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.
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