Skip to Main Content

Library Home: Library Policies

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology's Library online guide.

PIT Mission

The mission of the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology is Student Success.

The College provides a supportive environment to enable committed students to succeed by offering the best collegiate education for career advancement, transfer opportunities, and personal growth.

Policy Documents

ACRL is the source that the higher education community looks to for standards, guidelines, and frameworks on academic libraries. ACRL develops standards, guidelines, and frameworks to help libraries, academic institutions, and accrediting agencies understand the components of an excellent library. These standards, guidelines, frameworks, and model statements are reviewed and updated by the membership on a regular basis. The ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures contains complete information on the creation and review of ACRL standards, guidelines, and frameworks.

Conditions of Library Use

Library Access

The following conditions apply to the use of the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology's  Library electronic resources. To ensure the legal and ethical use of these resources, please read and comply with these conditions.

Licensing Restrictions

The Library, a service of the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology (P.I.T.), subscribes to a variety of databases, full-text journal collections, and other resources or services for which the college contracted with a publisher or vendor to receive. Licensing restrictions required by publishers and/or vendors who produce electronic resources or services require limiting the access to the resources and/or services to authorized users.

Violation of terms of the license agreement could result in the cancelation of the service for the entire College.

Authorized Users

Authorized users may use electronic resources solely for scholarly, research, or educational purposes. Authorized users consist of currently registered students, alumni (restricted use – see below), and currently employed team members and faculty of P.I.T. Remote access to resources is limited to authorized users. The Library is required to restrict access to authorized users by verifying usernames and passwords, or by restricting access to IP (internet protocol) addresses.

Giving unauthorized users access to usernames, passwords or other identifying information is a violation of the publisher-library agreements and may result in disciplinary or legal action. Redistribution of copyrighted, electronic resources to unauthorized users is also prohibited, including printouts. P.I.T. reserves the right to terminate electronic services to users who repeatedly infringe upon the rights of copyright owners.

PIT Library Borrowing Policies

PIT library materials designated for circulation may be checked out by students, faculty, and staff using their PIT ID cards. Borrowers are responsible for materials checked out in their names.

If unsure of an item’s location, a patron should use the “Library Search” feature on the website and note the location, call number, and title.  The patron should take that information to the Information Desk.  The patron will either be directed to a location in the stacks or library personnel will retrieve the material.

Confidentiality of Library Records

Under Pennsylvania law, 24 P.S. §4428, library records relating to an individual patron’s use of the library and its resources are confidential.

Types of Materials Available

  • Reserve materials primarily include textbooks and software currently used as required reading for courses. These materials circulate to students and staff for 3 hours and to faculty for 7 days. No renewals are permitted. Borrowers may not check out reserve materials overnight.
  • Regularly circulating materials include monographs, periodicals, editions of study aids other than current editions. These circulate until the end of the current semester and may be renewed up to 90 days from the original checkout date.

Borrowing Privileges by Patron Category

  • PIT faculty may check out non-reserve library materials for the academic year with a due date occurring in May, which is determined by the university library.
  • PIT students, staff, and visiting scholars may check out non-reserve library materials until the end of the current semester and may be renewed up to 90 days from the original checkout date. These patrons may check out Reserve materials for 3 hours.
  • PIT alumni must use materials during the same day of the visit and on premises.

Requests for Recall

This service is available to PIT faculty only. If an item is recalled, the patron has 5 days to return the item before their borrowing privileges are suspended. Items that have been recalled cannot be renewed.

Fines, Fees, and Blocks

Material Type



$5 per hour overdue

Regularly circulating materials



$1 per day up to the maximum replacement cost of $50.00 per device.

Fines begin to accumulate on the first day or the first hour after an item is overdue.

Fines and Fees Timeline

  • Circulation privileges are suspended once fines have accumulated to $35, and the patron’s borrowing privileges are suspended until the fine is paid.
  • If an item is 60 days overdue, the item is considered lost. Either the replacement cost of the item or a $200 fee is assessed to the patron.
  • Items returned after 60 days usually will not be accepted due to the probability a replacement copy already has been purchased by the library.
  • No refunds will be issued.
  • The library does not accept replacement copies for lost materials.

