The Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library is established by statute as a nonpartisan service office of the Maine Legislature. The Library serves the public interest by providing legal and governmental information services without discrimination to the people of Maine, their government and the legal community.
Maine Revised Statutes, Title 3, section 171 establishes the library and places it under the authority of the Legislative Council and its Executive Director. Section 173 specifically provides for use by all agencies of State Government and the citizens. The Library combines the functions of a legislative reference bureau and a state law library. Collections and services are fully integrated, and both collections and services are accessible to the public either on site or remotely to the fullest possible extent.
The Law Library is funded by state General Fund appropriations. Moneys collected from users for photocopying and mailing and faxing services are returned to the General Fund.
The Legislature provided funds for the purchase of books for its use in 1826. The law collection continued to grow as a section of the Maine State Library until 1971, when the Law and Legislative Reference Library was created as a legislative office. Also at that time the Maine State Library moved to the newly-constructed Cultural Building, and the Law and Legislative Reference Library remained in the space in the State House formerly occupied by the State Library.
The library collection now houses about 111,000 volumes and provides electronic access to many resources.
The Law Library publishes an irregular newsletter, called Library Briefs. You can find all the issues under the Document Search link in the menu on the left of the screen. For bibliographies, guides and infographics that we publish please see our Research Assistance page.
The Library is a selective depository for federal government documents and conforms to the requirements established by the Government Printing Office. The Library also selects state documents distributed by the Maine State Library through the state documents depository program.
The Library is a member of the Central Maine Library District, the Maine Library Association, the Law Librarians of New England, and the American Association of Law Libraries. The State Law Librarian is an ex-officio member of the State Court Library Committee, which oversees the county law libraries.
The Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library takes patron confidentiality seriously. Last amended in 2015, 27 MRSA §121 outlines two categories of confidential records:
- A library patron’s personally identifying information, including but not limited to the library patron's name, address, phone number and e-mail address
- Information that identifies a library patron as having requested, obtained or used books or other materials in any medium at the library or provided by the library
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9/19/2018 A-Z List