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Ask-a-Librarian: We Are Here for You

This guest post is by the chief of the Law Library’s Public Services Division, Andrew Winston. Andrew has written several posts for the blog, including The Constitution Annotated–Impeachment ClausesFederal Courts Web Archive LaunchedA Visit to the Peace Palace Library, and The Revised Statutes of the United States: Predecessor to the U.S. Code.

Anna Price, legal reference librarian, at the Law Library of Congress Reading Room reference desk. Photo by Barbara Bavis. [Note: the photo is for illustrative purposes only; no staff are currently working in the Reading Room.]

Anna Price, legal reference librarian, at the Law Library of Congress Reading Room reference desk. Photo by Barbara Bavis. [Note: the photo is for illustrative purposes only; no staff are currently working in the Reading Room.]

Our reading room is closed, college campuses are quiet, and schools are empty. Learning, however, still continues. The Law Library wants to make sure that researchers know that we are still here for you, albeit online (and, alas, without the benefit of access to our print collection at the present).

If you’ve never taken advantage of our Ask-a-Librarian service, allow us to introduce you!

Through our online reference service, we can help you with:

  • Legal and legislative research assistance for US federal and state, foreign, international, and comparative law
  • Queries on resources unique to the Law Library of Congress

We typically respond within five business days (often faster!).

We can assist you by directing you to resources that may help answer your question or advance your research. However, there are a few things we cannot help you with:

  • Providing legal advice, interpretation, or analysis which could be interpreted as the practice of law (that includes interpreting pending or enacted laws and how they affect you)
  • Performing research for you or compiling bibliographies or legislative histories
  • Providing answers for student assignments

If you can’t find a resource on the Law Library website on your own, consider reaching out to us via Ask-a-Librarian. We’re here to help!

By the way, our colleagues in other parts of the Library of Congress are also here to help! Reference librarians from across the Library are monitoring all the Ask-a-Librarian sites and welcome your questions on other topics, too.

3 Comments

  1. Bill Montague
    March 30, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    This library is so large that I is impossible to contact anyone or even ask a question.
    Bill Montague Concord, Mass.

  2. Charlotte Seilhan
    March 30, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I heard there was a federal law enacted during the late 1930’s or early 1940’s due to the TB outbreak. I would like to find this law so I can read it for myself. I have always thought spitting in public is a health risk for many reasons and should be banned.

  3. Donna Sokol
    April 10, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for your comment! The Library answers tens of thousands of Ask-a-Librarian inquiries each year. You can ask questions on 27 different topics, formats, programs & service areas, and languages/regions. Here’s the link again: //www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/. Give it a try!

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