San Joaquin County Law Library Director, Jack Schroeder, gives us answers to some commonly asked questions about the exciting new research tool available from the San Joaquin County Law Library.
Let’s start at the beginning. Tell our readers about this research tool and who can use it?
The LexisNexis Digital Library (LNDL) is a collection of legal e-books that can be borrowed and read from anywhere using the OverDrive platform. People who have borrowed e-books from a public or academic library may be familiar with the Overdrive platform. The primary difference between LNDL and the traditional OverDrive platform is that our e-books are preloaded onto Overdrive where you can borrow and read any of our 536 volumes.
Is there a charge to use the LNDL?
The San Joaquin County Law Library offers its collection of e-books free of charge to attorneys who reside in or have an office in San Joaquin County, all San Joaquin County employees and members of the general public who reside in San Joaquin County.
How do I obtain borrowing privileges?
If you are an attorney who currently has borrowing privileges and an email address registered with the Law Library you have already been added to the list of LNDL users. If your email is not on file with the Law Library, you should contact the Library and provide us with your email address. Employees of San Joaquin County and San Joaquin County Courts should send an email from their county office email to the Law Library and request to be placed on the list of LNDL users. All residents of San Joaquin County who want LNDL privileges are required to visit the law library in person and present a photo ID with a current address. Contact information will appear at the end of this interview.
Are there legal texts non-lawyers can use?
Yes, there are. While the LNDL collection of e-books is designed for legal professionals, for those without a legal background our Nolo Press library of books will be of particular interest. Our Legal Information Reference Center database contains many of the Nolo Press’s self-help books in PDF format, and can be accessed outside the library.
Where do I find these databases?
You can find both the LexisNexis Digital Library and the Legal Information Reference Center under the “Legal Databases” tab on the Law Library’s website. There is a brief description on how to register for the LNDL and a button to click which will open the e-book collection. Under the Legal Databases tab you will also find a list of the Library’s other databases including Lexis Advance, CEB OnLAW, and Verdict Search.
How many books can I borrow and for how long?
Our patrons can borrow up to five books for a period of seven days. Assuming no one is waiting for it, you can renew the book for another seven (7) days.
How do I return my books and what happens if I don’t return them?
This will make patrons and staff alike happy. Books are automatically returned after seven days. In the digital world there are no fines or fees!
Can I “write” in the books?
Though librarians normally take a dim view of writing in books, the LNDL allows researchers to highlight and annotate portions of text. The highlights and annotations stay with the book even after it has been returned to the library. They are part of the borrower’s profile. If you are accessing the LNDL on the public computers in the Library, it should be noted that those computers do not allow patrons to save highlighting and annotations.
Are the LNDL books updated?
Yes. The LNDL seamlessly updates publications and even makes available earlier versions of publications going back 10-12 years.
I’m a new user and am having difficulty navigating the systems, what do you suggest I do?
That’s a great question. At the top of the LNDL page under My Account there is a help menu. When you click on the HELP menu you will find three broad topics: Getting Started, Using LNDL and Troubleshooting. Under each topic there are between two and eight subtopics explained with a text or short video. Should the need arise, there may be an opportunity to have a Lexis representative provide a demonstration for a larger group of users.
How can I contact the Law Library?
The San Joaquin County Law Library is here for the community. Feel free to send an email or call us at (209) 468-3920. We are always delighted to hear from you. Visit our website (http://www.sjclawlibrary.org) to access the LexisNexis Digital Library and learn more about the Law Library. We are located at 20 North Sutter Street in downtown Stockton.
A special thanks to Jack Schroeder for giving his time and energy to launching this important project.