About the Library

Resources and Services

The collection of the Schoenecker Law Library is designed to support the faith-based mission of the School of Law curriculum, programs and faculty research. In addition to the print and microform resources, School of Law patrons have access to a rich and growing collection of electronic titles and databases.

The library uses Library of Congress classification (PDF) for our materials.

Library FAQs


Circulation/ILL (651)962-4900
Email: lawcirc@stthomas.edu
Hours: see right sidebar for current library hours

Interlibrary Loan services

Reference Librarians

Reference Librarians (651)962-4902
Email: lawreference@stthomas.edu
Hours: see right sidebar for current library hours

Library Staff Directory


The Schoenecker Law Library covers four floors on the south wing of the School of Law. The main entrance to the library is located on the second floor, which is the center of student activity. The library's help desk (circulation and reference services), reference and reserve collections, and computer lab are also located on the second floor.

There are twelve group study rooms located throughout the library and three AV viewing rooms located on the first and lower levels. In addition to the group study rooms,  there is a variety of formal and informal study space available including comfortable seating areas, tables and carrels.

The library provides wireless access to the University network.

The Name

The Schoenecker Law Library is named in honor of Guy and Barbara Schoenecker in recognition of the first major gift to the School of Law. Guy Schoenecker, an alumnus of the University of St. Thomas, is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of BI and a longtime trustee of the University of St. Thomas.

Collection Development Policy

Collection Policy Introduction

The University of St. Thomas (UST) Law Library exists to support the teaching, research, and service mission of the School of Law. The Law Library strives for excellence in service and in the quality of its collections. One of its primary goals is to provide a broad array of resources in all media, in order to meet the needs of the faculty, staff and students.

Because the Law Library is still new and rapidly growing, this collection development policy has been revisited regularly. It is a living document that reflects current practice as well as long-term philosophy.

Collection Principles

Within the framework of a new law school, the Law Library’s highest priority is to support the evolving curriculum. During the first academic year the focus of collection development was on the core areas of civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property and torts. Additionally, the lawyering skills program dictated the purchase of primary and secondary sources to support the building of basic legal research skills. As the upper-level curriculum developed and expanded, the Law Library continued to provide resources to support required and elective courses.

The Law Library supports faculty and student research interests, which continue to grow as the curriculum matures. Similarly, the Law Library continues to focus on building information resources to support the law school’s faith-based mission and emphasis on public service.

Because of the continuing development of new formats for the delivery of legal information, the Law Library places a strong emphasis on balancing traditional print and microform resources with electronic media. Access and ownership have equal consideration in the building of information resources, with the underlying principle of choosing the most effective format for the type of information and research use.

Staffing and Selection Process

The library director has primary responsibility for development of the Law Library’s collection and for authorizing purchases, The collection development coordinator manages collection development work. This includes: serving as the library’s contact with vendors, identifying and reviewing current and retrospective selection materials, consulting faculty about purchase recommendations, identifying free electronic resources for cataloging, involving other librarians in the collection development process as appropriate, coordinating feedback from the community regarding resources, doing preliminary license reviews for electronic resources, educating the community about significant resources, making annual budget recommendations for purchases, monitoring the budget throughout the year, fllowing developments in the legal publishing industry, and managing gifts.

Faculty liaisons are expected to monitor the literature in the subject areas in which the faculty they support work, recommend materials to be acquired, recommend free electronic resources for cataloging, and recommend electronic resources for licensing.


Collection Content

The Law Library acquires case reporters and statutes for U.S. federal and state jurisdictions in print for ease of use. Hard copy may be duplicated by various electronic resources, including Lexis and Westlaw. Federal regulations are acquired in print, but the library relies on free and commercially available electronic resources for state regulatory materials.

The library also acquires some secondary materials and finding aids in print, both for usability and for the purpose of teaching legal research skills, and some of these materials are duplicated by electronic versions. Other secondary materials, such as traditional print looseleaf services, are generally licensed in their electronic form but may also be duplicated in print for ease of use when the electronic versions do not support the research needs of our users.

