04.01.a Public Law Library Policy - Reviewed 11-20-17.pdf


Legal information is an essential part of the delivery of constitutionally guaranteed justice to every citizen of the City of Richmond. The Public Law Library, a division of Richmond Public Library located at the Main Library, provides access to and delivery of such legal information.

The Library shall maintain a collection of current law books, legal publications and computerized legal research and documentation that reflects the needs of Richmond's legal community and that of its residents. These materials are to be made available to all who seek these resources, including the general public of Richmond, attorneys and their staffs, judges and their law clerks and staffs, public defenders, Commonwealth Attorneys and students from area colleges and universities. Our law library is the only source available to the general public of Richmond for such material and must hold its resources in public trust to ensure that legal information is available to all.


Section § 42.1-70 of the Code of Virginia mandates, defines and provides funding for Public Law Libraries in Virginia. This statute is followed and enforced in conjunction with City of Richmond Ordinance Code Section § 26-347. The source of the funding is by the collection of a portion of Civil Law filing fees collected by the Richmond General District Court and Circuit Court. The amount presently assessed for this purpose is $2.00 per filing.


The Public Law Library is located in the Main Library of Richmond Public Library, 101 E. Franklin Street. The hours of the Richmond Public Law Library run concurrent with the hours of operation of the Main Library.


The Richmond Public Law Library is a non-circulating library.


The goal of the Richmond Public Law Library is to accommodate the needs and requests of both law professionals and the general public. In the event a particular need cannot be met, an alternative solution is attempted. The services by the law librarian must, however, never cross the line of practicing law but must maintain strictly the service of providing legal information to the customer.

Among the services are included:

Copier and printer per page fee, at the current rate charged by the library.

Faxing is provided only when requested by the Richmond courts; no charge is applied.

Copyright requirements of all publications and databases are to be strictly followed.


Customers are expected to be actively using the materials and services of the Public Law Library in order to occupy the space dedicated to the Public Law Library. Customers should maintain a quiet environment conducive to research. Individuals not using the resources of the Public Law Library will be asked to move to another location in the Main Library. Customers must follow the Rules of Conduct for Richmond Public Library.


Approved: September 2006

Reviewed: February 2012

Reviewed: November 20, 2017