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About the Library

  • Saint Francis University Library is located at the heart of SFU's beautiful campus. View the campus map here. For more information please contact the Public Services desk at 814-472-3160. Also, you can read our Mission and Vision statements.

    Collections and Progams

    The library has a robust Information Literacy program that serves students at all phases of their academic career and helps make graduates that are adept at identifying information needs, finding appropriate information, and using it ethically. 

    The library maintains a focused print collection of more than 65 thousand books which strives to support the curriculum. Also, we have a robust array of electronic resources including streaming video, ebooks, and hundred's of thousands of full-text periodicals in our databases.

    Library Staff Directory

  • Circulation of Materials

    Circulation of Materials Policy

    Approved by the Committee on Resources, Academic and Library 02/08/2018


    Circulation transactions are legal contracts between the library and the borrower. Borrowers are responsible for appropriate care of library materials charged out to them. The library is responsible for keeping borrowers' records confidential. Prompt return of library materials when due is a consideration shown to fellow library users.



    All students, faculty, faculty emeriti, and staff of Saint Francis University may borrow materials from the Library, access online resources, and request items via Interlibrary Loan. A Saint Francis University Identification Card is your "Library card". Cards are not transferrable. Borrowing privileges are available to Community Borrowers and Retired Employees (SFU Circulating Collections only). 


    Circulating Collections:

    The length of time library materials may be borrowed, also known as the loan period, varies depending on the type of material. Current loan regulations are:

    • General Collection’s -- 4 weeks
    • Sound  and Video Recordings -- 1 week
    • Reserve Material -- 4 hours, 24 hours, or one week as denoted by faculty
    • Equipment – 4 hours or 1 week

    Faculty may borrow general collection’s books for 6 months.


    Reserve material and equipment is not available to Community Borrowers.


    Library Use Only Collections:

    • Reference Materials
    • Periodicals and Newspapers
    • Rare Books/TCA Collection
    • Archival Collections
    • CMC Tests


    Most items can be renewed before the due date by logging into your library account.

    Items can also be renewed in person at the Public Services desk by calling, 814-472-3160 during library hours or send an email to Please have your University ID card and materials at hand when you place the call. The current number of renewals permitted for all materials is two, unless recalled by library staff.


    Interlibrary Loan materials may be renewed by logging into the patron Interlibrary Loan account.

    Overdue Notices:

    All notices are sent to the patron's University email address.


    The WMS system generates the following Loan Overdue Notifications:

    • Notification 1: 4 Days before Due Date
    • Notification 2: 5 Days after First Notice
    • Notification 3: 7 Days after 2nd Notification
    • Notification 4: 7 Days after the 3rd Notification

    The report of "Outstanding Fees and Bills" is generated at the beginning of each month.  The Head of Access Services sends another email asking the patron to return the item.  If it is not returned the replacement bill is sent to the Business Office one week after the last email is sent.

    Replacement Charges:

    Library users must pay the full cost of replacing lost or damaged items, plus a $15.00 processing charge. Charges are based upon the type of material which has been lost or damaged. Charges for an Interlibrary Loan item that is not returned or returned damaged vary depending upon charges received from the lending library.  ILL should NOT be viewed as a book rental services- Fine for an overdue Interlibrary Loan item is $1.00 per day.


    Reserve Materials:

    Reserve Materials are information resources which have been identified by instructors as required or supplemental to course requirements. The library controls access to reserve materials in order to allow them to be utilized by as many students as possible in order to fulfill course assignments. Reserve materials can be identified by browsing the Course Reserveslink which is available on the Library website ( Reserve materials may be obtained at the Public Services Desk and can only be used within the library for a four hour period unless indicated otherwise by the professor. A valid Saint Francis University ID is required in order to check out reserve materials. 


