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Library Services & Information

For Full-Time, Clinical, Visiting & Emeriti Faculty

 RESEARCH SUPPORT  

Faculty Research Support Policy

One of the highest priorities of the University of Minnesota Law Library is providing exceptional research support for the curricular and scholarly needs of regular and visiting faculty members at the University of Minnesota Law School. The Law Library also assists emeriti and affiliated faculty members with research to the extent that assistance does not impede support to regular faculty members.

The Law Library is strongly committed to offering faculty the most skilled and knowledgeable research support possible, including:

  • Utilizing a wide array of research tools to identify information to support faculty research and instruction
     
  • Evaluating identified information to ensure that it is authoritative and responsive to faculty needs

  • Organizing selected information in the faculty preferred format (e.g., bibliography, spreadsheet, memo)

  • Providing faculty-hired student research assistants with customized guidance to assist them in efficiently and successfully completing research projects

To help the Law Library effectively manage faculty requests for research support, we ask faculty members to please:

  • Provide adequate time for the Law Library to respond to requests (it may not be possible for the law librarians to interrupt ongoing faculty research projects and other duties to handle a rush request)

  • Provide sufficient details, in writing if possible, about the information desired (e.g., specify relevant time periods, jurisdictions, types of sources, delivery formats)

  • Contact a reference librarian to discuss projects that that primarily involve cite-checking, editing, and/or will take substantial time to complete (e.g., updating an entire book)--these projects may be most appropriately assigned to a faculty-hired student research assistant

Faculty members with curricular or scholarly research needs not addressed above should contact Suzanne Thorpe (s-thor@umn.edu) to discuss ways in which the Law Library can best provide assistance.

Reference Service

Stop by the Reference Office during our Reference Office hours or contact the librarian on duty by:

Phone: 625-4309 || Email: law-ref@umn.edu  || Chat Reference

Faculty members are given the highest priority by the reference staff. We try to respond to faculty requests immediately. If lengthy research is required, you will be contacted promptly with an estimate on the amount of time this research will take.

The Law Library's reference librarians are available to assist you with your research needs. Feel free to contact any of these librarians directly by telephone or email if you would like the assistance of a specific person.

» Suzanne Thorpe 625-0187 s-thor@umn.edu » Michael Hannon 625-0173 mhannon@umn.edu
» Vicente Garces 624-2597 garce003@umn.edu » Mary Rumsey 625-2905 rumse006@umn.edu
» Ellen Jaquette 625-0793 equaley@umn.edu

LIBRA: Library Research Assistance

The LIBRA research service is available for additional research assistance. LIBRA requests are handled by law student research assistants under the direction of a reference librarian. The librarian develops research strategies and ensures that faculty requests are completed in an accurate and timely manner. LIBRA offers assistance with a wide range of research projects that can be completed over several days (e.g., literature searches, bibliographies, legislative histories, cite checks, database searches, statistical reports). To request this service contact Suzanne Thorpe at x5-0187 or s-thor@umn.edu or the Reference Office at x5-4309 or law-ref@umn.edu.

RA Assistance and Training

The reference librarians are available to offer database training and research advice to faculty research assistants. Consulting with a librarian usually saves the RAs time and ensures that faculty members receive quality research results. To utilize this service, please refer your RA to a member of the reference staff or to the reference office to arrange a consultation. We also provide programs for faculty RAs during which we introduce library services and important research tools. Announcements of upcoming RA programs are sent to all faculty members.

 

New Books List & Current Awareness/Alert Services

The Law Library posts a selective monthly list of new books and other items acquired in the previous month.  Librarians can also arrange for you to receive current awareness services that are tailored to your interests. Some of the more popular services of general interest are listed below. To identify the best means for you to keep current, please contact Suzanne Thorpe at x5-0187 or at s-thor@umn.edu.

Monthly New Books List
Faculty members may request delivery of this monthly list via email attachment or in hard copy by contacting the library's ASAP service at x5-9534 or x-asap@umn.edu.

Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP)
This weekly service indexes 500+ legal periodicals into over 100 subject headings. In addition to the subject index, it lists the table of contents for each new journal issue covered. Weekly issues archived back to 1999 may be browsed or downloaded (MS Word format).

SmartCILP
This weekly electronic service selectively lists articles indexed in Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP) according to your subject interests. The Law Library will submit a profile for you listing the subject headings and/or the periodicals that you wish to track. Based on this profile, you will receive weekly email updates listing the new articles that are of interest to you. To request this service, please contact Suzanne Thorpe (s-thor@umn.edu).

Legal Scholarship Network
This service offers separate electronic "journals" with abstracts of working papers and articles on various legal topics. The Law Library will assist you in becoming a subscriber to the journals in your areas of interest, after which you will receive new issues of the journals via email.

