Law Library Collection Development Policy
The Law Library's collection contains more than 260,000 volumes and microform volume equivalents, and more than 4,600 active serials subscriptions. Resources are selected in conformance to the priorities expressed within the mission statement (see Sec. I, Development Plan). The Law Library shall maintain at all times a collection that meets or exceeds the standards of the American Bar Association and The Association of American Law Schools.
II. Selection of Materials
It is the responsibility of the Director of the Law Library to select materials to be added to the collection, consistent with this policy and the available budget. The Director may delegate to other library personnel duties related to the selection and acquisition of materials.
Suggestions from the law faculty are encouraged, and every effort will be made to purchase titles suggested by them, as the budget allows. A lower priority will be given to purchasing materials suggested by the faculty of other university departments, by practitioners, and by the general public.
The library does not accept titles offered on approval by publishers. An occasional exception is made for titles specifically requested for approval by the Director.
All materials offered to the library as gifts must be approved by the Director. The library normally does not accept donations of materials unless they meet a need consistent with this collection development plan. Donations are normally accepted on a "no strings attached" basis; the library may include the materials within its collection or not, as it sees fit.
If gift materials are accepted by the library, a letter acknowledging the gift will be sent to the donor. A bookplate denoting the gift may be attached to volumes when the gift is significant.
III. Weeding and Discards
Superseded and revised materials that have been recompiled into a subsequent volume and have no research or historical significance will be discarded from the collection. At least one copy each of superseded volumes of most Kentucky materials, multi-volume treatises, major monographs, hornbooks, and other reserve materials will be labeled appropriately and retained within the collection. Excess copies of titles will be discarded. Materials that have deteriorated to the point they are no longer serviceable and that cannot be rebound will be discarded from the collection.
IV. Selections Aids
- Publishers' advertisements
- Publishers' catalogs
- William S. Hein Co. green slips
- Reviews appearing in legal and non-legal journals
- Publishers' reviewing sources, such as Law Books in Review
V. Levels of Collection Intensity
- Comprehensive Level. A collection in which the library tries to include everything of importance on the subject. This level of collecting intensity is that which maintains a special collection. The aim is exhaustive
- Research Level. A collection which includes the major source materials required to support faculty research. It includes the major published resource materials required for independent research, all basic reference works, and a wide selection of monographs, as well as a selective collection of loose-leaf treatises, loose-leaf services, and journals.
- Study Level. A collection which is adequate to support instruction in law and research at the J.D. level. It consists of a selection of reference tools and of the most important monographs, loose-leaf treatises, loose-leaf services, and journals.
- Basic Level. A collection of general materials which introduces readers to a subject and to other sources of available information. Such a collection includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, and hornbooks.
- Minimal Level. Subject areas which are out of scope for the University of Louisville Law Library or law materials intended for the general public.
VI. Scope of Coverage
- Federal (Comprehensive level). The library collects at least two copies of the United States Reports, along with two copies each of the commercial U.S. Supreme Court Reporters. Two copies are also purchased of Federal Supplement and Federal Reporter. Subscriptions will be maintained for one copy of unofficial reporting services of importance, such as U.S. Law Week and Supreme Court Bulletin.
- State (Research Level). Two complete sets of regional reporters will be maintained. Official state reporters will not generally be maintained.
- Other (Study Level). One copy of selected reporter titles not included within the National Reporter System (e.g., Pennsylvania side reports) will be obtained as available. Some of these may be available in microform rather than hardcopy.
- Specialized Reporters (Study level). Two sets of American Law Reports will be maintained. Subscriptions will be maintained for one set of important subject reporters, such as the Bankruptcy reporter and the Uniform Commercial Code Reporter, where such reports support courses within the curriculum.
- Federal (Comprehensive level). The library will subscribe to one copy of the official United States Code, and to two copies of each of the major commercial code compilations: United States Code Annotated and United States Code Service. Two sets of session laws as published in United States Statutes at Large and one set in slip law form will be maintained. Two complete sets of United States Code Congressional and Administrative News will be available.
