Policies

 

The Law Library promotes an environment that is conducive to quiet study and research. We ask that all of the following policies are followed in order to preserve the library's facilities, environment, and collections.

Boston College Law School students working on major research projects may reserve a carrel for their use. This policy is intended to give students extended use of non-circulating library materials without inconveniencing other patrons. Non-library materials are not protected, and the library is not responsible for thefts. Any student may use an unoccupied reserved carrel, but must relinquish the carrel when the designated user needs it.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a reserved carrel you must be conducting research which requires extended use of non-circulating library materials.

Those who may be eligible for a reserved carrel include:

  • Faculty research assistants
  • Law journal staff members who are writing an article
  • Faculty teaching assistants
  • Students writing substantive papers for an independent study project or seminar

 

Location of Reserved Carrels

The library has 62 carrels that can be reserved by students. The carrels are located on Levels 1 and 3, and are numbered. Carrels can be reserved for one academic year. If there is sufficient demand, students may be asked to share carrels.

Procedure for Reserving a Carrel

Students wishing to reserve a carrel should pick up a Carrel Reservation Form at the Information Desk and have their supervisor (editor or faculty advisor) sign it. The completed and signed Carrel Reservation Form should be brought back to the Information Desk.

Checking Out Materials to Carrels

All library books remaining in an authorized carrel must be checked out to the carrel. Please bring books to be checked out to the Information Desk. A book truck will be lent to you if you have a large number of books to check out. There is a limit of 50 non-circulating books per carrel.

High-Use Materials

The following types of high-use materials cannot be checked out to your carrel:

  • Course reserve materials (books or photocopies)
  • Permanent Reserve books (including unbound journals)
  • Reference books
  • Index volumes
  • Digest volumes
  • Code volumes

 

Carrel Maintenance

Carrels are monitored regularly for books not properly checked out. If a book is not properly checked out, or if it falls into one of the high-use categories listed above, it will be removed immediately. We also ask you not to stack books on the floor near your carrel. Reserved carrels are not private offices; please do not store personal materials there.

Access to Reserved Carrels by Others

When you are not sitting at your carrel other patrons may use it until you arrive. For this reason you should take any personal papers and notes with you when you are not in the carrel. The writing surface should always be clear when you are not using the carrel. Food is not permitted in carrels. Drinks are permitted in spill-resistant mugs or squeeze bottles only.

Expiration of Carrel Reservation Period

When your reserved carrel period expires please remove all books and other materials from the carrel. You are responsible for making sure that all library materials are checked in at the Information Desk. You may borrow a book truck if you need it.

Questions or Problems

You are responsible for keeping your authorization current and the materials in your carrel properly checked out. Please come to the Information Desk if you need an extension or if you have any problems related to the use of your carrel.

Borrowing Privileges

Many items in the law library collection do not circulate. Items in the circulating collection may be borrowed by current Boston College students, faculty and staff only. Borrowers are responsible for the material they have checked out.

Loan periods:

Law and Graduate Students

120 days

Undergraduate Students

28 days

Faculty

one year

Staff

120 days

Note: Boston College alumni and others with guest borrowing privileges administered through the O'Neill Library are not eligible to borrow materials from the Law Library.

Borrower Responsibility

Borrowers are responsible for all materials checked out to their account. Non-returned or damaged items will result in per-item charges of $100. Non-return of a recalled item may result in the temporary suspension of borrowing privileges. In the case of Boston College students, unpaid library fees are sent to Student Accounts, with an additional $5 charge for billing. Students who do not resolve their accounts may be subject to diploma, registration and transcript holds.

Law library materials may be returned to any Boston College library. For your convenience, a book drop is located in the lobby outside of the Law Library's entrance.

Renewals

Items from the law library's collection may be renewed unless they have been requested by another user or the renewal limit has been reached. Sign into your Catalog account to renew your checked out items.

Recalls and Other Requests

Sign into your Catalog account to request items from other BC libraries, or items which are currently checked out, indicated by "unavailable". Be sure to select pickup location "Law". You will receive an email notification when your requested item is available for pickup at the Law Library's Information Desk.

Reserves Collections

Course Reserves and Permanent Reserves Collections are located behind the Information Desk. Items can be borrowed for 2 hours and can be renewed for additional 2-hour periods if they have not been requested by other patrons. Returning reserve items late will result in a $20 fine per day.

Table Reservation

The library has six tables set aside for citation and substance checking. These tables are located on Level 1. To reserve a citation and substance checking table, please visit the Information Desk.

Citation and substance checking tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Materials

Materials left on citation and substance checking tables must be checked out. Reference materials cannot be left on citation and substance checking tables. Materials left on these tables for more than one week will be reshelved.

