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Library Policies

Circulation Policies

Claude R. Rickman Library Circulation Policies
SWU Policy Number LIB.1

SWU Students and Personnel

All SWU students, faculty, and staff have library privileges in the Rickman Library.  They may borrow any circulating library items and are entitled to interlibrary loan, statewide borrowing, and reference assistance.  The SWU ID card doubles as the library card and must be presented at the circulation desk when checking out materials.  Children of SWU faculty or staff members must have a parent present with their ID card or have the parent’s SWU ID card with them to check out materials.  Spouses of SWU faculty or staff members may check out materials with the faculty/staff member’s ID card or request a Community Library Card.

Members of the Community

Rickman Library also extends borrowing privileges to local community members.  Persons not associated with the University may request a Community Library Card for restricted borrowing privileges.  Borrowing is limited to ten items at a time for 30 days with one 30 day renewal.  These items may be recalled earlier if needed by a SWU student or faculty member.  Community members may also use any non-circulating materials while in the library and may receive reference assistance; however, community members should seek interlibrary loan services through their local public library.  A valid ID (driver’s license) is required to obtain a Community Library Card, and a photocopy will be made to keep on file.

Specific Circulation Requirements and Privileges for Physical Items:

ID Required

Circulation Privileges



SWU Faculty


Unlimited books for 60 days; unlimited media for 7 days; reserves as indicated on item

Immediate recall if needed for reserve; otherwise one week after notice given

1 renewal of 30 days for regular items; 2 renewals of 7 days for media

SWU Students and Staff


Unlimited books for 30 days; unlimited media for 7 days; reserves as indicated on item

Immediate recall if needed for reserve; otherwise recall after initial loan period is over

1 renewal of 30 days for regular items; 2 renewals of 7 days for media

Community Member

Valid ID, such as driver’s license to obtain community borrowing card

Up to 10 items for 30 days; media for 7 days

Immediate recall if needed by SWU students or faculty

1 renewal of 30  days for books; 1 renewal of 7 days for media

Electronic Resource Borrowing Privileges

Patrons may borrow up to 5 eBook or audiobook titles at a time from OverDrive.  One 14-day renewal is permitted.

Borrowing privileges for electronic resources from platforms other than OverDrive are dependent on vendor licensing agreements and may vary.  User license information is available on the individual item record. 

An active SWU network account with faculty, staff, or student privileges is required to access and borrow electronic resources.

Circulation Liability

All patrons are subject to the South Carolina Code of Laws, sections 16-13-330 to 16-13-370.  A copy of these laws is posted in two places in the library.

Patrons are responsible for all materials checked out in their name and are liable for lost or damaged items.  Borrowing privileges are suspended until replacement fees are paid or late items are returned.  Additionally, SWU students will not be permitted to receive transcripts or diplomas if they have overdue items or outstanding library fees.

Avoiding Fees

Patrons may manage loans and renewals via their online library account, accessible through OneSearch.  Circulation notices are sent to the patron’s SWU email address or personal email address associated with the account.

Lost Billed Items

Items that have been overdue for 28 days will be billed as lost.  Lost billed items are an automatic fine of $100 per item.  If the items are returned, the fine is removed.  If the items are truly lost, the fee is the replacement cost of the item.  Library staff will determine the replacement cost and send an invoice to the patron.  The patron may purchase a new or “like new” condition replacement for the item and bring it to the library or pay the library to purchase the item. 

Patrons with a lost billed item may not check out additional items until the item is returned or replaced.

Diploma and Transcript Holds

Holds will be placed on diplomas and transcripts for patrons with lost billed items. 

Paying Fees

Fines can be paid online through MySWU.  On the student page, click “Pay My Fines.”  Then, click on “Library Fines.”    

Damaged Materials

Patrons who return materials in damaged condition must pay the replacement cost of the item.

Stolen Materials

Reference materials, Wesleyana collection items, Clayton Genealogical Collection items, and some reserve materials may not be removed from the library without permission.  Unauthorized possession of any of these items, or possession of severed pages or images from any items, is an infraction of the Honor Code and the South Carolina law.  Infractions will be handled appropriately.  Student workers should notify a staff member of any suspicious incidents.


