The Library provides reference assistance to help in doing research, in identifying particular publications, and in using specific materials. Reference librarians may suggest sources where particular information or publications might be found in and outside of the Library, and will explain how to use the Law Library's finding tools. Reference assistance does not include giving legal advice or opinions, or providing interpretations of statutes, court decisions or other primary or secondary authority.
While reference librarians attempt to be of service to all Library users, some limitations may be imposed on the amount of assistance to users not affiliated with the College of Law. Reference service to non-NIU users cannot be extended to the point that it seriously interferes with the ability to assist NIU students and faculty. Therefore, at periods of high demand in the public services area, the reference librarian on duty may postpone or reschedule assisting a non-NIU user of the Law Library.
Telephone reference service is available, but usually will be limited to answering questions which can be quickly and easily determined, e.g., the verification of citations, whether a particular publication is in the Library, or whether a particular case is in a reporter.
Every effort is made to provide the services of a reference librarian during peak Library usage hours. Please ask at the Reference Desk if you need assistance, or call us at (815) 753-0519.