The following policies govern patrons' use of the library's material and eResources. If you have questions about any of the these policies please contact the library


Access to the Opie Library

The Opie Library, portions of the 1st and 2nd floors of the Van Pelt and Opie Library, including instruction rooms (242 and 244), is open to Michigan Tech enrolled undergraduate students, active graduate students, faculty and staff only. Michigan Tech affiliates must each have their HuskyCards to show to library staff or Public Safety when requested. Access to the Opie Library begins when the library’s main building closes, during holidays or most weather events. 

Entrance to the Opie Library during overnight hours, holidays or weather events is at the West side entrance with an individual’s active HuskyCard. Exits are the West side entrance and exit at the bridge to Rekhi Hall. There is a number of emergency exits.

Although the Opie Library has security cameras, emergency phones and is monitored by Public Safety, students are expected to contribute to their safety and security by complying with one HuskyCard, one person entry and making Public Safety aware of dangerous situations or unauthorized persons. 

As the library’s hours vary on the weekend, university break weeks, unanticipated closures, and some holiday exceptions, please visit our Web site http://www.mtu.edu/library for awareness of the library’s hours.

The Van Pelt and Opie Library, including the Opie Library, will close entirely at 8:00 p.m. on the Wednesday night of Winter Carnival.

For questions about access or to be shown entrances and exits, please talk with a member of the library staff at the Library and IT Service Center. For questions about this policy, please contact the offices of the University Librarian at 906-487-2500 or library@mtu.edu

Instruction Room Use Policy

Library Instruction Room (242 and 244) Policy

The primary purpose of the library instruction rooms (242 & 244) is to facilitate information literacy instruction to students, faculty, and staff by librarians or archivists. When not in use for library instruction, the rooms are dedicated to student study, computing, and collaboration space.


Information literacy instruction must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance; please visit the Library Instruction page for more information and to register.
Exceptions to Scheduling:

Room usage requests made by other members of the Michigan Tech community (faculty, staff, and students) for academic and administrative purposes is subject to the following restrictions:

  • Due to the increase in library and information literacy instruction and the demand for study and computing space, the instruction rooms will not be scheduled for any purpose other than library and information literacy instruction during the fall and spring academic terms, (with the exceptions of fall break and spring break weeks) and during summer Track A and Track B.
  • During breaks, requests will be accommodated when possible. If any specialized software or plugins are needed, requests must be made at least 48 hours in advance to allow time for installation.
  • Regularly scheduled classes cannot be accommodated in the library instruction rooms for multiple sessions.
  • Individuals that are not Michigan Tech students under the age of 18 using the classrooms must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

IT’s list of openly reservable computer classrooms may be helpful to you as you search for a space.

Non-scheduled usage

When not scheduled for other purposes, the library instruction rooms are available for walk-in study or computing by Michigan Tech users. Entry to the library instruction rooms is through active HuskyCard access.

Food and drink

Food is not permitted in the library instruction rooms. Drinks must be in containers with a lid.

Related Policies: Experimental Education Environment (#243) Michigan Tech instructors may consider use of this room for teaching.

Group Study Room Policy

  1. Study rooms are reserved for use by groups of 2-12 students.
  2. A student may reserve, for his or her group, one or more study rooms, in half-hour blocks, for a total of 4 hours per day. A student may not reserve more than 1 study room in the same half-hour block. (For example, a student may reserve room 302 from 4-5pm and room 303 from 5-6pm, but may not reserve both room 302 and room 303 from 5-6pm.)
  3. Reservations may be made up to two weeks in advance.
  4. Before occupying a study room, students must check out a study room key at the Library and IT Service Center with their valid Michigan Tech ID. Overdue fines are charged for late or missing keys.
  5. Students must pick up their group study room key within the first 15 minutes of their reservation. Failure to pick-up the key may mean the room is given to another group or otherwise canceled.
  6. The student that booked the room for the group will be responsible for damages incurred to the room or equipment by the group.
  7. Food is not allowed in the group study rooms. (Food is permitted in any area of the library’s first floor with the exception of the computer workstations).
  8. The library staff reserves the right to modify or cancel reserves when necessary.
  9. Use of the group study rooms constitutes each member of the group’s agreement to abide by this policy and the Michigan Tech Code of Conduct Policies.

