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Services for the Legislature
The Minnesota Legislative
Reference Library works closely with legislators and
staff members, providing answers to information requests
and custom current awareness services.
Experienced library staff help legislators and staff
obtain information, using a variety of print and
electronic sources. Librarians welcome in-depth
inquiries or requests for quick facts, statistics,
or background on issues. All requests are confidential
and all library staff are nonpartisan.
Librarians have particular expertise
in state policy issues, the history of legislation,
and the activities of the Legislature over time.
The Library's state public policy collection is broad
and deep, and expanded by extensive online resources
and interlibrary loan.
Services to Help Legislators and Staff Track Issues
- Inside Issues
service alerts legislators and full-time staff
to the latest magazine articles and books on topics
they choose. Are you interested in following articles
on K-12 education, or nuclear energy, or property
taxes? Choose from an extensive list
of issues. Library staff scan magazines and
new books and notify subscribers of articles which
match their interests. Request any articles or
Sign up for Inside Issues!
Contents Pages Service
receive the tables of contents for journals
they select and order copies of any articles
of interest. (Sample) It's a great way to follow
many expensive and specialized magazines - all from your desktop.
Sign up for Contents Pages Service!
- Just In: New and Notable Books & Reports
Sent monthly by email. It begins with an essay about materials on a topic - such as documents
on the state budget, recounts, or green jobs. Minnesota agency publications and legislatively mandated
reports are clearly marked on the list.
- Resources on Minnesota Issues
Guides that provide an overview and background of selected legislative issues. They include an introduction to a topic and direct the user
to articles, web resources, and reports, and often include legislative history sections. See as examples:
Same-Sex Marriage in Minnesota and
Nuclear Waste Storage in Minnesota. Some guides, such
as Football Stadiums and the Minnesota Vikings,
have extensive timelines.
- Reports Mandated by the Legislature
Legislative Reference Library staff track, obtain, and digitally archive all reports required by the Legislature.
The Library pays for
key electronic resources for users within the Capitol
Complex. From their desks, legislators
and staff can link to the full text of newspapers
such as the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press, online
magazine indexes with many full text articles,
and other subscription services such as CCH
State Tax Research Network.
Library staff also create and maintain current and historically
significant databases of legislative and state information
including the Legislators
Past & Present biographical database. Many
are listed on the Historical
Information About the Minnesota Legislature page
and the Historical
Information About Minnesota State Government page.
Training and Tours
provide customized group or individual presentations
on library research and effective Internet searching.
Classes can cover general library print and electronic
materials, or focus on specific resources, such as "Using
the Legislative Website Effectively." Tours are encouraged
for new members and staff.
To set up training or
a tour, or for information on any services, contact
us at 651-296-8338 or email us.
Sign up now!
Inside Issues • Contents Pages
A Window on the History of Legislators and Legislative Sessions
Since it began in 1969, Library staff members have built files on legislators. Older news clipping
files are on microfiche (1970-1999), and in paper (2000-2009). Since 2009, news clippings are available
electronically to legislators and staff.
Besides files on members, librarians can locate files on issues or legislative actions over time.
Tom Berg, former legislator and author of Minnesota’s Miracle: Learning From the
Government That Worked, wrote,
The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library ... provided invaluable assistance in digging out
clippings, reports, and citations that confirmed personal memories and documented important history.