The shutdown is already affecting legal research. The website of the Library of Congress are not accessible, except for legislative information on Thomas.gov and its successor site congress.gov. Researchers cannot access the research guides, digital collections, or the library catalog, for example, removing a free, authoritative information source from their repertories.
This internet glitch underscores potential instabilities in the world of online research. One more reason to learn a bit about print research! As we have discussed before, print still matters!