Circulation Services

The Law Library's Collection Services Department maintains the Circulation Desk, which handles the borrowing, return, and renewal of Law Library materials, as well as the processing of payment for library fines. The Circulation Desk can be reached at (919) 613-7128 or cir@law.duke.edu.

Borrowing Law Library Materials

How can you determine whether an item may be borrowed from the Law Library? In the online catalog, consult the "Item Status" section of the title’s record.

  • "Standard Loan" materials may be borrowed for the loan periods listed below.
  • "4-Hour Loan" materials from the Reserve collection may be checked out for a limited time, but can be removed from the Library building when borrowed.
  • "Library Use Only" materials must remain inside the Library building at all times. Two photocopiers and a scanner are available on-site to assist users of these materials.

In general, most classified materials (bearing a call number, such as KF240 .P65 2002) may be checked out, unless they are designated for “Library Use Only” in the catalog record and/or the individual volume. Classified materials which are typically intended for "Library Use Only" include the Reference Collection, Practice & Procedure materials (such as form books and legal encyclopedias), and subject-based digests and reporters.

Most unclassified materials are designated for "Library Use Only" and must be used on-site. These materials include primary sources of law (such as case reporters, codes, session laws, and regulations) and periodicals (law reviews and journals).

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Eligible Borrowers

Duke Students, Faculty and Staff

Current students, faculty and staff at Duke University may borrow circulating Law Library materials with a valid DukeCard. The DukeCard also provides extended hours of building access.

Law Faculty Research Assistants

Student research assistants in the Duke Law School may borrow Law Library materials on the faculty member’s account. The faculty member must notify the Circulation Desk in order to establish a proxy account for a student research assistant.

TRLN Members

Faculty, staff, and currently-enrolled students at a Triangle Research Libraries Network member institution (NCCU, UNC-CH, or NCSU) may borrow circulating Law Library materials upon the presentation of a valid campus ID. Note that TRLN members are unable to request Law Library items which are currently checked out to another borrower. Please request those items through the interlibrary loan service of your home institution.

Campus Borrower Card Holders

The Law Library is open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Members of the public who are not otherwise eligible for borrowing privileges through Duke or TRLN may check out Law Library materials with a campus borrower card, which is issued for an annual fee of $100 ($75 for alumni).
Campus borrower card holders may also purchase a community access card through the DukeCard office which allows entry into the building and the library at times other than those listed above.

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Standard Loan Periods

“Standard Loan” materials may be borrowed for use outside the Library upon presentation of a current DukeCard, campus borrower card, or valid ID from a TRLN member institution. Loan periods vary by patron type:

Patron Loan Period
Duke Law Faculty 1 year
Other Duke Faculty/Staff 90 days
Duke Law Student 90 days
Duke Graduate Student 90 days
Duke Undergraduate Student 4 weeks
Duke Campus Borrower Card 4 weeks
TRLN Member 90 days

All loans are subject to recall after two weeks if there is a request for the item, or immediately if the item is to be placed on Reserve.

All loans may be renewed through the online catalog unless there has been a recall or hold request for the item.

Please return Law Library materials on time in order to avoid fines and charges.

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Reserve Material Loan Policy

Reserve materials may be checked out from the Circulation Desk for four hours at a time during the day by any Library user.

In addition, current Duke Law students may borrow Reserve materials for overnight use, one hour before the Circulation Desk closes. Overnight loans are due by 9:00 AM the following day. Audiovisual materials may be borrowed for a 3-day period.

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Fines & Charges

A fine of $0.25 per hour will be charged for all late returns of Reserve materials. For other unreturned Library items, two overdue notices will be sent before the borrower is charged for the replacement and processing costs for each item.

All fines and charges for lost materials are payable at the Circulation Desk. Unpaid bills will be turned over to the Bursar's office.

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Carrel Charges

Law students may check out bound volumes of periodicals and other materials to a Library carrel. Reporters, current state statutes, reserve and reference items may not be checked out to a carrel. Carrel cards must be displayed in these volumes to prevent reshelving by Library staff. "Please save" signs will be disregarded. Books checked out to a computer carrel must be placed on the carrel shelf to allow access to the computer.

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Lee scanning barcodes

Circulation Service Hours

During academic semesters, Circulation/Reserve desk hours are:

Mon.-Thu. 7:30 am - 9:00 pm
Fri. 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sat. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun. 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm

During academic breaks and over the summer, service desk hours are:

Mon.- Fri. 8 am - 5 pm