- Borrowing Rules
- Cell Phone Policy
- Collection Development Policies
- Collection Development Policies for Individual Collections
- Copyright Guidelines
- Food and Drink
- Gift Policy
- Grievance Policy
- Guest User Policy
- Interlibrary Loan FAQ
- Patron Code of Conduct Policy
- Patron Confidentiality
- Request Passwords For Off-Campus Access to Library Databases
- Services Offered to Non-Affiliated Users
- Study Rooms
- Archives and Rare Book Room Access
If you are a student or employee of Niagara University, your student or University ID card serves as your Library card. If you lose your ID card or change your address, please inform the Library right away. The telephone number of the Circulation Desk is 716-286-8020.
Loan Periods and Maximum Number of Items that Can Be Checked Out
|Patron Category||Loan Period||Total # of Items Allowed Out|
|Affiliated||8 weeks||20 Books|
|Undergraduate||8 weeks||25 Books, 3 Reserve Items|
|Graduate||8 weeks||25 Books, 3 Reserve Items|
|Faculty||120 Days||50 Books, 3 Reserve Items|
|Staff||8 weeks||25 Books, 3 Reserve Items|
|Alumni||8 weeks||10 Books, 3 Reserve Items|
|NUSTEP||8 weeks||10 Books, 3 Reserve Items|
|8 weeks||10 Books, 3 Reserve Items|
|AcademicSHARE||8 weeks||10 Books, 3 Reserve Item|
Reserve items may be borrowed for two hours and must remain in the Library. You may borrow up to 10 DVDs at one time. The loan period for DVDs from the recreational collection is 7 days. The loan period for DVDs from the general collection is 28 days.
The return of materials borrowed from the Library is the responsibility of the borrower.
The Library mails overdue notices to the address you supplied us with when you first registered. Please let us know if you change your address. The non-receipt of notices is not an excuse for not returning books or returning them late.
- 50 cents per hour per overdue reserve item.
- 50 cents per day for books that have been recalled but not returned within 10 days.
- $1.00 per day per overdue DVD (weekends and holidays included).
- $10.00 maximum fine per overdue book or reserve item.
Lost or Damaged Books
A minimum $50.00 fee is charged for any lost or damaged book (expensive books may have higher fees). A book is considered lost if it has not been returned 30 days after the due date. If you find a book that you paid for, you can return it to the Library, and your lost book fee will be refunded (except for a $10.00 processing fee).
- 1st Notice issued 7 days after due date.
- 2nd Notice issued 15 days after due date.
- Billing Notice issued 30 days after due date.
Unpaid fines for overdue, damaged, or lost materials are forwarded to the Students Accounts Office at the end of each semester.
Borrowing Privileges Blocked
If you have more than 10 overdue books or owe more than $15 in fines, you will not be allowed to check out books until you clear your account.
Placing Requests on Books
- If a book you need is checked out or on the shelf, you can place a request for it. When the book is returned, you will be notified by mail or email to come to the Library and pick it up.
- Books will be held at the Circulation Desk for 10 days.
Reviewing Your Library Account
You can review your Library account by logging into "My Library" in the Library Catalog. You will need to enter the barcode from your NU Library ID card and a pin number (to request a pin number, please call the Circulation Desk at 716-286-8020). You can see:
- What books you checked out
- What fines you owe
- What items you placed on hold
- If the Library has your correct address on file
We surveyed students in 2005 about cell phone use in the Library, and based upon the responses, we developed this policy:
- Cell phones should be set to silent or vibrate for incoming calls.
- Cell phone use should be limited to the front entrance area or to study rooms.
Niagara University Library's primary role is to collect and provide access to materials that support educational programs. An attempt is also made to support the research needs of faculty and administrators and to provide materials that support the personal and intellectual enrichment of the University Community.
In supporting educational programs, the Library attempts to purchase materials representing a wide variety of viewpoints. No censorship is exercised on materials of a controversial nature or because of the unpopularity of an author's point of view or mode of expression.
