The Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries are open to Boston University students, faculty, staff and alumni. Please note that the Pappas Reading Room and Mezzanine level of the Pappas Law Library are reserved for the exclusive use of current law students, faculty, and staff.
Boston University alumni in need of materials, computing, electronic resources, and research assistance are welcome Monday-Friday 10am-4pm. Upon arrival at each visit, alumni must stop by the 2nd floor circulation desk to complete a visitor registration form, as well as display their BU alumni card and a valid form of photo ID. To request access outside of these hours, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food and Drink
The Samuel M. Fineman Law Library and the Pappas Law Library want to provide all patrons with a comfortable and welcoming study environment. Consumption of food in Library spaces is prohibited.
We allow beverage consumption in the law library so long as beverages are in containers with tops, lids, or caps.
Alcohol & Illegal Substances
We adhere to Boston University’s Alcohol and Illegal Substances Policies.
Animals in the Library
We adhere to Boston University’s Animals on Campus policy. Service animals may be arranged through the Disabilities Services office.
Noise and Cellphone Use
The Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries seek to provide quiet workspaces and rooms appropriate for group study and collaboration. The Pappas Reading Room and the Fineman Reading Room are quiet spaces and we ask patrons to keep noise to a minimum in those spaces to facilitate studying. However, patrons should be aware that those spaces will occasionally be used for teaching and other mildly disruptive activities. The library will strive to provide notice before such activities take place. If groups of students wish to work together, please use our group study rooms to keep noise contained. Cell phone use is restricted to the cell phone lounge located near the circulation desk; online meetings should be taken in study rooms. The circulation desk, the reference desk, and the spaces around library offices will be the loudest spaces in the library and patrons should plan accordingly.
Overdue or Claimed Returned Items
In order to ensure equal access to reserve materials for all students, study aids, course reserves, chargers, and other frequently-used items have a three-hour checkout period. You may renew these items twice, so long as no one else is waiting for them or they have not been placed on the Do Not Renew list. Overdue fines are only charged for items requested by other library users. Repeated late returns will result in suspension of borrowing privileges and will be reported to the Dean of Students. Reserve materials that are more than 24 hours overdue will be declared lost and replacement charges will be billed to your account.
If you believe you have returned an item that still appears on your library account, please contact us at email@example.com. We will do a minimum of three searches for your item(s) over the course of two to three weeks. During the search process, the items will still remain on your library account, and you will continue to receive overdue notices. If, after our search process, we cannot locate the items, you are responsible for any replacement fees associated with the item. We are not responsible for items returned to other libraries on campus (either ours or theirs). When returning an item to the library, you will receive a return receipt when your items are checked in, and you are welcome to wait while library staff check your items in and you confirm the items have been cleared from your library account.
The law school building is an open building and the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries are open to the Boston University community. Please do not leave materials unattended while in the law libraries. Report thefts or other crimes to campus security by calling 617-353-2121 and to the circulation desk. More information on campus security may be found at the Boston University Police page.
Firearms and other weapons are strictly prohibited on campus. Please see Boston University’s Firearms and Other Weapons policy for more information.
Smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes is prohibited in the Samuel M. Fineman Law Library and the Pappas Law Library in compliance with the Boston Public Health Commission’s Clean Air Works Workplace Smoking Restrictions.
Patrons of the law library should be aware that Boston University has a campus-wide smoking ban, which prohibits smoking in all Boston University facilities. This policy applies to the law school and violations of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
Unattended Items/ Seat Reservations
Due to limited seating, you may not reserve seats for yourself or others in the law libraries. If we receive a report of unattended items, we will remove those items so that others may use the space. Removed items may be reclaimed at Student Affairs between 9AM and 5PM and from library staff between 5PM and closing and on weekends.
Archived Policies and Statements
Statement on Anti-Racism
The staff of the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries at Boston University states its unequivocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement and dedicates itself to antiracism. Over the last few months, we have seen a continuation of the centuries of violence against Black people in the United States. This is not new but it is no less devastating to see the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others added to the long list of Black victims of systemic racist violence.
The protest movement that emerged in cities and small towns in every part of this country let us hope that this could be a turning point in our country’s long history. However, the failure of the Louisville grand jury to return any charges related to the death of Breonna Taylor is yet another heartbreak brought on by an unjust system.
As the staff of a library serving a law school, we ask ourselves how we may be of service in changing this unjust system. Boston University School of Law has a proud history of educating all regardless of race, gender or religion starting in the 1870’s. This history informs and buttresses our commitment to advance our goals of antiracism, but history will not do the work for us. We know that historic firsts mean little if the students attending BU today do not feel welcomed, supported, and celebrated by the entire law school community, including ALL administrators, faculty, staff, and students. Ignorance, as well as overt and systematic racism have no place at our institution.
Additionally, we must look at the composition of our own profession. Libraries are not immune from systemic inequity. The field of librarianship itself is overwhelmingly white. But, in spite of this, we believe that libraries can be powerful tools for antiracism. Every decision we make either enhances or impedes the work of destroying systemic inequities.
We must purchase books by authors whose diversity enhances and enriches their scholarship, ensure access to our materials enhancing the learning and scholarship of all in our community, and teach students how to research so that they may graduate from this institution with all the tools they need to make the kind of systemic change the law so badly requires.
Racism is systemic. It’s in every facet of our daily lives from where we live, what food we have access to, the water we drink, the air we breathe, our educational opportunities, funding for our communities, and so much more. There is no segment of our world, including our university, law school, or library that is immune from this system. The only way we can combat it is by dedicating ourselves to the work of antiracism every single day in everything we do.
We commit to taking concrete steps to advance this mission including, but not limited to:
- Continuing to educate ourselves and dismantle systems that disadvantage any of the members of our community.
- Soliciting feedback from the law community regarding library services
- Inviting recommendations for materials that will enhance the diversity of our collection
- Supporting more diverse library programming
- Keeping systemic inequality and racism in mind when meeting with students about their research topics.
- Promoting opportunities in law librarianship and serving as a resource for those interested
The staff of the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries are so committed. While the system of injustice is vast, so are the tools we have to dismantle it. We accept this challenge and commit to using our position within this Law School to change it.