Library Use Policy

To borrow materials from the Texas State Law Library or to use the library's computers you must become a registered patron.

The applicant must:

  • Be physically present in the library to complete the application
  • Be a resident of Texas or employed by a Texas state agency
  • Present a government-issued photo ID displaying the patron's current address or a photo ID and (1) a current utility bill or (2) a voter's registration card displaying the patron's current address.

Upon completion of the application, the applicant will receive a library card that expires one year from the date of application. The card remains property of the Texas State Law Library and must be surrendered upon request.

Patrons must have their library card or a form of valid photo ID to check out items or to use the library's computers. The library will supply one replacement card free of charge; additional replacement cards will cost $5.00.

Circulation Periods

Most library materials have a circulation period of 3 weeks. The remaining materials either circulate overnight or are part of our reference collection. Items in our reference collection are only available for use in the library. Items that circulate overnight are due before closing the following business day.

Circulation Fees

The Texas State Law Library charges circulation fees. The circulation fees are:

  • $1 per item borrowed; or
  • $60 per person per year for unlimited circulation

Government employees are exempt from circulation fees.

All patrons are responsible for administrative fees and replacement costs for lost materials.


Holds may be placed on circulating materials. Any material in circulation is subject to recall after the initial check-out period.


One renewal is permitted for items that circulate for 3 weeks unless another patron has placed a hold on the borrowed material.

Renewals may be done in person, online, or over the phone (from 8am to 4:45pm). Renewals on overdue books will result in late fees.

No renewals for overnight items.

Overdue Notices

As a courtesy, the library mails notices informing patrons of the overdue status of materials borrowed. The library is not responsible for misdirected notices sent to patrons who have not verified or updated their contact information in our patron records.


Patrons are responsible for all material borrowed on their card and for returning that material on time. Patrons are responsible for any fines or fees incurred.

Fines are calculated from the material's due date until the material is returned. Fines are 50 cents per day per item borrowed and continue to accrue until the item is returned. Fines do not accrue on days when the library is closed. The maximum fine is $12.50 per item. Once the item has reached the maximum late fine, the item is considered lost, and the patron will be charged for the item.

Patrons whose accounts are not in good standing will not be allowed to check out materials and will be barred from accessing the library's computers and electronic resources. The Texas State Law Library reserves the right to ban patrons for abuse of library policies.

Lost Books

Patrons will be charged for materials that are considered lost.

The following fees are assessed:

  • Up to $12.50 in late fines per item;
  • $100 or actual replacement cost of the material borrowed (whichever is greater); and
  • $15 administrative fee (non-refundable)

Failure to return materials and pay all associated fees will result in suspension of the patron's library privileges (including computer use and access to electronic resources) until the matter is resolved. Failure to return library materials may also result in criminal prosecution.

Computer Use

  • Computers are available for patron use between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Patrons may access computers using their library card as long as their account is in good standing.
  • Patrons may access computers for 60 minutes per day, time permitting.
  • Depending on availability, patrons may be able to extend their session in 15-minute increments until they have reached the maximum total time of 120 minutes per day.
  • A user may sign in for one session or they may sign in multiple times per day, spreading out the allotted time over the course of one day. Additional time will not be provided by library staff.
  • Patrons may "lock" a computer. The "lock" will only last as long as the patron's remaining time. Additional time will not be provided by library staff.
  • All patron workstations have software installed for use by patrons with visual impairments.
  • Patrons wishing to listen to audio on the library's computers must use their own headphones. Patrons must maintain the volume at a reasonable level in order to preserve a quiet environment.
  • Food and drink are not allowed at the computer workstations.
  • Computers are intended for legal research and a librarian may ask you to end your session at their discretion.

Please see our full Computer Use Policy for details.

The Texas State Law Library reserves the right to change this policy at any time.

page last updated: 23 May 2018 9:25 PM