Library Rules

1. Introduction

1.1 The Library Rules are determined in consultation with the Library Policy Committee and, following approval by Senate or Council, form part of the Rules of the University.

1.2 The Library Rules must be observed by everyone using the Library's resources, services and facilities within the Library building or remotely.

1.3 The limits, charges and privileges relating to borrowing in these rules are reviewed and determined at regular intervals in consultation with the Library Policy Committee.

1.4 In these Rules the term "book" encompasses all types of library material.


  • 2. Use of the Library


    2.1 The Library building is open to all, subject to any restrictions and limitations outlined in these Rules.

    2.2 Digital information resources are subscribed to under licence agreements with the University. Networked access to such resources is available to:

    • Registered students of the University
    • Members of staff of the University (including Emeritus staff)
    • Others to whom the University has conferred membership (excluding those whose sole relationship is that of an alumnus)

    Access to digital resources by others is limited by licence terms to use at specific PCs within the Library building.

    2.3 Borrowing privileges are available to:

    • Registered students of the University
    • Members of staff of the University
    • Others with formal relationships with the University
    • Individual members of institutions participating in reciprocal borrowing agreements

    Borrowing may be extended to other applicants, including Lancaster University alumni and retired staff, for an annual subscription charge.

  • 3. Registration


    3.1 Current students are registered with the Library through enrolment with the University. University staff are registered through their contract of employment. Others granted borrowing privileges are required to register directly with the Library.

    3.2 Change of postal or e-mail address must be reported immediately. Students should notify any change of term-time or vacation address via the Registry's online Student Web Services and staff through CoreHR, the Self-Service Portal. Other registered users should inform the Library directly.

    3.3 Communications from the Library to Lancaster University students and staff will be by email, using the approved Lancaster University email address. Communications to other Library users will by email wherever possible, or, exceptionally, by post.

    3.4 Communications sent to the last reported address of a user are deemed to have been duly sent.

    3.5 Borrowing privileges are conferred to registered students and members of staff of the University through the University Card, which is issued to students on registration and to staff during their induction.  The Library will issue an External Borrower Card to other individuals to whom borrowing privileges are granted.  A University Card or External Borrower Card should be carried on all visits to the Library and is required for borrowing.  Cards may only be used by the person to whom they are issued.  Any books borrowed on a Card must be surrendered when the period of registration or entitlement ends.

    3.6 Lost or stolen Cards must be reported.   Registered students should report lost University Cards to The Base (Student Based Services) and members of staff to Human Resources.  The loss of an External Borrower Card should be reported to the Library.  Cards may be replaced on payment of a fee.

  • 4. Copyright and Licences
  • 5. Borrowing


    5.1 Loan and renewal limits for each category of Library user are determined and published by the Library.

    5.2 A separate loan record is made for each book borrowed. Users remain responsible for each book borrowed until the loan record is discharged.

    5.3 All loans must be returned or renewed or presented for inspection on or before the time and date due. Recalled loans are subject to a revised return date as advised in a recall notice and must be returned on or before the revised date.

    5.4 A user who fails to return a book when requested to do so by the Library shall be liable to a fine which will increase with time. The rate of fines is determined and published by the Library.

    5.5 If fines accumulate to a level determined by the Library, or remain unpaid for a period determined by the Library, borrowing privileges will be suspended until payment is made.

    5.6 Users are responsible for the care of books loaned to them and will be held accountable for loss of, or damage to, books issued in their name.

    5.7 Users who mark, damage, lose or refuse to return a book, or have the book stolen whilst on loan, will be sent an invoice for the cost of replacement, fines due and an administration charge. The fines and administration charge will be charged whether or not the book is eventually returned.

    5.8 Staff and students must return all books borrowed by them and pay any outstanding fines or charges before leaving the University or, in the case of final year undergraduate students, by the day following the end of the Part II examinations. Fines and charges imposed by the Library are regarded as debts to the University.