As a foundation for its treatise collection, the library acquired the microfiche sets of 19th and 20th Century Legal Treatises as well as the digital collection The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises 1800-1926 and the law portion of the Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Only major works from the 19th and early 20th century are duplicated in print, but the library aggressively collects treatises from the last half of the 20th century. The library has laid the foundation for a strong print treatise collection by acquiring resources on all traditional legal topics, with an emphasis on Anglo-American and international law.

The library also acquires English-language materials to support the law school’s broad interdisciplinary interests, including treatises on religion, philosophy, ethics, Catholic studies, human rights, social justice, public policy, and public service.

The library provides online access to Minnesota continuing legal education materials from 2000 forward through a service of Minnesota CLE. The library does not routinely collect national or state continuing legal education (CLE) materials in print, but titles will be purchased or accepted as gifts for the collection if they contain substantial original material. The library collects other practice materials comprehensively for Minnesota and selectively for a group of eleven states that were chosen in consultation with the lawyering skills faculty. For these eleven states the library maintains a collection of digests, encyclopedias, practice sets, and other practice materials. The states outside of Minnesota are California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. The library evaluates this list on a regular basis.

To support the curriculum, the library acquires and puts on Reserve materials appropriate to the permanent collection, as determined by this policy. Generally the library does not acquire casebooks, documentary supplements, or volumes that contain selected statutes on a particular topic, although exceptions are made for particularly important compilations.

The library acquires bound periodicals in print from 1980 forward and earlier volumes in microform. If microform is not available, the entire back run is acquired in print. This policy is under evaluation, as the library is also a subscriber to the HeinOnline Law Journal Library.

The library is not a depository for U.S. federal or Minnesota documents, but it actively collects government documents in print and microform as needed. The library also provides electronic access to these resources through a variety of databases and websites.

The collection includes some materials for non-lawyers.

The library supports a collection of casual reading materials for students (housed in the area adjacent to the circulation desk in the library) and a small collection of news and current awareness publications for faculty (housed in the faculty lounge.

The library reviews and evaluates interlibrary loan requests to aid in retrospective collection development, particularly for interdisciplinary materials.

Criteria for Acquiring and Licensing Resources

Librarians are expected to be completely familiar with the Law Library’s information resources and to have a full understanding of the principles that shape the collection. They also have knowledge of the law school’s curriculum and an understanding of the research needs of both faculty and students.

Librarians bring this background knowledge to their evaluation of new and continuing electronic resources. When evaluating electronic resources for the collection, librarians also apply standard selection criteria:

  • user need or interest
  • subject content and scope
  • reputation of the publisher and author(s)
  • cost
  • existing holdings
  • format and ease of use
  • language (non-English materials acquired only as necessary)
  • historical value

The library reviews and evaluates interlibrary loan requests to aid in retrospective collection development, particularly for interdisciplinary materials.

Collection Format

Access and ownership have equal consideration in the building of information resources. The library strives for a balance of print, microform and electronic resources, with the choice of format made based on the type of information contained in the publication and the way in which it will be used most effectively.

The library also collects in other media, such as video, as needed to support the doctrinal and skills-based curriculum. The library prefers DVD to VHS for visual materials and CD to audiotape for audio materials.


Cataloging of Free Web Resources

Cataloging of Free Web Resources</b><br>Librarians are responsible for recommending free subject-based websites for inclusion in CLICnet. Selection of Internet resources for cataloging is based on the same general criteria that are applied to all other formats. In addition, librarians should consider these criteria:

  • relationship that the resource might have to other resources in the library's collection, i.e. duplicates, replaces or complements print or microform resources
  • authenticity and credibility of the source
  • currency and updating frequency
  • stability and long-term reliability
  • easy accessibility, i.e. registration and passwords not required
  • interface design and functionality

If a website does not meet enough of the specific criteria to warrant selection as a cataloged resource, it may still be considered for inclusion on the Law Library&rsquo;s website or in library research guides, where more explanatory information can be provided.