The primary goal is to acquire materials that support the curriculum.
The Library purchases books based upon the following considerations:
- Existing strength of subject
- Likelihood that the item will circulate
- Lasting value of content
- Suitability of the subject
- Authoritativeness of author
- Reputation of the publisher
The most important factor in a purchase decisions is circulation. Will the book be used? But an attempt is also made to maintain a core collection that represents the current scholarship of the disciplines being taught at NU.
The Library normally purchases current materials and does not attempt to build or maintain extensive discipline-specific historical collections (that is, we don’t attempt maintain materials that document the history of a discipline).
For most disciplines we don't acquire the most specialized materials until our users request them, and then we buy those materials (books, DVDs or individual articles).
In pre-selecting books and media, we focus on developing high circulation areas, which tends to cluster in General Education disciplines.
The Library does not usually purchase textbooks, except in disciplines that are textbook oriented. Duplicates are only purchased in subject areas of high circulation.
The Library acquires primarily English language materials. Exceptions to this are foreign language dictionaries and materials that are used in the teaching of foreign languages.
Journals and Databases
The following guidelines are followed:
- Journal and database subscriptions should directly support the curriculum or be necessary for accreditation.
- Journal prices have risen dramatically through the years, so cost and usage considerations are an important aspect of collection development.
We usually withdraw books from the collection that have not circulated in 10 years provided that they are not core to the discipline or classics. We are careful not to employ this guideline when evaluating oversize and other books likely to be used in-house rather than checked out.
Recreational Reading Collection
The purpose of the Recreational Reading Collection is to provide access to newly published books that enlighten, entertain, or amuse.
The Recreational Reading Collection consists of two components:
- A small collection representing the best of romance/chick lit.
- Current bestsellers, mostly fiction but some nonfiction as well.
- The Library allocates about $1,000 annually to acquire the following types of sound recordings on compact disc:
- Music compilations that support study of world cultures--for example: "Anthology of the Music of China"
- Language Instruction
- Tony Award nominated musical cast recordings
- Grammy Award nominated comedy recordings
- Historical speech collections. For example: "A Call to Conscience: the Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
- Well-known authors reading selections of their own work (not audio books though)
Due to budgetary constraints and the fact that Niagara University does not offer a music major, the Library does not acquire music other than what is described above.
Recreational DVD Collection
The Library maintains a DVD collection of important films in the history of cinema as well as a diversity of new releases of films and TV Shows of a popular nature. Emphasis is placed on English language films, but award winning international films in a variety of languages are also acquired.
Educational Video Collection
The Library attempts to maintain a balanced collection of documentary and educational films on DVD, with an emphasis on inexpensive DVDs costing less than $50 each.
The Library provides access to streaming educational media as well.
Films and Videos
You may view films and videos in your home or dorm room for personal recreation or research. Possession of a film or video does not confer the right to show the work in public. Educational use is permitted, however. The Copyright Act of 1976 and portions of the House of Representatives Report (94-1476) provide some conditions under which films or videos can be shown:
- They must be shown only to students and educators as part of an instructional program.
- They must be shown either in a classroom or other school location devoted to instruction.
- They must be shown either in a face-to-face setting or where students and instructors are in the same building or general area.
- They must be shown using a legitimate (that is, not illegally reproduced) copy, with the copyright notice included.
The relationship between the film or video and the course must be explicit. Films or videos, even in a "face-to-face" classroom setting, may not be used for entertainment or recreation.
This text is derived from Wellesley College
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that a photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept an interlibrary loan request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.
The concept of "fair use" governs whether the Library can accept photocopied items for reserve. In particular the Library considers the following two factors as described in the U.S. Copyright Law:
- "The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole."
- "The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."
