Policies & Forms

Policies & Forms


Data Collection Notice

Notice of Collection
The information gathered on this form is collected under the authority of the McMaster University Act, 1976. The information is used for the academic, administrative, financial and statistical purposes of the University including, but not limited to, admissions; registration and maintaining records; awards and scholarships; convocation; provision of student services, including access to information systems; alumni; and disclosure to or on behalf of the applicable McMaster student government. This information is protected and is being collected under section 39(2) and section 42 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Ontario (RSO 1990) (“FIPPA”). Questions regarding the collection or use of this personal information should be directed to the University Librarian, Room 203, Mills Memorial Library, McMaster University.
Privacy of Circulation Records
The Library holds all circulation records in confidence. Except in accordance with FIPPA or other applicable legislation, an order of a court, tribunal, or commission, or with an individual’s written consent, staff will not release information on the specific titles or the subject(s) of those titles a patron has borrowed to any third-party, or link a borrower’s name or other revealing identification with an item out on loan. This includes not providing such information to other borrowers, faculty, police or campus security, or credit or collection agencies. This policy covers all current and historical circulation records and interlibrary loan transactions. User records and circulation data are stored with a third-party service provider in a secure data centre. All Library transactions are transmitted over a secure connection and circulation data (items checked out) are purged 31 days after the items are checked in at the Library.

Users who choose to take advantage of additional features of their Library account should note that data retention may be different:

  • Reading History: Users who opt-in to the reading history function will have data on their borrowed and returned items associated with their Library account until they opt-out. This data is available only to the user through their account and is not accessible by Library staff.
  • Preferred Searches: Users who create preferred searches will see those search terms retained in their Library account until deleted by the user. Users who choose to have preferred search results e-mailed to them as new items are added to the library catalogue consent to the use of the e-mail address in their Library account for this purpose. Users may cancel the sending of these e-mail notifications at any time from their Library account. Library staff do not have access to preferred searches saved in a user’s account.

Databases and E-Resources that Do Not Permit Walk-in Users

Although many databases and online journals are licensed for use within the physical premises of the library, the following are restricted to McMaster students, faculty, and staff:

  • ARTFL Project
  • Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
  • Canadian Business Database (Reference USA)
  • CSA Standards
  • DBRS (Dominon Bond Rating Service)
  • EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit)
  • First Resort (Lancaster House)
  • Mergent Online
  • Microsoft Office
  • Passport (Euromonitor)
  • SciFinder Scholar
  • Standard & Poor's Research Insight
  • TSX-CRMRC (Toronto Stock Exchange product)
  • Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS)

Guest Internet Accounts

It is intended that anyone requesting a Guest Internet Account wishes to use the public computers in our libraries to access the Internet briefly or to check their email.

Who is Eligible for a Guest Internet Account?

  • alumni
  • reciprocal borrowers
  • visiting scholars who are staying less than three months at McMaster

If you are a visiting scholar staying longer than three months, please have your sponsoring department submit a Person of Interest (POI) request form available on Mosaic.

Guest accounts can be used only in the libraries and will expire at library closing on the day of issue. Some e-resource restrictions apply (see policy: Databases and E-Resources Which Do Not Permit Walk-in Users)

Additionally, a Guest Internet Account will not be issued on a continuing basis to one individual. If more than temporary access is required and you do not meet the Person of Interest form requirements, please speak to the staff at one of our Service Desks.

Licensing Requirements - Conditions of Use

McMaster University Library has signed institutional license agreements in order to provide access to full-text electronic journals and to a variety of indexes and abstracts in database form. These agreements require McMaster to protect the information contained in these electronic products against unauthorized use. Unauthorized use may result in the suspension of access to library facilities and materials, legal action and/or other penalties sanctioned by the Senate, and disciplinary action by the publisher which may include cancellation of the University's licensed access.

The following key features appear in most licenses:

  • The license agreements identify the persons within the site who are authorized to access the database or journal.

