Policies on Library Use

NOTICE: In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation, the Supreme Court of Canada Building is closed to external clients until further notice. Because of the situation, the library will not be able to offer inter-library loan service to other libraries, including request for electronic files.

If you have books or documents of ours that are overdue, you can still send them back to us by courier or regular mail. Our address is 301 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0J1.

The library will still be answering reference inquiries at library@scc-csc.ca.

Thank you for your understanding.

I. Hours

Service is provided from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. The Library closes at 4:00 p.m. Friday in July and August.

The collection is available for use by Judges and staff located in the Supreme Court of Canada building, twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week.

II. Users

A. The Library serves the following users:

  • Judges and staff of the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Counsel appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Canada sitting in the Supreme Court of Canada building
  • Guests sponsored by the Judges and officers of the Supreme Court of Canada
  • On the day(s) of their hearing, litigants before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Canada sitting in the Supreme Court of Canada building upon presentation to Court Security of their notice of hearing or other documentation establishing that their case is before either Court.

B. The following persons are permitted to use the Library upon presentation of proof of identity and obtaining of a visitor's pass from Court Security which must be worn at all times while on the Library's premises:

  • Judges of any other Court
  • Members of the bar and their representatives
  • Faculty Members and students in good standing of Faculties of Law.

C. Other individuals wishing to use the Library must apply in advance of their visit for permission. Provided that their research requirements can be accommodated, permission may be granted for a specified period of time. Such individuals will be required to present their letter of permission to Court Security where a visitor's pass will be issued. Permission will be granted to those who have demonstrated a legitimate need to use the Library and permission may not be granted if resources to be consulted are readily accessible elsewhere. If permission is refused, the reasons for refusal will be provided upon request.

D. The Supreme Court of Canada reserves the right to refuse to admit any individual to the Library and to remove from the Library any individual whose behaviour is not in keeping with the dignity of the Court.

III. Visitors' Register

Users of the Library, other than Judges and staff located in the Supreme Court of Canada building, are requested to sign the Register provided at the Reference Desk indicating their affiliation and time of arrival. Upon leaving the Library, they are requested to indicate the time of their departure.

IV. Circulation Policy and Procedures

A. Policies

Staff located in the Supreme Court of Canada may borrow material from the Library subject to the following limitations:

  1. Material designated "Reference" must be returned on the day it is borrowed
  2. Material held at the Reference Desk including current periodicals and law reports, new acquisitions, and a small number of books in constant demand are circulated for a limited time only and must be returned when due
  3. CD-ROMs may not be removed from the Library.

Out of town counsel appearing before the Supreme Court or Federal Court of Canada, members of the local bar and their representatives, and others, at the discretion of Library staff, may borrow material for a twenty-four-hour period except those listed below which must be consulted in the Library:

  1. Reference books
  2. Rare books and books published before 1900
  3. Current periodicals and books reserved for library use
  4. Loose leaf services
  5. CD-ROMs
  6. Any other item in the collection, if in the opinion of the staff, such loan would result in adverse service to the Court.

B. Procedures

Material removed from the Library must be charged out according to current procedures.

Borrowers other than Supreme Court of Canada Judges or staff must provide the name of their employer and information as to how they can be reached.

C. Inter-Library Loan

Material will be lent to other libraries according to the following schedule of loan periods:

Item Loan Period Renewal
Statutes and Regulations 1 week none
Law Reports 1 week none
General collection 3 weeks 1 week
Periodicals 1 week none
Microforms 1 week none

The following material is not available through inter-library loan:

  1. Reference books
  2. Rare books and books published before 1900
  3. Current periodicals, books appearing on the current acquisition list and books reserved for Library use
  4. Loose leaf services
  5. CD-ROMs
  6. Any other item in the collection, if in the opinion of the staff, such loan would result in adverse service to the Court.

The Library will photocopy and fax or mail a limited number of pages to a requesting library subject to current copyright laws and regulations.

Charges for delivery of documents other than by mail are to be borne by the borrowing library.

V. Services

The Library provides a full range of library and information services to the Judges and staff of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Service to external users is limited to assistance in the location and use of library materials including the use of the library catalogue and a limited number of electronic research services.

Library staff will reshelve library material. Users are requested to leave books on the tables. A signed and dated note should be left with any unattended volume that is still in use: such books will be reshelved within 3 days.

A public photocopier is available in the Library, at a cost of $.50 per page. Receipts are available at the Reference Desk upon request.

A public telephone is available for the convenience of visitors.

Other than charges mentioned above, services are provided free of charge. The Library reserves the right to charge for services in future, but will not do so before giving its users adequate notice.

VI. Miscellaneous

Eating and drinking are not permitted in the library reading rooms and stacks.

Library users are requested to maintain silence in the Library as a courtesy to other users.

Smoking is not permitted in any federal government building.

VII. Adoption and Review

This policy is adopted by the Registrar on the recommendation of the Director of the Library and the approval of the Library Advisory Committee. The policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure its currency and recommended changes will be provided by the Director to the Committee for approval.

Adopted by the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada and approved by the Library Advisory Committee,

November 14, 2000. Revised, May 12, 2007.