Regulations for the Use of the University Library

1. Definitions

The terms listed below have, within these Regulations, the meanings given for each.

1.1 University

Aston University

1.2 Library

The Library of Aston University

1.3 Directors

The Directors of Library Services (LS).

1.4 Designated Staff

Any member of LS Staff, or any Night Steward, to whom the Directors have delegated authority to apply or to enforce these Regulations.

1.5 Staff

Staff, whether academic, administrative, technical, or other, currently employed by Aston University.

1.6 Student

An individual currently enrolled or registered with Aston University or undertaking study of any kind provided by, at, or under the auspices of, Aston University.

1.7 Graduate

An individual who has received an award from Aston University, as specified in The Ordinances of the University, Section VIII: Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates of the University.

1.8 User

Any person using the Library, its facilities, services or stock.

1.9 Use

Use in relation to the Library extends to, but is not limited to, any act performed by any person whilst in the Library Building.

1.10 Borrower

Any person who is registered to borrow items from the Library.

1.11 Item

Any item of Library stock, material or equipment, including, but not limited to, books, periodicals, pamphlets, microforms, and computer media, that may be consulted, borrowed or used.

1.12 Equipment

Any equipment that is the property of the University and normally located in the Library, including equipment that may be loaned to Borrowers.

1.13 Loss

The loss of any Item that has been borrowed by a User. The Item shall be deemed lost if the Borrower has not returned it within a specified time of its due return date. The specified time will be determined by the Designated Staff.

1.14 Damage Any deliberate or accidental damage to any Library facility, service, stock, or other property.

1.15 Security Barriers The entrance/exit barriers in the Library.

1.16 Assistance Animals

Assistance animals are animals (usually dogs) that are specially trained to assist individuals with disabilities.

1.17 Night Stewards

Staff from an external security company.

1.18 ID Identification issued by the University or the Library – namely, a uniCARD for Staff and Students, a Library Visitor card, or a One Day Reference Pass.

1.19 Visitor Any User who is not a member of Aston University

Staff or a Student.

2. Hours of opening

2.1 The Library shall be open at such times as are prescribed by the Directors, and the hours of opening shall be displayed at the entrance to the Library and on the website. Due notice shall be given of changes in the hours of opening and closure on Bank Holidays, University Holidays, and other prescribed occasions. In the case of an emergency closure, an email alert will be sent to Staff and Students.

3. General

3.1 Staff and Students are automatically entitled to use the Library. Visitors from other universities and organisations, and members of the public, are also allowed to use the Library, provided that they belong to an organisation with which Aston University has an approved co-operation scheme, meet the criteria of the scheme, complete the Registration Form, and supply valid proof of identity and address. Members of the public may apply for up to three one-day reference passes in any twelvemonth period, provided that they supply valid proof of identity and address. Persons under the age of 18, who are not Staff or Students, are only permitted in the library if they are part of an organised and supervised visit, or if they are accompanied and supervised by a member of Staff or a Student who is visiting for a brief period (e.g. to pay a fine, renew a book or make an enquiry). The Directors reserve the right to refuse admission to any Visitor, if the circumstances so warrant, including restricting access to Visitors at certain times of the year. Animals are not allowed in the library, apart from “Assistance Animals”.

3.2 Users are expected to familiarise themselves with these Regulations. Failure to do so will not count as mitigating circumstances in the event of a breach of Regulations.

3.3 Users must comply with any request made to them by Designated Staff or University Security Staff in connection with the enforcement of these Regulations. Anyone refusing to comply will be asked to leave the Library immediately and not return until at least the following day.

3.4 Users must not lend their ID to another person, even if accompanying that person, or enter, or try to enter, the Library using another person's ID. Designated Staff, or University Security Staff, may require Users to show their ID at any time.

3.5 Users must have their own valid ID with them to gain entrance to the Library. Users with damaged cards must get them replaced without delay to ensure access on future visits. When they are within the Library, Users must display their ID visibly, at the times they are required to do so by the University.

3.6 Users will be held responsible for any Items in their possession, whether in the Library or on loan.

3.7 Coats, cases and bags may be brought into the Library, on condition that their contents be liable to inspection by Designated Staff, if so required. For reasons of safety and security, Users' personal belongings should not be left unattended in the Library. Belongings may not be left for safe keeping with members of Library Staff or the Night Stewards. Unattended bags may be removed and inspected, if necessary.

3.8 Users must not attempt to reserve computers or group study rooms by leaving belongings in the vicinity. Any Items left for more than 30 minutes at an unoccupied table may be removed by Designated Staff. No responsibility is accepted by the University for Users’ property left in the Library.

