Friday, February 13, 2009

Healey on Wisconsin's Legislative Reference Bureau

"The law library has never been regarded as the appropriate repository for literature on problems of legislative policy and reform," complained Ernst Freund in the Illinois Law Review in 1916. Yet as Freund knew from his own efforts to improve legislation in Illinois, champions of the legislative reference bureau were already attempting to address this deficit. Paul Healey, University of Illinois College of Law, has posted his article on the leader of the movement, Go and Tell the World: Charles R. McCarthy and the Evolution of the Legislative Reference Movement, 1901-1917, which originally appeared in the Law Library Journal 99 (2007). Here is the abstract:
Professor Healey describes the work of Charles R. McCarthy who, in the early twentieth century, almost single-handedly created the legislative reference library concept. In doing so, he developed radical new forms of reference librarianship, tirelessly promoted the concept of special librarianship, and spread legislative reference services around the country.
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