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Sara Galligan
Sara Galligan

Unsung: Sara Galligan

By their very nature, librarians are drawn to knowledge and research, but for Sara Galligan, that passion took her down a very specific path: legal topics. And she couldn’t be more delighted about it. She said, “I’ve always been fascinated by legal information and how it’s organized and accessed.”

Gail Chang Bohr, senior judge on the District Court of Minnesota and part of the Ramsey County Law Library Board, noted that no request is too large or too small for Galligan.

“She goes over and above in her dedication to ensure the accuracy of the information she and her staff give,” Bohr said, adding that since becoming the law librarian for the Ramsey County Law Library in 2008, Galligan has initiated several programs that help the public to overcome barriers to getting legal information and accessing the courts. She’s a strong proponent of access to justice, and is especially adept at assisting pro se litigants.

One aspect of her position that’s particularly notable is the development of strategic partnerships among the state court, legal aid, state law library services, and local public libraries. “To stay vibrant, government law libraries need to form partnerships with others in the legal community,” Galligan said. “No one entity can do it all, so referrals and triage are very important in addressing the needs of lower-income individuals.”

Being able to bring multiple entities together creates a more successful, useful system, and Galligan feels fortunate and honored to be part of a profession that brings such unique contributions to the legal community.

“I must confess that one of my outstanding qualities is the desire to promote law libraries, to describe what makes us unique, and to convince others in the legal community that we’re a strategic resource,” she said.

About Elizabeth Millard