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Using the Library: Policies

All about the Library's resources and how to use them.

About Borrowing

Who can borrow?

  • Current Shaw University students, faculty, and staff may use their Shaw ID card to borrow library materials.
  • Shaw University alumni may also be granted Library privileges, under the discretion of the Library Director.
  • There are no public use technology or lending services available, and any visitors to the Library are subject to the Shaw University Code of Conduct, and may be asked to leave at any time.

Borrower Responsibilities

  • All Borrowers must use a valid Shaw ID card (only) to check out library materials.
  • Course Reserves items must not be removed from the Library.
  • Materials may be renewed three times if no one has requested them.
  • Renewals may be made by phone, or in-person at the circulation desk.
  • All materials are subject to recall after 1 week's use if deemed necessary by the Library.
  • Library users must not remove or attempt to remove Library materials or property without checking them out or without proper authorization.
  • Users should not mutilate or damage materials or tear pages from Library books.
  • Patrons are responsible for lost or damaged materials. If an item is lost, the borrower will be charged the cost of the item plus a processing fee.

Reference Material Policies

  1. Reference materials must be used in the library only and may not be taken out of the library except by permission of the Library Director.
  2. Students may make an appointment with the reference librarian if a research consultation is needed.


Some items in the Library collection are not permitted to be checked out and are for in-library use only:

  • Reference materials
  • Journals
  • The Mollie E. Lee Collection

For some special types of materials, the loan periods are the same for all borrowers:

  • Course Reserve items check out for 3 hours and must remain inside the library building.
  • Audiovisual materials (DVDs, CDs, etc.) check out for 2 weeks.

For all other types of items, the loan periods are as follows:

Type of Borrower Length of Loan Period
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Alumni
4 weeks
  • Graduate Students
  • Staff
8 weeks
  • University Faculty
  • SUDS Faculty
12 weeks
  • CRC Borrowers
4 weeks

If your item is due soon and you need it longer, you may extend the checkout period by renewing it according to the following policies:

  • If the item has been requested by another patron, the renewal will not be allowed.
  • Renewal periods:
    • Course Reserves renew for 3 hours.
    • Audiovisual items renew for 2 weeks.
    • All other items renew for 4 weeks.
  • An item can be renewed a maximum of 3 times.
Type of Borrower Maximum # of Items Checked Out at Once
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Alumni
  • Graduate Students
  • Staff
  • University Faculty
  • SUDS Faculty
No limit
  • CRC Borrowers


Overdue books will accrue fines at a rate of $0.25 per day. If a book is overdue for 4 weeks, it will be deemed lost and the borrower will be charged a replacement fee of at least $100 plus a processing fee. The cost of the item will be waived if the item is then returned.

Audiovisual Materials

Overdue audiovisual materials will accrue fines at a rate of $1.00 per day. If an audiovisual item is overdue for 2 weeks, it will be deemed lost and the borrower will be charged a replacement fee of at least $100 plus a processing fee. The cost of the item will be waived if the item is then returned.

Course Reserves

Overdue Course Reserves, which check out on an hourly basis, will accrue fines at a rate of $0.50 per hour. If a Course Reserve item is overdue for 24 hours, it will be deemed lost and the borrower will be charged a replacement fee of at least $100 plus a processing fee. The cost of the item will be waived if the item is then returned.

Fines and fees for items not specified above may vary depending on type.


  • A payment plan or discussion of payments may be made with the Library Director by making an appointment.
  • Payments will be due before registration for the next semester or sign-off for graduation will be allowed.

Library Building Policies

These policies were created to provide faculty, staff and students with a quiet and pleasant study environment and help preserve the University's collection, equipment, and library furnishings for all users.

  • Drinks are allowed in closed containers such as covered cups, cans or water bottles.
  • Food must be packaged snacks (crackers, cookies, etc.) that are consumed by an individual. 
    • No group meals (e.g. pizza, buffet) are allowed in the library unless permission is granted by the Library Director
  • Loud conversations are not permitted in the 2nd floor Quiet Study Area; please keep your voices down. Group and Loud study is available in the 1st floor reading room.
  • Cell phones must be kept on vibrate when using the library. No speaker phone conversations are to be had in the building, and all calls should be taken to a hallway and not in the Reading Rooms.

Computer Lab Policies

  1. Students should be prepared to present a valid Shaw ID when using the computer lab.
  2. Computer lab is used on a first come, first served basis and is occasionally reserved for class use.
  3. Students may not carry food or drink into the computer lab.
  4. Computers are for research and educational purposes, only. Those who are found to be using computers for other purposes will be asked to leave and reported to Campus Police.
  5. Students may not download to computer hard drives.
  6. There is no charge for printing.
  7. Users must abide by the University's Computer and Network policy.

When you attend a Shaw University lecture, event or program, you enter an area where photography, audio, and video recording may occur. By entering the event premises:

  • You consent to interview(s), photography, audio recording, video recording and its/their release, publication, exhibition, or reproduction to be used for any purpose by Shaw University.
  • You waive all rights you may have to any claims for payment or royalties in connection with these materials, regardless of the purpose or sponsoring.
  • You also waive any right to inspect or approve any photo, video, or audio recording taken by Shaw University or the person or entity designated to do so by Shaw University.

The library is not responsible for personal items found or left in its spaces, including theft or damage to property that is not owned by the institution. We encourage you to keep items with you at all times, and to report missing items as soon as possible.

Items left in the James E. Cheek Learning Resources Center, or turned into our staff at any service desk, that are of value or have personal information (such as Credit Cards, Personal Information Cards, cell phones, wallets, etc.) will be taken to the Campus Security Building for safe keeping.

Items of lower value or risk, such as pencils, jackets, chargers, etc., will be held in the lost and found area of the Circulation Desk until the end of each semester. After semester ends, items will be donated, discarded, or otherwise moved to Campus Security and will not be held in Library spaces.

Borrowing from Other Libraries

To obtain materials that Shaw University Libraries does not own, there are a few options available to you:

  • Shaw University is a member of the Cooperating Raleigh Colleges, which means that Shaw students, faculty, and staff can borrow items at other CRC libraries. Prior to going to one of these libraries, you must pick up the appropriate documentation from the James E. Cheek Learning Resources Center.
  • Interlibrary loan, which ships an item from another library to Shaw for you to borrow. It can take some time for items to arrive as they are sent by USPS mail, and a form is required.

For details and request forms, see the Other Lending Resources guide.

Copyright and Plagiarism

Copyright Notice:

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Any persons using library equipment are liable for any infringement, and will be reported as necessary.

Plagiarism Notice:

Plagiarism is a violation of the Shaw University Student Code of Conduct, and will be reported as deemed necessary

For more information on these policies and the statements herein, please see our Copyright and Plagiarism LibGuide.

Library Policy Documents

For further assistance, please contact us!
Shaw University Libraries - James E. Cheek Learning Resources Center
118 E. South Street - Raleigh, NC 27609
919-546-8407 -

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