Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a library card?
Yes. All library users must acquire current barcoded library cards before they may check out any library materials on either campus. These cards can be acquired during regular library hours at the circulation desk on either campus, and they must be renewed each semester. The process of acquiring a card and/or renewing it takes only a few minutes.
Are library circulation records confidential?
Yes. Library users have the right to privacy and confidentiality when seeking, receiving, consulting, borrowing, transmitting, or acquiring information. At the Shelton State Libraries, circulation records and other records that identify the names of users are confidential in nature will be released only in compliance with state law. The confidentiality of library users is protected by Statutes 41-8-10 and 41-9-10 of the Code of Alabama ). This guideline is enforced by employees of the Shelton State Libraries and college officials. The USA Patriot Act, however, supersedes all other state and local protection of library users. All library users should be aware that the federal government may monitor their use of library resources, including network traffic. Library personnel must comply with court orders for such information and may not disclose to any user if and when such action has been taken.
How long can items be checked out?
||21 days for students and community patrons; 42 days for college employees
||Non-circulating for students and community patrons; limited basis for college employees upon sign-out
||7 days for all users
||Limited basis for all users; no off-campus use for students; limited to 2 hours on-campus for instructors (unless otherwise requested in advance by instructor); off-campus no more than 24 hours by community patrons and instructors
||As indicated by instructor (one hour, two hours, 24 hours, etc.); not available to community patrons
Circulation periods are renewable for all users, provided a hold has not been placed on a specific title. In this case, the circulation period is not renewed and the item must be returned at its original due date.
How many items may be checked out?
A maximum of five books and two best seller books may be checked out by any user at one time. Exceptions may be made by library staff or the Director of Library Services. Current and back issues of periodicals may not be checked out to students but may be borrowed upon sign-out by college employees. Non-print materials are not available for circulation among students but may be used by college employees, on or off campus, with prior approval by the audiovisual staff.
Are there overdue fines?
Yes. Overdue fines are calculated as follows:
1. A fine of ten cents per day is charged for each book and/or vertical file item that is overdue. Fines accrue from the first day after the due date to a maximum of $8.00 per book and $2.00 per Pamphlet. Fines are not charged for days during which the libraries are not open, when the due date will either be the day before or after a holiday or college closing dates.
Fines for reserve materials are fifty cents per hour past due (or fraction of an hour over fifteen minutes) on each borrowed item. The maximum fine for overdue reserves is $8.00 per item.
2. Replacement costs for lost or damaged items are as follows: Actual cost of item if available; if not available, $25.00 per book; $2.00 per pamphlet; $25.00 per reserve item; $50.00 per audiovisual Item.
3. Overdue fines and replacement costs for unreturned library materials are considered debts to the college. Student records for students with outstanding library debts are flagged in the Office of Admissions and Records, and students may not register or submit graduation requests until the debt has been cleared by the library staff.
4. At the end of each semester, a list of students with library debts is given to the Office of Admissions and Records. Students must have written or direct verbal clearance from the library staff in order to register.
5. Library users with overdue items may not check out additional materials until all overdue fines are paid and/or materials are returned.
6. Students who apply for graduation must have no outstanding library debts at the time of application, except items that are in current use by the students (e.g., at the end of the final semester).
7. Email reminders (via Bucsmail) are sent to students with overdue items and outstanding library debts.
8. Amnesty days are offered at least once each semester, when overdue fines will be waived. Replacement costs, however, for lost or damaged items will not be waived.
9. Alternate means of paying library debts will be considered by the Director of Library Services on an individual basis. At the discretion of the Director, a library debt may be resolved if the user works for the college until the debt is paid at a minimum wage level. The debtor will receive no money for the work done, but the library debt will be cleared. The Director may also choose to accept a replacement volume purchased directly by the debtor.
Am I charged for lost or damaged items?
1. Replacement costs for lost or damaged items are as follows: Actual cost of item if available; if not available, $25.00 per book; $5.00 per Vertical File item; $25.00 per reserve item; $50 per audiovisual item.
2. Like overdue fines, replacement costs for lost or damaged items are considered debts to the college. Student records for students with outstanding library debts are flagged , and students may not register for classes until the debt has been cleared by the library staff.
3. Library users with overdue items may not check out additional materials until all overdue fines are paid and/or materials are returned.
4. Students who apply for graduation must have no outstanding library debts at the time of application, except items that are in current use by the students (e.g., at the end of the final semester).
5. Amnesty is not offered for replacement costs for lost or damaged items.
6. Alternate means of paying library debts will be considered by the Director of Library Services on an individual basis. At the discretion of the Director, a library debt may be resolved if the user works for the college until the debt is paid at a minimum wage level. The debtor will receive no money for the work done, but the library debt will be cleared. The Director may also choose to accept a replacement volume purchased directly by the debtor.
What are reserves?
Instructors may place books, study guides, practice tests, artifacts, models, audiovisuals, and other items on "reserve." This means that the items are placed on limited circulation so that as many people as possible will have access to them during the time needed. These items may be checked out for the specified time period at the Reserves Desk inside the library. Library cards are required to check-out any reserve item. In some cases, a driver's license or student ID may be required and retained at the Reserve Desk until the item is returned.
Circulation periods for reserve items are usually one hour and are often restricted to "room use," which means that the item(s) cannot be removed from the library. Overdue fines for reserve items are calculated at fifty cents per hour (or fraction of hour over 15 minutes), with a maximum of $8.00 per item. The replacement cost for lost Reserve items is the actual cost, if available, or $25.00 for each individual item. Debts will be handled as indicated above for lost or damaged items.
Can I borrow items through Inter-Library Loan (ILL)?
Yes. Students and faculty may pick up ILL request forms and submit them at the Circulation Desk at either campus library. Excluding postage, costs for loans must be borne by the borrower rather than the Shelton State Libraries and must be paid at the time that the item is picked up.
Do I have library privileges at other colleges?
Yes. With a current Shelton State Libraries card, you may check out items from The University of Alabama Libraries (UA) and the Stillman College Library. Your card must be updated each semester to indicate current enrollment. You may stop by the circulation desk in either Shelton State campus library to get your library card stamped and updated each semester. Shelton State library users do not need to purchase a community card at UA Libraries (as long as they have a current Shelton State Libraries card).
Certain limitations are placed on the number and types of materials that can be checked out at UA (e.g., only items from the general circulating book collection and government documents). Electronic resources can be used while in the UA Gorgas Library at designated computers. These are generally located on the second floor near the large circulation desk. Shelton State library users should be aware that there are numerous parking restrictions on the UA campus; some parking restrictions are lifted at 6:00 pm (Monday through Friday) and on weekends, but anyone interested in using UA libraries should make themselves familiar with UA parking regulations. For printing at UA, Shelton State library users may purchase a Community User Card from printing card dispensers located in Gorgas, Bruno, McLure, and Rodgers Libraries, or from the library staff at the Hoole Special Collections Library. Many resources can be emailed and/or downloaded to a thumbdrive as well. See the UA Printing page for additional information.