Faulkner University

Library User Guide For Students


Welcome to the Jones School of Law Library at Faulkner University. Our library staff provides resources and services designed to help our patrons meet their legal information needs. The Library houses a variety of digital, print, and microform materials in an attractive, functional environment. We offer research instruction and assistance in a group setting through our series of informal workshops and individually by appointment. our wireless network and computers located on both floors of the Library make it easy to access our collection of electronic resources through our Library catalog or website links. Library publications such as research guides, newsletters, and email messages inform patrons to new developments and resources.

We hope you will familiarize yourself with the resources and programs. If you have questions, please visit the library web site (http://faulkner.edu/jsl/library/default.aspx) or ask any staff member.



During the 2012-2013 academic year the Law Library ordinarily will be open during these hours:

Sunday 1:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Monday - Thursday 7:30 am - 11:00 pm
Friday 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 8:00 pm

The Library operates on reduced hours on holidays and during semester breaks, and offers extended hours during final exam periods. Library hours are subject to change.

In addition to law students and faculty, Faulkner University students, attorneys, and members of the general public are welcome to use the Library. Access for these patrons may be more limited than the hours posted above

Library Collection

The Library has developed its collection in a variety of formats in order to offer its users access to the legal and reference information that they need. The Library owns or provides reliable access t federal and state primary law (constitutions, statutes, and cases); secondary resources such as legal encyclopedias and journals; practice aids such as treatises and form books; and selected non-legal reference tools. A core collection of print materials is maintained, with valuable retrospective materials available in microform. An increasing array of online databases may be accessed on-campus or remotely via the Internet by members of the JSL community (access is restricted to on-campus use for persons who are not current students or faculty of the university). Finding aids and citators help users locate needed information and update their research results.

The collection is built and arranged around the curricular and research interests of the law school community. Areas of special emphasis include alternative dispute resolution, family law and domestic violence (to support the law school's Domestic Violence Clinic), land planning and use, and professional responsibility. The Library is building a strong collection of Alabama materials. Access to non-legal materials is provided through the varied print and electronic resources made available by the main campus library. The law library's collection also supports the university's ABA-approved paralegal studies program.

The first floor contains the Alabama section, Reserve materials, the Reference collection, casual reading area, federal statutes, federal case law, legal materials from the contiguous states, and the Library's substantial microform collection. The second floor houses the general collection (including international materials and materials from most other US states) and the law journals.

Librarians welcome input from faculty and students concerning possible additions to the Library collection.

Library Facility

The Library occupies 22,500 square feet on two floors of the law school building. A spacious atrium-type reading area with lots of natural light houses the Circulation Desk and a casual reading area. Study tables and carrels are scattered throughout both floors. The second floor is designated for quiet study. Thirty computers are available for student use, including twelve computers in the first-floor Training Lab that houses Library workshops and legal research presentations. Additionally, more than 100 ports in the Library enable law school students with laptop computers to connect to the university's network. A wireless network allows students to access the library's sizeable collection of electronic resources from any seat in the library.

On the first floor are the Circulation Desk (including the Reserve collection), the atrium reading area with low shelving for casual reading materials, open-stack shelving, a microform area with two reader-printers, carrels and tables, the Computer Training Lab, and staff offices. The second floor contains three group study rooms, a number of study carrels and tables, open-stack shelving, and a small archives area.

Library Staff Contacts

A list of current staff contacts is available on the Library's web site. While in the Library, please contact the Circulation Desk with general questions or concerns, and the Research Office for reference and research assistance.


Library Catalog

The Library's holdings are listed in its Innovative Interfaces Millennium OPAC (online public access catalog). Virtually all library holdings are cataloged in this system. The catalog contains links to many of the Library's electronic databases, allowing a searcher to click and launch directly to the database. Research assistance is available to members of the JSL community electronically through a link on the Library web site. Similarly, the web site contains a link to the Library's interlibrary loan service for use by law school students and faculty. The Library's use of the Innovative system is a cooperative endeavor with the main campus library, so patrons can search one catalog and find items held by either library.

E-Journal Portal

The Library offers access to a growing collection of legal periodical databases. The E-Journal Portal allows searches for available journals; provides coverage dates and bibliographic information; and offers hyperlinks to requested titles.

Research Vortex

The Library offers a variety of legal and interdisciplinary databases, both on campus and off. The Research Vortex provides a convenient web portal from which these databases can be accessed. Features of the Vortex include an alphabetical directory of databases, sources arranged by topic, and up-to-date feeds of legal news and Library announcements.

Reserve Materials

Some heavily-used materials are kept on Reserve at the Circulation Desk. Additionally, some instructors place certain course materials on Reserve. JSL students may check out these materials for two hours.

