Library Staff Assistance
Reference services are provided by reference librarians and library graduate assistants. Reference librarians have both law and library science degrees, are members of the University Library faculty, and often have practice experience. Graduate assistants at the reference desk have law degrees and are currently enrolled in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
How We Can Help You
Reference librarians and graduate assistants will assist patrons in selecting print or electronic resources and in using those resources. Examples of what we can do include, but are not limited to:
- Recommending a source for research on Illinois divorce law
- Helping you to find a book in the library
- Helping you to use the library’s online catalog to find a book or journal
- Suggesting alternative sources for your research
While you are welcome to contact us via telephone, our ability to provide effective service over the phone is limited. We encourage anyone seeking reference assistance to visit the library during reference hours, so that we can assist you with both print and electronic resources in the library. If you wish to call to confirm we have certain materials in our collection, please contact us at (217) 244-0614.
What We Cannot Do
While we can help you locate and use resources in the library, we cannot give legal advice or opinions. We also cannot do your research for you. The following are some examples of what reference staff cannot do:
- We will not find “The statute of limitations on X”
- We will not explain the meaning of a particular legal term or concept
- We will not read definitions or sections from legal materials over the phone
- We will not help you make your arguments in a pending or potential case, nor will we review your legal documents.
- We will not create lists of sources, organizations, attorneys, or other material for you.
Local Attorneys and Self-representing Patrons
We do have a variety of Illinois-specific resources that will be of interest to local attorneys and those seeking to represent themselves in a legal matter. These include:
- Illinois Compiled Statutes
- Illinois Jurisprudence
- Illinois Continuing Education guides (IICLEs)
Standard references services are available to all members of the public. Reference librarians and graduate assistants will assist patrons in selecting print or electronic resources and in the use of those resources.