3.9 The Designated Staff shall have the power to restrict the Use of certain areas of the Library. Users must not enter the designated administrative areas of the Library, or Library offices, without permission from a member of Designated Staff or University Security Staff.

3.10 Users in areas of the Library that are designated as Silent Study must not work together or talk. In those areas not designated as Silent Study, Users must keep noise levels to a minimum. Mobile phones must have the ringer turned off. Mobile phones may only be used in non-silent mode on the Ground Floor and the staircase landings. Other portable equipment with audio-visual capability must be used with headphones in the Library.

3.11 Smoking (including the use of "electronic" cigarettes) is not permitted anywhere inside the Library building, in accordance with the law and the University’s policy on smoking.

3.12 Consumption of food is permitted on the Ground Floor of the Library and the Second Floor. Hot food must not be brought into the Library. Cold snacks (e.g. fruit, sandwiches, confectionery, etc.) may be brought into the Library, but may only be consumed on the Ground Floor and the Second Floor. Nonalcoholic drinks are permitted in the Library, provided that they are in re-sealable containers. Users must dispose of their rubbish in the recycling bins provided.

3.13 Users must comply with the requirements of copyright law and any relevant licences when using Items or the Library’s electronic resources.

3.14 Users must respect published times for access to the Library and they must comply with requests from Designated Staff or University Security Staff to leave the Library, or any part of it, at the published closing time(s) for closing down the Library. They must also leave the Library, or any part of it, when requested to do so by a member of Designated Staff or University Security Staff, e.g. if the area is about to be used for teaching, or in case of an emergency such as a fire alarm, or power failure. Users must not leave the Library via the emergency fire exits, except in case of a fire alarm or if instructed to do so by a member of Designated Staff or University Security Staff.

3.15 During twenty-four-hour opening periods (except for those periods when Visitor access has been restricted by the Directors or the Designated Staff) Visitors may only enter the building after the Library Attendants have commenced their shift in the mornings and must leave the building before the Night Stewards commence their shift.

3.16 Designated Staff are empowered to require Users to stop any activity in the Library that the Designated Staff consider may adversely affect the safety, well-being, or security of Users or Staff, or that may adversely affect the ability of other Users to study in the Library.

4. Borrowing

4.1 Staff and Students of Aston University are entitled to become Borrowers with full borrowing rights. The quantity and type of Items that may be borrowed may be different for Staff and Students. Each individual may use only one Library record, even if they are simultaneously a member of Staff and a Student.

4.2 Postgraduate Research Students, Research Fellows and Research Assistants of Aston University shall be granted the same borrowing rights as Aston University Staff.

4.3 The following may become external Borrowers with restricted borrowing rights:

• Retired members of Staff

• Graduates of Aston University

• Members of the Council of Aston University

• Staff of the Aston Science Park

• Staff at AUEA

• Academic staff, postgraduate students, part-time students, distance learners, and students on placement, of those institutions with which Aston University has an approved co-operation scheme. Undergraduate students enrolled at another institution shall not normally be allowed to become Borrowers, except where an appropriate arrangement exists between that institution and Aston University.

• All categories of approved external Borrowers shall be granted borrowing facilities in respect of the Library's own stock only, as laid down by the Directors.

• Certain Library services, including inter-library loans and electronic information services, shall be available for use only by Staff and Students of Aston University, except where licences provide for third-party use.

4.4 All Borrowers must be registered with the Library.

4.5 Borrowers must notify the Library of any change of address at the earliest opportunity.

4.6 Borrowers’ borrowing allowances shall be displayed on the Library’s webpages.

4.7 The Directors may temporarily restrict the loan of certain categories of materials.

4.8 Items designated as 'Reference' may not be borrowed, except by permission of the Designated Staff. Aston University theses may not be borrowed.

4.9 Borrowers must ensure that all Items are properly issued on one of the Self-Service issue terminals, or at the Help Desk, before they attempt to take them through the Security Barrier(s). Users must not attempt to leave the Library through the entrance Security Barrier(s). Any User who attempts to pass through a Security Barrier with an Item in her possession that has not been properly issued will be deemed to be in breach of this Regulation.

4.10 Borrowers are responsible for keeping their library record secure and should check their record regularly to ensure there has been no unauthorised use of it. In particular, they should log out of their record after accessing it on a public PC or the self-service machines.

4.11 Users leaving the Library must show to a member of Designated Staff all Items in their possession, if required to do so.

4.12 Any member of Staff wishing to borrow Items through a messenger must send written authorisation specifying the Items to be borrowed.

