Library Policies

Food, Drink, and Tobacco

Drinks in acceptable containers are allowed in the Library, with the exception of the Computer Lab, the John C. Payne Special Collections Room, and the Howell C. Heflin Conference Room. (No drinks of any kind or in any container are allowed in those areas.) A display of acceptable containers is posted at the Circulation Desk.

Food and tobacco products are strictly prohibited throughout the Library.

Reshelving Books

Students should reshelve any materials that they remove from the shelves. Library books in carrels that have not been checked out will be removed by the library staff. Students who are working on a project may occasionally be allowed to leave materials on a table overnight. Permission to do so must be obtained from a librarian.

Damage, Removal, and Loss of Library Materials

Any damage to or unauthorized removal of library materials is strictly prohibited. Damage includes writing in books or underlining text. Patrons will be billed for the replacement of lost books, plus an administrative fee.

Reference and Research Services

The library’s four Reference Librarians have more than 60 years of experience assisting library patrons with finding information and in developing research strategies. Anyone with questions about the library and the use of its materials should feel free to consult a Reference Librarian.

Circulation Services

Because Bounds is a research library, most of its collection does not circulate.

Check-Out Privileges

All patrons must present an ACT Card, or valid library card in order to check out materials. The borrower is responsible for all materials checked out with their 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 four weeks.

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.

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.

Videotape Collection

The majority of the library's videotape collection is housed in room 203D which is located at the end of the main floor's hallway. The tapes can be borrowed at any time, but must be returned the following day within one hour of the library's opening. The remaining videotapes are kept on reserve and can be checked out for use within the library for four hours. Circulation of the videotape collection is limited to the local legal community (law school faculty, staff, students, and Tuscaloosa attorneys and their employees). Fines for failure to return a tape are one dollar per item per hour.

Interlibrary Loans

Materials that are unavailable from the Law Library or elsewhere on The University of Alabama campus may be requested from other libraries through interlibrary loan. These materials are generally received within one to two weeks. Since we are dependent upon other libraries to fulfill these requests we cannot guarantee when an interlibrary loan request will be filled. For that reason, researchers who need this service must submit requests early in the research process. Law faculty, staff, and students may use this form to request and interlibary loan.

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.

Missing Book Searches

If you cannot locate a book that is listed as available in the library’s catalog, please consult a Circulation staff person. A thorough search for the book will then be conducted.

Photocopying Services

There are three photocopiers for student use. Two photocopy machines are located near the Circulation Desk in Room 228; a third machine is downstairs in the suite of offices adjoining the Student Lounge. These machines require a copy card, which may be purchased from the dispenser on the wall outside Room 228. Copy cards purchased at other locations on campus will not work with the School of Law's photocopiers.

Copy cards for School of Law organizations and law firms are issued by Nelda Rice in Room 218 of the Law Library. Anyone who wishes to purchase or add value to a copy card should consult Ms. Rice between 8.00a and 4.15p, Monday-Friday. Occasionally, there may be a delay between the request and the receipt of the card. Please allow time for a card to be processed.

Study Carrels

Law students may reserve study carrels through a sign-up process held at the beginning of the fall semester. The following rules and procedures regarding the use of carrels should be followed:

  • Any library books kept in a carrel should be checked out. Otherwise, the books will be re-shelved.
  • Do not leave any valuable items, such as purses, wallets, or electronic equipment in a carrel. No security is provided for student property.
  • Students must remove all items from their carrels by the end of the spring semester. Any items left in carrels at that time will be discarded.