General Policies

The following COVID-19-related guidelines of the University Libraries are aligned to campus response planning and promote the safety of employees, students, and other users of library collections, services, technologies, and spaces.

Effective March 4, 2022 at 5:00pm, all employees, students, and campus visitors are no longer required to wear masks or engage in physical distancing when in the University Libraries.  Visitors who are at greater risk for infection, or the consequences of infection, are encouraged to continue wearing a mask if they prefer to do so.

Library visitors should not come to the University Libraries if they:

    • Have a temperature or symptoms associated with COVID-19
    • Have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, even if asymptomatic
    • Have had close contact in the past 5 days with anyone who has tested positive for or displayed symptoms of COVID-19, even if asymptomatic

Your participation in following these guidelines will help reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 infections. Library users who refuse to comply with these requirements will be asked to leave the building and informed of available virtual and curbside services and resources.  

Users of the University Libraries are expected to treat library staff, fellow users, and library materials and facilities with courtesy and respect.
This includes but is not limited to:

Refraining from defacing materials (books, videos, periodicals, etc.) and facilities with pencil, ink, markers, adhesive notes, tape, paper clips, etc.

Refraining from tearing or cutting pages from materials.

Food and beverages are limited to snack items.

Refraining from taking materials from the library without first checking them out or violating any other rules for library use.

Refraining from changing settings on library computers, tampering with printers, or installing unauthorized software.

Refraining from disruptive behavior, which may include but is not limited to:

  • Intimidation or assault of library staff or users with language or actions.
  • Failure to comply with library staff requests to adhere to library policies and guidelines.
  • Behavior creating excessive noise or activity, including headphone volume levels set loud enough for others to hear.
  • Behavior which interferes with library personnel’s ability to provide services.
  • Possessing or being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.
  • Possessing weapons.
  • Using computers in violation of guidelines established by UCS.

Refraining from soliciting or proselytizing.

Refraining from conduct that violates other university rules or regulations.

Children under the age of 14 are welcome, but must be accompanied by and remain under the immediate supervision of a responsible adult (over 18).

Clothing tops, bottoms and footwear are expected of all visitors and must remain on throughout a visit.

Failure to comply with the University Libraries User Guidelines may result in immediate suspension of library privileges and, if appropriate, referral to law enforcement officials.

Visitors to Bracken Library may access OneSearch, the online catalog, free of charge from dedicated workstations throughout the library. If you are over the age of 14, you may acquire a guest pass for full access to library computers for one day, including databases, available software, and Internet connections through the purchase of one Computer Access token card ($1.00). Visitors of any age who wish to use electronic federal depository material should consult the Government Publications page.

If you have any of the following affiliations, you are exempt from the $1.00 charge:

  • Ball State University emeriti faculty with valid emeritus card.
  • Ball State University alumni with valid Ball State University Alumni card.
  • Faculty/student from any other university or college (including Ivy Tech) with current valid identification from your home institution.
  • Indiana State employee with current valid State employee identification.
  • Current military personnel with valid identification.

Visitors may print up to 20 exposures per guest account. Additional exposures are available for a nominal fee through the purchase of an additional guest account, or by routing print jobs to a printer/copier capable of accepting coins or a copy card. Inquire at any service point for additional information.

View the Information Technology Users’ Privileges and Responsibilities PDF.

General Circulation Materials Overdue or Lost

  • General circulation materials are materials borrowed for periods of two weeks or more.

A $5.00 non-refundable fine will be assessed for each general circulation item on the 8th calendar day after the due date. Also, a $5.00 non-refundable fine will be assessed for each recalled item on the day following the recall due date. If an item is not returned within 45 calendar days after the due date (or recall due date), it will be declared lost, and the borrower will be assessed the current replacement cost. Material borrowed from the Library remains the property of the Library even after a replacement cost is assessed and paid.

Reserve Materials Overdue or Lost

Reserves fines apply to:

  • materials in collections designated as “reserve” in library guides and/or on signs;
  • materials borrowed for specified periods of less than two weeks – two hours, overnight, one day, three days, seven days, etc.

Fines will be assessed for overdue reserve materials at the rate of 25 cents per item per hour, to a maximum of $24.00 per item. If a reserve item is not returned within 68 calendar days after the date due, it will be declared lost, and the borrower will be assessed the current replacement cost of the item in addition to the overdue fine. Material borrowed from the Library remains the property of the Library even after a replacement cost is assessed and paid.