(17 U.S.C. Section 107)
A great deal of debate has occurred as to the practical implications of this wording but a number of guidelines have become commonly accepted by libraries:
- No more than 10% of the content of a single journal issue or book may be copied for reserve.
- Reserve readings should meet standards of "brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect" and should function as "supplemental readings."
- Articles placed on reserve cannot serve as de facto anthologies or course packs. Nor can reserve be used to substitute for the purchase of article reprints.
- Consumable works such as workbooks or test booklets cannot be placed on reserve.
The Library can send or receive personal faxes up to ten pages in length for free for currently enrolled students or employees of Niagara University. Please visit the Reference Desk to initiate this process.
You may eat and drink in the Library.
There are vending machines located on the second floor to the left.
We do ask, however, that you be discreet (meaning no pizza parties), and that you keep liquids away from computer keyboards and valuable reference books.
- Are you seeking a tax deduction?
- Are you running out of space to shelve your books?
- Are you moving or retiring and don't know what to do with all your books?
If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then please consider donating your books to Niagara University Library. We will send you a formal thank you letter indicating the number of books received. By law, we can't provide you with an appraisal of the donation, but you can do this yourself or hire an appraiser. Then you will be able to deduct the value of your gift on your income tax return.
The Library is most interested in the following types of books:
- History books
- Scholarly books that would be useful in writing term papers
- Textbooks published in the last five years
- Award winning children's books
- Current and popular novels for our Recreational Reading Collection
There are, however, some books that we can't use or even sell:
- Old medical books
- Long runs of law books
- Books that have been stored in basements, have a musty smell, or show signs of mold
- Science and technology books published more than five years ago
- Reader's Digest Condensed books
- Textbooks published more than five years ago
For more information, please contact David Schoen, Director of Libraries, at email@example.com or 716-286-8001. Thank you for your interest in donating books to Niagara University Library!
If you feel you have been treated unfairly in the Library, your first step is to talk to the staff member in charge of the function at issue.
- If you have an issue with Circulation, typically fines and overdues, ask to speak with the circulation supervisor on duty. During the day, you can speak directly to the Circulation Department Coordinator, Debbie Farrell, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-286-8025.
- If you have an issue with Interlibrary Loan, again typically fines and overdues, please contact Samantha Gust, the Interlibrary Loan Librarian, at 716-286-8031 or email@example.com.
- If you have an issue with noise, temperature, cleanliness, lights, noise or something else regarding the building, please talk to the reference librarian on duty.
- If you have an issue with reference service you have been provided, please contact Jonathan Coe, Coordinator of Public Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-286-8005.
If your grievance can not be addressed by the front line supervisor, it will be referred by the supervisor to David Schoen, the Library Director, who will contact you within 24 hours of receiving word of your grievance. Please also feel free to contact the Library Director yourself directly if you wish at email@example.com or 716-286-8001.
The primary function of Niagara University Library is to provide materials, access to computers, and study space to students, faculty, and staff of Niagara University. As a private institution, Niagara University Library reserves the right to restrict any and all services to currently enrolled students and employees.
If you are not a currently enrolled student or employee of Niagara University, then you are a guest user.
At the discretion of library staff, who are responsible for promoting the primary function of the library, the following services are available to guest users:
• Access to the building during regular hours
• Computers (the use of which shall be governed by Niagara University’s policy on “Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources (P-26)”)
• Printing for a fee (self-service)
• Photocopying for a fee (self-service)
• Reference assistance for questions that can be answered quickly (research queries should be directed to your local public library). However, students from high schools and other colleges may receive assistance with their research queries when librarians are not assisting NU users.
• Access to most library databases and printed materials
The following services are not available to guest users:
• Circulation privileges, unless you are eligible for a Courtesy Card
• Access to study rooms (including the Teachers' Studio or private study carrels)
• Access to the building during extended hours
• Interlibrary Loan
• Technical support for computer, software, or Internet use
• Faxing or electronic document delivery
What is Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?
