The Law Library is open to the public, the university community, and to the members of the local bar. Our top priority, however, is to provide service to our primary patrons, the law faculty and law students. As a result, our guidelines and policies are geared to the needs of our primary users.

Because the library is a research facility, most of its collection does not circulate. Books in the categories listed below are examples of noncirculating materials:

  • Case reporters
  • Encyclopedias
  • Form books
  • Periodicals
  • Codes and Statutes
  • Digests
  • Shepard's citators
  • Reference materials
  • Microfilm and Microfiche

In addition, many loose-leaf volumes do not circulate.

Check-Out Privileges

All patrons must present valid library cards in order to check out materials. The borrower is responsible for all materials checked out with his or her card, including the replacement of lost or damaged materials. Patrons must notify the library immediately if a card is lost.

The circulation period for most items in the library is 4 weeks. Exceptions are noted in the following sections of this handbook.

Books checked out from the Law Library must be returned to the Law Library and not to another campus library. Likewise, materials checked out from another campus library must be returned to that same library, e.g. materials checked out from the Gorgas Library must be returned to the Gorgas Library.

The Circulation Desk is staffed all hours the library is open. To contact the Desk directly, dial 205-348-1113.

How to Check Out Books/Loan Period

Although much of our collection is non-circulating, due to its research value, single volume treatises can be checked out. All check-out and check-in takes place at the Circulation Desk. To check out any item from the regular collection users should present a current Bounds Library card. General loan periods are 4 weeks. Please call the Circulation Desk at 205-348-1113, if you have a question regarding checkout. All users will be notified if their book(s) is overdue. The charge to replace books not returned is $50.00 plus a $10.00 processing fee or the current cost of the book plus a $10.00 processing fee.

Recalling Books/Hold Requests

Users can request that a book that has already been checked out by another patron be recalled. When the book is returned the requestor will be notified, and the book will be held at the Circulation Hold Shelf.

Unable to Locate a Book?

Library users who are unable to locate a particular book should notify a Circulation staff member. A missing status will be attached to the book's record, and a periodic search will be done to locate the item. The Circulation staff will notify the user when the book is found.

Reserve Materials

Materials kept on reserve can be checked out by law students for four hours. Certain reserve materials, such as hornbooks and nutshells, may be checked out overnight. Overnight materials must be checked out no earlier than two hours prior to the library’s closing and must be returned the following day within one hour of the library’s opening. Fines are one dollar per hour per item.

Lost & Found

A lost and found area is maintained at the Circulation Desk. Please inquire here if you have lost an item in the library. Students with missing possessions may also check with the housekeepers and at the Records Office. A lost and found box for diskettes is kept in the Computer Lab.

FDLP