While the needs of the University of Iowa law students, faculty, and staff are first priority, the Reference Librarians also assist students, faculty and staff campus-wide, as well as members of Iowa government, attorneys and members of the general public.
Reference Librarians may:
- help patrons locate Law Library resources
- instruct patrons in the use of library materials and electronic resources
- suggest appropriate resources and research strategies
- look up readily available information, such as legal citation verifications, addresses, or telephone numbers
- assist patrons with locating resources not found in the law library collection
- refer patrons to other libraries or institutions for materials
Reference Librarians are not allowed to:
- conduct legal research on patron's behalf
- interpret the law
- provide legal advice
- read statutes, cases, court rules, or definitions over the phone
- confirm that resources currently are on the shelf and available to use
For more information regarding reference services, see the Policy on Legal Research and Legal Advice.
The Reference Desk, located on the second or main floor of the Law Library, is staffed by a team of professional law librarians who assist patrons with their research needs. A Reference Librarian is available most, but not all, of the hours the Law Library is open.
Patrons may request reference assistance by telephone at 319-335-9005. However, individuals requesting assistance in person receive priority. Telephone assistance is limited by the Policy on Legal Research and Legal Advice and by the availability of staff.
The Reference Librarians offer e-mail service to enable members of the University of Iowa community to ask simple, direct questions (e.g. book or legal citation verifications, addresses, or telephone numbers). E-mail service is only available to members of the University of Iowa community. E-mail requests from non-University patrons are not answered. Therefore, patrons who are not members of the University of Iowa community should contact Reference Services by telephone or mail.