    5.9 Books borrowed from the Library may not be taken or sent abroad by borrowers during term-time. As loan demand drops outside term they may be taken abroad during vacation periods subject to prompt return at the user's expense, if required by another reader, and the use of secure postal or courier services as determined by the Library.

    5.10 Loans obtained from other libraries may be subject to additional conditions imposed by the lending Library in addition to the University Library's Rules.

  • 6. Use of the Library Building


    6.1 People over the age of 16 may use the Library for reference and reading. Everyone entering the Library must show acceptable proof of identity on request.

    6.2 Restrictions on conversation or noise in areas of the Library designated as 'Silent Zone' or 'Quiet Zone' must be observed by all Library users.

    6.3 Children aged 16 or under who enter the Library (other than those registered on a course at the University) must be accompanied at all times. Those who bring children into the Library are responsible for their safety and for ensuring that they cause no disturbance or damage.

    6.4 Personal belongings may be brought into the Library at the user's own risk. The Library is not responsible for loss of, or damage to, personal property. The Library reserves the right to inspect what is brought into the Library and what is taken out.

    6.5 Laptop computers or portable devices are used in the Library at the owner's risk. Devices requiring a power supply may only be used at study spaces furnished with (or immediately adjacent to) power sockets, to avoid the safety hazard caused by trailing electrical cables. Computing equipment should be used with consideration for others.

    6.6 Electrical sockets in the Library must not be used for personal equipment other than laptop computers and similar portable devices.

    6.7 Conduct adversely affecting the proper use and enjoyment of the Library by others is a disciplinary offence. In particular, it shall be an offence:

    • to attempt to remove a book from the Library without carrying out the proper borrowing procedure;
    • to damage a book in any way, including marking or annotating it or interfering with evidence of the University's ownership;
    • to cause or participate in a disturbance in the Library or to obstruct Library staff in the course of their duties;
    • to smoke in the Library;
    • to bring hot foods into the Library, or other items likely to damage books or equipment;
    • to make or receive calls on mobile telephones, except in designated areas;
    • to bring animals into the Library, except for guide or assistance dogs;
    • to infringe, by the use of Library facilities or materials, copyright legislation or the terms of any copyright licensing agreement entered into by the University.

    6.8 During the period of time when government guidelines relating to the COVID-19 pandemic apply, the following additional library rules are in place:

    • Following the COVID-19 pandemic, only Lancaster University staff and students are allowed into the library building. It is no longer possible to enter the Library without a valid university card, all users must swipe in individually at the entrance to the library building using their card.
    • During the COVID-19 pandemic, the consumption of food is no longer permitted in public areas. Users found with such items may be asked to leave temporarily to consume or dispose of them before entering. Bottled water or non-alcoholic hot or cold drinks in lidded cups may be consumed anywhere in the Library.
    • When in the library building, all users must comply with all relevant government and university guidelines and notices in place to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

    6.9 All members of the Library staff are empowered to enforce the Library's rules.

  • 7. Investigation and Penalties


    7.1 Alleged breach of any of the above Rules may be investigated by the Director of Library Services & Learning Development.

    7.2 The Director of Library Services & Learning Development has authority to take disciplinary action, including the imposition of fines or exclusion from the use of some or all Library services, against anyone who infringes these Rules.

    7.3 Serious or persistent breaches of Library Rules by students may be referred to the University Dean for action under the Rules of the University. Serious or persistent breaches of the Library Rules by members of staff may be referred to the Director of Human Resources. Formal proceedings may result in withdrawal of privileges, a reprimand, a fine, the imposition of charges for damages, or more serious penalties.

    7.4 Where a Library user considers that a fine or replacement charge has been applied unfairly he or she may invoke the Appeals Procedure outlined on the Library's web pages. Appeals against penalties for more serious breaches of Library Rules may be considered under the provisions of the Rules of the University.

    a. Libraries operate reciprocal access schemes whereby students and staff may be given privileges to use other libraries, including the British Library. Any offence caused by a member of one institution when using another's facilities may result in disciplinary action by either body, or both.

    Rev. 2011-10-19; 2012-03-06; 2016-04-16