Before the creation of the Guam Law Library, Professor Marian Gallagher from the University of Washington School of Law was invited to Guam into 1978 to prepare a study of the law library resources on Guam and to assist in the passage of the laws establishing the Guam Law Library.
In 1978 the primary source of legal materials in publicly funded libraries were the Attorney General’s library and the District Court library, both located in the Pacific News Building in Hagatna, and the Superior Court library. The Attorney General’s library had the largest collection. It contained some basic primary authorities and search books not found elsewhere on the island, as well as the National Reporter System and its corresponding Shepard’s Citations and the American Digest System.
The 1979 “Gallagher Report” surveyed the holdings of these three libraries compared it with the California County Law Library Basic List published in May 1976. Since then, the collection is the largest on-island and is a central source for Guam materials and other legal materials for the communities here and in the western Pacific.
Colette Gomoto was the first librarian, serving from 1980 to 1982. She was followed by Darlene Weingarth, who served from 1983 to 1990, David Gaarder from 1991 to 1993, and Bryan Carson in 1994.
In 1995, the Board of Trustees engaged another library consultant to review all aspects of the Library. Areas such as personnel, budget, and collection developments including modernizing the library with use of new computer technology were to be considered. Other areas that needed attention were the library facilities and operation procedures. This resulted in the hiring of Alan Dear as Director in 1995. He served until 1997, and made significant changes in the operations of the Guam Law Library that brought great benefits to staff and patrons alike.
For more than ten years, from 1997 until 2008, the Guam Law Library functioned without executive leadership. In 2008, the library executed an agreement with the Judiciary of Guam whereby the Compiler of Laws also was also responsible for executive administration of the library. Pursuant to this agreement, Andrew Sergio Quenga became the Executive Director/Librarian in 2008. Under his leadership, library patrons benefited from an upgraded computer system that allowed search capability for Guam materials (Superior Court Decisions and Orders, Civil Service Commission Reports, etc.), the installation of an electronic cataloging and circulation system, and the construction of new study carrels. He also instituted innovations to the administration of the library, including the creation of the Patron Conduct Policy, the creation of the 2011 Guam Law Library Compensation Policy for employees, and approval of online and other training for employees. Mr. Quenga served in this capacity until 2011.
Geraldine Amparo Cepeda now serves as the library’s Executive Director/Librarian.