Faculty Services

Librarian Responsibilities


Pat Newcombe
Pat has overall responsibility for the Law Library, and directs planning and implementation of programs and services to assure that the Law Library serves the needs of the School of Law community. Support of scholarship and teaching are primary missions. Pat is also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Law Library. She oversees library functions, including Access Services, Research Services, Technical Services, and Cataloging operations. Pat is heavily involved in the provision of faculty services and collection development, and participates in the development of the Law Library's webpage. She produces the Library Guide.

Access Services

Nicole Belbin
Nicole is responsible for the daily administration of the Access Services Department. She administers and supervises circulation and collection services and has overall management responsibilities for the student staff. Nicole is also responsible for administering the online circulation system and editing the Law Library’s Student Staff Handbook.

Research Services

Renee Rastorfer
Renee is responsible for the daily administration of the Research Services Department. She administers and participates in reference and informational services to faculty, the local bar and bench, and the public. Renee instructs students and faculty in the use of LexisNexis and Westlaw and the other databases to which the Library subscribes, co-edits CyberCites, prepares law displays on a regular basis, and speaks to interested groups on the effective use of the Library. 

Technical Services

Nicole Belbin
Nicole administers the acquisitions, serials, and cataloging operations in the Library, including acquiring all materials needed by the Library. She is in charge of the Library’s accounting records, supervises the bookkeeping functions, and monitors the budget. Nicole is the systems administrator for the Law and D’Amour libraries’ shared Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (“III”) computer library system.

Open Position/Cataloging and Metadata Librarian
This individual coordinates all of the Library’s cataloging, reclassifying, and government documents processes. He/she is responsible for the preparation of bibliographic records that will become entries in the online catalog, for the logical arrangement of materials in the Library collection, for the federal government documents collection, and for maintaining collection statistics. The Cataloging and Metadata Librarian is the overall supervisor of student employees in the technical processing of acquisitions and participates in the development of the Law Library's webpage.

Alerting Services

The Library provides alerting services designed to inform patrons of the availability of new publications. If you have any questions about these services, call Pat Newcombe at extension 1616.

Circulation Services

Any item, excluding materials from the Reference collection or Index Table, may be checked out by a full-time faculty member. Circulation policies are liberal in recognition of the research and course preparation requirements of faculty. However, it is essential that check out procedures be followed. If you want to check out material from the Library, come to Circulation with the material you wish to check out. Your ID with your patron barcode is kept at Circulation. Once the material has been checked out and desensitized, you can exit the building without activating the security system. Please follow the proper check-out procedure as any deviation encourages other users to attempt to circumvent the system.

Please check out all materials you borrow from the Library if you intend to keep them overnight, even if the material is being kept in the building. You are encouraged to return materials as soon as you are finished using them, so that others may have access to them, and no later than the end of a semester. All Library materials checked out to you are subject to recall when other patrons require them. If one of your colleagues borrows materials from you, which are checked out in your name, please notify the Head of Access Services so the records may be changed. Research assistants may check out otherwise non-circulating materials in connection with faculty research work for a period of three days.

An inventory of faculty offices is conducted annually by Library staff during the summer. Staff will renew all library items found in faculty offices. After follow-up with faculty members, any item listed as being checked out but not found in faculty offices, will be sent to the Dean for reimbursement after the library stacks have been checked for each item. Faculty will receive a minimum of one week notice before commencement of the inventory.

Circulation Express is designed to support the research and curricular needs of the law faculty. If you would like material from either our collection or from D'Amour, the University's undergraduate library, please complete this Circulation Express Request Form. You may also fill out a Circulation Express print form located in the faculty assistants' offices. Your requested material will be retrieved from either library within 24-48 hours, checked out in your name, and delivered directly to your office. All library material, including D'Amour's, should be returned to the Law Library bookdrop at Circulation. Please note that the law and undergraduate libraries have different loan rules based on the nature of their collections, and therefore have different due dates. All material must be returned by the due date noted on each item. Contact the Head of Access Services at extension 1484 if you have any questions.

Consortia and Access to Other Libraries

Cooperating Libraries of Greater Springfield (CLGS)

The Library is affiliated via consortium with all other academic libraries in the Greater Springfield area to provide complete research services to our Library community. Your WNEC ID will enable you to use the facilities of, and check out materials from, any of these libraries. The CLGS colleges are: American International College; Bay Path College; Elms College; Holyoke Community College; Springfield College; Springfield Technical Community College; Western New England University (D'Amour); and Westfield State University.


The Library is a member of NELLCO, a consortium of academic, private, and government law libraries. Through this membership, the Librarians may be able to obtain from one of these libraries, on interlibrary loan, materials that are not available in our Library. As a member of NELLCO, we cooperate in joint purchases of databases that provide useful resources. A NELLCO catalog allows for searching member libraries' collections.

Digital Commons

The Library maintains our institutional repository, Digital Commons, designed to capture the research and scholarly output of the School of Law. Contact Pat Newcombe at extension 1616 regarding submissions.

Exams Online

All faculty should contact the Head of Access Services if they choose not to make their exam questions and answers available online. Otherwise, if the Library receives print questions from the Student Records Office, we will automatically add the exam questions to E-Reserves. Any exam answers dropped off by faculty or faculty assistants at Circulation will automatically be added to E-Reserves. The exception is multiple choice portions of exams, which are never made available to students, either in print or on E-Reserves.

