Reference and Research

Ask a Law Librarian

Please contact any of our reference librarians with your research questions. 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 Law Library resources
  • instruct patrons in the use of library materials and electronic resources
  • suggest appropriate resources and research strategies
  • assist patrons with locating resources not found in the law library collection
  • refer patrons to other libraries or institutions for materials

Reference Librarians are not allowed to:

  • conduct legal 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.