Circulating Equipment from Educational Technology and Resources Collection

Equipment Overdue or Lost:

The Reserve Fine Policy applies to all 4-day and 6-hour circulating equipment:

Fines will be assessed for overdue equipment and material at the rate of 25 cents per barcoded item per hour, to a maximum of $24.00. If equipment is not returned within 7 calendar days after the date due, it will be declared lost, and the borrower will be assessed the current replacement cost of the item in addition to the overdue fine. Equipment borrowed from the University Libraries remains the property of the University Libraries even after a replacement cost is assessed and paid.

Multiple barcoded items are associated with each type of equipment. Therefore, MAXIMUM RESERVE OVERDUE FINES will be assessed as follows:

  • Lenovo Laptop 4 barcoded items @ $24 each = $96.00
  • Cannon Camcorder 3 barcoded items @ $24 each = $72.00
  • MacBook 3 barcoded items @ $24 each = $72.00
  • Epson Data Projector 3 barcoded items @ $24 each = $72.00
  • Labtec PC mic 1 barcoded item @ $24 each = $24.00
  • Headphones 1 barcoded item @ $24 each = $24.00
  • Tripod 1 barcoded item @ $24 each = $24.00

For fines on equipment not listed, inquire at the Educational Technology and Resources Collections circulation counter (285-5340)

Damaged Library Materials

Damaged materials will be repaired at the library user’s expense; if damaged materials are beyond repair, the library user will be charged current replacement costs.

Appeal of Fines and Costs

Appeals of library fines and costs must be initiated within ninety calendar days following the date the borrowed material was due for return to the Library. Appeals of assessments must first be directed to the designated personnel at the service location where the material was borrowed. If unresolved at the service location level, appeals may be continued through successive levels of supervision within the Library’s Public Services. If unresolved within the Library’s Public Services, appeals may be directed to the University Senate Library Subcommittee. (Staff at the service location will, on request, identify the designated personnel, who will explain the route of appeal.)

Appeals once begun must proceed at the borrower’s initiative in a timely and reasonable fashion. If a borrower fails to initiate and pursue an appeal within the prescribed time period, penalties approved by the Board of Trustees will result. Appeals made to the Library Committee will be judged on behalf of the University community; the Committee’s judgments will be advisory to the Library administration.

Theft or Mutilation

The University Libraries may suspend library privileges and/or seek criminal prosecution or civil sanctions in cases of theft or mutilation of library materials.

Payment of Fines and Costs

Non-refundable fines and costs for replacement of damaged/lost materials are to be paid at Student Financial Services, LU B-31. If a student does not pay assessed fines or costs, transcripts will be encumbered. If a University faculty or staff member does not pay assessed fines or costs, Student Financial Services will pursue collection according to the University’s policy on employee delinquent accounts.

To renew items currently checked out, use your Ball State username and password to access "My Library Account" in OneSearch. Users not affiliated with Ball State University may request a PIN which can then be used to login to OneSearch.

Alternatively, you may renew items by calling Circulation/Reserves at 765-285-5143.

Ball State affiliates, with a valid Ball State e-mail address, are automatically notified by e-mail of upcoming due dates. Users who are not affiliated with the University may request electronic notification of upcoming due dates.

Items which circulate four weeks or less may be renewed online twice. Items which circulate longer than four weeks may be renewed online once. For subsequent renewals, bring the materials to any of the University Libraries' circulation desks.

Overdue materials (except for some Reserve materials) may generally be renewed, but you are still responsible for overdue fines. Materials on hold for another borrower may not be renewed.

General Circulation Information

For detailed information describing loan periods for each type of Libraries materials, please see the University Libraries Borrowing Privileges webpage.

Ball State University students, faculty, and staff have access to all of the materials in the University Libraries. Reminders of upcoming due dates will be automatically e-mailed to the official e-mail address for students, faculty, and staff. To renew items borrowed from the Libraries, please use your Ball State username and password to login to My Library Account.

For Alumni

Ball State University graduates may obtain a free Alumni Card at the ID Card Office, currently in Bracken Library. Alumni Card users can contact the Circulation/Reserves desk in Bracken Library to request a PIN to access My Library Account.

For Indiana Residents

Indiana residents who present a Resident/Affiliate card may check out general circulation books and government publications at the Main Circulation Counter on the first floor of Bracken Library and general circulation books in the Architecture Library, Science Library, and Health Library.

To obtain a Resident/Affiliate Library Card, you must purchase a single token card ($1.00) from the vending machine near the Main Circulation and Reserves Desk in Bracken Library. After you’ve made the purchase, simply present the token card with valid identification which includes a photo and date of birth, such as an Indiana’s driver’s license, to a Circulation staff member. After you complete a short application, you will be issued a Resident/Affiliate Card, which may be used only by the cardholder in connection with photo identification.