In-Class Research Presentations

The Librarians will be glad to come to your class and speak to your students about legal research topics. Contact Pat Newcombe at extension 1616 with requests.

Interlibrary Loan

If you require material that is not available in the Library, contact Renee Rastorfer at extension 1459. Turnaround time for an interlibrary loan can be as little as one week or as long as three weeks. Because it is difficult to predict the time, allow as much lead time as possible when using this service. Faculty may complete an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Form, available at the Circulation and Reference Desks, or use the following online links. To request a book, please complete this Interlibrary Loan Book Request Form. To request a copy of an article, please complete this Interlibrary Loan Article Request Form. Materials borrowed from other libraries should be returned by the due date, or immediately upon request, to avoid charges from the lending libraries and to maintain good cooperative relations with them.

Legal Scholarship Network

Legal Scholarship Network (LSN) distributes scholarly information related to law. LSN is a division of Social Science Research Network (SSRN), which also sponsors the Accounting Research Network (ARN), the Economics Research Network (ERN), the Financial Economics Network (FEN) and the Management Research Network (MRN). LSN encourages the early distribution of research results by publishing submitted abstracts and by soliciting abstracts of top quality research papers around the world. Full-text working papers and scholarly article drafts are also accepted for publication. Subscribers to LSN receive email alerts when papers are distributed through LSN. Professional Announcements, published weekly, are also provided; these include announcements such as important professional meetings, calls for papers and special issues of journals. SSRN encourages readers to communicate directly with other members of the SSRN Community concerning their own and other's research. To help facilitate this interchange, it publishes contact information for the author(s) of each research paper. This alerting service is available to Law School faculty. The Law Library will add individual faculty members to the site license as requested; users will then receive a welcome email from LSN with journal signup instructions.

Library Liaison Service

This is a service the Librarians provide to faculty to help advance both research and teaching goals. Librarians notify faculty of acquisitions, articles, publications, conferences, and websites in their subject area.  At the beginning of each academic year, faculty members are asked about special law-related interests they may have. Thereafter, they will be notified by their Library liaison of information in which they have expressed an interest, as well as any publication in their subject area that might be of interest to them. Librarians will help set up TWEN pages or Lexis Web Courses, design LibGuides for courses, prepare in class tutorials, among other services. Please contact Pat Newcombe at extension 1616 with any questions or "alerting" needs.

Requests For New Materials

Since the Library acquires materials in many subject areas, faculty members are encouraged to evaluate the Library’s holdings in the areas of their expertise and to make recommendations for improvement. You may be asked, from time to time, whether a particular item should be acquired. Such evaluations help us to develop the collection to meet faculty and research needs. The Library will attempt to comply with any reasonable requests for new acquisitions. If it is an item that is important to your own research but would not be worth the expenditure to add to the Library collection, acquiring the item through interlibrary loan is an option you might want to consider. Requests to purchase materials should be directed to Pat Newcombe at extension 1616. If an item has to be ordered, please allow at least six weeks for receipt. You will be notified upon its arrival.

Research Services

The Librarians will provide answers to any reference questions faculty members may have. Feel free to contact us when you need assistance or fill out a Reference Request Form, available at the Library’s homepage and the Reference Desk.

The Research Librarians are happy to assist faculty in their research projects. This may involve locating law review articles, web resources, books, statistics, etc. The Library has access to various indices to legal periodical literature and to OCLC, which allows us to search through over 50 million bibliographic records and locate specific titles, or books by a particular author or on a particular subject. Our access to OCLC allows us to locate libraries that will then lend the requested publications.

The Research Librarians can work with you at the beginning of your project when you may be first trying to determine the extent of the published research with a particular focus. We can do a literature search to determine "what is already out there." If or when your topic becomes more refined, we can assist you in tracking down relevant data and sources.

The Research Services Department offers special research instruction sessions for faculty research assistants. After a Librarian has a meeting with a faculty member, a Research Librarian will design a course of instruction suited to the faculty member’s research requirements and the skills and experience of the research assistant. Specialized instruction saves research assistants’ time and ensures that faculty members receive thorough bibliographic research. Contact Renee Rastorfer at extension 1459 to request research assistant instruction.

Reserve Materials

Materials for Reserve should conform to the University's Policy for Copyright Compliance

Heavily-used items are placed on Reserve to prevent loss, theft, and mutilation. Also, the Reserve Collection provides ready access to assigned readings.

Please indicate, preferably on a Reserve Request Form, the title of the book or periodical or the number of copies of photocopied materials, the course name, and the length of time you wish the materials to remain on Reserve. Reserve Request Forms are available in each faculty assistant's office and at Circulation.

Materials are kept on Reserve only for the time indicated on the Reserve Request Form. The materials placed on Reserve will be shown in the Course Reserve List available through the catalog.

You are encouraged to submit a copy of your syllabus to the Head of Access Services or to inform her of research topics and due dates for class papers, so that appropriate volumes, which tend to disappear when many students are working on a paper, may be placed on Reserve. 

Routing of Library Materials

Periodicals and looseleaf supplements received by the Library will be routed to faculty members, if feasible. Place your request to have an item routed to you with Pat Newcombe at extension 1616. Items are routed for a period between one to four days, depending on the use they receive.

Please do not pass routed materials on to other faculty members, but return them to the designated return point in the faculty assistant's office on your floor. A runner will deliver and pick up materials.

1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01119
Main University: 413-782-3111
Admissions: 413-782-1406 or 800-782-6665