For questions about this policy or information about Group Study Rooms, please contact library@mtu.edu

Library Event Policy

  • Room will not be held for requestor in anticipation of approval.
  • Request is not final until confirmation is received from the library.
  • Arrangements for set-up should be made with the library at least one week in advance of event.
  • If training is needed to use the AV equipment, arrangements must be made with the library at least 24 hours
    prior to event.
  • Changes or additions made to the original request affecting the reserved space should be communicated
    to the library no less than 24 hours prior to the event.
  • All cancellation requests must be received by the library at least 48 hours prior to event.
  • The first violation of policies will result in a warning and possible fines.  A second violation of policies will
    result in cancellation of all library space for the remainder of the academic year.  
  • Department is responsible for any damage to facility and/or equipment.
  • The Library Director reserves the right to reassign or cancel space reservation.
  • No event will be held in the library two weeks prior to exam week or during exam week.
  • Space cannot be reserved on a repeated or ongoing basis.
  • No open flames are allowed.
  • No glue or nails are permitted on the walls.
  • The library is not responsible for items lost or stolen.
  • All groups using library space are expected to adhere to all general policies, regulations, and guidelines of both the library and Michigan Technological University, as well as applicable local, state, and federal laws.  Failure to comply may result in forfeiture of the privilege of utilizing the Library.

Lost and Found Policy

The library is not responsible for the security of property lost, found, or abandoned in the library. Users are expected to keep their belongings, such as cell phones and laptops, within their sight at all time. All lost and found items are held at the Library and IT Service Center on first floor.  Unclaimed items are forwarded to Public Safety, weekly.

Please direct inquiries to:

Library and IT Service Center
(906) 487-2508

Food and Drink Policy

  • Covered beverages are allowed throughout the library.
  • Food is permitted only on the first floor but not at the computer workstations.  No exceptions can be made.
  • Food is not permitted in the group study rooms.

The primary reason for this policy is that there is no equitable way for students or staff to decide what types of food is tolerable by all library users. It has also been impossible to keep the facility clean and students have complained about this as well. Food is permitted in all IT managed open labs on campus and in the Keweenaw Commons (MUB lower level). Deliveries by off-campus vendors can be made there as well.

Please refer questions or comments to library@mtu.edu

Van Pelt and Opie Library Late Night Services

During the Fall and Spring terms, the library offers staffed Late Night Services. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from Midnight to 2:00 a.m. and 24 hours/day approaching or during Finals Week. Entrance to the library for Late Night Services, beginning at Midnight, is through the library’s main front door with an active HuskyCard which admits only faculty, staff, enrolled undergraduate students and active graduate students.

Guests of the library that may be in the building are welcome to continue their education or research uses of the library until 2:00 a.m. when the main building is closing. When the library is open 24 hours/day for our students’ preparation for finals, guests must leave at 2:00 a.m. Staff members will be asking to see active HuskyCards prior to 2:00 a.m.

As the library’s hours vary on the weekend, university break weeks and some holiday exceptions, please visit our Web site http://www.mtu.edu/library for awareness of our hours of staffed operations.

Cell Phone/Computer-facilitated Talk Policy

To keep the Van Pelt and Opie Library atmosphere conducive to study, collaboration and library research, please place phones on vibrate and consider the impact on others when using computers for Skype and similar forms of talk.

Considerate, phone friendly locations are:

  • Café and seating near the café on the 1st floor
  • Stairwells
  • Library lobby
  • After hours entrance, west side (Opie Library)
  • First and 2nd floor group study rooms only.
    • The 3rd floor is for silent study.  The group study rooms on the 3rd floor are not soundproof.


Archives Duplication Policy

The following policies apply to use and duplication of photographs and other materials duplicated from the Archives and Historical Collection.

  • Patrons will be required to sign and return our standard photographic agreement form which stipulates your one-time use for these images and provides correct credit lines for use in publication.
  • While many patrons initially request images for personal research, patrons are required to request permission for any subsequent publication in advance of such use.
  • Subsequent use of images is only allowed with the completion of a separate photographic agreement.
  • Images are not to be copied or shared under any circumstances.
  • Patrons are legally liable for any misuse of the digital images once they are provided.
  • In some cases, handling of fragile material may cause damage, and duplication may not be possible. Such decisions will be made at the discretion of staff on a case-by-case basis. You will be asked to sign and comply with our digital photography agreement.

Circulation Policy

Patron Responsibilities

  • Present your Van Pelt and Opie Library or Courtesy Borrowing Card to check out any material.
  • Renew or returning all material by the due date.
  • Read and respond to all library notices promptly.
  • Notify the library if your card is lost or stolen.
  • Pay any fines or fees for late return or non-return of library materials checked out on your card.
  • Notify the library of a change in address, including email.
  • Contact the library if material charged on your card is lost or stolen.