- State and Territorial Statues (Comprehensive level). One complete set of an annotated code is provided for each state and territory. Superseded volumes are retained for historical research. Rules of the court and session laws are maintained for each state. Session laws may be held in microform. At least six complete hardcopy sets of Kentucky state statutes will be maintained within the library's collection (three each from Lexis and from West). Kentucky Revised Statutes Annotated will also be provided in CD-ROM form.
- Administrative Regulations.
- Federal (Comprehensive Level). The library shall have one complete set of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations in hardcopy. Retrospective sets of the C.F.R. will be converted to microform.
- State (Basic level). State administrative regulations are maintained for Kentucky and Indiana, with the library maintaining two copies of the Kentucky Administrative Regulations. In addition, the library will subscribe to two copies of the Kentucky Administrative Register.
- Secondary Materials.
- Digests (Research level). The library provides two complete sets of Decennial Digests and one set each of Federal Practice Digests and the General Digest. Two sets of the Kentucky Digest 2d shall be maintained. Subscriptions shall be maintained for one set of those regional digests kept current by West Publishing Co., and for selected state digests not included within current regional digests.
- Citators (Research level). The library will subscribe to two complete sets of federal and regional Shepard's Citators. The library subscribes to two sets of Kentucky Shepard's Citations and to one set of each state Shepard's citators. Two sets of citators for ALR shall be maintained. Selected subject citators will be collected if they support the curriculum, and if there is not duplicative coverage within another service.
- Treatises (Study level). The library concentrates on English
language treatises. Consideration will be given to a number of factors in
determining which treatises to acquire:
- publishing patterns (subjects given the most attention by publishers);
- reputation of publisher;
- reputation of author;
- whether the subject is one that meets a law school writing requirement;
- whether the subject corresponds to a required course or to a course in which there are consistently large enrollments;
- whether the subject corresponds to a new course being offered within the law school;
- whether the subject represents a current issue within the law;
- whether the subject relates to a perceived weakness within the collection; and
- whether the subject is one that has been targeted by the faculty for emphasis within the curriculum.
- Casebooks (Minimal level). The law library does not collect casebooks. Casebook titles will only be ordered when specifically requested by a member of the law faculty.
- Legal Periodicals (Research level). The library acquires one copy of most academic and significant commercial law journals. Special consideration is given to titles indexed in The Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP) and the Current Law Index (CLI). The decision to enter a subscription to a new journal title is normally withheld until indexing is available, unless the title has been recommended by a member of the law faculty or if the Director determines that the subject of the title is one for which there is a specific need within the collection.
- Legal Newsletters (Basic level). The library generally does not subscribe to legal newsletters for several reasons: They tend not to be indexed in standard journal indexes, and so access to retrospective articles is restrictive. Many have a high subscription cost. They tend to provide current information, but have little long term benefit to the library. Newsletters are acquired as the budget allows, if law faculty request them for reference by students of a law school class.
- Periodical Indexes (Research level). The library subscribes to both standard legal periodical indexes, both in hardcopy and CD-ROM formats.
- Restatements (Comprehensive level). The library maintains at least one copy of each Restatement title. Multiple copies are acquired for many titles. The number of copies varies depending on the requirements of related classes and faculty.
- Legal Encyclopedias (Study level). Two complete sets of Corpus Juris Secundum and American Jurisprudence 2d are maintained. Selected state encyclopedias are maintained, but it is not the policy of the library to acquire a comprehensive collection of these.
- Loose-leaf Services (Study level). Major loose-leaf services needed to support the curriculum and faculty research are acquired. Because of the high subscription cost of most loose-leaf services, proposed titles must be considered in light of the probable volume of use by law students and faculty.
- Legal Materials for the General Public (Minimal level). Although the library's collection is available for use by the general public, little attempt is made to purchase materials primarily intended for use by lay people.
- E. Foreign Materials
- Common Law Jurisdictions (Basic level). The library collection includes major compilations of statutes and court decisions from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Secondary sources are acquired as required by the curriculum.
- Other Foreign Jurisdictions (Basic level). The library collects primary resources from few countries other than common law jurisdictions. Treatises related to foreign jurisdictions are purchased as needed to support the curriculum.