    Faculty may submit a Reserve Materials form online or print the form which is available as a  PDF. In accordance with copyright law, only original materials may be placed on reserve. Photocopied pages from journals, books, or other copyrighted materials cannot be placed on reserve. Interlibrary loan materials may not be placed on reserve. Only original visual or audio material may be placed on reserve. No more than 2 of the same item will be accepted.


    Suspension of Privileges:

    Borrowing privileges may be suspended when library materials are lost or stolen while charged out to the borrower, for documented incidents of vandalism, theft or for other offenses.


    Community Borrowers:

    Community Borrowers are those library users who are not Saint Francis University students, faculty, or staff. The Saint Francis University Library serves as a local community resource, and provides a range of services to Community Borrowers who enjoy a special relationship with the University. All Circulation Policies apply to Community Borrowers.  Overdue notices will be sent to the email address provided on the Community Borrower Application.


    To become a Community Borrower, please complete the  Community Borrower Form. Fees are determined as follows:

    • Family Annual Membership - $25.00
    • Individual Annual Membership - $15.00
    • High School Student Annual Membership - $7.50

    Retired Employees:

    Retired employees are welcome to borrow materials of the Saint Francis University Library upon presentation of a “retired faculty or staff” identification card.

    Resource Plan

    Resource Plan

    Approved by the Committee on Resources, Academic and Library 02/08/2018




    This policy governing Resource Planning and Collection Development applies to the selection of all materials comprising the collections of the Saint Francis University Library.




    The Saint Francis University Library provides the students, faculty, and staff of Saint Francis University and members of the community at large with excellent access to information resources, support for academic programs, and also promotes intellectual freedom as described in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement.




    The Associate Dean of Library Services is the chief collection development officer within the Saint Francis University Library. Faculty and administrators are responsible for developing the various academic programs, of which adequate library resources are a major component. All teaching faculty are able to request the purchase of library materials, in a wide variety of formats that support the curriculum. It is the responsibility of the Associate Dean of Library Services, with the assistance of the Library Liaisons and the Head of Technical Services, to monitor the acquisition of library materials in order to ensure development of collections which are balanced and appropriate for the curriculum at Saint Francis University. Final authority for materials selection rests with the Dean of Library Services.


    Resource Selection Criteria




    All materials should be of contemporary significance and/or permanent value, and should provide for the curricular and research needs of the University community.



    • Electronic Resources: Electronic full-text formats are preferred when the electronic version equitably duplicates the original format (text, images, etc.) and when it is cost effective to provide remote, universal access to such materials. The Saint Francis University Library subscribes to electronic resources that will benefit a large number of users. Subject-specific electronic resources are selected based on the number of users served, recommendation of academic departments and accrediting agencies.
    • Print Resources: Purchased upon request by faculty or librarians  
    • Books: Selection is based on publications that support the curriculum. Textbooks are not purchased; their content changes too rapidly and the theft rate for those items is too great. English is the principal language for purchase, although foreign language materials may also be acquired. Government documents are purchased on a selected basis for the general collection and for specific courses.
    • Periodicals and Standing Orders: Selection is based on publications that support the curriculum. Titles are requested by faculty and reviewed by the Library Liaison to the department to ensure that the materials meet curricular needs. The canceling and adding of subscriptions is carefully reviewed in order to maintain the continuity of the periodical/standing order collection.
    • Media, Sound, or Visual Resources: Materials purchased should meet professional standards. Selection is based on requests from faculty, students, and staff. Should be of sufficient quality to ensure the ability to view/listen with current technology. The suggested format is the current digital format. 

    Evaluation and Removal Criteria


    Electronic Resources:

    Electronic resources are evaluated annually. Subscriptions to electronic resources will be discontinued based on usage, content, and recommendations of accrediting agencies, library professional staff, and academic departments.


