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Law Library Faculty Services

Course Reserves

Physical Course Reserve - To place a physical item, such as a book, on reserve at the law library circulation desk, contact Alison Ruckert, Information Services Supervisor, at either location. (Articles and other easily scanned items will be placed on E-Reserve (electronic reserve).

Electronic Reserve (E-Reserve) – To make readings available online, place a request for an electronic reserve. E-Reserve material may be accessed through the online library catalog or linked to your course Angel page.

Penn State Law Montague Law Library

HOURS
214 Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-8861

Library Collections

Borrowing

Faculty may borrow books and other library material from any University Libraries location. You must have your university ID in order to check out material.  As a borrower, you are also responsible for all materials charged to your account.  The Law Library catalog is fully integrated with University Libraries.  All Law Library materials may be searched using the CAT, the online catalog. 

Fines and charges may be assessed for lost books, failure to return recalled materials, or overdue fines on certain materials. Members of the law school faculty are not subject to payroll wage garnishment for payment of fines and charges assessed by University Libraries. Borrowing privileges may be suspended until payment of charges is made through alternate means. Law school faculty members should make every effort to avoid fines and charges. In the event fines and charges are assessed, Alison Ruckert, Information Services Supervisor, should be notified for assistance with payment and resolution.

My Library Account

“My Library Account” is a feature of the online catalog that allows a user to view the status of materials that have been requested through the CAT, checked out, or recalled.

Illiad/Inter-Library Loan

Illiad is the name of the interlibrary loan system used by the Penn State University Libraries.  This system allows faculty and students to request items (books, articles, DVDs, etc) from libraries outside of the Penn State network.  This system is also used to request a document, such as a copy of an article, from another Penn State library.  To request an item log onto your Illiad account at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/ill.html using your PSU credentials or contact Alison Ruckert, Information Services Supervisor.

"I Want It"

“I Want It” is a feature of the CAT. Materials from any Penn State library location may be requested by clicking the “I Want It” button in the right column when the item desired is displayed. The pick-up location, any Penn State library, can be selected at the time the hold is placed.

The library maintains print subscriptions to various periodicals. If you would like to review library-owned periodicals on an ongoing basis, contact the Law Library Staff at library@pennstatelaw.psu.edu. You will be added to the routing list of the publication which will be sent to your office via interoffice mail. Many faculty members may be on the same routing list. When you are finished reading the material, check off your name and place the item in interoffice mail to be delivered to the next person on the list. After all names have been checked off, the item will be returned to the library via inter-office mail.

The E-Journal Portal is a direct link to electronic journals available through the libraries. A link to the E-Journal portal can be found on the Law Library research page. Search for the journal title. If the journal is available through the libraries, a list of links will be provided to the various databases where the journal can be accessed.

Provides the full text of over 200 legal journals from their inception; includes databases for U.S. agency, Congressional, Presidential, Supreme Court and foreign relations documents, reports and texts. Hein Online also contains a foreign and international law resource database along with a historical collection of famous and important trials. The collections may be browsed or searched.

All full-time faculty members will be assigned Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law passwords. Certain restrictions apply to faculty who are not full-time. The Law School cannot provide access to Lexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law to those individuals who are not affiliated with the Law School. Any questions should be addressed to Jenny Ham, Reference and Instruction Librarian.

TEXTBOOK ACQUISITION POLICY

Purpose of policy

This policy outlines the standards and procedures that the Penn State Law H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Law Library (“Law Library”) follows regarding textbook acquisitions.

Acquisition of textbooks

This policy outlines the standards and procedures that the Penn State Law H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Law Library (“Law Library”) follows regarding textbook acquisitions.

It is the policy of the Law Library not to purchase copies of textbooks.  A textbook is defined as:

“An edition of a book specifically intended for the use of students who are enrolled in a course of study or preparing for an examination on a subject or in an academic discipline, as distinct from the trade edition of the same title, sometimes published in conjunction with a workbook, lab manual, and/or teacher's manual.” ODLIS —Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science by Joan M. Reitz, Libraries Unlimited (last updated January 10, 2013)

This policy does not apply to supplemental reading materials, most of which would ordinarily be acquired for the collection as a matter of course, or to textbooks received as gifts, which are added to the Law Library collection at the discretion of the Law Library faculty and staff.

The Law Library does not acquire textbooks for the following reasons:

  • One or two copies of a textbook will generally not suffice for an entire class.
  • Buying multiple copies for all classes that need them is prohibitively expensive. Because textbooks are often in high demand, they go missing and are very expensive to replace.
  • The Law Library has traditionally been resourced to purchase material for research efforts and to supplement materials used in the classroom, not basic curriculum material.  Purchase of textbooks would fall outside of the Law Library’s traditional mission and beyond our current level of funding.

Interlibrary loan and textbooks

Textbooks should not be requested from other libraries through interlibrary loan services. In addition to the reasons mentioned above:

  • Textbooks may not be available for loan from other libraries and the request may go unfilled.
  • Students often need textbooks for longer than most interlibrary loan periods allow.
  • Books or materials borrowed from any Penn State library or any other library, including textbooks, may not be marked up in any way. If a student borrows a book or other material, including a textbook, and it is returned with mark-up, the student will be charged to replace the item.

Course Reserves

If a specific textbook is needed for a particular course, a faculty member may choose to place a personal or department copy of a textbook in course reserves. The textbook will be returned to the faculty member at the conclusion of the course. In lieu of the entire textbook, the faculty member may put a copy of only one chapter on reserve. Law Library staff can assist with obtaining any copyright clearance needed. It should be noted that the course reserve service aims to provide supplementary materials for instruction and education, not basic texts required for the entire length of the class.

Review copies

Faculty needing textbooks for review or for other uses by department staff may request review copies directly from the publisher or acquire the needed materials with non-Law Library departmental funds.

Reference to Affiliated Policy

This policy supplements the Law Library Collection Development Policy. It is meant to be used in conjunction with that policy in order to provide further information as to our specific collection development policy relating to textbook acquisition.  

New books are displayed near the circulation desk of the law library.  New books are marked with a month sticker on the spine to indicate when the book was placed on the shelf.  Knowing when the books were added allows you to browse only the selections that you have not previously reviewed.  You should check the shelves any time you are in the library as books are added and removed frequently.  New books may be checked out for the normal loan period, through the end of the current semester.

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Faculty Requests & Office Copies

The H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Law Library maintains a subscription to Hein’s Electronic GreenSlip Service. This is a weekly list of bibliographic information for new, legal and law-related publications, arranged by subject. A weekly e-mail is sent to all law school and School of International Affairs faculty members with the bibliographic information. If you would like to request or recommend a title for the law library to acquire, just reply to the e-mail with the list you would like to request or recommend. If you have any questions about this service, please contact Rebecca Mattson, Head of Faculty and Research Services.

Members of the law school faculty, in addition to a personal library account, have a “Faculty Office Account” and are permitted to check out law school owned materials to their office account. University Libraries owned materials may only be checked out to a personal account. Office checkouts do not have a due date, but are periodically inventoried by the law library. The office checkout allows faculty members to use materials owned by the law library on an on-going basis without having to renew the materials or to have the materials recalled for use by other library patrons. Faculty members can request items for purchase that may then be placed on office checkout. See Faculty Purchase Requests for more information.