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Books & Beyond

Supporting Innovation the Gallagher Way By Mary Whisner

The Gallagher Law Library’s primary mission is to support the curricular and research needs of the School of Law. As faculty and students innovate, that means supporting their innovation — and the library itself often innovates to do so. In fact, Mrs. Marion Gallagher, for whom the law library was named upon her retirement in 1981, was a born innovator. For example, she created the Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP), a weekly list of articles published in academic law journals, organized by subject. Originally just one page of listings distributed only to our faculty in print, today CILP indexes over 650 U.S. journals. The digital version can be found in nearly all American law schools, in many law firms and in some foreign law schools.

Today, a major trend in legal education is the rise

Publication is important to share knowledge and

of cross-disciplinary work. And library services

analysis. This year, UW Law increased its public

have become cross-disciplinary too. A reference

profile by launching an electronic journal through

librarian who used to explain how to use legal

the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). The

encyclopedias and annotated statutes now speaks

library has provided technical support for this

to classes on public health law, law and genetics,

project, posting papers for some faculty members

and international bioethics, teaching law students

and training others who prefer to post themselves.

to use medical databases and public health students to use legal databases. A professor who researches cases and statutes herself can turn to reference librarians for help finding articles about neuroscience, economics, history or business. When students in the Innocence Project Northwest Clinic needed to research technical information about forensics, a reference librarian prepared a guide and taught a class for the students to acquaint them with the major resources in forensics research.

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Student scholarship also needs to reach an audience. The law library has created a digital archive for all of the school’s journals. We hope to develop our digital archive further, but loading all of the journals’ volumes has been an important first step. You can search this web-based digital repository directly, and access is also available through Google and Bing searches. The repository includes the entire contents of the Washington


UW Law Alumni Magazine, Fall 2012