Policies on Library Use

Computer Use

The Law School and Goodson Law Library provide complete wireless capability. Twelve computer terminals in the Reading Room, as well as stand-up terminals on each floor, are available for the use of all visitors. An additional eight computers are available for the Duke Law community (login required) in study carrels on Level 2, between the center staircase and front elevator.

Access to the legal research services Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, and Westlaw 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 these or other research databases.

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Food & Drink

The Goodson Law Library is designed to provide a comfortable and attractive environment for research and learning.  We request your help in maintaining your space. Please keep the library clean and pest-free by properly disposing of trash and recyclables, and by using spill-proof containers for beverages. Food or drink that is stored in the library will be removed. Food attracts insects and pests, which can damage the library’s collection, furniture, and equipment. Spills from uncovered beverages can also create health hazards such as mildew and mold.

Large trash and recycling receptacles can be found on levels 2-4 near the center staircase, and on level 1 near the rear elevator. Additional trash bins are located throughout each floor.

Please alert library staff to any issues related to food and drink in the library.

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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. 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. 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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