Policies

Conduct and Acceptable Use

The Law Library, as part of the University Of Connecticut, expects our law school patrons to abide by the Law School’s Code of Conduct as well as the University Of Connecticut Code Of Conduct and the Student Code of Conduct.

Who Can Use the Library

  • Law faculty, students & staff
  • University of Connecticut faculty, students and staff
  • Attorneys and the general public who are conducting legal research.
  • Children under the age of 16 must be supervised at all times by a parent or guardian

User Expectations

As a library user, you can expect:

  • An environment free of disruptive activity
  • Ready access to print and online materials
  • Access to microform collections
  • Printed materials free from markings and without missing pages
  • Surroundings conducive to research, reading and study

Prohibited Behavior

Any patron who fails to follow the library's acceptable use policies is subject to sanctions including:

  • Removal from the Library premises
  • Reporting to police or other law enforcement
  • Legal prosecution

Unacceptable Conduct

In order to meet the needs of our patrons, we ask that all library staff and patrons work to create an appropriate atmosphere. In keeping with its goals, the Library prohibits the following conduct and behaviors as well as behaviors and activities not listed, which are prohibited by law or University policy.

Personal Conduct

  • Creating noise that disturbs others, including, but not limited to: excessive talking and noise bleed from electronic equipment such as earphones.
  • Consuming food outside of designated areas
  • Using any tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in the library. University policy also prohibits the use of tobacco products within 25 feet of any building.
  • Placing or receiving calls on cellular phones in quiet study areas.
  • Soliciting or loitering in or around the library building.
  • Sleeping in the library. This does not include the occasional study-induced nap.
  • Having bodily hygiene so offensive as to cause a nuisance to others.

Disruptive or Illegal Behavior

  • Bringing animals other than working guide/assistance dogs into the building. For more information, please see the UConn policy on animals on campus.
  • Being in unauthorized areas of the Library
  • Remaining in the Library after closing or during emergency drills or evacuations.
  • Opening emergency exits except in emergency situations.
  • Vandalizing or defacing the Library building, furniture, or equipment, or engaging in behavior that could do so.
  • Exhibiting disorderly conduct while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances.
  • Creating a disturbance or an environment in which others feel threatened.
  • Making continual, harassing, unrealistic demands of library staff for any reason, including seeking inappropriate types of assistance with legal research or legal questions.
  • Engaging in behavior that disrupts the activities or safety of others, such as physical abuse or assault, and using abusive, insulting, intimidating, or threatening language.
  • Carrying weapons of any kind unless authorized by law.
  • Moving library furnishings to inappropriate locations.
  • Accessing, altering, or damaging any computer system, workstation, network, program, or data without authorization from IT or Library staff.
  • Engaging in improper acts which are subject to prosecution under the code of law.
  • Failing to abide by established policies and procedures of the Library as it strives to provide service to all patrons.

Library Materials

  • Removing or attempting to remove Library materials, equipment, or property without authorization.
  • Failing to return Library materials when due or recalled.
  • Concealing materials in the Library for the exclusive use of an individual or group.
  • Mutilating, defacing, or otherwise damaging library materials by marking, underlining, removing pages or portions of pages, removing theft detection devices, or using post-it notes or paper clips on library-owned items.
  • Failing to allow the search of possessions when security gate alarm sounds upon exiting.
  • Failing to adhere to copyright laws when copying library materials.
  • Using library equipment to engage in activities not directly related to legal research.

Federal Depository Materials

To accommodate the legal use of Federal Depository materials in the Law School Library, any unaccompanied child under the age of 16, who self-identifies the need to access Federal depository materials for research will receive mediated searching assistance from library staff to identify and make available this material.

The child will receive mediated searching assistance from information desk staff. Any questions that cannot be answered by information desk staff will be referred to a Reference librarian who will respond to the request for assistance by phone or email within one to two business days.

Services

Reference Services

For Students:

The primary role of the Reference Librarians at the University of Connecticut Law Library is to educate students and to assist faculty in research. They are specially trained to help locate information about the law.Legal information cannot always be found in just one place, and a great deal of research may be required to locate all sources.

The librarians will assist/instruct in the use of the indexes and law books in the collection as well as databases available to our patrons. Librarians will make an effort to provide comprehensive service to help facilitate research and study. Reference Librarians will help in finding and using resources but they cannot do homework, do the actual research, or give legal advice.

Guests and Other Users:

Assisting the students, faculty and staff of the University of Connecticut School of Law is the first priority of the Reference Section. Services to other patrons will be provided to the extent that staff, time and other resources permit. Public patrons are welcome to consult the Law Library's online catalog. Reference Librarians will help in finding and using resources but they cannot do homework, do the actual research, or give legal advice. If help is needed to resolve a legal problem, or interpret the law, you should consult a practicing attorney.

