With everyone transitioning to a remote environment, law librarians may find themselves without access to print and other resources that help them do their jobs. Here’s a list of free online research resources which may fill in the gaps.
The FDLP offers many free resources for conducting research such as:
- FDLP LibGuides, which includes guides about:
- Census 2020 Resources
- Government Information Online: Refer patrons to or send complex questions you haven’t been able to address to the Government Information Online (GIO) Virtual Reference Service, a service coordinated by the ALA GODORT Education Committee and staffed by Federal depository librarians across the country. Although they are also working outside of their libraries, they are still “open for business” and available to answer questions.
The Law Library of Congress offers many free online collections such as:
- U.S. Statutes at Large, Digital copies of the U.S. Statutes at Large, from Congress 1 (1789) through Congress 81 (1950).
- Federal Register, Provides the full-text of the Federal Register, volumes 1-58, 1936-1993.
- Congressional Hearings, Full-text access to historical Congressional committee hearings on a variety of topics.
From the GPO:
- The Congressional Record, Contains the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress from Volume 140 (1994) to the present.
Find over 20 Free Online Federal Research Materials here such as:
- Federal court rules can be found in various places online. Rules for practicing at the US Supreme Court are posted on its website.
- There are several places to find federal caselaw for free online, though coverage is selective. For example, the US Supreme Court posts slip opinions, opinions relating to orders, and electronic versions of the official bound volumes of the United States Reports (starting in 1991) on its website.
- As for federal regulations promulgated by departments and agencies within the executive branch, govinfo includes both the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the daily Federal Register.
- Subject-Specific LibGuides, the folks at HeinOnline have put together nearly 30 research guides on various subjects such as the Law Journal Library, Federal Register Library, and US Congressional Documents.
And if you’re looking for absolutely anything on the COVID-19 outbreak, check out Dewey B Strategic’s post Legal Publishers Roll Out Covid-19 Resources, Toolkits, Documents, Advice (Some Even Free) by Jean O’Grady.