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Law Library Services Update - COVID-19

This is a collection of some questions and answers that you might have about using the Law Library in 2020-2021. If you do not see your question, please ask.


What are the Law Library’s hours for the spring semester?

The Law Library plans to be open on Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.–6:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. The Lutch Learning Center (Room 300) will not be available as a study space when the rest of the Law Library is closed.


Do I have to check in when I enter the Law Library?

Yes. Until further notice, the law library will be requiring students to complete a short Google Form each time you enter the library. You can access the form by scanning the QR code on the sign located near the library's security gates or by typing the URL (also on the sign) into your web browser. You can also access the form here.

Most smartphones allow you to scan QR codes by simply opening the camera app and pointing it steadily at the QR code for a few seconds. If your phone is not equipped to automatically scan QR codes, you can download one of a number of QR-code-scanner apps to your phone or type the provided URL into your web browser.

The form asks for some basic contact information that will help the university with contact tracing should the need arise.


Will masks be required in the Law Library?

Yes. Masks will be required everywhere on the Boston College campus, including the Law Library.

 

What is the Law Library’s food and drink policy for 2020-2021?

Because of the need to wear masks at all times, and because of heightened consciousness about COVID-19 and possible contagion, food and drink are not permitted in the Law Library for AY 2020–2021.


How will the Law Library implement social distancing and limit seating capacity?

The Law Library will place signs on tables reminding students to sit six feet apart and establishing the maximum allowable number of users in Law Library spaces. Students will be expected to adhere to these guidelines and maintain appropriate social distancing.


Approximately how many students in total would be able to be in the Law Library at one time?

In order to allow for appropriate social distancing, the Law Library will be operating at about 30% of its seating capacity, which allows for approximately 220 students or other users to be in the Law Library at any time.

 

Can I reserve a study space? If not, is access to the Law Library first-come, first-served?

Access to library study space will be on a first-come, first-served basis.‚Äč Individual students who need a space to attend an online class while on campus may reserve a study room (see the question below for more details). Please know that only the Law School community will be welcome in the Law Library this academic year.


Will the Law Library provide quiet spaces for students to attend online classes?

Yes. The Law Library’s study rooms will be available for single users to attend online classes. The study rooms will not be available for group study as they were in the past. The reservation system (https://lawlibstudyrooms.bc.edu/spaces) is thus for single users who need a space to participate in a virtual class while on campus. The doors to the study rooms must be kept open to improve ventilation. Due to anticipated demand, individual students will not be able to create advance reservations for an individual study room for the duration of the entire semester.


Is there a maximum amount of time that a student can use the Law Library on a given day to create space for others?

We strongly encourage students to limit their time in the Law Library to less than three hours in order to ensure there is enough space for others to make use of the resources and facilities.


When should I use the library study space and when should I study at home?

We encourage students to study at home as much as possible, and to only use the library study space:

  1. If they are already on campus and waiting for a class to begin;
  2. If they lack adequate study space in their living space.

Studying at home as much as possible helps to maintain the health and safety of our entire community—thank you for doing your part in this important effort.


What services will the Law Library provide for the spring semester?

The Law Library (https://www.bc.edu/bc-web/schools/law/sites/current-students/library.html) will offer both virtual and face-to-face reference and technology assistance during normal business hours. Reference librarians provide research help; technology staff can assist with network and software problems.

The Law Library’s Administrative and Technology Resources (ATR) department will offer a combination of in-person and virtual technology support during the spring semester. Over the course of the semester, the Student Computing Help Center (Law Library 205) will be open during posted hours. Unlike in past years, however, the Help Center will not accept walk-in visits. Students who require in-person support must schedule an appointment. If ATR staff determine that an appointment can be conducted virtually or over the phone, a member of ATR will arrange to meet with the student by some other means at the scheduled time. Students who do not require in-person support are encouraged to send their queries to atrinbox@bc.edu.

The Law Library’s reference service will be staffed Monday–Thursday, 9:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.; Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 12:00–5:00 p.m., with a combination of in-person and virtual support. The law librarians will continue to respond to requests submitted to law.reference@bc.edu and to requests submitted through the Live Chat link on the Law Library’s homepage.


What online resources are available?

The Law Library provides access to Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw for all law students through its academic contracts. BC Law students also have access to the Law Library’s databases (https://lawguides.bc.edu/az.php?), as well as the University Libraries’ full range of databases. Online study aids are available in electronic format, including Wolters Kluwer’s Examples and Explanations series and West Academic’s Nutshell series.


Where can I print? Is printing free?

PaperCut Printing allows students to print from their laptops, phones, and tablets to any of the Law Library’s eight PaperCut printers. Seven of the printers print in black and white only and one prints in color. Students are allotted $15 in PrintBucks each semester and charged 3 cents for black-and-white pages and 50 cents for color pages. The cost of additional pages above and beyond the $15 allotment will be charged to students’ Eagle Bucks accounts. Additionally, Lexis will continue its free printing program for documents retrieved from its database. The Lexis printers are located on Level 1 of the Law Library.


Will the Law Library provide Course Reserve copies of required texts in the spring semester?

No. Unfortunately, due to the need to quarantine materials for 96 hours after every circulation, offering course reserves is not a feasible option. We encourage students to purchase a copy of their own required texts, including Bluebooks.


Will the Law Library continue to lend useful items, such as laptop and phone chargers, headphones, and seat cushions?

Unfortunately, as with print Course Reserves, we are not able to provide shared items that could potentially pass contagion from one user to another. We will be loaning lawn chairs, however, so that students can make themselves comfortable outside in a socially distant manner. We expect that students will wipe down chairs after use.


How does the Law Library plan to keep shared equipment, such as printing stations and computer workstations, clean?

The Law Library will provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer and/or alcohol-based disinfectant wipes near all shared items, as well as signs instructing students on their use. Students will be expected to adhere to these guidelines when using shared items.


Will I be able to check out print materials from the Law Library if they’re not available electronically?

Yes, you will be able to check out circulating print materials from the Law Library by bringing them to the Information Desk. Print titles available online will not be available to check out.


Where can I find the most current information to keep updated on Law Library services?

New updates will be posted to the Law Library Services Update page: https://lawguides.bc.edu/servicesupdates.
Students may also find updates posted on the Law Library’s Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/bclawlibrary/.


(FAQ Updated January 19, 2021)