Policies and Guidelines
Circulation Policies and Guidelines
General Policies and Guidelines
Audio Visual Policies and Procedures
Borrowing and Renewals
Stony Brook patrons may check out 3 videos or 3 DVDs only. Any requests for exceptions must be approved by Mary Ficuciello or Elba Orsland. Only members of the University with valid IDs (or those approved for courtesy borrowing) are allowed to check out videos.
If you need assistance call Mary Ficuciello or Elba Orsland, 631.632.7115 or 631.632.7138.
Audio-visual material (Videos and DVDs) are due back in 7 days. Audio-visual (AV) material can be renewed 3 times. Reserve videos cannot leave the Main Stacks (except by faculty when shown during class). No exceptions will be made. There are no recalls for AV material. Staff will place a hold on AV material for faculty, only if needed for classroom use or Reserve.
The viewing room is to be used mainly for Stony Brook audio-visual material. Although we allow the viewing of personal videos and DVDs, priority will be given to Stony Brook material. The library is not responsible for damage to personal videos or DVDs.
Patrons viewing class reserve material have priority over other users (Stony Brook students or general public). Headphones may be used in the viewing room and will be checked out for a four-hour period. Under no circumstances are they allowed to leave the area. A valid picture ID (driver's license or any other appropriate identification document) will be required to access the room.
- Instructors should make sure that the name(s) of all TAs in charge of borrowing AV material appear on the AV & Booking Reserve form .
- Any faculty member interested in showing AV material to their class which has already been placed on Reserve by another instructor, will need to complete a AV & Booking Reserve form .
- When you submit a form, if you use your Lotus Notes email address, you will receive a confirmation copy by email from Melissa Bishop. Please send any communications regarding A.V. Reserve concerns to Mary Ficuciello or Elba Orsland - not to Melissa.
- The library will order only one copy of any title not owned in the collection, regardless of the number of students in the course or if multiple courses are using the same title.
- Unauthorized reproductions of videos/DVDs or videos borrowed from other libraries or video rental stores, will not be accepted.
- The library cannot assume responsibility for loss or damage of personal videos or DVDs.
- Personal copies must be retrieved at the end of the semester.
- Patrons must have a current SBU ID card in order to borrow AV material.
- One Reserve video or DVD may be borrowed at a time.
- AV Reserve items do not leave the circulation area.
Permanent Reserve is located behind the Circulation Desk on the third floor. This material is restricted due to their cost (over $200), content (classics, extremely popular, susceptible to theft), and difficulty to replace. They are due back in 2 days. Any title you wish to include in this permanent reserve should be sent to Mary Ficuciello .
- Overdue Videos: $1 per video per day. Delinquent patrons will be billed after 10 days. Any patron accumulating a $5 fine will be blocked from borrowing.
- Lost Videos. A $100 replacement fee will be imposed for any lost AV material. Found or replaced items will be subject to a $10 late service fee for all patrons. Items not returned after two months will be subject to an additional $10.00 fine. Patrons may opt to replace lost items at their own expense. However a $6.50 fee for processing cost will automatically be imposed in addition to the $10 late service fee when AV material is replaced.
The following groups may check out audio visual material:
- LILRC staff
- Renaissance Technology staff
- Long Island High Tech staff
- Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (formerly: the Round Table) members
Emergency Opening and Closing Guidelines
When the University closes, the Libraries close.
When the University cancels classes, the Libraries will attempt to open at 10 a.m., allowing staff time to arrive and park on campus safely.
All Public Services staff will contact their supervisor if they cannot report to work. It is the responsibility of the head of each Public Services department and branch to determine whether and when the department or branch can open. The head should consult with an Associate Director or Director. If the Libraries do not have sufficient staff to open a single reading room, Administration will close the Libraries to the public. Administration will place this announcement on 632-7100 x3.
Public Services staff of all levels who report to work will be asked to staff Public Services desks.
