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SIU School of Law | SIU Law Library


Policies of the Southern Illinois University School of Law Library


The primary mission of the Law Library is to serve the faculty, students, and staff of the Southern Illinois University School of Law, as well as the university as a whole.

We also welcome members of the public who wish to conduct legal research.

To ensure a safe, respectful, and productive environment for study and research for all users, we expect all users of the library to become familiar with and conform to the following SIU Law Library policies.


Borrowing privileges and general use of Law Library materials and facilities

Course Reserves

Reshelving materials

Materials left on tables or at open study carrels

Lost and found

Computer and wireless network access

Electronic resources

Reference services

Photocopies, printing, scanning, and downloads

Noise and use of phones and other electronic devices in the library

Group study room

Child friendly room

Closed carrels

Food and drink

Disruptive and other prohibited conduct


Borrowing privileges and general use of Law Library materials and facilities

The SIU Law Library’s collections are available to all members of the SIUC community and to the public, subject to the prohibitions against disruptive conduct and the other policies stated here.

The majority of the Law Library collection is non-circulating. Generally, items listed as non-circulating are only available for use in the library, and some items, held in the Reserve Collection, have to be checked out in order to view them away from the Circulation counter. We consider requests from School of Law alumni and members of the local bar on a case-by-case basis to check out and remove such items from the Law Library on a short-term basis.

We welcome members of the SIUC community, and the public, to check out items that do circulate. SIUC students, faculty, and staff not affiliated with the School of Law, together with members of the public, have to register for Law Library borrowing privileges, even if the individual already enjoys borrowing privileges at SIUC’s Morris Library, as the two libraries are separate.

Course Reserves

The Law Library holds some books and other materials in the collection on reserve in the Circulation Department to support students in current law school courses. This includes study aids and, in many instances, a copy of required textbooks. Students may check out these items for three hours, or, if checking out an item less than three hours before closing, may keep the item until the library reopens the next business day. Late returns of these items may subject students to a loss of borrowing privileges and additional sanctions if the problem continues.

Reshelving materials

We ask patrons not to re-shelve books or other materials that they have removed from shelves. Please allow Law Library staff to re-shelve all materials. Materials may be placed on any designated re-shelving cart to clear works pace for other patrons.

Materials left on tables or at open study carrels

Materials left on tables or at open study carrels will be re-shelved. Notes left with materials requesting that the material not be re-shelved will be honored for 24 hours. Requests for materials not to be re-shelved for longer periods will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Lost and found

The Law Library is not responsible for the personal property of our patrons and encourages everyone using the library to be cautious about leaving their property unattended. Loose items found in the Law Library may be turned in to Law Library staff and will be stored in the Lost and Found in the Circulation Department. Items left unclaimed at the end of the academic year may be disposed of at the discretion of Law Library staff.

Computer and wireless network access

Computer stations in the first floor common area are available to all users for conducting legal research and related activity, subject to time limits for members of the public during periods of high demand. There are additional computer workstations in the first floor computer lab. Students have priority access to those units; other patrons may use them to conduct legal research and related activity on a space available basis but may be asked to move to the first floor common area if a student needs access.

SIUC students, staff, and faculty have access to the wireless network in the Law Library using their standard login information. Other users can request a guest username and password at the Circulation Department counter.

Electronic resources

The Law Library subscribes to a number of electronic resources such as Westlaw, Lexis Advance, and Bloomberg Law that are password based and are only available to School of Law students, faculty, and staff. Other subscription based products such as Fastcase, HeinOnline, ProQuest Congressional, and certain resources available from the Law Library’s link to Morris Library database subscriptions, are only accessible using Law Library computers or while on the wireless network in the Law Library. School of Law students, faculty, and staff can register for off-site access to these materials through the SIUC Virtual Private Network (VPN). There is no off-site access to any of these materials available to the public.

Reference services

Our reference librarians primarily serve the School of Law’s students, faculty, and staff, but also assist the public as time permits and are generally available from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m., Monday thru Friday. In assisting the public, our librarians can help identify available legal resources that may help a user answer a legal question they have, and demonstrate their use. However, our librarians are not permitted to conduct research for members of the public, nor to interpret court cases, statutes, or information found in other library resources. Our librarians are highly trained professionals, but they are not practicing attorneys and cannot provide patrons with legal advice, help patrons make decisions regarding legal rights and responsibilities, or assist patrons with preparing legal papers.

