Policies on Library Use

Computer Use

The Law School and Goodson Law Library provide complete wireless capability. Use of the library's Level 2 carrel computers requires a current NetID and password. However, twelve computer terminals in the Reading Room, as well as stand-up terminals on each floor, are available for the use of all visitors. For further information, see Academic Technologies' Computing Equipment page.

Access to the LexisNexis and Westlaw research services is available only by individual password for current Duke Law students, faculty and staff, under the terms of the Library's contract with the vendors. Other sources for legal information, including a campus-wide version of LexisNexis, can be found on the Legal Databases & Links page. Consult the Reference Desk for assistance with LexisNexis, Westlaw, or other research databases.

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Food & Drink

No food of any kind is permitted in the library. All foods, whether or not they leave crumbs, attract insects and rodents. These pests can damage books and other materials, many of which are out of print and irreplaceable.

Drinks are permitted in spill-proof travel mugs. Bottled water is also permitted. Spills from uncovered cups can cause stains, damage computers and books, and attract pests. Spills also create mildew and molds, which threaten the health of persons handling those books.

Enjoy one of the nation's leading law libraries by keeping it clean and pest-free, and help us to preserve our collections for the future.

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Patrons with Disabilities

The Goodson Law Library is committed to providing high-quality service to all users, including those with disabilities. Library staff will make every effort to accommodate reasonable requests, including book/article retrieval and assistance with photocopies. Please contact the Circulation/Reserve Desk at (919) 613-7128 prior to your visit with any questions or concerns about accessibility.

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Quiet Study & Collaborative Work Areas

The Goodson Law Library offers a variety of space for collaborative work as well as for quiet study. The Reading Room (Level 3) and mezzanine area (Level 4) are designated as collaborative spaces; conversation-level talking is permitted on these floors. The lower floors of the library (Levels 1 and 2) are designated as quiet study space, along with the study carrels area in the back of Level 4. Please speak with a staff member if you have concerns about noise levels in a designated quiet study area.

Due to frequent complaints about volume and disruptiveness from other library users, please take all cell phone and Skype conversations outside of the library, even in collaborative work areas. For more information on use of collaborative space and quiet space, see Practicing Professionalism in the Goodson Law Library.

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Reference Services and Legal Advice

Reference librarians will assist with use of the library and its collections, but they cannot conduct legal research on behalf of a user. Librarians locate information, identify relevant resources, develop search strategies for catalogs, databases, the web and indexes and provide assistance in legal research methodology. The reference staff cannot provide substantive advice on a legal problem, interpret legal materials for you, or explain how the law applies to your particular situation.

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Study Carrels

Generally, study carrels are provided in the Goodson Law Library for use on a first-come, first-served basis. Some study carrels on Level 2 contain computers (NetID required for login) which are equipped with special software (e.g. The Contracts Experience DVD); for these carrels, priority will be given to users who need access to the software. For more information on use of study carrels, see Practicing Professionalism in the Goodson Law Library.

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Study Rooms

Eight private study rooms are available on Level 2 of the library, for use by individual law students or groups of law students; a conference room on Level 4 is also available for reservation. Study room keys can be "checked out" for a four-hour time period at the Circulation service desk on Level 3; rooms may be reserved online up to 72 hours in advance. Note: Your reservation may be forfeited if the key is not picked up within 15 minutes of the reservation start time.

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