Library Policies

Change in Policies and Services due to COVID-19

The policies and services of the Frances Willson Thompson Library have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see our Reopening Guide for any temporary changes to access, borrowing, and building policies or services.

Copyrights, Contracts, and Licenses

The Thompson Library will fully obey all applicable copyright laws, as well as licenses and contracts entered into by the library. The faculty and staff will not knowingly participate in or assent to any violation of the law or any legally binding agreement by others, nor will they knowingly permit any violations by patrons. Notices of copyright law will be posted near the photocopiers (and elsewhere if deemed necessary).

Under certain circumstances (e.g. in placing items on reserve), the library may ask users to certify, orally or in writing, that to the best of their knowledge their actions comply with copyright law, licenses, and contracts. It will also take reasonable steps to ensure that access to restricted resources is not given to users excluded by such agreements (e.g. not giving passwords to restricted databases to such patrons).

If it comes to the attention of the Thompson Library faculty or staff that someone is using library-owned or controlled facilities or resources to violate applicable copyright law, licenses, or agreements, appropriate action may be taken to stop such violations and prevent other violations. Such actions may include removal of offending items from the library, denial or abridgment of library privileges, and referral to appropriate University or legal authorities for further sanctions. Areas of uncertainty may be referred to University legal counsel for advice.

The Thompson Library will assume that any given person is acting in good faith in complying with copyright law, licenses, and agreements, unless there is reason to believe otherwise. It will take written declarations of compliance as prima facie evidence of good faith.

Rationale: Copyright law is very complex, and much of it is based on court decisions rather than statutes. Because of the complexity of the law, the Thompson Library will not serve as an interpreter of laws even legal authorities wrangle over.

With regard to licenses and contracts, the library's role is to take those measures required by the legal documents.

Because the Thompson Library takes reasonable measures to inform patrons of their legal responsibilities and to prevent violations of laws and legal agreements, and because of the undesirable effects of overly vigorous enforcement, responsibility for compliance is the user's.

Enacted 4/2001

Library Instruction Policy

Except for campus tours for visitors or incoming students, library orientations or instruction sessions involving groups are to be conducted only by the Thompson Library faculty or designated staff, or by UM-Flint departmental faculty or staff members in co-operation with the librarians. These sessions are to be confined to classes conducted under UM-Flint auspices, to classes from area schools, and to those with recognizable professional interest in aspects of the library.

Exceptions to this rule:

  • Groups with an interest in a collection that is locally unique to the Thompson Library; for example, a collection in the Genesee Historical Collections Center
  • Groups of prospective UM-Flint students could be included if, in the judgment of the director, assistant director, or research instruction librarians, such group visits are in the best interests of the UM-Flint

To arrange an orientation or research instruction session for a class, instructors should contact one of the research instruction librarians or the liaison librarian for their department.

Rationale: Instruction in library use is, above all other aspects of their positions, the prime responsibility of the librarians, who are most familiar with the collection and how to use it.

Because library group tours can be disruptive to students using and studying in the library, we must generally limit these sessions to groups whose payment of tuition and fees to the University provides them a basis for demanding the fullest possible library service.

Enacted 5/1983, Revised 4/2001, Revised 9/2005, Revised 9/2006

Proctoring

The faculty and staff of the Thompson Library do not serve as proctors for examinations. Anyone who needs a proctor for an examination should contact the UM-Flint Office of Extended Learning to inquire about making arrangements.

Enacted 11/2005

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