Library Policies

The Library regularly reviews policies & changes may be made throughout the academic year. Below are the most current operating policies regarding the facility, resources, & services.

Masks (Facial Coverings)

The College-wide mask mandate was lifted on March 14, 2022. Please be supportive of Library employees & visitors who may still choose to wear a facial covering due to personal circumstances (e.g. recent exposure, personal vulnerabilities, or family members’ vulnerabilities).

The Library continues to provide masks for guests that need one. Additionally, the Library offers virtual resources, services, & assistance (chat, email, phone) for users who are unable to visit the physical Library.


Basic Usage Policies


All borrowers are expected to adhere to the policies outlined in the Library’s User Agreement Form.

Students:  Students must present a valid Cincinnati State ID card to check out materials. There is no limit to the numbers of books that may be checked out at one time; however, only 5 hold requests can be placed on Cincinnati State materials at one time. Most books are due in three weeks, and may be renewed up to six times, if no other user has requested the material in the meantime.

Faculty & Staff: Faculty, and staff must present a valid Cincinnati State ID card to check out materials. There is no limit to the numbers of books that may be checked out at one time; however, only 5 hold requests can be placed on Cincinnati State materials at one time. Most books are due in ten weeks, and may be renewed up to six times, if no other user has requested the material in the meantime. Faculty & staff are responsible for overdue fines accumulated from circulating fiction videos, OhioLINK, and SearchOhio materials, as well as replacement costs for damaged and unreturned items.

Overdue Notices

Overdue notices will be sent to the patron’s Cincinnati State e-mail account. E-mail notifications will also be sent when items placed on hold (either locally owned or OhioLINK items) are available. Courtesy e-mails will also inform patrons that items will be coming due in approximately 3 days. Please go to BLINK and choose “Renew” to check due dates and to requests renewals.

Replacement Fees

A replacement fee of at least $70 is charged for lost/destroyed/non-returned books from the General Collection. Items which remain overdue for 30 days or longer are presumed lost and will be charged this replacement fee. If the item is returned in acceptable condition within 90 days year of the overdue date, the $70. fine may be reduced to an amount that equals the overdue fines. Reference books, atlases, videos, and overnight Reserves will be billed 7 days from the overdue date; items returned within 90 days of the overdue date may have charges reduced to the overdue fines. Please contact the Coordinator of Circulation Services at 513.569.4690 for more information.

Electronic Resources

Electronic resources–including our eBook databases, streaming video collection, & databases for journals, magazines, & news–are available for use by registered users on or off-campus (requires 7-digit College Id). These resources are not available to community users from off-campus.

Library Use Only

Reserve materials are kept at the Circulation Desk, filed by course number. Length of loan varies.

Coin-operated black & white photocopiers with ‘scan to USB’ capabilities are available.

Interlibrary Loan

Patrons can initiate their own interlibrary loan for many materials by clicking the “OhioLINK Central” button from any search in BLINK, and following the instructions. Cincinnati State students are limited to five requests per day or five items on hold in their account at one time, while faculty may request up to ten items per day. E-mail notifications will also be sent when items requested through OhioLINK items are available for check-out. Most OhioLINK materials will be due in three weeks, and may be renewed up to six times, if there are no holds on the item. Some materials, particularly media programs, will be borrowed for a shorter period, and may be renewable. The fine for overdue OhioLINK materials is $.50 per day per item. Overdue notices will be sent to the patron’s Cincinnati State e-mail account. A replacement fee of at least $125 is charged for lost/destroyed/non-returned materials. This will be billed when the item is 30 days overdue. If you return an item which has been billed, you will be responsible for paying only a $50 late fee, and not the replacement cost.

Cincinnati State patrons with proper College identification (Surge card) may also check out materials in person at other OhioLINK libraries. Terms of use and overdue fees are determined by the cooperating libraries.

Cell Phones/Noise

The library is an over-all quiet zone with four study rooms specifically designed for group work. Patrons should choose areas that best fit their work needs so as not to disturb others or be disturbed by permitted activities. We ask that cell phone ringers be placed on silent/vibrate. Both phone and in-person conversations should be muted and brief or taken out of the library. Cell phones should not be used when seeking assistance from staff members.