Berkeley Electronic Press Legal Repository
Bepress Legal Repository contains working papers and pre-prints from legal scholars and professionals, in addition to articles from bepress' roster of peer-reviewed journals and legal dissertations. Sign up for an alert service at http://law.bepress.com/repository/search_by_subject.html.

InSITE
InSITE is a current awareness service provided by law librarians at Cornell Law Library. It features an annotated publication that highlights selected law-related Web sites. Law librarians at Cornell evaluate potentially useful Web sites, select the most valuable ones, and provide commentary and subject access to them. You can receive this publication for free via email (issued biweekly) by subscribing at the InSITE web site. The InSITE service also provides a keyword-searchable database of past issues.

BNA ALL - Email Alerts  BNA News Service and BNA Reference Library
The library subscribes to the BNA All suite of databases. The suite includes over 100 BNA titles covering a wide range of law and policy areas. BNA All offers an Email Summaries service which allows you to sign up to receive a brief summary of the articles in each new issue of the BNA publication(s) you select. Each article summary includes a link for direct and convenient access to the full article. Sign up for email summaries of any BNA news service or any BNA reference library, or change your email preferences. If you have any question or need assistance in accessing BNA All or receiving email summaries please contact the Reference Office at x5-4309 or law-ref@umn.edu.  

Alert (LexisNexis) 
The Alert feature allows you to track the development of issues by running predefined searches in LexisNexis databases on a schedule that you choose. Our reference librarians can help formulate and set up searches to run according to your needs and interests. Results can be delivered to you electronically or in hard copy.

Westclip (Westlaw)
Automatic searches of Westlaw databases can be set up to run according to your needs and interests. Results can be delivered to you electronically or in hard copy.

Assistance in Visiting Other Libraries

The Law Library participates in the Research Libraries Group Shares Program. This program entitles you to visit the collections and use the services of many other research libraries. Please contact Suzanne Thorpe (s-thor@umn.edu) to arrange access to libraries in the United States and overseas.

 

INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT

 

Bloomberg Law, Lexis & Westlaw Access

University of Minnesota Law School faculty are provided access to Bloomberg Law, Lexis and Westlaw under Law Library's subscription to these services. To obtain access credentials contact the Reference Office at law-ref@umn.edu, 612-625-4309.

Database Training


The reference librarians are available to provide personalized instruction on the use of databases and other resources to faculty members. We can also arrange for a trainer from Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis or Westlaw to meet with you. Feel free to request introductory overviews, refresher training, or more specialized training tailored to your immediate needs. This instruction can be arranged in your office at your convenience. To request this service, please contact
Suzanne Thorpe.
 

Create a Course Web Site - TWEN

Many law school faculty members use The West Education Network (TWEN) to create web sites for their courses. For assistance in creating a TWEN site for your course contact Mike Hannon (mhannon@umn.edu). 

Course Reserves

Several weeks before the beginning of each term, you will be asked to provide your syllabus or a list of the course materials that you would like to have placed on reserve.  You may place items on reserve anytime during the semester, however to ensure timely access for your students allow 2 weeks for processing.

How to Place Items on Course Reserve:

  • Print out and complete the Course Reserves Copyright Compliance Form (attach a list or syllabus to the form, or enter the complete citation(s) of the item(s) at the bottom of the form. 

     

  • Questions regarding copyright compliance?
    Consult the Copyright Issues, and Instructor Responsibilities sections below, and the Copyright FAQ available in the Faculty Section of Inside Law.

     

  • Deliver your completed form and any attachment(s), two weeks prior to when your students will need access, to:
    Dan Matthews in the Law Library Circulation Dept.,
    625-5262 or math036@umn.edu.

Items in electronic format, e.g. syllabus will be accessible to U of M law students at: http://www.law.umn.edu/current/course-materials.html

The library does not purchase casebooks but we will make every effort to obtain other requested materials not owned by the library through purchase or interlibrary loan. We will also include materials you own on reserve.  Hard copy reserve materials will be available at the circulation desk. Due to space constraints and copyright issues, materials will be kept on reserve for the current term only and they will be returned to you at the end of the academic year. When possible, we will link to available electronic texts unless you indicate that you would like a hard copy on reserve.

 Placing Exams on Course Reserve

If you are currently teaching a course, you will receive a list of the old exams that you have previously given to the Law Library for this course. You will be asked to review these old exams and to sign the attached release forms for any of the exams that you would like to make available during the term. If you wish to provide us with an exam that we do not already have, please sign a release form and provide us with a paper copy of the exam. Model answers will also be made available when you provide them to the library. When we receive your signed releases, we will immediately make your exams/answers available to students via the library home page and/or in hard copy at the reserve desk (as you specify on the release forms).  Please email Daniel Matthews at matth036@umn.edu or call 625-5262 for assistance with exams.

