Beyond the BLS Library: Visiting Other Libraries (Posted by Linda Holmes)

While the BLS Library contains thousands of books and journals, there may be times when the title you need is not available in our library.  What to do?

One option is to make an interlibrary loan request through a database called FirstSearch.

You also have the option of visiting another law school, college or university library in the area.  While you can’t charge the item out in this situation, you can read and/or photocopy what you need.

How do you go about doing this?  If you want to go to the New York Law School Library at 185 West Broadway in Manhattan or the CUNY Law School Library at 65-21 Main Street in Flushing, Queens, all you need to do is present your valid BLS ID card at either of these law schools to enter their library.  ID card access to these libraries is made possible through our membership in the Joint International Law Project (JILP).

If you want to visit any of the other law school libraries in the area to look at a specific book or journal, the reference librarian can issue a one day pass to you which is called a “green letter.”  These letters are a benefit of our library’s membership in the “Conference of Law School Library Directors of Greater New York.”  The member law schools include Cardozo, Columbia, Fordham, Hofstra, New York University, Pace, St. John’s and Touro.

For the libraries listed above, we are also able to issue letters for semester passes, with the exception of Columbia, which does not participate in the semester pass program.  Semester pass letters are available on the first day of classes each semester at the reference desk.  Get there early because we have a limited number of passes for each school.

If you find that you need to look at a non-legal title which is available at a college or university library, you should go to the reference desk and request a METRO Referral Card.  Our library belongs to the Metropolitan New York Library Council, commonly referred to as METRO.

METRO is a consortium of over 400 academic, public and special libraries.  One of the benefits of membership in METRO is our ability to refer users to any library that is a member with the issuance of a METRO Referral Card.  The METRO cards, as they are called, are good for one day’s use at another library.

And, of course, in the greater New York area there are many public libraries whose doors are already open to you — so the library world is your oyster!