    Print Resources:

    When removing print material from the collection the following criteria may be considered:

    • Duplication of subject matter
    • Material is damaged and cannot be repaired or replaced
    • Usage
    • Material contains obsolete or incorrect information
    • Appropriateness of the subject matter to the current collections and academic programs
    • Recommendations by accrediting agencies, library professional staff and in collaboration with academic departments
    • Number of holdings in a national database

    Media Resources:

    Replacement of media resources will be based on the use of the material and the recommendations of library professional staff and academic departments.



    The Technical Services Manager is responsible for the initial review, acceptance, or refusal of donations for the library collection. The Library Liaisons are responsible for the final decision on acceptance of donations in light of the curriculum and existing collection.


    The Saint Francis University Library will accept donations of materials for the library collection based on the following:

    • Books
    • Journals
    • Media, Visual, or Sound Resources: current digital format
    • Children's books

    The following items will not be accepted:

    • Textbooks
    • Materials in poor condition (i.e. materials that are missing pages, heavily marked with highlighters or crayons, margins full of handwritten notes, water damaged or clipped of pictures)
    • Materials that have been stored in attics or basements (these items may be infested with insects or exposed to mold)


    Materials donated to the Saint Francis University Library become the property of the University. The Saint Francis University Library will accept donations according to collection needs and reserves the right to decide matters of retention, location, cataloging, and physical processing. The Saint Francis University Library is not responsible for keeping all donations. If accepted, materials are searched for duplication within the collection. Duplicates are compared with the existing material and kept if the donated copy is in better condition. Materials not needed for the library collection will be offered to patrons as free items, recycled or discarded unless the donor requests the items be returned 


    Receipt and Acknowledgement:

    Donations may be delivered to the Saint Francis University Library Public Services Desk where the donor is asked to fill out the Saint Francis University Library Donations Form. Donors can download the form in PDF format and complete it before delivering the materials to the Public Services Desk. On the form the donor can indicate if they wish for materials to be returned to them if the donation has been declined. Upon notification of a declined donation, donors will be responsible for retrieving these items from the Saint Francis University Library within 30 days.


    The Saint Francis University Library acknowledges each donation with a letter of thanks from the Dean of Library Services.  


    Tax Issues:

    Materials donated to the Saint Francis University Library are considered non-cash charitable donations. The library does not provide appraisals of donated materials for tax purposes. It is the responsibility of the donor to determine the value of the donated items and provide this information on the Donation Form. Once the donation becomes a part of the processing workflow, the library can no longer accommodate any appraiser. Therefore, the value of the items should be determined before the donation is made.


    The Library will send notification to the Saint Francis University Advancement Office for those donors requiring documentation of the donation for tax purposes. The Advancement Office will send the necessary documentation directly to the donor.  



    Bookplates are created upon the request of the donor. These bookplates may bear the donor's name and/or the names of those in whose honor or memory the donation is made.

    Interlibrary Loan

    Interlibrary Loan Policy

    Approved by the Committee on Resources, Academic and Library 02/08/2018


    Interlibrary Loan provides access to materials which are not available within the collections of the Saint Francis University Library. In order to provide global access to information resources, the Library participates in the OCLC Resource Sharing network, reciprocal borrowing programs, and library consortia.


    The Saint Francis University Library provides basic interlibrary loan services at no cost to University users. The library also pays the cost of postage to send books to distance education students, and the cost for the return of these books to the Library.


    Interlibrary loan requests are processed by the Library's Public Services Staff. Users must supply complete information; otherwise, requests cannot be processed. Requests are generally filled within two weeks.


    Users are encouraged to utilize the Library's electronic and print collections to their fullest potential before submitting interlibrary loan requests. Interlibrary loan requests are screened during processing to assure that the Library's collections do not meet research needs. Users are encouraged to work with Information Services Librarians when doing research.


    When using the Saint Francis University Library Electronic Resources, you will find links to Request via Interlibrary Loan which will automatically populate the form with the requested items details. In addition to receiving information about the status of your interlibrary loan requests, you will also be able to receive your journal articles electronically and renew borrowed materials. For those difficult to find resources, you can complete a New Request form to directly request these resources.


