Library Use Policy

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This Policy sets out the terms and conditions for accessing and using Library facilities and resources at James Cook University (‘the University’).

The University is the custodian of resources to support contemporary studies, emerging research, and unique materials evidencing the history of tropical Australia.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure the knowledge contained in these resources and materials can be shared with, and inspire, current and future generations.


This policy applies to any person accessing James Cook University Library facilities, including students, staff, visitors and any other authorised users.

Entering library premises; logging into a library account; or accessing online resources, is deemed acceptance of this Policy.


Borrower - means a person who borrows an information resource from the Library.

Director, Library Services – position responsible for JCU libraries.

Information Resources - includes all resources in any format. For example, information resources include but are not limited to: books, ebooks, journals, ejournals, databases, multimedia, and equipment.

Library Facilities – includes library buildings located on the Cairns (Nguma-bada) and Townsville (Bebegu Yumba) campuses, collections, equipment including computers, and services.

Loan – is the borrowing of any information resource.

Library Staff Member – means a person working for the University's Library Services under a contract of employment on a full time, part time, sessional or casual basis.

Member – means a person who has applied for and/or been granted membership of the library.

User – includes current students and staff (whether on a permanent, temporary, contract, adjunct or visiting basis) of the University; registered borrowers; authorised users such as: prospective students and staff, JCU alumni, the community, visitors, the University’s partners; and any other stakeholders.


1. Accessing library facilities and resources.

1.1 The University’s libraries are open to the public.

1.2  All users may have access to electronic resources while in library buildings, except resources which are embargoed or limited to certain users under licence agreements, contractual or legislative requirements.

1.3 The Director, Library Services (hereafter referred to as the Director) may, at any time, limit the use of facilities and resources for particular users.

1.4  All users must comply with the Copyright Act 1968 at all times when using copying, printing or recording equipment in the Library, and/or accessing library resources both on and off campus.

2. Conditions of use of the library facilities

2.1 When on Library premises users must:

  • Follow any lawful directions of library staff, including but not limited to leaving the library if requested to do so by Library Staff on any grounds, and presenting bags or cases for inspection;
  • Obey all signage;
  • Switch mobile phones and other devices to silent upon entering the library building;
  • Respect the rights of other users to access and use facilities for study, research or other lawful activities;
  • Be accompanied by, and under the supervision of a responsible adult if under the age of 15; and
  • Not capture images of facilities or resources without prior authorisation from the Director.

3. Conditions of membership

3.1 University staff and students are granted membership when joining the University. Their membership remains valid until they cease employment or studies with the University.

3.2  A person may apply for membership of the Library if they are over the age of 15.

3.3 The Director may impose terms of membership at any time and notify those terms on the Library webpage and membership applications.

3.4 The Director, on request, may exercise a discretion to waive any terms of membership for any person.

4. Borrowing information resources

4.1 Library members may borrow eligible information resources if they have a current library membership card or University Identification Card and their membership is not suspended.

4.2 The categories of borrowers and specific lending conditions are published on the Library website and may be adjusted from time to time by the Director.

4.3 Special loan conditions may be applied to particular categories of information resources.

4.4 Periodicals, reference and Special Collections are available for loan only in exceptional circumstances and with the permission of the Director.

4.5 The Director may recall any borrowed information resources before the expiration of the period of the loan.

4.6 Library users are responsible for the care and return of all borrowed information resources. All information resources must be returned in good condition to the Library on or before the due date or when requested by the Director. Information resources are deemed not to have been returned until such time as the transaction has been discharged from the borrower’s record.

5. Library Notices

5.1 The e-mail address specified in the membership account, University student or staff account, will be used for all official communication from the Library.

6. Fees and charges

6.1 The Director may, from time to time, impose fees and charges:

  • To establish a membership account for non-University staff and students,
  • For the late return of information resources, including the late return of recalled resources, and
  • To replace or repair lost or damaged items.

6.2 Fees and forms are published on the Library website.

6.3 On written application by an affected person, the Director may vary or waive any fee or other charge, or substitute an alternative sanction, such as suspension of borrowing privileges.

7. Breaches and Penalties

7.1 A person who fails to comply with this Policy may be removed from Library premises by University Security and/or excluded from the Library Facilities, by the Director. Any such exclusion may be in addition to any penalty which may be imposed under other clauses of this Policy.

7.2 The Director may suspend a user’s borrowing privileges for non-compliance with this Policy, including but not limited to, failure to pay fee or charges and failure to return borrowed resources.

7.3 Serious breaches of this Policy may also amount to misconduct under other University Codes and Policies and will be referred to the relevant University staff for resolution under staff or student disciplinary procedures.

7.4 Other University policies may apply to outstanding fines and penalties incurred by students. Students may have their academic results withheld or not be permitted to graduate where a student debt including a charge, fine penalty or fee remains unpaid (see Accounts Receivable (Student Debtors – Penalties) Policy.

7.5 A person who fails to comply with this Policy may also be in breach of Commonwealth and/ or State law and users may incur criminal and civil personal liability.

8. Complaints

8.1 Feedback and Complaints may be made directly to Library Services via the website or to The University will only provide a response if one is requested.

8.2 University Students may choose to make a complaint under the Student Complaint Management Policy and Procedure rather than this Policy.

9. Student Appeals

9.1  A Student may appeal a decision made under this Policy in accordance with the Student Review and Appeal Policy and Procedure (General).

10. Exclusion of Liability

10.1 The University is not responsible for any loss of or damage to personal items brought into the Library by users.

Related policy instruments


Approval Details

Policy DomainAcademic Governance

Policy Domain

Student Experience

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Education

Approval Authority

Academic Board

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Approved by

Implementation date

Description of changes




Academic Board


Policy reviewed and amended to clarify the requirements for using the library and accessing library information and resources.

Director, Library and Information Services





Minor amendments to reflect establishment of Student Appeals Policy.

Chair of Academic Board




Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework





Minor amendment: Sub-delegation removed - 8.1. "The Director may delegate all or any of the powers and functions under this Policy, to Library staff members" replaced with "The Director may authorise Library staff members to exercise any powers or activities contained within this Policy". Amendment approved by Director, Library & Information Services

Policy Officer




DVC, University Services changed to DVC Academic

Policy Officer



Policy established – replaces Conditions of Use for Library Facilities Policy and Librarian’s Powers Policy

Director, Library & Information Services


Library use policy, library facilities, borrowing

Contact person:

Director, Library Services and University Librarian