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Library Policies


Building Access

Anyone may visit the Whittemore Library; it is open to the public. Visitors are welcome to use our print resources while here. However, please be aware that the FSU community (students, faculty and staff) will receive preferential access to the use of our resources and spaces.


Electronic Resource Access

Our licensed electronic resources may only be accessed by:

  • FSU Students (Full time and Part time students)

  • FSU Employees (Full time and Part time Faculty, Librarians, Staff, Administrators)


Full Access & Borrowing Privileges (Main Collection, Electronic resources, ILL services) are for:


FSU Students (Full time, Part-time, Day, Night, On-campus, Commuters, Distance-only)
FSU Employees (Faculty, Librarians, Staff, Administrators, whether part-time contractors or full-time)


A valid FSU ID or Minuteman card is needed to check out items; registration and/or validation of cards occurs at the Access Services Desk the first time the card is used.

Your library account number is the long bar code number on the back of your physical ID - this is needed to check out materials and to make Interlibrary loan requests using our online form. If that barcode number is not there, or if you have no physical ID card due to being a distance-only student, please contact Access Services to obtain your number.

There is no limit on the number of general collection items that you can check out.

The borrowing period is 3 weeks.

You can renew (via e-mail, phone, or the 'My Account' area in the Minuteman Catalog) up to 2 times in a row after you've checked it out - IF no one else has requested it. If there is a request on that item, you must return it at its next due date. You are responsible for renewing before an item is overdue.

Your FSU Intranet login / password gives you access to our website's full-text electronic resources, so if your FSU login is not working, please contact IT right away, because you need that to be working.

If you have borrowed an ILL book that was sent here from another library, please note that these are due when the owning library designates, and cannot always be renewed. But to seek ILL renewal, contact the ILL Coordinator before the item's due date.


Main Print Collection Borrowing Privileges are also available for:


Minuteman Library Network Patrons

You may borrow items which can circulate within the Minuteman system, meaning those which can be 'requested' when you are in the Minuteman Catalog. There is one desktop computer available that does not need to be logged into, if you would like to search the Minuteman Library Catalog while visiting. You will need the Curriculum Library staff permission to borrow Curriculum Library materials, though you can borrow books from the children's literature section without permission, but only if you are visiting the library in person - the children's literature cannot be requested.


Mass Bay Community College students living on the FSU campus

You can use and borrow Whittemore Library's print and other physical resources while living in FSU residence halls. To obtain a library card, please visit the Access Services Desk or email them.


FSU Alumni

Alumni may obtain free borrowing privileges for our Main Collection (print books and certain other physical items) upon request. There is no limit on the number of general collection items that may be checked out, but there is a limit of two Curriculum Collection items in total that may be checked out to an Alum patron at any one time (i.e., you must then return at least one to be able to check out another curriculum item), AFTER requesting and being granted Curriculum Collection borrowing privileges by the Curriculum Library staff.  Your alumni privileges will not expire unless the curriculum library borrowing restriction is not respected. 


Mass. Public Higher Ed. students via the Walk-In Interlibrary Loan Program

Bring your institution's I.D. to check out ILL materials in person, then return in person or through your home school's ILL department.


What Can be Checked Out

Print books and other physical resources can be checked out - but see the exceptions below.


Non-Circulating Items

  • Print Reference materials
  • Print periodicals
  • Special Collection materials
  • Materials on Reserve, with one exception: Overnight Reserve items


Fines & Fees

The Whittemore Library does not now charge fines for overdue books, but If an item is lost or damaged (and note that our system automatically marks really overdue items as 'lost'), a replacement fee of up to $50.00 can be charged.


Item Retrieval Policy

Our book shelves ('stacks') are 'open' - patrons can access them freely.  For this reason, patrons must retrieve their own materials from the shelves. Library staff are happy to assist patrons in locating items, but we will not collect materials from the shelves for you. 


In accordance with the recommendation of the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association, registration and circulation records at Whittemore Library are confidential.

  • Library registration includes information required of the patrons in order for them to borrow materials.
  • Circulation records include any information that identifies the patron as borrowing particular materials.
  • The library staff will not release any of the information contained in the registration or circulation records except by formal state or federal judicial order.
  • Authorized library staff may use the above-mentioned records in order to perform routine duties.

