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Circulation & Borrowers

Circulation Policy

Approved June 18, 2013
Alameda County Law Library circulation policy furthers the mission and vision of the law library by permitting qualified individuals to become registered borrowers and to borrow materials from the law library pursuant to the book borrower rules set forth below.

Qualified individuals include:

  • An attorney licensed to practice law and in good standing;
  • A resident of Alameda County aged 14 or older;
  • A judge with chambers or an office in Alameda County or a retired judge residing in Alameda County;
  • An elected or appointed federal, state, county or city public official with an office in Alameda County.

Book borrower rules

I - Registration Requirements

Everyone must:

  • Complete the registration form (name, address, phone #, email address to send overdue reminders).
  • Present a photo ID
  • Purchase a library card.

Attorneys must have a valid bar membership.

Adult residents must provide proof of Alameda County residency.

Judges and public/elected officials must present proof of their position.

II - What can be borrowed

Only those materials designated as circulating may be checked out. Non-circulating items include but are not limited to looseleaf sets, reference books, digests, citators and rare books. Books and materials ordinarily subject to borrowing may, at the discretion of a Librarian, be withdrawn from circulation at times and for periods determined by a Librarian.

III - How many items can be borrowed

Judicial borrowers, Public Officials, and Attorneys may have a maximum of eight items (including up to two sets of audio-visual materials) at a time. Alameda County Resident borrowers may have a maximum of two items (including sets of audio-visual materials) checked out at any one time.

IV - How long may items be borrowed

Circulating materials may be borrowed for a period of seven days. There are no renewals. Once an item has been checked in, two business days must elapse before the last borrower can check it out again.

V - Reserves/Holds

Borrowers may place a reserve on circulating materials that have been checked out by another patron. This may be done over the phone or in person. Reserved materials will be held for a maximum of forty-eight hours after the person who placed the reserve has been notified before the materials will be available for the next reserve or general circulation.

VI - Charges and Fines

  • $5 for the first library card, $3 for replacement cards.
  • $5 for no email address for additional costs of sending overdue notices.
  • $1 per day fine for each overdue item and must be paid before checking out additional items.
  • There is a charge of $15 for each credit of an MCLE home study program checked out from the library.
  • Maximum fine is the item's replacement cost plus a $50 service charge.
  • Lost or damaged item is the replacement cost plus a $50 service charge.

VII - Payment of Fines and Charges

All fines and replacement charges not paid within 30 days may be submitted for collection or other legal proceedings.


  • Borrowing privileges cease when a borrower is no longer a qualified individual.
  • A borrower shall be suspended for failing to pay fines or other charges.
  • A borrower who flagrantly or persistently violates the borrowing rules shall have his/her borrowing privileges terminated. Such an individual may, at the discretion of the Director have privileges reinstated.

IX - Additional benefits for larger membership fees

Attorneys and Alameda county residents receive additional benefits by becoming a library member:

$75 The ability to renew books twice provided the item doesn't have a hold placed on it.
$100 The above plus (a) the ability to check out non-circulating books within the last hour the library is open provided they return them within the first hour the library is open (The late penalty is five dollars per hour.) . (b) a 25% discount on copying and printing (the copying requires a Copy Card).
$125 The above plus a 10% discount on MCLE programs.
$150 All the above plus a 10% discount on conference room rentals.

Join or renew your membership online or at the reference desk.

X - Changes to the book borrower rules

The director may amend the book borrower rules consistent with the circulation policy.

Alameda County Law Library Rules of Conduct

Alameda County Law Library users have the right to quality service in an atmosphere that is respectful, safe, clean, and free of disturbances. Behavior that disrupts or obstructs others' use of the library, threatens the safety or health of patrons or staff, or inhibits the ability of staff to perform their duties is strictly prohibited (CA Penal Code sec. 602.1(b))

Penal Code Sec. 602.1(b) interfering with, obstructing, or intimidating a public agency.


Any person who intentionally interferes with any lawful business carried on by the employees of a public agency open to the public, by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on business, or those persons there to transact business with the public agency, and who refuses to leave the premise of the public agency after being requested to leave by the office manager or a supervisor of the public agency, or by a peace officer acting at the request of the office manager or supervisor of the public agency, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 90 days , or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars ($400), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

The Law Library's Rules of Conduct are designed to ensure equitable community access to library services and have a threefold purpose: 1. To protect the rights and safety of library patrons, 2. To protect the rights and safety of staff members, and 3. To preserve library materials, facilities, and property.

Alameda County Law Library reserves the right to restrict the use of its facilities and premises for anyone who does not abide by the Library's Rules of Conduct.

Failure to comply with the Rules of Conduct, library signage, or the directives of library staff or security personnel, or to cooperate with staff or security personnel in their enforcement of these rules, may result in the loss or suspension of library privileges, including but not limited to temporary or permanent removal from library premises by library staff, security personnel, or a peace officer.

Law Library Rules of Conduct: Policy, Enforcement & Appeals, Adopted by the Law Library Board of Trustees 2/26/2019

Law Library Rules of Conduct: Significant Violations, Approved by the Law Library Board of Trustees 2/26/2019

Law Library Rules of Conduct: Disruptive Behaviors, Approved by the Law Library Board of Trustees 2/26/2019

Law Library Rules of Conduct: Prohibited Items, Approved by the Law Library Board of Trustees 2/26/2019

Law Library Technology Policy: Library Computers, Approved by the Law Library Board of Trustee 2/26/2019

Media Center Guidelines

  1. All CD-ROMs and DVDs are cataloged with the books they accompany.
  2. Microfiche materials are listed in the library's online catalog.
  3. "Tickets" with passwords are available at the Reference Desk for logging into the library's public research computers.
  4. Downloading is free for most products, but you must use a USB drive. The library sells USB drives at the Reference Desk at a reasonable price. Our Westlaw contract does not allow downloading or e-mailing, but our WestlawNext contract does allow emailing.
  5. MCLE DVDs and CDs are checked out at the Reference Desk. A list of the MCLE materials and fees is available on the web and in print at the Reference Desk. These materials may be checked out by registered borrowers for 7 days. Headphones must be used if audio materials are played within the public areas of the library.
  6. Ask at the Reference Desk for access to the microfiche cabinets.
  7. Microfiche materials do not circulate and may be viewed on machines near the microfiche cabinets in the Main Library in Oakland. Make arrangements for printing microfiche materials with one of the librarians. Permission to use law library equipment may be denied to any patron who does not observe these guidelines.

Alameda County Law Library
125 Twelfth Street
Oakland, CA 94607-4912