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Services for Legislators and Legislative Staff

The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library works closely with legislators and staff, providing answers to information requests and custom current awareness services.

Reference Services

Experienced librarians help legislators and staff obtain information, using a variety of print and electronic sources. Librarians welcome in-depth inquiries or requests for quick facts, statistics, or background on issues. All requests are confidential and all library staff are nonpartisan.

Librarians have particular expertise in state policy issues, the history of legislation, and the activities of the Legislature and legislators over time. The Library's state public policy collection is broad and deep, and expanded by extensive online resources and interlibrary loan.

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Services to Help Legislators and Staff Track Issues

Inside Issues

This popular service alerts legislators and full-time staff to the latest magazine articles and books on topics they choose. Are you interested in following articles on K-12 education, or nuclear energy, or property taxes? Choose from an extensive list of issues. Library staff scan magazines and new books and notify subscribers of articles which match their interests. Request any articles or books online. (Sample)

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Contents Page Service

Subscribers receive the tables of contents for journals they select and order copies of any articles of interest. (Sample) It's a great way to follow many expensive and specialized magazines - all from your desktop.

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News Archive Alerts

When you subscribe to this alert service, you’ll receive an email each Friday with a list of that week’s news articles that match your search criteria, pulled from our Library News Archive. You can set up alerts for keywords, phrases, names, news sources, and more. This service and the News Archive are only available for legislators and staff who are connected to the Legislative network. To subscribe, please contact the library.

Just In: New and Notable Books & Reports

The Library's list of new acquisitions is sent monthly by email to all legislators and staff. It begins with an essay about materials on a topic - such as documents on the state budget, recounts, or green jobs. Minnesota agency publications and legislatively mandated reports are clearly marked on the list. Request as many books and reports as interest you!

Sample Just In

Minnesota Issues Resource Guides

These guides provide an introduction to resources available in the Legislative Reference Library on topics of interest to Minnesota legislators. They direct the user to articles, web resources, and reports, and often include legislative history sections. See as examples: Charter Schools and Nuclear Waste Storage in Minnesota. Some guides, such as Light Rail and Commuter Transit, have extensive timelines.


Mandated Reports

Legislative Reference Library staff track, obtain, and digitally archive all reports required by the Legislature.

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Electronic Services

The Library pays for key electronic resources for users within the Capitol Complex. From their desks, legislators and staff can link to the full text of newspapers such as the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press, online magazine indexes with many full text articles, and other subscription services such as Bloomberg Tax and Westlaw.

Library staff also create and maintain current and historically significant databases of legislative and state information including the Legislators Past & Present biographical database. Many are listed on the Historical Information About the Minnesota Legislature page and the Historical Information About Minnesota State Government page.

Training and Tours

Librarians frequently provide customized group or individual presentations on library research and resources. Classes can cover general library print and electronic materials, or focus on specific resources, such as "Using the Legislative Website Effectively." Tours are encouraged for new members and staff.

To set up training or a tour, or for information on any services, contact us at 651-296-8338 or email us.