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Policies: Home

Library Policies

Below you will find information about library cards, campus visitor access, behavior policies, borrowing materials (books and media), material policies, study rooms, and food & drink. Please stop by the Circulation Desk, call 903-813-2236, or send an email if you have any questions or need help. 

Library Cards

Abell Library does not issue a special library card to its users; instead, your Austin College ID doubles as your library card for checking out materials here. If you are interested in checking out and using materials at other libraries who are members of the local Bibliographic Association of the Red River (BARR) Consortium, your status as an Austin College student, faculty, or staff member may help grant you this privilege. (NOTE: Abell Library does not issue BARR cards. See below for more information on obtaining a BARR library card.)

To apply for a BARR library card account, visit the Sherman Public Library and present your Austin College ID. (Your AC ID is valid while you are enrolled at or employed by the College, and your account must be in good standing with us.) You may be required to provide an additional form of identification as well as proof of local address. Please contact the Sherman Public Library at 903-892-7240 with any questions. 

The BARR Consortium member libraries: 

Community Members & Library Visitor Access

Members of the community outside of Austin College are welcome to visit and use Abell Library during normal business hours throughout the year (during the academic year -- Mon-Fri, 8am to 5pm; during summer and interim sessions -- Mon-Fri, 9am to 4pm). Since the building is AC ID card access only, community members should call the Circulation Desk at 903.813.2236 and speak with a library staff member to gain entrance at the time of the visit, or make an appointment ahead of time to arrange for entrance at a later date. Email Library Director Andrew Smith with any questions or to make an appointment.

We request that all visitors follow library signage, adhere to our behavior policies, and respect students working in the library. Visitors under the age of 16 should be accompanied by an adult. Any visitor intentionally causing a disruption will be asked to leave if the issue persists. Additionally, there are a few considerations to keep in mind if you are planning a visit to Abell Library:

  • A BARR library card will not work with our ID card swipe to enter the building. You must call the Circulation Desk to gain entrance. Library staff reserve the right to not allow entrance to any community member if a legitimate concern is present.
  • You do not need to have a BARR library card to use the building, but you will need a valid BARR or TexShare card in good standing with your home library in order to check out books. Please refer to the borrowing policies below to see lending periods for various borrower categories.
  • Guest wi-fi access is available to use with your personal devices. Please ask at the Circulation Desk for assistance.
  • If you are a teacher or administrator with an elementary, middle, or high school and wish to arrange for your students to visit Abell Library, please refer to our Visiting the Library page for details. Contact Andrew Smith with any additional questions or to arrange a visit.

Behavior Policies

Abell Library is one of the most visited and utilized locations on the Austin College campus. The library is available to all AC students, faculty, and staff, and likewise welcomes College alumni and other members of the community to use the facility (see Community Members above). All patrons of the library are expected to adhere to behaviors that are appropriate in a semi-public setting, including treating others with kindness and respect. If you engage in behaviors deemed inappropriate or unacceptable while using the library, a library staff member may approach you to address and, ideally, resolve the issue. If the issue persists, further action will be taken which may result in you being asked to vacate the building.

Examples of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to: creating excessive noise that is disruptive to others, engaging in dialogue considered inappropriate (explicit, demeaning, or derogatory language), bullying or harassing others around you, viewing or listening to content inappropriate in a public setting, engaging in violent behavior, etc.

If you are found to be in violation of our Disruptive Behavior Policy, the following are steps the library staff will take to resolve the issue.

  • 1st violation - a library staff member will approach and advise you of the policy and seek a resolution to the matter. A warning will be issued.
  • 2nd violation - a library staff member will approach and remind you of the policy, and will advise that you may be asked to leave if the matter persists. A second warning will be issued.
  • 3rd violation - a library staff member will approach you and ask you to leave. Campus Police will be contacted to ensure you vacate the building peacefully.  

If you have been participant to previous such instances, the process may be accelerated and loss of library privileges may result.

Borrowing Books

Borrower Type Loan Period Restrictions Renewals
AC faculty 1 year 100 item limit 2 renewals
AC staff 1 year 100 item limit 2 renewals
AC student 28 days 100 item limit 2 renewals
AC retired faculty & staff 28 days 100 item limit 2 renewals
AC guest (on campus for limited time) 14 days 3 item limit 2 renewals
AC spouse 14 days 3 item limit 2 renewals
AC dependent (must be 16+ years of age) 14 days 3 item limit 2 renewals
BARRcard holder--Grayson College (must be 18+ years of age) 14 days 3 item limit 1 renewal
BARRcard holder--Denison Public Library (must be 18+ years of age) 14 days 3 item limit 1 renewal
BARRcard holder--Sherman Public Library (must be 18+ years of age) 14 days 3 item limit 1 renewal
TexShare card holder (non-Grayson Co. resident) 14 days 3 item limit 1 renewal
TexShare card holder (Grayson Co. resident - use appropriate BARRcard instead) 14 days 3 item limit 1 renewal

Borrowing Media

The privilege of borrowing Blu-Ray, DVD, or VHS videos is limited to the following groups.

