Reference and Research

Ask a Law Librarian

Reference librarians are available in person, by phone, or by email during reference hours. The Reference Desk email is, and the general phone number is (319) 335-9005 - please leave a message if your call is not answered.

Reference and Research Services

While the needs of the University of Iowa students, faculty, and staff are first priority, the reference librarians also assist members of Iowa government, attorneys, and members of the general public.

Reference Librarians may:

  • help patrons locate resources in the Law Library
  • instruct patrons in the use of library materials and electronic resources
  • suggest appropriate resources and research strategies
  • refer patrons to other libraries or institutions for materials

Reference Librarians are not allowed to:

  • conduct research on a patron's behalf
  • interpret the law
  • provide legal advice
  • read statutes, cases, court rules, or definitions over the phone
  • confirm that resources currently are on the shelf and available to use

Please note that abusive language or behavior directed towards law library staff, student employees, and other patrons will not be tolerated. 

For more information regarding reference services, proceed to the policy on Legal Research and Legal Advice.