Library Policies

Library Policies

Borrowing Materials

All library users must have a valid StMU ID card to access library materials. If you do not have an StMU ID card, please make an appointment at the main office of the Administration Building to get one.

Loan Periods

The due dates for all loaned materials are noted in your StMU Library account. Borrowers are responsible for returning library materials on or before the due date. If a hold is placed on materials that you have borrowed, you will receive an email notification and the due date will be automatically updated in your StMU Library account.

  • Circulating Books & Oversize Collections – have a term loan period. There is no limit on the number of books you can borrow from StMU Library. You can borrow up to 50 items from the University of Calgary, Ambrose University and Bow Valley College.
  • Course Reserve Items – are loaned out for 3 days, 1 day or 2 hours. However, course reserve materials are not available to community borrowers.
  • CD-ROM, DVD, Video & General Reserve Collections – are loaned out for 3 days to students and have a term loan for faculty and staff.
  • Journal, Reference, & Special Collections – are available for in-library use only.
  • Education Lab materials:
    • these materials are are loaned out for 1 day; and
    • kits and manipulatives must be returned to the circulation desk.


Items can be renewed up to 3 times unless another user requests an item. Borrowers must renew their items before they become overdue.

Course Reserve materials cannot be renewed online. These items must be returned to the circulation desk. However, they can be borrowed again provided no other users are waiting to borrow them.

Items may be renewed through the online catalogue. For help setting up or changing your password, please contact or come visit us at the circulation desk.


All circulating materials (excluding reserves, general reserves, periodicals, reference materials, DVDs & Videos) can be placed “on-hold”. If an item that you need has been borrowed by another user, you can place a request for that item at the circulation desk or by using the online catalogue.

  • There is no limit on the number of holds that you can place on materials;
  • All holds must be picked up from the library circulation desk within 5 days;
  • Users will be notified via email and their Library account when requested items become available;
  • After a hold has been placed on an item, the borrowing users has 10 days to return it to the library;
  • Holds can only be placed on materials that are currently on loan;
  • If an item is available in the Library, users must pick the material from the shelves themselves.

Food, Drink & Noise

The Library is a shared and vibrant community space!

Food & Drink

  • Eating is allowed in the Library;
  • Please ensure table surfaces and your hands are clean of food debris when handling library materials.
  • Beverages are allowed in the Library. Drinks must have a lid and spill proof containers must be used around computer stations in the library and in the Computer Labs.
  • Users are responsible for any spills that may take place. In the event of a spill please notify library staff.

Please notify library staff at the circulation desk if tables and study carrels require cleaning.


Group work and collaboration is strongly encouraged. However, as the Library has limited study space available we ask that conversation is kept at a respectable volume. For intensive group work or gatherings of a more social nature, additional group spaces are available in the LeFort Centre and Classroom building.

For those who desire quiet individual study space, study carrels are available in the basement of the LeFort Centre.

Cell phones and devices are permitted in the library. However, audible alerts are disruptive to Library users. Please:

  • make sure that your cell phone is set to silent alert or vibrate, or turned off when in the library;
  • use headphones when watching videos or listening to audio materials. If you do not have your own headphones these can be borrowed from the circulation desk;
  • conduct your phone calls away from study and group work areas; and
  • do not conduct phone calls while on speaker phone.

Computer Use

All Computers on the StMU campus and in the Library are intended for use in accessing the library catalogue, electronic resources, course-specific software and productivity software tools supporting academic activities.

Students are advised not to save material to the C: drive or the desktop of a computer – saved material is deleted on a daily basis. Instead save materials to My Documents of your profile on the H: drive via My Computer.

Printing in the Library

  • Printing in the Library is 10¢ a page. All students have a $1.00 balance to start their printing account. After that, you will need to pay for additional printing at the library circulation desk.

Library Reference Workstations

Library research has priority on the library work stations adjacent to the Library Service Desk.

  • Library research includes searching the library catalogue, electronic reference materials, electronic article databases and CD-ROM databases.
  • If a student is using one of these workstations for purposes other than those stated above, the student may be asked to move to a workstation in the Library Computer Labs (B104 & B105).

Library Computer Labs

The computer labs in the library (B104 and B105) contain a total of 56 workstations.

  • Library Computer Lab workstations in B104 & B105 are classroom resources. That is, when B104 & B105 are booked for classes, these resources will be unavailable, except to those registered in those courses. You will be asked to leave.
  • When B104 & B105 are not booked for classes, workstations are available to students for use in accessing email, the library catalogue, electronic resources, course-specific software and productivity software tools supporting academic activities.

Copyright @ StMU

What is it?

Copyright refers to a set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. Copyright does not protect ideas, only their expression.