4.13 Under certain conditions, items may be taken out of the UK. These conditions are published on the LS webpages. We strongly recommend that Borrowers do not take items abroad, as they will be responsible for the cost of return postage if the item is required by another User

4.14 Items must be returned by the date and time indicated when issued or renewed, except that they may be required to be returned by an earlier date: if reserved by another reader; if the Borrower is about to leave the University (e.g. in order to provide clearance for graduation); or at the discretion of the Designated Staff. Non-receipt of courtesy reminder messages from the Library does not absolve the Borrower from responsibility to return borrowed items on time.

4.15 Items must be properly returned to the Library by the original Borrower; passing on an Item to another Borrower does not absolve the original Borrower from responsibility for it. Borrowers must not use another Borrower's ID to borrow Items, or ask to use it, nor should they borrow Items on behalf of other Users, unless written permission has been given by the other User.

4.16 Borrowers must ensure that items are returned securely; failure to do so may result in the Borrower being held responsible for any items that have not been discharged from the Borrower's record.

4.17 At the discretion of the Designated Staff, Items may be returned by post, provided they are adequately wrapped and the Borrower pays the return postage. In the case of Items taken out of the UK, an alternative return delivery service to the postal service may be required. Borrowers shall be held responsible for any Loss or Damage sustained to Items in the post or any alternative return delivery service. 4.18 Loans of Items may be renewed at the discretion of the Designated Staff and provided that they are not wanted by another user. The maximum number of renewals shall be determined by the Directors from time to time and shall be publicised.

4.19 When an Item on loan is requested by another reader, a recall notice will be sent specifying a new date for return. Fines will be incurred by the Borrower if the item is not returned by the new date.

4.20 Fines shall be levied at rates approved by the Directors from time to time and will be publicised on the Library’s webpages.

4.21 The Designated Staff may suspend borrowing facilities for any Borrower who fails to return an Item after two reminders, or who has unpaid fines.

4.22 Borrowers shall be held responsible for the Loss of any Items that they have borrowed from the Library and shall be required to make good the Loss.

4.23 Users found to be in possession of damaged items, or identified as causing damage to LS property or premises, will be charged for the restitution cost, as determined by the Designated Staff. Other sanctions may also be imposed, under the terms of the appropriate institutional disciplinary regulations and/or procedures.

4.24 Users who have been granted access to other libraries, by virtue of collaborative or reciprocal agreements into which LS has entered, must abide by the regulations of the library being visited. Any breach of those regulations will be deemed to be a breach of these regulations, and appropriate action will be taken. This may include recovery of any debts or charges incurred by the User at the library being visited, which that library has been unable to recover from the User.

5. Aston University Theses

5.1 Aston University theses may not be borrowed.

5.2 Any user wishing to consult an Aston University MSc, MSc by Research, MPhil, PhD or DSc thesis shall sign a declaration that no information derived from the thesis will be published or used without the consent, in writing, of the author.

5.3 A request for the loan of an Aston University thesis shall normally be met by referral to the British Library for the supply of an electronic copy, via the EThOS service. All users shall agree to the Terms and Conditions of use of the EThOS service before ordering and using an electronic copy of an Aston University thesis or one from another university.

6. Breach of Regulations

6.1 In the case of an apparent breach of these Regulations by a Student, Library Directors may exercise summary jurisdiction, as laid down in the Regulations on Student Discipline.

6.2 In the case of an apparent breach of these Regulations by Staff, Library Directors shall report the apparent breach to the member of Staff's Executive Dean, or Head of Support Service.

6.3 Any User who breaches, or attempts to breach, the Library Regulations, and who is not a member of Staff or a Student, may be excluded from entering the Library until further notice, by Library Directors. Such exclusion may be permanent.

Use of e-resources and software

Download the full T&Cs around the use of e-resources and software via Aston Library here

IT Regulations

Rules and Regulations

IT Security Framework

These IT Policies make up the 'IT Security Framework' and work in parallel with each other along with other relevant Aston Policies.

IT Security Policy outlines what Aston staff and students need to know about the management and security of information and information systems. It applies to all users of any University owned networks, computers or mobile devices, and to anyone using mobile devices of their own to connect to those systems.

IT Acceptable Use Policy defines what, as a user is permitted in terms of using Aston University services or equipment.

IT Monitoring Policy applies to the use and monitoring of use of the University's Communications systems by staff, students and other users of Aston University services or equipment. 

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Guidance on using BYOD devices.

Working Remotely

Guidance for when working away from campus.

uniCARD Rules and Regulations

Please see the uniCARD rules and regulations for details on usage.

Installing Software

Students are not allowed to install any software on University equipment.

Video Monitoring

Please be aware that CCTV recording is in operation in some of the University computer labs.