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Policy Student Services Library Use Policy

Library Use Policy

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This policy outlines conditions of use to ensure reasonable and equitable access to library facilities for all library users.

The James Cook University libraries provide knowledge services to support the University’s high quality education and world-class research through innovative discovery and access to:

  • Information resources (electronic and print books and journals, databases, multimedia, archives, special collections, etc);


  • Information services in the physical and virtual environments.


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

This policy outlines the:

(a)  use of library facilities;

(b)  borrowing of library resources; and

(c)  library fees, charges and penalties.


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

Director, Library & Information Services – position responsible for JCU libraries.

Information Resources- includes all resources in any format, such as books, ebooks, journals, ejournals, databases, multimedia, equipment etc.

Library Facilities – includes library buildings located on the Cairns and Townsville campuses, collections, equipment including computers, and services.

Loan – borrowing an information resource for use outside of the library building.

Library Staff Member –means a person working for JCU Library and Information Services under a contract of employment on a full time, part time, sessional or casual basis.

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


1.   Eligibility to use the library facilities

1.1.   Subject to JCU regulations, anyone may enter the library buildings and use information resources within the library buildings providing they have a legitimate need to do so and conform to JCU and Library rules and policies.  The Director, Library and Information Services (hereafter referred to as the Director) may limit the use of facilities for registered and other authorised users.

1.2.   Services which are prescribed by licence agreements, or other contractual or legislative requirements, are available only to those users specified by the providers of those services, or by the relevant legislation.

2.   Conditions of use of the library facilities

2.1.   Anyone in library building premises must comply with any lawful direction from a library staff member.

2.2.   Users must leave the Library immediately when requested to do so by a library staff member.

2.3.   Library users must not engage in any conduct that:

2.3.1.   impairs the reasonable freedom of other persons to pursue their studies, research, duties or lawful activities in the University or to participate in the life of the University in accordance with the Code of Conduct and Student Conduct Policy;

2.3.2.   may cause damage to information resources, equipment, and furniture; or

2.3.3.   cause disturbance or inconvenience to others within the library building, e.g., users may not restrict access or use of the Library by others by leaving personal belongings on Library furniture.

2.4.   Information resources, equipment including furniture may not be taken out of the library buildings unless they have been borrowed through the appropriate loans mechanism.

2.5.   Library users and visitors must comply with the Copyright Act 1968 provisions and regulations at all times when using copying, printing or recording equipment in the Library and/or accessing library resources both on and off campus.  Individual users are responsible for ensuring their use of these facilities and resources complies with all relevant legislation and agreements.

2.6.   Visitors and authorised users may have walk-in access to electronic resources while in the library buildings.

2.7.   Library users are permitted to:

2.7.1.   consume food and drink in designated areas;

2.7.2.   bring bags and cases into the library building but these must be available for examination by Library staff members on request;

2.7.3.   bring in mobile phones but these are to be switched to silent upon entering the library building;

2.7.4.   engage in conversation in designated areas; and

2.7.5.   bring in children, however children under 15 must be accompanied by and be under the supervision of a responsible adult.

2.8.   Smoking is not permitted in the library buildings.

2.9.   Clients may not enter non-public areas of the building except by invitation.

2.10.   Photography and filming in the libraries requires prior authorisation from the Director.

3.   Borrowing information resources

3.1.   Authorised users and others at the discretion of the Director may borrow eligible information resources.

3.2.   Library users must comply with all borrowing conditions and policies as determined by the Director.  Conditions may vary for each category of borrower and are published on the Library website.

3.3.   Some borrowers may qualify under more than one category. When one of these categories is the undergraduate category, this category will be applied for information resources borrowed for undergraduate purposes.

3.4.   Library users must use their own current James Cook University ID card or own current JCU Library card to borrow information resources; and normally may not borrow in anyone else’s name, nor use anyone else’s ID card, but their own.

3.5.   No user may transfer a loan to another user. The user in whose name the loan record is held shall be regarded as the borrower and shall be responsible for the return of the loan, unless the loss or theft of the card was, before the item was borrowed, notified to the Library staff.

3.6.   Special loan conditions may be applied to particular categories of information resources including periodicals, reference and Special Collections which are available for loan only in exceptional circumstances and with the permission of the Director.

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

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

3.9.   JCU students and staff must return all information resources before they leave the University.

4.   Fees and charges

Fees and charges may be imposed for a contravention of this policy.

4.1.   Overdue information resources will incur a late return fee.

4.2.   Recalled information resources must be returned within the nominated time of the recall notice, or they will attract a late return fee.

4.3.   The late return fee applies to all borrowers who have overdue items.

4.4.   Items deemed lost or damaged attract a replacement cost which includes a service fee.

4.5.   Membership fees may be charged for non-JCU staff and students.  A registration form and fees are available on the Library website.

4.6.   Fees, charges and penalties are available on the Library website.

5.   Library Notices

5.1.   The default means of communication between the Library and users is electronic mail.

5.2.   Electronic mail for JCU students and staff will be sent to the user’s JCU email address.

5.3.   Electronic mail for other users will be sent to the email address (if any) notified to the Library by the user.

6.   Appeals

6.1.   The Director may vary or waive any late return fee or other charge, or may substitute an alternative sanction, on application in writing to the Director.

6.2.   Appeals against policies and practices may be made in writing to the Director (see Student Review and Appeals Policy).

6.3.   In addition to the above, JCU students may also make a complaint under the Student Complaint Management Policy and Procedures.

7.   Breaches and Penalties

7.1.   A person who is in breach of this Policy may be removed and/or excluded from the Library Facility, 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.   So long as any Library user has an overdue item, or unpaid charges, amount or fee, the Director may suspend that user’s borrowing privileges.

7.3.   Serious breaches by University staff or students will be addressed by the relevant University staff or student disciplinary procedures.

7.4.   Other University statutes, by-laws and policies may apply to outstanding fines and penalties incurred by students. Students may have their academic results withheld or be not 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.    Breaches of some clauses in this Policy may also breach Commonwealth and / or State law and users may incur personal liability (for e.g. Copyright Act 1968)

8.   Delegation

8.1.    The Director may authorise Library staff members to exercise any powers or activities contained within this Policy.

9.   Exclusion of Liability

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

Related documents and legislation

Authorised use of University facilities, Premises/or grounds for non-core purposes

Children on Campus

Conditions for Use of University Computing and Communication Facilities

Copyright Act 1968

Library and Information Services Client Charter

Smokefree Workplace Policy - JCU

Student Review and Appeals Policy

Student Complaint Management Policy and Procedures

Student Conduct Policy

Student Debtors – Penalties

Code of Conduct (James Cook University)


Approval Details

Policy Sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic

Approval Authority:

Academic Board

Approval date:


Version no:


Date for next review:


Revision History


Revision date

Description of changes




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