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A New Year’s Greeting from the Law Librarian of Congress

This is a guest post by the Law Librarian of Congress, Aslihan Bulut.

I want to thank you for your continued support of the Law Library of Congress during these challenging times. Despite the obstacles presented by the pandemic, the Law Library has continued to fulfill its mission to serve Congress and the American public.

This calendar year, the Law Library responded to over 500 research requests from Congress and provided assistance to congressional offices, legislative branch agencies, the Supreme Court and federal courts, federal executive departments and agencies, state and local governments, and the public in more than 9,500 reference transactions. Foreign law specialists from the Global Legal Research Directorate provided members of Congress with reports related to timely legislative issues on a variety of topics. The topic of the reports ranged from the “Taxation of cryptocurrency block rewards in selected jurisdictions” to the “Belt and Road Initiative.” Many of the reports are available to the public on the Law Library’s website, Law.gov. The Law Library staff also authored 387 articles on legal developments around the world for the Global Legal Monitor and 245 posts for In Custodia Legis.

A holiday card featuring a stack of books surrounded by snow and trees. Titled "Wishing you stacks of holiday joy" and signed "Aslihan Bulut."

Speaking of Law.gov, we were proud to debut our refreshed Law.gov site in June. The new site provides enhanced access to Law Library resources in a well-organized, aesthetically pleasing interface.

You may have read about our collaboration with the Government Publishing Office to digitize the U.S. Serial Set. This year, we celebrated our first release from this project, providing access to Serial Set volumes from the 69th Congress (1925 – 1927). In addition, with the assistance of our volunteers, work has continued on our Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents crowdsourcing campaign on the Library’s By The People Platform. We kicked off a release of the third phase of Herencia documents with a Transcribe-a-thon that met its goal thanks to your generous contributions. We also added some exciting rare materials to the collection this year, including a 15th-century manuscript of L’Arbre des Batailles (The Tree of Battles) by the Provençal author Honorat Bovet, and our Rare Book Curator Nathan Dorn appeared in a video to showcase some of our exciting rare book acquisitions.

The Public Services Division and our foreign law specialists provided 92 webinars, classes, seminars, briefings, and tours for over 5,000 participants. The Public Services Division also created 152 new legal research guides. If you missed any of our events and webinars from the past year, you can click here to view recordings of them. Please visit our Legal Research Institute to join us for our upcoming webinars and events. We were also excited to welcome you back on-site to the Library this year with provisions in place to maintain a safe environment, such as research appointments and social distancing.

These are just a few highlights. You can read more in our report for the fiscal year 2021 here. I hope you and your family had a great holiday season and I wish you a safe and happy new year.


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