Library Handbook

Last updated August 2011.

Library Privileges and Access Requirements

A valid student or staff/faculty ID card is required to obtain full library services. Access to the computers in the library is governed by the restrictions imposed by the Office of Information Technology (OIT). An authenticated password is necessary for student access to the computers.

Faculty, Students and Staff

Library privileges are extended to all current faculty members, students and staff members of Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU).

NDNU Alumni

Alumni of NDNU are also entitled to library privileges. Alumni may borrow books and are permitted to make use of the library’s online databases in the library with a valid ID card. However, the library’s license agreements do not permit the use of online databases from off-campus locations by alumni.


Visitors are welcome to use the resources of the library, but are not entitled to check out materials nor are they permitted to use the library’s online databases. Visitors should ask a reference librarian for assistance and information.

The Collections of the Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Library

The collections consist of books, periodicals, sound recordings, videos, a number of current newspapers and an extensive reference book collection.

The Library’s Catalog

The library’s online catalog serves as the main access point to the collections. The catalog is available on the Internet and can be accessed from any office on campus or from off-campus locations from the library homepage. For assistance, please see a reference librarian.


The books are cataloged according to the Library of Congress Classification scheme and are shelved according to this system. The library owns approximately 120,000 volumes. Most of the volumes can be checked out.


Current issues of printed periodicals and scholarly journals are shelved alphabetically in the periodical reading area. Older issues of periodicals may be shelved in a storage area and requests for them should be made at the circulation desk. Some issues of periodicals are available only on microfiche or film. Currently, the library subscribes to nearly 300 periodicals. This small collection of print journals is supplemented by thousands of full-text journals that are accessible through the library’s online databases.


Books on music, scores and sound recordings (primarily long playing recordings) are located on the second floor above the circulation desk. Books and most scores can be checked out, but long playing recordings, due to their fragile condition, do not circulate and must be listened to in the library. Equipment is provided and headphones are available at the circulation desk. Compact discs are available for checkout and may be borrowed for seven days.

Videos and DVDs

The video collection consists primarily of classroom instructional materials. They do not circulate, but students may view them in the library. Videos should be checked out at the circulation desk prior to viewing. Please rewind the videos before returning them to the desk. Faculty may check out videos for classroom use.

Online Databases

Our online databases complement and enhance the library’s collections. They are available to students both on-campus and off-campus. Please see our list of online databases. One can access these databases from off-campus using the same login and password that is used for the NDNU email.

Special Collections

A small collection of California materials and some rare books are located in the Special Collections room. Some of the books may be used only in the library. Please ask a reference librarian for assistance.

Purchase Recommendations

The Library of Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) is committed to acquiring materials for its collections in support of the university’s instructional programs. Faculty and student recommendations for books and periodicals are welcomed, but such requests can be considered only within the confines of the library’s current budget allocation.

Reference and Instructional Services

Reference Services

Reference librarians are available to help with assignments and will be able to explain the best use of the library’s resources for specific research inquiries. The reference desk is staffed whenever the library is open. The reference book collection is located adjacent to the reference desk and contains an extensive collection of current encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, bibliographies, indexes and abstracts.

Instructional Services

Faculty members who wish to have a reference librarian teach bibliographic instruction sessions can make arrangements with a reference librarian. Please contact the reference desk for more information.

Loan Services and Recalls

Loan Periods

All borrowers must have a valid student or staff/faculty ID card. Circulating books may be checked out for three weeks. All books are subject to a recall and must be returned within seven days to avoid fines. There is a one-time renewal limit for circulating books. Renewals are not granted for reserve materials or for items requested by other borrowers. Reference books, long playing records, periodical issues and videos do not circulate.


If a book is checked out, another borrower may request the same book. A valid student or staff/faculty ID card is required to make such a request. A recall will be issued for the requested book. The books are due seven days after a recall has been issued. Fines for recalled books are $1.00 per item per day. The requestor will be notified when an item becomes available. The requested books will be placed on the library’s “hold” shelf for a period of seven days. The library will not hold reference books, class reserves, periodicals or non-print media.

Class Reserves

A faculty member may request library materials or personal copies to be placed on reserve for class assignments. Reserve materials may be checked out at the circulation desk. Loan periods for such material varies and are determined by the instructor. Generally, reserve materials circulate for two hours.


Overdue books are fined at a rate of $.25 per item per day. There is a seven-day grace period before fines accrue. Reserve materials and books for which a recall notice was issued are fined at a rate of $1.00 per item per day. The fine limit is $15.00. Students who have accrued fines of more than $5.00 may not renew overdue books until fines have been paid for these items. Lost books will be charged to the student. Charges will include all accrued fines, the replacement costs plus a $15.00 processing fee. All overdue materials that reach the maximum fine of $15.00 will be considered lost and billed to the student ($15.00 plus replacement costs plus $15.00 handling charges). Students will receive two overdue notices as reminders. The third notice will consist of a bill. Unpaid fees and fines, if not settled in person at the library, will be sent to the Business Office for posting to student accounts.

Interlibrary Loans

Faculty members, members of the staff, and students are permitted to borrow materials from other libraries that are not owned by NDNU. Interlibrary loan forms are available at the reference desk. The cost for such a loan is $1.00 and the average length to fill a request takes from two to four weeks. Late returns or losses of such loans may incur heavy penalties from the lending library and are not governed by the policies set by NDNU. Please contact a reference librarian for additional information.

Equipment and Accessibility

Access and Services for Disabled Students

Some areas of the library are not accessible to disabled students. Please ask for assistance from any staff member or librarian. Every attempt will be made to assist in securing materials from inaccessible areas. The library is equipped with one adjustable desk for computer access by students in wheelchairs. A reading device is available for vision-impaired students. Other services for disabled students are available from the Academic Success Center.

Laptop Computers and Access to the Internet

Additional electric outlets have been installed for laptop users and students are welcome to bring their laptops to the library. The library is one of many locations on campus that permit wireless access to the Internet.

Photocopying/Scanning Equipment

For the convenience of the library’s users, two photocopiers are provided. The charge is $.10 per page. Documents can also be scanned and emailed, free of charge.

Video Cameras

The library has digital video cameras available for check out. The cameras circulate for three weeks. There is also a large collection of video cameras especially for students in the School of Education. These cameras circulate for seven days.

Policies for Library Visitors

Cellular Telephones

Please respect others using the library by setting your phone to vibrate or silent and minimizing usage in the library.

Food and Beverages

Food and drink are permitted in the library.  While enjoying your food and drink, please be considerate of others and the environment:
-Avoid bringing in foods with odors that can be considered offensive
-Use spill-proof containers
-Clean up before you leave
-Dispose of trash
-Report accidental spills that require cleanup
-Please do not have food delivered to the library

Noise and other Disturbances

Noise should be kept at a reasonable level. Students and visitors are expected to behave courteously toward the library’s staff. Public Safety officers will be called to handle disruptive users.


Restrooms are located in the rear of the building.


Smoking is prohibited in the library.

Study Areas

Unfortunately, no separate study facilities are available in the building. Students wishing a quiet place to study are encouraged to use the study carrels located along the walls of the library’s main floor and balconies. Study groups are requested to be considerate of other students.

Unattended Children

The library staff cannot accommodate unattended children due to safety hazards in the building. If a child is left unattended in the library, Public Safety will be called.