Collection Development Policy

Description | Mission | Goals & Objectives | Collection | Selection Criteria | Selection Aids | Responsibility | Gifts, Donations, Duplication, Replacement, Weeding | Special Collections | Appendices

Program Description

The Supreme Court Law Library (Honolulu, O‘ahu) and satellite locations in the Second (Wailuku, Maui), Third (Hilo and Kona, Big Island of Hawai`i), and Fifth (Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i) Circuit Courts constitute the Hawai`i State Law Library System (HSLLS). The statewide library system serves as the primary source of legal research materials for the state courts and the general public.

Mission Statement

The HSLLS mission is to provide current and comprehensive legal reference and information services to the Judiciary, legal community, state and county governments, and the general public. A key aspect of HSLLS service to the general public is facilitating access to justice. Our commitment to these goals is supported by acquiring and making available primary and secondary legal resources in a variety of formats – print, electronic, microfilm, microfiche, and CD-ROMS, etc., as well as providing free access to the internet and legal research databases.

Collection Development Goals and Objectives

The primary responsibility of the HSLLS is to provide judges and the staff of all Hawai`i state courts with the necessary information that will expedite the fair resolution of cases brought before the courts. Emphasis is placed on the selection and acquisition of titles that will support the Judiciary’s legal research needs. Priority is given to acquiring the publications as recommended by the Appellate Court Libraries and State Law Libraries Standards approved by the Executive Board of the American Association of Law Libraries on July 14, 2016 (Appendix A), and other materials that the courts deem to be essential. As a selective federal government depository library, the Supreme Court Law Library can and does acquire, at no cost, suggested core collection titles based on the FDLP Basic Collection: Core U.S. Government Resources (Appendix B.)

Description of the Supreme Court Law Library Collection

Case Materials

  • Hawai`i Reports, Hawai`i Appellate Reports, West’s Hawai`i Reports (Hawai`i appellate court records and briefs are available via eCourt Kokua from the Hawai‘i State Judiciary website)
  • Decisions and orders regarding administrative revocation of license, District Courts, State of Hawai`i
  • Hawai`i Tax Appeal Court decisions
  • S. Supreme Court opinions (U.S., S.Ct., L.Ed.)
  • All published decisions of the federal courts of appeals, district courts, bankruptcy courts, claims courts, customs court, court of international trade, military court of appeals, and tax court (available electronically through Patron Access Westlaw at all HSLLS locations)
  • Federal Rules Decisions (FRD) (available through Patron Access Westlaw at all HSLLS locations)
  • National Reporter System (available through Patron Access Westlaw at all HSLLS locations)
  • American Law Reports (ALR) (older volumes in print and current volumes available electronically through Patron Access Westlaw at all HSLLS locations)

Judicial Materials

  • Hawai`i Rules of Court (all orders adopting, amending, repealing, etc.; drafts; commentaries; current and superseded editions in both official and LexisNexis editions)
  • Annual Reports of the Hawai`i Judiciary
  • Hawai`i Judicial Council reports
  • Hawai`i Judicial Conference reports
  • Hawai`i Jury Instructions, Civil and Criminal
  • Hawai`i Supreme Court various orders
  • State Justice Institute funded publications

Constitutional Materials

  • Hawai`i Constitution (Kingdom, Republic, Territory, State)
  • Hawai`i Constitutional Convention Proceedings
  • United States Constitution

Legislative/Statutory Materials

  • Hawai‘i Session Laws, 1901+
  • Hawai`i House and Senate Journals, 1901+
  • Ordinances and codes of all counties in the State of Hawai`i
  • Statutes at Large, S.C., U.S.C.A., U.S.C.S. & session law service, USCCAN, CIS (1970 to mid-1985) and U.S. Congress Serial Set (1987-2022 microfiche; full set available electronically through Federal Depository Library Program.)

Administrative Law

  • Hawai`i Administrative Rules (HAR)
  • Opinions of the Attorney General of Hawaii
  • Labor Appeal Board decisions
  • Labor Relations Board decisions
  • Rules and Regulations of select county agencies in the State of Hawai`i
  • Federal Register (R.), complete
  • Code of Federal Regulations, through 2022. e-CFR, 2023+ available electronically through Federal Depository Library Program.

