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National Book Festival, August 30 from 10am to 10pm

August 25, 2014
2014 Book Festival

Celebrate the book with a day and a night of book readings, author signings and special entertainment.  The 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival moves inside this year to the Washington Convention Center.

Highlights include:

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is scheduled to interview her brother, H. Alan Day, and Lynn Wiese Sneyd, who co-wrote The Horse Lover:  A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs.

E. L. Doctorow, this year’s recipient of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, will be interviewed by Marie Arana.

Doris Kearns Goodwin will be interviewed by David Rubinstein.  Her latest book is The Bully Pulpit:  Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.  Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals, won a Pulitzer Prize for History in 1995 for No Ordinary Time:  Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt:  The Home Front in World War II.

Welcome to Our New and Returning Students

August 18, 2014

Ask Us how to find information in the library and out.   Use our Welcome 2014 guide for more information about services and tips for using the library.


Text:  202.999.3685

Find us in the library at  the reference desk on the first floor.

Find Your Zone for studying, collaborating or using library technology.   Take an interactive tour of the library or take a short self guided tour of the library, using our convenient walking guide.

Borrow a power charger or a bike lock from us for a few hours.  Quantities are limited.

We’re here to help you and look forward to meeting all of you.

Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)

June 9, 2014

On June 13, 1966, in an opinion written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Supreme Court answered the question of whether statements made by a suspect during custodial interrogations are admissible against him in a criminal trial.  The opinion also answered whether procedural safeguards must be in place to ensure that the defendant is afforded protections guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.

Miranda consolidated several cases, each involving interrogation of a suspect.  Each suspect made statements that were admitted at trial and each was convicted.

The Court held that suspects in custodial custody “must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires.”

Over the years, the Court has refined its opinion in Miranda.  However, it’s importance over the past decades is evident in common recognition of a suspect being read his or her Miranda rights.



Freedom of Information Day and Sunshine Week 2014

March 17, 2014

Freedom of Information Day on March 16 promotes public access to government information and the public’s right to know.  Held during Sunshine Week, the day also celebrates the birth of  our fourth President, James Madison (1751-1836).  Madison is recognized as the primary drafter of the Constitution, the author of the Bill of Rights and a voice for open government.

Read more about James Madison’s views in The Federalist.  For a discussion of his views, see To Secure the Liberty of the People:  James Madison’s Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court’s Interpretations, by Eric T. Kasper.

The National Security Archives, located at The George Washington University, has information about freedom of information and FOIA.

Sunshine Week, March 16 – 22, highlights  the importance of open access to government activities and records.  It is organized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Marbury v. Madison

February 21, 2014

Chief Justice John Marshall, appointed to the Supreme Court and as Secretary of State by President John Adams, established the basis for judicial review in Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).  The conflict began in 1803 when Marshall, in his concurrent role as Secretary of State, left commission papers for John Marbury, appointed by President Adams as a justice of the peace for the District of Columbia.  Marshall briefly continued his tenure as Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson, until the appointment of James Madison as Secretary of State.  Of the opposing party, Madison refused to surrender the commission papers to Marbury;  Marbury sued for a writ of mandamus to compel Madison to act.

In his decision, Marshall ruled that the Supreme Court could not compel Madison to turn over the commission.  Notably, Marshall ruled that a section of the Judiciary Act of 1789 that permitted Marbury to bring his suit was beyond those powers granted in Article and so was in conflict with the Constitution and, as such, void.  Nothing in the Constitution specifically grants review power to the judicial branch.  By reviewing the actions of Adams along with the legislation, Marshall established the judiciary branch as equal to the executive and legislative branches.

Read more about Marshall and Marbury v. Madison:

Winner of Our Lawlapalooza 2014 Kindle Drawing

February 7, 2014


We’re pleased to announce that Shirley Qin, J.D. Class of 2016 and a member of the Jackson Inn of Court, is the winner of our 2014 Lawlapalooza drawing for a Kindle Fire.  Leslie Lee, Assistant Director for Administrative Services, presented Shirley with the device.  Find more information about Lawlapalooza 2014.

The Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

February 4, 2014

Cohen Flyer Feb 14


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