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About The College of St. Scholastica Library: Library Policies

Contact information, hours, mission, faculty & staff directory, directions to, and policies.

Policies of The College of St. Scholastica Library

The Library and academic communities believe that the intellectual freedom of library patrons includes privacy in their use of library materials; this freedom, and the privacy which protects it, increases intellectual development and fosters the values of and skills required by a democratic society.

All students, faculty and community borrowers can expect that under most circumstances, no one outside library staff will be told the individual items which they have checked out, or web sites they have visited using library equipment. Library staff will maintain and access borrowing records to the extent needed to preserve the use of the collection for all users: for recalling materials, for identifying and retrieving overdue items, for billing patrons.

College exceptions
In the following College-specific circumstances, disclosures will be made:

*Theft issues. If a borrower is caught in possession of items that staff believe he/she was attempting to steal (remove from the Library without being checked-out), the identity of the items will form part of the report made to other campus offices. The general procedures for providing privacy for incidents in the process of investigation will be followed. For non-College patrons, the identity of the books/items will be included if a report to police is made.

*Answering machines. Library staff who contact patrons by phone will only leave non-specific messages on answering machines (e.g. "The video you requested came in.").

*"Departmental" items. From time to time faculty have left the College's employment without clearing their borrowing records. In many cases, books are checked out to that individual but the individual believes they are in the department or at the College somewhere. For department-related overdue items where the original borrower does not return the materials, the Library reserves the right to contact department chairs so that a search of offices can be made, and the department chair can determine if the materials should be replaced. It is impossible to name specific items without the department chairs being aware of who is involved. This practice will not be followed for personal items as far as they can be identified (books or other items outside the faculty member's professional department).

Legal exceptions
Minnesota law provides for privacy in state-collected information; this applies to the MINITEX interlibrary lending system. Federal law (FIRPA) protects student privacy in educational records.

However, both state and federal law dictate that library staff must provide any available information when presented with a search warrant. No information will be disclosed without the warrant, but all information must be provided when a search warrant is presented. This includes allowing law enforcement to examine hardware (e.g. public and lab computers).

The legal threshold for obtaining a search warrant is quite low; the warrant does not have to be issued locally; and library staff cannot appeal to a court to object to the warrant.

The PALS system breaks most links between patrons and the items they have charged after items are returned. Exceptions include some interlibrary loan records, and cases where a fine has been assessed. Those linkages remain retrievable for up to a year after the patron was last active.

Library staff may not disclose to any person including the patron or any organization, that a warrant has been served. (USA Patriot Act, Oct.2001).

Borrowers assume total liability for items checked out from the St. Scholastica Library or borrowed through Interlibrary Loan. This includes responsibility for payment for lost, damaged or mutliated items. Borrowers are responsible for making sure that items are properly returned for discharge from the Library's circulation system. The responsibility and liability remain with the borrower until the item is properly checked in.  Note: The Library Reserves the right to recall any materials after 3 weeks.

Check Out Privileges
For Books
Undergraduate students  - four weeks
Graduate students - one semester
Staff - one semester
Adjunct professors - one semester
Professors - until June 1

For Audio-Visual Materials
Undergraduate students  - one week
Graduate students - one week
Staff - one week
Adjunct professors - one week
Professors - until June 1

Reserve Items
Must abide by reserve limits or by special loan. Most items are for 2-hour in-library use or for one or three days.

Faculty only - one week

Reference Books
Special loans only

Any Library materials not returned by the due date and time are subject to increasing fines.

Three overdue notices are sent via email to the student's CSS email account. Billing notices will be sent to the campus box or to a home address if campus is not open prior to billing at the Business Office. Students are responsible for responding to their email and maintaining a current address with the registrar.

If materials have not been returned after the third notice is received, the student is billed for the accrued fines and replacement cost of the items plus a $15 processing fee per item.

This amount is transferred to the student's account at the Business Office. If the lost items are returned within the academic year, the student's account will be credited with the replacement cost, but the $15 processing fee and fine remains.

Holds are placed on the student's records for transcripts, grades, and registration if books are overdue and remain until all fines and replacement charges are either paid or transferred to the Business Office.


Closed-book tests will be administered in the group study room ONLY. Students will be placed in the room with approved materials (pen, paper, calculator), only--please be sure to specify on your test instructions.

Tests may be administered ONLY by a library staff member (not student workers). Ordinarily this will mean:
Monday and Tuesday, 8:30 am - 7:00 p.m. [tests must end by 7:00].
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 p.m. [tests must end by 4:00].
Saturday and Sunday - No tests administered.

Please do not pre-approve a time for an exam with your student unless you check with the Library first.

Only ONE student at ONE time may take a closed-book exam in the Library. Normally, the student is expected to reserve the group study room by calling the Library in advance (x6140). Students may take tests without a "reservation" only if the room is free. The Library reserves the right to refuse to administer tests to "walk-ins" (students who did follow the guidelines & make a reservation).

The Library also reserves the group study room for NON-test purposes such as video-viewing and group study.

Open-book tests may be taken anywhere in the Library but NOT in any group study room. The Library staff is responsible solely for handing out the test (recording the time if needed) and collecting it afterwards, not for anything else, e.g. determining if the student receives help.

Faculty or secretaries must bring tests to the Library in clearly marked envelopes, ONE envelope PER TEST, with the student's name, course, time limit, instructions, test, and the faculty member's name. Faculty or departmental administrative assistants must pick up completed tests. Tests should not be handled by campus mail or student workers.

The College of St. Scholastica Library's mission is first to support the College's curriculum and to provide resources to CSS students, faculty and staff but welcomes visitors and local users. Library staff will be happy to assist any patron with questions. Hours are posted at the entrance, on flyers and on the Library hours web page.

All non-CSS borrowers are required to show proof of identification such as a driver's license, student ID card, etc. There is a $15.00 annual fee for cards issued to local community residents; there is no charge for area college students or faculty.

Books can be checked out for four weeks. Only area college faculty are also able to check out audio visual materials. Other items excluded from circulation include laptop computers, reference books, periodicals, course reserves, and masters thesis and projects.

Public access computers are available for access to the Internet in order to use the catalog and databases to find books and articles for research. Printing from these computers is 5 cents a page.  

Other resources available in the Library include photocopiers for 10 cents a page and TV's with DVD and VHS players. 

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