What to Do With Your Library Books

by guest author Andy Kretschmar

Several of you have come to us asking a very understandable question: With campus closed, what do I do with my library books?

First, please know that the health and safety of our patrons is first on our list of priorities during this time. Receiving our materials by their assigned due dates is far lower on the list right now.

Second, now that the university has begun outlining plans for the fall, we now feel comfortable addressing some of the questions you may have regarding library materials.


I have a book that was due during the closure—do I need to return it now?

No. So long as we are being asked to stay off campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be requiring that you return your books until it is safe to do so or until you return in the fall semester.

Will you be automatically renewing my library books during the closure?

Yes! Whether your books belong to the law library or another institution, we will be automatically renewing items.

While it’s very rare during this time that a renewal request will be denied, we will contact you directly if any complications arise.

Will I receive any fines, fees, or blocks on my registration or diploma for books that are due during this time?

Nope, nope, and nope.

I recently received an overdue notice. What do I do with it?

Overdue notices should not be sent during this time, as we are renewing all items, but if you do receive one, please forward it to me, and I will ensure that you do not receive them again.

I’m either currently undecided about returning to campus in-person in the fall, or am unable to do so, and/or I REALLY want to return my books now—can I mail them to you?

If you’d like to return library materials in the mail, please send them to:

Andy Kretschmar

University of South Carolina Law Library

1525 Senate St. #120D

Columbia, SC 29208

Our mail is still being delivered—Dean Alford is a seasoned courier at this point!—and we will discharge your materials from your library account shortly after we receive them.

If I mail my books to you, do I need to include any additional information?

Nope! So long as it’s a book that you borrowed from the law library (no matter which institution it belongs to) we’ll have all the information we need in order to discharge it from your account.

Please be sure to include a return address, and we’ll contact you if we have any questions.

My books are in my journal office. Do I need to go and get them?

If you are not able to safely do so, please do not worry about retrieving them.

When we return to campus, the law library will contact your journal’s EIC about receiving the books.

I’ve been given permission to enter the building, and am able to safely retrieve my library books. Is there a place I can return them?

Since the library is closed, the Student Services suite has graciously allowed for students to return their library materials there.

Please ensure that there are staff present before taking advantage of this option.

I just graduated, and will not be coming back to campus. What do I do with my books in that case?

If you graduated this semester and have library materials checked out to you, you should have received an email from me with info on returning books. If you fall within this category but did not hear from me, please let me know!

I live near campus—can I just place my books in one of the book drops?

No. All campus book drops are closed at this time.

I have other questions, or did not see my question addressed. Who do I contact?

Please feel free to contact me with any and all questions you have at kretschm@law.sc.edu.

I’m always happy to assist!


We hope that you all are staying safe during these uncertain times. Your law library staff continue to be impressed by your resilience and dedication, and no matter what form it takes, we very much look forward to seeing you again.

How to Bring the UofSC Law Library to You

by guest author Melanie Griffin

The UofSC Law Library extends its usefulness way beyond its physical walls, now more than ever. Here’s how to bring our resources to your home base, whether you’re still in the middle of distance learning or preparing to come back to campus in August.

 

  • Electronic study aids: We know how difficult it is to suddenly have no access to your usual method of studying. But finding an electronic copy of your favorite study aid is easier than you think. Several major law school materials publishers give you access to their study aids online with your law school login. West Academic, for example, also lets you download study aids for offline use and access online case studies for free until June 1. Wolters Kluwer, publisher of popular series such as Examples & Explanations, are giving law students free electronic access to their library of study aids through July 1. And CALI (the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction) continues to offer free online tutorials in a number of legal subjects with no expiration date. Look through the Course Materials section of our Remote Resources guide to find your old favorites, plus new ways to keep your brain ready.

