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About the Libraries

Policies List

In this section of our site you can find information on University Libraries' policies.

  • Access Services - policies regarding our interlibrary loan services
  • Bulletin Board - policy regarding the posting of flyers, etc., in the vestibules at Waterfield Library
  • Circulation - policies regarding checkout of a variety of library materials
  • Classroom Usage - policies regarding the reservation and usage of the library classroom
  • Library Visitors - policies regarding visitors who are unaffiliated with the university. Includes policy on unescorted/unsupervised children
  • Privacy - policies regarding how Murray State University Libraries handles private information
  • Social Media - policies regarding best practices while using social media platforms
  • Solicitation - policies regarding solicitation for contributions, signatures, merchandise or other materials (in person or online)
  • Student Info Tables - policies regarding use of tables by student organizations or by students conducting research
  • Study Rooms - policies regarding the use of the study rooms available on the upper level of Waterfield Library

Access Services Policies

  • Access Services is a service provided to the patrons of a specific library, when that library participates in the service and abides by the service’s regulations.  This means that public library users must ask for assistance at their public library.  The MSU Library can only serve its user-group. 
    • Murray State University faculty, staff and currently enrolled students are allowed to use Access Services
    • Non-university visitors to the MSU Library can inquire at the Information Desk for advice on whom to contact in their home district.
  • There is no limit to the amount of requests that one patron may have at one time. 
  • Access Services material that is 21 days overdue will be turned into the Bursar’s office at a rate of $75.00 OR the cost of the replacement, whichever is higher. 
  • A lending library reserves the right to recall any materials it has lent to our institution, no matter when the due date.
  • The university libraries will purchase a maximum of three articles per week per graduate student and five articles per week per faculty member. 
  • When a lending library charges a lending fee the patron has until the due date of the material to pay the fee.  If the patron has not paid the fee by the due date, the material will be sent back to the lending library and the charges will be sent to the Bursar’s office for collection.
  • Please see the ILL policy for overdue materials:
  • Renewals for materials will not be granted if the due date of the material has passed.  Materials are only allowed one renewal per request.
  • Textbooks are rarely available for interlibrary loan, and may incur charges to the University. Thus, textbooks are not eligible for interlibrary loan services.  

Acceptable Behavior


 If not otherwise affiliated with the university, visitors to the library must be at least 16 years of age. Adult visitors are encouraged to apply for a complimentary user’s card in order to access the library’s catalog, and check out library material.  If asked, a library visitor is expected to show valid identification. 


The Murray State University Libraries strive to provide an environment conducive to study and research, primarily in support of the academic programs offered by the University. While we are a public facility, the Library does not accept responsibility for the safety or supervision of unescorted or unsupervised children. Therefore, the following guidelines are in place:

  • Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent (or other adult caregiver), and must be under their direct supervision at all times.
  • Parents (or other adult caregiver) are responsible for the conduct of their children while they are in the library.
  •  Parents (or other adult caregiver) will be asked to remove from the library any child behaving in an inappropriate manner.
  • Parents will be held responsible for any damages caused to library property by their children.
  • Should an unescorted child be discovered, library staff will attempt to locate a parent. If a parent cannot be located, library staff will contact the University Police to assume responsibility of the child.

Classroom Use Policy

MSU Libraries Privacy Policy

Personally Identifiable Information

If you wish to receive borrowing privileges, Murray State University Libraries must obtain certain information about you in order to provide you with a library account. If you are affiliated with Murray State University as an employee or as a student, the University Libraries automatically receives personally identifiable information to create and update your library account from the Registrar’s Office (for students) or Human Resources (for employees) following the guidelines set forth in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

The courts have upheld the right to privacy based on the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. MSU Libraries’ privacy policy is in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, including the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the Kentucky Attorney General’s opinion of 1982, and the American Library Association.

According to the American Library Association:
Librarians must protect each user’s rights to privacy with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired.
(ALA Policy Manual, Policy 54.15, no. 3, pg. 237)

The Kentucky Attorney General’s opinion of 1982 declares that registration and circulation records of libraries, although public records, are not subject to the Open Records Law and are therefore not required to be made available for public inspection.
A public or private library is not required to allow inspection of its circulation records under the Open Records Law. (OAG 82-149).

