Access Policies

Purpose | Scope | Definitions | General Access | Borrower Categories | Borrowing Library Materials | Course Reserves | Media Equipment | Use of Computers | Study Rooms | Fines | Privacy of Borrowing Records | Food, Drink & Noise | Security
Policy Name:
Access Policies
Overseen by: 
Access Services Librarian
Effective date: 
January 1, 2019
Related Policies: 
Learning Resources 6.4 Departmental Interlibrary Loan Policy

College Administration Policies:
A02.01.02 Respectful and Inclusive Environment

A02.05.01 Compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

A10.02.02 Standards of Students/User Conduct

Acceptable Use of Computer and Information Technology Policy
Approved by:
Learning Resources 
Management Committee

Review date:
December 7, 2018

December 2017 version of same


This policy governs the use of Douglas College Library services and materials and ensures maximum accessibility of Library collections in support of teaching and learning. 


This document covers the following types of Library resources:
  1. Print and audiovisual resources
  2. Media equipment
  3. Online databases and other e-resources
  4. Computers and printers
  5. Study rooms


Booking - reserving audiovisual materials and equipment in advance of the current date.

Check Out Desk - a service counter where all books and other Library resources are loaned or returned.

Douglas College Library Borrower's Cards - See appropriate Borrower Categories.

Holds - requests placed by patrons. See Holds for more information. 

Intersession Borrowing - borrowing library materials between two semesters.

My Library Account - a personal online account at the Library.

Rush Request - requesting items received by the Library that have not yet been processed. 

General Access

Any person interested in the collection or services of the Douglas College Library may use any resources shelved or stored in public areas; any equipment or facilities that are designated for patron use, except where specific Library or license restrictions exist.

A valid Douglas College Library borrower's card must be presented each time equipment/resources are borrowed.

Patrons can log in to "My Library Account" to view already borrowed items, place holds, renew materials (if eligible), develop a Reading History, set up Preferred Searches, etc.

Library patron privileges may be suspended due to disruptive, threatening, inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour as described under the College Standards of Students/User Conduct policy (A10.02.02).

Borrower Categories

  1. Douglas College Students
    Students who are currently registered and paid their student fees have full borrowing, interlibrary loan privileges, and electronic resources access. Student ID cards serve as library cards.

    Borrowing privileges expire at the end of the semester in which the student is registered. Intersession borrowing privileges are allowed when the student is registered for the upcoming semester and when they have no outstanding Library accounts.

  2. Douglas College Employees and Visiting Scholars
    Employees, Board members, Foundation Board members, Faculty Emeritus, and visiting scholars have full borrowing, interlibrary loan privileges, and electronic resources access. Douglas College ID cards serve as library cards.

    To borrow resources during intersession contract faculty must provide proof of continuing employment at the College.

  3. Associate Borrowers
    Persons with informal association with the College such as Security, Parking, Daycare and Cafeteria staff, practicum hosts, etc. are eligible to receive the Associate Borrower card. This category of patrons can borrow materials during the intersession if their work continues into the following semester. Interlibrary loan privileges and off-campus electronic resources access do not apply to this group. Other loan limits may apply.

    Persons with current formal ties to the College but no Employee ID assigned such as instructional support assistants either inside or outside of the classroom (I Care tutors, sign language interpreters, actors for Nursing program, performers, etc.) and retired College employees are eligible to receive the Associate Borrower card with advanced privileges. Borrowers can access electronic resources off-campus and borrow materials during the intersession if their work continues into following semester. Interlibrary loan privileges do not apply to this group. Other loan limits may apply.

    To obtain an Associate Borrower card a copy of their contract, proof of association or employment, and proof of home address must be provided. A $5 refundable deposit is required to obtain the library card. Deposit will be reimbursed upon return of the card. 

    1. Reciprocal Borrowers
      Faculty and students of Reciprocal Borrowing institutions may borrow from Douglas College Library. Reciprocal Borrowers must provide an identification card from the home institution, proof of current registration or employment, and proof of address.