Course Reserves


  • Each semester, professors will need to submit a reserve request by emailing or Lori Wolfe at - students are not allowed to place materials on reserve for their instructor, and faculty cannot put items owned by other libraries on reserve
  • The Library will inform the instructor when reserve items are available; it is then the instructor's responsibility to announce this to their students.
  • All reserve items will be removed at the end of each semester - no reserve items will be held from semester to semester. 
  • All items placed on reserve must conform to US Copyright Law (Title 17) - please refer to the library's copyright resources for more information.
    • A Librarian will seek copyright clearance for all reserve items that are not considered to be Fair Use exceptions under copyright law - if permission cannot be ultimately obtained from the copyright holder, or if the license fees are prohibitive, the item will not be placed on reserve, and the instructor will be notified.


Print Reserves

  • Physical books and photocopies may be placed on reserve by faculty only in order to facilitate their use for specific assignments.
  • To request Reserve materials be processed for your courses, please leave physical copies with the Access Services Desk, with your Name and the course name and number.

  • No more than two copies of an article or book chapter may be put on reserve; if more copies are needed, copyright permission must be obtained.
  • Personal items belonging to the instructor may be placed on reserve - the instructor may request these items to be sensitized for the security system, but if these items are not returned, while we will make every effort to recover them, library staff will not be responsible for replacing them.
  • Most faculty choose to put their reserve items on 'Closed Reserve':
    • These may only be used in the library and are used  for up to two hours at a time.
    • If an item is not returned within the two-hour lending period, fines could be imposed.
  • Overnight Reserves are another option, though seldom chosen by faculty:
    • These items can leave the library, due back the next day.



  • Only journal articles and book chapters will be placed on e-Reserve, and professors will need to provide the library with clean copies of any materials that need to be scanned and digitized.
  • You may submit pdfs or citations for e-Reserves to the Course Reserves Coordinator ( 
  • e-Reserves are part of our Canvas LMS, and instructors will need to make those digital items available to the students through their course site by providing links to the uploaded items. For more information about using Canvas or for assistance in linking to the e-Reserve items, please contact the Educational Technology Office.

Other Reserves

These are items which are not on reserve for use by students taking a specific course, but which circulate for short periods of time (usually two hours), and generally don't leave the library..  These include:

  • Technology Loaners
  • Board Games
  • The Sensory Backpack

InterLibrary Loans

No library has the perfect collection with everything anybody could ever want - so for that reason, libraries lend physical and some digital resources amongst themselves. The FSU community has two options for borrowing items that the Whittemore Library does not own.

The Minuteman Library Network

The Whittemore Library belongs to the Minuteman Library Network, a collection of over 40 Metro-West libraries. Member libraries' collections contain millions of items, most of which are readily available to be loaned and delivered to network partners' patrons.

Physical items located in the Minuteman online library catalog may be requested directly from the catalog:

  • When at the item page, click on the request button.
  • If you are not already signed in under "My Account," you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN.  (If you do not already have a PIN, you can establish one by following the instructions on the screen.)
  • You will be asked to choose the library where you want to pick up the items when they arrive. 
  • It is optional to choose a "cancel if not filled by" date.
  • Requested items are delivered by the weekday Minuteman courier service; most physical items arrive within a few days to a week.


Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is the general system of cooperative exchange of items among institutions for the purpose of fulfilling the informational needs of their patrons. (In comparison, the Minuteman Network is a smaller, regional cooperative group.)

FSU patrons may request that items be borrowed from libraries and other institutions, with those requests being processed normally within 48 hours of receipt. Please note that occasionally, some requested items may not be available due to item scarcity.

FSU's ILL Services are available for:

Current students, Faculty and Staff, & University-designated Emeritus faculty members, and also MA Public Higher Ed. students participating in The Walk-In Interlibrary Loan Program

Our online ILL Request Form - Please fill in all required information so that we may expedite your request.

Books arrive by USPS mail service; most of these are obtained within two weeks.   When you are notified by e-mail that your item has arrived, pick up books or other physical items at the Access Services Desk.  ILL book loan periods are set by the owning library, and renewals are possible, but not always available, so please plan accordingly.

Journal articles are made available as a PDF on a secure website, accessed by a unique login and password or code that is e-mailed to FSU patrons.  Articles become available much more quickly, usually within a few days to a week.

MA Walk-In ILL Loan Program: Currently enrolled students with a valid ID from MA public colleges and universities can visit in-person and borrow from our main print collection (no item limit).