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GW Law Library
Research Guides

COVID-19 and The GW Law Library

Effective Monday, March 23, the Jacob Burns Law Library will be closed to help flatten the COVID-19 infection curve.

View the two guides below for information during this period.

GW Law Library COVID-19 Operations

Information for Students Regarding Online Learning

Interlibrary Resource Sharing and Document Services at Jacob Burns Law Library

Obtaining library materials for Virtual Learning

A temporary policy exception has been implemented while the library is closed during this period.  This policy supersedes any conflicting information in other sections of this libguide.  Please be advised that due to the volume of requests received we are processing scan requests as soon as possible.  Faculty requests have priority. 


Copies of circulating Burns Law Library material


  • Students and faculty can send emails to to request copies
  • No copies will be made from materials that are on course reserve/reserve books, other books, and/or study aids needed for a class. Scans will not be provided from material with the location of  CRES (Course Reserve)/Reserve.
  • Include full details in the email, including title, publication year, beginning and ending pages.
  • Students: Limited to 20 images per day.
  • Copyright policy and restrictions apply to all requests. 
  • Copies are emailed to your address


  • Per a University directive, issued by the Provost M. Brian Blake, as of April 3, 2020, "sharing of print materials is suspended at this time. . . "   Therefore, we will not ship physical items from the collection. 
  • ILL:
    • No loan requests will be processed.
    • No physical items will be shipped.
  • CLS:  Suspended at this time. 


  • Burns items: You can follow the above instructions or send a request using the ILL link in the library catalog, JACOB.
  • ILL: At this time, there are a significant number of libraries that have ceased physical operations. Many are trying to fulfill requests from electronic databases.  However, licensing restrictions may be in place.  We will make every effort to locate a fulfillment source. 

ILL Users

Interlibrary resource sharing is available to faculty, students and staff of the law school.  The service obtains material for you from institutions all over the world, if the material is not available at the Jacob Burns Law Library, Gelman Library or Himmelfarb Medical Library. Lending of material by other institutions is a courtesy.  Therefore, returning the items on time is important.  Late fees are assessed for books returned after the due date.   


  • (best method)
  • 202.994.4156


Your ILL account

Current law students, faculty and staff automatically have an account in the interlibrary resource sharing system.  

  • Access your ILL  account by inputting your law school email userid and password in JACOB.
  • Request ILL material by using the GW Law Library WorldCat Discovery catalog, locate the material and click on "request the item." 
    • Use the signin button (top right) to access your ILL account.  

Policies and Tips

  • The staff makes every effort to get the material as quickly as possible.  However, since we are dependent upon a lending library it make take up to 3 weeks for a lender to either fulfill or deny the request.
  • Copyright fees are the responsibility of the patron.  The Interlibrary Resource Sharing staff will alert you, via email, if a request requires payment of copyright.  
  • Overdue fees are assessed at $3.00 per day.  They will not be waived. In addition to fees, excessive overdue can result in loss of ILL privileges, loss of library circulation privileges and/or a hold on your law school account.  Please work with us and return items on time.  

Lost/Damaged Books

Borrowing items from other libraries is a privilege.  Therefore if items are lost and/or damaged fines and fees will be incurred.

  • An item is declared lost if overdue 3 weeks or sooner if it is the end of the semester.
  • An invoice will be sent to you for the replacement cost (plus processing fees) and overdue fees. 
  • If you find the book prior to payment of the invoice, please return asap.  All fees except overdue fees will be waived.
  • If you find the book after the invoice has been paid, there will be no refund. You can add the book to your collection. 
  • Unpaid invoices will result in blocks placed on your library accounts.  And, if necessary, a hold will be placed on your University account.
  • Fees for damaged books will be determined by the lending library.  You may be responsible for replacement of the book.