Library Policies

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.

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.


In accordance with university policy, masks are required in all Library spaces including study rooms.

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 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.