Access and Services

Are the court libraries open to the public?
The access policies for our libraries are determined by local court rules and vary across the circuit. Some of our libraries are open to the general public, while others are only open to members of the bar and litigants with cases before the local court. For a list of our libraries and their access policies, please see the directory. Please note that hours are subject to change. We recommend that you call to confirm before your visit.

What services do you provide to non-court patrons?
Assistance with legal research is available on a limited basis to other government personnel, members of the local bar, and public patrons.

What we can do:

  • Locate available court information and materials

  • Provide basic reference help (phone numbers, definitions, legal aid resources)

  • Provide basic instruction for using legal materials

  • Locate and/or verify citations

  • Provide referrals to other libraries

What we cannot do:

  • Provide legal advice or opinions, or interpret any laws or legal documents

  • Assist with preparation of cases or legal forms
    Provide in-depth reference or access fee-based information databases (such as Westlaw or Lexis)

  • Check out library materials or borrow items from other libraries

  • Provide photocopying or make telephone calls

  • Allow use of our computers, telephones, or supplies

Do you provide legal reference services to prisoners?
No, but here are some libraries in the 9th Circuit that do.

Can I access the library's catalog online?
The library's catalog is not publically accessible.

Can I check out a book?
Materials from the collection cannot be checked out by the public.

Do you have computers for public use?

Can I use my laptop in the library?
Yes. Many of our locations have carrels or tables with electrical outlets, and several have wireless Internet access.

See also our Reference FAQs.