- International Agreements (Study level). The library maintains subscriptions to major sources required by the faculty and students of the School of Law. Examples include U.S. Treaties and Other International Agreements, United Nations Treaty Series, and United Nations Resolutions.
- F. Government Publications (Study level). The Law Library is a
selective depository of federal documents, receiving approximately 11% of
publicly available materials. Items are selected that most relate to the law,
such as decisions of federal agencies, congressional materials, and studies and
papers of the Justice Department. The library coordinates with the documents
department of Ekstrom Library to minimize duplication between the depository
- G. Non-print Media.
- CD-ROM (Basic level). Acquisition of CD-ROM titles is dependent on the availability of equipment, subscription cost, ease of patron use, and the likely volume of use each service will receive. License agreements must permit use of the service by patrons outside the law school community. The library cannot maintain a comprehensive collection of CD-ROM services, but attempts to collect those that will be of greatest interest to the law school community. Special consideration will be given to titles which include information relevant to Kentucky law.
- Interactive Video (Comprehensive level). The library subscribes to interactive video exercises currently available from Harvard and PLI. When students in classes with large enrollments are required to complete interactive video exercises, then duplicate subscriptions for specific exercises may be entered.
- Computer Software (Basic level). No attempt is made to acquire an extensive collection of computer software. Software is purchased for use in the computer lab upon demonstration of substantial need by law students.
- Audio Cassettes (Minimal level). Audio cassettes are not heavily used and do not usually contain information of long-term value. Therefore, they are purchased only upon faculty request.
- Videocassettes (Basic level). Videocassettes are acquired if they relate to a course within the curriculum. Normally, practice-oriented video cassettes are not purchased. Faculty recommendation is sought before videos are acquired.
- H. Microforms (Study level). The library acquires titles in microform
when: (1) the title is necessary to the collection but is not available in
hardcopy; (2) the title is a desirable addition to the collection but the size,
volume, expense, or infrequent use of hard bound format precludes its addition
in that form; (3) the title may be needed as a backup for titles held in paper
format; or (4) the title may replace materials which are received in paper
format and which deteriorate quickly or are cumbersome to store. Examples of
major collections held at the University of Louisville Law Library in microform
- state session laws;
- state attorney generals opinions;
- U.S. Congressional bills, hearings, and reports;
- state bar journals;
- out-of-date C.F.R.'s;
- special collections, such as conspiracy trials, Brandeis papers, and the papers of John Marshall Harlan.
- I. Special Collections.
- Rare Books (Minimal level). The Law Library makes little attempt to purchase rare books and manuscripts, and currently owns few titles. The library accepts such materials if donated, provided they fall within the scope of the collection.
- Louis D. Brandeis Materials (Comprehensive level). The library owns an extensive collection of papers and manuscripts of the former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis. The library purchases two copies of every treatise related to Brandeis' life and work.
- John Marshall Harlan Materials (Research level). A collection of papers and manuscripts of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan is owned by the law library. The library purchases every treatise related to his life and work.
- U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs (Comprehensive level). The Law Library is one of fifteen depositories nation-wide for U.S. Supreme Court records and briefs in hardcopy format. Another set of records and briefs is available in microform. The Clerk of the Supreme Court sometimes does not have extra copies to send to the library, and so the collection is somewhat incomplete. The collection is not completely retrospective, as the U of L Law Library was not named as a depository until 1924.
VII. University Libraries System
Although the Law Library is independent of the University Libraries System, efforts are made to coordinate services and collections. The Law Library generally does not purchase titles already owned by a unit of the University Libraries System unless the subject relates to American law and the Director has approved the purchase. Approval is not normally given except under one of the following circumstances:
- the title is one that would be in great demand at the Law Library;
- the title relates directly to a faculty member's field of study;
- the title relates to an area of special interest in the law school such as family law or Louis D. Brandeis;
- the title appears to be one of particular significance to a course offered within the curriculum.
The Law Library Development Plan will be reviewed and revised biennially, in the spring semester of good-numbered years. The Law Librarian will present a revised draft of the plan to the Law Library Committee, and at the same time report progress in achieving the goals of the previous plan. After review by the Library Committee, the plan will be made available for faculty review, and approved by the faculty.