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Library Homepage: Policies

 Union College Libraries :

  • Cranford-- MacKay Library, 1st and 2nd floors
  • Elizabeth-- Kellogg Library, 1st floor 
  • Plainfield Campus Library, Annex

The College libraries provide services and facilities to serve the varied information needs of the Union College community. Library faculty work with professors to develop in students a mindset of independent lifelong learning and competencies in information / digital literacy.

To meet the needs of the Union College community, librarians select, acquire, organize, and provide access to resources that support the curricula of the College as well as the research needs and broad interests of the College's students, faculty and staff.

User Policy

Physical Reserve items (books and DVDs) are available at the Circulation desk. Usage requires a currently validated Union College student ID. Physical Reserve items must be used in the Library, except when specified by faculty, and may be borrowed for up to two hours. Reserve materials that are not returned within two hours will incur a fine of ten dollars per hour. If a Reserve item is reported lost or stolen, campus Public Safety will be notified, will investigate and will file an incident report.  The borrower will incur a charge equal to the current replacement cost of the item plus a processing fee of five dollars.

The library copiers have scanning capability. The scanner function is available for academic use by registered Union College library patrons.  Print materials may be converted to electronic form and sent to an email address or to a USB storage device.   Smart phones can also be used as a scanner. Compliance with U.S. Copyright Law and regulations is the responsibility of the user.

Study rooms are available at each of the College libraries. Rooms are for academic use only and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

All library users are requested to be considerate and to refrain from using audio or electronic equipment at a volume that interferes with others. Audible sound from a study room may result in the eviction of all occupants.

  • Due to high demand, vacating a study room for twenty minutes shall be an indication that the user has abandoned it. Belongings will be retrieved by/held at Campus Public Safety.
  • The library is not responsible for materials left unattended in the rooms.
  • Remove all personal materials from the room when you leave.

All libraries are wheelchair accessible. Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance:, Cranford (908) 709-7623, Elizabeth (908) 965-6075, Plainfield (908) 412-3545.

Under the guidelines set forth in the Union College Student Handbook, children under 12 are not "authorized on campus property unless they are under the immediate supervision of a parent/guardian or enrolled in a special program being offered and supervised by the College.” Special programs include enrolled in Magnet School or Bridge program, or as part of supervised library visits by Continuing Education classes. This guideline extends to the Union College Libraries.

Resources from Other Libraries

It is not possible for any library to purchase and maintain every resource needed for the research needs of a college community. Therefore, the Libraries support an inter-library loan program for books and articles to supplement the resources in our collection. Visit the library’s Inter-library Loan LibGuide for complete details.

Allow at least two (2) weeks for loans to be filled. Borrowing policies are determined by the lending library. To request the renewal of the inter-library loan, contact the Library Director (908) 709-7622 at least five (5) days before the material is due.

Requests for textbooks will not be processed.

Borrowing periods vary; the borrower must abide by the lender’s time frame governing the return of materials.  All overdue costs must be borne by the individual borrower. 

Articles not available in the Union College Library collections can be requested through inter-library loan. Articles will be sent via email once the Library receives them.

ILL requests are submitted online using the link:

Union College full-time faculty and staff may apply for direct borrowing privileges at participating libraries by completing a VALE Faculty Reciprocal Borrowing Application form and submitting it to a librarian at any campus library. After the Union College Library Director signs the form, the requester can present the application along with a photo ID at the participating library's circulation desk. You will be issued borrowing privileges and/or a guest borrower card. Privileges are for one academic year and expire June 30th of each year. Over forty college and university libraries throughout New Jersey are part of the VALE Faculty Reciprocal Borrowing program.

All loan items are subject to the policies of the lending library. For more information visit the VALE website.

User Conduct and Security

The Union College Libraries are committed to providing a quiet, welcoming, respectful atmosphere conducive to study and research in an environment that is comfortable, clean, and safe for library users and personnel.  Any behavior that interferes with operation of the Union College Libraries may be considered disruptive.

The Libraries’ spaces and resources, including the Information Commons areas, are intended for use by individuals engaged in study, research, reading, and learning. Purely social activities and interactions should take place at other locations on campus.  The College provides specific areas for recreational activities such as the student commons and the cafeteria.  Meals should not be brought to or eaten at the libraries. Cell phone use should be confined to other areas and cell phones be set to vibrate as voice and audio impose on others using the communal library spaces.

