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LIB-002 Public Access Policy

 Public Access Policy

Category: Library

Number: LIB-002

Responsibility: University Librarian

Approver: Library Management Team

Approval: September 1, 2012



The resources and services of the Arthur A. Wishart Library exist primarily to support the research and study needs of the academic community. Beyond this purpose, the Library recognizes that there is a legitimate need to offer as many of its services to members of the general public who have no formal connection with the University as possible. 


This policy applies to the entire Arthur A. Wishart Library user community.


1. Free Access

1.1 Members of the community are welcome to consult the collections and may also take advantage of the following services: assistance in the use of the print and online collections, Special Collections and Archives and the microform reading equipment. There is a charge for photocopying, printing and interlibrary loan.

2. Borrowing

2.1 The Registered Readers Program offers individual memberships to the general public and institutional memberships to businesses. The University Library is pleased to serve the community in this way. However, you are encouraged to check the holdings of the public libraries in the region for your research needs before applying for extramural borrowing privileges. The borrowing card may be used only by the person to whom it is issued. View further details on borrowing policies here.

3. Restrictions on Public Access Services

3.1 General

3.1.1 As many library resources are now available electronically, community users are expected to have a basic knowledge of computers in order to use our library effectively. Help Desk staff are not able to perform searches for library users, but will provide instruction in the basic use of library research tools.

3.2 Interpretation of Material

3.2.1 Library staff do not interpret information, such as legal, medical, financial, statistical information or class assignments.

3.3 Recommendations Regarding Purchases of Sources

3.3.1 Library staff refer users to standard reviews of a work and advise the user to examine the library copy, if available. Generally, staff members do not make recommendations regarding such purchases.

3.4 Appraisal of Books and Artifacts

3.4.1 Library staff do not appraise the private property of users. Users are advised to consult a professional appraiser.

3.5 Genealogical Searches

3.5.1 Genealogical resources are available for consultation in the Library or in Special Collections and Archives (requires appointment). Otherwise, such questions are not undertaken by Library staff and generally are referred to the Archives of Ontario, museums, genealogical societies and/or public libraries.

3.6 Bibliographies

3.6.1 Library staff do not compile or check bibliographies. Staff do assist users in the use of bibliographical tools.

3.7 Answering Quizzes, etc.

3.7.1 No searching is done for answers to puzzles, quizzes, TV contests, etc. Assistance is limited to advising individuals about where they might locate such information.

3.8 Service Limits

3.8.1 As with in-house users, many factors enter into decisions concerning the amount of service that can be given to individuals, and judgment must be exercised. If unsure, Library staff should consult with the Public Services Librarian, or if not available, the University Librarian.

4. High School Use

4.1 High school students are welcome to use the Arthur A. Wishart Library, but are encouraged first to make use of the resources available in their school and public libraries. Students must have acquired basic library skills prior to visiting the University Library and have a firm grasp of their research topic.

4.2 Seminars for senior students are to be arranged by teachers or teacher-librarians.

4.3 Teachers and teacher-librarians must remain with the students during the entire visit. Please refer to the Library website for more information.

5. Registered Reader Privileges

5.1 Due to copyright and licence restrictions, extramural and alumni borrowers are not eligible for document delivery of journal articles or photocopies of chapters from books.

5.2 The membership fee is available on an annual basis and is effective on the date of application.

5.3 Borrowing privileges are suspended pending the return of any overdue material and payment of all overdue fees.

5.4 The Registered Reader is responsible for all material borrowed in his/her name and will be charged for any library material that is overdue, lost or damaged while signed out in his/her name. For more information on fees, please see the Library’s borrowing policy. 


6. Application Forms are available at the Circulation Services Desk located on the main (3rd) floor of the Arthur A. Wishart Library. Fees must be paid before a Registered Reader library card will be issued. Assistance is available at the Circulation Desk.