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STL Special Libraries Spotlight: U.S. Courts Library 8th Circuit July 21, 2009

Posted by Cynthia in Library Stuff.

A few weeks ago, the Special Libraries class visited the U.S. Courts Library for the 8th Circuit which is located in the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse  downtown. Circuit Librarian Ann Fessenden, past President of the American Association of Law Librarians, gave us the tour which included stops at the Blackmun Rotunda and the En Banc Courtroom.

Although the library is open to the public, it services mainly the federal judges and their staff members.  In addition to providing research services, the library maintains a news blog, a bi-monthly newsletter, and provides a clipping service. The librarians coordinate Lexis and Westlaw access and training, purchase books for the judges’ chambers, and answer reference questions.  Typical reference questions include lots of statisitcs, legislative history, items for judge speeches, and perhaps most interestingly, medical questions for death penalty and abortion cases.  The library also has archival material on every judge that has served the 8th Circuit.

The aesthetics of the library and the views from the 22nd floor are enough to warrant a trip.  Add to that the knowledgeable staff, wonderful resources, and educational exhibits and now you have the truly impressive U.S. Courts Library that everyone should take the time to visit.




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