Research and Instructional Assistance

Research assistance is available from a librarian at the Research Office on the first floor of the Library 63 hours per week (8:00- 9:00 Monday & Tuesday, 8:00-8:00 Wednesday & Thursday, 8:00-6:00 Friday, and 1:00-6:00 Sunday). Law school students and faculty receive first priority on research services, although librarians will assist public patrons as time permits. JSL students and faculty may also obtain assistance by calling (334) 386-7533 or e-mailing jslreference@faulkner.edu.

For students, Librarians offer regular, informal workshops on basic and advanced research topics. Some of these workshops are timed to coincide with topics covered in LRW (Legal Research and Writing) and other courses. Students may also schedule individual training sessions with Librarians. Additionally, librarians both assist faculty by making in-class research presentations upon request, and coordinate the visits of representatives from Lexis, Westlaw, and other electronic databases.

Computer Training Lab

A modern Training Lab on the first floor of the Library houses twelve computers and an LCD projector. The Lab contains several high-speed laser printers. The Lab is used for small-group electronic research instruction. When not being used for classes or workshops, the machines in the Lab are available to students for general use.

Interlibrary Loan

If the Library does not own an item needed by a patron, that item usually can be obtained in a timely manner by borrowing it from another library through the Library's interlibrary loan (ILL) service. ILL service is available to JSL faculty, students, and staff. Requests may be placed in person at the Circulation Desk or the Research Office, or digitally via a link to an ILL request form on the Library web site.

Library Publications

The Library authors several informational publications. The Library web site contains general information, research and user guides, policies; useful links to databases and other resources; and a “Website Spotlight” feature. Bibliographies for various academic courses are created at the instructor's request or in conjunction with in-class presentations.

Casual Reading Area

A casual reading area is located on the first floor in the front of the library. Copies of current newspapers, legal news publications, and popular magazines are available for browsing.


The Library endeavors to maintain an inviting atmosphere. In order to efficiently serve its various constituencies, the Library has promulgated policies designed to maximize the effectiveness of its resources. The Library's most recent document of General Policies is appended to this Guide.


Faulkner University

Jones School of Law Library

General Policies

These polices have been adopted in order to enable the Library to fulfill its mission to provide the most comprehensive access to our resources by all patrons, to provide an atmosphere conducive to studying, and to protect and maintain our collections. Violation of Library policies by current JSL students may be considered a Student Conduct Code offense. Patrons who violate these policies may be subject to disciplinary action, including loss of Library privileges, referral to the Honor Court, and/or civil or criminal penalties.


The Library is open to members of the JSL community (current students, faculty, and staff of the law school), alumni, attorneys, and the general public. During specified hours Library access is limited to members of the JSL community.


Animals are not permitted in the Library, with the exception of service animals.


Bulletin boards located in the Library are for general Library, law school, and law-related information. Postings must be approved by a librarian. Bulletin boards are not to be used for personal postings (including student election campaign postings). No personal postings are permitted on the Library doors, windows, or walls.




The Library uses an OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) that is available through the law school's website from any computer, on campus or off, that has Internet access. Patrons also can search the catalog via dedicated terminals located on each floor of the Library. The computers in the Training Lab throughout the Library are available for searching the Internet and for accessing the Library's online databases.


We understand that many of our patrons are also parents. Children may come into the Library, but they must remain quiet and must be attended by their parent(s) or guardians(s) at all times. Children under age 16 are not permitted to use Library computers at any time, unless prior permission is obtained from the Library Director or the Director's designee.


Because of the research nature of a law collection and the inter-relationship of the resources, most of the collection is non-circulating and is to remain in the Library for all to access. Check with the Circulation Desk regarding specific items. Most materials on Reserve may be checked out for two hours. Overdue materials may incur fines (see section on FINES, below). Patrons must have a valid ID card in order to check out materials. For those items that circulate, borrowing privileges are limited to university students, faculty, staff, law school alumni, and attorneys.


Computing services are to be used for educational and research purposes. Research computers for patron use are available on both floors of the Library and in the Training Lab on the first floor. Members of the Faulkner University community may use the Library's computer resources freely. However, JSL students and faculty have first priority on the use of Library computer resources.

For Patrons with their own computers, members of the Faulkner University community can connect to the school's network and Internet either by the campus wireless network, or by ports available throughout the Library. All computer use must be in accordance with Faulkner University computer use policies.


The Library endorses the concept of confidentiality expressed in the American Library Association's Code of Ethics: “We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.” The Library will not voluntarily provide personal information to third parties about Library patrons or their records. This includes whether a person has a library card, the person's address and telephone number, what materials the person has checked out in the past, and what materials the person presently is using. Library records will be released to third parties only in accordance with applicable law.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. It is the responsibility of the person making the copies to adhere to the provisions of this act.


