Alaska State Court Law Library

The Alaska State Court Law Library (ASCLL) is both the Highest State Appellate Court library of Alaska and the only law library in Alaska providing services to the public. The ASCLL mission is to meet the legal information needs for all Alaskans. This is a very broad mission statement for a law library as they typically serve a small, focused user group. Add the fact that Alaska is the largest state in the United States and this becomes quite a challenge.

At statehood, the ASCLL was developed as a system of branch libraries with each branch located inside one of the seventeen courthouses statewide. The main library in the ASCLL is located in Anchorage and is the Federal Depository Library; it also serves as the administrative center. The remaining libraries are spread throughout the state and four of the seventeen libraries are staffed. All of the libraries are open to any member of the general public from 8:00am – 4:30pm with the Anchorage Law Library open four evenings a week and on Sunday as well. To access the unstaffed libraries the ASCLL Web site states that patrons may need to contact the Clerk of Court’s Office in that location. If desired items are not found in an unstaffed library, the patrons are encouraged to contact the Anchorage library to request copies and the toll-free phone number for the Anchorage Law Library is listed. The branch libraries are spread throughout Alaska from Barrow on the North Slope and one of the northernmost cities in the world to Ketchikan in the panhandle and the southernmost sizable city in Alaska. The distance between these two cities is 1,298 miles.

To accomplish the goal of legal information for all Alaskans and reach beyond the branch libraries the ASCLL has also created an information rich Web site.

From the Web site you can:

  • Determine what types of materials are included in the collection
  • Search for books in ASCLL branches statewide
  • Select from a number of reference service options including:
    • Email
    • Phone
    • Fax
  • Read explanations of various library services
  • Explore links to Web based legal resources
  • Find information concerning hours of operation, locations, staffing levels, and contact information for the seventeen branches
  • Read policies concerning how the Library Staff can assist patrons

Researchers interested specifically in Federal materials can follow the State and Federal Resources link to a page that includes information about a wide range of materials. This page lists resources that include but are not limited to primary sources such as those found on GPO’s FDSys, other Federal Web sites, and free secondary sources found on the internet. These include:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Federal Opinions and Court Information
  • Federal Laws and Regulations
  • Federal and State Information Links

By deciding to reach out to all Alaskans to the greatest extent possible and considering the geographic area, it is clear that the ASCLL has gone to great lengths to provide access to legal information and Federal Government Publications. For these efforts, the Government Printing Office would like to say thank-you to the ASCLL for their continued participation in the Federal Depository Library Program.

Depository Library Spotlight

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