aides the area’s legal profession in providing service. “Jacqueline has been an amazing asset to the Library and the community in her dedication to helping set up the events for the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Montgomery County Public Defenders' Office to assist individuals with criminal record sealing and driver's license reinstatement,” Hawks stated.
The Liberty Bell Award is the highest honor recognized by the DBA, and this year, it was given to Gazda at the Chancery Club Luncheon held at Sinclair Community College on Monday, May 1. “I’m honored to receive the Liberty Bell Award from the Dayton Bar Association,” she said. “My nominators are also my closest collaborators on the legal clinics that we have hosted at the Library for over a year now. I love that we all have the same passion for doing these events and doing them right. I hope that this award encourages further collaboration between lawyers and libraries to best serve our community.”
Between January 2022’s and March 2023’s clinics, a total of 589 community members attended the free clinics, and this year, the clinics are being held at DML Branches. Here’s the next two coming up:
- Record Sealing Legal Aid Clinic: Vandalia Branch, Thursday, June 1, 1 - 5 pm
Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is encouraged at https://mcpdohio.com/record-sealing-sign-up-form/.
- Driver’s License Reinstatement Clinic: West Branch, Friday, June 23, 1 - 5 PM
Only walk-ins are accepted for this clinic – no registration required.