Interlibrary loan (commonly referred to as ILL) is the process by which library materials (mainly books and journal articles) are made available by one library to another.
What is ILLiad?
ILLiad is is the software we use to provide interlibrary loan service. A simple, web-based patron interface allows our users to initiate and track their own requests from any browser.
Who is eligible to use ILL?
Current faculty, staff, and students of Niagara University are eligible to use ILL for University/course-related work. Alumni, courtesy card holders, and INFOPASS holders are NOT eligible. Librarians from other institutions should see our Interlibrary Loan Lending Policies Page.
What materials can be requested through ILL?
Books (but not textbooks), photocopies of journal articles (within the restrictions of copyright law*), ERIC documents, and many dissertations and theses may be requested through ILL. We can usually obtain audiovisual materials, but they must be for classroom use or research. Unrequestable materials include items on reserve, textbooks, entire issues of journals, and computer software.
*Please note that because of Copyright Restrictions, the Library may not copy more than one article from a single journal issue, nor may the Library copy an article if it represents a substantial portion of the issue (for example, a fifty page article in a hundred page journal).
How many items can I request through ILL?
Due to the high cost of ILLs, you may request up to 25 articles, 25 books and 15 audiovisual materials per semester. If your research requires more materials, please contact Samantha Gust, Interlibrary Loan Librarian, at 716-286-8031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a charge to use ILL?
NU makes every attempt to obtain materials free of charge and usually can.
How long does ILL take?
We are committed to processing ILL requests in a timely manner. If you order an article from a journal that Niagara University Library does not own, we will ask a Library that does own the journal to send us a photocopy, which we will then forward to you. Because we cannot control how quickly other libraries will respond to our request, it can take anywhere from 2 to 10 days for your article to arrive. Please allow up to 2 weeks for books and audiovisual materials to arrive. Mid-semester requests may take longer due to high volume, so allow ample time. If any unusual problems arise that delay your request, you will be contacted.
How will I know when my material has arrived?
ILLiad will notify you via email when your item has arrived. Books, audiovisual materials, dissertations and theses are not mailed - please pick these items up at the Circulation Desk. Articles will be sent to your ILLiad acccount or held at the Circulation Desk, if you prefer. You may check the Circulation Desk in person or by phone (286-8020) to see if an item is being held for you. If you check in person, please look at the bulletin board to your right as you walk into the Library. If your last name is written on the board, then your material has arrived.
How long can I keep ILL material?
Photocopies of journal articles and purchased dissertations and theses are yours to keep. The due date for books, audiovisual materials and borrowed dissertations and theses is determined by the lending library, not NU, and is usually between 2-4 weeks. Books, audiovisual materials and borrowed dissertations and theses must be returned to the Circulation Desk on or before the due date or you will be charged overdue fines of $1.00 per day. Please plan your research accordingly.
How do I submit a request?
Students and faculty & staff must register for an ILLiad account (you only need to register once) and then submit the appropriate request form (found in the left-hand menu). You may also request items directly from some of our research databases using the special ILLiad links.
Tip: In a hurry? If the article or book you need is owned by another library in Western New York, you can visit that library and use their resources on site (books, databases, journals, photocopiers, etc.). If you wish to borrow an item from another Western New York library, we can provide you with an INFOPASS Card.
