College of Law

Policies

Acceptable Use of Public Computers

While patron use of public computers is not routinely monitored, any use that is disruptive to other patrons and/or violates laws or university policy will result in the patron being asked to leave.  Software and hardware may not be modified.  Printing is available at $0.10/page but dedicated word processing software is not available.  Volprint is not available. Any violation of these policies may result in suspension or revocation of computer and/or library access privileges, and/or disciplinary action.

  1. The computers on the first floor may be used by members of the general public for legal research only .
  2. Use of these computers by any patron for playing games, shopping, conducting financial transactions, or participating in chat rooms is not permitted.
  3. The public computers on the other floors are for use of the library catalog only.
  4. Library personnel offer assistance, guidance, and instruction on using the Internet as an information resource. They do not routinely monitor or control the information accessed on public computers except as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of the policy.
  5. All uses of computing and networking resources must be legal and conform to the applicable University of Tennessee information technology rules and policies.
  6. Any disruptive or harassing users may be subject to arrest or removal by law enforcement officials and to revocation of computer and/or library access privileges at the sole discretion of the library staff. University students or employees engaging in disruptive or harassing behavior may be subject to additional University disciplinary action.
  7. Patrons must not add, delete, or modify any hardware, software, or setting on the public computers.
  8. Printing costs ten cents per page and is controlled via the library’s print management system. For further information or assistance in printing, ask at the Circulation Desk.
  9. Word processing is not generally available on public computers.
  10. Minors under the age of 15 should be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  11. Any violation of this policy may result in loss of privileges to use the library’s computers or other resources, on either a temporary or permanent basis, at the discretion and reasonable judgment of library personnel.
  12. Any patron who believes he or she has been wrongfully found to have violated this policy may appeal to the Associate Dean for Library and Information Technology. The appeal must be made in writing and within ten days of the finding.

Food & Drink Policy

DRINKS are permitted in all areas of the law library, except in Food & Drink Free Zones.  Drink containers must have lids, tops, or caps.  This includes soda cans which must be covered with a spill proof top.

SNACK FOODS are permitted in all areas of the library, except in Food & Drink Free Zones. Examples of acceptable snack foods include fruit, pretzels, chips, nuts, candy, granola bars, trail mix, and cookies. Hot or messy foods are not acceptable. Examples of unacceptable* foods include sandwiches, pizza, burgers, French fries, salads, soups, and generally foods requiring utensils.** In all cases please be mindful of others with regard to noisy or smelly foods.

Food & Drink Free Zones

  • Computer labs
  • Computer terminals
  • Anywhere there is library electronic equipment including printers, scanners, copiers, computers, and microfiche readers.

CLEANUP

  • Kindly remember to clean up after yourself and to discard all trash when you leave your study area.
  • In the event of a spill, clean-up supplies are available at the circulation desk.
  • A container for recyclable bottles and cans is located on each floor in support of UT’s Green initiative.

 

All unattended food will be removed and discarded.

*Unacceptable food items are determined by library staff members and you will be asked to remove the items from the library.

**Catered events taking place in the Library may include other food in addition to snack types.  Catered-in food should remain in the area of the event and not be carried throughout the Library.

Library Conference Room* Policy

RESERVATIONS:

Contact:  Beth Offshack,  4-1823.
If unavailable, contact Jenny Lackey, 4-1477.

MAXIMUM CAPACITY: 10 people

 

USE:

The primary use of the room is for:

  1. Law students and faculty using the media equipment**
  2. Library Committee Meetings
  3. One-time College of Law events or meetings

Recurring events such as classes or weekly meetings will not be scheduled in this room unless the use of the equipment in this room is also required for the class/meeting.
The Library Conference Room is not a study room – individuals or informal study groups will not be permitted to schedule or use this room.

Dean’s Office: Requests from the Dean’s office, for one-time meetings, will typically take precedence over all other requests except previously scheduled events using the equipment located in the room.

Law School Departments & Faculty: Requests from other Law School departments or from Law Faculty for one-time meetings or events will ordinarily be approved if they do not conflict with other events already scheduled.

Law School Organizations: Requests from College of Law student organizations may be approved but only if other space in the College of Law is not available.

Outside of Law School: Groups from outside the College of Law must have a College of Law sponsor and obtain special permission from the Associate Dean for Library and Technology Services before scheduling one-time events in the Library Conference Room.