When citation checking is complete, the individual who conducted the check must return all of their materials at the Information Desk.

We recognize that a comfortable study environment requires a food and drink policy that is not overly restrictive. We count on everyone to exercise cooperation and good judgment as we strive to maintain a clean and congenial environment for all of our users.

Food-Free Zone in Fourth Floor Quiet Area

The fourth floor Quiet Area (in the Campbell Wing) is a drinks-only zone.

Drinks

All drink containers must have lids. "Pop-top" aluminum cans are also acceptable. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.

Food

With the exception of the food-free zone, finger foods or snack foods may be consumed in the library, provided that they are not damaging to the collections and facilities (i.e. not sticky, greasy, drippy, messy, wet, etc.) or distracting to other users (i.e. not noisy, smelly, etc.)

Examples:
  • Acceptable: Pretzels, Nuts, Candy, Granola bars, Cookies, Bagels, Grapes, Raisins
  • Not Acceptable: Pizza, Burgers, French fries, Salads, Soup, Meals from the cafeteria, Food requiring utensils
 

Outside delivery of food to the library is not permitted.

Cleanup

  • Be considerate of your fellow students and clean up after yourself.
  • In the event of spills, clean-up supplies are available at the Information Desk.
  • Discard all food and drink-related trash when you leave.
  • A container for recyclable bottles and cans is located on each floor.
  • Food left unattended -- packaged or otherwise -- will be removed and discarded.
 

NOTE: Food and drink are NOT PERMITTED in any of the Computer Labs or in the Rare Book Room.

The Law Library will attempt to borrow materials needed for academic or research purposes that are not available at the Law Library. There is no charge for this service. Click here for access to the interlibrary loan user's guide.

The Law Library's interlibrary loan service is available only to current Boston College Law School faculty, students and staff. The service is not available to Boston College Law School alumni or other visitors to the Law Library. All other BC affiliates please see the University Libraries' web page Request Materials. Users not affiliated with Boston College should seek assistance from the library at their home institution or from their local public library.

Time Required

Interlibrary loan requests generally take from one to several weeks to be filled. Most requests are placed via the OCLC interlibrary loan subsystem which requires that we identify up to fifteen potential lenders and then allow each one up to four days to accept or reject our request.

Unfilled Requests

On rare occasions, we are unable to fill requests. This generally occurs when the item is held by only one or two libraries and they are unable to comply with our request. There are a number of reasons why materials are not loaned: they may be checked out, missing, or lost, they may be on reserve, or they may fall into a non-circulating category. You will be notified if your request cannot be filled.

Notification

When a request has been filled, and the item has arrived at the Law Library's interlibrary loan office, we will notify you via your BC e-mail account. Items can be picked up at the Information Desk in the Law Library. We will hold a borrowed item at the Information Desk for two weeks. After that time, it will be returned to the lending library. Requests for faculty members are usually delivered directly to their offices or mailboxes.

Length of Borrowing Period

Borrowing periods vary,depending on the policy of the lending library. The due date will be clearly indicated on the interlibrary loan sticker placed on the front cover of each borrowed item. It is possible to request renewals, although they are granted at the discretion of the lending library. Some libraries do not permit renewals for materials borrowed through interlibrary loan. In those cases, the "no renewal" status will also be clearly indicated on the sticker. Please direct renewal requests to the interlibrary loan office at 617-552-4066 or via e-mail at lawill@bc.edu. We will contact you to let you know the status of your renewal request.

Loss of Interlibrary Loan Materials

You are responsible for materials which you have taken from the Law Library. Charges for damaged or lost materials are assessed by the lending library and are the responsibility of the borrowing patron. Loss, damage, or failure to return borrowed materials promptly may result in the forfeiture of interlibrary loan privileges. Materials lost in transit to the Law Library from the lending library or after they have been returned to the Law Library by the user will be the responsibility of the Law Library.

Notice: Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a photocopying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would violate copyright law. (This information is posted in compliance with U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 37, sec.#201.14(b) (1995).)

The library complies with US copyright law and the CONTU Guidelines on Photocopying under Interlibrary Loan Arrangements. To insure compliance, users who submit an online interlibrary loan form must acknowledge that they are aware of copyright restrictions affecting their use of the requested material. In cases where requests from a user violate copyright law, the library will inform the user and attempt to provide alternative access to the information.