Fees and Fines overdue materials

  1. Borrowed items kept beyond their due date are overdue. The library will send regular overdue notices to the patron via email or text. Please see the library’s Borrowing Rules and Fees chart for details.
  2. Loss of privileges will occur if
    • 3 items are overdue, or
    • A recalled item is overdue.
  3. If an item is recalled by a patron, fines of $5/day will accrue starting on the due date in the recall notice.
  4. Library patrons will receive e-mail warning notices 5 days prior to the due date. At that time patrons may:
    1. Renew the items:
    2. Return the item by the due date
  5. Library patrons will receive 3 warning notices. If the item is not returned within 3 weeks of the due date, the patron will be billed for the item plus a $10 processing charge.

Course Reserve Policy

Course reserve materials must comply with the U.S. copyright laws and university policies. The library will not knowingly place material on course reserve which violates the U.S. copyright law and/or university policies pertaining to copyright.

In some cases, copyright permission may be required in order to place published material on print or electronic course reserve. While the library can provide assistance in locating information about copyright or obtaining copyright permissions, ultimately copyright compliance is the responsibility of the instructor. Instructors should consult the University's policy on copyright, and the Fair Use section of the U.S. Copyright Law when considering copyright protected works for course reserves.

Course Textbooks Policy

The Van Pelt and Opie Library is unable to supply textbooks for Michigan Tech courses. As a general rule, it is financially infeasible for academic libraries nationally to supply textbooks for their students’ courses. A small number of works used as textbooks may become part of the library collection when they are germinal to a discipline as well as being used, currently or in the past, as a course textbook.These may be borrowed, but other students may request that the book be recalled so that the initial borrower will have only 21 days before the book must be returned.  

When a library book is also a textbook, the book may be placed on course reserve by the instructor. Course reserve makes the book available to multiple students for short periods of time, usually two hours, with use restricted to the library. When an instructor makes this request and the book is charged out, it is subject to immediate recall. Instructors may place their personal copy of the work on reserve. It is important to check the library’s catalog to see whether a print or e- book is in the library or on reserve.  

Interlibrary Loan is a means of borrowing books from other libraries. However, the use of these services - the Michigan eLibrary (MeLCat) or the library’s interlibrary loan service (ILLiad) - to obtain textbooks is not recommended or supported. Shorter loan periods, a 10 day delivery time, and other libraries’ policies prohibiting the lending of textbooks make these services impractical for obtaining textbooks needed for an entire semester.

Students who cannot acquire their textbooks through the Campus Bookstore or other retailers are encouraged to contact their course instructors. The instructor may have access to a copy of the text that can be placed on course reserves.

Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech Content Policy

Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech is a digital repository offering worldwide access to research, scholarship, campus publications and other creative works by members of the Michigan Tech community. This repository is a service of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. To learn about the types of content that can be deposited in Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech, please see the Content Policy. For more information, contact digitalcommons@mtu.edu.

Disability Policy

The library subscribes to the Michigan Tech's policy for disabled persons. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the Dean of Students at (906) 487-2212, or studentaffairs@mtu.edu.

eResources Policy

Responsible Use of Library Electronic or Digital Resources

Electronic or digital information resources provided by the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library (“Library”) are for non-commercial, scholarly and research uses by active students, faculty and staff of Michigan Technological University and for persons physically present in the library.

U.S. Copyright Law (including the protections of “fair use”), other federal and state laws, and the University’s contracts or licenses with licensors, publishers and other providers (“information providers”) govern the access, use and reproduction of these resources.

Allowable Use

  • Displaying, downloading, printing, copying and storing reasonable portions of the information or content is allowed.
  • It is generally permissible to link to articles or chapters instead of downloading.
  • Some electronic licenses permit the inclusion of content in course packs, electronic reserves, multiple copies for classroom use or inclusion in a Canvas course site.

Prohibited Use

  • Sharing of passwords or access codes.
  • Downloading large sets of articles, manually or through the use of software agents, robots, or search/retrieval applications to identify and download content. Note that systematic downloading is detectable by the information provider and traceable to a specific computer address.
  • Downloading entire issues of electronic journals, sequential chapters in online books or creating a large database of files on your computer, a server or a Canvas course site.
  • Engaging in actions intended to circumvent control mechanisms by the library or information provider.
  • Sharing of proprietary or client software to connect to an information resource including those that search and retrieve text.
  • Posting of copyrighted material on a publicly accessible Web site.
  • Enabling access to copyrighted publications or programs via a server or other technology in violation of the terms for which they have been licensed.
  • Re-sale or commercial use of licensed information.

Further Information

Licensors have the right, under the terms of their licenses with the University, to block access for the entire university based on a single user’s violation.

The Van Pelt and Opie Library can help you utilize content and eResources for your research and instructional needs and/or help you to obtain applicable copyright permission.