      Intersession borrowing is available if the student provides proof of registration for the next semester at the home institution. Otherwise, borrowing privileges a expire at the end of the semester in which the student is registered. For faculty from other institutions, proof of current employment is required. 

    2. Douglas College Alumni
      Douglas College Alumni are registered with their Alumni card and proof of address.

      These patrons do not have interlibrary loan privileges or off-campus electronic resource access

  4. Community Borrowers
    Any member of the general public may become a Community Borrower by providing a piece of government photo ID such as a BC driver's license. Children and high school students must provide a Responsibility Form signed by their legal guardian. A copy of the form can also be obtained at the Check Out Desk. A $25.00 annual membership fee is paid at the time of registration. The fee is waived for borrowers over the age of 65. Borrowing privileges expire one year from the date of payment of annual fee.

    Community Borrowers do not have interlibrary loan privileges or off-campus electronic resource access. Some other loan limits apply. 
  5. Borrowing Library Materials

    1. Borrower Responsibilities
      Borrowers assume full responsibility for material checked out on their library cards and will be required to pay overdue, damage and replacement fees, where applicable. It is the responsibility of each borrower to return or renew materials by the due date. Lost or stolen library cards should be reported to the Check Out Desk at either campus.

    2. Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement
      See the Reciprocal Borrowing policy for the list of participating institutions and additional information.

      It is the responsibility of the patron to be familiar with the policies of each library from which s/he borrows material. Overdue fines and replacement costs for lost or damaged material will be charged directly to the patron by the lending library.

    3. Patron Expiration Dates
      Borrowing privileges for patrons other than Community Borrowers will expire at the end of each semester. Community Borrower memberships expire one year from the date on which the annual membership fee was paid.

      Information about the intersession borrowing privileges is provided under the appropriate Borrower Category. During the last week of each semester patrons interested in intersession borrowing can verify their status at the Check Out Desk.

    4. Loan Periods

      Books, CDs and CD-ROMs 2 weeks
      Videos, DVDs and Blu-rays 1 week
      Reference Material Library use only with some exceptions. Refer to librarian.
      Magazines and Journals Library use only with some exceptions for Faculty.
      Newspapers 1 hour
      Course Reserves Loan periods are set by the instructor and vary (2 hours; 4 hours; overnight; 24 hours; 3 days; 4 days; 7 days)
      Equipment Loan periods vary. See Media Equipment.
    5. Loan Limits
      Some limits exist on the maximum number of items checked out to a borrower at any given time:

      Patron Type Videos/DVDs Course Reserves CDs
      Students 3 2 20
      Associate Borrowers 2 May not borrow 5
      Reciprocal Borrowers May not borrow May not borrow 3
      Community Borrowers May not borrow May not borrow 3

      Reciprocal and Community Borrowers are limited to a maximum of five items in total (all formats and collections combined). Videos and DVDs may be used in the Library only (with the exception of home-use only items).

      Employees are not normally limited in their borrowing, unless items are in high demand or it is deemed to be excessive and without relation to his/her needs as an employee of the College. The Library Director, Access Services Librarian, or Public Services Supervisors will review such situations. 

    6. Holds
      Holds may be placed on any circulating material, with the exception of equipment and course reserves, for the purpose of transfer between campuses. Holds may also be placed on material currently in use or items that have a status "available" but cannot be located.

      For Associate, Reciprocal, and Community Borrowers, intercampus transfer may be requested in-person but placing a hold on checked out material is not available.

      Holds may be placed online through the Library catalogue or in person at the Check Out Desk. Patrons are notified when their holds are available for pick up through their college email (Associate, Reciprocal and Community Borrowers through their personal email). Items are kept for pick-up on a self-serve shelf area near the Check Out Desk, to a maximum of five working days.

