Patron Services

The Patron Services Department of The Fred Parks Law Library is here to serve you. Our staff is available to assist you with locating items, borrowing materials, and a variety of other services. For questions and concerns about this department contact Monica Ortale, Associate Director for Public Services (mortale@stcl.edu, 713.646.1721).

Quick Contact Information

  • Patron Services Desk 713.646.1711
  • Library Fax 713.659.2217
  • Interlibrary Loan Service AskBlanche@stcl.edu

Circulation of Library Materials

South Texas College of Law Houston faculty, staff, 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. Borrowed items may be renewed in-person or by telephone if no other patron has requested them.

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.


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 Houston, the identification card is held at the Patron Services Desk until reserve materials are returned.

Interlibrary Loan

Materials not available in The Fred Parks Law Library may be borrowed from other libraries for short loan periods by South Texas College of Law Houston faculty and currently enrolled students. Interlibrary loans are provided usually without charge, although sometimes participating libraries charge for photocopied materials or fax transmissions. To borrow books via interlibrary loan, please follow the instructions in the Interlibrary Loan channel, under the library tab in Stanley, or email questions to AskBlanche@stcl.edu .


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.


Photocopiers are provided on floors 2 & 5 of The Fred Parks Law Library. Students may make copies using their print accounts. Visitors with a guest password may add value to the account via credit card. Please note: the library does not accept checks, make change, or provide cash refunds.

Faxes – Send only

The Library provides a fax for student use in the second floor copy room. Sending a local fax is free, but for long distance see the Student Organizations Office (Suite 101C). This fax does not accept incoming faxes, therefore no toner or paper will be provided.

Study Rooms

The Fred Parks Law Library provides a variety of spaces for study by currently enrolled South Texas College of Law Houston 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 floor, which houses microforms, government documents, and historical materials. Exceptions to first floor silence 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 two main 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 does not have strict library policy like the first floor, but it is generally much quieter than the second floor 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.

The two-person study rooms on the fourth and fifth floors are considered ultra-quiet study areas. All phones and beepers are forbidden and conversation should be kept to a minimum.