Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this Collection Development Policy is: 

  • To provide a means of analyzing present collecting practices.
  • To provide guidance to all those involved in developing and preserving the collection in the future.
  • To inform School of Law administrators, faculty, students, and Law Library staff of the collection emphases and criteria for evaluating new materials.

Collection Development Policy Review

    This policy is an expression of the current needs of the School of Law community.  As academic programs grow and change, and the number and formats of legal information resources proliferate, the Law Library will periodically review and revise this policy to better meet the needs of the School of Law community.

Overview & History of Collection

    The Law Library has its 19th Century origins in gifts from alumni and University faculty collections, sporadic funding from the Board of Trustees, and materials owned by University Libraries.  The first law classes held on campus were in the Ivy Building, which was located next to the University Library (these buildings were joined in 1905 to form the current Holmes-Hunter Academic Building), and that collection helped to support the School of Law.  Even so, by the beginning of 20th century the Law School was attempting to support a separate Law Library, first in the Ivy Building, and then later in the Athenaeum Building (located across from campus at the corner of Lumpkin & Broad St.).  The School of Law put great importance on developing the Law Library in the 1920's in order to secure national professional accreditation, which it finally received in 1930-31.  Hirsch Hall opened on campus in 1932, which included space for the Law Library and a reading room in the space now occupied by the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom.  In the 1930's the Law Library began being staffed by a professional librarian and was under the official administrative control of the University Libraries.  The late 1960's brought major growth and changes to the Law Library.  In 1966, the General Assembly allocated an additional $1,000,000, over a period of 3 years, to build the Law Library collection.  These funds enabled the Law Library to develop a large print collection.  The expansion of Hirsch Hall, including a new facility for the Law Library, was completed in 1967.  In the spring of 1978 the Law Library came under the administrative and budget control of the School of Law, with the Director of the Law Library reporting to the Dean of the School of Law.  An annex to the Law Library was completed in 1981.  The six-year project to convert the basement to compact shelving was completed during 1992.  A gift from Professor Louis B. Sohn of his library on international relations in 1996 (with additional books in 2003) added several thousand unique titles to the Law Library collection and formed the core for a unique special collection, The Louis B. Sohn Collection on International Relations.  In 2001 the General Assembly allocated 3.2 million dollars to upgrade technology at the Law School and the Law Library, which enabled the Law Library to have a fully integrated library system including barcoding the collection, RFID security system, wireless Internet access, new public access PCs in the Reference area, and Thos. Moser reading room furniture with power built into the tables.

Budget Structure & Allocation

    The University fiscal year begins on July 1.  The Law Library budget is divided into several sections.  Materials for the Law Library collection are purchased primarily from the Equipment section of the budget, with additional purchases made using nine Restricted Funds and any remaining funds generated in the Coin-Operated Copy Services Fund each year.  The bulk of the funds are spent on maintaining electronic and serial subscriptions with the remainder going towards monographic purchases. 

Equipment Funds 

  • Serials
  • Monographs
  • Microforms
  • Sohn
  • DVD
  • CD-ROM
  • Online

Restricted Funds 

  • Beaird
  • Ball
  • Cheeley
  • Fryer
  • Lokey-Bowen
  • Lumpkin
  • O'Byrne  (limited to materials about international taxation)
  • Rees (limited to print materials for the Law Library collection)
  • Sanders

Supporting Purchases

    Decisions concerning collection supporting purchases, such as shelving, storage space, cabinets, reader/printers, PCs, bibliographic online tools, etc., are made by the Law Library Steering Group and the Director of Law Library with input from the Collection Development Team.

Areas of Cooperative Collection Development

    Cooperative collection development and resource sharing agreements at the local, regional and national levels are a part of the Law Library collection development program.  They allow the Law Library to rely on other collections for materials that are often beyond the collection scope of the Law Library.  Cooperative agreements can include cooperative acquisitions, retention policies, the housing of joint purchases, shared building use, and other arrangements.  The criteria for entering into cooperative arrangements include: 
        1.  The conformance of the proposed arrangement with the mission of the Law Library 
        2.  The costs and benefits of the arrangement for the Law Library 
        3.  The type and reputation of the potential partner organization(s) 
        4.  The provision for the periodic evaluation of the arrangement by all parties 
        5.  The ability of participating parties to withdraw from the arrangement 
        6.  The ownership or control of purchased or licensed materials when the arrangement ends 
        7.  The ability to access materials not housed in the Law Library 

    The Law Library has entered into the following cooperative agreements:

University Libraries (University of Georgia) 
    The Law Library does not duplicate materials held by University Libraries unless it is necessary because of high demand, class use, or inconvenience in access if not present in the Law Library.  The Law Library has access to all University Libraries' databases and electronic journals licensed for campus use and shares access to campus-wide Law Library databases with University Libraries.  The University Libraries' has allocated space to the Law Library in its remote storage facility and Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries.  The Law Library cooperates with the University Libraries in providing electronic discovery of resources.  The Law Library participates in training opportunities offered by the University Libraries and when appropriate, includes the University Libraries community in Law Library training sessions.
GALILEO (State Virtual Library of Georgia) 
    As a part of the University System of Georgia Libraries, the Law Library has access to all databases and features included in GALILEO.
    As a member of OCLC, the Law Library participates in shared interlibrary loan and cataloging with other members. 

    As a member of LYRASIS, the Law Library qualifies for group discount purchasing/licensing of library databases, materials, training and supplies.

NELLCO (New England Law Library Consortium)
   As an Affiliate Member of NELLCO, the Law Library qualifies for group discount purchasing/licensing of library materials, mainly databases.

LIPA (Legal Information Preservation Alliance)
   LIPA provides the leadership, organizational framework and professional commitment necessary to preserve vital legal information

LLMC - (Law Library Microform Consortium)
    The Law Library is a charter, category A member of LLMC, a non-profit cooperative of libraries dedicated to:  1) Preserving legal titles and government documents, and 2) Making this valuable content accessible and searchable.


Revised:  February 2012