      If five or more requests are placed for an item, the item's loan period can be changed to two hours and it is relocated to the reserve area, normally for the remainder of the current semester.

    7. Rush Request
      A rush request can be submitted through the online form Rush Request for materials with a status of "In Tech Services" or "being processed." Rush requests are normally filled within three working days. 

    8. Bookings
      Audiovisual materials (videocassettes, DVDs, Blu-ray) and equipment may be booked in advance. Some exceptions may apply. Requests may be placed online two days in advance through the appropriate request forms. If the material/equipment is required sooner the Check Out desk should be contacted to verify the availability. Some high-demand items (for example, laptops) may not be available for booking less than two days in advance. 

      Patrons should ensure that they are familiar with the equipment being borrowed and that all interfaces and connectors are operational. If needed, one-on-one or small group training should be requested prior to pick up of equipment. Those borrowing equipment are responsible for the correct operation and use of the items.

      Equipment must be returned to the campus from which it was borrowed, unless prior arrangement is made when the item is booked or checked out.

    9. Renewals
      Reserve materials, equipment, and items on which holds or bookings have been placed may not be renewed and must be returned by the due date to avoid fines. All other materials can be renewed a certain number of times within the semester, subject to availability:

      Books and CDs
      up to 8 times
      Videos, DVDs, Blu-rays
      up to 5 times for students, 10 times for employees, and 2 times for associate borrowers

    10. Email Notices

      The Library will notify patrons via their college email account about:

      • items they placed on hold that are ready for pickup
      • new resources purchased by the library on a topic of a patron's interest
      • courtesy reminder of materials due soon
      • overdue materials or fines

      If the patron does not use college email, s/he may choose to forward messages to their personal email account. It is the patron's responsibility to make sure that the forwarding is set up correctly.

      For the patrons who do not have college email accounts (Associate, Reciprocal, and Community Borrowers), notices are sent to their personal email accounts. The patron must provide an active email account when registering. 

    Course Reserves

    Instructors may place print and non-print items on reserve for students to use as supplemental material. They must complete the appropriate Course Reserves form available on the Library website. High demand items may be placed on reserve by the Library.

    Reserve loan periods are set by the instructor and can be 2, 4, 24 hours; 3, 4, 7 days. Students only may borrow a maximum of two reserve materials including reserve videos/DVDs at any time. At the end of the loan period reserve items (regardless of format) must be checked in at the Check Out Desk at the campus from which they were borrowed. 

    Media Equipment

    Equipment is usually used during class time and checked out for up to four hours. Some types of equipment may be checked out for a longer period of time depending on availability. Borrowers assume full financial responsibility for theft, loss or damage of equipment while in their care.

    The Library does not circulate department-specific equipment and reserves the right to reject any donated equipment. During Christmas break, media equipment will not circulate to students. 

    Associate Borrowers can use circulating equipment only on-campus. Projectors, laptops, video camcorders, and still cameras are not available for loan unless approval is obtained from the Library Director, Access Services Librarian or Operations Supervisor.

    Reciprocal and Community Borrowers may not borrow equipment.

    Equipment must be returned to the campus from which it was borrowed. If it cannot be returned when the Library is open, it is the equipment borrower's responsibility to contact Security. Security staff will let the patron into the Library Lobby to leave the equipment.

    Community members are allowed to rent AV equipment for the events held on campus. Borrowing is fee-based and should be arranged at the time of room booking. See Media Equipment Rates for Community Rentals for the list of available equipment and rates. 

    Use of Computers

    Computers in the Douglas College Library are available to Douglas College students, faculty, and staff. Users must comply with Acceptable Use of Computer and Information Technology Policy as well as all college and library polices, licensing, and contractual agreements. Individuals who have business with the College may be temporarily signed in at the discretion of the library, provided that there are sufficient spaces available for students and employees.

