Law Library Policies & Procedures

Borrowing Library Items and Using Your Library Account

Process for Borrowing and Returning Library Items

Patrons must bring all materials to the Circulation Desk of the Law Library to borrow any item. Patrons must provide their St. Thomas University ID or other valid identification based on our Library Access Policy.

Patrons may renew materials, if eligible, by using their My Library Account or by bringing the materials to the Circulation Desk.

Items may be returend to the Library by dropping them at the Circulation Desk or in the book drop located on the second floor across from the elevator.

Recalls of properly checked out materials during the period of circulation are issued whenever the material is needed by a professor for the Reserve collection, or if the material is overdue. When items are recalled they are due immediately upon notification. Failure to return the material within a reasonable time will result in the user’s account being suspended indefinitely or until the items are returned.

 

Setting Up Your Law Library Account

  • Click on “Set/reset password”
  • Enter your username. Your username is your St. Thomas ID number, minus the letter at the beginning. For example, if your ID says “s123456,” then your username is “123456.”
  • You will receive an e-mail at your STU e-mail address from ‘Library Password Managment’ with instructions for creating a password for your library account.

 

Using Your Law Library Account

Once you have set up your library account, you can use it to check the status of your items and renew items from home.

  • Visit http://stu.on.worldcat.org
  • Click “Sign In” at the top of the page.
  • Enter your username and password.
  • After logging in, click your name at the top of the page and select “My Account” from the drop-down menu.
  • From here, you can:
    • View items currently checked out to you
    • Find out when your items are due
    • Renew items (once per item for study aids, and only if they are not already overdue)
    • View and change your account information (e-mail address, phone number, etc.)
Library Access

1. The Law Library is located in the School of Law, and is entered and exited only through the main entrance leading from the Breezeway. All other doors are fire exit/emergency doors and are limited to emergency use or for staff use only. The alarm sounds when fire exit/emergency doors are opened.

The Law Library is open to all faculty, staff and students of St. Thomas University, and to St. Thomas Law alumni, visiting scholars and researchers and current students and faculty of other law schools or paralegal programs. The Law Library is not open to the general public. Any patron who does not observe the rules of the Law Library will be asked to leave.

The following types of identification are required in order to gain access to the Law Library:

  • Faculty, students, and staff of St. Thomas School of Law School and University will require a valid ID card to access the Law Library and may be asked to show such ID at anytime.
  • Alumni of the School of Law and active members of any U.S. based Bar must present a Bar Association card and photo identification card at the Circulation desk.
  • Visiting law and paralegal students will require a student ID card from their institutions.
  • During reading and exam hours, when posted, the Law Library will be open ONLY to Law students, faculty and staff.
  • The computer lab is ONLY open to Law School and University students, faculty and staff.

Visitors not currently affiliated with the University are required to sign in at the Circulation Desk.

2. Access to the law library (first floor) after hours is restricted to the STU law student community. The following is required in order to gain access:

  • Only STU Law Students ID holders can enter the area via card reader.
  • Students may be asked to show such ID at anytime and must comply with any such request.
  • To ensure the safety and security of everyone in the library, STU students must not let anyone in except themselves nor allow their STU ID card to be used by others to access the law library after hours.
  • Do not prop doors open and be sure that the doors close behind you.
  • Do not prop doors open and be sure that the doors close behind you.
  • Drinks are permitted in covered cups, spill-proof travel mugs or other resealable containers.
  • Please be courteous to your fellow students. The Law Library is intended to be a quiet study area for patrons.
  • Any patron who does not observe these rules will be asked to leave.
  • Public Safety Officers are available 24/7. Public Safety number: 305-628-6500.

3. Access to law library materials.

Circulation of material for use outside the Library is limited to St. Thomas University faculty, staff and students. All other researchers must use the collection in the Library. A detailed breakdown of the circulation times and privileges for different materials and users may be found at the circulation desk, or by viewing our Circulation Loan Policy in the next section below on this page.