Once the Libraries have opened, if there is sufficient staffing, at least one Public Services unit of the Melville Library will remain open until scheduled closing time. Sufficient staffing is one regular staff plus student assistants. If the regular staff person in charge of the Libraries decides there is insufficient staff to keep one Public Services unit open, he/she will report this to the Associate Director for Public Services or the Director. (March 3d, 2004)
Fire Alarm Policy: Evening & Weekends
- Whenever the alarm rings, staff should remove occupants from immediate danger and direct them to nearest exit.
- If you see fire or smoke and the fire alarm is not already ringing, activate the fire alarm by using nearest "pull station" and call University Police by dialing 911 from any campus phone, or 632-3333 from a cell phone. If you dial 911 from a cell phone, you will be contacting Suffolk County Police.
- Confine the fire by closing doors behind you. Evacuate the building or use an extinguisher if trained.
- A library staff member should meet with University Police and/or Fire Marshal outside the NW corner stairwell of the building, on the west side of the bookstore, to get status reports.
- University Police and/or Fire Marshal will make every attempt to notify Library (Safety Warden) staff by way of two-way radio, and will try to send an Officer/Fire Marshal to the main lobby doors to advise people when it is safe to re-enter the building.
- If an extended period of time goes by, and staff has not heard from anyone, then the most senior person from the library staff may call police for an update.
- During fire emergencies, all warden vests should be worn so that the police and fire marshal can recognize the responsible staff.
Food and Drink Policy
- Food and drink are permitted only in the Galleria and in the Commuter Lounge of Melville Library.
- No food/drink (except drinking water) should be consumed or brought into any reading rooms.
- If patrons come to reading rooms with food/drink, they should either consume outside of the library or discard before entering.
- Patrons may deposit their food/drink on side table or counter top near entrances at their own risk (maybe discarded by staff).
Gift Books Policy
The University Libraries accept donations of books and other materials that support the research and teaching mission of the University. Especially welcome are items that will have significant importance to the library’s collections based on their subject matter and content. Due to the high cost of processing donations, the Library reserves the right to decline gift offers at its sole discretion.
Received materials will be evaluated in accordance with criteria consistent with the Library Collection Development Policy. Upon receipt, materials become the property of the Library and will be reviewed by appropriate library personnel. Materials that are in poor condition, duplicate existing holdings, or fall outside the scope of the Library Collection Development Policy may be immediately disposed of through sale, donation, or discard.
Once items are accepted, the Library is responsible for determining the retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to the use or disposition of these materials.
In accordance with United States tax regulations, the Library is not permitted to make appraisals of gifts. For IRS reporting purposes, it is the responsibility of the donor to arrange for an independent appraisal by a qualified professional prior to the donation and to keep records of the individual items donated and the value attached to each. If the library receives appraised collections through the Stony Brook Foundation, the library is required to follow the Foundation's specific guidelines for accepting and handling materials.
In general, the Library considers the following to be not acceptable as gifts:
• Gifts to which the donor has attached conditions or restrictions, such as retention, housing, classification, and use
• Materials which duplicate existing holdings
• Mass media paperbacks
• Photocopied materials or copies of original audio/video productions
• Damaged and/or brittle materials
• Materials that may be affected by mildew or mold
• Materials heavily marked by pen or pencil
• Materials discarded by other libraries
Disposition of Prospective Gifts
The initial contact person for gifts to the Library is the Associate Director for Collection Strategy and Management (ADCSM) or his/her designee. Once contact is made, the ADCSM/designee will promptly ask the appropriate subject specialist to respond to the donor, learn more about the intended donation and, when appropriate and with the permission of the ADCSM/designee, begin making arrangements for delivery to the library.
The subject specialist will request that the donor supply a printed inventory of titles before final permission to deliver materials is given.
The donor will be responsible for boxing and delivering donations intended for the Library.
After gift items are accepted, an acknowledgment letter from the Dean of Libraries will be sent to the donor. The letter will note the number of volumes accepted but will not list individual titles or estimate the value of the donation.
The specialist will keep a record of correspondence relating to gifts and will document, for each donation, the names of donors, the dates of donations, a brief description of each donation, and the number of items donated. A copy of the brief description including the number of items donated will accompany the donation when it is sent for processing.
Materials not selected by the library will be sold, donated, or discarded at the sole discretion of the Library.