If you would like more information, or need assistance with research/reference questions, please contact us at reflib@mtu.edu.

Interlibrary Loan Policy

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is the sharing of resources between libraries to facilitate the research and instruction of members of the Michigan Technological University community (patrons). The library provides ILL services using two systems: ILLiad and MeLCat. The following information applies to all patrons of ILL, regardless of the system they use to request interlibrary loan services.

  • All patron and transaction information will be kept confidential.
  • This institution reserves the right to refuse or accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve a violation of copyright.
  • The Patron is responsible for:
    • Providing a clear and complete citation when submitting a request.
    • Being aware of and promptly responding to ILL notices sent via Michigan Tech email. Please see the library's Borrowing Rules and Fees chart for details.
    • Returning all borrowed items by the due date in the same condition in which they were received.
    • Returning any items recalled by the lending library within 3 days of being notified.
    • Honoring the due date and any special instructions noted on the borrowed item.
    • Requesting a renewal for a borrowed item before the due date.
    • Returning overdue items or responding to overdue notices promptly.
    • Reporting any lost or damaged ILL materials to ill@mtu.edu or (906) 487-3207.
    • Paying any recall fines, repair costs or replacement fees. See the Borrowing Rules and Fees chart for more details.
    • Reading and understanding the following statement regarding United States copyright law and ILL:

      The copyright law of the United States, Title 17, US Code, governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement.
  • Patrons who fail to observe their ILL responsibilities and the ILL policies may be blocked from ILL use and incur fines and fees.

Locker Policy

The library rents lockers for enrolled students only to use by the term or for the year. An agreement (available to view here) specifies what cannot be stored in these lockers. Staff will check the lockers for material that has not been charged out and for illegal or hazardous material. 

Locker rental is done at the Library Service Center.

Lost and Damaged Materials Replacement

To ensure access to Van Pelt and Opie Library materials for every patron and to comply with the requirements of our interlibrary loan partners, the borrower will be billed for the replacement costs and a $10.00 processing fee for lost or damaged items. This policy relates to items borrowed from the library and through MeLCat and ILLiad.

Borrowed items are considered lost when the patron has repeatedly failed to renew an item or to respond to notices sent through the university’s e-mail and:

  • Are kept more than 30 days past the due date
  • When the patron indicates that the item is lost
  • When the library staff has made a concerted effort over 7 days to find a book that a patron claimed was returned

Damaged material is material that cannot be used by another patron and cannot be repaired by the library staff.  

The library will:

  • Inform the patron of an item’s due date verbally and provide a written due date receipt or label upon item check-out
  • Provide guidance upon request about how a patron may renew a borrowed item using My Library Account, MyMeLCat or ILLiad and about restrictions on renewals.
  • Upon request from the patron, and prior to an item’s due date, either renew a borrowed item or request a renewal from a lending library for an interlibrary loan borrowed item on the patron’s behalf
  • Send regular notices to the patron’s email account on record when the item’s due date has passed
  • Promptly inform the patron via email of any revised due date resulting from an item’s renewal or recall
  • Inform the patron via email of the estimated replacement cost and processing fee prior to billing the patron
  • Ensure the patron’s rights and responsibilities concerning the borrowing of materials from this and other libraries are accessible through the library’s web site

The library cannot:

  • Renew any material after the item’s due date has passed
  • Accept a replacement copy of a lost item

Items borrowed from the Van Pelt and Opie Library or other libraries that have been found, even after the replacement cost has been paid should be returned to the library. While the library cannot normally refund the replacement cost, the Michigan Compiled Law (MCL750.391) defines damaging or keeping library materials overdue as larceny.

Approved by Library Administration May 11, 2016

1 A patron is any person that has borrowed material from the library or through interlibrary loan services including students, faculty, staff, unaffiliated (Courtesy Borrowers Card) borrowers including persons no longer affiliated with the university such as graduates.

Michigan Tech's Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy

The library subscribes to Michigan Tech's Acceptable Use of Information Technologies policy. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the Information Technology Services at (906) 487-1111, or it-help@mtu.edu.

Workshop Cancellation Policy

At the discretion of the workshop instructor, library workshops will be cancelled 48 hours in advance if there are fewer than 3 people registered. If a workshop must be cancelled due to low enrollment, the instructor will contact the registrants promptly by email to offer to make an appointment to meet with them individually to cover the workshop content and answer questions.

In very rare cases a workshop may also be cancelled due to emergency circumstances. When a workshop is cancelled for emergency reasons, registrants will be contacted promptly by email and the workshop will be rescheduled for as soon a date as possible.