Our primary responsibility is to serve our own faculty and students. However, within the limits of our staff resources, the Law Library will attempt to provide reference service to members of the bar and other outside researchers.

It is the purpose of the Law Library administration and staff to make the holdings of the Law Library as freely available to all patrons as is consistent with proper and equitable use. Your cooperation is essential. Please adhere to those regulations and rules that are included in this Access Policy or are posted in the Library.

Circulation of Library Items and Loan Policy

Circulation Loan Policy & Procedure

Policies

Primary source materials, loose-leaf services, multi-volume sets and books in the Reference Collection do not circulate.

Single-volume texts and treatises, as well as the Reserve and the Study Aids do circulate.

All Students must present their current St. Thomas IDs to check materials out from the library. If the ID is unavailable other picture ID may be substituted, as long as the student is already in the STU Law Library system. ID cards are not transferable. Materials will not be checked out for anyone other than the owner of the ID.

Law Library materials have differing periods of circulation depending on the material being circulated. A chart arranged by Patron Type and Type of Material, noting the periods of time for which materials may be borrowed, is available below. This schedule is subject to change at any time and it is the patron’s duty to check their account online via the library catalog to determine the date and time the material is due back at the library.

Recalls of properly checked out materials during the period of circulation are issued whenever the material is needed by a professor for the Reserve collection, or if the material is overdue. When items are recalled they are due immediately upon notification. Failure to return the material within a reasonable time will result in the user’s account being suspended indefinitely or until the items are returned.

Patrons can check out materials for the length of time indicated on the chart below.

Items listed in the Circulating Materials column can be checked out depending on the patron type for the specified amount of time. Items listed in the Non-Circulating Materials column cannot be checked out by that patron type. Exceptions to these guidelines can only be granted by the Law Library Director or the Director’s designee.

Patron Type Circulating Materials Non-Circulating Materials
Law Students / LL.M. Students General Collection – 2 weeks
Permanent Reserve – 4 hours
Audio-Visual – 7 days
Study Aids – 24 hours
Audio-Visual Study Aids – 3 days
Keys – 2 hours
Unclassified collection
Multi-volume sets
Loose-leaf volumes
Periodicals
Microforms
Law Faculty Media Equipment – 4 hours
Keys – 24 hours
Permanent Reserve – 4 hours
All other library material – 1 term
Study Aids
Law Library Staff General Collection – 1 term
Permanent Reserve – 4 hours
Audio-Visual – 7 days
Study Aids – 24 hours
Media Equipment – 4 hours
All other categories (unless authorized by the Library Director)
Law School Staff General Collection – 2 weeks
Media Center Equipment – 4 hours
Keys – 2 hours
All other categories (unless authorized by the Library Director)
Alumni/ae General Collection – 2 weeks
Audiovisual Material – 7 days
All other categories (unless authorized by the Library Director)
Attorneys / Bar Members Audiovisual Material – 7 days All other categories (unless authorized by the Library Director)
University Students General Collection – 2 weeks All other categories (unless authorized by the Library Director)
University Staff General Collection – 2 weeks All other categories (unless authorized by the Library Director)
University Faculty General Collection – 1 term All other categories (unless authorized by the Library Director)

Permanent Reserves

Permanent Reserves may circulate for a period of four (4) hours. Permanent Reserve items may be checked out overnight if checked out less than two hours prior to the library’s closing. Overnight checkouts are due within 60 minutes of the Law Library opening on the following day. Permanent Reserve items will not be renewed.

Study Aids

Study Aids are held in the North Reading Room and may circulate for a period of twenty-four (24) hours. Media related Study Aids (CDs or DVDs) circulate for a period of 24 hours.

Lost or Damaged Materials

If a book or audio-visual piece is not returned, or is returned damaged, a fine will be assessed equal to the replacement cost of the material PLUS a processing fee of $50.00. If the item is incapable of being replaced due to being out of print or out of stock, a fee of $150.00 will be assessed.

