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Library Use Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The University of Newcastle's Library facilities and resources are provided to support the teaching, learning, research and administrative requirements of the University community, its students, staff and registered members of the Library, in support of the University Strategic Plan.

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Section 2 - Policy Scope

(2) This policy applies to all of the libraries that comprise the University Library, across all campuses and locations.

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Section 3 - Policy Intent

(3) The intent of this policy is to establish the principles by which clients of the Library may access and utilise resources of the University Libraries.

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Section 4 - Policy Principles

The Library's Clients

(4) Members of the University community, its students, graduates, staff, partners, affiliates, reciprocates, conjoint and Visiting appointments, and other external users, as approved by the University Librarian, have access to the facilities and services of the University Library.

  1. Services which are determined by licence agreements, or other contractual or legislative requirements, are available only to those clients of the University community specified by the providers of those services, or by the relevant legislation.
  2. Staff and students of other institutions may borrow from the University Library, according to the terms and conditions established in the various reciprocal agreements.
  3. Visitors and members of the public may enter the Library during its hours of opening.

Hours of Opening

(5) The hours of opening of each Library shall be determined by the University Librarian, upon advice of the appropriate Library Manager; and notified to the clients of each Library. Any variation to standard opening hours shall be notified in advance, through appropriate University and Library channels, and posted on the Library's website.

Access to the University Library and Resources

(6) The Library Use Policy shall be displayed or made available to clients of the Library via the website.

(7) Admission to use the Library is conditional on adherence to the Library's policies and general conditions as displayed on the website.

(8) Library members have access to the public areas within the libraries and to the facilities and collections in these areas. They also have borrowing rights to library materials, and have priority for services and facilities, including computers and workstations.

(9) Visitors to the libraries have access to the public areas of the libraries and to the facilities and collections in these areas, but do not have borrowing rights unless they have paid a membership fee. They also have limited access to electronic resources, in accordance with licensing agreements, and the availability of computers and restricted collections.

(10) Library clients must observe the Copyright Act 1968, Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act 2000, and the University of Newcastle Code Of Conduct when accessing library resources, both on and off campus.

(11) Library staff areas are wholly restricted to the use of Library staff, and may not be accessed without the permission of Library staff.

(12) Persons using Library facilities and resources may be required by Library or security staff to provide identification at any time.

Use of the Library – Borrowing

(13) Library materials may be borrowed for prescribed periods of time and must be returned within the given timeframe, or renewed accordingly. Web renewals may be made at any time such services are operational. Items must be returned upon request.

(14) Lending conditions, loan periods, and penalties for overdue items vary according to client status, and are detailed on the Library's website. Clients are required to familiarise themselves with these requirements before borrowing. Staff undertaking university courses must use their student card to borrow course material.

(15)  Materials must be returned in good condition. Any damage must be reported upon return, and may be subject to charges as described in Clause 42 to 45.

(16) Certain types of material, including reference texts, theses, rare or valuable materials are not available for loan and must not be removed from the Library.

(17) No other material may be removed from the Library without loan transaction records.

(18) Clients are responsible for any materials for which there are loan transaction records in their name. This responsibility ends only when the loan is discharged from the computer system.

(19) Clients must not borrow in another person's name, nor use any person's identification but their own.

(20) Clients may not transfer a loaned item to another client. The client in whose name the loan record is held is regarded as the borrower, and is responsible for the undamaged condition and timely return of the loan.

(21) The University Librarian shall have discretionary power to lend, or to refuse to lend any item at any time.

(22) Clients leaving the Library must produce any Library item in their possession for inspection by Library staff, if called upon to do so.

(23) Clients who fail to record loans, or who attempt to leave the Library without recording loans, may be subject to disciplinary action.

Use of the Library – Electronic Resources, Computers, Databases, Photocopying, Printing, Recording

(24) Computers and connectivity to the University network are provided for staff and students of the University and must be used in compliance with University policies and conditions of use.

