Access and circulation information

Tarlton Law Library is open to all members of the University community and to the public. All are welcome to use the Library and its resources and services.


Borrowing Library materials

Library users with valid UT Austin ID cards, TexShare cards or Tarlton Guest Borrower cards may borrow circulating materials from the Library.

  • Law Students - Law students, upon presenting a valid UT ID to Circulation staff, may check out any of the Library's circulating materials.
  • Law Faculty and Staff - Law faculty and staff may check out most of the Library’s materials. Faculty members who wish to have research assistants check out Library materials on their behalf must first notify the Library by e-mailing circ@law.utexas.edu with the authorized research assistants' names.
  • UT Community - With the exception of certain materials reserved for use by law students, faculty and staff, members of the UT community may check out any of the Library's circulating materials. A valid UT ID is required in order to check out Library materials. First time borrowers will also be asked to complete a Patron Information Sheet at the Circulation Desk.
  • Public - Patrons with no current UT affiliation may borrow Library materials upon presenting a TexShare card or Tarlton Guest Borrower card to Circulation staff.

Guest borrower cards

A Tarlton Guest Borrower Card entitles patrons to borrow materials from the Tarlton Law Library only.  The Library has no reciprocal arrangements with other libraries on campus.

Individual guest borrower cards are available at a cost of $75 per calendar year. Corporate guest borrower cards are available for entities employing up to 15 attorneys, at a cost of $150 per calendar year. For firms and corporations employing 15 or more attorneys, the cost of the borrower card is $300 per calendar year. Cards expire annually on August 31. Invoices will be sent out annually to corporate guest borrowers, and individual borrowers who have elected to receive them, for the option to renew their cards.

To apply for a guest borrower card, complete a Patron Information Sheet and present a state-issued photo ID and the annual fee (cash or check) to the Circulation Desk between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Texas state agencies may obtain free guest borrower cards upon presentation of an employee's state issued photo ID and a letter printed on agency letterhead.  The letter must state the following:

  • the agency requests the card;
  • the agency is responsible for material checked out and/or fines; and
  • the names of employees authorized to check out materials for the agency (no more than 3 employees).

Library patron records

Patrons are encouraged to update their Library patron record if e-mail or mailing addresses change. As a courtesy, the Library sends e-mail reminders and overdue notices to patrons, but the Library is not responsible for misdirected notices sent to patrons who have not verified or updated their Library patron records. Patrons may also update their patron records in person at the Circulation Desk.


Circulation periods

Primary source materials, digests, looseleaf binders, microforms, periodicals, and reference resources do not generally circulate outside the Library, but most other materials may be checked out by Library users with valid UT Austin ID cards, TexShare cards or Tarlton Guest Borrower cards.

Loan periods for circulating materials vary based on the type of material and the borrower's status, as follows:

  • Books and CDs generally circulate for 3 weeks and can be renewed.
  • LPOP DVDs and materials from the Hyder Popular Reading Room circulate for 3 days. Renewals are not allowed. These materials only circulate to UT Law students, faculty, and staff.
  • Course reserve and designated study guide materials circulate for 2 hours or 24 hours, depending on their status. Renewals are not allowed.
  • Laptops and computer hardware circulate for 24 hours and only to law students. Renewals are not allowed.

Renewing library materials

Most Library materials may be renewed by logging in to the Library's online catalog.   When renewing online, patrons are encouraged to check the screen for information on the success or failure of the renewal.  If an item cannot be renewed, a 'Not all renewals were successful' message will appear on the screen. If the renewal is successful, a new due date will appear in the ‘STATUS’ column.   Materials may also be renewed in person at the Circulation Desk. To avoid late fees, materials should be renewed before the due date.


Returning library materials

All materials borrowed from Tarlton Law Library must be returned to the Library’s Circulation Desk or, in the event the Library is closed, placed in the book return located on the E. Dean Keeton side of the Library, outside the building's lower level entrance.  Returning materials to other campus libraries may result in late fees.

Library materials are collected and reshelved throughout the day.  All Library materials are returned to the shelves on a daily basis. 


Late fees

Overdue fines are assessed when materials are renewed after the due date or returned late to the Library.  Replacement charges are assessed for overdue materials not returned to the Library within a reasonable time.

Late fees and replacement charges are assessed as follows:

  • 3 week items
    • $0.75/day for 28 days
    • Item is declared lost after 28 days
    • Minimum replacement cost for lost items is $100
  • Hyder Popular Reading Room Material (3 day circulation period)
    • $3.50/day for 7 days
    • Item is declared lost after 7 days
    • Minimum replacement cost for lost items is $100
  • LPOP DVDs (7 day circulation period)
    • $2.00/day for 14 days
    • Item is declared lost after 14 days
    • Minimum replacement cost for lost item is $75
  • Reserve and Course Reserve Items (2-hour and 24-hour circulation periods)
    • $0.75/hour for 2 days
    • Item is declared lost after 2 days
    • Minimum replacement cost for lost items is $100
  • Laptops, powercords and computer hardware (24-hour circulation period)
    • $0.75/hour for 4 days
    • Item is declared lost after 4 days
    • Minimum replacement cost for lost laptop computers is $1525

Replacement costs include a billing and processing fee.  The replacement charge may be refunded in some instances if items declared lost are subsequently returned, but the billing and processing fee ($25.00) will not be waived.  The Library may increase replacement costs or processing fees based on the actual costs associated with replacing a particular missing item.   

Patrons can check their Library patron record or What I Owe to determine how much is owed for renewed, returned or lost materials.  Fines for overdue materials not yet returned can be calculated based on the fee schedule above.

Payment of late fees can be made:

  • online through What I Owe.
  • by cash, check, or money order at the Cashiers Office, Main Building (MAI on campus map) , Room 8, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm.
  • at the Library's Circulation Desk (guest borrowers or TexShare borrowers only), with exact cash or a check made payable to The University of Texas.

Patrons who have questions about late fees can email the Library at circ@law.utexas.edu