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Policies of the University Libraries: Policies

Introduction to University Library Policies

The University of Toledo Libraries have instituted some policies in order to preserve our collection and ensure that the library is a safe and comfortable environment for all of our patrons.  We ask that you be considerate of your fellow library users and abide by the following rules.  Some services and collections may have particular policies governing their use. 

Cell Phones

Cell phone ringers must be turned off or set to vibrate within Carlson Library.  Cell phones may be used in the elevator lobbies on the lower level, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors and the concourse area away from the Information and Circulation Desks.  

The Mulford Library, especially on the fifth floor, is used by many students as a quiet study area. Please set all cell phones on silent or vibrate mode if possible.  If the phone does not have a silent/vibrate mode, turn the ring tone down as low as possible.  When making or receiving calls, please do so in the cell phone zone (on the fifth floor), in a stairwell or restroom, or outside of the Library.

We reserve the right to ask anyone whose phone conversations are disturbing other users to leave the Library. 


Children under the age of 14 must be supervised and accompanied by an adult at all times while in any University Library. The Libraries are open to the public, and as is true of any public facility, we cannot guarantee an individual's personal safety. If staff members notice children who are left unattended, University Police will be notified.


In support of the University's commitment to serve the community by providing uninterrupted service during emergencies, the Libraries will continue to provide service in all but the most serious weather or security situations. Class cancellation does not necessarily mean that the Library is closed.  Factors influencing the decision to close the Library:

  • University has announced a campus-wide closure (weather, natural disasters, civil unrest, or other serious situations)
  • Lucas County in in a Level-Three Snow Emergency
  • University is in Snow Emergency Mode as per University Police
  • Traveler's advisory has been issued for Lucas County
  • Threat of a tornado is imminent
  • Severe flooding in the area
  • Electrical outage in the building

When the decision to close the Library is made, library staff will notify users who are currently in the Library at least 30 minutes prior to the closing. Some situations, however, require immediate evacuation. For your safety, please follow directions of staff members.

Signs will be posted on Carlson’s concourse and entrance doors. At Mulford, look for signs noting a closing on the Library's front doors (fourth floor), inside each Mulford Library elevator, and on the double doors leading to the lobby outside Student Services (first floor).  A message on Carlson’s Circulation Line (419.530.2323) will inform callers of the closure. Messages on the Mulford's Info Line (419.383.4225) and Reference Assistance (419.383.4218) will indicate the closure.

Computer Use

The Libraries' web sites are provided for the use of University Libraries' patrons engaged in library research. University Libraries provides instructions on how to use the resources available from this site. Library patrons are authorized to make selections and to follow keystroke instructions as provided by on-screen displays, handouts, and signs.

Any attempts to leave the menus or local system through keystrokes not suggested by the system or a librarian may be interpreted as unauthorized use of the system. In keeping with The University of Toledo's Computer Usage Policy, unauthorized use or using these workstations for personal profit is prohibited, and is subject to prosecution, suspension or termination.

Electronic mail, word processing, spread sheet software packages, and other Internet applications are provided on some library workstations and in the Student Computing labs on campus.

Concerns / Compliments

Concerns or complaints regarding a service received, a bill, or the performance of a library employee should be addressed to the coordinator of the department in which the situation occurred. To assist in our investigation of the incident, please include the date, time, department, and employee's name (if appropriate). We also like to hear positive comments on our services and staff members; they too can be addressed to the department coordinator.

Confidentiality and Privacy

In October 2000, the State of Ohio passed a law that explicitly protects the information contained in library patron records. In essence, library personnel are not to give out information to others regarding:

  • who has a book checked out currently
  • who has checked out a book in the past
  • what an individual has checked out over a period of time
  • what a person has used in the library, including reserve materials, interlibrary loan requests, database search requests, and web sites

Any request for such information from an individual, law enforcement agency, faculty member, department chair, student, lawyer, member of the news media, administrator, etc., will be referred to the Dean.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Users of copyrighted materials accessible in and through the Library are obligated to adhere to the guidelines regarding fair use for educational institutions. Library users bear personal responsibility for abiding by the copyright laws of the United States when using photocopiers, computers, software applications, reserve material services, or making slides for presentations.