Borrower Type Loan Period Restrictions Renewals
AC faculty 14 days 5 item limit* 1 renewal
AC student 7 days 5 item limit* 1 renewal
AC staff 7 days 5 item limit* 1 renewal
AC spouse 1 day 1 item limit 1 renewal
AC dependent (must be 16+ years of age) 1 day 1 item limit 1 renewal

*Counts toward the 100 item limit listed above in the Borrowing Books section.

Overdue Materials, Returning & Recalling Materials, Missing Items

Overdue Materials

All patrons of Abell Library are expected to return library materials on time so that others may have access to them. When this does not occur, the library user may be subject to fines, depending on the material borrowed. More details on fines and fees may be found below.

  • Books -- We do not charge Austin College patrons late fines for overdue books, with the exception of books placed on reserve for a class or books borrowed via Interlibrary Loan. Long-overdue books are subject to Item Missing/Lost Fees plus Processing Fees.
  • Media (Blu-Ray/DVD/VHS) -- Late fines for media are $3.00/day, with a maximum fine of $20.00 per DVD/video.
  • Reserve Materials, Study Rooms, Dry Erase Packets -- Late fines for these materials are $0.50 (fifty cents) per hour.

Notices are sent out before and after an item's due date as timely reminders. Please contact the Circulation Supervisor about fines. Lost or damaged books (and other materials) should likewise be reported as soon as possible to the Circulation Supervisor to determine next steps.

More information on lending policies for materials can be seen above.

Returning Borrowed Materials

All materials are to be returned to the circulation desk. Reserve materials should be handed directly to a circulation staff member to ensure that the items are discharged in a timely manner to prevent fines. All items must be returned in the same condition they were when checked out. Any damage, including pen or pencil markings, may result in a library fine. Any material checked out from other BARR libraries or a TexShare participating library must be returned to the appropriate library by the date due.

Recalling Library Materials

Any member of the Austin College community (faculty, staff or student) may request that an item checked out to another be recalled. Please make your request at the Circulation Desk. Books are not recalled until the person has had the item for at least 2 weeks, and no one is obligated to return a book until their loan period is over, unless the material is needed for a course reserve. Material needed for a course reserve is requested to be returned to the library immediately.

Materials Missing from the Shelves

If a book is not on the shelf where it belongs, please report it to the circulation desk. The library's catalog should indicate whether a book is checked out or not. If it is not on the shelf and not checked out, please request that the library conduct a search for the material. When the item is located, a circulation staff member will send you a notice that the item is available for checkout.

Study Rooms

Study rooms are located primarily on the 2nd floor of the library for individuals or groups of students to study together.

  • There is a 2-hour reservation limit per room. If you wish to stay in the study room once your initial reservation period has expired, you must reserve the room again via our online booking system. (This is only possible if the room has not already been reserved by someone else. If it has, you may reserve another study room if one is available.)
  • Please note that study room reservations are capped at 4 hours per day per user, across all rooms. Rooms may be reserved up to 7 days in advance.
  • Room checkout is maintained through our online booking system. If you encounter any issues with the booking system, you may ask for assistance at the Circulation Desk. Just stop by or call 903-813-2236.
  • If you are in a room that has been reserved by another user, you will be asked to vacate the room. You may reserve another room if one is available.
  • Each study room is equipped with a white board. Dry erase marker and eraser packets are available for checkout at the circulation desk, however you may also provide your own markers/erasers.

Library Study Rooms: Terms & Conditions

  • Room reservations may not exceed 4 hours per day.
  • You may reserve up to 3 days in the future.
  • You must cancel this reservation ASAP if it is no longer needed.
  • If a group with reservations does not arrive on time, the room will only be held for 15 minutes before being released to other groups.
  • Attempts to circumvent the reservation system may result in the suspension of privileges.
  • Rooms must be left in a clean and orderly condition for the next group.
  • Study room windows cannot be blocked or covered at any time.
  • If there are any questions about reservations, please speak with an Abell Library staff member.

Food, Drink, Etc.


While small snacks are acceptable in the library, food which constitutes a meal is highly discouraged. This means if you have food that results in excessive waste (fast food bags, wrappers, containers; pizza boxes; dirty dishes and/or silverware, etc.), you may be asked to take it elsewhere to consume.

Food waste and trash should be disposed of properly; when possible, please take these items with you to dispose of in waste receptacles outside of the library building.

Please exercise caution when using library materials and/or equipment. (No food or drink is allowed in the Archives & Special Collections suite.)


Covered, non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in the library, but please exercise caution when using library materials and/or equipment. Trash and used beverage containers should be disposed of properly. (No food or drink is allowed in the Archives & Special Collections suite.)

Animals / Pets

Animals are not allowed in the library, with the exception of service animals. (For more information on service animals, see the Center for Student Success and Access Services'  Emotional Support Animal policy document.)

Tobacco / Vaping

The use of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and other vaping devices is not allowed.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the library, per Austin College's Alcohol Policy. (For more information on the College's policy, please see the Office of Student Life's Alcohol Policy & Information pamphlet. Violators will be referred to the Austin College Police Department and Student Life.

If you are found to be in violation of any of the above policies, loss of your library privileges may result. Help us to preserve your library!

Library Director

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Andrew Smith
he / him / his
Abell Library 133
Austin College


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Please direct comments or questions about this website to Andrew Smith.