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About This Site | SIU School of Law | SIU Law Library


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



When is the Law Library open?

During the school year, the Law Library is usually open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.; Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, 1:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The Library closes earlier during semester breaks and the summer, and may be closed all day on holidays. A complete listing of hours for the current academic year is available here, or by calling (618) 453-8796.

Who may use the Law Library?

Anyone may use the Law Library during regular hours.

How do I schedule a Law Library tour?

SIU professors, Logan College professors, or area high school teachers who wish to bring or send their classes for law library tours should contact the Reference Desk at (618) 453-8708 or lawlib@siu.edu.

Prospective or incoming law students may ask that a Library tour be included in their visit to the law school. To arrange a visit to the School of Law, go to the SIU School of Law website and click on "Visitors" from the top bar, then "Schedule a Visit."

May I check books out of the Law Library?

In order to check books out of the Law Library, you must have a Law Library borrower's card. SIU students, SIU faculty, and Illinois residents can obtain a borrower's card at the Circulation Desk by presenting a photo ID and completing a form. Acceptable forms of photo ID include an SIU student ID card, SIU faculty ID card, Illinois driver's license, or Illinois state ID card.

Because of the type of materials in the Law Library collection, only a small percentage of materials may be checked out from the Library. In general, periodicals, case reporters, statute volumes, and other titles that may be updated do not circulate and should be used in the Library.

When are reference librarians available to help me?

Reference librarians are usually available at the Reference Desk Monday through Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Additionally, during the school year, reference librarians are available Monday through Thursday evenings, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Questions may be asked:

What kinds of questions may I ask the reference librarians?

Although we are happy to assist people doing legal research, the reference librarians may only provide help with using Library materials and online resources, not answering specific questions or interpreting the law. Reference librarians will not give legal advice. People seeking legal advice should visit the websites of institutions that specialize in helping people find legal representation, such as the American Bar Association or the Illinois State Bar Association, or consult with Illinois Legal Aid.

Examples of acceptable questions:

  • What is the URL for the Illinois Secretary of State website?
  • What databases should I use to find journal articles on a legal topic?
  • I need to write an in-depth paper on a legal topic for a course that I am taking. What resources do you have that can help me get started?
  • Does the Law Library have legal forms?
  • I have been researching Illinois child support law, and I am stuck. What other resources are available for me to use?
  • Are Illinois law available on the Internet?

Examples of unacceptable questions:

  • Which form do I use and how do I fill it out?
  • Can I take my child out of state without notifying the custodial parent?
  • How do I evict a tenant?

May I e-mail questions to the reference librarians?

The SIU Law Library provides e-mail reference service to the law school faculty, students, and staff, the university community, and members of the community. "Ask a Law Librarian" at: lawlib@siu.edu.

Although happy to assist users of e-mail, reference librarians may still only answer questions not requiring doing the research or interpreting documents. Because of the potential for virus infections, please do not send any email messages with attachments. Messages with attachments will be deleted.

What is the Web address for the Self-Help Legal Clinic?

The Self-Help Legal Clinic's web page is located at http://www.law.siu.edu/selfhelp/.

How do I find a lawyer?

The Illinois State Bar Association's referral service, IllinoisLawyerFinder.com, is designed to serve everyone who can afford the services of a lawyer. Other online resources are Illinois Legal Aid, and the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc.

Why can't a law student help me?

Law students are forbidden by the Illinois Supreme Court to assist anyone with legal questions except under its Rule 711. Please do not ask any of our law students to help you. That qualifies as the unauthorized practice of law by them, and might result in their not being allowed to practice or to take the bar exam.

How do I get to the Law Library?

The Law Library is located in the Lesar Law Building at 1150 Douglas Drive, on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, in Carbondale, Illinois.

Take Illinois 13 to Oakland Avenue. If you are driving west, turn left at the intersection of Route 13 and Oakland Avenue. If you are driving east, turn right. Go south on Oakland Avenue until you reach the 4-way stop at Chautauqua Road. Cross Chautauqua Road and continue to where Oakland Ave. ends at Douglas Dr. Turn right. The Lesar Law Building is on your right. On the left, just past the building, there is a metered parking lot.

Is there public parking?

Visitors may park in metered spaces along campus streets and in designated parking lots. There are some metered visitor parking spaces in the small lot just as Douglas Drive curves to the left. Bring change to use in the parking meters, because there is no change machine in the law school building.

Can I make photocopies?

You can make photocopies on any of the copiers within the Law Library. One of the copiers takes change, or you can purchase a copy card. (Students can use their Debit Dawg account / student ID card.) The cost for photocopying is 25 cents per page if you use change, or 10 cents per page if you use a Debit Dawg Card or SIUC Copy Card. First purchase of a card costs $.50 and requires a dollar. You may add more funds as needed to your copy card, to save the first purchase fee.

Where can I get change?

There is no change machine in the law school or Law Library. Please make certain you arrive with single dollar bills or change.

May I use the law library's computers?

There are computers available for public use for research purposes, but not for word processing. The computer lab is reserved for students, faculty, and staff with a university network ID.

Can I print from the computers?

Yes. You must have a copy card to print from the computers. (Students can use their Debit Dawg account / student ID card.) The card will be charged 10 cents for each page printed. Color copies are also available for 70 cents per page. Please see Photocopiers & Laser Printers in the Law Library or ask a member of the library staff for assistance with printing.

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