State Legislative Libraries: Integrated Library Systems, Content Management Systems and Serials Subscriptions




  1. State/agency?
  2. What ILS do you use?
  3. Do you use a content management system?
  4. Which one?
  5. Pros or cons?
  6. Westlaw or Lexis?
  7. What serials/journals does your library receive?

Library and research resources available to state legislatures vary greatly depending on the organization of the legislature, funding and personnel available. Some states have fully staffed legislative research libraries to help with research and house hard copy publications and online databases used in legislatures. Some libraries and staff are housed within a legislative research bureau or agency, while other state legislatures get their library services from state libraries or research bodies housed within the executive branch.

A questionnaire asked LRL member libraries/agencies what integrated library systems (ILS), content management systems (CMS) and periodical and journal subscriptions each library uses. The table below contains the reponses from legislative, state and other research librarians and staff from across the nation.

The table will be updated as new responses come in.

ILS   CMS Which One? Pros/Cons Westlaw or LexisNexis? Serials/Journals

Alaska Legislative Reference Library

We don’t use a standard ILS: We use a program maintained in-house that stores data in a glorified text file … We have considered upgrading to Evergreen. 


Not at this time. Our media services team is considering using one for our intranet site, but this is still being discussed.


Westlaw, with access to LexisNexis through Legal Services—somewhat ironic given LexisNexis publishes our statutes and most subject compilations.

U.S. Law Week, Alaska Law Review, some NCSL/CSG publications, local/state newspapers. For most topics not specific to the legislature or law, we have access through the state Library’s subscriptions to a host of academic and professional journals. 

California Office of Legislative Counsel

InMagic/DBTextworks   Yes, but not through the library. N/A N/A Westlaw Edge/LexisNexis eBooks.

Education Week; Legal Notes for Education; Special Education Law Update; CA Climate Change Law; CA Energy Markets; CA Water Law & Policy Reporter; Environmental Insider; Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin—electronic; CA Employment Law Letter; California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter; California Planning and Development Report—electronic; The Journal (The Public Retirement Journal)

CalTaxReports—electronic; Answer Connect Tax Pro—electronic; Medicare & Medicaid Guide—electronic via Cheetah; Bloomberg Health & Business Law—electronic; JAMA—electronic; Sacramento Business Journal—electronic; The Recorder—electronic; CA Attorney General Opinions—electronic; California Daily Opinion Service—electronic; Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases—electronic; Daily Recorder; LA & SF Daily Journals

Governing; Political Pulse; NCSL State Legislatures magazine; Manager’s Legal Bulletin; Washington Post—electronic; SF Chronicle—electronic; Sacramento Bee


Treatises (loose-leaf; more than 100). We also have EBSCOhost and Law 360. All law reviews are accessed electronically via HeinOnline.

California State Library

ProQuest’s ExLibris products for a number of years; up through last month, ALEPH; moving forward, have transitioned to ALMA.  

Yes. CSL has a resource management system module that rolled out in June. It is another ProQuest ExLibris product, Rosetta.


A lot and too many to easily capture. The library also subscribes to a number of journals, most of which are available for all California state government employees to access remotely. You can see the breadth by reviewing them @ here. The state library (and by default, CRB) is part of the executive branch and responses represent CSL only, not the Assembly or Senate, although services are available for all California state government.

Connecticut Legislative Library


  Yes EOS Web


  • While customer support had been an issue for some time, I’ve found that they’ve really, really improved and am pleased to add this to the “pro” column.
  • The system is easy for people in the building to use.



  • The system is a legacy program so it was rather inflexible when we started using it in the late '80s and we adapted some fields to meet our needs. Since then, the software developer has made changes to make it more flexible, but we have too many records in to review each one and correct our modifications.
  • Each type of function is a different “module” and to get the modules that would be most helpful are very expensive … not helpful in a time of very limited budgets.


See list here

There are more, but they are not tracked through our serials program (yet).

State Library of Kansas

Open Source Evergreen

  Yes The state library uses OCLC’s CONTENTdm for state documents.

We had to do a lot of adjusting to make this work for us, but now we can arrange our documents in hierarchical order by agency and either type of publication (news releases, annual reports) or sub-agency. We can also sort by date, title or relevance. The Legislature contracts with Propylon for their web site which contains, bills, agendas, calendars, minutes, Legislative Research documents, statutes.

Every agency in Kansas uses Westlaw. We subscribe to the following from ProQuest: Major dailies, research, ABI/Inform. Also, HeinOnline, NewsBank, SAGE Criminology Collection, Health Affairs, Ed Week. All online. Very few print subscriptions.