Disruptive Behavior

The Libraries reserve the right to ask anyone to leave who is disrupting the study atmosphere of the Libraries or the work of library users. Please report disruptive behavior to the Circulation Desk at Carlson or the Service Desk on the fourth floor at Mulford.

Donations of Books and Journals

While the University Libraries appreciate offers of donations to the collection, anyone wishing to donate must first speak with the Acquisitions Librarian who will assess the donation against the needs of the collection. Do not leave boxes or bags of materials at the Library. We reserve the right to discard donations that are not needed. Copyright laws do not permit the Library to accept donations of current personal subscriptions as substitutes for library-purchased institutional subscriptions.

Food & Drink

Drinks are allowed in Carlson and Mulford Libraries, but must be in covered containers. No food is allowed in any of the libraries.

The purpose of the food and drink policy is to aid in the preservation and care of library materials and electronic equipment, to maintain pest-free buildings, to reduce litter, and to ensure a clean environment for research and collaboration. Users are liable for any damage to library property caused by food or drinks.


In accordance with University policies on harassment, the University Libraries will not tolerate harassment of library users or library employees. If you feel you are being harassed, please report the incident immediately to the service desk or Library Administration (room 417) in Mulford or the Administrative Offices or Circulation Desk in Carlson.

Phones (House)

House (red) phones are located on the fourth and fifth floors of Mulford Library, near the elevators. These phones should only be used to make in-house, medically related calls. The closest pay phone is located in the University Medical Center lobby.  Carlson and Library does not have house phones.

See also information about cell phones.


Laptops may be used in the Libraries and WiFi (wireless access) is available. Laptops may be checked out from the IT Help Desk at Carlson or the Service Desk at Mulford for a period of 5 hours. The laptops must be used in Carlson or Mulford Library. Please do not leave your laptop unattended!

See also: Computer Use Policy

Library Computers

Computers in Carlson Library and on the fourth and fifth floor of Mulford are open to members of the University community as well as the general public. These workstations provide access to the Library's online resources: databases, knowledgebases, online books, online journals, etc. The Computer Learning Resource Center on the Health Science Campus is only open to those people with a valid University of Toledo ID card.

See also: Computer Use Policy

Lost & Found Items

Items that are left or lost in the Library will be placed at the Circulation Desk in Carlson, or in the Online Resources Room (computer lab on the fourth floor of Mulford), for a couple of days. Items are then taken to University Police, located in the basement of the Mulford Library on the Health Science Campus or to University Police in the Transportation Center on Main Campus.


The Information Commons on the first floor of Carlson Library is a research, study, and collaborative work environment. It is NOT a quiet study area. Conversation is acceptable as long as it does not disturb other library patrons. Head phones and laptop audio features should be kept low so as not to disturb patrons. If you wish to listen to audio, please provide your own head phones.

In other areas of Carlson and Mulford Library we ask that you be considerate of your colleagues who may be involved in quiet study. Ask a library staff member to direct you to areas that are better for group discussion.

Smoking & Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is prohibited in all University buildings and on our campuses.   This prohibition includes electronic cigarettes.  See the University of Toledo Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free policy.

Study Spaces

Study space (tables, carrels, study rooms) in the libraries is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  They cannot be reserved and are cleared once each day of unattended personal items, which are sent to campus police's lost-and-found. Groups needing a place to meet should consider the group study rooms in the Information Commons and upper floors of Carlson. 

At Mulford, rooms 420 and 520 are available for larger groups; smaller groups can use the study rooms along the long walls of the fifth floor. Group study space may also be available in the Collier Building or on the third floor of the Mulford Annex.