The following conduct is prohibited:
• Failing to cooperate with the reasonable request of library staff related to this policy or use of the library
• Committing or attempting to commit acts that violate local, state of federal law
• Committing or attempting to commit acts that violate policies of Niagara University
• Carrying weapons in the library
• Damaging or defacing library materials, furniture, or equipment
• Use of computers that violates Niagara University’s policy on “Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources (P-26)”
• Attempting to remove library materials or equipment without proper checkout
• Concealing library materials within the building
• Being under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
• Committing offensive touching or engaging in sexual conduct, sexual harassment, or obscene acts
• Engaging in conduct that disrupts library operations or disturbs library users
• Being excessively loud (for example, using cell phones or playing music at a disturbing volume, among other things)
• Soliciting or petitioning
• Posting or distributing materials without permission
• Being in the library barefooted, without a shirt, or with offensive body odor or personal hygiene
• Bringing pets or animals into the Library, except those used as service animals or as allowed at an event approved by the Library administration
• Failing to adhere to copyright laws and/or University copyright policies
• Being in unauthorized areas of the library
• Harassing, abusing, or threatening staff or patrons, or exhibiting other disruptive behavior
• Using restroom facilities for purposes other than which they are intended
• Sleeping, other than brief naps seated in a chair, not lying down
• Using library furniture or equipment for purposes other than which they are intended
• Leaving children less than 12 years of age unsupervised
• Smoking in the library or other building on campus, except in designated smoking areas
Library users found to be in violation of this code of conduct will be asked to stop non-compliant behavior. Continued failure to comply with the Library’s rules, regulations, and policies may result in removal from the premises or other sanctions.
The confidentiality and privacy of library users are protected by New York state law, campus-wide information policies, and by the principles of the American Library Association's Code of Ethics. New York State law prohibits the release of patron information to third parties lacking jurisdictional authority.
Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audio-visual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute (Article 45 Section 4509 of New York State's Consolidated Laws for Civil Practice Law and Rules).
The American Library Association Code of Ethics states:
We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
Except as otherwise stated below, library staff shall not release the name of a person to whom a book is charged, past circulation records (including interlibrary loan and course reserves), personal information contained in circulation patron records, or otherwise identify users of any library services, including users of computer terminals on library premises. Library staff will not confirm to a third party a patron's status as a student or employee.
Patron records may, however, be consulted by library staff in the course of conducting library operations and may be disclosed pursuant to the requirements of federal, state and local laws, including law enforcement subpoenas, court orders or search warrants. Library patrons should be aware that privacy issues associated with use of computer terminals is governed by privacy practices and policies of the Information Technology Department of the University.
When the immediate danger of death or serious injury justifies disclosure. For example, a student falls and is injured. A Campus Safety officer may ask a Library staff member for the student's home phone number in order to contact the student's parents. Staff may disclose the phone number in such situations.
When the library has written permission from the patron that information can be disclosed.
Information can be shared with a parent who is attempting to resolve an overdue notice or fine. The Circulation Department Coordinator will only discuss the books that appear on the overdue notice, which the parent already knows about, but will not divulge information about other books that the student has checked out.
The library retains the following kinds of records:
The library maintains a database of patron names addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and University ID numbers associated with circulating books. The library keep a historical record of books that patrons have checked out, overdues, and fines. Because borrowing privileges are provided to alumni, the library possesses a print directory of alumni that includes student name, year of graduation, and school attended (for example, Arts and Sciences, Education, etc.). Delinquent accounts are forwarded to the Student Accounts Office for collection.
Prior to lending laptops, the Library photocopies student ID cards and driver's licenses (or other equivalent identification cards). These records are destroyed at the end of each semester.
Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery
To comply with copyright requirements, the library retains interlibrary loan and photocopy request records for three years. Also, the names of requestors and the materials they request are supplied to the other libraries who we borrow from via interlibrary loan. For patrons who have requested electronic document delivery, the Library maintains a directory of their names, email addresses, and PIN numbers.
Email Reference Transactions and Online Forms
The library retains copies of email reference questions and password requests for one semester only.
The library conducts patron surveys of library services. Data is aggregated and dissociated from responses that may identify the respondent.
The Library has three black and white photocopiers and one color photocopier. Black and white photocopies are 10 cents each and may be paid for in cash or by using Campus Funds on your NU ID card. Color photocopies are 25 cents each and must be paid for in cash.
The Library also has one microfilm/microfiche copier. These copies are free of charge.