In order to maintain the educational environment of the libraries for all patrons, support from Public Safety personnel and the Dean of Students may be necessary.

The conduct of any individual using the Union College Libraries is governed by all College policies, Union College Libraries' policies, and the Union College Student Regulations as stated in the Student Handbook.

Users who do not adhere to conduct guidelines outlined in the policies may be asked to leave and may be subject to College disciplinary action.

Please note:

  • Use of library Study Rooms/Areas, Computers, Adaptive Equipment, etc.:

Continuous use of any of the special services offered by the libraries is expected.  Any cessation longer than twenty minutes shall be an indication that the user has abandoned the service/equipment.  The service will be reclaimed by the library and will immediately become available to other users.  Any personal items abandoned will be turned over to Campus Security.  Occupancy, noise and food restrictions apply.  See posted signs in rooms.

  • Food and drink: Discreet drinking/eating (e.g., a snack [chip, granola bar]) is permitted. Deliveries of food to the library are not permitted. Meals (e.g., sandwiches, containers of food) may not be consumed in the Library or the Study Rooms and must be consumed outside those spaces. Drinks in containers that have lids or are spill-proof are allowed. Users are expected to adhere to the College’s no alcohol policy, as stated in the Student Handbook.
  • Noise and Other Disruptive Behavior:  Library users expect the libraries to be a place conductive to study and research.  All library users are requested to be considerate and to refrain from talking loudly, making noise, using audio or electronic equipment at a volume that interferes with others, or engaging in otherwise disruptive behavior.
  • Seating:  Seating may not hinder access within stacks, at emergency or fire doors, or in common transport/walking areas.
  • Photographs, recordings, videos, etc.: Library users may not take photographs, recordings, videos, etc. within the library without prior written permission from the library director.


Your Library Account

Your official Union College photo ID card is also your library card. This identification card is required to borrow library materials. No other form of ID will be accepted.

Gifts and Donations

The library will accept gifts that support its mission and that are appropriate to the collection.

The libraries cannot accept gifts of:

  • Textbooks
  • Magazines
  • Encyclopedias
  • Items in poor condition

Prospective donors are asked to contact the Acquisitions Librarian by email and submit a list of items for the Library's consideration.

Gifts received become the property of the Union College Libraries which reserves the right to use or dispose of any materials without obligation to the donor.

When necessary, any questions about accepting donations and related final decisions rest with the Director of Libraries.

The Union College Libraries do not appraise donated books.


Library Collections and Materials Selection

Resources acquired for the libraries are selected to support the mission of the College and to meet the instructional and research needs of the College Community. We strive to provide collections that are an unbiased and diverse source of information, representing as many viewpoints as possible. The library focuses on acquiring electronic resources that are accessible to the College community from any location.

Union College Libraries endorse the Library Bill of Rights and Intellectual Freedom statement adopted by the American Library Association. 


Faculty and administrative librarians develop collections in support of academic programs, typically in collaboration with instructional personnel in each Division.

The Library seeks recommendations from faculty, staff, administration, and students and will work to honor these requests when they support our collection development criteria.

Ultimate responsibility for collection building and management rests with the Director of Libraries.

The standards involved in selecting materials. Include relevance of the material to the educational programs of the College. Additional criteria considered during materials selection are as follows:

  • Accuracy and objectivity of information
  • Strength of present holdings in the subject area
  • Authority of the author or issuing authority
  • Timeliness of the material
  • Cost
  • Availability in electronic format
  • Suitability of the specific media to the content and teaching purposes
  • Reputation of the publisher
  • Replacement copies

Lost or damaged copies are not automatically replaced and include considerations such as the availability of the item and past demand for the item.

The Director of Libraries along with her/his designated librarian faculty and staff will be responsible for review and deaccessioning materials for the collection.

Deaccessioning materials enables the Libraries to provide collections that best serve students and college community. Criteria considered when evaluating materials for withdrawal from the collection:

  • Superseded editions
  • Obsolescence
  • Damaged, lost or long-overdue materials
  • Usage
  • Number of copies in the collection
  • Availability online
  • Changes in curriculum

Library Contact

Call a campus library for help:

Cranford: (908) 709-7623
Elizabeth: (908) 965-6075
Plainfield: (908) 412-3545


UCNJ LibGuides at Union College