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Library Policies

Conduct in the Library

While using resources in the L. Douglas Wilder Library & Learning Resource Center, students are expected to conduct themselves according to policies set forth in their Student Handbook and adhere to any posted library policies. Students not following these policies will be subject to the disciplinary actions as described in their Student Handbook.

Cell Phone Use Policy

The L. Douglas Wilder Library & Learning Resource Center strives to provide an atmosphere that is both welcoming and conducive to research and study. Cell phone use is limited in the library to minimize distraction to others needing quiet study and research areas as well protect the privacy needs of all library users.

Ringing phones and loud conversations make it difficult for library users to have a positive experience in the library. And while we understand that there are instances in which cell phone use is necessary (as in cases of emergency), we do ask for library users to observe the following courtesies:

  • Turn off cell phone ringer (or set to vibrate)
  • Limit cell phone use to Library hallways, Library Atrium (lobby) or outside of Library building.
  • Please, NO talking on cell phones in the Library Reading Rooms or Computer Lab.
  • Please observe the cell phone use warning signs displayed throughout the library.

Food & Drink Policy

In order to maintain a clean and comfortable environment and minimize the destruction of library materials, food and drinks are not permitted in the library. Water fountains are available near the public restrooms on both the first and second floors. We ask that all food be consumed prior to entering the library building.

Noise and Behavior Policy

Excessive noise, such as loud talking and music from headphones loud enough for others to hear, is prohibited. In addition, rowdy, disruptive and disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. In the event that a student or a group of students must be spoken to repeatedly, campus police will be called to have those students removed from the library. More than one offense may result in expulsion from the library for the remainder of the semester.

Wilder Library is a campus facility designed to support the academic mission of the University. We ask that all library users partner with library faculty and staff to make Wilder Library a comfortable, clean and pleasant place in which to study and do research.

Internet and Computer Use Policies


Wilder Library provides computer terminals with access to electronic resources to enhance the academic experience of students, faculty and staff. Terminals in the Reference and Periodicals areas on the first floor of the library may be used only to search for information. Computers for word processing purposes are available on the second floor of the library.

Use of library computers is restricted to Virginia Union University students, faculty, staff and alumni. Users of computer terminals should respect the rights of others by acting responsibly and courteously. Wilder Library expects all patrons to comply with local, state and federal laws regarding the use of computers. Library faculty and staff reserve the right to monitor computer usage in order to track problems and to insure equal and appropriate access for all users.

Paper copies of our telecommunications policies are available upon request.

Acceptable Use

Use of all computers should be associated with an academic purpose.

  • Highest priority in the Reference and Periodicals areas is given to patrons searching for course-related information.
  • Highest priority in the Computer Lab is given to patrons using word processing.
  • Second highest priority is given to patrons searching for course-related information.
  • Medium priority is given to patrons searching for information with an educational or research benefit indirectly related to coursework.
  • Lowest priority is given to recreational use and personal communications.
  • Patrons may use library computers for e-mail if no one needs to use those computers for searching or word processing purposes.

Computer Lab (library 2nd floor) Users must sign in at desk.  Computer use in the library lab is limited to VUU students, faculty, staff and VUU alumni.  Patrons who do not sign in to use the computers will automatically be given lowest priority of use, and will be asked to leave before patrons who have signed in.

Unacceptable Use

The use of unlicensed software on library computer systems and the copying of library licensed software is prohibited. No software may be installed on or deleted from university computers.

  • Use of chat rooms is prohibited.
  • Viewing of pornography is prohibited.
  • Games are prohibited.

Use of library computers for purposes of personal or private gain, including business or commercial purposes unrelated to university-sanctioned scholarship, is prohibited.

University resources may not be used for obscene or harassing behavior or in way that would abridge another person’s right to privacy.

Usernames (i.e. login id) and passwords are assigned as a service of Virginia Union University. Users should not give passwords to other persons, as users assume responsibility for any unauthorized or illegal use of their accounts.

Violation of These Policies

If a member of the library faculty or staff encounters a patron violating the library’s computer use policy, he or she may first ask the user to leave the terminal. If the user refuses to give up the computer terminal, the librarian or staff member will call security, after which an incident report will be submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Violation of the above policies may result in suspension of library and/or computer use privileges, including access to all computer labs. Such suspension will remain in effect until the matter can be dealt with according to the procedures outlined in the Code of Student Conduct and the Faculty or Staff Handbook as appropriate.

