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Policies and Procedures for Museum Staff

I. Library Privileges

Only those with Library privileges may enter and use the non-public areas of the Library, including the Current Literature Room, the Photocopy Room, and the Stacks. Library privileges may be requested by those who have a valid Museum identification badge (valid badges must include a photo and a magnetic strip). For more information on obtaining library privileges, please see our Borrowing and Circulation page.

II. General Policies and Procedures

All new library users should schedule an orientation of the Library to learn how to access Library materials. Library users must wear their valid Museum identification badge when entering non-public areas of the Library. Coats and bags must be left in the designated area at the entrance to the Library. ALL MATERIALS MUST BE CHARGED OUT AT THE CIRCULATION/REFERENCE DESK BEFORE BEING REMOVED FROM THE LIBRARY. At their discretion, Reference Staff may limit the use and/or circulation of especially rare or fragile materials. Please do not reshelve any materials (Library staff will reshelve). ALL LIBRARY MATERIALS MUST BE USED IN THE MUSEUM ONLY. NO MATERIAL MAY BE REMOVED FROM MUSEUM PREMISES.

Library users with full privileges must store Library materials that they have charged out in an area where the item can be accessed and recalled by Library staff (at any time) for use by another patron. Lost Library materials should be promptly reported to the Reference staff. Loss of Library materials, or failure to return recalled Library materials, will result in an invoice to the borrower (or the borrower’s sponsor or supervisor) in the amount of the full replacement cost of the item. Unpaid invoices will result in Library privileges being revoked. Departing Museum staff and associates must return all Library materials before their final day at the Museum.

III. Photocopy Policies

Photocopy machines are to be used for copying Library materials only. Rare, fragile, and oversize materials may not to be photocopied without first consulting a Reference Librarian. The time limit for use of the photocopy machines is ten minutes if others are waiting. Please visit our Reproduction and Licensing page for more information.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted materials; those using the photocopy machines are liable for any infringement of this law.

IV. Conservation and Preservation of Library Materials

To avoid putting stress on the bindings of books and journals when photocopying, put the crease of the book or journal along the slanted edge of the photocopy machine and copy one page at a time (rather than pressing the material flat on the machine in order to copy two pages at once). Consult a Librarian before attempting to photocopy rare, fragile, or oversize materials. Do not use paper clips or sticky-notes on any library materials; acid-free bookmarks are available at the Reference Desk.

Materials that are charged out should be treated with care; do not store them near open windows, radiators, air conditioners, etc. Do not eat or drink near library materials. Additional information about the Library’s conservation policies is available from the Conservation Department page. Information and advice about preserving books and papers as well as a list of suppliers for archival materials is also provided.

V. Procedures for Routing New Books

New books and journals are put on display in the Current Literature Room every Monday. Users with full privileges who wish to charge out new books may sign up for them using hold slips provided in the Current Literature Room. These items will be automatically charged out and will be available for pickup at the Reference/Circulation desk the following Monday. It is the borrowers' responsibility to check the hold shelf regularly for materials being held for them. Books are charged out as long-term loans unless others have also signed up for the book. In this case the book is only charged out for a two-week period after which time it must be returned to be routed to the next person on the hold list. New journals do not circulate.

VI. Interlibrary Loan

Because interlibrary loan costs are absorbed by the Library, this service is restricted to those with full library privileges needing loans for work-related research.

Materials are loaned to the AMNH Library as a courtesy, and their conditions of use, including due dates, must be respected. Library users who need interlibrary loan materials for a longer period than the time allotted should discuss this matter with the Interlibrary Loan Manager. The Interlibrary Loan Manager may be able to renew the loan (in order to extend the due date) or borrow another copy of the item from a different library. Failure to return interlibrary loan materials on time jeopardizes the AMNH Library's liaisons with other libraries and could adversely affect other Museum staff needing interlibrary loan services. Users who return interlibrary loan materials late will be served with a formal warning. Users who subsequently return interlibrary loan materials late will lose interlibrary loan privileges.

Visit the Interlibrary Loan page for more information about loan services and policies.

Library users who consistently ignore Library policies will have their privileges suspended or revoked.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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