Reference Policies


Reference and Research Services

The professional librarians provide reference and research assistance. Patrons can schedule an appointment or check to see if a professional librarian is on duty at the reference desk. For a current reference schedule, please consult the library hours. The reference desk phone number is 303-492-3522.

What the reference librarian CAN do for patrons:

  • Suggest specific titles and/or areas of the collection that might be useful to consult on a particular question.
  • Show you how a particular title or set of books is organized and indexed.
  • Help verify a citation or that we own a particular title, or assist you in locating it at another library.
  • Show you how to access and use the law library's catalog and public databases.
  • Photocopy or fax material for a fee if you have a specific citation. The circulation desk takes these requests at 303-492-7534. Due to staffing limitations, this service is not available to patrons in the Boulder area.
  • Refer you to legal assistance organizations in the area, such as Colorado Legal Services.

What the reference librarian CANNOT do for patrons:

  • Interpret or explain the meaning of any document, legal or otherwise.
  • Give legal advice.
  • Recommend a particular lawyer.
  • Read any part of a statute, case, definition, etc. over the phone or to patrons in the library.
  • "Update" cases, statutes, etc. or let you know if they are still good law or have been overruled.
  • Tell you who has a particular book checked out.
  • Help you fill in a form.
  • Do legal research.

Why does the law library have these rules?

As law librarians, we are here to assist you in using and accessing the materials in the law library. Only your lawyer can interpret documents or give you legal advice. For the law librarians to do so would be unauthorized practice of law, which is illegal.

If you do need legal advice, we can refer you to the University of Colorado School of Law Legal Aid and Defender Program at 303-492-8126, or a similar organization. The Boulder County Bar Association maintains a listing of local legal resources, including free and low-cost legal service providers.