About the Law Library

Students in library with dictionary


The David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library is the cornerstone of the College of Law.  Located on the second floor of Swen Parson Hall, the Library houses a collection surpassing 250,000 volumes and volume equivalents. The Library is a depository for U.S. Government documents and, in addition to the print collections, offers researchers access to computerized research systems and audio-visual materials.  The Library automates most functions through the Voyager and OCLC systems and is a member of several library consortia that facilitate resource sharing, including CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois), the Chicago Legal Academic System, and the Mid-America Law Library Consortium.

The Library's primary function is serving the needs of the students and faculty of the College of Law. However, the Law Library is open to those who need to do legal research or use government documents received through the Federal Depository Library Program. Due to space limitations and heavy usage by law students, the Law Library is not available to non-law students for general study that does not require the use of legal materials or government documents.

To facilitate Law Library use by NIU students, and to reduce instructional time for Law Library staff, the Law Library offers legal research orientation programs. Faculty asking their students to use the Law Library are encouraged to contact a librarian to arrange an orientation program.

Further research support is available through Founders Memorial Library, the University's main library, which is across Normal Road from the College of Law.  Founders Memorial Library contains over 2 million volumes and an additional 1.2 million federal, state, and international government documents.