Online Chat Privacy and Confidentiality
What Information is Collected?
Our Chat Help service uses QuestionPoint software. The software keeps a transcript of every chat reference session, including the complete conversation between the librarian and the patron. If co-browse was used, the software also keeps track of all web sites visited during the session.
If you do not enter an email address, you will be an ANONYMOUS PATRON and the software will have no email or or other identifying information, though the transcript of the session remains.
Giving us your e-mail address allows us to:
- send a transcript of your session with the librarian to your e-mail address at the conclusion of the session
- contact you in case we missed your question
- contact you if we find additional information about your question.
We will not use these email addresses for any other purpose.
Why Are Transcripts of Chat Reference Sessions Saved?
We usually save the transcripts in order to:
- answer questions that came in when a librarian was not available
- provide better service to all patrons
- compile statistics about usage
- improve online reference service
- analyze the amount and types of questions we are being asked
- train librarians for the service
Who Has Access To this Information?
The information collected is only accessible to the librarians associated with the service.
With Whom Does the Library Share the Information?
Usage statistics from the service may be used for library reports or publications. However, information about specific individuals (e.g. IP address, e-mail addresses, names, phone numbers, etc …) are never included in statistical reports generated by the software.
What Choices Do Users Have?
Any patron who wishes to have a record of their chat session deleted may e-mail the chat administrator (William Glenn ) to request the deletion of their transcript of the session in the chat database. Please send the date and time the chat session began.
Preservation Procedure for the Repair of Gift Books
1. The Preservation Dept. will consider repairing a damaged volume that has been received as a gift if the volume is rare or otherwise special or important to the library's collections, the cost of repair would not exceed the value of the material in question, the volume appears capable of undergoing a repair without further stressing its structure, and the repair would result in a volume with long-term viability.
2. The Gifts Librarian may ask the Preservation Dept. to consider such repairs. When there is some question about whether an item's value to the collection justifies a repair, the selector for the volume's subject area should be asked for an opinion. The opinion of the selector can be solicited by the Gifts Librarian or the Preservation Librarian.
3. The Preservation Librarian may recommend that a volume not be repaired, even if the book is deemed important to the collection by the selector, if the former feels the cost of the repair is not justified, or the repair will not result in the volume's long-term viability.
4. When the Preservation Librarian's view is not in agreement with the selector's, a final decision can be solicited from the Associate Director for Collections and Technical Services at the selector's request.
5. As a general guideline, the Preservation Dept. recommends that books received as gifts that are brittle, broken or otherwise damaged, marked with pencil or pen, bear the identification stamps, labels or attachments (such as pockets) of other libraries, or have an odor suggesting mold infestation, not be introduced into the collections unless they are rare or otherwise of importance. In the latter case, the Preservation Department should be allowed to evaluate these materials for possible appropriate treatment.
Richard Feinberg, Head, Preservation Department, Feb. 18, 2006.
Selecting Materials for Offsite Storage
The purpose of these guidelines is to identify broad categories of materials to be sent to offsite storage. The final decision to send items offsite will be made by selectors. Individual selectors may wish to consult with faculty in certain instances before making a final decision. The selection of materials for offsite storage will depend on the discipline and the significance of a title as determined by the appropriate selector(s). The number of times a title has circulated since it was acquired is available from STARS for help in making decisions. The circulation information goes back to 1990. Priority will be given to areas needed for stack maintenance. The following general categories should guide the process of selecting materials for offsite storage:
- JSTOR titles
- Serials that have ceased publication and titles that are no longer received on a current subscription
- Volumes of serials that are on current subscription based on subject and date of volume. As a general guideline pre-1980 volumes of science and technology journals, pre-1960 volumes of journals in the social sciences, and pre-1900 volumes in the humanities. Titles should be reviewed individually.
Print volumes held in other formats
- Titles published before 1950
- Infrequently used microforms
Members of the task force:
Theft and Mutilation of Library Materials
Because of the rising incidence of library theft and mutilation of library materials, libraries are suffering serious losses of books and other library property. “Typically, libraries lose between 5 and 10 % of their collection annually to theft and mutilation.”
