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Fred Parks Law Library Policies Page

Library Access Policy

The primary function of The Fred Parks Law Library is to support the instructional and research activities of the South Texas College of Law (STCL) academic community. As a member of the legal community, we also try to support the legal research needs of our alumni, and the practicing bar.

The Fred Parks Law Library Access Policy

All STCL faculty, students and alumni have access to the library all the hours the library is open. You may be asked for identification as you enter the building.

Members of the legal and academic community as described below may access with the appropriate credentials stipulated:

  • Students and faculty from other law schools with valid & current school ID AND valid & current photo ID.
  • Students and faculty from other institutions of higher learning may be admitted with prior arrangements.
  • Members of the Texas bar with a valid & current bar card AND valid & current photo ID.
  • Employees of a Texas Law Firm, with their name on the firm’s business card AND valid & current photo ID.

As a private institution, admittance to the law library for non-STCL patrons is a courtesy that may be withdrawn or restricted at any time as dictated by the needs or concerns of the College.

Library Policy on Unattended Children in the Library

The Fred Parks Law Library seeks to provide an adult, scholarly environment to support academic and legal research. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian at all times. Library staff will not supervise unattended children. Children may not use the computers in the library and will be expected to engage in activities that do not disturb other patrons. Anyone who does not comply with this policy will be asked to leave the library.

Circulation of Library Materials

South Texas faculty and currently enrolled students may borrow selected materials, using a valid student/faculty identification card. Patrons may place holds on popular materials and will be notified when the items are available. If a borrowed item has not been requested by another patron, this item may be renewed in-person, by telephone, or online using the library catalog's self-service feature. (You will need your g-number to access this feature. If you need help remembering your g-number, please contact a reference librarian.)

Although no overdue fines are charged, patrons with overdue items are not permitted to borrow additional items from the library until overdue items are returned. A hold will be placed on the records of patrons who fail to return materials after written notice. Patrons who lose materials will be charged the cost of an item plus a $25 processing fee.

Library materials should be returned during regular business hours. The library does not supply an after-hours drop box.

Reserve Materials

The Patron Services Desk maintains a collection of popular items on reserve. These items include high-demand materials and items placed on reserve by the faculty for student consultation.

Reserve items are used in the library and can be borrowed using any photo identification card, including a driver's license. If the patron is not a student or faculty member at South Texas College of Law, the identification card is held at the Patron Services Desk until reserve materials are returned.

Selected materials may leave the library overnight, for use by South Texas faculty or currently enrolled students, but only if borrowed within 4 hours of the library closing. Overnight loans are due within the first hour on the next day that the library opens.

Study Rooms

The Fred Parks Law Library provides a variety of spaces for study by currently enrolled South Texas students. Room capacity varies from 2-8 persons. If the number of people in a group is fewer than the designated occupancy, you may be asked to leave. Rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Patrons may not cover the door windows on any study room.

Quiet Study and Library Courtesy

Several areas of the library are reserved specifically for quiet study. Cell phones, beepers, and conversations are forbidden on the library's first, fourth and fifth floors. Exceptions to the rules are made for class tours and for reference assistance.

The second floor of the library is home to the Patron Services Desk, the Reference Desk, a bar of quick access computers, and the library entrances. As a result, staff cannot guarantee a tranquil study environment on this floor, but the area provides an excellent venue for study groups and conferencing with library staff.

The third floor of the library is quieter and offers individual study rooms, semi-private wooden carrels, and soft seating areas. As a courtesy to other patrons, cell phone usage and extended conversations should be confined on this floor to individual study rooms or to the public stairwells.

Computer Usage Policy

Library computers located in the third floor computer lab are available to the patrons listed below with a temporary password. Printing is available for $.10 per page. Patrons listed below may obtain a temporary password from the Patron Services Desk or from the Computer Help Desk (Room #3011) by presenting a photo ID and by signing the guest computer account agreement:

  • All STCL alumni
  • Students and faculty from other law schools with proper student or faculty ID
  • Students and faculty from other institutions of higher learning with proper student or faculty ID***
  • Members of the bar with a bar card and a photo ID
  • STCL students may obtain temporary passwords but strongly are encouraged to activate their STCL computer accounts and to use their personal passwords.

*** Paralegal students are not included in this definition.

Patrons may also use the four open access computers next to the reference desk in the library for electronic research needs.  There are no Microsoft Office programs on these computers.  Patrons may obtain a $1 copy card to print from these computers at $.10 a page. Please note, the card itself costs $1. Patrons will have to add money to print from the card.

Staff at the Computer Help Desk located in Room #3011 of the law school's third-floor computer lab are available to troubleshoot problems with Internet access, software, and printing. Contact the Computer Help Desk at 713.646.2985. Contact Susan Spillman, Computer Librarian & Portal Manager, with questions regarding student passwords in Room #3013 or at 713.646.1718. Temporary guest passwords are available at the Patron Services Desk, the Reference Desk, or at the Computer Help Desk.

Food, Drink, and Tobacco Policy

Cold snacks are allowed in the library as long as their noise or smell is not disruptive to other patrons. Any food that has an odor or noise or is in any other way disruptive to patrons is not allowed. Tobacco products are prohibited everywhere in the Library at all times. Nonalcoholic beverages are permitted in the Library, but only in spill-proof mugs or approved substitutes (see list).

Acceptable

  • Travel mugs with tight fitting lids
  • Sports bottles
  • Bottles with pull-up drinking spouts
  • Water/soda bottles with screw-on tops

Unacceptable

  • Disposable fast food drink containers
  • Disposable coffee cups
  • Soda cans
  • Mugs or glasses without lids

Confidentiality

In keeping with good library practice and Texas Attorney General Open Records Decision No. 100, the library does not reveal the names of patrons who have borrowed materials. The library must comply, however, with the "U.S.A Patriot Act" regarding library records and will do so if compelled by federal agents.

Donations

The Fred Parks Law Library accepts gifts of materials that support our educational mission. Donations are accepted by the Library with the understanding that, once received, the materials are owned by the Library. The Library reserves the right to make retention decisions for donated materials and to dispose of duplicate and unwanted materials as we deem most appropriate.

The Special Collections department accepts gifts that will enhance existing collections, contribute to original scholarship conducted by the College community, and that further develop the richness of resources used by Library patrons. The department reserves the right to accept donations without restriction, to turn away gifts, and to dispose appropriately of materials that, after receipt, are deemed unsuitable to the collection.

Donations of personal papers must be accompanied by a deed of gift transferring physical and intellectual property rights to the Library. These papers must be donated without access restrictions and with the understanding that they may, at some future date, be digitized and placed online.

Incomplete or damaged items will not be accepted, nor will any item that shows evidence of mold, mildew, or insect infestation. Some donors may be able to claim tax deductions for the value of their gifts. In such cases donors will need to obtain an independent appraisal.

For more information or to make a donation, please contact the Acquisitions Librarian, Joseph Plumbar, at 713.646.1722, or jplumbar@stcl.edu.

 

 
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