It’s been five years since sweeping changes in court funding in Florida left public law libraries strapped for cash. And although many have adapted to shrunken budgets and operations, fresh demand for research assistance has increased, largely from homeowners fighting foreclosures.

Pro se litigants, who often can’t afford attorneys and instead choose to represent themselves, are quickly becoming the largest share of users of public law libraries, according to a statewide law library nonprofit. As lawyers more frequently choose to study case law from their desktop computers, common folk are shuffling into brick-and-mortar institutions.