Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington School of Law

This November, 2009, GPO is spotlighting the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington (UW) School of Law in Seattle, Washington for its strong support of public access to Federal depository legal and other information resources. The library personnel manage an all-around solid Federal depository operation and provide many services in support of access to and use of U.S. Government information resources to all library users. One of the library’s fairly unique services is support for the education of the UW’s Information School (library school) students, who are getting great on-the-job and other experiences in a law library with an excellent Federal depository library!

The UW School of Law is the only public law school in the State of Washington. The Gallagher Law Library, which is the largest law library west of Iowa and north of San Francisco, serves the law school, the broader university community, the bar, and the public. Becoming a Federal depository library was a natural fit. Although the library was only officially designated as a Federal depository library in January, 1969, it has been serving the general public for over 100 years. GPO thanks the library for its commitment to the Federal Depository Library Program as its philosophy of public access to legal information parallels the free, open public access tenets of the FDLP.

Library personnel have integrated depository and other library materials in collections, reference, and instruction. They believe this arrangement allows for the highest level of public service. The library’s United States Government Publications Web page provides substantial information about the library’s depository operation and services, including a description of the depository collection and links to research guides. Many of the library’s research guides are developed for use in the library’s instruction classes while others are created for use by the general public, to assist them in their use of U.S. Government and other legal information resources. When looking at the library’s Web pages, what jumps right out to the reader is the Federal Depository Library Program eagle graphic. The FDLP emblem readily identifies the library as a Federal depository library and advertises its continuing commitment to providing access to U.S. Government information resources for all library researchers.

The library's personnel are active participants in the FDLP. Not only do they manage efficient Federal depository operations and provide many related services, they share information about this with the students training to become law librarians in the Information School’s active Law Master of Library and Information Science program and with the other library science students taking courses in introductory legal research. In addition, the library personnel work closely with other area Federal depository libraries, especially the other Federal depository library on the UW campus at Suzzallo Library, to ensure that researchers find all needed U.S. Government information.

The Gallagher Law Library moved a few years ago to a new building on the University of Washington campus. Library users are happy with the new physical space, but what surely keeps the researchers very happy is the commitment to public service by the Law Library. Take some time to check out what the Gallagher Law Library has to offer and learn more about an impressive Federal depository law library.