Although the Legislative Reference Service in the Library of Congress has existed for a good many years, it was not until 1946 that increased financial support and increased staff made it possible for "L.R.S." to render the service that friends of the legislative reference idea had long felt that it should. Under Section 203 of the Legislative Reorganization Act, the Service was authorized and directed to appoint senior specialists in various fields "to be available for special work with the appropriate committees of Congress, and upon request to advise and assist any committee of either House or any joint committee in the analysis, appraisal, and evaluation of legislative proposals pending before it, or of recommendations submitted to Congress, by the President or any executive agency, and otherwise to assist in furnishing a basis for the proper determination of measures before the committee.' The services of such staff members are available also for members of Congress individually.
Before proceeding further with the discussion of the expansion of the Service made possible by recent legislation, it may be desirable to outline the nature of the existing organization, and to indicate briefly the character of the services which it renders. The Legislative Reference Service as a whole is one of the departments of the Library of Congress. It functions under Dr. Ernest S. Griffith, who has been Director since 1940. For administrative purposes, the work has been divided among six different sections, each of which has its own different and peculiar responsibilities.