Borrowing and Circulation as a Student

Borrowing Materials from the Law Library

Law Library Print Collection

UNC law students are welcome to check out books from the Law Library’s general collection for a 90-day period. Students can browse the open stacks and are encouraged to ask for help finding materials at the Circulation Desk or the Reference Desk.

Reserves & Study Aids

The Law Library maintains a reserve collection, available for checkout at the Circulation Desk. Reserve items may be checked out for 4 hours.

The reserve collection includes print study aids, popular hornbooks, treatises on major topics of law, and unbound periodicals. It also includes basic guides to legal research and standard treatises on North Carolina law. Study Aids that are available digitally to UNC Law students have been placed in the stacks for a normal 90-day checkout period.  

Please consult a librarian or Circulation Desk Assistant for help with the reserve collection.

Course Reserves

Faculty may also place specific books on reserve for individual courses. Please ask for them by title or author at the Circulation Desk. Course Reserve items may be checked out for 4 hours. Assigned articles and cases are made available through Sakai.

Fines & Fees

Loan Periods & Fines

MaterialsLoan PeriodFine Rate
Law Stacks: General Collection Books90 daysNo Daily Fine
Law Reserve & Study Aids: Books4 hours$0.25 per hour
Law Reserve: Audio/Visual (Audio CDs, Leisure Movies, and Games)3 days$1.00 per day

$10.00 is the maximum overdue fine charged for returned materials from the general collection (plus any recall fines).

$25.00 is the maximum overdue fine for returned Reserve and other hourly loan materials.

In general, primary legal materials such as court reports and statutes do not circulate, while secondary sources such as legal commentaries do. The circulation status of specific titles is indicated in the library catalog.

Recalled Book Fines

Additional fines apply to books that have been recalled for another borrower. Recall fines are $.50 per item per day, up to $17.50, not including the $10.00 billing fee. There is no grace period for recall fines; fines begin accruing as soon as the book is overdue.

Lost & Damaged Books and Replacement Fees

  • Patrons are responsible for the books they borrow and will be charged for damaged or lost books. Books are automatically declared lost and the patron is billed when the item is 35 days overdue.
  • The lost book fee is $75.00 plus any additional fees to process the fine and to replace the book.
  • If the book is returned after it has been declared lost, only the maximum overdue fine plus the $10.00 processing fee will be charged. If the book was recalled, the fine will be greater.
  • When books have been damaged beyond repair or are known to be irretrievably lost, patrons may contact the Access Services Librarian to request to arrange replacement of the item. Patrons may be charged for highlighting, underlining or writing in library books. Replacement copies must be new books and must be the same edition as the lost item. Used copies are not acceptable replacements.
  • Patrons may appeal all decisions related to fines and fees by contacting the Access Services Librarian.


  • UNC faculty, students, staff, and other patrons receive overdue, recall, pickup, fine, and lost item notices by email.
  • Courtesy reminder notices, sent three days before items are due, are available only via email.

Collection of Fines

  • All fines for Law Library materials may be paid in person during open hours at the Law Library Circulation desk.
  • Student fines not paid on the day the overdue materials are returned will be sent to the Office of Student Accounts in SASB North for collection.
  • Non-student fines may be paid with cash or by check payable to “UNC Law Library.”
  • Recently accrued fines for items checked out from Davis Library, Sloane Art Library, Kenan Science Library, Music Library, SILS Library, and Stone Center Library should be paid at Davis Library.
  • Recently accrued fines for items checked out from the Undergraduate Library, Health Sciences Library, and the Park Journalism Library should be paid at their respective library.

If you have any questions about fines and billing, please email Ted Bruns at

Renewing Titles

There are three ways to renew general collection books:

  • Books may be renewed online by logging into MyLibrary.
  • Patrons may renew their books by calling the Law Library at 919-962-1191 and providing barcodes for individual books.
  • Patrons may also renew books in person by bringing the items to the Circulation Desk to have them checked in and checked back out to them. This will also reset the number of times they can renew a book.

A maximum of three renewals is permitted for an item. Reserve materials, study aids, CDs, and DVDs can only be renewed in person. Items recalled by another borrower may not be renewed. Patrons may not renew books online, by phone, or in person if their account is expired or if they owe unpaid fines to any UNC library.

Returning Titles

Books may be returned at three locations: (1) the book drop located outside the lower rotunda side entrance to the law school; (2) the book drop located outside the main library doors; or (3) the book drop located at the Circulation Desk. Books returned to the book drops may not be discharged until the next business day.

Reserve books should always be returned to the Circulation Desk.