The use of headphones is expected so as to minimize sound from computers and other devices.Patrons are expected to comply in a respectful manner with library policies and in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.Patrons may be asked to re-locate or leave if behaviors result in noise levels or activity outside these guidelines which hinder the effective use of library space or resources.


Children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all times and must adhere to library policies. Computers and resources are designed for adults and not intended for use by children. Unattended children are not allowed in the Library. Security will be called when unattended child(ren) are in the Library. Security will take the child(ren) and locate the parent. Children are not permitted to use the Library’s computers.

A parent using the Library for study or research, and accompanied by a child, will be asked to leave if the child is noisy or is causing any disruption.

The College’s Parenting Resource Center, located in Main 135B, offers a space for student parents to work on computers and/or study while on campus with their children.


Collection Development

For questions regarding the Library’s policies on donations or the selection and deselection of materials, please see the Library’s Collection Management Policy (pdf) for guidelines.

Have you come across a book or video that you think will really benefit our students? We’re happy to consider your suggestions for library purchases. Please email Kathleen Pickens at with the details of your request.

Community Guests

Community Patron Library Card
Community members who live within the Cincinnati Metropolitan Area qualify for a Community Patron Card. To obtain a Community Patron Card you must: (A) present a valid, government-issued photo ID, such as a State ID or Driver’s License, that lists an address from within the *Cincinnati Metropolitan Area and (B) be at least 18 years of age. Community users may only borrow up to five (5) books at one time. Cardholders may use their last name & the barcode listed on the back of their library card to view their account online & renew materials.

Computer Use
As a courtesy, public patrons may use library computers by presenting a photo ID to staff, but access is subject to availability and priority is always given to currently registered students. Computers are not available between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Public patrons are expected to comply with the behavioral guidelines set forth in the Student Code of Conduct and all Library Policies, as well as the College’s “Information Technology Policies”.

*The Cincinnati Metropolitan Area consists of the following counties:
Ohio: Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Warren
Kentucky: Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Pendleton
Indiana: Dearborn, Ohio, Union

Computer Use / Printing


The Library provides computers with internet access to be used primarily for accessing academic resources, and library staff is available to help users at these stations. Registered students can also check out laptop computers for use in the Library, with internet access provided via a wireless network. Internet use must comply with the College’s “Information Technology Policies”.

Community users are not able to use the Library’s computers during high-demand times, including Mon-Fri from 10am-2pm.


Students & college employees may print from the Library’s computers & Library laptops by using their Surge Cards or their Cincinnati State username/password. Printing is not available from personal devices, but the Library has a “Quick Print Station” that students may use to quickly print completed work from a flashdrive or web resource.

The Library cannot accept cash/coin as alternative payment.

Food & Drink

As long as masks are not required in the Library, food & drink are allowed, provided they are consumed responsibly (e.g. drinks have lids), are not disruptive to other users, & do not risk damaging the Library’s materials or equipment.

Group Study Rooms

The library has 4 (four) group study rooms for student use located on the balconies. Rooms may be reserved up to one week in advance by using the Online Reservation Form. A current Surge card must be presented at the circulation desk in order to check out one of the room keys; keys can be checked out for a 2 hour period. “Same day” use of open rooms is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Because the library is an overall quiet zone, we dedicate these rooms for work requiring conversations and collaboration, not individual quiet study.

Privacy & Confidentiality

I. Introduction

Article VII of the Library Bill of Rights states that “All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use.” The Johnnie Mae Berry library is committed to providing access to resources and materials for users of all abilities, without judgment or surveillance, in accordance with the American Library Association’s Statement on Privacy.

Your privacy is also protected by state law. Ohio Revised Code Section 149.432 explicitly protects information contained in library records, including patron records, borrowing records, and usage records. Library staff members are thus prohibited from disclosing such information as:

  • what items someone has checked out
  • what materials or resources someone has used in the library or made requests for
  • any personally identifiable information, such as names, addresses, e-mails, phone numbers, and ID numbers

II. Applicability

This privacy notice applies only to the Johnnie Mae Berry Library and explains our practices concerning the collection, use, and disclosure of user information. Users’ information collected by the Library will be used only as outlined in this privacy notice.

