Rod Library endeavors to provide accurate and current legal, medical (including psychiatric), and business information to meet the needs of the University community, within the limitations of the library’s budget and collection development policy. Library users may access information available in the library collection within the parameters of copyright and database licensing agreements.
When assisting patrons with legal, medical, or business reference questions in the library, the reference staff will show patrons where the legal, medical, and business information is located and provide basic instruction in using the sources so patrons may find, select, and interpret the information independently. Since information in medical, legal, and business areas changes rapidly, reference staff advise patrons that there might be more current or appropriate information available elsewhere. Patrons are responsible for doing their own research. Library staff will not interpret information sources, but will provide alternative sources or suggest that patrons contact appropriate professionals such as attorneys, physicians, or accountants. (See Referral Information) Special care is taken with off-site patrons requesting assistance since voice messages and text-based communications could be misinterpreted.
This policy is necessary because:
- Giving advice about legal, medical, or business issues and how it applies to a patron’s situation may be interpreted as practicing law, medicine, accounting, etc. We are not practicing professionals in those areas.
- Legal, medical, and business research can be complicated. What appears to be a simple question may have many factors to be considered. Patrons need to assess the information themselves, determine what factors apply to their situation, and choose the information that seems appropriate to their situation.
Adopted by LAC, March 4, 2004