Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Policies

COVID-19 Update: Our COVID-19 Policies take precedence over many of the policies below. Please familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 policies on our COVID-19 Library Updates page.

Library Quiet Policy

Tobacco-Free Zone

Student Library computer Use Policy (Guests: See Below)

Borrowing Policy (see Loan Period Table)

Fines/Fees for Late/Lost Items

Alumni Policy

Guest Policy

Guest Computer Use policy

Gift Policy



Library Quiet Policy

To accommodate the needs for both individual and collaborative study, the library has different expectations about the level of noise in different parts of the library.  The service desks and Starbucks Cafe are located on the 1st floor and we cannot expect that these areas remain silent.  We understand that group study may occur on the lower level as well. 

So while we expect that there may be low-toned noise on the 1st and lower levels, the 2nd floor of the library has been designated as a quiet study floor. These rules assume that students, staff, faculty, and guests will take responsibility for abiding by the quiet policy.  The library staff may speak to you about these policies, not to be the "noise police," but to remind you of our shared responsibility to each other. Students and faculty do have the right to remind library staff of the policy as well.  Above all, be respectful of your peers and their need for a comfortable and study-conducive space.

Cell phones are permitted in the library, but we request that you set cell phone ringers to silent or vibrate only. Cell phone conversations are not allowed on the 2nd floor.  Short and low-toned conversations may be held on the 1st and lower levels, but we may ask that you take it outside if it is disruptive to others.

Tobacco-free zone

The Library is a tobacco-free zone including all smoking (University policy), electronic cigarettes, and chewing tobacco.

Student Library Computer Use Policy (Guests: see below)

Students can use the eight iMacs or eight Windows PCs on the first floor for two hours, especially during high-use periods.  If a student leaves a workstation for more than 10 minutes, the student will be logged off the workstation (possibly losing work on a document) and personal items will be temporarily moved to a safe location.  Students may not "reserve" a workstation for personal use by leaving backpacks, book bags, trash, or other personal items next to a workstation.  Students who need more than two hours on a computer should use the computer labs.

Loan Policy (complete loan period table)

  • Undergraduates: 35 day loan period, 1 renewal, subject to recalls.
  • Graduates: 70 day loan period, 1 renewal, subject to recalls.
  • Faculty: 70 day loan period, 4 renewal, subject to recalls.
  • Staff: 70 day loan period, 1 renewal, subject to recalls.
  • Alumni: 28 day loan period, no renewals, up to 5 books at one time, subject to recalls.
  • Notre Dame High School Students: 28 day loan period, 1 renewal, up to 5 books at one time, subject to recalls. Requires signed letter from Notre Dame HS librarian.
  • Guests: 28 day loan period, no renewals, 3 books at a time, subject to recalls.

Fines/Fees for Late/Lost Items


Circulation policies are designed to provide equal access to the Library's collection for all borrowers. Fines are levied to promote the prompt return of materials to allow others access. Replacement costs are applied to purchase a replacement item, at the current price. Processing fees are charged to cover the cost of library personnel time and supplies in preparing the material for the shelf.


There will be a 25 cent per item, per day, overdue fine applied on books from the circulating collections.

Four (4) weeks after the overdue period has begun, the item/s will be considered lost and a replacement bill will be issued.

There will be a $1.00 per item, per day, overdue fine applied on videos.

Three (3) weeks after the overdue period has begun, the video/s will be considered lost and a replacement bill will be issued.

There will be a $1.00 per HOUR (or any part thereof) fine applied to Reserve materials not returned after the specified time of usage (either hourly or overnight).

There will be a $1.00 per item, per day, overdue fine applied to books that have been recalled. Four (4) weeks after the recall notice has been sent, the item/s will be considered lost and a replacement bill will be issued.

There will be a $2.00 per item, per day, overdue fine applied to videos that have been recalled. Three (3) weeks after the recall notice has been sent, the video/s will be considered lost and a replacement bill will be issued.


  • The patron is ultimately responsible for returning items on time. The patron is given a receipt listing the due date at the time of checkout. Patrons also have access to their own records on the Enterprise catalog system and may check the status of any or all items checked out to their library barcode number. Renewal of items may be performed through the Enterprise system prior to the due date. Overdue notices will be sent to the patron’s email and/or home address. However, sending an overdue notice is a courtesy.
  • Items obtained through InterLibrary Loan (ILL) will be fined in the same manner as material belonging to the Ryan-Matura Library.
  • Blocks will be placed on a patron’s circulation privileges when fines and/or fees exceed $100.00.
  • Replacement bills will be calculated on the current price of the item, plus a $30.00 processing fee, plus the outstanding fine.
  • The maximum fee charged, per item, for the above circumstances will be the four (4) weeks of fines plus the replacement bill for the item. However, the fine will continue to accrue until the item is returned or payment and processing fee is received on a lost item.
  • If an item is no longer in print, we will use Rare Book prices or the price of the newest edition.
  • Patrons are responsible for notifying the library of any changes in address or phone number/s. If notices are returned due to change of address, without notification, circulation privileges will be blocked until updated information is provided.
  • Appeals on fines and/or fees must be made to the Head of Circulation. If the Head of Circulation, or the designee, is not available, an appointment will be made to discuss the issue. Until a final decision is made, circulation privileges may be suspended if the amount reaches or exceeds $100.00. Circulation staff may not waive fines and/or fees.

