Chapter 8: Central Court Libraries
The central court library assists patrons in collecting and organizing legal materials.
The central court library is not to be confused with collections maintained in chambers
and judiciary-related offices. Central libraries are administered by the U.S. Court of
Appeals (USCA) and operate autonomously from circuit to circuit.
Each circuit requires a circuit headquarters library, with satellite and unstaffed
libraries provided elsewhere in the circuit as required for court locations.
Circuit Headquarters Library
The circuit headquarters library is the hub for the administrative operation of each
circuit's library services. The library also houses the largest and most complete
research collection in the circuit.
Typically, the circuit headquarters library has specialists and technicians who provide
centralized services for the circuit. These services may include cataloging;
acquisitions for libraries, chambers, and offices; interlibrary loan; and in-depth
research requests requiring on-line expertise.
All of these functions require office and work space in addition to stack and patron
seating typical in any library. Other services and features of circuit headquarters
libraries include a card catalog, photocopy equipment, and study tables and computer
access for judges and staff.
An Integrated Library System is installed in each circuit headquarters library. The
system provides comprehensive library management software, including an on-line
public access catalog of holdings in all libraries within the respective circuit.
Satellite libraries are typically established for any court location with at least six
active resident judicial officers. The libraries are usually located in district
courthouses and are staffed by one professional or technical staff person (sometimes
part-time). Satellite libraries vary in levels of service and collection size and are staffed
based upon the court's needs and number of patrons. The libraries may house shared
chambers collections or augment chambers collections.
Similar to the circuit headquarters library, satellite libraries include a card catalog,