Page images
PDF
EPUB

think that is inevitable in the legislative branch where you cannot expect to be on a 5-day work week.

Mr. Horan. What percentage of your work consists of checking the validity or the wording of bills that have been drafted by departments and by outside agencies? I know you have checked 1 or 2 for me this session.

Mr. PERLEY. I have never given thought to that particularly. I suppose just as often as not we start off with some kind of a draft that somebody has prepared, and many times we do not know who prepared it.

Mr. HORAN. In any event, Mr. Perley, your office renders tremendous assistance to the Members of Congress and we want to see that you are adequately staffed and are taken care of, as far as I am concerned.

Mr. PERLEY. Thank you, sir.

Mr. Coon. Before Mr. Perley goes I, as one Member would like to pay him a compliment for the good work they are doing in his office. I think you have a hard-working group, Mr. Perley, and we appreciate the speed with which you get out as much work as you do.

Mr. PERLEY. I appreciate that.

Mr. Gary. And I think the Members of Congress ought to be reasonable and not get too excited when they are a little delayed. It would be impractical to maintain a force that could handle every bill on the minute that a Member of Congress requested it. After all, we ought to develop a little patience in these matters and be reasonable, for the sake of economy. I think we should have an adequate force to turn out all measures within a reasonable time, but not to guarantee immediate attention to every request. We appreciate your problem, Mr. Perley.

Mr. Horan. The committee will now go into executive session.

Monday, May 10, 1954.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

WITNESSES

VERNER W. CLAPP, ACTING LIBRARIAN
ROBERT C. GOOCH, DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT
BURTON W. ADKINSON, DIRECTOR, REFERENCE DEPARTMENT
LAWRENCE KEITT, LAW LIBRARIAN
HELEN NEWMAN, LIBRARIAN, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
WILLIAM P. SIEGFRIED, ACTING REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS
WILLIAM W. ROSSITER, BUDGET OFFICER
JULIUS W. DAVIDSON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR FISCAL AND

BUDGETARY AFFAIRS, ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT
ERNEST S. GRIFFITH, DIRECTOR, LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE SERV-

ICE
SIDNEY S. ALDERMAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE AMERICAN BAR ASSO-
CIATION STANDING COMMITTEE ON FACILITIES OF THE LAW
LIBRARY OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mr. Horan. The committee will come to order. Mr. Clapp, I would like to present the members of this subcommittee and I would like to have you present the people who are here with you.

After you have made your formal statement, I think it would be better if we have only the personnel of each division as they tesitfy.

Mr. ClApp. I do not quite understand. I only have the heads of departments here, and the budget officer,

Mr. Horan. That is all right. But as you present your budget justifications, have only the heads of the division appear as the various items for that division are discussed. That will simplify it quite a bit.

I want to introduce the regular members of the subcommittee, starting with Mr. Sam Coon of Oregon, Mr. Frank Bow of Ohio; Mr. Thomas of Texas, and Mr. Gary of Virginia. We would now like to have you introduce those who are present Mr. Clapp. Yes. Let me start down at the end of the table. First, we have Mr. Siegfried, Acting Register of Copyrights; next is Mr. Keitt, the law librarian; next is Miss Helen Newman, the librarian of the Supreme Court, who wishes to speak to one item in the estimate; Mr. Adkinson, Director of the Reference Department; Mr. Gooch, Director of the Administrative Department; Mr. John W. Cronin, Director, Processing Department; Nir. Davidson of the Budget Office; Mr. Griffith, Director, Legislative Reference Service; and Mr. Sidney S. Alderman, chairman of the American Bar Association standing committee on facilities of the Law Library of the Library of Congress.

Mr. Chairman, I wonder whether you would like to hear from Mr. Alderman first in order to save his time?

with you.

STATEMENT OF SIDNEY S. ALDERMAN ON LAW LIBRARY

Mr. Horan. I imagine you are a busy man, Mr. Alderman, and you would like to address yourself to this, so you can be on your way. Mr. Alderman. Thank you very much.

Does the committee desire extra copies of my statement? I have them here.

Mr. HORAN. I think it would be well to have them.

Mr. ALDERMAN. The date, May 10, needs to be filled in on each one of them.

My name is Sidney S. Alderman. I live at 2101 Connecticut Avenue NW., Washington 8, D. C. I am vice president and general counsel of Southern Railway Co. and of other companies comprising Southern Railway system, with office and headquarters at 15th and K Streets, NW., Washington 13, D. C. I am chairman of the American Bar Association standing committee on facilities of the Law Library of the Library of Congress, a rather resounding title, and in that capacity I make this statement.

The other members of my committee are: Senator Alexander Wiley, of Wisconsin; Harold M. Stephens, chief judge, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; Congressman Michael A. Feighan of Ohio; Carl McFarland, president, Montana State University; Dean Albert J. Harno of the University of Illinois Law School; Carolyn R. Just, United States Department of Justice.

As its name indicates, our committee has as its sole concern and responsibility the facilities of the Law Library of the Library of Congress. It is its duty to advise and consult with the officers of the law library in their efforts to improve these facilities and to aid them in bringing and keeping them up to date. The interest of the American Bar Association is not principally a self-serving one. The association long ago endorsed the Law Library of Congress as the national repository for law and legal literature. Its individual members have of course benefited from those facilities, through the interlibrary loan of materials and through reference services that the law library makes available for the legal profession of the country. This law library is the greatest American repository, not only of English and American law, but also of the law of all other countries. American lawyers are supposed to be able to find the historical sources and the up-to-date status of the law of any country, on any given subject, in this law library. But, primarily, the law library services Congress

, the executive departments, and independent establishments of the Federal Government and the judiciary, both Federal and State.