Finding Aids and Other Secondary Resources

  • Supreme Court digest, federal case digests (all series)
  • LexisNexis Advance Michie’s Hawaii Primary Laws & Shepard’s
  • Hawai`i continuing legal education and practice manuals
  • Legal dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauri, legal quotations, and directories
  • American Law Institute Restatements, all series and many drafts
  • Uniform and model laws
  • Major law reviews and legal periodicals (print, HeinOnline, Westlaw)
  • Major legal treatises and loose-leaf services
  • General reference, i.e. unabridged dictionary, atlas, almanac, and statistical abstracts
  • Online legal databases and resources

Format Categories

  1. Hardcopy/print materials
  2. CD-ROM (Supreme Court Law Library)
  3. Microforms (Supreme Court Law Library)
  4. Electronic databases, treatises, and current legal news services

Selection Criteria

  1. Listed in the core collection set forth in the Appellate Court Libraries and State Law Libraries Standards approved by the Executive Board of the American Association of Law Libraries on July 14, 2016 (Appendix A)
  2. Relevance of subject matter
  3. Value to the collection
  4. Publication date
  5. Frequency of citation in court cases and scholarly legal writing
  6. Recommendations, especially by the Hawai‘i State Judiciary personnel
  7. Anticipated frequency of use
  8. Reputation of authors/editors and publisher
  9. Coverage of subject matter in the collection
  10. Cost
  11. Format
  12. Maintenance cost
  13. Space limitations
  14. Language (English)
  15. Geography (concentration is on Hawai‘i and U.S.)

Selection Aids

  1. Acquisition lists and bibliographies
  2. Publishers’ catalogs, flyers, brochures, sales representatives
  3. GPO selection lists
  4. Patron requests

Responsibility for Selection

  1. Suggestions are accepted from the courts, library patrons, and staff.
  2. Recommendations are submitted by the Technical Services and Public Services librarians.
  3. Final approval is granted by the State Law Librarian.

Gifts, Donations, Duplication, Replacement, Weeding

  1. Gifts and donations are accepted if they do not bear conditions, add value to the scope and depth of the HSLLS, and meet the selection criteria. The HSLLS reserves the right to discard gifts and donations that are in poor physical condition and of limited use/interest.
  2. Duplication is kept to a minimum. High demand and usage may warrant a second copy.
  3. Replacement is made if an item is in high demand and funds are available.
  4. Superseded editions, pocket parts and supplements for Hawai`i state and county primary statutory and regulatory materials are retained; those for other jurisdictions are discarded. Earlier editions of major legal treatises may be retained. Materials that are recompiled, such as digests and citators, are systematically discarded.
  5. Paper copies of earlier Statutes at Large, Federal Register, law reviews, etc., may be replaced by microforms.

Anti-Racism Collection at the Supreme Court Law Library

The HSLLS is committed to embracing and advancing a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. In support of this commitment, the Supreme Court Law Library will acquire materials on topics related to anti-racism and discrimination. Based on Hawai‘i’s geographic location and multicultural population, the library will especially seek out works related to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) matters.

Zine Collection at the Supreme Court Law Library

The Supreme Court Law Library seeks to broaden the perspective and knowledge of legal and legal related matters from a variety of viewpoints. Materials in this collection will be in line with the library’s mission and purpose. Specifically, the library is looking for works that promote access to justice, anti-racism, and Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) matters.

Gifts/donations of self-published Zines from library patrons is encouraged. The Library will review and accept works that are in line with its mission and purpose.

Zines are typically self-published, original works of alternative literature that are disseminated in magazine-like format and frequently unprofessional and uncommercial. The majority of zines are printed in tiny runs and made by people known as “Zinesters,” who physically cut and paste text and images to produce stories.


Appellate Court Libraries and State Law Libraries Standards, approved by the Executive Board on July 14, 2016.

FDLP Basic Core Collection: Core U.S. Government Resources, last updated Jan. 28, 2023.