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Policy on Access to University of California Library Collections by External Users

About this document

In the following document you will find the University of California systemwide policy governing access to UC Library collections by external users. This policy was prompted by supplemental language in the Budget Bill for 1990-91, requesting that the University conduct a review of its policies on fees for external users of its libraries and specifically exempt California public school certificated employees from payment of such fees. The Policy incorporates this exemption. Several other changes to the pre-existing policy on access by external users were made at the same time. The policy was issued by UC President David Pierpont Gardner on January 23, 1992, with an effective date of February 1, 1992.

This policy refers to the general concept that UC Libraries are to be used by non-campus patrons primarily as a "library of last resort".

In order to mount this document to the world wide web, some changes in format were required, although modifications were kept to a minimum. Corrections were also made to typographical errors which appeared in the original.

I. Background

In providing services to citizens of California who are not affiliated with the University, the UC libraries are guided by specific State laws and University policies. The Donahoe Act of 1960 states that:

The university may make reasonable provision for the use of its library and research facilities by qualified members of the faculties of other institutions of public higher education in this State.

Current University policy states that:

The mission of the University library system is to facilitate scholarship, research, and developments based on the utilization of knowledge. The library system is an integral part of the educational process. It is essential to the quality of the intellectual and cultural life of the University in particular and to the citizens of the State in general.

A. The primary function of the University library system is to provide support for the University's approved programs of teaching and research and to serve the needs of students, faculty, and other University staff engaged in these programs.

B. A secondary function of the University library system is to furnish interinstitutional support for academic programs in other institutions of higher learning in California, both public and private.

C. A further function of the University library system is to serve as a resource for other users throughout the State, region, and nation, subject to such limitations as may be necessary to insure that its primary function can be discharged effectively.

All faculty, currently-enrolled students, and employees of the University, including retired employees and emeriti, have the privilege of using and borrowing materials from the University's libraries without fee. UC Extension faculty and students are not necessarily extended library privileges. Each UC campus library may negotiate a separate agreement with its Extension division which defines the conditions under which the collection can be used.

II. Access to UC Library Collections by External Users

External users may gain access to UC library collections in two ways. First, they may obtain UC library materials by requesting them through the California academic, public, school, or special libraries that they normally use. UC libraries, serving as "libraries of last resort," accept interlibrary Lending requests to supply needed materials that are not held by other California libraries. Each UC library also works with other libraries in its region and throughout the State to establish cooperative agreements for the sharing of collections and services. The University actively participates with other library organizations in the State in order to improve and extend resource sharing arrangements for all types of libraries in California.

In addition to requesting materials through their local libraries, the general public, in most cases, may use the collections of the UC libraries within the library building. The public also may register as external users for the privilege of borrowing UC library materials for use outside the library. This privilege is governed by the provisions in the following sections.

III. Library Borrowing Privileges for External Users

All external users will be charged the user fee for borrowing privileges as noted in Section IV below. Exceptions are:

  1. Faculty and librarians from accredited institutions of higher education in California;
  2. Current members of any UC alumni association;
  3. Individuals covered by reciprocal or special agreements with institutions and agencies, including University support groups and other affiliated organizations;
  4. Immediate family over age 18 of UC faculty and staff; and
  5. Certificated employees of California public schools.

IV Fees

Following are fees for external users:

  1. Registered students of the California State University or California Community College systems: $25 for six months; $50 for 12 months,
  2. All others: $100 for 12 months.
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