This opinion is based on the Kentucky Revised Statues pertaining to the Open Records Law which defines such records as follows:
Public records containing information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. (KRS 61.878 (1)(a)).

Third-party Access

The information utilized by the MSU Libraries as it pertains to a patron’s personal data as well as that patron’s borrowing record shall remain confidential and not be made available to persons outside the MSU Libraries. MSU Libraries affirm that:

Information from a patron’s record shall not be divulged to any third party.
The name of the borrower or users of an item, system or service shall not be divulged to any third party.

Data Integrity & Security

Data Integrity: The data we collect and maintain at the MSU Libraries must be accurate and secure. We take reasonable steps to assure data integrity, including: using only reputable sources of data; providing our users access to your own personally identifiable data; updating data whenever possible; and utilizing middleware authentication systems that authorize use without requiring personally identifiable information.

Tracking Users: We ensure that aggregate, summary data is stripped of personally identifiable information. We do not ask MSU Libraries visitors or Web site users to identify themselves or reveal any personal information unless they are borrowing materials, requesting special services, registering for programs or classes, or making remote use from outside the MSU Libraries of those portions of the MSU Libraries’ web site restricted to registered borrowers under license agreements or other special arrangements. We discourage users from choosing passwords or PINs that could reveal their identity, including social security numbers. We regularly remove cookies, Web history, cached files, or other computer and Internet use records and other software code that is placed on our computers or networks.

Staff access to personal data: We permit only authorized MSU Libraries faculty/staff with assigned confidential passwords and training in FERPA regulations to access personal data stored in the MSU Libraries’ computer systems for the purpose of performing library work. We will not disclose any personal data we collect from you to any other party except where required by law or to fulfill an individual user's service request. The MSU Libraries will not sell or lease users' personal information to companies, universities, or individuals.

Enforcement & Redress

Users of the MSU Libraries who have questions, concerns, or complaints about the University Libraries’ handling of their privacy and confidentiality rights should file written comments with the Dean of University Libraries. We will respond in a timely manner and may conduct a privacy investigation or review of policy and procedures.

Only the Dean of University Libraries is authorized to receive or comply with requests from law enforcement officers and will confer with the Office of the President and the MSU General Counsel before determining the proper response. We will not make library records available to any agency of state, federal, or local government unless a subpoena, warrant, court order or other investigatory document is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that shows good cause and is in proper form as determined by the offices listed above. We have trained all MSU Libraries faculty, staff, student workers, and volunteers to refer any law enforcement inquiries to library administrators.

Social Media Policy

Murray State University Libraries Social Media Policy

Definition of Social Media and University Libraries Official Pages

Social media is a powerful form of electronic communication formulated for both personal and professional usage. The construction of social networking includes websites or software (eg: Blogs, Facebook and Instagram) designed to provide digital commentary and content to a subject-specific area.

Official Murray State Universities Libraries Accounts: The primary functionality of the University Libraries accounts focuses on communication with internal and external audiences. The official accounts include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. The accounts provide supplementary resources and related University Libraries sanctioned events. The adherence to official correspondence is outlined within the Murray State University Social Media University Guidelines.  

Existing Murray State University Policies:

1.       Murray State University Libraries Mission Statement

2.       Murray State University Libraries Policies

3.       Murray State University Social Media, Web, and Mobile Communications Policy

4.       Murray State University Acceptable Use Policy

5.       Regent's Policy on Faculty and Staff Liability

6.       Murray State University Information Technology Privacy Policy

7.       Murray State University Student Handbook (Policies and Conduct)

8.       Murray State University Faculty Handbook

9.       Murray State University Staff Handbook

10.   Branding and Tools Guidelines (use of copyright symbols, names, titles)

11.   Board of Regents Code of Conduct (Sections 3, 4, and 5)

12.   Employee Policies and Procedures Manual

Purpose of the Policy:

The Murray State University Libraries social media mediums reflect our mission, values, including the access of information, knowledge creation and discovery, cultural conservation and fostering a nurturing learning environment that supports inquiry, critical thinking, and diversity of multicultural perspectives. The policy follows the direct Murray State University Library Mission Statement created by the University Libraries.

Best Practices for Social Media Interaction

This section provides guidelines that can be helpful to anyone posting on social media websites in any capacity.