(25) Library members have access to the Library's electronic resources, including hardware and software; however, restrictions may be placed on the use of some services as determined by licence agreements, by the providers of those services, or by the relevant legislation.

(26) A person shall not use copying, printing or recording machines in any manner that infringes the Copyright Act 1968. Notices indicating permissible actions are located with the relevant copying facilities. Clients must comply with these legal requirements.

(27) In accordance with the Information Technology Conditions of Use Policy, use of another person's account, or providing passwords / restricted information to assist unauthorised users to gain access to Library resources, is prohibited.

Use of the Library - Reading and Study Facilities

(28) Clients may not reserve places in the public areas of the Library, including study desks and computer work stations. If a place is vacated without being cleared of books, or a computer is unoccupied for 15 minutes, it is regarded as available for use by another client. Personal belongings left unattended will be removed by Library staff and kept in a secure place.

(29) Reservations may be made for certain study rooms and working places for particular groups of clients (e.g. postgraduate students) or for particular types of work (e.g. video viewing). Information on the locations of these areas and the manner for booking them is available on the Library website.

(30) Services will cease 15 minutes before closing time of the Library. Clients will assist library staff by finalising their work/study and being prepared to leave.

General Conduct Within the Library

(31) Library clients must respect the rights of others, and behave in a manner not likely to disrupt or inconvenience other users, refraining from using offensive language or gestures. The Library observes zero tolerance to verbal or physical abuse of Library staff or clients.

(32) Observance of the Library's noise zoning levels should be maintained, and noise levels kept low in designated areas, in consideration of others.

(33) Mobile phones are allowed, but should have ring tones set to 'silent' or 'vibrate' in the quiet (red and orange) zones.

(34) During periods of high demand, members using computers for amusement or social activity may be requested by Library staff to relinquish their use until a more appropriate time.

(35) Children must be within the immediate supervision of an adult at all times.

(36) Appropriate clothing must be worn, which as a minimum should include shorts/skirt and singlet/t-shirt, with no offensive images or text.

(37) Clients who mark or mutilate library materials will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include penalties as described in Clause 42 to 45.

(38) Display of posters and notices may be allowed at the discretion of the University Librarian or relevant library manager. Permission must be obtained in advance.

(39) Filming or taking photographs within the Library requires prior permission from the University Librarian. Photography of staff or students is not permitted without their permission.

(40) Clients must leave the Library immediately when requested to do so by Library staff.

(41) Clients must follow the directions of Library or security staff in situations requiring emergency procedures or evacuation.

Infringements and Penalties

(42) The University Librarian has the authority to withdraw borrowing privileges from members of the Library who fail to return material after recall or overdue requests. Borrowing privileges will be restored when the material is returned, or at the discretion of the University Librarian.

(43) The University Librarian may restrict access or exclude clients who breach the provisions of this policy. 

(44) A schedule of penalties and of fines will operate for certain infringements, including items which are retained beyond the due date/time. This schedule is reviewed periodically and details are placed on the Library Website. In the event of fines or penalties being imposed, assessment results and re-enrolment or graduation processes will be blocked until finalisation of the matter.

(45) Clients may be required to pay for loss or damage to Library property plus a processing fee. This includes items on loan, or being used by them in the Library. If the item was part of a set, the client may be required to pay the cost of a new set, if this is the only way to replace the lost part. When an item on loan has been lost, a copy (or an appropriate substitute) will be reordered if available, and the client charged to pay the cost of the item, together with handling fees, even if the original copy belonging to the Library is subsequently found.

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Section 5 - Roles and Responsibilities

(46) The University Librarian has overarching responsibility for all of the libraries that comprise the University Library, across all campuses and locations. This includes, but is not limited to withdrawing and restoring borrowing privileges and access to the Library.

(47) Library clients and members have responsibility for accessing and utilising University Library facilities in adherence with the principles of this policy.