Procedures

Patrons must bring all materials to the Circulation Desk of the Law Library to borrow any item. Patrons must provide their St. Thomas University ID or other valid identification based on our Library Access Policy.

Patrons may renew materials, if eligible, by using their My Library Account or by bringing the materials to the Circulation Desk.

Recalls of properly checked out materials during the period of circulation are issued whenever the material is needed by a professor for the Reserve collection, or if the material is overdue. When items are recalled they are due immediately upon notification. Failure to return the material within a reasonable time will result in the user’s account being suspended indefinitely or until the items are returned.

Overdue Items

Patrons library account may be suspended for: excessive numbers of overdue items, long overdue items (those overdue in excess of 100% of the original loan period), or for a pattern of repeated overdue items. Repeated violations may result in a suspension of library privileges for one (1) week. Please be sure to return or renew your library items in a timely manner.

Study Areas and Group Study Rooms

Carrels and tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. All books and papers must be removed from the carrel when you have completed your research for the day. Library Staff reserve the right to remove materials from any carrel or table if it is apparent the patron has left the library. Items will be available for pick-up at the Circulation Desk. Please secure your possessions if you have to step away – this might include using a security cable for a laptop. The Law Library is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

The second floor level has reading room/study areas, group study rooms and the computer lab. Please maintain quiet in all areas.

Group Study Room Policy

Group Study

Groups of at least 2 of St. Thomas Law School law students may reserve study rooms for a period of up to two (2) hours. An additional two-hour period may be reserved in the same room during the last fifteen (15) minutes of the initial period provided that no other group has reserved the room for the subsequent period. Individuals may use study rooms Monday-Thursday after 7PM, and all day Friday-Sunday.

Study Rooms

The Law Library has eleven (11) group study rooms. Rooms 1 through 4 are located on the east side of the second floor. Rooms 5 through 7 are located in the southeast corner of the second floor. Rooms 8 through 11 are located southwest corner of the second floor.

All rooms are subject to preemption by the Law School Registrar for exams. It can reasonably be expected that all study rooms will be unavailable between opening and 6:00 PM Monday to Saturday during midterm and final exams. Please be aware that students may be asked to leave, even if those students had reserved the room. The exact schedule will be kept at the Circulation Desk during the relevant weeks and updated as it is provided by the Law School Registrar.

Reservations

  • Rooms MUST be reserved at the Circulation Desk and MUST be done in person. No phone or email requests for reservations will be honored.
  • Room reservations can be made for the same-day only; no advanced reservations will be accepted.
  • Room reservations for times beginning before 1:00pm may be requested as soon as the library is open for the day. Reservations for rooms beginning 1:00pm and later each day can only be made after Noon (12:00pm).
  • Study room access keys must be checked out at the Circulation Desk when the reservation time begins and must be returned at least five (5) minutes prior to the expiration of the reservation period. Failure to return a key on time will result in the immediate suspension of study room privileges for a minimum of one week and as much as one semester for repeated or malicious abuse of the rules. Photo identification (either STU ID or government issued photo ID) of at least two group members must be retained at the Circulation Desk in order to check-out a study room key. The retained ID will be returned upon return of the key. There is a $25 replacement fee for lost keys.
  • If your group has not arrived within fifteen (15) minutes after the beginning of the reservation time, the room will be forfeited to the next group.
  • If a study room is left unattended at any time for more than fifteen (15) minutes or with fewer than 2 individuals (other than the times noted above), the room is subject to forfeit and any personal items left behind will be removed to the Circulation desk for later pickup.

Noise

Please be courteous to and mindful of your fellow students and other library patrons. While conversation is allowed and expected inside the group study rooms, please be aware that the rooms are not sound proof and patrons seated in the areas outside of study room may be disturbed by excessive noise. Creating excess noise or disturbances may be cause for the Law Library staff to ask a patron to leave. Repeated infractions can result in suspension of study room and/or other library privileges.

