Policies & Procedures
The policies and procedures for the NIU Law Library apply to all law library patrons: faculty, students, staff, and visitors. The law library reserves the right to revoke law library use privileges in the event of a violation.
- Who may use the law library
- Circulation policies & procedures
- Interlibrary Loan policies & procedures
- Confidentiality of library records
- Fines & fees
- General premises
- Food & drink
- Personal belongings
- Cell phones
- Outside communication
- Handling of materials
- Seminar & group study rooms reservations
- Carrel reservations
- Laptop loans
The law library is open to everyone who needs to do legal research or use government documents received through the Federal Depository Library Program. (Also see Who may borrow materials & valid forms of identification under Circulation policies and procedures.)
All Library registration and circulation records are confidential information and not available to others except as required by law. See Library Records Confidentiality Act, 75 ILCS 70/1.; USA Patriot Act, Pub. L. No. 107-56 (Oct. 26, 2001).
- Regular circulating items: $ .50/day. There is a 9-day grace period during which the patron can return or renew the item (if allowed) without incurring a fine. If the item is not returned/ renewed by Day 10, all overdue fines are applied retroactively (that is, a minimum of $5.00 in fines) and fines will continue to accrue at $.50 per day to a maximum of $15.00. If the item is not returned within 30 days the item will be considered lost and the maximum overdue fine will be converted to a non-refundable Lost Item Charge (see below).
- Recalled items: $1.00/day to a maximum of $15.00. Recalled items have a minimum loan period of 10 days from their recall date and cannot be renewed. They must be returned to the library as soon as possible. If a recalled item is not returned within 30 days, the item will be considered lost and the maximum overdue fine will be converted to a non-refundable Lost Item Charge (see below).
- Reserve items:
- 1-day reserves: $5.00 a day. There is no grace period. If the item is not returned within 4 days the item will be considered lost and the maximum overdue fine of $20.00 will be converted to a non-refundable Lost Item Charge (see below).
- 4-hour reserves: $1.00 per hour. There is a one-hour grace period during which the patron can return the item without incurring an overdue fine. If the item is not returned before it is over 1 hour overdue, the overdue fine will be applied retroactively (that is, a minimum of $1.00) and overdue fines will continue to accrue at $1.00 per hour to a maximum of $20.00. If the item is not returned within 2 days the item will be considered lost and the maximum overdue fine will be converted to a non-refundable Lost Item Charge (see below).
- Faculty are not liable for overdue fines; however, they are liable for lost item charges.
- Lost item charges:
- Regular circulating items: $15.00 non-refundable processing fee plus the cost of the item; if the item is out of print, $100.00 or the cost of the item (whichever is greater).
- Reserve items: $20.00 non-refundable processing fee plus the cost of the item; if the item is out of print, $100.00 or the cost of the item (whichever is greater). Lost photocopies: $10.00.
- Law Library users should exercise care in using Law Library furnishings. Do not put feet on the tables or chairs. Do not sit on the tables or study carrels. Do not lean back on the chairs.
- Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the Law Library. This includes seminar rooms, computer labs, and the hallway to the North Wing.
- Law Library users should keep all conversation to a minimum including conversations with Law Library personnel.
- Law Library users wishing to work or study as a group should reserve one of the seminar rooms (see Seminar & group study room reservations, below) or one of the classrooms within the College of Law facility.
- Beverages are permitted if they are in spill-proof or closeable containers with securely fastened lids. Please do not bring in fast food cups with lids (if they tip over, they spill).
- Please do not bring in food, with one exception: small, individually wrapped, non-crumbling items such as hard candy are permitted.
- Personal belongings should not be left in the Law Library. Law Library personnel are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
- Inquire at the Circulation Desk for items that have been lost or found in the Library. This includes personal items such as clothing, books, keys, and glasses. Copy cards that are found in the library are also turned in at the Circulation Desk.
- Ringers on all cell phones in the Library are to be silenced (i.e., set on vibrate). When a call is received or a patron needs to make a call, the patron should leave the library to conduct the call.
- The Law Library is not equipped with a paging system and personnel do not carry messages to Law Library users, unless in an emergency (e.g., family emergency). Your employer needing to get in touch with you for a work-related problem does not constitute an emergency.
- Telephones at the Circulation Desk and the Reference Desk are not available for public use.
- The fax machine in the library administrative office is not available for student class or work-related use, to either send or receive messages or documents.
- Law Library users should not reshelve Law Library materials.
- Law Library personnel have the right to inspect any containers capable of holding books.
- For long-term use of materials in carrels, see "Racking" on the Circulation Procedures page.
Seminar & group study rooms reservations
- Two group study rooms (290-E & 290-F, capacity 8 persons each) and a seminar room (290-C, capacity 24-30 persons) may be reserved by persons affiliated with the College of Law (faculty, staff, students).
- Rooms may be reserved for up to 2 hours a day by individuals and up to 4 hours a day by groups. If no one else needs the room after the reservation time is up, the individual/group may remain in the room until it is needed by someone else.
- Room reservations may be made in person at the Circulation Desk or by calling the Circulation Desk at (815) 753-0507.
Carrels may be reserved by law students for one semester at a time for work on a specific legal research project (e.g., a seminar paper). Please note that carrels 69-84 are for use by the NIU Law Review only. Carrel reservations must be made in person at the Circulation Desk.
- All library materials (including non-circulating materials) to be kept in a carrel must be checked out to the student reserving the carrel and "racked" to that carrel (see 'racking' procedures).
- The student is responsible for all items checked out to his/her account until they have been returned to the Circulation Desk.
- A carrel permit will be placed in "racked" items. The permit must be visible at all times in the item so as to prevent the item from being reshelved.
- Items no longer needed in the carrel are to be returned to the Circulation Desk with the carrel permit still in them so they can be correctly discharged from the student's account.
- Personal items not related to the research may not be left in the carrel. The library is not responsible for personal items left in carrels.
The Law Library does not lend laptop computers to students at this time. Students wishing to take exams using ExamSoft must supply their own laptops. Questions about using the ExamSoft software may be addressed to Associate Dean David Gaebler.