Only one public library in Connecticut offers free access to the entire database of the LexisNexis, the computer-assisted legal research service.

It's the Westport Public Library. And library patrons can thank the local law firm of Berchem, Moses & Devlin. The firm has donated the money for a subscription to LexisNexis Library Express version that gives researchers access to all the service's data, the library said. Berchem Moses recently renewed the subscription for a third year.

Westport Library officials said typical users include Gene Gottesman, who researches details of companies for his mergers-and-acquisitions firm; author Eric Burns, who has found background information for his award-winning books, and Sylvia Schulman, reference librarian, who has found countless facts for numerous patrons.

Westport Town Attorney Ira Bloom, also a senior partner in the Berchem, Moses, uses LexisNexis daily to gather information for cases, the library said. While many law firms subscribe to LexisNexis, it is rarely available to others who need to do research and rely on their public library. Bloom and the other lawyers in his firm use legal research databases most often for access to primary-source legal material including law review articles, case law, and regulation.

The LexisNexis information, including financial-performance data, gives an edge to both entrepreneurs and jobseekers who use it, according to Schulman.

LexisNexis provides access to news articles from major media sources around the world, including newspapers and magazines, wire services and broadcast transcripts.

"We are gratified that business people, authors, reporters, students -- anyone who wants to know, can have access to information through LexisNexis at the Westport Public Library," Bloom said in a statement.