If you are a currently enrolled student or an employee of Niagara University, you can search most Library databases from off-campus by using your NU username and passwords. In a few cases, you will need to request a username and password from us.
If you are not a current student or employee of Niagara University, then you are a non-affiliated Library user. This page describes the services available to you. (As a private institution, Niagara University Library reserves the right to restrict certain services to currently enrolled students and employees.)
You are an alumnus if you actually graduated from Niagara University. You can obtain a Library Card at the Circulation Desk that allows you to check out up to 10 books for 28 days at a time. You can also use any Library database on-site. Research Assistance is available to you, but Interlibrary Loan Services are not. If you took courses at Niagara University, but did not actually graduate, then see the Local Residents category below.
High School Students
If you are a high school student participating in Niagara University's NUSTEP program, you can obtain a Library Card that allows you to check out a maximum of 10 books for 28 days. To do this, you must bring two documents to the Library:
- Your NUSTEP ID card, which you obtained from the NUSTEP Office. This will serve as your Library Card.
- The slip called Request for Borrowing Privileges, also obtained from the NUSTEP Office. Your teacher must sign it first, but you only need to present this slip the first time you check out books.
High School students not participating in the NUSTEP program can still use the Library but can not check out books. In either case, you can use any Library database on-site. Research Assistance is available to you, but Interlibrary Loan Services are not.
If you live nearby, you can obtain a Courtesy Card that allows you to check out up to 10 books for 28 days at a time. You must leave a cash security deposit of $50 (which will be refunded to you, minus any outstanding fees and fines, when you no longer wish to check out books). To register for borrowing privileges, please come to the Library between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (or until 11:00 a.m. on Fridays in the Summer). If you would like to save a little time, please print and fill out the Courtesy Card Application before coming to the Library.
You do not need a Courtesy Card to use Library books, journals, or databases on-site. Research Assistance is available as well, but Interlibrary Loan Services are not.
Students From Other Colleges and Universities
If you are currently enrolled in another college in Western New York (Buffalo/Niagara Falls Metropolitan Area), you can use the book collection and any Library database on-site. If you wish to take books out of Niagara University Library, you need to obtain a special card from the library where you attend college. It is called an InfoPass card and it will allow you to check out up to 10 books for 28 days at a time. Research Assistance is available to you, but Interlibrary Loan is not (though we will lend to your college's library--but you make the request through them).
Librarians From Other Institutions
Group Study Rooms
Are you looking for a place on campus where you and your classmates can work or study? There is a group study room on each floor of the Library:
- Basement Level: turn left at the bottom of the stairs
- First Floor: after entering the Library, walk towards the back wall and turn left
- Second Floor: turn left at the top of the stairs
Technology varies in each room, but each group study room has:
- A table and chairs
- A TV you can use to watch DVDs or videos
Some rooms have local TV channels, a Windows PC and a projector.
Usage Guidelines for Group Study Rooms
- Only current NU students and NU employees may use these rooms.
- These rooms may be reserved for up to two hours per day.
- Since access to these rooms needs to be maximized, you cannot sign up for the same time period day after day or week after week.
- To reserve these rooms, sign up on the posted calendars or call the Reference Desk at 716-286-8022.
- Because the purpose of these rooms is group study, people working individually may be asked by Library staff to relocate.
Usage Guidelines for Other Rooms
- The Teachers' Studio on the second floor across from the stairs is another place where groups may work together. The Teachers' Studio may not be reserved.
- The Silent Study Room located on the second floor to the right with tables, comfortable chairs and study carrels. The Silent Study Room may not be reserved.
- There are three individual study carrels on the first floor. Carrels may not be reserved.
Access to the Archives and the Rare Book Room is limited to normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm and reduced hours during the summer. The Archives and the Rare Book Room are closed stacks. Browsing is not permitted. A prior appointment is required. Access is channeled through the office of the Director of Libraries, David Schoen, at 716-286-8001 or email@example.com.