 

Use an image of the UofSC reading room for your Zoom study group background to feel like you never left!
  • Bring the library to your virtual study groups: If you’re feeling restless and lonely without your in-person study partners, set up virtual study times to bring everybody together again. The best part is that video chat services like Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Skype are free and easy to access, plus distance learning has made everyone familiar with them over the last few months. We can’t give you your favorite carrel in the basement or lamp in the reading room, but these library Zoom backgrounds come close to the ambiance you’re used to.

 

  • Law Library Chat service: Our law librarians are as ready as ever to answer your reference questions and guide you to the right resources, bringing their extensive knowledge to wherever you’re current set up. Our Law Library Chat is an instant messenger service that’s monitored Mondays – Fridays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you have a question outside those hours, don’t fret – you can send an email to lawref@law.sc.edu at any point, and it will get answered during the next set of business hours.

 

  • Circuit Riders basic legal research guide: If you know anyone who is looking for help with their own legal issues, point them to our Circuit Riders research guide on basic legal research in South Carolina. We can’t give out legal advice, but we can give you and the public information on processes in this state so that you stay informed on your journey through the South Carolina legal system.

 

  • COVID-19 remote services: Above all else, we’re here to help you through these unusual circumstances with minimal interruption to your law education and information needs. Our research librarians have compiled a complete resource guide to the remote services we’re using through our COVID-19 schedule, updated as warranted. Even as our campus is scheduled to re-open for the Fall 2020 semester, UofSC is working with students who won’t be able to make the physical trip back for any reason. If you have needs for remote library services this summer or beyond, check this resources guide first to get the most updated information on how we’re handling materials and research assistance.

Law School Building Use: Final Exams Fall 2019

by guest author Andy Kretschmar

Sent in an email to all current law students on November 26, 2019.


The Law School is taking the following steps to regulate undergraduate and public use of the Law School building during final exams (Sunday, December 1st to Friday, December 13th):

Restricting access to non-law visitors

As a part of the USC campus, the building is open to the public until 9pm, but we will be taking the following steps to restrict access:

The Student Commons will be accessible only to USC School of Law students. Remember to have your Carolina Card on you, as you’ll need it to enter the Commons. This will be in effect 24/7 during the exam period.

Classrooms will lock 30 minutes after the final exam of the day. After they lock, only law students will be able to enter using their Carolina Card.

The building doors lock at the following times:

Senate Street: 9:00 PM

Gervais Street: 6:00 PM

Remember! The doors to the building lock to ensure that you have a safe and reliably quiet place to study. Please do not prop open doors or allow anyone that you do not recognize to access a locked part of the building.

Study rooms

Signage will be posted on all group study rooms stating that they are for the sole use of law students during final exams.

If you’d like to book a room, please do so at libcal.law.sc.edu. Law library staff scrutinize each and every booking request submitted to ensure that policies are being followed and that only those requests submitted by law students are approved.

General signage

Signage will be displayed outside of the library outlining our Code of Conduct and expectations for all users.

This will also be displayed on the digital displays visible throughout the building. Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct, and do not hesitate to report any infractions or concerns to law school staff.

Reporting

Please report any disruptive behavior as soon as possible. If you are in the library and would like to make a noise complaint, simply visit the library website where you’ll find the option to report a noise issue.

screenshot

Please be aware that outside of M-F 8am-5pm, staffing is limited, and library staff will not be able to physically respond to issues outside of the library.

If you encounter an issue that requires immediate attention, please do not hesitate to call the USC Police non-emergency line at 803-777-4215. For emergencies, call 803-777-9111.

Remember, we can’t enforce these expectations and policies without your help!

Thank you, and best of luck on your final exams.

Better Know a Study Aid

We asked Dean Wilcox how law students should use study aids, and he jokingly said, “Stack them up. They give you confidence.”

He is lightheartedly making a serious point. Simply having study aids does not boost results. In order to benefit from a study aid, you have to put significant time and effort into using it effectively.

The full list of study aids available for free checkout through the law library’s Circulation desk is at guides.law.sc.edu/studyaids.

Guide to Study Aids

Just in time for the pre-exam crunch, library staff member Amy Persons has created a browse-able guide to the study aids in the law library: http://guides.law.sc.edu/studyaids.