The Connecticut State Library on Capitol Avenue in Hartford is open to the general public and has a comprehensive law collection with a reference staff prepared to assist the public. Courthouse libraries are

Legal Advice

Library staff may not give legal advice. If help is needed to resolve a legal problem, or interpret the law, you should consult a practicing attorney.

Legal advice includes:

Reading a statute, part of a case, or a legal definition from dictionary; helping the patron to understand a case or statute; telling what forms need to be filed in court; helping to fill out a form; helping with wording on a court document, and the like.

The reference librarian will refrain from helping with interpretation in any way of a case or statute. It is not advisable to read statutes and case materials over the phone, or to help a patron understand a legal concept or piece of procedure. It is just as improper to help a patron with filling out a form or determining court procedure.

In the course of legal reference services, librarians are asked a multitude of questions about the law. Most questions may be answered properly by directing the patron to sources of law, both primary and secondary. In other instances, the reference librarian may be called upon to explain in detail how to use a source, and how the source relates to other sources. It is acceptable in such circumstances to explain the types of annotations found in annotated primary sources, how various indexing schemes work, where headnotes come from and what they do; it is acceptable to read over the phone from a non-primary source, and to suggest that a patron might look under alternative topical headings, along with specific suggestions.

Confidentiality of Library Records

Under Connecticut law, C.G.S.A. § 11-25, library circulation records may not be divulged except by court order. This means we cannot tell anyone who has a particular item checked out.

We will be glad to recall material from another patron if requested by a member of the University of Connecticut School of Law community, and these individuals also may request an Interlibrary Loan copy if our copy has been checked out.

The library does not keep historical circulation records.

Service Standards

The University of Connecticut School of Law Library staff recognizes the need to establish and publicize standards for the provision of excellent service to library patrons. The document that follows is the result of discussion and agreement by staff in all areas of the library.

  1. All materials used within the library or returned to the library will be reshelved within one week. Please inquire at the main desk if you cannot locate a title.
  2. Search requests for missing materials will be processed within two days. The requesting patron will be notified of the successful search, or will be referred to interlibrary loan if the item cannot be located.
  3. Desk staff will provide patrons with accurate information as to the location and status of library materials.
  4. If a recalled item has not been returned within three days after its due date, library staff will alert the requesting patron that the item has not been returned and refer the request to interlibrary loan.
  5. When staff receive a report of malfunctioning equipment in the library, they will place a service call within the business day and will post notices on the equipment to alert library patrons to problems.
  6. Although the staff strives for 100% accuracy in reshelving, all shelvers will have at least a 95% accuracy rate in their work.
  7. When a patron requests material that has arrived in the library but has not yet been cataloged, the material will be made available to the patron within four business days of the request.
  8. Items removed from the shelf for binding will be retrieved within one business day if they have not yet been sent to the commercial bindery. Items at the commercial bindery will be made available upon request within two business days after they are delivered back to the library. All materials returned from the bindery will be processed within a week of their return.
  9. As a general rule, all new materials will be cataloged and on the shelf within one (1) month from date of receipt.
  10. Reference Librarians have been trained to provide and/or assist patrons in finding accurate, timely information using resources available both within and beyond the Law Library. Basic knowledge includes how to communicate with patrons to learn what they need; determining the location and status of library material using the on-line catalog; expertise in basic U.S. legal research, both print and electronic; familiarity with all library policies; and familiarity with the expertise of local libraries in order to make referrals.
  11. Reference Librarians will respond to voice mail inquiries within one business day after receipt of the message. Electronic mail from the Law School community addressed to individual reference librarians will also be acknowledged within one business day.
  12. Research guides created by reference staff will be updated as necessary to maintain currency, usually once per year. The date on the guide indicates the latest date of revision.
  13. Interlibrary loan requests from Law School patrons will be reviewed and ordered within two business days from the time they are received. If a request cannot be processed, patrons will be notified within four business days. Patrons will be notified by email when interlibrary loan materials are received.
  14. The standard response time for interlibrary loan requests submitted to the University of Connecticut Law Library by other libraries will be within two business days after receipt of the request.
  15. Faculty requests received through Facserv, will be completed under normal circumstances as follows:
    1. Requests for books/articles from the library's collection - 2 days
    2. Requests for scans from the library's print collection - within 1 week
    3. Short-answer reference queries - within 2 days
    4. Requests for accounts on current awareness services - within 1 week
    5. Extended research questions, including bibliographic research - as arranged with the Head of Reference.
  16. Library hours of operation and reference hours will be posted at the main entrance to the library and at the main desk. The library’s web site will contain current information about the scheduled hours, and the voice mail messages at the main desk telephone extensions will provide current hours of operation information.
  17. Our goal is for the library’s online systems to be available at all times for catalog searching and access to electronic resources except during announced down times for necessary upgrades and maintenance. Mechanisms are in place to address unplanned system down times as soon as possible.
  18. Current information regarding library policies is maintained on the library’s web page.
  19. The library staff provides effective service by answering phone calls and email message promptly, responding quickly to in-person service needs, behaving in a courteous manner toward all patrons, providing additional support for patrons with disabilities, and supplying accurate information to patrons.
  20. Suggestions entered through the library’s online system will be answered in writing within a week.
  21. Patron initiated purchase requests will be addressed within five business days from the date of request.  The patron will be notified of the library’s decision to purchase, not purchase, purchase at a later date, etc. Requests approved for purchase will be ordered within 14 business days.

