Public Patron Service Policy

The Research Center is funded and staffed to serve the scholarly needs of the faculty and students of the College of Law. The Research Center's primary purpose is to provide a place for legal research and study. A quiet environment must be maintained at all times in the first and third floor Reading Rooms. The second floor Reading Room is used frequently for teaching and collaborative study. It is not as quiet as the other Reading Rooms.

The public is welcome to use the Research Center. Typically the Research Center is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. During other hours that the Research Center is open (when Research Center staff are scheduled to work at the Circulation Desk) only FSU, FAMU, and TCC students, faculty and staff; attorneys; and College of Law alumni will be admitted. Changes in the Research Center's hours can be checked here.

The Research Center offers limited services to attorneys and members of the public. The Reference Librarians are available to assist members of the public to help locate specific titles and identify and use appropriate legal sources, as well as provide a general overview of the Research Center's information systems, services, and collection. There are copiers available that may be used for a fee. There are no printing services available but materials may be saved and emailed or a thumb drive may be used to save materials.

The Reference Librarians may not provide public patrons with legal advice, or discuss the legal theories underlying a case. The Reference librarians are unable to provide assistance by e-mail, and telephone reference assistance is available for brief questions only and as time permits. The Reference Librarians may not read lengthy materials, e.g. those over two paragraphs in length, over the phone. Priority is always to give to patrons who are in the library.

When the reference desk is closed, reference assistance can not be provided by the Research Center employees at the Circulation Desk. Please consult the Research Center hours section for the reference desk schedule. Public Patrons are not eligible to use the Research Center's computers, classrooms, and are not provided access to LEXIS, WESTLAW and other databases under limited use contracts.

One "public computer" will be made available on a limited time basis. Sign-in sheets and time limit software will be used to accomplish this policy. Public users must sign-in for the next available time-slot. The sign-up sheet will be located at the circulation counter and both the reference desk and circulation staff will assist public patrons if they have any questions. Public users will be provided with a log-in code that will limit their usage to one 20 minute use of the public computer.

Please note that the Research Center receives only a very small portion of federal government documents depository materials. Government document patrons should search the online catalog or call the Reference Desk (850-644-4095) to verify that the Research Center has the materials needed. Access to depository documents is available to the public during normal weekday business hours and upon signing in at the Reference Desk at the entrance. Documents patrons will be directed by Research Center staff to the location of the material they wish to use.

If you need someone who will research and interpret the law for you, you should consider talking to an attorney. For information on identifying and locating attorneys, contact the Lawyer Referral Service of The Florida Bar on the Internet at or call either 1-800-342-8011 or 1-800-342-8060, extension 5844.

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