Reading Room Policies & Procedures

Before You Visit
Special & Digital Collections welcomes researchers, students, and community users and encourages the use of its collections in a safe, secure, and productive manner. The department has developed the following policies and procedures in concert with best practices developed by ACRL, RBMS, and SAA. Please see their joint statement for more information.

  1. All patrons are required to fill out on online registration form prior to using materials.
  2. All materials must be consulted in the reading room. Place requests via an Aeon account or ask the desk attendant for assistance. A staff member will retrieve all items requested; archival collections will be retrieved five (5) boxes at a time.
  3. Appointments are not required, although some patrons, particularly those traveling some distance or seeking an in-depth research consultation, may find it helpful to make advance arrangements for their visit with a member of the staff. Click here to contact Special Collections to schedule a research consultation »
  4. Personal belongings, including briefcases, backpacks, purses, and notebooks, must be placed in a locker. Please ask the desk attendant for a key.
  5. Food, drink, and chewing gum are prohibited in the reading room.
  6. Patrons may use pencils, laptop computers, or PDAs to take notes. Pens may not be used. Pencils and paper are available upon request.
  7. Patrons are encouraged to wash their hands prior to using rare books and archival materials. Gloves will be provided for handling some photographic materials.
  8. Please do not place any items (e.g. writing materials, laptops, note cards, arms, jewelry, archival boxes, etc.) on top of materials. Book supports and snakes are available upon request. Please maintain the original order of manuscript and archival materials and do not remove fasteners.
  9. In order to ensure the security and integrity of all collections, Special Collections limits patrons to a single archival box and/or three published works at the work space. Patrons are asked to remove and re-file a single folder at a time from the archival box. Additional materials may be left with the desk attendant for easy access.
  10. We offer a variety of options for providing reproductions of our materials. Patrons may take pictures with their personal cameras and cell phones, though the camera’s flash may not be used. We also offer a self-service Bookeye scanner, which allows files to be saved to a patron’s USB drive, cloud storage or e-mailed directly from the scanner. We no longer provide photocopying.
  11. A staff member must approve all requests to photograph, scan, or otherwise reproduce materials. Staff reserves the right to refuse any digital reproduction request for copyright or preservation purposes. Please see below for additional information on copyright.
  12. The citation for Special Collections materials is:
    [Item], Special & Digital Collections, Tampa Library, University of South Florida.

Copyright and Reproductions

Many of the collections and individual items in Special Collections may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, United States Code). Libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction provided that the photocopying or reproduction is not “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research” and if the materials being copied are dated before January 1, 1923. For general information on determining the copyright status of a work, consult the Copyright Spinner or the U.S. Copyright Office.

It is the responsibility of the user to observe applicable copyright laws as well as any applicable exemptions. For more information on the fair use and resources for locating U.S. copyright holders, consult Stanford University Library’s Copyright & Fair Use If a researcher makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that researcher may be liable for copyright infringement.

Special & Digital Collections staff cannot offer legal guidance or assistance in obtaining permission to publish copyrighted material; we will, however, be happy to help locate appropriate contact information when possible.

Patrons will defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Tampa Library Special & Digital Collections and University of South Florida Libraries, the University of South Florida, its board of regents, its officers, employees, and agents against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses, including attorneys’ fees incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Tampa Library Special & Digital Collections materials.