Photocopies, printing, scanning, and downloads

Photocopy machines are available in the Copy Center on the first floor of the Law Library. Networked printers are available in the first floor common area and in the Computer Lab on the first floor as well. Both the photocopy machines and printers cost 10 cents per page and require a reusable copy/print card, which users can be purchase from the machine located in the Copy Center in the Law Library or at other locations on campus for one dollar (50 cents for the card plus 50 cents toward copy and print jobs). Patrons can also use those same machines to load additional funds onto a card after purchase. There are no change machines in the building and Law Library staff cannot be expected to make change for patrons.

Patrons are welcome to bring thumb drives or other USB powered portable storage devices for downloadable materials available in the Law Library, subject to laws concerning copyright infringement.

A scanner is available in the Computer Lab for general use, and a multipurpose machine with a sheet feeder and scanning capacity is available in the Circulation Department for use by faculty and students with assistance of Law Library staff.

Noise and use of phones and other electronic devices in the library

The Law Library is for research and study. Patrons are expected to maintain a quiet atmosphere by refraining from loud conversation and other disruptive behavior. We encourage quiet conversation and collaborative academic work in the first floor common area and at the tables behind the computer lab and at the top of the staircase on the second floor. Users should treat the remainder of the first and second floors as quiet spaces where conversation should generally not occur.

Cell phones should not be used at all in any of the quiet areas of the library and only for brief calls anywhere in the library. Please set phones to silent/vibrate at all times while in the library, and use ear buds or headphones while listening to audio on any device.

Please note that ear plugs are also available without charge at the Circulation counter for all users.

Group study room

A group study room with white board is available on the second floor of the library. Students can check out a key to the room from staff at the Circulation counter.

Child friendly room

A child friendly room is available on the second floor of the library for students with children. Students can check out a key to the rooms from staff at the Circulation counter. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.

Closed carrels

A limited number of small lockable rooms, called carrels, are available for law students to reserve in the Law Library. Carrels will be shared by up to four people. Scheduling time is up to the occupants.

Notices of carrel availability and sign-up procedure are posted in the Law Library at the beginning of each new term. Carrel occupants sign an agreement setting forth rules and criteria for use of the carrels. Misuse of the carrel is grounds for revocation of the carrel privilege.

Food and drink

Patrons may consume food and beverages in the Law Library, except at computer workstations. Patrons should avoid consuming items that create messes, smells, and noise. We may ask Patrons whose food disrupts others to move to another location or consume it outside of the Law Library.

All users are expected to act responsibly and courteously by disposing of trash and recyclables and cleaning up spills and crumbs. Major spills or messes should be reported to Law Library staff as soon as possible.

The Law Library strongly recommends that users enjoy beverages from lidded, spill-proof containers.

Disruptive and other prohibited conduct

We expect all users of the Law Library to abide by the rules on social misconduct established by the SIUC Student Conduct Code and the SIU School of Law Honor Code. In addition, the Law Library has established its own guidelines on disruptive behavior as follows.

Disruptive behavior is understood to be any activity which endangers an individual, interferes with the library activity of other users or staff, or which is either illegal or violates University policy.

Examples of unacceptable behavior include but are not limited to:

  1. Creating a disturbance or behaving in a manner that interferes with the intended use of the library by other patrons.
  2. Harassing, threatening, abusing, or intimidating library users or staff through language or action.
  3. Disturbing students or staff by unwanted advances, questioning, or solicitation of legal advice.
  4. Exhibiting overt signs of drunkenness or substance abuse.
  5. Display of sexually explicit images on computer or other electronic screens.
  6. Propping open doors or otherwise giving access to the Law Library to unauthorized individuals at times that the library is not open to the public.
  7. Mutilating library materials by marking, underlining, removing pages, or damaging or defacing them in any way.
  8. Engaging in intentional or reckless acts that otherwise threaten the safety of others or that damage library materials, electronic resources, furnishings, equipment, or facilities.
  9. Removing or attempting to remove library materials, equipment, or property without authorization.

Unless a user feels it is not safe to do so, before reporting a problem to Law Library staff or a librarian, we expect patrons to ask a person disturbing them to refrain from the loud or otherwise disruptive behavior.

Library staff and librarians have the authority to ask an offending library user to move to a different area of the library, leave the library entirely, or may call Campus Police who will escort the person(s) causing the problem out of the building. Depending on the severity or frequency of the behavior, such conduct may give rise to an Honor Code or Student Conduct Code investigation, a ban on access to the building or campus, and prosecution for criminal acts. We hope, of course, that nothing giving rise to such outcomes occurs and that all users enjoy the library for the purposes it is intended.

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