Other units at the College may collect and use visitor information in different ways. Therefore, visitors to other College web sites and those who interact with College units and departments should review the privacy notices for those units or for the particular College web sites they visit. The Johnnie Mae Berry Library is not responsible for the content of other web sites or for the privacy practices of College units or web sites outside the scope of this notice.

III. The Johnnie Mae Berry Library Commitment to Our Users’ Rights of Privacy and Confidentiality

This privacy policy explains our users’ privacy and confidentiality rights, the steps the we take to respect and protect privacy, and how we deal with personally identifiable information that we may collect from our users.

1. Notice & Openness

The Cincinnati State Library affirms that our library users have the right of “notice” — to be informed about the policies governing the amount and retention of personally identifiable information, and about why that information is necessary for the provision of library services.

We post publicly the privacy and information-gathering policies of the Library on our website and other places as appropriate. Whenever policies change, notice of those changes is also publicly disclosed to our users.

We gather information about current and valid library users for the sole purpose of providing library services. Where it is necessary for the Library to identify users, it is our goal to gather only the minimum information necessary and to retain that information for only as long as it is needed to complete a particular transaction. We avoid creating unnecessary records and retaining records not needed for the fulfillment of the Library’s mission. Moreover, we do not engage in practices that might place personally identifiable information in or on public view.

2. Choice & Consent

The Johnnie Mae Berry Library keeps all personally identifiable information confidential. We will not share, sell, license, or disclose personal information to any third party without your consent, unless we are compelled to do so under the law. Our goal is to collect and retain only the information we need to provide library-related services.

If you wish to receive borrowing or interlibrary loan privileges, we must obtain certain information about you in order to provide you with a library user account. The Library receives personally identifiable information automatically from the College or directly from you to create and update your library user account. Cincinnati State library accounts contain an official College email address, telephone number (if you have provided one), and home mailing addresses supplied by the College. Your email address is used for the purpose of receiving notifications about your library account. Community borrowers may update their contact information in person at the Library, upon providing a government or university-issued photo ID.

When you borrow materials from the Library, we scan your Surge Card and then link your personally identifiable information to the items borrowed. Community borrowers must provide a government or university-issued photo ID to borrow materials. The Library does not keep a record of your reading history beyond operational requirements. Once you return an item it is removed from your account. You may choose to turn on the “Reading History” feature in your online account to keep a log of items you checkout. Items with late fees will remain on your account until paid.

When using library services through our website, you may need to provide your name, e-mail address, or 7-digit College ID. To use licensed subscription electronic resources from an off-campus location, users are required to submit their 7-digit College ID to be authenticated as a currently affiliated user.

When using certain library services or collections, you may need to show identification and/or provide personally identifiable information on paper forms or logs that are retained as needed.

3. Access by Users

The Library provides you access to activities on your library account. Before viewing your library account online, you are asked to enter your name & 7-digit College ID. In person, you must present a photo ID to ensure verification of identity.

4. Data Integrity & Security

The data we collect and maintain at the library must be accurate and secure. Although no method can guarantee the complete security of data, we take steps to protect the privacy and accuracy of user data in the following ways:

Data Integrity: We take reasonable steps to assure data integrity, including: using only reputable sources of data; providing our users access to their own personally identifiable data; updating data whenever possible; destroying untimely data or converting it to anonymous form.

Data Retention: We regularly purge personally identifiable information once it is no longer needed to manage library services. This includes, but is not limited to, personally identifiable information on library resource use & material circulation history. User accounts that are in good standing are purged five (5) years after expiration date.

Tracking Users: The Library protects the security of any personally identifiable information while it is in our custody & we ensure that aggregate, summary data is stripped of personally identifiable information. We do not ask library visitors or website users to identify themselves or reveal any personal information unless they are borrowing materials; requesting special services; registering for services, workshops, or appointments; or making remote use from off-campus of those portions of the Library’s website restricted to registered borrowers under license agreements or other special arrangements. We remove links between user records and materials borrowed when items are returned, and we delete records as soon as the purpose for data collection has been satisfied.