Idaho Research and Legislation Division

Atriuum    Yes Atriuum   Westlaw Idaho Law Review, The Advocate (official publication of the Idaho State Bar)

Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability—Research Unit

Alexandria (CompanionCorp) for our ILS.


We do not use a CMS.


Print subscriptions:

  • State Journal Register (local paper in Springfield)
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Science
  • Scientific American
  • Popular Mechanics
  • New Scientist
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • Kiplinger's
  • Crain’s Chicago Business

Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Ex Libris Alma/Primo (We are part of a consortium of state-funded libraries.)

  No N/A N/A

We have a flat rate contract with Westlaw that covers most Minnesota resources.  We also have a contract with Lexis/Nexis but we primarily rely on Westlaw.

We subscribe to over 350 magazines and 32 newspapers. We also have access to thousands more through statewide contracts with ProQuest, Gale, and Ebsco.

Nevada Research Division

The library uses InMagic DBTextworks. We also use WebPublisher Pro to provide online access to the public portion of our catalog. (This page is in the middle of a redesign.)


IT is trying out *headless* CMS products: Umbraco, Kentico, Prismic. The pros of using either a normal or headless CMS are:  empowering users to manage their own content; having a data-driven site; less IT time on minor page updates. 


Headless means IT isn't hamstrung by a rigid UI or other structure. Headless CMS are API-driven, which means we could use the content anywhere we want: apps, pages, Alexa apps, chatbots, etc.


The library has been acting as guinea pigs for the user management part of the Umbraco testing, and IT is going to give us a presentation next week on the other two products. We’ve started with the research division’s almost 900 online publications which are now available through various topic-based pages that same Awesome IT™ built for us (Government and Elections, for example).


Note: our Awesome IT™ includes former LRLer Danielle Mayabb, who took on this project for us.


Westlaw exclusively, although for nearly two years now we have been collaborating with LexisNexis to provide bills and legislative histories to the prison law libraries by piggy-backing on what LexisNexis is already providing to those facilities. Note: We have access to law reviews/journals via Westlaw.

We have 100 items cataloged as periodicals that we are currently receiving. Here are our 33 paid periodical subscriptions:

  • American Journal of Education (print and electronic)
  • American School Board Journal (print and some electronic)
  • Ballot Access News (print and electronic)
  • Capital Journal (electronic, part of WSJ subscription)
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education (print and electronic)
  • E&ETV: Energy and environmental policy broadcast (electronic)
  • The Economist (print and electronic)
  • Education Week: American education's newspaper of record (print and electronic)
  • Election Administration Reports: The newsletter for election officials (print)
  • Elko Daily Free Press (electronic)
  • Greenwire: Energy and environmental policy news (electronic)
  • Harvard Journal on Legislation (print and electronic)
  • Health Affairs: At the intersection of health, health care, and policy (print electronic)
  • High Country News: A paper for people who care about the West (print and electronic)
  • Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ) (electronic)
  • Las Vegas Sun (electronic)
  • Los Angeles Times (electronic)
  • Mayo Clinic Health Letter: Tools for healthier lives (print and electronic)
  • Nevada Appeal: The capital city's daily newspaper (print and electronic)
  • Nevada Business Magazine (print and electronic)
  • Nevada Law Journal (UNLV) (print)
  • Nevada Lawyer: Official publication of the State Bar of Nevada (print electronic)
  • Nevada Magazine (print and electronic)
  • New York Times (electronic)
  • Public Land and Resources Law Review (print and electronic)
  • Public Lands News (electronic)
  • Ralston Flash (electronic)
  • Reno Gazette-Journal (print and electronic)
  • Scientific American (print and electronic)
  • State and Local Government Review: A journal of research and viewpoints on state, local and intergovernmental issues (print and electronic)
  • Wall Street Journal (electronic)
  • Wellness Letter: The newsletter of nutrition, fitness, and stress management (print and electronic)
  • Western Water Law and Policy Reporter (print and electronic)

North Carolina Legislative Library

The NC Legislative Library uses a statewide shared catalog called NC Cardinal.   Yes

Our content management system is an in-house database developed by the General Assembly’s IT staff.


The General Assembly uses Westlaw mostly. Our only concession to Lexis is a networked CD-ROM of NC statutes/cases. Other NC agencies (e.g., the Department of Justice) use Lexis exclusively.