The library's legal rights
An employee of a library who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person committed, was committing, or was attempting to commit the acts described below may stop such person. Immediately upon stopping such person, the library employee shall identify him or herself and state the reason for stopping the person. If after initial confrontation with the person under suspicion, the library employee has reasonable grounds to believe that at the time stopped, the person committed, was committing, or was attempting to commit the crimes set forth below, the employee may detain such person for a time sufficient to summon a University Police officer to the library. In no case shall the detention be for a period of more than one-half hour. Said detention must be accomplished in a reasonable manner without unreasonable restraints or excessive force and may take place only on the premises of the library where the alleged crime occurred.
The following behaviors constitute violations of University policy and may be subject to federal, state, and local laws:
- Removing, or attempting to remove, library materials without following proper check out procedure, or without official library authorization.
- Mutilating library materials by marking, underlining, removing pages or portions of pages, cutting pages, removing binding, removing electronic theft devices, or in any other way damaging or defacing library materials.
- Accessing or altering any computer system, network computer program, or data without prior authorization from a Library or Systems official.
- Damaging or destroying any computer system, network computer program, or data.
- Being in unauthorized areas of the Library, remaining in the Library after closing, or when requested to leave during emergency situations or drills.
- Causing a disturbance or engaging in any behavior that interferes with Library activities or operations. Proscribed behavior includes, but is not limited to, verbal abuse, threats of violence, sexual harassment, and lewdness in act or word.
Any person who commits or attempts to commit any of the offenses listed above, or any other behaviors illegal under the laws of the state or federal government, is subject to sanctions, including:
- Being asked to leave Library premises
- Being reported to police or security authorities
- Legal prosecution
- Suspension from the University
- Being reported to the Student Judiciary
Definition of terms
“Book or other library property” means any book, plate, picture, photograph, print, painting, drawing, map, newspaper, magazine, pamphlet, broadside, manuscript, document, letter, public record, microform, sound recording, audiovisual material in any format, magnetic or other tape, catalog card or catalog record, electronic data processing record, artifact, or other documentary, written, or printed materials, or equipment, regardless of physical form or characteristics, belonging to, on loan to, or otherwise in the custody of a library.
Any person so stopped by an employee of the library shall promptly identify himself or herself by name and address. Once placed under detention, such person shall not be required to provide any other information nor shall any written and/or signed statement be elicited from such person until a peace officer has taken such person into custody. The said employee may, however, examine said property which the employee has reasonable grounds to believe was unlawfully taken or defaced/destroyed as set forth in Sections I and II. Should the person detained refuse to surrender the item for examination, a limited and reasonable search may be conducted. Only packages, shopping bags, handbags, or other property in the immediate possession of the person detained, but not including any clothing worn by the person, may be searched.
Any person, who willfully, maliciously, or wantonly writes upon, injures, defaces, tears, cuts, mutilates, or destroys any book or other library property belonging to, on loan to, or otherwise in the custody of a library shall be guilty of a crime. No student shall take, possess, damage, or deface (with graffiti, graffiti instruments, or otherwise) any property not his or her own on the University campus or on any University property. This includes, but is not limited to, University furniture, computer equipment, access control systems, or facilities.
Any costs to repair, replace, or restore University property to its original condition may be assessed to individuals and/or groups responsible for damaging or defacing such property.
The willful concealment of a book or other library property upon the person or among the belongings of the person or concealed upon the person or among the belongings of another while still on the premises of a library shall be prima facie evidence of intent to commit larceny thereof. The willful removal of a book or other library property in contravention of library regulations shall be prima facie evidence of intent to commit larceny thereof.
In detaining a person who the employee of the library has reasonable grounds to believe committed, was committing, or was attempting to commit any of the crimes set forth in Section I, the said employee may use a reasonable amount of non-deadly force when and only when such force is necessary to protect the employee or to prevent the escape of the person being detained or the loss of the library's property.