Study Rooms close fifteen (15) minutes prior to the Law Library closing.

Library Food, Drink, and Smoking Policy

Providing a professional study environment, preserving library materials and equipment, and providing a student-friendly study space is our primary mission. Attempting to strike an appropriate balance is the purpose of our Law Library Food and Drink Policy.

No food of any kind is permitted in the library.

All foods, whether or not they leave crumbs, attract insects and rodents. These pests can damage books and other materials, many of which are out of print and irreplaceable. As such, food is prohibited from entering or being consumed inside the Law Library. Additionally, trash that has food remnants must be disposed of in trash receptacles outside of the Law Library.

Drinks are permitted in covered cups, spill-proof travel mugs or other resealable containers.

Spills from uncovered coffee cups and other beverages can cause stains, damage the carpet, computers, books, and attract pests. Spills also create mildew and molds. Patrons must dispose of all containers and other waste outside the Law Library; and leave work-spaces clean. (Please notify the staff in case of any spills).

Smoking is not permitted in the Law Library

St. Thomas University is committed to providing a healthy working and learning environment for the entire campus community. Smoking is not permitted in any campus buildings or offices. This policy also applies to electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes), electronic vaping devices, personal vaporizers, or any other electronic nicotine delivery system. The University has established designated smoking areas for the campus; smoking is prohibited anywhere outside of these locations.

NOTE: A Law Library staff person has the discretion to ask that any food, drink, or smoking items be removed and/or consumed elsewhere. Failure to comply with such a request is a violation of the policy. Students found violating these rules and/or failing to comply with a request from the Law Library Staff may lose access to the Law Library and suspension of all privileges for up to one month. Violations of these rules will be referred to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and/or the Honor Council. They may treat such violations as cause for a finding of violation of the Honor Code.

Noise and Professionalism

Noise and Common Courtesy

Please be courteous to your fellow students. The Law Library is intended to be a quiet study area for patrons. All students and visitors are asked to be respectful and be considerate of others at all times.

Throughout the building, patrons should not speak above a low speaking volume or cause any other excessive noise such as audible music, mobile phone alerts, or any other noise which could reasonably be construed as disruptive to a quite study environment. Please be aware that sound from earbuds and headphones should not be audible to anyone but the user. Even when working on legal research projects, group study, etc., keep speaking volume low, including in the group study rooms – study rooms are not sound proof. Talking outside of the study rooms, is discouraged and a request by anyone to stop talking should be honored immediately. Creating excess noise or disturbances may be cause for the Law Library staff to ask a patron to leave. Repeated occurances may result in referral of the matter to the Dean of Student Affairs or Honor Council.

Mobile Phones and Telephones

Mobile phones are not to be used in the Law Library, other than in designated areas such as the Law Library lobby and the elevator atrium. All patrons should switch the cell phone to vibrate or silent mode when entering the building and take any resulting calls outside the Law Library. Patrons involved in cell phone conversations in the Law Library will be asked by library staff or fellow patrons to move to the designated cell phone area or outside. Please cooperate with staff when they ask you to leave an area due to inappropriate cell phone use. Failure to do so may be cause for Law Library staff to ask a patron to leave the library. Patrons fail to comply with such requests or who are repeat offenders of this mobile phone policy will referred to the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and to the Honor Council for potential violations of the Honor Code.

Public telephones are located in the Student Services offices across the breezeway from the Law Library. The telephones in the Law Library are for staff use only. The Law Library does not take messages or calls for students and is not able to page students.