  • NC Law Review
  • Campbell Law Review
  • NC Central Law Review
  • Other NC magazines and newspapers
  • US Code Service
  • American Jurisprudence
  • Strong’s NC Index
  • West NC Digest
  • Other looseleaf treatises (25 or so titles)

Ohio Legislative Service Commission

The LSC Library uses Inmagic/DbTextworks and Webpublisher for its ILS.

  Yes The Ohio General Assembly uses a system custom designed by Propylon that we now maintain.

I am unable to comment on the pros and cons, but it wasn’t easy getting it up and running. Also, the drafters are still not able to use it to draft the biennial budget bill. We are starting on the third budget since it came into operation. 

The LSC staff have access to both Lexis and Westlaw (library manages the accounts).

Subscriptions (some free; does not include everything):


  • Newspapers: Wall Street Journal, NYT, Columbus Dispatch, Dayton Daily News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Business First, Gongwer’s Ohio Reports & Hannah News Service (specialized legislative reporting services)
  • NCSL: State Legislatures, LegisBriefs
  • CSG: Stateline Midwest, Capitol Ideas
  • Law Reviews: OSU Law Review; Capital University Law Review, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Ohio Lawyer, ABA Journal
  • Misc.: Governing, Government Technology, Economist, Consumer Reports, Smithsonian, Issues in Science and Technology, Infocus—National Academies of Science, Clarity (about writing), La Fleur’s (gambling), Searcher (library related)
  • Education: Journal of Education Finance (electronic), Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week; Ohio Schools; Briefcase-Ohio School Boards Association; Journal—Ohio School Boards Association, School Law Briefings
  • Ohio Local government: Cities and Villages, Ohio Township News
  • Labor: Ohio Employment Law Letter
  • Retirement: NAFRE
  • Traffic: Traffic Safety, Status Report
  • FFIS subscription
  • Plus access to tons of material through the State Library of Ohio’s Ohiolink database subscriptions.

Library of the Pennsylvania Senate

None   No N/A N/A Neither None
Tennessee Legislative Library

The Tennessee Legislative Library does not have an ILS or a content management system. Very few items are loaned out, and we do not participate in interlibrary loan.

  See answer to previous question.    

We have subscriptions to both Westlaw and Lexis.

We subscribe to Tennessee Decisions, University of Memphis Law Review, Tennessee Law Review, Tennessee Journal, Tennessee Attorneys Memo, Tennessee Government Officials Directory, and Tennessee Attorney Directory. 

Vermont Legislative Counsel

In Vermont, our very small Legislative Council Library functions as an in-house reference collection, and the office does not have any ILL access. If a situation arises that requires ILL access, the office would turn to the Vermont Department of Libraries for assistance. That occurrence was far more frequent 10 years ago than it is today. We generally look to a journal’s homepage, and if necessary will purchase a single article or issue online.

  No N/A N/A

Both, but almost exclusively use of Westlaw as part of a state contract. Our statutory revision contract is with Lexis.


In addition to our statutory revision contract, the office subscribes to Vermont statutory “break-out” (single topic regardless of statutory title) in the areas of education law, family law, planning law, transportation law and Vermont Court Rules. The family and education volumes are distributed in large numbers to both the pertinent attorneys and legislative committee members.

We no longer have any serial subscriptions. We do maintain print subscriptions for the USCA, West’s Vermont Digest, the Vermont Reports, Sutherland Statutes and Statutory Construction, and several hornbooks and a treatise on constitutional law.

Virginia Division of Legislative Services—Reference Center



Our current Legislative Reference Center's website uses a CMS that was developed in-house. However, we are working on a new website and the CMS that will be integrated into the new website is called Surreal. It has been a long time since our website was updated and it definitely needed an overhaul.

  We use primarily LexisNexis Advance, but we also have access to Westlaw.
  • Book of the States
  • Chicago Style Manual (electronic and hard copy)
  • Election Law Journal (electronic)
  • Oxford Constitutions of the United States
  • Professional Licensing Report
  • State Legislative Sourcebook
  • State Legislatures
  • Virginia Newspapers (electronic): Daily Press, Times-Dispatch (we also receive a hard copy), Virginia Pilot
  • Virginia Lawyers Weekly (electronic and hard copy)  
  • Washington Post (electronic)
Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau We are using OCLC’s WorldCat Discovery system.   Yes We use OCLC’s contentDM to manage our electronic news clippings collection and digital collections of legislative agency publications. Pros: No on-site servers, plenty of storage. Cons: pricey. Lexis Wisconsin-centric titles like Wisconsin Lawyer; The Municipality; Wisconsin Counties; Wisconsin Law Journal; Marquette Law Review; Wisconsin Taxpayer. And State Legislatures; Capitol Ideas; and Governing.