    Things you should know:

    • First time users, login with your University network username and password. 
    • Once you have done so, you can submit new requests, review your requests, or request renewals.
    • The Saint Francis University Library does not borrow or purchase dissertations for library patrons. Should you need to obtain a copy of a dissertation, please visit UMI Dissertation Express.
    • Do not use interlibrary loan to request textbooks.  The strength of the service lies with providing access to research materials and pleasure reading. Most libraries have time limits on lending items, usually with one renewal, and then expect their materials to be returned. Interlibrary Loan should be viewed as a book rental service.
    • Charges for an Interlibrary Loan item that is not returned or returned damaged vary depending upon charges received from the lending library.
    • The fine for an overdue Interlibrary Loan item is $.25 per day.

    Commitment to Privacy

    Approved by the Committee on Resources, Academic and Library 02/08/2018


    The Library of Saint Francis University values the privacy of individuals using library resources. The Saint Francis University Library subscribes to the American Library Association Code of Ethics as a guide for protecting the privacy of our users. The Saint Francis University Library will only release names or other personally identifying details in response to a search warrant, subpoena, or other lawful directives issued in accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1801, et seq., as amended by the USA PATRIOT ACT (Public Law 107-56), and Pennsylvania Law 24 P.S. Section 428. Personal information collected from library users is used to process requests and meet an individual’s library information and resource needs. The Saint Francis University Library does not sell personal information to any third party.


    Saint Francis University Library's Website

    The Library uses non-identifiable information from each visitor to the Library's website in order to analyze patterns of use and improve the site's functionality. The Library's website contains links to websites and licensed databases that are maintained outside of the Saint Francis University Library. The Library is not responsible for the privacy practices of these external third-party websites.


    Information We Collect Voluntarily From Users

    Library users may provide personal information, such as an email address or phone number, which will enable the Library to notify you when certain information, materials, or services become available. For example, we ask for personal information to effectively respond to your requests for material from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan or to answer a reference question.


    Saint Francis University Library's Commitment to Data Security

    To keep data safe (i.e. prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy and ensure the correct use of information) we have put in place standard protocols for data security. These protocols include the appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.


    How to Contact Us

    If you would like to contact us for any reason regarding our privacy practices, please email us at the following address: Sandra A. Balough, Dean of Library Services,

    Copyright Compliance


    The Saint Francis University Library adheres to, and urges its users to adhere to, United States copyright law. This page provides helpful resources so that others may better understand what it means to be copyright compliant. You may also be interested in the SFU Copyright Policy.

    Copyright Law

    Copyright is a "principle of American law. . .that an author of a work may reap the fruits of his or her intellectual creativity for a limited period of time. Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. “Copyright” literally means the right to copy. The term has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to authors for protection of their work. The owner of copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and, in the case of certain works, publicly perform or display the work; to prepare derivative works; in the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission; or to license others to engage in the same acts under specific terms and conditions. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, slogan, principle, or discovery." From Copyright Circular 1a 

    Learn more about copyright

    Fair Use

    What is Fair Use?

    Section 107 of the Copyright Act governs fair use of copyrighted works. Section 107 states: The fair use of a copyrighted work...for the purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching...scholarship, or research is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered...include: the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    Not sure if your use is "fair use"?

    Try the Fair Use Evaluator. "This tool is designed to help you better understand how to determine the "fairness" of a use under the U.S. Copyright Code. The tool will help you collect, organize & archive the information you might need to support a fair use evaluation by providing you with a time-stamped, PDF document for your records, which could prove valuable, should you ever be asked by a copyright holder to provide your fair use evaluation and the data you used to support it."

    Additional Useful Resources

    Creative Commons - "Creative Commons helps you share your knowledge and creativity with the world. Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation." Don't want to claim full copyright protection for your work? Use one of the many Creative Commons licenses to do so.