Please report any emergencies to the Circulation Desk attendants as soon as possible. Emergency exits are marked. Patrons should familiarize themselves with these exits. In the event of a fire alarm or fire drill, please walk to the nearest exit (do not use the elevators), and stand clear of the building. Please be aware of any emergency personnel or equipment that may require access to the building. Follow the directions of Library or emergency personnel and do not re-enter the building until they have given permission to do so.


The Library reserves the right to charge fines and/or billing fees for overdue items. Amounts of fines are posted to patron accounts. Overdue items not returned may be considered lost. Lost items will be billed for replacement cost, plus a processing fee per item. Unpaid fines may result in grades being held, registration being denied, borrowing privileges being suspended, or transcripts and diplomas being denied.


No food is allowed in the Library. This is to prevent damage to Library materials and infestation of insects, mold, and mildew. Drinks are allowed in spill-proof containers only. If you have doubts about your container, ask a Library staff member. No alcoholic beverages of any kind are permitted.


Patrons must use their own, valid university ID card to check out Library materials. Students may be billed for replacement cards. The Library reserves the right to check ID cards at any time.


Materials not found in the Library collection often can be borrowed from other libraries. Interlibrary Loan forms are located at the Circulation Desk and on the Library web site.


Library staff will assist patrons in obtaining access to materials. Library staff, however, cannot interpret the law, explain the meaning of the law, apply the law to a specific situation, or otherwise provide legal services or legal advice. Patrons with specific legal needs should consult an attorney licensed to practice in the relevant jurisdiction.


Any items turned in to the Library staff will be held at the Circulation Desk for 30 days. For your protection, label your belongings so they are identifiable in the event they are turned in to Lost and Found. The Library assumes no responsibility for personal items lost or stolen on the premises. Patrons are cautioned not to leave their books, bags, computers or equipment unattended.


The Library does not have a paging system, and cannot take messages for patrons.


The microform collection is housed in cabinets in the rear area on the first floor. Equipment for viewing microforms is located near the microform collection. If you need assistance using the microform equipment, please ask at the Research Office or at the Circulation Desk.


In order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to research and study, noise levels must remain as low as possible. In particular, the second floor is designed for quiet study. If you must have a lengthy conversation, please do so in a study room or outside of the Library. Please move outside of the Library to send or receive cellular phone calls. Cellular phones and pagers should be used at the lowest possible ringing volume, or on vibrating rather than beeping mode.




Self-service copiers are located on the first floor. Two copiers require entry of a university issued copier code. An additional copier accepts bills and coins, with copies costing 10 cents each. Please report any problems (e.g., out of toner or paper, paper jams) to the Circulation Desk.



Please report any building, furniture, equipment, noise, or maintenance problems to the Circulation Desk or to a librarian. Any Library materials in need of repair should be brought to the attention of the staff member at the Circulation Desk.


Research service is regularly available throughout the week for JSL faculty and students. Research Office hours are posted in the Library and on the Library web site. Research services also may be available via telephone (334-386-7533) or by emailing jslreference@faulkner.edu.


Patrons are requested not to reshelve their materials after use. Books should be left on reshelving carts available at the front of each floor. Microform materials should be placed in the basket located by the microform cabinetes. Books left on tables or carrels are regularly reshelved by Library staff. If you would like materials left where you are working, leave a dated note requesting that they not be reshelved. The note will typically be honored through the end of the day. However, Library staff will automatically reshelve high demand items.


Restrooms are located outside of the Library.


To enhance security and promote compliance with Library policies, the Library reserves the right to inspect materials when a patron is entering or leaving the building, or if items are left unattended.


In accordance with Faulkner University policy, no smoking or other tobacco is permitted.


The Library has three group study rooms on the second floor. Due to increasing demand for this limited number of rooms, room reservations are encouraged, and study rooms are to be used by groups (i.e., two or more people together) Groups with reservations have priority. Otherwise the rooms may be used on a first-come, first-served basis. If a room is available, an individual student may use that room but must vacate it when requested by a group. Students must be considerate of others when using group study rooms. This includes not monopolizing a group study room for an extended period of time. The group study rooms are not sound-proof, so students should be aware of noise levels during discussions. Students may not adjust the thermostats or open the windows in the study rooms, because modifying the temperature in one affects others.

Leaving items in a group study room does not “reserve” that room. The Library cannot take responsibility for any unattended items left anywhere in the building, including the group study rooms. The Library reserves the right to inspect and remove unattended personal items from group study rooms, study carrels, tables, and other areas.


The Library welcomes your suggestions. A suggestion box is available near the circulation desk on the first floor.


Patrons' cellular phones and pagers should be used at the lowest possible ringing volume, or on vibrating rather than beeping mode.


Use of all tobacco products (including smokeless tobacco products) is prohibited on campus.


A Computer Training Lab is located on the first floor of the Library. When not being used for training sessions, Library patrons may use the computers in the lab in accordance with Library and university policies.


A typewriter is available on the second floor for patron use.