  • Copyright owners have the exclusive statutory right to exercise control over copying and other exploitation of the works for a specific period of time, after which the work is said to enter the Public Domain. Uses covered under limitations and exceptions to copyright, such as Fair Dealing, do not require permission from the copyright owner. All other uses require permission. Copyright owners can license or permanently transfer or assign their exclusive rights to others.

Fair Dealing Provisions

Fair Dealing is “the right, within limits” to reproduce a substantial amount of a copyrighted work without permission from or payment to the copyright owner. The Copyright Act of Canada clearly states that Fair Dealing for the purpose of research or private study does not infringe copyright.

To find out more about Copyright & Fair Dealing, please consult the Library’s Copyright Resource directory.


  • St. Mary’s University (StMU) and the StMU Library are not responsible for copyright infringement by an individual using a photocopy machine or scanner installed on the StMU campus.
  • The Library provides all StMU users with access to a wide variety of materials for personal research and study. However, this DOES NOT mean that you have a license to photocopy and distribute entire works, regardless of whether it is a book, journal, DVD, or CD. The following policies / guidelines on this page provide information on copyright law and what kind of copying/reprographic practices are generally acceptable under law.

Damage to Materials

When you check out library materials, you are responsible for returning the materials in the same condition you signed them out. A charge for damaged items may be applied to a borrower’s account for the following reasons:

  • items that have been written in or highlighted;
  • torn or ripped pages in items;
  • moisture damaged items;
  • chewed items or other damage caused by animals;
  • broken items; and/or
  • other damage to the cover, spine or pages of items.

The replacement cost of an item and a $15 administrative fee will be added to your account if damage occurs to the library books while they are loaned out to you.

However, the Library understands that general wear-and-tear occurs with the use and storage of materials from its collection. Borrowers will not be charged damage fees as a result of natural fatigue and circulation wear-and-tear.


Academic Libraries across Canada benefit from the gifts and donations of generous donors and patrons. St. Mary’s University Library acknowledges the benefit of such gifts that have enhanced the Library’s collections in support of the learning and teaching research goals of St. Mary’s University.

What Constitutes a Gift / Donation?

According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Income Tax Act Guidelines “IT-297R2 Gifts in Kind to Charity & Others” a gift in kind:

  • includes capital property, depreciable property, personal-use property including listed personal property, and inventory of a business; but
  • does NOT include a gift of services.

Donation Policy

StMU Library appreciates all offers of gifts and donations. However, the Library’s mandate is to support teaching and research. Donations of books, periodicals, and other materials that do not directly support the St. Mary’s curriculum, instruction, and research needs may not to be accepted. To find out more about donating to St. Mary’s University, please consult:

Donation Acceptance Guidelines

Due to volume, the library is unable accept donations without prior review. To submit items for review please prepare a list (word doc or spreadsheet) containing the author, title, year published, and if available, ISBN for each item.

To make an inquiry please contact the Acquisitions & Circulation Specialist

Overdue Books & Fines

When an item is overdue or fines are owed, a notice will be e-mailed to borrowers. If you have:

  • overdue items or fines totaling over $10.00 your borrowing privileges are suspended until the overdue items are returned and outstanding fines are paid down to less than $10.00; and
  • overdue items or outstanding fines of any amount, you will blocked from registering for future semesters, receiving transcripts and requesting final grades.

Overdue Fines at StMU

Fines can be paid only against books that have already been returned to the library. If you do not return an item by the due date the fine will be:

  • $1.00 per day for 1-day, 3-day and term loan materials;
  • $1.00 per hour for 2-hour materials; and
  • $2.00 per day for recalled materials; and
  • $1.00 per day for InterLibrary Loan materials.

Lost materials will incur the replacement cost of the item plus a $15.00 processing fee, in addition to any overdue fines owed against the item.

Overdue Fines at Other Institutional Libraries

Fines levied against items borrowed from the University of Calgary, Ambrose University and Bow Valley College can be paid at StMU Library, provided that they were borrowed using your StMU Library account. If you have concerns regarding a fine against books from one of these institutions you must contact the circulation staff at that institution.

Reading Room

Special Collections Reading Room

Special collections materials are not accessible outside of Reading Room hours!

  • Materials must be handled using gloves, which are provided;
  • Patrons may access special collections materials one item at a time;
  • Food or Drink is not allowed in the Reading Room;
  • All personal backpacks & bags must be left at the Reading Room door. Storage is provided;
  • No pens, post its or highlighters are allowed in the Reading Room. Pencils are allowed for writing;
  • Laptops and cell phones are permitted in the Reading Room;
  • Special collections materials must be used in the Reading Room;
  • Do not reshelve special collections materials. Please return all materials to the Reading Room service desk;
  • Photocopying of special collections materials is NOT allowed!

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