San Jose State University LIBR 220-01 Libraries and the Law
School of Library & Information Science Mary Minow
LIBR 220-01 Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines: Law 
Rev. 09/16/98
Assignments listed below will be supplemented with detailed instructions given during class.

Course Description

 This course focuses on Libraries and the Law.   Key legal issues facing the library profession today will be explored  including censorship, copyright, accessibility and library governance.  Students will be exposed to a  wide variety of  legal search tools, both traditional and emerging.
Course objectives

 Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

 Elias and Levinkind, Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law   5th Edition   (Nolo Press, 1997)

Grading policy

40 percent    Class assignments, including 5 graded assignments plus various credit/no credit assignments
20 percent    Class participation including legal research exercises
40 percent    FINAL EXAMINATION                                                     

 Mondays  10:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. August  31 - December 7, 1998
                     no class on September 7, Labor Day

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, please let me know.
Alternatively, please let the school administration know.


Aug. 31  Introduction to the Course, the Law, and Legal Research
Required reading:

Optional background reading: Introductory framework for Libraries and  the First Amendment: Hierarchy of Constitution, Statutes, Case law

11:00 Guest:  Robert B. Harmon tour of legal materials at the Clark Library. Meet at Clark Libary

Assignment: Locate and read a case concerning Libraries and the Courts. Write a summary and your opinion about the outcome 3-5 pp.

Sept. 7    No Class: LABOR DAY
Sept. 14   Libraries and  The Courts

Court Cases including Filters, Meeting rooms. Is a public library's policy to install filters on the Internet terminals constitutional?

Required reading:

Optional background reading: Guest: Chris Cline, LEXIS representative, Introduction to LEXIS; Searching Cases on LEXIS
Assignment: Analyze the procedural history of your case (or another case). 1-2 pp. Pass/Fail
Assignment:  Locate and read a current state or federal bill concerning libraries. Write a 1-3 paragraph summary. If the bill amends a current statute, look up that statute and discuss the proposed changes. Pass/Fail
Sept. 21  Rosh Hashanah [ this class will be rescheduled or videotaped]
Libraries, Laws and Legislation

Required reading:

Optional background reading: Guest: Dorothy Thomson, Lead Attorney, Legislative Intent Service attorney: tracking state and federal legislation

Assignment: Track your bill. Identify the key legislators that should be contacted. Write a thoughtful letter to your legislator concerning the bill 1-2 pp. Credit/No Credit

  • Assignment: Locate The Americans with Disabilities Act and California Title 24 Building Code 3103A(d)
  • California Unruh Civil Rights Act  What sections discuss access to computerized information? 1-2 pp. Credit/No Credit

    Sept. 28  Libraries and Legal Access by Patrons with Disabilities

    Required reading:

    Optional background reading:
     Libraries and Disabilities Discussion ...
    Making the Internet accessible for  persons of all abilities by Joseph Lazzaro, Sept. 4, 1998
    Resource Guide   WAI Accessibility Guidelines: Page Authoring
    Guest: Cynthia Waddell, ADA Coordinator, City of San Jose

    Assignment: Make recommendations to library concerning ADA issues-- details given in class

    Oct. 5 Field Trip to Stanford Law Library/ Law Librarians As Catalysts: Changing the Legal Environment
    Meet at Stanford Law Library --


    Required reading:

    Guests: Paul Lomio, Erika Wayne, Stanford Law Library
    Tour of Stanford Law Library

    Secondary and Specialized Legal Sources

    Assignment: Use legal encyclopedias and other secondary sources to find out how the ADA applies to public and private libraries.  Find ADA regulations that apply to libraries.
    Oct. 12  Class IS HELD even though it is COLUMBUS  DAY --  Public Records

    Required reading:

    Guest: Cynthia Papermaster, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Law Library
    Finding public records on individuals/law librarianship as a career

    Assignment: Write about the public records you saw in today's demonstration.  What information do you think should be available?
    Assignment: Apply for Copyright/Trademark for your own creative work. Optional: Send in to PTO with fees.
    Oct. 19 Libraries and Intellectual Property

    Required Reading:

    The characteristics of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets

    Guest: Dave Hall, Intellectual Property Specialist at Dialog
    "Searching Dialog for Intellectual Property"
    Oct. 26 Libraries and Intellectual Property: Copyright

    Required Reading:

     Nov. 2  Libraries and Intellectual Property: Copyright and Licensing

    Required reading:  

    Guest: Nancy J. Hoebelhenrich, Technical Services Librarian, University of San Francisco Law Library
    Licensing Issues

    Nov. 9 Libraries and Governance

    Required reading:

    Assignment: Find lawsuits concerning library employees and their employment
    Read at least one lawsuit closely for next class

    Guests: Jane Light, Director of San Jose Public Library and Jim Schmidt, Director of San Jose State University Library
    Governance of Joint Library San Jose Public Library and San Jose State University Library

    Linda Crowe, System Director, BALIS, PLS, SVCLS
    Systems governance

    Nov. 16 Governance, Employment and Current Events  (CLA is in Oakland Nov 14-16)

    Required reading:

     Guest: Gary Christmas, Director, Riverside County Library System

    privatization, local government, newsworthy events

    Nov. 23 Libraries and Privacy, Confidentiality, and Parental Rights

    Required Reading:

    Nov. 30 Putting it all together

    Guests: Lynn Green,  Director of Administration and Sarah Montes, Reference Librarian,  Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc.
     "Law Firm Administration and Law Library Marketing"

    Exam Review

    Dec. 7 EXAM


    San Jose State University LIBR 220-01 LAW
    School of Library & Information Science Mary Minow,