Legal, Medical, Investment and Tax-Related Reference Questions
The librarians at Carbondale Public Library will help clients use the legal, medical, investment and tax materials in the library. However, they will not do legal, medical, investment or tax research; nor will they give legal, medical, investment or tax advice. When clients come to the library, the librarians will show them where the legal, medical, and tax information is located and show them how to use the indexes, etc. However, clients are responsible for doing their own research. If the information is unclear, the librarians will not interpret it. Instead they will suggest other sources that might help clients interpret it or suggest they contact a professional in those fields (i.e., attorney, physician, accountant) to help with interpretation. The librarians will not give legal, medical, investment or tax information over the telephone if it involves interpretation of the material.
This policy is necessary because:
- Giving advice about legal, medical, investment or tax issues and how it applies to a client's situation may be interpreted as practicing law, medicine, accounting, etc. We are librarians. Our job is to help clients use the library, not to research and interpret information for them.
- Legal, medical, investment and tax research can be complicated. What appears to be a simple question may have many factors to be considered. Clients have to assess the information themselves, determine what factors apply to their situation, and choose the information that seems appropriate to their situation.