It is the responsibility of the patron to know all policies. Failure to know policies will not result in waiver of fines and/or fees.

Alumni Policy


As part of the commitment to lifelong learning, Sacred Heart University Alumni may use the resources of the Sacred Heart University Library.


  • Up to five (5) books can be borrowed at one time.
  • Alumni will have a twenty-eight (28) day loan period.
  • Alumni  permitted to renew the books one time.
  • Alumni will be charged overdue fines as if they were currently enrolled students. Fines for overdue books will accumulate at $.25 per day.
  • Alumni will not be permitted to borrow media.
  • Alumni will not have access to the online databases from off campus.
  • Alumni will not be provided Interlibrary service.
  • Books are subject to recall policy, in the event that a student or a member of the faculty urgently needs the book.
  • Alumni must renew their cards one year from the date of issue.

Guest Policy

 The following borrowing privileges are extended to our guests:

  • Up to three (3) books can be borrowed at one time
  • Books can be borrowed for a twenty-eight (28) day period
  • Renewals are not permitted
  • Fines for overdue books will accumulate at $0.25 per day
  • Guests will not be permitted to borrow media.
  • Guests will not be provided Interlibrary service.
  • Books are subject to recall policy, in the event that a student or a member of the faculty urgently needs the book.
  • Guest cards must be renewed one year from the date of issue
  • Senior Citizens (65+) are provided with a free Guest Borrower Card. Fines and/or fees will not be applied.
  • Clergy who are Connecticut residents are provided with a free Guest Borrower Card.

Non-affiliated persons wishing a Guest Borrower Card will be charged $40.00 per year, per person.  

Notre Dame High School and St. Vincent’s College students will be issued Guest Borrower Cards at no cost. However, they will require a letter from their respective schools and will be registered in our system for one (1) year. 

The annual fee for guest privileges is $40.00. Bridgeport Residents, Fairfield Residents, Trumbull Residents, Senior Citizen (65+), Clergy, and Social Work Field Instructors are not charged a fee.

Questions can be directed to the Circulation Desk at (203)371-7702.

Computer Use Policy for Guests

The computers in the library are for use by SHU students, faculty, staff, and those affiliated with the university. Their primary purpose is for academic applications, with an emphasis on library-related applications.

Library guests may only use one of the three designated public computers. Guests are required to sign in on the Computer Sign-in Sheet at the reference desk. Guests will sign in when they start to use the computer and may not sign up for future time slots. Guest use of computers is limited to thirty (30) minutes per session, up to a maximum of four (4) sessions per day. If students are waiting to use a computer, guests will be asked to vacate the computer within five minutes.  Guest use of public computers is limited to the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

During times of high use by SHU students, guest access may be limited. Students have priority to use all the computers and will not be asked to move.

An individual guest's library privileges may be terminated at the discretion of a library staff member for violation of policies, disruptive behavior, or any activity deemed detrimental to the library or our primary users.

Gift Policy

Sacred Heart University Ryan Matura Library accepts gifts of books and other materials that support the research and teaching mission of the University. Gift materials will be evaluated in accordance with criteria consistent with the Library Collection Development Policy. This evaluation is based upon: adding depth and/or breadth to the existing collection, relevance and timeliness of content, and physical condition. In rare cases, gifts in need of preservation or special treatment may be accepted. 

     The initial contact person for gifts is the Resources Development Librarian or her/his designee. The potential donor will be informed of the gift policy and given a copy, if requested. Upon delivery of the gifts an acknowledgement letter will be sent to the donor.  

     Upon receipt, gifts become the property of the Library and will be reviewed by appropriate library personnel. Gifts that are in poor condition, duplicate existing holdings, or fall outside the scope of the Library Collection Development Policy may be immediately disposed of through   discard or donation.

     Once gifts are accepted, the Library is responsible for determining the location, cataloging treatment, retention, and other considerations relating to the use and retention of these materials. Large or on-going gifts may have a bookplate attached to each item if the donor requests and the library personnel are agreement. 

     In accordance with United States tax regulations, the Library is not permitted to make appraisals of gifts. For IRS reporting purposes, it is the responsibility of the donor to arrange for an independent appraisal by a qualified professional prior to the donation and to keep records of the individual items donated and the value attached to each. If the appraised value exceeds $5,000, the University’s Office of Institutional Advancement will be notified and will report the gift to the Internal Revenue Service.

     The Resources Development Librarian will maintain yearly statistics of the number and types of gifts received and retained. This information will be reported to Institutional Advancement at the end of each fiscal year.