Parliamentary Libraries, Institutes and Offices: Sources of Parliamentary Information

23 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2007 Last revised: 21 Oct 2011

See all articles by Riccardo Pelizzo

Riccardo Pelizzo

Nazarbayev University

Rick Stapenhurst

McGill University - School of Continuing Studies

Robert Miller

World Bank - Economic Development Institute

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

Noting that legislatures need information to perform their representative, legislative and oversight functions, this Paper primarily looks at different sources of parliamentary information - parliamentary libraries (including research staff and internet access), parliamentary institutes and more specialized legislative budget offices.

Not surprisingly, the distribution of parliamentary libraries and their resources vary greatly, from the United States Library of Congress, which has 110 million books and 75,000 periodical subscriptions, to Burundi, whose parliamentary library has only 50 books and Paraguay, whose library subscribes to only one periodical. Not surprisingly, the distribution of research staff is equally skewed - meaning that deficiencies in parliamentary library collections are typically not offset by other sources of information.

In countries as varied as Canada, India, Bangladesh and Russia, parliamentary institutes represent a solution for the information problem. Such institutes exist either as independent organizations outside of parliament (as in Canada and Russia) or as specialized research and training arms of the parliamentary bureaucracy (as in India and Bangladesh). The Paper concludes that, where parliamentary budgets cannot sustain a comprehensive library service, a parliamentary institute could offer a more viable source of information for parliamentarians.

Keywords: Parliament, Legislature, Library, Research Offices

Suggested Citation

Pelizzo, Riccardo and Stapenhurst, Rick and Miller, Robert, Parliamentary Libraries, Institutes and Offices: Sources of Parliamentary Information (2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1026371 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1026371

Riccardo Pelizzo (Contact Author)

Nazarbayev University ( email )

53 Kabanbay Batyra Avenue
Astana, 010000
Kazakhstan

Rick Stapenhurst

McGill University - School of Continuing Studies ( email )

Montreal, QC
Canada

Robert Miller

World Bank - Economic Development Institute ( email )

1818 H Street
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
120
Abstract Views
633
rank
278,118
PlumX Metrics