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New Year’s Greetings from the Law Librarian of Congress

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The following is a guest post by David Mao, Law Librarian of Congress.  He has previously guest posted Justifying Speed, Food for Thought,  Another Trip Down Memory Lane2012 Burton Awards – Pic of the WeekShreddy: From the Office of the Law Librarian – Pic of the WeekFrom the Desk of the Law Librarian, The Law Librarian in London, and Rebellious Children and Witches.

The New Year’s Greeting for 2012 is available for download in PDF format.

David Mao, Law Librarian of Congress
David Mao, Law Librarian of Congress

180 Years of Service: The Law Library Celebrated a Milestone of Service to Congress in 2012

As I reach the end of year one as Law Librarian of Congress, I am delighted to present you with a snapshot of the Law Library’s successes in 2012.  From our physical collections to our digital assets, from our onsite services to our virtual services, and from our partnerships with national associations to our collaborations with international organizations, the Law Library has worked on making its presence known on Capitol Hill and in all corners of the world.

I look forward to building on this past year’s accomplishments and continuing our collaborations in 2013.  Best wishes to all for a new year filled with good health, fortune, and cheer.


Summary of Accomplishments

This year, the Law Library focused on continuing its high-quality service to Congress, which was apparent in the 4,210 inquiries answered for Members of Congress and the 305 legal research reports, special studies, and memoranda created for Congress. The Law Library’s staff also offered professional services to executive branch agencies, the judiciary, law practitioners and researchers, students, scholars, foreign government officials and the diplomatic corps, the American business community, journalists, and citizens around the world.

Planning continued for the redesign of the Law Library Reading Room. The Public Services Division worked with the architecture and design firm to develop designs for the new space and detailed construction documents. The planning phase is progressing on schedule, and we hope to begin the physical renovation next year.

Developing, circulating, managing, and preserving a collection of over 2.84 million volumes remained a strong focus of the Law Library in fiscal 2012. During the year, a total of 18,134 titles, representing 32,650 volumes, were classified under the Library of Congress Classification system, making them more accessible to Congress and the world. All volumes were inventoried, relabeled, and reshelved under the new call numbers. The Law Library completed its project of sending United States Court of Appeals Records and Briefs to the special collections modules at Fort Meade. A total of 7,470 boxes of records and briefs, containing 329,054 records and briefs from ten circuits were sent.


Highlights for Fiscal 2012

• Invited renowned scholar, Professor Joseph Raz, who delivered the second Frederic R. and Molly S. Kellogg Biennial Lecture in Jurisprudence.

• Released the Congressional Record app that allows a user to read the daily edition of the Congressional Record on an iPad.

• Hosted the Association of American Law Schools for an all-day professional development event.

• Held the annual Law Day event, with Richard Dreyfuss as keynote speaker.

• Sponsored 10 Law Library staff to present at the American Association of Law Libraries meeting in Boston.

• Presented CLE (Continuing Legal Education) programs at American Bar Association meetings in New Orleans and Chicago.

• Celebrated the 180th Anniversary of the Law Library.

Launched, the legislative information system to replace THOMAS.

 • Welcomed well-known journalist, Dahlia Lithwick, who gave the Constitution Day presentation, “Supreme Court Review: Election-Year Issues and Highlights of the Last Term.”

 • Participated in the Library of Congress National Book Festival.


Website and Social Media Statistics

5—Stars in iTunes ratings for the Congressional Record app

12,630—Followers on @THOMASdotgov Twitter account

15,782—Email subscribers to the Global Legal Monitor

29,076—Followers on @LawLibCongress Twitter account

184,161—Page views for In Custodia Legis account

9,473—“Likes” on Facebook

64.5 Million—Visits to THOMAS


Products and Services Statistics

305—Legal research reports, special studies, and memoranda created for Congress

520—Articles written for the Global Legal Monitor

4,210—Congressional inquiries answered

1,298—Reports, legal opinions, and memoranda provided to other government agencies

1,131—Hours the Law Library Reading Room was open for congressional staff

3,613—Inquiries answered through “Ask a Librarian”

20,999—Items from the Law Library’s collection circulated

39,646—Users served in person, by phone, by correspondence, or electronically


Collections Statistics

2.84 Million—Volumes in the Law Library

7,470—Boxes of books sent to Fort Meade

32,650—Volumes reclassified from in-house system to the Library of Congress classification system

210,000—Laws, judicial decisions, and related legal materials in the GLIN database

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