Special Collections Use Policy

State Library of Ohio
Special Collections Use Policy

Special Collections include materials from the Rare Book and Rare Government Documents rooms. Materials are housed in these rooms due to their rarity and uniqueness. Any limitation on access to these materials is intended to strike a balance between preservation and access. Part of the mission of the State Library of Ohio is to ensure that these materials are available to Ohio residents for generations to come.

Reading room rules governing the use of materials

• Patrons who want to use Special Collections materials will be asked to show a valid identification (driver’s license or other photo identification). Patrons will be provided with a copy of this use policy. Acceptance of Special Collections materials from State Library staff implies agreement with this policy. Failure to obey these rules may result in denial of use of Special Collections materials.
• No food or drink is permitted in the reading room regardless of the container, when using any Special Collections materials. Tobacco or smoking materials are not allowed at any time in the library.
• We reserve the right to limit the number of items made available to a patron at any one time. Patrons are limited to no more than two (2) items at a time.
• The State Library of Ohio has security measures in place to ensure collection protection.
• Personal belongings, including but not limited to, coats, briefcases, bags, backpacks, purses or handbags, computer cases, umbrellas and rain gear must be stowed in a designated area underneath the tabletop prior to obtaining materials. Only material for research, such as pencil, paper, and laptop computers will be allowed to rest on the tabletops.
• Protect your personal property while in the library or on library property. The library cannot take responsibility for lost or stolen property.
• The use of pens is not allowed. Written notes may be taken with a pencil and loose paper or notecards or with an electronic device such as a laptop or cell phone. Pencils are available upon request. Any other implements (other than appropriate duplication implements listed above) are prohibited.
• The State Library of Ohio reserves the right to check all personal items prior to patrons leaving the reading room.
• Patrons are responsible for all requested materials from the time they are delivered by State Library staff to the time they are returned.
• Patrons are responsible for the careful handling of materials. Materials may not be written on, folded, traced over, or handled in any way that may damage them. Books must remain spine-down on desktops and must not be rested on any other item unless provided by State Library staff (e.g. book cradles), nor should any implements be used to weigh down books for any reason.
• Materials must be used in full view of State Library staff.
Circulation and Duplication
• Special Collections materials do not circulate.
• Patrons may not remove Special Collections materials from the reading room. Theft or mutilation of material is a crime, which may lead to prosecution.
• Materials may not be photocopied. Other methods of duplication are allowed providing that such duplication does not cause harm to materials. Acceptable methods for duplication include digital and video photography including the use of a cell phone. Please Note: flash photography via camera or cell phone is not permitted.
• State Library staff may be available to scan images on request. Patrons may be sent images at a later time, depending on the number of scans. Every effort will be made to complete all requests within one or two business days.
• Pages that a patron would like to have duplicated should be noted on a separate sheet of paper and provided to State Library staff. Please do not mark pages for duplication by folding or turning page corners, or by attaching Post-It notes, paper clips or any other devices.
• Most items housed in the State Library’s Special Collections are not copyright protected. However, it is the responsibility of the patron to determine copyright status prior to duplication.
• NOTICE: WARNING CONCERNING COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS. The copyright law of the U. S. (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to provide a photocopy or reproduction. One of the specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.


Approved by the State Library Board, December 8, 2022