Some examples of free web resources that might be selected for cataloging include association and organization websites, primary legal materials maintained by courts or other government agencies, web-based journals, reference tools, research guides, subject gateways, and meta-sites.

Gifts and Exchanges

The Law Library accepts gifts of materials appropriate to the collection provided that no restrictions are placed on the gift. The library reserves the right to add, discard, sell or exchange materials received as gifts. The collection development coordinator responds to all gift inquiries and applies standard selection criteria when deciding whether or not to add materials received as gifts to the collection.

The library does not enter into exchange agreements unless material cannot be acquired any other way.

Faculty Publications

The library acquires two copies of all faculty-authored treatises or chapters in treatises. Reprints of law review articles are not added to the collection but may be obtained for purposes of the faculty publications display case at the entrance to the library.

School of Law Centers, Institutes and Departments

The library works actively with other law school staff to assist them in acquiring materials to support the work of their departments. This includes the Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services, the Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy, the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, the Office of Career and Professional Development, and the Mentor Externship Program.

Retention and Deselection

The library maintains one copy of older editions of hornbooks, nutshells, and selected treatises. Multiple copies of older editions are withdrawn. <br><br>The library withdraws superseded materials and some older editions from the collection. When a single volume of a multi-volume set is replaced, the library does not retain the replaced volume.

As a general practice, librarians will weed the collection regularly, using the standard criteria.

Binding and Preservation

The library uses a local commercial bindery that adheres to the standards of the Library Binding Institute. The library binds law reviews and periodicals but does not routinely bind paperback books. The library does minor book repair in-house.

Cooperative Collection Development

The Law Library has no formal cooperative collection development agreements, but the library cooperates informally with other law libraries in the metropolitan area and with the libraries of the University of St. Thomas. <br><br>Designated librarians attend the university-wide Collection Management Committee and the Social Sciences Librarians Round Table. These groups discuss, among other things, new database purchases, periodical cancellations, weeding, and location of subject-specific collections.

The Law Library works with the University Archives to maintain the records of the School of Law. <br><br>The Law Library works cooperatively with the UST Libraries to provide law and law-related resources to the university community. The Law Library&rsquo;s print and microform resources are available to students, faculty and staff of St. Thomas. The Law Library&rsquo;s licensed electronic resources are made available to the campus when pricing structures and license agreements permit. The print and electronic resources of the other campus libraries are made available to the law school community.

Faculty, students and staff of the School of Law have ready access to the collections of the other UST libraries and the member libraries of CLIC (Cooperating Libraries in Consortium). CLIC&rsquo;s web-based online catalog, CLICNET, is available on all law school computers and remotely via the web. Law Library users have borrowing privileges at the other CLIC libraries and may request materials owned by those libraries directly through the online catalog. The CLIC consortium includes the Hamline Law Library.

CLIC makes some consortial purchases of electronic resources and electronic books, including Ebrary titles and some general reference databases.

The MINITEX Library Information Network is the regional network for OCLC services, and the Law Library uses OCLC&rsquo;s cataloging and interlibrary loan subsystems. MINITEX also acts as a broker for a variety of online databases, some of which are made available statewide.

Library Hours *

Fall Semester Hours

M- Th:  7:45AM - 9:00PM

Fri: 7:45 AM - 5:00PM

Sat: 10:00AM - 5:00PM

Sun: 5:00PM - 9:00PM (card access only)

Closed for Labor Day Holiday *

Saturday, August 30th through

Monday, September 1st

Reference Hours

M - Th: 9:00AM - 8:00PM

Fri: 9:00AM - 5:00PM

Sat: 10:00AM - 5:00PM

*Law students, faculty & staff have after hours access with a UST ID until 2:00AM.