Protecting the rights of library users to view and read materials without fear of intrusion, intimidation, or reprisal is a core value for all librarians. To safeguard the privacy of individuals in their use of the library, the Rickman Library maintains the confidentiality of library records. Student records, including library borrowing records, are strictly protected by state and federal privacy laws.

The registration and circulation records of Rickman Library are confidential.

Registration records include any information the library requires users (faculty or staff members, students, alumni, or special borrowers) to provide in order to become eligible to access or borrow materials. Such information includes addresses and telephone numbers.

Circulation records include all information that identifies a faculty or staff member, student, alumnus, or special borrower as borrowing or accessing particular materials or information. Included in these records are Web browsing histories and reserve materials.

No library employee shall reveal the identity of a borrower to any requestor.

Except in accordance with proper judicial order and with permission of the designated administrative officer(s) of the University, no person shall make known in any manner any information contained in such records listed above. In the absence of such judicial orders or University administrative permission, those to whom information will be denied include, but are not limited to, faculty, staff (including library staff except in the pursuit of their assigned duties), parents, students, campus security, police, FBI agents, and military personnel.

Library staff are to refer any official requests for the above information to the Director of Library Services, who will contact the University administrative officers and/or University legal counsel as appropriate.

Students and faculty seeking to use an item that is loaned will occasionally request the identity of the person who has the item checked out.  Under no circumstances shall library staff reveal the individual’s name or other identifying information.  If need is sufficient (e.g. item needed for placement on reserve, use in class, or personal use when loan period has expired), library staff may contact the individual with the item and request that it be returned for use by another patron.

Reserve Materials

Items that faculty wish to have readily available for their students may be placed on reserve.  Items selected for reserve should be anticipated to have heavy use and not otherwise be non-circulating.  Reserve items will be shelved in an organized manner, either alphabetically by professor’s last name or by course number. 

Faculty members should request in writing the specific items to be placed on reserve and specify the desired loan period (Library Use Only, 1 Day, 3 Days, or 1 Week).  The reserve request form is linked from the library website. 

Statewide Borrowing

All SWU students, faculty, and staff have borrowing privileges through PASCAL Delivers, the statewide borrowing system.  Please visit to view policies related to this service.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan service is available to SWU students, faculty, and staff for research materials SWU does not own.  The library reserves the right to deny ILL service to any individual with outstanding fees.

Interlibrary loan requests will be processed within 24 hours of receipt.  Requests submitted on weekends or during university holidays will be processed the next business day. 

Requests for textbooks will not be processed. 

Allow 7 to 10 days for physical items to arrive.  Items being mailed to SWU Online students require an additional 2 to 3 days handling time.  We cannot guarantee that items requested less than 7 days before they are needed will arrive in time.  Articles typically arrive within 1-3 days and will be delivered to the email address provided on the request form. 

Interlibrary loan is generally free of charge.  In the event that costs are incurred, SWU will cover a limited amount of the fee.  If an item will cost a significant amount, the patron will be contacted before the item is requested.  Rickman Library reserves the right to institute interlibrary loan fees for physical item requests as needed.

Items should be returned to Rickman Library by the due date.  We reserve the right to enforce a $1 per day late fee for interlibrary loan or PASCAL Delivers items.

Renewal requests for ILL items must be submitted at least 2 business days in advance of the original due date.  A renewal may only be requested once per item and is dependent upon approval by the lending library.  If a renewal is denied, the item must be returned by the original due date.  Items for which a renewal was denied may be reordered at the patron’s request.  

Patrons with overdue interlibrary loan materials will not have any additional materials ordered/given to them until the overdue ILL materials have been returned. 

  • When an ILL item becomes two weeks overdue, the patron will be contacted by email with a fine amount and a request to return the item.
  • After an item becomes one month overdue, it will be considered lost and the patron will be charged the late fee plus the replacement fee provided by the lending library.  The patron will be notified of this charge by letter.

The requestor is responsible for returning materials to Rickman Library on time and in the same condition in which they were received.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) provides protection and access for copyrighted materials.  Rickman Library complies with all copyright laws and guidelines and urges compliance on the part of all library users.