An employee of the library who stops, detains, and/or causes the arrest of any person pursuant to Sections I and II shall not be held civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, unlawful detention, assault, battery, defamation of character, malicious prosecution, or invasion of civil rights of the person stopped, detained, and/or arrested, provided that in stopping, detaining, or causing the arrest of the person, the employee had at the time of the stopping, detention, or arrest reasonable grounds to believe that the person had committed, was committing, or was attempting to commit any of the crimes set forth in Sections I and II.
The fair market value of property affected by crimes set forth above determines the class of offense: value under $500 indicates a misdemeanor; $500 to $5,000 a Class I felony; above $5,000, a Class II felony. The aggregate value of all property referred to in a single indictment shall constitute the value thereof.
A copy or abstract of this act shall be posted and prominently displayed in all libraries.
University Policy on Library Material
The Standards for Internal Controls in New York State Government require the University to adequately protect its assets, files, documents and other resources that could be wrongfully used, damaged, lost or stolen. Management should decide which resources should be subject to safeguarding, to what extent and the particular manner in which they should be protected. Management should make this decision based on the vulnerability of the items being secured and the perceived risk of loss, and reassess this decision periodically.
- The University is required to protect the assets that are under its control and to ensure their availability to meet the University's objectives.
- Library materials are assets that are under the University's control.
- Library materials are assets that could be wrongfully used, lost or stolen.
- Library materials are purchased so that they may be used by library patrons in their learning, teaching and research activities that are part of the University's mission.
- Library patrons are responsible for the materials that they borrow.
- Loss of library materials borrowed by library patrons makes them unavailable for use by other library patrons. To continue to make them available may require that they be replaced. The nature of some of these items may make them extraordinarily expensive to replace.
- A reasonable means for providing for replacement of borrowed materials lost by library patrons is to charge them for the costs associated with replacing those materials.
- Charges to recover the costs of replacing library materials are a widely used practice in libraries.
Weeding is the removal of materials from the library collection that are no longer needed or viable and is a standard practice in managing a library’s collection. Weeding is important in keeping a collection vibrant, relevant, and useable. It assists in preventing stacks from becoming overcrowded. It makes remaining materials more visible and accessible.
The Library may, at its sole discretion, remove and withdraw monographs and any other materials (e.g., non-book print items, manuscript materials, electronic resources, magnetic media, photographs, and motion picture film) based on the criteria set forth in its Collection Development Policy.
Each subject specialist shall review, evaluate and weed his/her collection areas on a regular basis, using the following guidelines:
· Frequency of use. Circulation and other statistics may be examined. Items that are not in demand may be eligible for weeding.
· Curriculum needs in the subject specialist’s area(s).
· Currency of information contained in an item. The importance of this factor will vary with the discipline.
· Existence of multiple copies of the same title and edition, especially of low use items. These may be weeded. However, the recognized importance of a work, edition, and author may encourage a decision for retaining.
· Superseded works, especially ones with little historical importance, may be weeded.
· Physical condition of an item or set. Materials that are badly deteriorated or missing key parts may be withdrawn at the discretion of the subject specialist. As a general guideline, items that will be discarded should not be rare or difficult to obtain from other libraries. Therefore, as alternatives to discarding, the subject specialist may opt to have material transferred to off-site storage or sent to the Preservation Department for treatment or facsimile reproduction. Rare materials may be transferred to the Dept. of Special Collections in accordance with that department’s acceptance criteria. Or damaged items may be replaced if they are available for purchase as new or used items in good condition.
· Materials available in other formats in the library or online may be weeded, especially when they are low use and not rare.
· Items with regional or special interest to our collections and users should not be weeded unless they are held in multiple copies.
Each Library subject specialist is also responsible for delivering weeded material to the Library technical service staff for appropriate attention, including the modification of cataloging records, transference of items, or needed preservation treatment.
Aside from the routine weeding described above, other weeding projects require the approval of the Associate Director for Collection Strategy and Management (ADCSM), who will review such projects and notify all relevant library units. The role of subject specialists in such projects will be determined by the ADCSM in consultation with them and other staff as necessary.
Materials which are withdrawn from the collection may be sold, donated, distributed, recycled, or discarded, at the Library’s sole discretion.