    Copyright Cleanrance Center - "[P]rovides collective copyright licensing services for corporate and academic users of copyrighted materials. CCC procures agreements with rights holders, primarily academic publishers, and then acts as their agent in arranging collective licensing for institutions and one-time licensing for document delivery services, course packs, and other access and uses of texts". From Wikipedia

    Course Reserves

    Library Course Reserves Policy

    Approved by Committee on Resources, Academic and Library 09/20/2016



    The primary purpose of course reserves is to make limited supplies of library and faculty owned materials available to students.  Course reserves are treated as an extension of classroom copying under Section 107 of the copyright code, and as such must conform to fair use principles.

    All materials submitted by a faculty member must support course-related teaching, scholarship, or research and must be, or originate from, a lawfully obtained copy.  In order to place an item on reserve, faculty members must complete the Course Reserve Form online ( or by obtaining a paper copy at the Public Services Desk.   Please allow 24 hours for materials to be placed on reserve. 

    Library Collections

    Books, DVDs, and CDs from the library’s collection may be placed on course reserve at the request of a faculty member.  Journals and reference materials are not accepted. Photocopied articles from library-owned journals may be placed on reserve, subject to fair use principles. ( Copyright Compliance – Fair Use)

    Other Materials

    Faculty members’ personal copies of books and lawfully-acquired DVDs and CDs may be placed on course reserve.  Lawfully-acquired media materials are, in general, purchased originals; copies are not considered lawful for the purpose of the course reserve shelf.

    Faculty-owned journals may be placed on the course reserve shelf in their entirety (issue).

    Items that are not acceptable include (but are not limited to)

    • interlibrary loaned materials
    • workbooks, worksheets, and other consumables
    • books, DVDs, CDs, or videotapes belonging to other libraries or video rental stores
    • videotapes, DVDs, or other copies made from cable and/or satellite broadcasts
    • unauthorized copies of videotapes, DVDs, CDs, CD software, or MP3 files

    Removing an Item from Course Reserves

    The Public Services staff will remove all course reserve material at the end of the semester, unless the library is notified in advance that the same course will be offered the following semester. If an item is to be taken off reserve prior to the end of the semester, twenty-four-hour notification is expected, thus allowing the Public Services staff time to de-accession the material from the library system. All items will be returned to the library stacks or to the faculty member. Library staff will notify the faculty member when items have been removed from reserve.  Faculty items can be picked up in person or they can be inter-office mailed to them.  If no response is given, after 2-weeks library staff will send items to faculty offices.

    Building Use Policy

    Food and beverages are permitted in the library. Please pick up after yourself and dispose of trash and recyclables in the designated containers.

    Group Study, Classrooms and Conference Rooms:

    • There are 3 Group Study Rooms available to students in the library.  They can be used on first-come-first-serve basis by coming to the Public Services Desk and presenting a Student ID.  Each room can be used for 4 hours.

    • There are 2 Classrooms (205 and 206) that are under the authority of the Registrar’s Office.  Please contact the Registrar’s Office to book these classrooms.

    • There are 2 Classrooms under the authority of the library (LL11 and 203).  Please contact the Public Services Desk at 814-472-3160 or to book these rooms.

    • There is one Conference Room in the Margaret M. Tobin Archives and Special Collections on the 4th floor of the library.  Please contact the Public Services Desk at 814-472-3160 or to book this area.

    Use of the Library for Student Training or Course Related Activities:

    The library welcomes the use of its facilities to faculty and students to support educational development.  The library is an essential location for all SFU students to study and do research. Therefore, we must be careful when scheduling group activities that may disturb library users.

    • Permission for group activities must be given by the Dean of Library Services before the event is scheduled. Send an email to the Dean with the date, time, area of the library being used, purpose of the event and the number of participants.  Do not schedule the event until you have received an email confirmation from the Dean.

    • No group activities during finals week.

    • Maximum number of participants: 45