Lending

The Law Library will lend items or supply copies of articles or documents in its collections to other libraries via interlibrary loan. OCLC member libraries should place requests via the OCLC interlibrary loan subsystem. Non-OCLC libraries may submit requests by completing an ALA interlibrary loan request form and emailing to lawill@bc.edu or mailing it to:

Interlibrary Loan Office
Boston College Law Library
885 Centre Street
Netwon Centre, MA 02459

The library supplies materials free of charge to libraries that are members of the New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO), the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). There is a limit of 30 pages per request. For all other institutions, the fee schedule is as follows:

  • $20.00 for copy requests made by for-profit libraries
  • $12.00 for copy requests made by non-profit libraries
  • $20.00 for loan requests made by for-profit libraries
  • $15.00 for loan requests made by non-profit libraries
 

For questions about interlibrary lending services and policies, contact the interlibrary loan office at 617-552-4066 or via e-mail at lawill@bc.edu. The library lends materials, supplies photocopies, and transmits documents electronically only to members of the Boston College Law School community and to other libraries. General document delivery service is not provided to individuals, companies or institutions. Organizations and individuals not affiliated with the law school may wish to investigate services available from other sites which offer fee-based document delivery options. One such service is provided by the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library at Columbia Law School. Visit their web page for more information on services and charges.

BC Law and BC community members

The BC Law Library’s primary mission is to serve the current students, faculty and staff of Boston College Law School. BC Law Library offers research assistance and access to the Library’s collections to the students, faculty, staff and alumni of BC Law. Members of the BC community, BC faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, and alumni, who require access to legal materials and assistance with legal research are welcome to use the Law Library collection. During evening hours, all individuals will be required to stop at the security desk.

Electronic collections

Access to certain electronic collections is limited to the BC Law community due to licensing restrictions.

Other law schools’ students

Law students from other law schools may access the BC Law Library but restrictions apply during evening hours, reading, and exam periods. A current law school ID is required.

Students from colleges and universities in the Boston Library Consortium have access to the Law Library upon presentation of a Consortium ID. IDs are issued by a student's home institution and verify the need to use specific materials from the law library's collections.

Federal documents depository and access

BC Law Library is not a public institution. Individuals interested in using the Law Library’s documents acquired in its role as a federal depository are entitled to use this segment of the collection. Access to these federal documents is available during weekday business hours. Researchers should search the Law Library’s catalog prior to visiting to determine if the desired federal document is owned by the Law Library.

Public law libraries in Massachusetts

The State Library of Massachusetts, located in the State House in Boston, contains a law collection; this facility is open to the public. The Trial Court Law Libraries, located around the state, are open to the public as well. Check with the local trial court law library for specific questions and collections and access to electronic resources such as LexisNexis and Westlaw.

Access to other libraries for BC Law community members

The Boston College Law Library is a member of the New England Law Library Consortium, Conference of Law Libraries of the Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities, and the Boston Library Consortium. Benefits of membership include access to most member libraries for Boston College Law School faculty, students and staff. Access policies at other libraries vary. Consult the particular library in question to determine if there are access restrictions. If a referral or letter of introduction is required, stop by the Information Desk or call 617-552-4434 to speak with a reference librarian.

Rules for Readers at the Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room

  • The following rules govern the use of rare books and special collections in the Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room.
  • Persons wishing to use rare materials must provide 24 hours notice. Please email the details of your request to lawcirc@bc.edu.
  • Items will be retrieved between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Rare Book Room is open Monday - Friday 9 to 5, except on summer Fridays when it closes at 1 p.m.
  • All readers must complete a Registration Form.
  • A maximum of 4 items may be checked out at one time.
  • Rare materials may be used only in the Rare Book Room, in the presence of a library staff member. Readers must return all materials to the staff member whenever the reader leaves the room.
  • Please deposit coats, backpacks, briefcases, and other bulky items behind the law library’s Information Desk. Items brought into the Rare Book Room are subject to search before and after using rare items. The university is not responsible for lost or stolen personal belongings.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the Rare Book Room.
  • Notetaking is allowed on laptop computers (preferred) or with pencil only.
  • Please handle rare materials with care:
    •     Open covers with care and turn pages slowly. Never force open a rare book.
    •     Keep pens and white-out away from books. Do not write in rare books.
    •     Do not write upon, lean upon, or stack rare books.
    •     Acid-free bookmarks will be provided upon request; do not use paper clips, sticky notes, or any other object as a bookmark.
  • Library staff will scan rare materials unless the materials are too fragile to withstand scanning. A library staff member will decide which materials may be scanned. A maximum of 30 total exposures per book is allowed. Turnaround time is 24 hours.The library makes no representation that it is the owner of common law copyright or literary property in any unpublished manuscript. Written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright owner. Readers assume full and sole responsibility for any and all legal action resulting from their use of the material. By signing this form, readers agree to indemnify and hold harmless Boston College, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he/she is an owner of the common law copyright or literary property.
  • Proper credit shall be given in citations and shall read:
    •     Boston College Law Library, Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room