Copyright Issues & Instructor Responsibilities

Upon request, we will digitize course syllabi, book chapters, articles, etc. as allowed by copyright law. Whenever copyrighted materials are duplicated, whether the copies are made by instructors or by the library, only the amount needed to accomplish the specific educational purpose may be placed on reserve. Copies of works will be made available for course reserves only if they meet one of the following requirements: 

Materials marketed primarily for instructional use in courses (e.g., textbooks, workbooks, anthologies) cannot be copied for reserve. The Law Library may be unable to place other materials on reserve on the basis of law-related or administrative concerns.

If you would like to place a digitized copy of a work on reserve, you need to evaluate whether the work is in the public domain or protected by copyright law. If the work is protected by copyright law, you need to determine whether placing a copy of the work on reserve qualifies as a fair use or requires permission.  For more information on copyright compliance consult  the Copyright FAQ available in the Faculty Section of Inside Law.

 

Research Instruction - Presentations/Tours/Guides

At your request, the reference librarians can provide classroom presentations on research tools and techniques, tours, or customized research guides for your students. Please contact Suzanne Thorpe (s-thor@umn.edu).

 

CALI Exercises

As a member of the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, the law school offers a complete set of the CALI exercises to supplement your classroom instruction. Further information on the exercises is available at the CALI Web site. Contact the library Reference Office (612-625-4309) for the faculty authorization code needed to register and access CALI materials from the CALI Web site.

OBTAINING MATERIALS

 

  • Library Catalogs
    If you would like to search for books, journals, and other resources that are available on campus, please consult MNCAT Discovery. If you do not find what you need on campus, searching WorldCat or another local law library  may be helpful.

     

  • Periodical Indexes
    If you would like to find articles published in legal periodicals, please consult LegalTrac, Index to Legal Periodicals and Books, or Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals. These electronic indexes cover articles published 1980 to date. To find articles published before 1980 use the Index to Legal Periodicals Retro which covers articles published between 1908 and 1981 or the Index to Legal Periodical Literature 1786-1922.  Additional electronic indexes to journals, magazines, newspapers, dissertations and theses can be accessed from the web at the University Libraries Indexes & Databases web page.
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  • ASAP Retrieval Service
    The Law Library offers you an expedited document retrieval service called ASAP. The ASAP staff will retrieve materials from the Law Library and other libraries on campus and deliver them to your office (usually the same day requested). To request materials, please contact David Zopfi-Jordan at 625-1513 or send an email to: x-asap@umn.edu.

     

  • Interlibrary Loan
    When materials that you request are not available on campus, you will be notified by the ASAP or reference staff. The library will request them from another library for you. You can request materials from other libraries by contacting David Zopfi-Jordan, email: x-asap@umn.edu or phone: 625-1513. It may take a few weeks for materials requested on interlibrary loan to arrive, so if you need them immediately, please let us know and we will try to obtain them on a RUSH basis.
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  • Borrowing Privileges
    The Law Library offers extended loan periods to law faculty members. For questions about borrowing, please contact the Circulation Desk at 625-4300 or lawcirc@umn.edu. The University Libraries offer you more limited loan periods. If you borrow materials from other campus libraries, please be aware of the due dates on these materials. You may receive a bill for materials that are overdue or are not returned. Failure to respond can result in loss of your borrowing privileges.
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  • Proxy Borrowing
    If you would like your research assistants to borrow materials for your use, please download an Application for Proxy Privileges form.  Complete the form in full and turn it into the Law Library Circulation Desk.  Your patron record will be updated to reflect your RA's proxy borrowing status.  Materials borrowed by your RA proxy will be in your name and you will be responsible for the late return or loss of these materials. For questions about proxy borrowing, please contact David Zopfi-Jordan at 625-1513 or x-asap@umn.edu.
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  • Returns and Recalls
    When you are finished using library materials, the ASAP staff can return them for you. If you receive a recall notice, please try to return the recalled materials as soon as possible as another person is waiting for them. It is very helpful to create a designated space in your office to leave materials for pick-up by the library.
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  • Routing Service
    The Law Library will route current issues of periodicals and other serials to your office. To add your name to the routing list for a specific title, please contact David Zopfi-Jordan at 625-1513 or  x-asap@umn.edu.
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  • Library Purchase Recommendations 
    If you would like to recommend materials for the Law Library to acquire and add to the collection, contact Connie Lenz, Associate Director for Collection Development at 625-4301 or lenzx009@umn.edu.
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  • Personal Purchase Assistance
    The Law Library can also purchase personal copies of materials for you and charge them to your faculty funds. We will place your orders and deliver the materials to you. Please contact Ingrid Miza at 626-1607 or i-miza@umn.edu for this service.