Computer Lab, Copiers, and Printing

Computer Lab

A Computer Laboratory is located in the second floor of the Law Library. This area is monitored by the staff from Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Law Library. The Lab is open to all law students on a first come-first-served basis. At particular times during the year, the lab may be restricted. Signs will be posted notifying users of restrictions. Smoking, beverages, and food are forbidden in the Lab at all times. If a computer is left unattended for 15 minutes, it will be turned off, disks and books will be removed from the desk, and the computer will be relinquished to any users waiting for a computer to become available. The Computer Lab closes fifteen (15) minutes prior to the closing of the Law Library.

Students should not install any software on the machines or change backgrounds or screen savers. Students should not download any programs or applications from the Internet or any files outside of the usual documents needed in the course of research. Students cannot not save any files to the C drive (save all documents to your own drive) as any saved files will be erased when the machine is rebooted.

Unauthorized use of Computer Lab equipment and materials including, but not limited to, copying copyrighted software, is prohibited. Users agree to accept full responsibility, thus indemnifying St. Thomas University School of Law from any costs for damages arising from the operators’ use of the laboratory or materials whether due to negligence or pursuant to the user’s unauthorized use of equipment and/or materials provided by St. Thomas University School of Law.

Users encountering any difficulties in using equipment or software should ask for help from the OIT staff located in the Computer Lab or from the Law Library staff at the Circulation Desk. Do not attempt to solve the problem yourself.

Printing

St. Thomas University uses a central print server for all student printing. Any print job sent from a lab computer or from a student laptop will be queued on the print server for pickup at any campus printer. The student will need his or her student ID or network login to pick up the print job at one of the printers. To pick up the print job, the student needs to swipe his or her ID over the pad or log in to his or her network account on the touch screen.

Students wanting to install the printing software on their laptops should visit OIT’s student printing site at https://www.stu.edu/print for instructions and software download.

Copying

Pay copiers are located in the copy room at the rear of the first floor North Reading room. Copies are 10 cents each. The Library does not provide change but bill changers are attached to each coin operated copier.

Students, faculty and staff can make photocopies at any printer located in the Law Library by first selecting the Copy function on the touch screen and then swiping his or her STU ID over the pad or by logging into his or her network account on the touch screen. Copies are deducted from student printing accounts in the same manner as print jobs.

Please do not change paper or attempt to clear problems with the printers/copiers. Report malfunctions, such as paper jams, to the Law Library Staff at the Circulation Desk.

Use of Materials While in the Library

Reshelving Books

Patrons are asked not to reshelve materials after using them. Book carts/book returns are provided on all floors for the materials no longer in use and the Law Library staff will reshelve all materials left on the carts. If a patron is returning materials that have been checked out by them and they want to ensure that they are accounted for on the patron account, please ensure they are returned at the Circulation Desk.

Unclassified Materials

Much of the collection is comprised of primary source materials such as statutes, reporters and regulations, and of finding tools and secondary materials such as digests, citators and encyclopedias. These materials are not classified but are arranged by form and jurisdiction and are shelved alphabetically. Their exact location may be determined by reference to WorldCat and the Library Unclassified Guide which is available in the Law Library lobby and the Circulation Desk.

Reference and Research Assistance and Inter-Library Loan Services

Reference Services

A Reference Librarian is available at the Law Library to assist with reference or research questions during daytime and evening hours. Ask for a librarian at the circulation desk, or contact us to make an appointment.

Interlibrary Loan

Inter-library loan, or ILL, is a service enabling library patrons access to materials unavailable in their local library collection. Inter-library loan is available to St. Thomas University School of Law faculty, students and staff. Alumni should inquire at their local public library. University main campus faculty, staff and students should contact the University Library for service.

Materials that are made available to you from other libraries are due back on the designated by the lending library. Any materials that are not returned in a timely manner will result on suspended ILL privileges; any charged incurred by the law library for materials that are lost or simply not returned by the patron will be charged directly to the patron.

To request an item via Inter-Library Loan, please visit our ILL page.

Collection Development Policy

St. Thomas Law Library Collection Development Policy

Click her for a printer-friendly version of the St. Thomas Law Library Collection Development Policy.