Collection Development Policy

Introduction

The Law Library collection supports the advancement of legal scholarship, education, and research at the School of Law and fosters justice and public service in the legal community. Future directions for the collection will require flexible policies capable of responding to changing technologies and facilitating cooperative efforts in order to preserve and expand access to the Law Library’s collection in all formats. The criteria stated in this policy will assist in the development of a collection reflective of this forward-thinking philosophy.

Goals

  • To document the current collection philosophies, policies, and practices of the Law Library;
  • To inform all patrons and potential partners of the library of the nature of the collection, collection emphases, and criteria for evaluating new materials and resources;
  • To assist those responsible for selecting materials for the collection in understanding the philosophy and rationale that guide the development of the collection;
  • To allow present and future librarians to consistently select resources based upon stated criteria and provide access to a substantial array of legal information resources while avoiding unnecessary duplication;
  • To facilitate cooperative arrangements with other libraries in the provision of access to resources; and
  • To further support the Law Library’s continued collaboration with the UConn Library System in resource sharing as well as in related library-wide endeavors.

Selection

The Law Library collects in a wide range of subjects based on curriculum, faculty research areas, and, to a lesser extent, the needs of practitioners and other members of the public who use the library. The Collection Development Team regularly reviews the law school’s degree programs, course offerings, and clinical programs, as well as faculty publications. The Law Library collects most heavily in Insurance Law, followed by Energy & Environmental Law, Intellectual Property, Human Rights, and Tax. The Law Library also emphasizes other areas based on curriculum: Business and Commercial Law, Civil Procedure and Dispute Resolution, Constitutional Law, Health Law, Immigration Law, Labor and Employment Law, Legal History, Property and Land Use Law, and Trusts and Estates Law.

Full Collection Development Policy

Read the full Collection Development Policy.

Circulation

Borrowing Privileges

Students may borrow circulating items for 90 days, and items can be renewed once. However, much of the collection is non-circulating, and must remain in the library for all to use. This is because legal research materials work together like a complex machine: for the whole to function, all of the parts must be there.

Items that do not circulate include:

  • primary sources (statutes, case reporters, and administrative regulations)
  • looseleaf services
  • digests
  • citators
  • reference materials

For more information about borrowing from the library, please ask at the Circulation Desk.

Renew a Book

Renew your books in any of the following ways:

  • Bring it to the Circulation Desk.
  • Call the Circulation Desk at 860-570-5012.
  • Email the Circulation Desk.
  • Renew your books online. Log into your Library Account

Overdue Notices and Fines

Overdue Notices and Fines

In order to keep materials as available as possible to all library users, books must be returned on time. For books that are returned after the due date, fines will be imposed, as follows:

Course Reserves

$2.00 / hour (time is rounded up)
Reserve books that are 12 hours overdue are marked as lost (see below).

Main Collection

Up to 30 days overdue: $25
Up to 60 days overdue: $50
When books are 90 days overdue, they are marked as lost (see below).

Interlibrary Loan items

Books are marked as lost (see below) when either the lending library marks them as lost or they are 60 days overdue, whichever comes first.
vLost Items

Any book that is marked as lost will be charged the cost of replacement plus a non-refundable $75 processing fee. Interlibrary loan books that are marked as lost may also be charged an additional processing fee that is imposed by the lending library.

Paying a Fine

Fines can be paid by logging into your Student Administration Account and navigating to the Bursar Services section.

Disputing a Fine

At the moment that a book is returned late, our system will calculate your fine and send you an email notification. You will then have 30 days to dispute the fine. If you do not dispute the fine, then it becomes final and will be posted to your student account, which may affect your ability to register for classes or graduate. If you want to dispute the fine, you must fill out the Fine Appeal Form.

Important Note

Library staff will never, under any circumstances, discuss specific fines at the front desk. If you wish to speak to someone about your fine, please fill out the Dispute Form.

Personal Conduct

Food & Drink

Per the University's Covid Campus Guidelines, food is not permitted in the library building outside the Brown Family Campus Center. Masks may be removed while drinking.

