About the Author
Kendall F. Svengalis is President of New England LawPress and retired Adjunct Professor of Library and Information Studies at the University of Rhode Island where he taught law librarianship. Born in Gary, Indiana in 1947, he received his B.A. in English literature (1970) and M.A. in American history (1973) from Purdue University. In 1975, he received an M.L.S. from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. He has done additional work in American history at Brown University.
In 1976, he joined the staff of the Rhode Island State Law Library as Assistant Law Librarian. In 1982, he was appointed State Law Librarian by the Rhode Island Supreme Court. During his twenty-year tenure, he ushered in an unprecedented era of growth and expansion in state law library services, marked by the introduction of computer technology to library operations and services, the dramatic growth in library collections, the professionalization of library staff, and the modernization of library facilities. He also succeeded in bringing the state’s county law libraries under centralized operational and budgetary control and brought an end to the role of political patronage in the hiring of library staff. The innovative techniques he pioneered in bringing law library costs under control have served as a model for law libraries across the country.
A past president of the Law Librarians of New England and the New England Law Library Consortium, he has also served on the Board of Directors of the State, Court and County Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). From 1988 to 1994, he was editor of The CRIV Sheet, the Newsletter of AALL’s Committee on Relations with Information Vendors, where he was able to bring his innovative ideas regarding cost-effective law library acquisitions to a national audience. In 1993, these efforts were recognized by the State, Court and County Special Interest Section of AALL which selected him as the first recipient of the Connie Bolden Significant Publications Award.
In March, 1996, one month after the announcement of the Thomson Corporation’s purchase of the West Publishing Company, the first edition of his Legal Information Buyer’s Guide and Reference Manual was published by Rhode Island LawPress (now New England LawPress), the company Ken founded in 1995. This resulted in his being retained as an expert witness by the Justice Department in its review of the proposed merger and his book being used as a part of the Justice Department’s merger analysis.
In 1998, the Legal Information Buyer’s Guide and Reference Manual, 1997-98 received the Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographical Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Association of Law Libraries on works of legal bibliography. In 1999, Ken again received the Connie E. Bolden Significant Publications Award from the State, Court, and County Law Libraries Special Interest Section of AALL for publishing three successive editions of the Legal Information Buyer’s Guide and for aiding “law librarians nationwide in their pursuit of a cost effective and efficient avenue to collection development.” Since that time, the Legal Information Buyer’s Guide and Reference Manual has received numerous accolades from the legal and law library communities and has become a standard reference work and acquisitions tool in law libraries and law firms across the country.
Ken has written numerous articles on the subject of cost-effective acquisitions and the legal publishing industry for a variety of legal and law library publications and has spoken before both national and regional law librarian associations. He has given presentations on cost-effective acquisitions to federal court librarians under the auspices of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, to the Association of Legal Administrators, and spoken on the subject of the legal publishing industry at investment conferences organized by JPMorgan. He has been honored by inclusion in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law.
In 2006, Ken published
Gary, Indiana: A Centennial Celebration
a beautiful pictorial history of the city of his birth. This nostalgic hard-cover, 455 page full-color coffee table book contains over 650 pictures and 90,000 words of text. This project is the culmination of Ken's lifelong interest in the city of his birth and the Calumet Region. In addition to his research on the Gary schools, he has written a full-length history of the Lithuanian side of his family which came to Gary on October 4, 1908, and upon which chapter 20 of this book is based. In 2014, Ken published the first in a series of Ellen Anderson mysteries entitled
Conspiracy on the Housatonic, an illustrated SAT vocabulary-building novel set in World War II-era Stratford, Connecticut. A sequel,
The Great Emerson Art Heist, was published in 2016.
Ken and his wife, Ellen, reside in the rolling hills of Connecticut and spend their leisure time as a vocal and instrumental duo performing Swedish folk music at Swedish and Scandinavian folk festivals in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York. Ken is also President of the Rhode Island Swedish Heritage Association and Vice-President of the Jussi Björling Society-USA, which honors the career and legacy of the 20th century’s greatest operatic tenor.
Recipient of the 1998 Joseph L. Andrews
Named in honor of one of the law library profession's leading scholars
and bibliographers, the Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographical Award
is bestowed annually on the most significant contribution to the
legal bibliographical literature, measured primarily for its creative,
evaluative elements and the extent to which judgement was a factor
in its formation. In selecting the Legal Information Buyer's Guide
and Reference Manual, 1997-98, one Subcommittee member noted:
"I was impressed with the wealth of imformation included and the
way in which it was organized for maximum ease of use. This compilation
has relevance for all types of law libraries and practical usefulness
for many aspects of library operations: acquisitions, collection
development, budget planning, reference, and teaching legal research."
1999 Connie E. Bolden Significant Publications Award
Presented triennially at the Annual Meeting of the State, Court, and County
Special Interest section of AALL, this award recognizes the SCCLL
member whose scholarly efforts have addressed the needs and concerns
of law librarians. In presenting its 1999 award to Kendall Svengalis,
the SCCLL recognized his Legal Information Buyer's Guide and Reference
Manual for "providing an in-depth analysis of the value of legal
materials in every category and format" and for aiding "law librarians
nationwide in their pursuit of a cost effective and efficient
avenue to collection development."
Kendall F. Svengalis Recipient of the 1999 Connie E. Bolden
Significant Publications Award
Kendall F. Svengalis Recipient of the 1998 Joseph L. Andrews