Legislative Library Contributions to 
Legislative Internet and Intranet Sites

 E-Mail
Library Catalogs
Internet Links
Historical Legislator Biography
Guides to Legislative Histories
State Historical Data
Hot Topics Information
New Acquisitions Lists
Children's Pages
Additional Services
Stand-Alone Library Websites
Contacts & Sites
Compiled by Robbie LaFleur, Minnesota
August 2002
Updated June 2007

Based on a survey I distributed early this summer, I have pulled together this document with examples of what legislative libraries are currently doing.  As you know, the administrative structures of legislative libraries vary greatly, so it’s not easy to categorize everything neatly.  For example, some libraries are small yet integral parts of a legislative service bureau.  Others are more administratively separate.  Sometimes a state library supplies legislative library services.  So these survey results may seem a bit confusing to you – as they were to me!

The intent of this presentation and of putting together this document is to inspire librarians to become even more involved in using the Web to present the information we hold and to contribute your skills and knowledge to improve your legislatures’ Websites.  I learned a lot by reading the responses to the survey I sent out – because I don’t spend a lot of time looking at everyone else’s Websites on my own, trolling for ideas.  So I hope that this compilation will prove useful.  One librarian wrote, “We’re pretty much isolationists.  I hope that changes soon!”  By pulling together examples of different features on the various states’ sites, I hope you can find examples that might work for you, or discover who you can call when you want to begin a similar project.

E-mail

Librarians in many legislative libraries respond to e-mail requests.
  • Maine
    The Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library includes a form on their public Internet site
    http://www.state.me.us/legis/lawlib/refemail.htm.
  • Minnesota
    Librarians answer all the e-mail that comes to the general legislative e-mail link at the bottom of all the Legislative Website pages. Users are encouraged to contact their individual legislators with policy related questions with standard language on all the pages.
    http://www.leg.mn/leg/comments.asp
  • Nevada
    Nevada  uses a form for submitting questions. The form is useful in identifying questions coming from Nevada citizens or from other states.
    http://www.leg.state.nv.us/lcb/research/library/feedbackmail.cfm
  • Pennsylvania
    The LRB Library receives information requests from anyone who discovers the email address - this includes legislative
    members, their staffs and the public. The Library also answers similar requests sent to a generic main LRB email address. The LRB also
    mounted an historical session law website last fall (www.palrb.us). Although we stated, in preface notes, that this was not a research site,
    we have begun to see some general inquiries here. The Library partners with the webmaster in answering these. We adhere to several
    rather hard and fast rules. We will not respond to inquiries sent anonymously. And, for members of the public - we will not answer inquiries
    that would require legal research/interpretation. This last rule comes from a long standing prohibition in the law that establishes the PA
    LRB.
  • Utah
    The Information Center staff answers all webmaster mail.
    http://le.utah.gov/Documents/Comments.htm
  • Wisconsin
    Email access to reference and library services is available on our website.
    LRB_Reference@legis.state.wi.us,mailto:LRB.Library@legis.state.wi.us
  • Wyoming
    The Wyoming Legislative Service Office (LSO) provides the public an email address for general legislative questions only at
    LSO@state.wy.us

Library catalogs

Sets of Internet links

Historical legislator biographical directories

Guides to Legislative History

Historical data on State Government and the Legislature

Hot Topics Information

New Acquisitions lists

Children's Pages

Additional Interesting Services and Publications

States with Stand-alone Library Websites:

Contacts & Sites

State
Contact person
Contribute to Internet site
Contribute to Intranet site
AK Mary Pagenkopf, Legislative Reference Library, Mary_pagenkopf@legis.state.ak.us Includes the Legislative Library catalog Compiled legislative histories in pdf format. NV: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/lcb/research/library/index.cfm In the planning stages 8/2002
AL Helen Hanby, Legislative Reference Service, Hfhan55@aol.com    
CO Molly Otto, Joint Legislative Library, Colorado Legislative Council, Molly.otto@state.co.us

Update: Colorado Legislators Past & Present
now available on the internet.