Cell Phones

Please silence your ringer. All cell phones and pagers must be operated in vibrating mode only.

If you must place or receive a call, please move to the foyer outside the main entrance of the Library.

Cell phones may NOT be plugged into or attached to any library computing or printing hardware, or into the campus network or into any telephone jack in the building.

Noise Policies

Noise Zones

The library has designated zones to accommodate customer needs for silent study, group collaboration and campus events.

Green Zone - 3rd and 4th Floors: Collaborative, quiet conversational noise.
Yellow Zone - 2nd and 5th Floors: Quiet place for group and individual study. Minimal, whispered conversation.
Red - 1st Floor: Silent place for individual study. No conversation. Quiet group work in study rooms.

Cell Phones
  • Patrons are expected to have cell phones off or on inaudible alert while in the library.
  • Cell phone use in the lounges, study rooms and restrooms is preferred.
  • Cell phone use is not allowed in red zones.
Electronic Devices

Patrons are expected to use headphones or have electronic equipment muted on all floors. (computers, tablets, e-readers, etc). If other patrons can hear the audio, it is too loud.

Building Use

Reshelving

Book trucks are located in every elevator lobby. Please place materials to be reshelved on these book trucks. Materials left on carrels, tables or in study rooms are routinely collected by library staff. If, in the course of the day, you wish to leave material at a table/carrel, simply leave a note stating that you plan to return. Any material remaining on library tables/carrels/study rooms at the end of the day will be reshelved.

Group Study Rooms

Study rooms are available for use by law school students, faculty, and staff. Exceptions may be made for educational purposes on a case-by-case basis. To request an exception, please email lawlibrary@uconn.edu. For more information, please see the study room policy, where you can also make a reservation.

Collection Bin

External Groups may not hold Donation Drives on campus. For a Donation Drive in the Library, there is a wooden box to serve as a collection container. Donation Drives may be held in the Library at the base of the stairs on the 3rd floor or inside the 4th floor student lounge.

Only one Donation Drive on campus may be held at a time. Donation Drives will not be conducted for more than fourteen (14) consecutive days. A Donation Drive Policy & Reservation Form should be completed for each Donation Drive conducted, and a point of contact must be identified. Completed forms shall be submitted at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the proposed drive.

The Law School does not assume any responsibility for the security of donated items. All donated materials must be removed from campus at the conclusion of the Donation Drive.

Donation Drive Form

Problems/Repair

Please report problems and repair requests to the main desk or email us so that we may address the issue immediately.

Security Gate

Please enter and exit the library through the main entrance in the Quad.

If the security gate alarm sounds, please return to the Desk immediately.

All other exterior doors are for emergency exit only.

Computers

Computer Use

All laptop/notebooks/tablets/smartphones should be muted. Please use headphones to listen to sound on your device. Devices may NOT be connected or attached to any library computing or printing hardware.Students may configure laptops to access the Law School network. Contact the Help Desk for assistance.

Kiosks are available for public use at the Law Library and are intended to support legal research. Use of these computers is limited to legal or academic research, including the catalog and legal database searches, and related functions. Patrons should visit the Main Desk for login credentials. By logging in, users are bound to the policies stated in the University of Connecticut’s Acceptable Use Policy. Patrons with a demonstrated legal research need, requiring extended use of the library’s computers, may request extended time on the computer by speaking with a member of the Library staff.

Computer Lab

Computer labs are ONLY accessible by students currently enrolled at UConn School of Law.

Property

Lost & Found

The Law School and the UConn Law Library is not liable for the security of any items that are brought into the library. Items that are unclaimed are subject to the following policy guidelines:

  • If the owner of a lost and found item satisfactorily proves ownership, the item(s) will be returned.
  • Perishable items, including food and drink, will be discarded immediately.
  • The following unclaimed items will be kept at the Circulation Desk for one (1) week. If an item is not claimed within one (1) week and after library staff have made a reasonable attempt to contact the owner, the item will either be discarded, donated, or made available for other patrons to take from a cart of free items, or added to the library collection.
    • books or miscellaneous papers
    • clothing, including jackets, scarves, and gloves. After one week the clothing will be discarded or donated.
  • Phones, wallets, laptops, passports, driver’s licenses, k​eys, and unclaimed money will be held at the Circulation Desk until library closing when it will be turned into the Assistant Dean's Office, Chase 104. Any items turned over can be picked up between 11am – 5pm Monday – Friday.

Liability for Personal Property

Never leave personal items unattended. The Law Library assumes no responsibility for personal property lost or stolen on library premises.

Emergencies

In case of emergency, dial 911 and contact the main desk.

If the alarms sound, please exit the building or follow the advice provided by the loudspeaker.