    Users must be faculty, currently registered students, or staff of McMaster University. Only these individuals will be able to access the products through the campus IP address, within the Libraries, or from off-campus using off-campus access if using a commerical independent service provider. More information on off-campus access.

    Site definition: McMaster University campus is one site.

    Number of simultaneous users: McMaster University Library has attempted to license access for as many simultaneous users as required. For some products access is unlimited, for others it is 5-8 simultaneous users. Questions about access to individual titles/products should be referred to Janice Adlington, eResources Librarian.

  • Authorized users may view, download, copy and save to hard disk or storage device, and store for editing or temporary storage only, or print out SINGLE COPIES of individual search results or SINGLE COPIES of individual articles [NOT ENTIRE ISSUES OF JOURNALS] for personal use, scholarly, educational or scientific research or study, as governed by Canadian Copyright Law. Users may not use robots or intelligent agents to access, search and/or systematically download any portion of the licensed products.

  • Authorized users must not transmit, disseminate or otherwise make the Licensed Materials or any components thereof available to persons or entities who are not Authorized McMaster users by any means, including electronic, nor on any storage medium, including electronic, optical, or print, whether in return for a fee or otherwise. Commercial use of these products is not permitted.

  • Authorized Users must not divulge or disseminate a password or enable anyone who is not an Authorized User to gain access to the Licensed Materials. Users also may not share their credentials with unauthorized Users.

  • Users are not permitted to disassemble, decompile or in any way attempt to reverse engineer any software provided as part of the data product.

Lobby Display Tables and Charity Drop-boxes

March 2017

Lobby display tables and charity drop-boxes must be approved in advance.  Request approval

Authorized Groups:  The request is initiated by a department or office of McMaster University OR a sanctioned MSU club.  The display or charity drop-box has no association with a commercial enterprise.

NOTE: Student Groups must first fill out a Student Event Planning Approval Form (EOHSS). Once approval has been received from EOHSS proceed to completing the following application. You must include the EOHSS approval with this application.

Space:  The display is localized to one table and two chairs (provided by the Library).  Expansion beyond this space must be approved prior to the event with the designated library staff member in that building.  

Number of Bookings:  Mills and Thode will each allow one information display table at a given time.  Mills, Thode and Innis will each allow one charity drop-box at a given time.  Groups are allotted a maximum of five table bookings per month.  

Days and Times:  Unless previously negotiated, tables are available from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.  

No Shows:  Groups who fail to show more than three times lose their booking privileges for 2 months.   Any previously-booked tables will be cancelled.  

Library Regulations:  Groups must abide by all library regulations including signage (no signs affixed to walls, pillars, etc.)

Selling: Tables are not to be used for the sale of merchandise, nor should monetary donations be accepted.  

Aggressive Behaviour: Groups may not approach users in the lobby.  Information may be presented to those who stop at the table and show interest.  

Objectionable Material:  The Library supports an inclusive community.   The Library reserves the right to reject material that is discriminatory, profane or otherwise offensive.  

Latex:  The Library prohibits the use of latex balloons in any displays.  

