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Latest News: US & European Libraries in Agreement

Klaus Welle of the European Parliament (seated, right) and Jane Sánchez of the Law Library were joined by staff from both institutions after they signed a memorandum agreeing to share information between their two libraries.

The Law Library of Congress and the European Parliament Library have agreed to form a formal relationship to exchange and share information and best practices to better serve library users.

A memorandum of understanding was signed Feb. 21 at the Library of Congress by Law Librarian of Congress and Acting Deputy Librarian for Library Collections and Services Jane Sánchez and Secretary General of the European Parliament Klaus Welle. The agreement provides valuable insight into services, collections and cataloging at the two Libraries.

“This MOU creates greater opportunities to collaborate and bring our partnership to the next level, by strengthening existing cordial relations between the Law Library of Congress and the European Parliament Library. Our goal is to improve our library products and services in the years ahead, and this MOU signifies our resolve to do that,” Sánchez said.

Under the agreement, the Law Library of Congress and the European Parliament Library will share information and best practices regarding their research and reference services. This can include research methods and techniques and how they are applied in responses for the various types of users each institution serves. Both libraries will also share information on preparation of written reports and other research products and how they deliver research and reference services to their respective patrons. 

“I am very pleased to have signed, in Washington, a memorandum with the Law Library of Congress, as the first and very important step in progressing towards creating a network of international library partnerships. Libraries such as the ones which serve our parliamentary institutions need to come to terms with a whole range of new challenges in a digital world. Working together, exchanging experience and learning from each other will equip us for this task,” Welle said.

The parties may also share information about collection development. This can include information on collection development policies that are oriented toward particular user groups and how library staff create and employ the policies and keep them up to date. The MOU also provides that the Law Library of Congress and the European Parliament Library can share information about cataloging, such as the system of classification and subject headings that each has developed.

The primary mission of both the Law Library of Congress and the European Parliament Library is to provide comprehensive, high quality, timely and innovative material and research for their respective clients.

About the European Parliament Library The European Parliament Library, which forms part of the wider European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), provides a wide range of services to individual Members of the European Parliament, parliamentary staff and the institution as a whole. It operates the Library Reading Rooms in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, housing the Parliament’s extensive physical and digital collection of books and journals, which it acquires and manages. It provides online access to subscription-based publications for the Parliament as a whole.

About the Law Library of Congress The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. Established by an act of Congress in 1832, the Law Library serves members of Congress, the Supreme Court, other branches of the U.S. government and the global legal community. The Law Library maintains and preserves a universal collection of law for future generations. With more than 2.9 million volumes, and just under 3 million micro-format items, the Law Library contains the world’s largest collection of law books and other resources worldwide.