Our current guide only has the required 1L courses listed so far, as well as bar exam study aids. We’ll be going back to fill in 2L and 3L course topics soon!

Browse by Series

Are you a fan of a particular series of study aids? For example, if Glannon’s Torts study aid was helpful last semester, would you want to check and see if Glannon also offers a study aid for Property? If you learned a lot from the Examples & Explanations for Contracts, how about checking out the Examples & Explanations for Civil Procedure? Click the tab for a series to see all the 1L-course study aids offered in that series.

Browse by Topic

If you want all the study aids you can find for a particular class, click the tab for that course topic to see all the study aids we offer, from whatever series they may be, including standalone guides not part of any series.

What If It’s Checked Out?

The current versions of the study aid books are on the 1st floor, in the low shelves under the windows facing the student commons. If the current study aid you want is checked out, you may be able to find an older version on the shelf on the 2nd or 3rd floor of the library. Use the call number you find in our guide.

2nd floor: call numbers beginning with KF1 to KF2940
3rd floor: call numbers beginning with KF2972 to KF9817

Other Formats

Study aids aren’t limited to books. Our guide also helps you find flashcards, audio CDs, CALI lessons, and Kanopy streaming video.

Good luck on exams!

Book Your Study Room

Our study room reservation calendars are starting to look festive.

small group study room reservations as of 1:30 pm, 11/30/17

If you’re going to need a study room, book now to avoid disappointment.

How do I reserve a study room?

Go to libcal.law.sc.edu. Alternatively, go to the law library’s website, click on Quick Links, then click Reserve a Room.

Click on Large Group Study Rooms or Small Group Study Rooms. To book small group study rooms, there must be a minimum of 2 law students. To book large group study rooms, there must be a minimum of 3 law students.

Click the calendar date for your reservation.

Select the room you want. Click the (i) next to a room number to see a photo of the room and details of its capacity.

Study rooms inside the library are marked “– Library,” require that drinks are in spillproof containers and that no food is brought in, and are not available after the library closes (typically 11 pm or midnight during exams). For any study room, click on consecutive green half-hour slots, up to 3 hours per group per day maximum.

From there, follow the prompts to read our policies, submit names and emails of those reserving the room, and receive confirmation of the booking via email.

Can I just take the first room available, without reserving?

You are welcome to use an unoccupied study room without a reservation. However, if someone else has reserved it, you will have to leave. The odds of someone else having reserved any particular study room are higher this time of year, due to exams.

Can I leave my stuff in a study room for just a minute?

We ask that you not leave items unattended in a study room, due to the risk that items may become lost or stolen. Remember the law library is open to the public daily until 9 pm during exams. At a minimum, unattended or forgotten items may create a distraction for the next group using the room.

Could you please post your official, complete study-room policies as a block of fine print I could read? (I’m studying to become a lawyer.)
  1. Our group study rooms may be reserved only by USC School of Law students, staff, and faculty. Exceptions may be made for educational purposes on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by library administration.
  2. Bookings must be approved by Law Library circulation staff to ensure that all listed users are eligible to reserve the room. If your booking is made during the library’s operating hours, please allow for up to one hour for a response. Any bookings made when the library is closed will receive a response when the library opens.
  3. If you are unable to use the study room at your scheduled time, please be sure to cancel it at least 30 minutes before your booking starts, if possible. If a room that has an approved booking goes unoccupied after 30 minutes, that booking will be canceled.
  4. You may reserve the room for three hours per day per group. Reservations must be for consecutive time slots or your reservation may be canceled i.e. you may not request every other 30 minute time slot over a six-hour span.
  5. If no one has reserved the room after your time allotment, you may stay past the end of your booked time slot. If you decide to extend your booked time while you’re in the room, please use this website to do so.
  6. If there is any damage to the room, report it to the Law Library circulation desk immediately.  Failure to do so may result in you being charged for the damage.
  7. If you have any questions about your booking, please speak to a staff member at the Law Library circulation desk, but please know that Law Library staff will not be responsible for mediating any conflicts between parties regarding bookings.
  8. All rooms should be equipped with dry erase materials. If you need replacements, please see the Law Library circulation desk.
  9. Please direct any questions or concerns about study room technology to IT at lawhelp@law.sc.edu.
  10. These rooms do not lock, so please do not leave possessions unattended. The USC School of Law is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Dear @UofSCLawLib

We posted a friendly reminder of our food policy on our Twitter account yesterday.

