James Madison Building

Research Assistance

A staff of law librarians are available to help you during your visit to the Law Library Reading Room. Our law librarians can:

  • Show how to find and use materials and databases available in the Law Library Reading Room; 
  • Demonstrate how to request titles for delivery to the Reading Room for onsite use; 
  • Refer you to other Library of Congress reading rooms, or to other relevant institutions; and
  • Suggest resources for locating practicing attorneys, without providing specific recommendations.

The Law Library reference staff cannot:

  • Read, interpret, or analyze materials for you, or compile bibliographies or legislative histories;
  • Provide legal advice, interpretation, or analysis;
  • Assist in preparing legal documents or in choosing specific legal forms;
  • Provide assistance with computers other than how to use legal research databases; or
  • Perform school or work assignments.

The Law Library also offers online and in-person classes on how to use its collections, how to perform legal research, and how to use Congress.gov. To learn more, visit our Legal Research Institute.

Copying, Printing, and Scanning Services

Scanners and photocopiers are available in the Law Library Reading Room for congressional staff and public patrons. Contact the reference desk staff for help.  See the Library’s Copying and Printing Services page for more details.

Interlibrary Loan

The Law Library of Congress will lend certain materials to participating libraries but not directly to individuals.  Researchers should consult with their public or institution’s library to arrange for loans.  For more information on the Library’s interlibrary loan practices please refer to the Interlibrary Loan page.

Book Retrieval Services

Items from the closed stacks, rare books and materials in microform format can be retrieved for patrons in Reading Room.

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Computer Access

The Law Library Reading Room has public access computers which patrons can use to download material to a flash drive or print at cost to a printer in the room. These terminals provide access to the Library of Congress Online Catalog, various legal databases and the Internet.

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Last Updated: 10/22/2020