The Fred Parks Law 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 Houston 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.
All South Texas College of Law Houston 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.
- 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institution, admittance to the law library for non-South Texas College of Law Houston patrons is a courtesy that may be withdrawn or restricted at any time as dictated by the needs or concerns of the College.
Students and faculty from other institutions of higher learning may be admitted with prior arrangements. Please CLICK HERE to fill out the form. Click submit when you are done and a Reference Librarian will contact you within 2 business days.
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 College of Law Houston 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 (STELLA) 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.
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.
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 ultra-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.
Study Room Policy
The Fred Parks Law Library has 58 study rooms available to STCL Houston students. 39 of these rooms may be reserved. See the Study Room Reservation Policies here. Room reservations can be made through the Library page on Stanley.
Students may not leave books or personal items in a room overnight. Groups have priority to use large (4-8 people) rooms. The large group study rooms must have the minimum number of students, as posted on the door. None of the study rooms are sound proofed, so be courteous to your neighbors and keep your voices down.
To ensure that study rooms are well maintained and in a fit state for all STCL Houston students:
- Use only the markers and erasers provided by the Patron Services Desk on the white boards. Do not use permanent markers.
- Only cold food and snacks may be consumed in the study rooms. Hot/smelly food is to be eaten on the sixth floor terrace or in the Student Lounge.
- Please report all spills or any damage to the study rooms to the Reference Librarian on duty or to the staff at the Patron Services Desk.
- Regardless of whether the room is occupied at the time, a cleaning crew will enter each study room at least once per day to empty trash containers and vacuum. Daily cleaning is essential to the maintenance of the Library and its collections, and the cleaning crews cannot reschedule their rounds.
- The inside of each study room must be visible through the window at all times.
Computer Usage Policy
Computers located on the second floor near the Reference Desk are available to the patrons listed below. Printing is available for $.10 per page.
- All STCLH 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 valid and current bar card AND a valid and current photo ID
Computers in the third-floor labs, Room 3010 and Room 3022, are also available. See the Reference Librarian or the staff at Patron Services for login instructions.
***Paralegal students are not included in this definition
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, vaporizers, and similar 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).
- Travel mugs with tight fitting lids
- Sports bottles
- Bottles with pull-up drinking spouts
- Water/soda bottles with screw-on tops
- Disposable fast food drink containers
- Disposable coffee cups
- Mugs or glasses without lids
No animals are allowed in the Library, except service animals. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Dean.
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.
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 Reference Desk at 713.646.1712 or firstname.lastname@example.org.