Drinks with appropriate lids/tops and snacks are allowed. 

Special Events & Meetings with catered refreshments: It is the responsibility of the event organizer to make sure every crumb is gone when the event is over.

Cell Phones: Cell phone use is not permitted anywhere in the library except for the stairwells.

Arrangements for access should be done at the time of the reservation. Circulation Staff may be asked to open Library Conference Room in the event that it is locked.

For problems, exceptions, or questions contact, Scott Childs, 4-6733, Associate Dean for Library and Information Technology or Sibyl Marshall, 4-5906, Head of Public Services.
*This is room 124, the room on the west side of the Reserve Reading Room .
**Equipment located in room: MediaSite and Video Conferencing.
Policy Updated: 9/01/2011

Reference Policy for Public Patrons

The reference desk, immediately to the left of the entrance, is generally staffed from 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening and weekend hours vary. To reach the reference desk by phone, dial 865-974-3771. You can also email the reference librarians.

One of our librarians will be happy to help you locate materials in our library and understand legal citations.  Librarians cannot interpret laws or legal documents for you, conduct legal research on your behalf, advise you on appropriate legal procedures, or  tell you whether you have all the legal information you need, because that is the work of licensed attorneys.

Librarians may:

  • Provide help in locating specific legal materials when a citation is provided.
  • Suggest general sources for research.
  • Assist in using library technology.
  • Help patrons navigate legal materials. Examples: demonstrate how to decipher a statutory history line and find corresponding session laws; show how to use CIS indexing and abstracting to locate a Congressional report on a specific bill.
  • Aid in interpreting legal citations that are incomplete or ambiguous.
  • Answer brief, factually-based questions when time permits. Examples: use directories to locate biographical information about attorneys or judges, read (over the telephone) short quotations from legal sources when a patron provides a specific citation, or assist in finding broad definitions of legal terms or phrases by helping patrons look them up in legal dictionaries or encyclopedias.
  • Locate bar directories and contact information for legal groups providing free or low-cost legal assistance.

Librarians may not:

  • Perform research on behalf of any patron. Examples: Please find for me the statute of limitations in California for tort actions. What forms do I need to file for bankruptcy?
  • Review or interpret legal documents.
  • Identify any statute, case opinion, regulation, rule, etc. as the answer to a legal question presented by a patron.
  • Make referrals to or recommendations of specific attorneys.

Policy Justification:

  1. Advising people what the law is and how it applies to their particular situation constitutes giving legal advice. We are librarians, not lawyers, and we are not authorized to practice law in the State of Tennessee (or anywhere else). Only lawyers are permitted to advise people about the law and how it applies to them. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 23-3-101 et. seq.; In re Rose, 314 B.R. 663 (Bankr. E.D. Tenn. 2004).
  2. Legal research can be complicated, even for what appears to be a simple question. The answer to any legal question might vary dramatically based on all sorts of different facts. We, as librarians, cannot know all of the facts that apply in each patron’s situation, and we would be doing a disservice to our patrons if we tried to perform research for them without knowing everything that could bear upon an cross-references to follow based on their knowledge of their own situations.
  3. Doing legal research for all callers would quickly overwhelm our librarian faculty. It is fairer to all of our patrons and to our librarians to say to everyone, “please come in to the Law Library. When you come in, we will help you find and use the sources you need to do your own research.”

Credits: Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington, Reference Services Statement; State of Oregon Law Library, Legal Reference Policy; Connecticut State Law Library, Legal Reference Policy.

Study Carrels Use and In-House Circulation

Carrel Use: Carrels are open to anyone on a first come, first-served basis. Decorating a carrel or leaving personal items in a carrel does not reserve a carrel for the use of the patron. The library staff regularly clean out carrels. If it appears obvious that someone has just stepped away for a few minutes, we will not disturb materials left in a carrel. Library workers will make every effort to retain most items left in carrels for at least a few weeks. Patrons who believe that library workers may have recently removed their personal items left in a carrel should note the carrel number and inquire at the Circulation Desk.

Charging material to Carrels: Currently enrolled Law Students may check out library materials to a carrel. This is known as In-House Circulation. If you wish to check out materials to a carrel, note the carrel number and take them to the Circulation Desk for check-out. Any library material not properly checked out to a carrel will be removed on a regular basis. Books checked out to an individual patron and not to the carrel should not be left unattended in a carrel.

