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.

Library users who consume food or drinks in the law library must do so in a manner that maintains a clean, safe library and that minimizes the risk of damage to library books, equipment and other property.

We allow beverage consumption in the law library so long as beverages are in containers with tops, lids, or caps.

We allow “judicious” food consumption in the library. Please use good judgment and be respectful and considerate of other patrons when consuming food in the library. Patrons may not consume hot, noisy, strong-smelling, or messy foods in any area of the law library; such items should be taken to the Law Cafe.

The law library staff reserves the right to require that a patron consume food outside of the library if that patron’s food consumption is disturbing the study environment for other library patrons. Failure to comply may result in loss of library privileges or other disciplinary action.

Please discard all wrappers and empty containers, clean up after yourself, and report any food or beverage spills to library staff so that we can alert our maintenance crews.

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.  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 so long as no one else is waiting for them or they have not been placed on the Do Not Renew list. Late fees are charged at $5/hour for overdue items during hours the library is open (we do not charge late fees when the library is closed). Study Aids and chargers have a maximum late fee of $100, after which we will bill you for replacement. Course Reserves items, including study aids placed on reserve for a class, have a maximum late fee of $200, after which we will bill you for replacement. During the reading and exam periods, any item with a three-hour checkout period that has not been returned 24 hours after being checked out will be immediately declared lost and we will bill you for replacement. Any student with three or more late items will be referred for investigation by the Dean for unprofessional conduct. If you have received a fine you would like to appeal, please fill out our Fine Appeals Form.

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.