NOTE: Minors wishing to use Wilder Library’s Electronic Resources must first obtain parental consent and fill out our Internet User Agreement and Parental Permission Form.

Copyright Information

What Is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection intended to protect the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.

This protection is provided by the laws of the United States under title 17 of the U.S. Code and is available to both published and unpublished works.

Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do so and to authorize others to do the following:

  • To duplicate the work in copies
  • To create comparable works based upon the work
  • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
  • To perform the work publicly in the case of literary, musical, dramatic and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • To display copyrighted work publicly in the case of literary, musical, dramatic and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyrighted work.

What Works Are Protected?

1. Literary works
2. Musical works, including any accompanying words
3. Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
4. Pantomimes and choreographic works
5. Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
6. Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
7. Sound recordings
8. Architectural works
9. Photographs
10. Museum reproductions of paintings or other works of art

These categories are to be viewed broadly. These categories do not necessarily cover every type of material that can be copyrighted.

What Works Are Not Protected?

Several categories of material are usually not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include but are not limited to the following:

1. Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression such as choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded
2. Improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded.
3. Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans
4. Common symbols or designs
5. Slight variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering or coloring
6. Simple listings of ingredients or contents
7. Ideas, procedures, processes, principles, discoveries, or devices as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration
8. Works consisting solely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship (for example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, etc)

Examples of Copyright Violations In Academia

  • A faculty member places several full-text articles on the class web page. The web page is not password protected and can be read by anyone with access to the Internet.
  • A student uses a corporate logo on a personal web page without permission from the copyright holder.
  • A faculty member scans graphics from books and includes them on the class web page but does not include the origin of the graphics on the web page.
  • A university staff member uses a published photograph as background for his/her web site without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder.
  • Students use Napster or similar utilities to download copyright protected music without permission from the copyright holder.

L. Douglas Wilder Library Policy On Copyright

Copyright is a form of protection intended to provide the authors of original works of authorship a measure of control over their creations. Copyright issues are of particular concern because protected materials can be copied and transmitted with ease in the digital age. It is the responsibility of all students, staff and faculty at Virginia Union University to understand and comply with copyright laws.

Software Copyright Policy

Software available for use on the computers at L. Douglas Wilder Library and Learning Resource Center are protected under federal copyright law. As an educational institution, we are not excused from these laws. Software may also be protected by a license agreement between the purchaser and the software vendor. The above mentioned software is provided through the University for use by faculty, staff and students and may be used only on computing equipment as identified in the various licenses.

It is Library policy to respect the copyright protections provided under federal law. It is against our policy for faculty, staff and students to copy any licensed software or other intellectual property on University-owned Library computing equipment except as expressly permitted by the software license or other granting authority. Faculty, staff and students may not use illegally obtained reproductions of software on Library computers. Unauthorized use of such software is considered a serious matter and is subject to disciplinary action by the proper authorities.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The protection offered by copyright law extends not just to those works that are published, printed materials such as books and magazine articles but also to those works that are unpublished. The DMCA ensures copyright protection for all forms of a work including its digital transmission and use.
For more information on the DMCA and other aspects of copyright law, visit the United States Copyright Office.

Copyright FAQs

When is a work protected by copyright?

A work is protected as soon as it is created. Assume copyright protection even if you don't see a notice of copyright on the work.
What does it mean when a work is placed in the public domain?

Public domain materials are those works without a copyright. In these cases, the works are considered to be in the public domain because:

  • The copyright has expired.
  • The author never claimed copyright.
  • The works are created by the federal government.

Can entire journal issues be photocopied?

No. This is a copyright violation. In addition, only five requests may be made from a periodical title going back five years.
What is Fair Use?

Fair use refers to a statutory law that makes it permissible to limited amounts of a work for reasons relating to criticism, news reporting and scholarly endeavors. However, there is no rule governing the specific percentage of the work that can be used.

Does Fair Use allow an individual such as a teacher to copy a work for educational use without obtaining prior permission from the copyright holder?

Fair use allows a teacher to make a single copy for educational purposes. Fair use uses four factors in determining whether or not an article qualifies:

  • Purpose and character of the use
  • Nature of the copyrighted work
  • Amount and substantiality used
  • Market effect of the material used

Would a collection of photocopied articles and book chapters, i.e. a course pack, be within Fair Use guidelines?

No. A compilation of previously published works into a new compilation would be considered a new publication.

Copyright Information
Disclaimer: The information contained on these pages should not be construed as legal advice from L. Douglas Wilder Library at Virginia Union University.