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Science & Engineering Library

Library Use Policies

University of California, Santa Cruz Library Use Policies

As a state-supported public institution, the University Library strives to make the materials in its collections as available as possible to the users in the community and state, while simultaneously fulfilling its primary obligation to the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) campus and the University of California (UC) system.UCSC Lending Code


Service animals are welcome in the Library.


Bicycles may not be brought into the library buildings. Bicycles may be parked outside the library buildings where racks are located.

Building Use

The library buildings are open to the campus community and the public all hours the buildings are open. Information about library hours is available online on our Hours Page.

Patrons who refuse to leave the building when the library is closed are considered trespassers and will be reported to campus police.

Cell Phone Use

Cell phone use is permitted in all non-quiet-study areas of the library. Patrons are expected to be respectful of other patrons while using their cell phones. If a patron isn't being respectful of others, you may point it out to them. If you are not comfortable doing so, please go to a service desk to report the problem. Be sure to give a specific location and descriptive information about the person/persons involved.


The University Library is a resource for all, so it is important that users of the collections do not intentionally prevent others from accessing items in the collections. Items should be returned on time.Due dates may be managed online, in person, or by phone: 831-459-5185 (McHenry) or 831-459-5300 (Science & Engineering). Items that are recalled should be returned on time.

Please do not keep items that are not checked out in study carrels or hidden within the shelves.

Violations of the latter policies may result in penalties (fines/fees) up to and including suspension of library privileges.

Individual library departments or collections may have specific conditions or terms of use.

Computer Use Policy

Computers are made available to Library users for purposes of research, instruction, and public service.

The Library reserves the right to designate specific uses for individual computers. When there is high demand for using computers, time limits may be enforced; those not engaged in research or course-related activities may be asked to relinquish their computer to those needing use for research purposes.

The use of these computers is governed by UCSC policies including “Policies for use of UCSC computing facilities.”

The following examples are intended to clarify the interpretation of unacceptable use of University Library computers.

Examples of unacceptable use include:

  • Certain conduct by users may prevent the library from being freely and readily accessible to our students and employees-our main mission on the campus. Viewing and printing material from the Internet that a reasonable person would consider objectionable such as sexually explicit or violently explicit pictures, movies, and/or videos may create a hostile environment for other library users and employees. In keeping with the spirit of the UCSC Principles of Community, we expect library patrons to be sensitive to this matter. All should respect privacy and diversity, and be considerate about viewing material that would render the library unusable to other users-especially our student population and the employees who work in the libraries. Failure to comply with Library policies can result in penalties up to and including patrons being banned from the Library.
  • Any use that violates copyrights, patent protections, or license agreements. Specific examples of violations include unauthorized copying of software, downloading and using pirated software, systematically downloading or printing entire journal issues or volumes or large portions of electronic resources.
  • Attempts to gain unauthorized access to information systems or violate the privacy of others. Prohibited activities include running programs that attempt to calculate or guess passwords, or that are designed to trick other users into disclosing their passwords, or intercepting or monitoring network communications that are not intended for you.
  • Viewing material that violates federal, state, or local laws or regulations, including those regarding accessing, viewing, printing, and distributing child pornography.
  • Tampering with library computers, including attempting to install unauthorized software, disconnecting library computers, or connecting private computers to the library’s network lines.

Filming (Student Filming Guidelines)

The University Library supports student filming projects whenever possible.

In order to secure permission to film:

  1. Read the student filming guidelines.
  2. Contact Sarah Troy, Director of User Services & Resource Sharing to confirm availability.
  3. Prior to filming, print and sign the student filming guidelines and bring them to the University Library Circulation Desk for a staff signature.


Food And Drink Guidelines

Food and drink items are allowed in the Library.

  • If you have a drink, please make sure it is covered.
  • If you have food with strong odors, be considerate about whether the smell might be disruptive to those nearby.


  • Wipe up accidents and dispose of your trash, compostables, and recyclables.
  • Tell a library staff member if there is a spill to ensure damaged items are properly treated.

Areas Where No Food or Drinks Are Allowed:

  • Book stacks
  • Near photocopiers, printers, and microform readers
  • McHenry Special Collections & Archives
  • Dead Central
  • S&E Game Room

Senior Library Management may approve special events or other exceptions to policy.

Patrons who don't comply with the UCSC Library Food and Drink Policy are considered in violation of the UCSC Library Use and Conduct Code.

Policy effective: September 22, 2008

Policy updated: August 2, 2017


Sexual harassment is against the law and any patron who is harassing other patrons or library staff will be reported to campus police. The campus sexual violence and sexual harassment policy is available online.


The University Library is committed to protecting your privacy as a critical component of your intellectual and academic freedom on our campus. Your guarantee of privacy is supported by federal and state law, and by the privacy policies of the University of California and its Santa Cruz campus. The University Library limits the collection of personal information to what is relevant and necessary to conduct library business, e.g. your name, university identification, and items borrowed. We retain that information only as long as it is needed to complete transactions or provide service. Information in a personal library record is considered confidential and will not be released by the Library to a third party except by court order or legal search warrant.

While the library makes every effort to negotiate the protection of user information in licensing agreements with outside database vendors, the University does not govern the privacy practices of those vendors. Users, therefore, should read the privacy statement on each Web site to determine these practices.

Quiet Study

Quiet study areas are available on the fourth floor of the McHenry Library and the Ching-Yi Dougherty Reading Room in the Science & Engineering Library. On these floors or in these areas, audible cell phone ringers should be off and conversation should be limited. Group study rooms are available in the McHenry and the Science & Engineering Libraries. Group work and conversation are encouraged in these group study rooms.

If a patron or group isn't respecting the rules of the quiet study floor(s)/area(s) you may point it out to them. If you are not comfortable doing so, please go to a service desk to report it. Be sure to give a specific location and descriptive information about the person/persons involved.


UC Santa Cruz is a smoke & tobacco free environment. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on campus.


The University Library allows one group at a time to table outside each of the library buildings. If there is already a group scheduled outside one of the library buildings, you may request to table outside the other library building if it is free, or you may need to find an alternate date.

You will:

  • provide any necessary equipment for your event, including tables and chairs.
  • set up a safe distance from library entrances.
  • not use any building outlets.
  • distribute food and beverages following the guidelines provided by campus.
  • clean up after your event.
  • not use any amplified sound.
  • not move your event inside the library buildings in the event of inclement weather.


To request a date for tabling, please contact the library via this form. Please login to your UCSC email account in order to access the form.

Vandalism/Destruction of Library Property

Graffiti, destruction of furniture, books, magazines/periodicals, etc., are considered destruction of university property and all incidents of this nature will be reported to campus police.

Campus Policies