Overdue Notices

Overdue notices are sent to patrons via their PIT email account at intervals of 1, 3, 10, and 45 days after the due date. At 60 days after the due date, the item is considered lost. Please see the Fines and Fee Timeline detailed above for more information about lost items.

Damaged Items

Return of materials in a damaged condition will be treated as “lost,” and the borrower will be subject to the Fines and Fees Timeline detailed above. The library does not accept replacement copies in lieu of payment.

Claims Returned

Upon request, library personnel will search the stacks for material that a patron believes has been returned. The material will remain on the patron’s record pending the search. If found, the item and associated overdue or lost charges will be removed from the patron’s record. If not found, the patron will be assessed a lost item charge.

Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policies

The Collection Development policy states the principles and guidelines that the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology Library follows in the selection, acquisition, and management of all Library resources. The purpose of the policy is to provide consistency among the persons responsible for collection development and transparency for operational decisions.

Intellectual Freedom

The Pennsylvania Institute of Technology Library supports the American Library Association's (ALA) Library Bill Of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement, and the “Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries.” The Library has adopted sections of the Library Bill of Rights applicable to collection development as approved by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Board of Directors. The general principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights form an indispensable framework for building collections, services, and policies that serve the entire academic community.

Collection Scope

The primary subject areas collected are those that serve to support the instructional, research, and information needs of the school community. Materials are organized by discipline and subject topics, via the Library of Congress classification system (LOC). The main language of the collection is English. 

Electronic Resources include, but are not limited to, electronic serials or collections of serials; online bibliographic or numeric databases; electronic reference materials; electronic monographs or collections of monographs. Traditional selection criteria apply to electronic resources. However, due to the unique nature of electronic resources, special criteria need also be applied.

Resource Selection

Print and electronic resources must be relevant and appropriate to a significant segment of the Libraries' users, meet current academic and research needs, and support the Library and PIT's mission statements. Resources considered for acquisition and/or inclusion into the collection should meet most if not all of the following guidelines:

  • Affordability 

  • Access by Proxy

  • No requirements for additional or special hardware or software, other than what is freely available and widely used

  • Compatibility across different platforms (PC, Mac, etc.)

  • Full-text availability in PDF and/or HTML

  • Trial period available for review of the resource prior to purchase decision

  • Value-added enhancements and/or improved access, such as:

    • Availability independent of time or location

    • Greater functionality, including multiple search indexes

    • More extensive content

    • More up-to-date content

  • User experience, interface, and navigation should be user-friendly and provide assistance to the user by prompts and menus, context or function-specific help screens, or tutorials.

  • Vendor reliability as to the content, business practices, customer and technical support, documentation, and training, and notification of content and format changes.

  • Availability of Counting Electronic Usage of Networked Electronic Resources (COUNTER) compliant usage data

  • Acceptable license terms

o    No Digital Rights Management (DRM), preferred

o   Unlimited simultaneous users preferred 

o    Perpetual access preferred

  • Compliant with ADA guidelines and standards.


The Library will negotiate the best possible license with each vendor. Each resource may have different terms and not all preferences may be met. In general, the vendor should provide a standard agreement that describes the terms of the license in easy-to-understand and explicit language. Licenses should include, but are not limited to:

  • Broad definitions of authorized users including faculty, students, and staff

  • Warranties that the licensor has the right and authority to license the material.

  • Continuous service and scheduled downtime clause.

  • Guaranteed anonymity of the users and confidentiality of their information.


Renewal or Removal of Content

The Library reserves the right to add or remove content at its discretion, and in accordance with this policy.

Resources are reviewed and reassessed before renewal. A resource may be withdrawn from the collection when:

  • The resource no longer supports the curriculum and/or research needs of the school

  • The resource is no longer available or maintained.

  • The resource is no longer reliable or relevant.

  • The resource overlaps or duplicates material in another resource that provides more comprehensive coverage of the subject.

  • The information is available in a more suitable format.

  • Usage or circulation statistics indicate a declining level of interest.

  • Cost is not commensurate with usage.

  • The current product becomes obsolete or damaged.

  • Budget reductions force cancelation of products.