The In-House Circulation Policy allows the storage of some library materials in carrels as long as certain procedures are followed. It is important to note that these materials are checked out to the carrel so that other patrons may locate the material if necessary. Consequently, once checked out, the material is expected to remain in the carrel, and not locked up in a locker or taken somewhere else.

Materials may be checked out to a carrel through the end of the current semester.
Material checked out through In-House Circulation must have a blue check-out slip (available at the Circulation Desk) inserted in the top of the book with the due date clearly visible. If Library staff must retrieve the material from the carrel they will attempt to notify the patron of this action.

Study Room Policy

Group study rooms may be reserved by University of Tennessee College of Law students. Reservations may be made on the College of Law portal (MyUTLaw) in accordance with the rules posted there. At least two law student names are required to reserve a group study room, and at least two law students must be present in a reserved room to hold the reservation. Individuals and non-law students may use group study rooms, but will be required to vacate the room if it has been reserved by law students. Individual law students using a study room will not be required to vacate the room in deference to non-law students.
All other library policies, including those related to food and drink and cell phone use, remain in effect in study rooms.
Library materials left in study rooms will be collected for re-shelving by library staff. Personal items left in study rooms and found by library staff will either be placed in Lost and Found at the Circulation Desk or disposed of, as appears to be most appropriate in the judgment of the library staff. The library staff cannot be responsible for personal items left in study rooms.
To inquire about the possibility of a dedicated study room for use by a College of Law intercollegiate competitive team (such as moot court or mock trial teams), please contact the Associate Dean for Library and Information Technology, Scott Childs, 974-6733. Although such rooms are not always available, we will try to accommodate you if possible. Library policies are still in effect in these locked study rooms. Occupants of dedicated, locked study rooms may not paper over windows or otherwise make the study rooms inaccessible to library staff and campus security personnel. Violation of library policies with respect to study rooms will lead to revocation of study room privileges and assignments.

The Miller & Martin Rare Books Room

Maximum capacity: 28 people.

One-Time Events

Contact :  Beth Offshack, 4-1823.
If unavailable, contact Jenny Lackey, 4-1477.

Dean’s Office: Faculty Meetings and other requests from the Dean’s office will typically take precedence over all other requests except previously scheduled semester classes.
Law School Departments & Faculty: Requests from other Law School departments or from Law Faculty for one-time meetings or events will ordinarily be approved if they do not conflict with classes or other events already scheduled. Scheduling in advance is helpful but not so far in advance that they may cause a conflict with classes or higher priority events in coming semesters.
Miller & Martin: Requests from the law firm of Miller & Martin to hold On Campus Interviews will be approved if they do not conflict with classes or other events already scheduled.
Law School Organizations: Requests from College of Law student organizations may be approved but only if other space in the College of Law is not available.
Outside of Law School: Groups from outside the College of Law must have a law school sponsor and obtain special permission from  Scott Childs, Associate Dean for Library and Information Technology, 4-6733.
The Rare Books Room is not a study room. Individuals or informal study groups are not permitted to schedule this room. Drinks with appropriate lids/tops and snacks are allowed.
Special Events & Meetings with catered refreshments: It is the responsibility of the event organizer to make sure every crumb is gone when the event is over.
Cell Phones: If you receive a cell phone call, go to the stairwell to answer the call. Students are studying on the 4th floor and cell phone use is not permitted anywhere in the library.
Arrangements for access to the room should be done at the time of the reservation. Law Faculty should already have a key that opens the Rare Books Room (the same key that opens the Faculty Lounge (M7A1E) opens the door closest to the elevator).
For problems, exceptions, or questions contact, Scott Childs, 4-6733, Associate Dean for Library and Information Technology or Sibyl Marshall, 4-5906, Head of Public Services.
Policy Updated: 9/01/2011

Use of Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices

Cell phone conversations tend to be loud, distracting, and annoying. Ringing cell phones are similarly distracting and annoying. The Law Library strives to maintain a quiet atmosphere conducive to study and reflection. Therefore, cell phones should be turned off before entering the library. Cell phone conversations are not permitted in the library. Cell phones may be used to check for and send messages as long as no audible sounds are involved.
Pagers should be set to vibrate in the library.
Listening to iPods or other portable music players is acceptable, as long as headphones are used and the volume is low enough that the sound cannot be heard by other library patrons or library workers.

 

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