    Study Rooms

    Study rooms are available in the Library for small groups of two to eight students for collaborative study related to Douglas courses. Advance booking is available to registered students only. With a valid College Network Access account, a study room may be booked in person at either campus' Study Room Booking Computer Station, at the Check Out Desk, by phone, or online. 

    Groups may book rooms up to two hours per day and twice a week. Bookings may be made up to one week in advance. Booked rooms not occupied within the first fifteen minutes are then available for any other student to use or book. 


    1. Overdue Fines

      Fines are charged as follows:

      Books, CDs and CD-ROMS * $1.00/day to a maximum of $20.00
      * If there are no holds on the materials returned late, overdue fines will be waived.

      Fines will not be waived for:

      Videos, DVDs and Blu-rays $1.00/day to a maximum of $20.00
      Course Reserves & Equipment $1.00/hour to a maximum of replacement cost of the item.
      High Demand Material:
      Any type of material above might fall into this category if there are holds or bookings on it.
      Fines will continue to accrue up to the replacement cost of the item. If not returned by the final day of the semester, a $20.00 processing fee will be added.

      Maximum fines are per item only. There is no total maximum fine for all items overdue.

      Employees are not charged for overdue fines.

    2. Replacement Fees
      At the end of each semester, borrowers with outstanding material due on or before the last day of that semester will be issued a bill for replacement.

      Books, CDs and CD-ROMs Original price of the item, plus a $20 processing fee
      Paperbacks Original price of the item
      Videos, DVDs and Blu-rays Replacement cost of the item, plus a $20 processing fee.
      Equipment Replacement cost, plus a $20 processing fee.
      Periodicals $10
    3. Suspension of Borrowing Privileges
      Borrowing privileges will be suspended when a borrower owes $10.00 or more in overdue fines, unpaid bills for replacement for Library material, and/or charges for damaged material. Off-campus access to the library databases or other electronic resources could be restricted, at the discretion of the Library.

      A block will be placed on the Registrar's files for students who have overdue materials that are on hold or booked for other patrons and have not responded to the Library's phone calls/emails. At the end of a semester a registration block will be placed on students who owe $20.00 or more in overdue fines or billed materials until the fines are paid. Final grades and transcripts will not be issued to students until billed material has been returned or paid for. Registration and other access to the Registration system will also be denied.

      A list of patrons (except employees) with long overdue materials from the previous semester will be forwarded to the Finance office for Collection Agency purposes after a replacement bill has been sent and three phone calls have been made in attempting to retrieve the outstanding material.

      Library privileges of employees who have overdue materials for longer than a semester are revoked. The privileges are restored upon return of the materials at the discretion of the Library.

    4. Long Overdue Material
      The Library reserves the right to refuse returned material that is more than two years overdue and to demand payment of replacement costs, at the discretion of the appropriate Collection Librarian.

    Privacy of Borrowing Records

    In compliance with BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Library does not release personal information about patrons, including information about items on loan. Patrons can access their borrowing records directly online through their My Library Account. In order to maintain confidentiality of personal information, patrons are responsible for ensuring that their Douglas College Library card number is kept confidential. 

    Food, Drink & Noise

    The Library allows cold snack foods that do not disturb others. Covered beverages are also permitted. Employees reserve the right to determine what is acceptable.

    Talking and group studying is permitted on the main level, providing it does not exceed normal conversational noise levels. The upper floor and the Quiet Study Room on the main level of the New Westminster Library, and the lower floor of the Coquitlam Library are designated as areas for quiet study. No talking is permitted. 


    No library patron may leave personal belongings unattended. Items turned in to Library staff are immediately taken to the Security Desk and may be claimed there.
    In cooperation with appropriate College departments, the Library provides an open environment that is safe and secure for everyone. If patrons feel threatened or otherwise uncomfortable in the Library, they are encouraged to alert the Library staff or call the Security Desk. Please consult Emergency Phone Numbers.

    In case of emergency the Library follows the Douglas College Emergency Procedures.

Last Updated: 2019-03-13 10:00:30 AM