     

COLLECTIONS

 

  • Collection Overview
    The library is nationally recognized for its outstanding collections consisting of more than one million volumes. These collections support in-depth scholarly research in most fields of Anglo-American law and include extensive sections devoted to foreign (especially Western European), comparative, and international law (particularly in the areas of international trade and human rights). If you have any questions regarding our collections or would like to suggest that we acquire a specific book or periodical, please contact Connie Lenz, Associate Director for Collection Development at 625-4301 or lenzx009@umn.edu.  The Law Library's rare book collection is one of the finest in the country. Questions regarding our rare book collection may be directed to Suzanne Thorpe at 625-0187 or s-thor@umn.edu. With some exceptions e.g., periodicals, most collections are arranged according to the following Library of Congress classification scheme.
     
      GENERAL WORKS
       B  PHILOSOPHY. PSYCHOLOGY. RELIGION
       C  AUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTORY
       D  HISTORY: GENERAL AND OLD WORLD
       E  HISTORY: AMERICA
       F  HISTORY: AMERICA
       G GEOGRAPHY. ANTHROPOLOGY. RECREATION
       H SOCIAL SCIENCES
       J POLITICAL SCIENCE
       K LAW
       L EDUCATION
       M MUSIC AND BOOKS ON MUSIC
       N FINE ARTS
       P LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
       Q SCIENCE
       R MEDICINE
       S AGRICULTURE
       T TECHNOLOGY
       U MILITARY SCIENCE
       V NAVAL SCIENCE
       Z  BIBLIOGRAPHY. LIBRARY SCIENCE. INFORMATION  RESOURCES (GENERAL)

     

    Floor location guides to these classes are available throughout the library. Class K for law is subdivided by jurisdiction.  U.S. federal law is found in subclass KF; U.S. state law is found in KFA-KFZ e.g., KFM for Minnesota.  Each topic within a jurisdiction is represented by a number.  Some of the more common categories of federal law and their corresponding classification numbers are posted throughout the library. For more specific subjects or particular titles, check MNCAT Discovery or ask a reference librarian for assistance. A guide to frequently requested materials is available to assist you in finding library materials.  Below are descriptions of the collections on each floor.

  • Collection Locations

    • First Floor (Plaza Level) Collections
      The first floor houses current statutes from all U.S. jurisdictions and regulations from selected U.S. jurisdictions. It also contains collections of looseleaf services and treatises covering American law, legal periodicals, and microform materials.

       

    • Second Floor Collections
      The second floor houses collections of state and federal case reporters and digests, U.S. government documents and treatises covering philosophy, religion, history, and social science topics.

       

    • Third Floor Collections
      The third floor houses state documents, non-current state and federal statutes, treaties, works on international and comparative law, human rights, and the law of the United Kingdom, Canada, Latin America, and the West Indies and duplicate copies of selected legal periodicals.

       

    • Fourth Floor Collections
      The fourth floor houses United Nations documents and primary and secondary works on the law of foreign jurisdictions not found on the third floor. Treatises covering education, science, medicine, and technology, and duplicate case reporters are also housed on this floor.

       

    • Rare Book Collection
      The Law Library's rare book collection is located in the Riesenfeld Rare Book Center on the subplaza of the new addition. It contains several thousand volumes of early English and American statutes, reports, and treatises. For assistance in using the rare books collection, please contact Suzanne Thorpe at s-thor@umn.edu or x5-0187.
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    • Law School Archives & Faculty Works Display Cases 
      The Law Library maintains a collection of faculty writings located in the Riesenfeld Rare Books Center. Recent faculty publications are displayed in the main lobby of the Law School and the library maintains a Faculty Scholarship Database that generates faculty publication pages on the Law School's web site. You are encouraged to donate copies of your publications for cataloging and preservation by the library. Please contact Connie Lenz at lenzx009@umn.edu or x5-4301 for more information on donating items for the display cases and the faculty archive.

     

  • Electronic Resources Collection
    The Law Library collection of electronic resources includes a number of abstracting and indexing services as well as full text databases. 

     

  • Storage Collection
    The storage area in the basement houses older treatises, superseded volumes of looseleaf services, federal court briefs, and older materials from India and Pakistan. Please contact the ASAP staff (x-asap@umn.edu, 625-9534) to have any materials housed in the storage collection retrieved for you.

     

  • Donations
    The Law Library welcomes donations from faculty members. If you wish to donate materials, please contact the ASAP staff (x-asap@umn.edu, 625-9534) to arrange for pick up. We will supply a letter of acknowledgment for donated materials.

     

  • Library Purchase Requests 
    If you would like to recommend materials for the Law Library to acquire and add to the collection, contact Connie Lenz, Associate Director for Collection Development at 625-4301 or lenzx009@umn.edu.

     

  • Personal Purchase Assistance
    The Law Library can also purchase personal copies of materials for you and charge them to your faculty funds. We will place your orders and deliver the materials to you. Please contact Ingrid Miza at 626-1607 or i-miza@umn.edu for this service.