While the primary focus of the library and its reference department is to serve the research needs of members of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law campus community (students, faculty and staff), we are open to members of the general public who are doing legal research or using the government documents collection. Reference librarians may assist patrons in selecting and using legal materials, but we cannot, by law, give legal advice or interpret legal authority.
The federal depository collection is available to the public during all hours that the library is open. The library also provides access to government information that is available on the Internet. The library’s research guides include links to free government information. The catalog includes links to documents available through agencies of the government.
Food & Drink
- Light snack food is allowed in the Library, but smelly and noisy foods may not be brought in.
- Drinks must be in spill-proof containers.
- Patrons must dispose of all containers and other waste; and leave workspaces clean.
- Report any accidental spills to library staff immediately so we can arrange for appropriate clean-up.
- No food deliveries in the library.
Use of Cell Phones & Other Electronic Devices
- Please turn off all ringers or other phone sounds, upon entering the Library. Talking on cell phones is not allowed in the Library itself.
- Computers with sound must be used with a headset or with the sound muted.
Appropriate behavior is expected of all patrons. If an individual refuses to comply with a request to cease inappropriate behavior or to leave the Library, Campus Security will be notified.
Inappropriate behavior may include, but is not limited to the following:
- Loud or excessive noise.
- Theft or mutilation of Library materials.
- Interference with the use of the Library by other patrons, or interference with Library personnel in the performance of their duties. This includes, but is not limited to, requesting legal advice from other patrons or Library staff, or offering legal advice to patrons or Library staff.
- Harassment of any kind: physical, verbal or sexual directed at other Library patrons or at Library staff.
Computer Use for General Public (non-students)
Four computers, located directly in front of the reference desk on the first floor, are available to the general public as well as to students. Public computers may not be used for illegal activity or for viewing pornography. All other Library computers are available to Mitchell Hamline students, faculty, alumni and staff only.
The Warren E. Burger library exists to support the faculty, staff and students of Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Alumni and area attorneys use the library and their needs are considered when making collection development decisions, (especially those relating to the formats of library materials) but the library does not purchase titles solely to meet their needs.
As a selective government depository, the library makes its collections available to the general public who are doing legal research. It does not purchase materials solely to support the public.
Although the library seeks to provide a solid collection of resources for its primary users, it makes collection development decisions in the context of being in large metropolitan area that is rich in library resources. The University of Minnesota provides a comprehensive collection of research materials in all subjects and is a full depository for federal documents, Minnesota documents and UN documents. Its law school has a comprehensive international law collection. The State Law Library, Hennepin County Law Library and The University of St. Thomas Law Library are other sources for resource sharing in the community. The library also participates in MINITEX, a statewide consortium of libraries that share resources through interlibrary loan and negotiate for consortial pricing on databases.
To learn more check out the complete collection development policy last revised in 2011.
Library Collection Development Policy
Donating to the Library
The library welcomes donations of print materials that support the college’s curricular and research needs. It accepts gifts with the understanding that they become the property of the library and may be added to the collection or disposed of at the discretion of the library staff.
The library does not have the resources to pick up gifts. Deliveries may be made to the circulation desk. Large donations can be delivered to the college’s loading dock, with prior approval.
By law, the library as the recipient of a gift cannot appraise the gift for tax purposes. The staff will send donors an acknowledgment of their gifts.
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