These branches of government are its constant users and its most frequent patrons. They use its facilities day in and day out throughout the year. And the services supplied by the Law Library reflect in varying measure the success enjoyed by government in its many operations. It is the only general legal research library of the Federal Government, I should say, with the exception of the Library of the Supreme Court. It is the only library equipped to serve in such capacity.

Several years ago a member of the subcommittee of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee stated that the Appropriations Committees of both Houses would be grateful to the American Bar Association if it would cooperate closely with the library authorities in the development of the program of the law library. The Facilities Committee has borne this in mind and has been in touch with the law librarian during the year. As its chairman I have visited the law library and consulted with the law librarian and members of his immediate staff as well as with Mr. Clapp, the Acting

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Librarian of Congress. I have made a somewhat detailed examination of the Library, and I have thereby been able to acquire a first-hand knowledge of some of the problems with which the Law Library is confronted. It is with respect to the more pressing of these that I wish to speak. The specific requests of the law library are being presented by it to this subcommittee. Testimony on behalf of the facilities committee must be general in nature. It may serve to emphasize, however, the very real need of the Law Library for more assistance and more personnel with which to carry on the very important functions for which it is responsible.

First of all, it should be emphasized that the members of the legal profession of the country are often engaged in practice before the Government departments and agencies. They are engaged in aiding and advising clients in their businesses all over the world. These businesses may be subject to regulation by the National and State governments and they may be seriously affected by actions taken by foreign governments. The American bar wants to know the law and legislation which affects its clients and it wants to have the Government know these facts.

For what the bar wants is a fully informed Government. If the materials which are brought together by the law library are used by the Government, then the bar can be assured that the actions taken by Government officials with respect to legal problems is an informed action and, so far as human beings can make it, correct in its result. Members of the legal profession cannot always prevail upon Government officials to decide questions as they wish them decided. But they do expect the Government to decide such

questions only after it secures the best information possible. This is where the law library comes in.

The Law Library has as its role the task of bringing together in one comprehensive collection the law and legal literature of all countries of the world. It cannot limit itself to the collection of current law only. It must collect materials on all known systems of law, the old as well as the modern. For the law of yesterday shapes and gives meaning to the law of today and tomorrow. The legal profession wants the best information it can get. The Law Library is the source to which it looks when its local facilities are insufficient, which is frequently the case.

The Federal agencies also must look to the Law Library for special information, and they need information on all subjects and in all fields. Congress and the judiciary need a comprehensive law collection to turn to for information. The law Library of Congress is the answer. To meet all of these demands, it is at once apparent that the Law Library must be comprehensive in scope and that it must be kept as current and up to the minute in its informational services as it is humanly possible to keep it.

Last year Mr. Newell W. Ellison of the Washington, D. C., bar, the then chairman of the facilities committee, appeared before the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to urge the appropriation of funds to increase the staff of the Law Library in order to give it the manpower to enable it to reduce the arrearages in the processing of the law materials on hand. The statement made by him presented an accurate and exact picture of the situation prevailing in the processing work--the work of getting the books and materials on the shelves, keeping them up to date, filing the index or

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

catalog cards descriptive of them in the million-card Law Library catalog; in brief, the work of making these vast materials available to the users of the Law Library. The same situation continues today, for the additional help then requested has not been made available.

Therefore, the facilities committee feels it should again urge the granting of the help the Library of Congress seeks for this purpose. I wish to present to you some of the compelling reasons for this aid.

During the last decade the collections of the Law Library have increased by more than 50 percent and the reference demands have increased over 100 percent, while the staff has been increased only by about 15 percent. Twice as many readers se the Law Library and they use twice as many books. The staff has consequently been unable to keep pace with the processing work, and it has fallen behind in certain areas of its acquisitions work. There are an estimated 90,000 catalog cards and they, as you know, are the keys to the vast accumulation of legal knowledge in the Library of Congress, which are unfiled; 60,000 issues of periodicals and serials unrecorded; 100,000 new and old volumes in need of binding; and approximately 50,000 books are unshelved. It results that these vital materials cannot be found by researchers. During the same period there has been a striking change in the publication of law books. There are a great number of loose-leaf services now being published. Their utility is obvious. They supply the user with the very latest developments in the law, provided—and this is the important consideration the Law Library must face-they are kept up to date by the filing of newly published pages, as they currently appear.

The Law Library has hundreds of these services. It is unable to keep them current with its present staff. Even law treatises are appearing in this form now. And only this year the publishers have begun to publish State codes and legislation in looseleaf form. Examples are the State session law service, and the codes of the States of New York and Washington. At the same time, the pocket-part supplement form of keeping law publications current continues to pour from the presses. The Law Library has to insert about 10,000 of these pocket supplements annually just to keep its sets current and usable. It does not have the personnel necessary, to do the manual housekeeping necessary to keep these looseleaf services up to date.

The Law Library is woefully behind in its binding work. It has an arrearage of 200,000 issues of periodicals and serials which must be assembled and prepared for binding, and an estimated 70,000 issues received annually which must also be bound. With the 100,000 new and old volumes in need of binding already referred to, something of the enormity of the binding problem it faces can be grasped. I now hand up to your committee, and ask that they be incorporated in the record as exhibits to my testimony, a series of photographs taken in the Law Library on April 16, 1954, which graphically depict unfortunate conditions in the Law Library. They show large tions of stacks in which enormous quantities of valuable materials have had to be piled up helter-skelter, without classification, arrangement, or binding to make them available and usable, because of actual lack of manpower to do the work.

One of the things which has added to the work of the staff is the very great increase in the area-by that, I mean Library space--for which

sec.

« PreviousContinue »