COVID-19 Virus

Law Library

1. Does the information on the Cornell Library Return to Campus FAQ page or other information I’ve heard about the rest of the university’s libraries also apply to the Law Library?

Not all of the information widely applicable to Cornell University Library fall 2020 services applies to the Law School community. Information for Law Students or specific to the Law Library is posted and updated regularly here and on the Law Library website. Email lawlib@cornell.edu if you have questions.

2. Can I study in the Law Library? If so, during what hours?

In general, students are expected to spend as little time as necessary in the Law School buildings, including the library. The library is not open for general use and browsing this fall. However, highly limited study space is available in the library and Law School by prereservation only, and these seats are available only during building open hours. At present these hours are 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. weekdays, not including holidays. Some of the prereservable seats are designed for students to be able to participate in online-delivered classes when students have been on campus for in-person class and are unable to return home to get online. All students are expected to abide by the behavioral compact as responsible university citizens and future members of the legal profession.

3. I still have books checked out. How can I return them? And will I have to pay an overdue fine?

All materials can be returned to the book drop available in the Law School parking lot. Other return locations are available too, including Olin Library. If your items are from Cornell, you can renew them online. However, overdue Borrow Direct and interlibrary loan items cannot be renewed online and should be returned to a book drop. Cornell will waive fines on material through February 9, 2021, but we ask that you promptly return items you’re finished with so that others can use them. Contact lawcirc@cornell.edu if you have any questions or need to arrange an extension for a Borrow Direct or interlibrary loan item.

4. Can I check out print books from the library?

You can borrow print books from the library via a contactless pickup procedure outlined on this page. Many titles are available as ebooks and can be consulted at any time through the library catalog.

5. Can I check out print books from other libraries on campus?

Use Cornell University Library’s curbside delivery and contactless pickup procedures to check out books from other Cornell libraries.

6. What kinds of online or electronic materials are available to me to borrow or use?

The library offers many ebooks, which you can find and access via the Library Catalog. Other online books and practice materials are available through your Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law accounts. A variety of online study aids are also available. Most journal articles are available online in our other databases, which are also a rich source for foreign and international law. You can access most electronic resources from on or off campus. Consult a research librarian for help finding or accessing resources.

7. How can I get course reserves?

Digital or scanned course reserve library materials are available only through your Canvas course pages in collaboration with your professor. For reasons of safety, equity, and university guidelines, physical reserves are not available at this time. For reasons of equity, university guidelines, and copyright restrictions, digitized print course reserves are not provided directly to students.

8. Are study aids available for me to use electronically?

Yes. The library provides access to several collections of digital study aids. You can access these study aids from wherever you are located, on or off campus.

9. I understand the library is not able to lend physical course reserves this fall. How do I figure out where to get my textbooks and casebooks?

The library and the Cornell Store worked together to arrange a variety of options at as effective a cost and speed as we can get.

Most of your textbooks may be purchased through the Cornell Store. With your four-digit course number you'll be able to browse by course. Your browsing results should include both print options and any ebook options available. Please note (1) backlogs exist, so ebooks may be the best option for early access because they are available immediately; and (2) not all casebook publishers work with the Cornell Store. To get your books, the best first step is to know the publisher. The three main publishers of law casebooks or textbooks are West Academic/Foundation Press, Carolina Academic Press, and Aspen/WoltersKluwer. West Academic/Foundation Press casebooks or textbooks in ebook format are only available from West Academic's website, not from the Cornell Store. These titles may be available in print from the Cornell Store; however, stock may be low.

For both Carolina Academic Press and Aspen/WoltersKluwer, casebooks or textbooks in ebook format are generally available from the Cornell Store's website. The Cornell Store may soon be able to offer them on the VitalSource lending platform.

For more details, please visit the Digital Course Materials section of the Cornell Store website.

The library offers access to online study aid packages from all three of these publishers, but the publishers do not include casebooks in these packages. These packages may include supplements that are listed in your course readings, so please check these packages before purchasing one of these supplements.

10. How do I request a scan of library print materials?

To the extent copyright law allows, the Law Library can scan portions of print materials for you. The Law Library cannot scan course reserve materials for students directly; these are made available only in Canvas in conjunction with your professor (see Q.7.). To request scans of print materials from other Cornell libraries, follow Cornell University Library procedures.

11. Is interlibrary loan available?

Interlibrary loan is available, whether as books or delivery of scans, so long as the libraries that hold those materials are open and offering this service during this time, and so long as they are not for course reserve materials. Requests for scans of small portions of books are more likely to be successful than whole-book loan requests.

12. Will research help be available to me? What about research consultation meetings with law librarians?

Email the law research librarians at lawlib@cornell.edu for research help questions. Please allow one to two business days for a response. For deeper consultation appointments, simply request a research librarian consultation meeting, which will be conducted by Zoom.

13. Will the Law Library offer any research workshops while access to the Law School is limited?

Workshops will be planned and delivered online throughout the fall semester, with schedules posted on the Law Library website. On-demand online tutorials addressing specific common research tasks will also be available.

14. I’m a member of a journal (CLR, JLPP, or ILJ). When I’m asking the Law Library for help, is there anything special I should do?

Yes. Please follow specific guidance from your law review orientation or subsequent guidance from your editors.

15. Will I have access to a locker in the Law Library?

No lockers will be assigned at this time.

16. Can I access online library resources from off campus? What if the site asks me to subscribe or pay for an article?

Most library online resources and links allow access from off campus. To avoid paywalls or subscription prompts when you search for articles or access databases, begin your searches from the Law Library website. Many online resources are linked in library research guides. You may also install the library’s Passkey service to bypass some paywalls.

17. Can the library help me to manage online learning?

The Law Student Online Learning Strategies guide offers links to resources to assist with this experience. Many of the resources are specific to law students. You may also request remote consultations with research librarians for individualized help.