West Virginia Judiciary

WV State Law Library

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REFERENCE service

The State Law Library provides research and reference service to the state’s unified court system, governmental agencies, attorneys, and the general public.  Law librarians will show patrons how to find resources related to a particular legal issue and how to use resources in both print and electronic formats.  Different types of print legal materials such as general encyclopedias and digests as well as specialized treatises, case reporters, codes, statutes and electronic databases are available. Library staff may provide answers to specific questions over the telephone if the patron has a citation and the answers are read from a specific legal resource verbatim and without interpretation.

Reference service is available in person, over the telephone, by email or fax.  We make every attempt to provide information within 48 hours of receipt of the request from persons or agencies outside the Court system; however, please note that requests from Court personnel take precedence over all other requests. Variations in staff scheduling may also affect the amount of time it takes to provide a response to an information request.

 Librarians are not allowed to answer legal questions or give legal advice as this may constitute unauthorized practice of law in violation of both ethical and legal rules.  Library patrons who need additional assistance in understanding the nature of a legal problem may, in order to protect their legal rights, wish to consult an attorney or a legal aid or lawyer referral service.  Librarians can provide contact information such as names and addresses of appropriate agencies.

DOCUMENT delivery

The Library provides document delivery service to the general public. Requests for legal information must include the specific citation to a legal resource. Requests will usually be filled within three days if the requested material is available in the State Law Library collection. If the Library does not hold the requested resource, the Library may obtain it from another source and charge the requestor a fee. Photocopies cost fifteen cents per page plus the cost of mailing. Faxed copies are $5.00 for the first page and $1.00 for each additional page.