Privacy: Do not post any type of personally identifiable information online (i.e.: phone numbers, social security number, etc.) to anyone. Be aware that individuals might be fraudulent or phishing for information concerning free gift cards and another type of free endorsements. It’s important to conduct background information on the source itself. All users subscribed to social networking sites are subjected to the risk of sharing personally identifiable information through networking pages.

Respectful: The content contributed to social media websites represents a variety of multicultural viewpoints and ideas.  Remember to respond to comments thoughtfully and respectfully. Try writing an action statement on paper and reading back the words out loud. Would you say these words out loud? This is important to remember when producing vocal commentary online. The discussion of opposing viewpoints is encouraged. However, do not engage in any type of verbal confrontation. It’s important to remember that anyone can read your comments online within this virtual forum.

Audience: It’s important to be aware that personal social media presence can be identifiable by anyone accessible with a computer. This includes prospective and current students, current faculty and staff, and varied peer groups. Consider this information before publishing electronically. It’s important to make sure the post itself does not intentionally harm any individual.

Thoughtful Commentary: A good ideology provides thoughtful discussion, debate and varied viewpoints with the intent that all comments should be civil, respectful, and appropriate to your intended audience.  If comments are libelous, incite violence, or display pornographic images, the Murray State University Libraries reserves the right to delete the comments and imagery.

Liability Awareness: Remember that individuals are liable for commentary and images deemed to be copyrighted, obscene, and libelous.

Solicitation Policy

The Murray State University Libraries strive to both protect the safety of library users and to ensure that all users can freely access and quietly enjoy the library’s services. Free and unimpeded access to the library building and webpages is a necessary precondition for meeting this obligation.

Active solicitation within any library building and the areas of egress to the libraries and the library parking lot is not permitted unless it is a library function. Active solicitation refers to any person-to-person communication for the purposes of (1) obtaining contributions and donations, (2) selling merchandise, coupons, or tickets, (3) collecting signatures, (4) distributing educational or promotional materials, (5) recruiting members or clients and (6) financial solicitations/transactions.

Passive solicitations for registered student organizations or other MSU-affiliated entities is allowed, with permission from the Dean of Libraries.  Examples of this might include a school supply drive or book drive for a charitable organization.  

Signs and banners, including lawn signs are prohibited on library property unless it is for a library function or an educational activity directly affiliated with Murray State University.  All other signs/flyers/etc. will be removed. 

The Murray State University Libraries does not accept solicitations of resources to be added to our LibGuides or other websites.  Our LibGuides are collated resources that use faculty recommendations and reviews from reputable resources and other library communities.  Any solicitations for additions to our LibGuides will be ignored; persistent contact from vendors or others trying to promote links to be added will be blocked.  

Student Organizations Information Tables

Policy Regarding Student and Student Organization Information Tables

Student Organizations:

Registered student organizations may set up a SINGLE TABLE outside Waterfield Library underneath the porch to promote student activities and awareness.  The purpose of this space should be for informational and awareness purposes only.   Registered Student Organizations must submit the Libraries Information Table Request Form to the University Libraries Dean’s Office at least two weeks prior to the event to receive approval.  Students must contact Facilities Management to arrange for a folding table and chairs for the event.  The entrance and exits to Waterfield are not to be blocked in any manner. 

The following types of events are prohibited: health screenings, food sales, counseling services, selling new or used books, sales of other merchandise or services, and loud music or other amplified sound.   Student Organizations may not set up outside Waterfield Library for more than two consecutive days.  No more than one organization may set up outside Waterfield in any given day.  Individuals entering and exiting the library should not be solicited.  Participants exhibiting behavior deemed distracting or disruptive will be asked to leave.  Activities involving grills or open flame will have to be relocated outside of the overhang to the south side of the building. 

The group is entirely responsible for cleanup of the space, and the return of tables and chairs to Facilities Management. 

Students Conducting Research:

Enrolled students may set up a SINGLE Table in the lobby of Waterfield Library for the purposes of conducting research as relating to an assignment or thesis.  Students must submit the Libraries Information Table Request Form, along with all relevant IRB approval documentation, to the University Libraries Dean’s Office at least two weeks prior to the event to receive approval.  The Libraries will provide a table and chair for this purpose. 

The following types of events are prohibited:  health screenings, counseling services, and any research that involves creating noise or other distraction.  Solicitation for participation should be respectful of study spaces and be limited to the table area.  

Request Form