Legislative Council Research publications/interim studies now on the Internet, courtesy of University of Denver Law Library:
http://www.law.du.edu/library/CLC/search.cfm

 Yes. The online catalog, legislators' biographical database ; research memo database; database of reports required by statute and/or the General Assembly. 
HI Karen Mau, Legislative Reference Bureau Library Yes, the site of the HI Legislative Reference Bureau. Access to government library catalogs. Web reference: site listings and evaluations, e-dissemination of Bureau reports and session reports, description of Bureau (including Library) functions and services.

They provide the following documents in e-format; all are heavily downloaded: 

  • Directory of State, County and Federal Officials
  • Guide to Government in Hawaii
  • State Constitution
 
ID Kristin Ford, Legislative Reference Library, kford@lso.state.id.us Yes. A brief description of the Library's mission statement and services.  
IL Taran Ley, Legislative Research Unit Library,    Includes lists of Internet resources arranged by topic.
KS Cindy Roupee, State Library of Kansas, cindyr@kslib.info The Legislative Reference Section of the Kansas State Library produces a Web page, at: http://www.kslib.info/ref/ . It includes information on their services, and a historical legislator biography database.  
LA Suzie Johnston, David R. Poynter Legislative Research Library, Louisiana House of Representatives, hughess@legis.state.la.us Yes, they publish "Selected Internet Publications" on the Louisiana legislative Website. http://house.legis.state.la.us/legispublist/  
ME Lynn Randall, Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, lynn.randall@state.me.us Yes. Library site at: http://www.state.me.us/legis/lawlib/homepage.htm No, but they have discussed creating a special legislative page, perhaps a reference request form for legislators and legislative staff.
MN Randi Madisen, Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, rmadisen@library.leg.state.mn.us Yes. Library site at: http://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/lrl.htm Yes: The Library has a separate Intranet for legislators and staff.
NC Jane Basnight, Legislative Library, janeb@ncleg.net Yes. Library site at: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/LegLibrary/ Yes?
ND Marilyn Johnson, Legislative Council Library, marjohns@state.nd.us   Yes
NV Teresa Wilt, Legislative Research Library, twilt@lcb.state.nv.us Yes. Just recently have taken responsibility for) the Research Division's part of the website also. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/lcb/research

Library site at: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/lcb/research/library/

By the end of the year, will have a Research Only portion on the Intranet with complete access to our catalog/database.  The version of the catalog that will be going on the website for the public will have access to everything but our speech and memo files.  The Research Only
version will allow Researchers to search the catalog not only for books and the like, but also memos or speeches and then link directly to the electronic document on our inhouse network.
NM Tracey Kimball, Legislative Council Service Library, tracey.Kimball@state.nm.us Yes. "Library staff contribute to the legislative web site, which is maintained by our parent office, by advising and consulting with the IT staff on an on-going basis."  
OH Debbie Tavenner, Legislative Service commission Library, dtavenne@lsc.state.oh.us Yes, a page on "Legislative Information Services Available to the Public."   
PA Susan Zavacky, Legislative Reference Service Bureau Library, lrblibrary@legis.state.pa.us   "Contribute bits to the LRB Intranet."
TX Ellen Cork, Legislative Reference Library, ellen.cork@lrl.state.tx.us Yes, library site at: http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/ Yes
UT Shelley Day, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, shelleyday@utah.gov Yes, design, content, and maintenance of the entire web site, located at http://le.utah.gov/ Due for completion in fall 2002
VA Cheryl Jackson, Division of Legislative Services, Information and Resource Services, cjackson@leg.state.va.us Yes, library site at: http://dls.state.va.us/lrc.htm  
WI Marian Rogers, Legislative Reference Bureau Library, marian.rogers@legis.state.wi.us Yes. The Library contributes as a part of the Legislative Reference Bureau Website. http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lrb/index.htm Yes, to a LRB only Intranet.