Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What to Know About the New Semester

Welcome to our new students, and welcome back to our returning students! The Fall 2011 semester is about to begin, and the Goodson Law Library is ready for the typical questions we hear around this time of year:

Are you ever open later than 5:00 p.m.? Yes! While the library is always "open" to Duke Law students (who enjoy 24-hour access with their DukeCards), the library service desk will resume evening and weekend hours on Sunday, August 21. See the Hours & Directions page for information. Staffing hours vary a bit across the three service points (Circulation/Reserve, Reference, and Computing Help), but generally the desk will be staffed until 9 p.m. on weeknights, 5:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 6:00 or 9:00 p.m. on Sundays (depending on the service point).

Does the library have copies of my textbooks on Reserve? Maybe! Historically, the library's textbook collection has been the "luck of the draw;" we always buy extra copies of casebooks authored by our faculty, but other textbooks were less dependable presences in our collection. This year, we’re purchasing a copy of every 1L textbook and will place them on reserve, where they can be borrowed for 4 hours at a time, or overnight if borrowed with less than 4 hours before the Circulation/Reserve desk closes. 2L and 3L course textbooks may also be on reserve in some cases. To locate a particular title, search the Duke Libraries' online catalog and visit the Circulation/Reserve desk for assistance.

Where can I find course supplements and study aids? The library buys a number of popular law school study aid series, like Examples & Explanations, the "Understanding..." series, and Nutshells and Hornbooks. Check out our Law School Success handout for a list of the most common study aids in our collection, and consult the online catalog for their locations.

When do I get my LexisNexis and Westlaw passwords? It depends. New transfer/exchange students should have already received an email with their Duke Law registration codes for the popular legal research databases (check your Duke.edu account). New international LLM students will receive their passwords on the first day of their Legal Analysis, Research & Writing for International Students class, either August 22 or 23. New 1L students will receive passwords at the beginning of the research portion of their LARW class, either September 5 or 6. Contact the Reference Services desk if you have questions about your LexisNexis and Westlaw passwords.

Can I take a tour of the library? We'll be glad to show you around. Scheduled library tours will take place during the week of August 22. JD students can sign up at https://www.law.duke.edu/signup/jdtours/, and international LLM students can sign up at https://www.law.duke.edu/esignup/llmtours/. The 30- to 40-minute tours will meet at the library’s service desk, and will cover common questions from new students about library collections, printing and other technology, and study space.

How do I reserve a study room? The library's eight private study rooms can be reserved up to 72 hours in advance with a Law School NetID and password at http://www.law.duke.edu/lib/studyrooms. Note that during the first few weeks of classes, many (if not all) of the rooms may be reserved during the day for On-Campus Interviews (OCI).

Anything else? Talk to the library staff for assistance with other questions, or make an anonymous suggestion in our online Suggestion Box.