Policies and Procedures
The primary objective of the Reference Department is to provide information and services to
support the academic and research needs of Albany Law School’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as to the general public. Reference staff assists patrons in the location, use, and understanding of information resources, teaches effective search techniques, and trains in the use of library resources. Whenever possible reference staff will not only provide information and answers but will assist patrons to research independently.
Our primary patrons are the law school's students, faculty, and staff. Services and facilities are available to the general public, though current members of the law school may be given priority in the use of any service.
Reference services include, but are not limited to, answering directional and general information questions, providing instruction in the use of library resources, assisting with the use of reference material, creating and maintaining a collection of reference material.
Services are provided in person at the reference desk and virtually through email. Chat reference service is available to Albany Law School students, faculty, and staff through the library catalog. Students, faculty, and staff may also make an appointment for a consultation with a librarian.
The reference librarians cannot provide legal advice, interpret laws, or analyze the law under the facts of a particular case. This includes but is not limited to aiding in the drafting of legal forms or documents, answering questions concerning the statutes of limitations, or reading definitions or sections from legal materials over the phone. Reference librarians can suggest materials that might help a patron understand the nature of their problem and may explain how to locate and use materials in the collection. Library patrons needing assistance in understanding the nature of their legal problem are advised to consult an attorney, legal aid, or lawyer referral service.