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New Year’s Greetings from the Law Librarian of Congress

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This is a guest post by the Law Librarian of Congress, David Mao, who has previously written about the Supreme Court of the United Kingdomfederal architecture, state government contracts, speed limits, and cruise ship food rules, among other topics.

The New Year’s Greeting for 2014 is available for download in PDF format.

David S. Mao, Law Librarian of Congress
David S. Mao, Law Librarian of Congress


In Fiscal 2014, the Law Library Laid the Groundwork for Several Major Projects

I am pleased to deliver a snapshot of the Law Library’s successes in 2014.  The Law Library of Congress embarked on several major projects in fiscal 2014: renovated Law Library Reading Room; the construction of a secure vault for rare items; and a Congressionally-sponsored legislative data challenge. The fruits of our labor will have immediate and longlasting positive effects on our service to Congress and the public.  Best wishes to all for a new year filled with good health, fortune, and cheer.


In fiscal 2014, the Law Library prepared 364 legal research reports, special studies, and memoranda in response to inquiries from Congress. The reports related to many pressing US legislative issues, including the regulation of virtual currencies, definitions of marriage under the laws of foreign countries, laws related to granting asylum for children in other countries, methods used by foreign governments to avoid frivolous claims in procurement processes, the financing of highway infrastructure construction, privacy protection in the European Union, and military procurement practices. Many of these reports are available to the public on the Law Library’s website,

In December 2013, the Library named Jim Mangiafico as the first Legislative Data challenge winner for his submission, “Four US Legislative Documents in Akoma Ntoso.” In February 2014, the Library announced winners of the second challenge. First place went to Jim Mangiafico for his submission, “Akoma Ntoso Converter.”  Second place went to Garrett Schure for his submission, “Translate of UK and US Legislative Documents to Akoma Ntoso.”

At the close of the fiscal year, Library staff were putting the finishing touches on the Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor exhibition, as well as preparing for the opening ceremony and the visit of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.


  • Presented the Frederic R. and Molly S. Kellogg Biennial Lecture on Jurisprudence, “Justice: Disagreement and Objectivity,” featuring Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University.
  • Celebrated Human Rights Day with a panel on refugee rights, including Olivia Bueno, associate director of the International Refugee Rights Initiative; author Linda Rabben; and George Sadek of the Law Library of Congress.
  • Hosted a Law Day lecture, “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters,” by Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center.
  • Interviewed former U.S. Representative Patricia Schroeder about her career as the first woman elected to Congress from Colorado.
  • Launched a Magna Carta lecture series to generate interest in the Magna Carta: Muse & Mentor exhibition.
  • Held the annual Constitution Day event, featuring Dr. Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, who addressed the grand project of American constitutionalism, past, present, and future.


364 Legal research reports, special studies, and memoranda created for Congress

4,086 Congressional inquiries answered

365 Inquiries answered for other agencies

3,550 Inquiries answered through “Ask a Librarian

421 Articles written for the Global Legal Monitor

35,072 Users served in person, by phone, by correspondence, or electronically

15,777 Items from the Law Library’s collection circulated


2.91 Million volumes in the Law Library

17,003 Items sent to Fort Meade

408,088 Volumes reclassified from in-house system to the Library of Congress classification system


18,778 Followers on @Congressdotgov Twitter account

41,669 Followers on @LawLibCongress Twitter account

20,629 “Likes” on Facebook

217 Blog posts published on In Custodia Legis blog

295,352 Page views for In Custodia Legis blog


  1. Great Job!
    Let success, prosperity, great readers and online users, abundant funding accompany Law Library in already current year!
    A very special and important role that Law Library is playing not only on national but also on international level is a key to enlightenment of eager learners and researchers all over the world.

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