A faculty member had questions.

Lots of questions. So many questions.

We kept getting called on to answer more hypotheticals.

Good thing we are a library and had done our reading! We were ready!

Bring on the exam questions based on law library food policy. We’ve got this!

Thanks to Professor Stoughton for helping us get the word out about the law library rules:

  1. no food, and
  2. drinks in spillproof containers only.

PASCAL delivers; Irma interrupts

We in the law library urge everyone to track the weather carefully and be safe.

  • Whenever law library hours change due to weather, or for any other reason, we will immediately update our calendar as soon as we learn of the decision.
  • Due to the anticipated impact of Hurricane Irma on member libraries around the state, PASCAL Delivers requesting was suspended at noon on Friday and will remain suspended at least thru Monday. PASCAL Delivers will also suspend courier service on Monday for the entire state due to the anticipated impact of the hurricane.
  • Our electronic resources remain accessible.
  • Find USC-specific weather updates at sc.edu/weather.
  • Register to receive USC-specific emergency alerts via text at Carolina Alert.

1L Orientation to the Law Library

Lexis Advance, Westlaw, and TWEN
Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing (LRAW)
  • First-week assignments for LRAW, as well as all other classes are at http://first.uofsclaw.org.
  • 1Ls complete the Legal System Pre-Class Exercise by clicking on their research professor’s name, then answering the questions in one session. (Saving answers and returning to finish later is not possible; however, referring to the online textbook is allowed.)
On the Law Library’s Website:
More Law Library Information:

@UofSCLawLib is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 1Ls who “like” or “follow” @UofSCLawLib on any of these services by August 31 will be entered into a drawing to win first pick of two prizes at Library Fest 2017.

Library Fest 2017 will be Friday, September 22, 12:30 to 1:30. All UofSC law students are invited. The law library will offer prizes galore!

Mindful Coloring and Mindful Reading

Mindful Coloring

At least one study suggests that coloring can help relieve exam-related stress.

From November 21 through December 9, the law library is offering coloring pages (take one and it’s yours) and colored pencils (return them when you’re done) at the circulation desk.

Coloring pages are available in four categories: law, legal research, geometric, and mandalas.

Mindful Reading

E-books on mindfulness are available to law students through USC libraries.

Click on a book cover image below to go to an e-book’s entry in the online library catalog. From that page, look just below the words “Connect to” in the center for the appropriate link to click on. You will need to enter your USC Network ID and password (same as for your email). Then you can access the e-book.

mindful-way-through-stress-book-cover This guide to mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) contains vivid stories and everyday examples. In as little as 10 minutes a day over 8 weeks, you’ll be taken step by step through a carefully structured sequence of guided meditations and easy yoga exercises.

Audio tracks for guided meditation are included as part of the e-book.

mindful-way-workbook-book-cover The 8-week program covered in this workbook is built on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which has been tested and proven effective in clinical trials to help overcome depression, anxiety, and stress The authors introduce specific mindfulness practices to try each week, plus reflection questions and tools for tracking progress.

Audio tracks for guided meditation are included as part of the e-book.

mindful-compassion-book-cover In order to fully thrive, we require motivation. Compassion, like anger or aggression, is an extremely powerful motivational force that can bring about real, lasting change. This book shows how mindfulness and compassion can work in harmony to offer a new, effective, and practical approach to overcoming everyday problems.

Book information above is excerpted and adapted from publishers’ descriptions.

See more mindfulness resources available via USC libraries.