Regulations Governing Personal Behaviour

The Library seeks to maintain a safe, healthy and productive learning environment in which all persons [users and staff] treat each other with respect and courtesy. Access to, and use of, Library resources and facilities is a privilege which must not be abused.
Users and staff are expected to comply with the following policies while in the Library:
  1. EATING: Eating is permitted in all areas except Mills Research Collections (Mills, Lower Level), the Lloyd Reeds Map Collection (Mills, L102) and the Lyons New Media Centre games room (Mills, L414) and edit suites (Mills, L415/416).
    DRINKING: Beverages in any covered container are permitted in all areas except Mills Research Collections (Mills, Lower Level), the Lloyd Reeds Map Collection (Mills, L102) and the Lyons New Media Centre games room (Mills, L414) and edit suites (Mills, L415/416).
  2. NOISE: Loud conversation, offensive language, rowdy or disruptive behaviour is prohibited in all library spaces. During Exam Periods, designated Quiet Study areas are established (Mills: 3rd - 6th Floors; Thode: 1st and 2nd Floors; Innis: Back room excluding group study rooms.)
  3. SILENT STUDY: Conversation is not permitted in designated Silent Study areas (Mills, 6th floor, east end; Innis- Silent Study Room). If unable to resolve noise issues in Silent Study areas on their own, users are welcome to report infractions to quiet@mcmaster.ca or use the online form.
  4. CELL PHONES: The volume on cell phones must be kept low while in the library. Please move away from others when speaking on them.
  5. ELECTRONIC DEVICES: All personal electronic devices (MP3 players, etc.) must be used with earphones and the volume must be kept low.
  6. LAPTOPS: Laptop users should "mute" the sound unless earphones are being used and the volume is kept low.
  7. PUBLIC COMPUTERS: When using public computers the sound should be "muted" unless earphones are being used and the volume is kept low.
  8. STUDY SPACE: Study space cannot be reserved. This includes booking group study rooms for more than the permitted time.The Library reserves the right to cancel bookings in violation of this policy. Attempts to monopolize study rooms will be considered a breach of these regulations. Private papers and materials left unattended on tables, carrels, or computer stations may be removed by staff. The Library is not responsible for personal belongings left unattended.
    McMaster's library study rooms are available to students seeking space for collaborative study and academic purposes. Recognized clubs and organizations seeing meeting space should contact the McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC). The library reserves the right to cancel any bookings which contravenes this policy.
  9. OBSTRUCTING ACCESS: Users will not block access to library collections, facilities or services. Electrical cords must not cross aisles or open spaces. Users may not congregate at entrance/exit doors or on ramps.
  10. SMOKING / DRUGS: Neither smoking nor using illegal drugs is permitted anywhere in the Library. This includes the use of e-cigarettes. Effective January 1, 2018, McMaster University is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus, and does not permit smoking, or the use of tobacco products, on University property.
  11. VANDALISM: No user shall engage in vandalizing or defacing library buildings, collections, furniture or equipment.
  12. GARBAGE: All garbage and waste materials must be disposed of in the proper receptacles.
  13. SPORTS ACTIVITIES, ETC.: No sports activities are permitted anywhere in the libraries, including ball playing and the use of roller skates, in-line skates, skate boards or bicycles.
  14. SOLICITING: Soliciting and begging are not permitted in the Libraries.
  15. FILMING: Photographing, filming or video/audio recording is prohibited unless with the express prior permission from the Associate University Librarian, x22410 or via email.
  16. SIGNS: Permission to post signs must be obtained before signs can be posted. (See a service desk for further details.) Library staff will take down unauthorized signs.
    Signs should never be taped to painted walls as removing them may cause damage to the surface.
  17. RESHELVING: Users are asked not to reshelve library materials. Used materials should be left out on tables or in designated areas for library staff to reshelve. This helps track material use and reduces misshelving.
  18. IDENTIFICATION: Any member of the library staff may request a library user to produce his/her university identification card. If an individual fails to produce identification, he/she may be asked to exit the building.
  19. COMPUTERS: Users will abide by the University's Acceptable Use policies for campus computers.
Behaviour within the Libraries will be monitored by staff and student employees. Users found to be contravening these regulations may be asked to leave the building. If the behaviour continues and/or if the individual or group refuses to leave the building, campus security will be called. Individuals found in contravention of these regulations may face action under the Student Code of Conduct.
This policy will be reviewed throughout the 2017/18 academic year. Discussions continue with the Office of Judicial Affairs regarding the alignment of these regulations and associated sanctions with the Student Code of Conduct. Comments should be forwarded to: Anne Pottier, Associate University Librarian, Library Services (pottier@mcmaster.ca, extension 22410).
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