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Grand Re-Opening of the Law Library Reading Room

Today marks the grand re-opening of our newly renovated Law Library Reading Room! The photo below captures the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place earlier today. Deputy Librarian of Congress and Acting Law Librarian David S. Mao, along with staff from the Reading Room and other divisions within the Library gathered for this event.

Deputy Librarian of Congress and Acting Law Librarian David Mao (center) officially marks the grand re-opening of the Law Library Reading Room with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, September 23, 2015. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Deputy Librarian of Congress and Acting Law Librarian David S. Mao (center) officially marks the grand re-opening of the Law Library Reading Room with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, September 23, 2015. Photo by Shawn Miller.

After decades of wear and tear, the Reading Room, which first opened in the James Madison Building in 1981, was in need of a redesign and facelift. The lovely result is the outcome of hours of planning and construction.

The renovation of the space began over five years ago in 2010 when then-Law Librarian Roberta Shaffer commissioned a study to sketch out what would be needed in a redesigned space. A new reference desk, additional patron terminals, a meeting and teaching space, and compact shelving were all part of the plan.

To prepare for the construction of the space, Reading Room staff identified materials that needed to be moved to the Law Library’s closed stacks. Throughout 2011, the Law Library’s Reading Room and Collection Services staff labored to shift over 30,000 volumes. Work continued through 2012 and 2013 with the preparation of the contract drawings and the acquisition of AV equipment and furniture for the new space.

In the summer of 2014, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) converted space on the ground floor of the Madison Building to serve as the Reading Room’s temporary quarters. Once the temporary Reading Room was relocated to room LMG15, the AOC began to gut the space as the first step in the construction of the newly designed Reading Room in LM242.

Construction continued through 2015 and was completed at the end of August. On September 3, 2015, the newly renovated Law Library Reading Room opened for business.

Our blog team captured news and updates about this project along the way. Here is a listing of posts on the Reading Room remodel:

 

2 Comments

  1. Donna Scheeder, President, IFLA.
    September 24, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Congratulations to Library managers and staff for briging a design to life that enables the Law Library Reading to provide 21st century services to its readers.

  2. Bryan Bachner
    September 25, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Congratulations to the Law Library team for the re-opening of the reading room. It is great to see the further modernization of the Law Library and enhancement of facilities and services for the readers.

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