Cookies: Cookies are used by BLINK to maintain the persistence of a default library search limit. These cookies are session cookies and are removed when the user exits the catalog and closes the browser. Proactive chat services in BLINK & LibGuides use session cookies as well. Some licensed databases also use cookies to remember information and provide services while the user is online. Visitors can refuse the cookie by using instructions provided in browsers. Refusing or disabling cookies may result in an inability to access some library services.

Third Party Security: The Johnnie Mae Berry Library uses and links to resources owned and operated by third parties, including integrated library systems, databases, and electronic journals. We license these resources for the use of Cincinnati State authorized users. We make every attempt to include user privacy protections in license agreements with third parties, such as vendors of digital information resources like electronic databases and journals. When connecting to licensed resources outside the library, we authenticate users as members of our community and do not provide any personally identifiable information. Nevertheless, because the use of these websites and resources is not governed by the Johnnie Mae Berry Library, we strongly recommend that you review the privacy policies of the websites that you visit, particularly if you are requesting online help through email or chat or establishing your own account for specialized services like table of contents, email, saved search alerts, purchases, or personalization features.

Security Measures: Our security measures involve both managerial and technical policies and procedures to protect against loss and the unauthorized access, destruction, use, or disclosure of the data. Our managerial measures include internal organizational procedures that limit access to data and prohibit those individuals with access from utilizing the data for unauthorized purposes. Our technical security measures to prevent unauthorized access include encryption in the transmission and storage of data; limits on access through use of passwords; and secure storage of data.

Staff access to personal data: We permit only authorized Library staff with assigned confidential passwords to access personal data stored in the Library’s computer system for the purpose of performing library work. We will not disclose any personal data we collect from you to any other party except where required by law. The Library does not sell or lease users’ personal information to companies, universities, or individuals.

5. Enforcement & Redress

The Johnnie Mae Berry Library will not make library records available to any agency of state, federal, or local government unless required to do so under law or to report a suspected violation of the law. Nor will we share data on individuals with other parties including faculty, staff (including library staff except in the performance of their assigned duties), parents, students, campus security, and law enforcement personnel, except as required by law or College policy or as needed to perform our College duties.

Library staff are to refer all requests for confidential user records to the Library Director. Library users who have questions, concerns, or complaints about our handling of their privacy and confidentiality rights should file written comments to the Library Director.

6. Illegal Activity Prohibited & Not Protected

Users must comply with all Cincinnati State policies, including but not limited to the Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, & may conduct only legal activity while using library resources and services. Nothing in this statement prevents the Library from exercising its right to enforce its rules or policies; protect its facilities, network and equipment from harm; or prevent the use of Library facilities and equipment for illegal purposes. The Library can electronically monitor public computers & external access to its network and reserves the right to do so when a violation of law, College, or Library policy is suspected. Staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of library users, staff, facilities, computers and the network. This includes contacting law enforcement authorities & providing information that may identify the individual(s) perpetrating a violation.

Updated May 13, 2021

Additional Resources


Persons with documented disabilities should contact the Office of Disability Services for specific guidance, and visit our Able Guide for more information about what the Library offers.

For more information on accessibility regarding available content from our database vendors, please visit: Accessibility & Privacy of Library Platforms.

Diversity, Multiculturalism & Inclusion

The Johnnie Mae Berry Library follows the American Library Association’s guidelines in regards to intellectual freedom & access to information. Below are some very brief ways that we work towards that end.

  • Print Collections: We strive to maintain an inclusive, balanced collection that provides exposure to global perspectives, multiple viewpoints, and a vast range of subject areas.
  • Library Guides:We promote inclusiveness and encourage resource exploration by creating library guides for specific populations, including LGBTQIA, Black Male Initiative, Women’s Network, Students with Disabilities, and International/ESL Students.
  • Student Support: We assist students with their information and technology needs without bias or judgment, while respecting their rights to privacy and intellectual freedom.
  • Faculty & Staff Support: We collect and promote resources that provide faculty and staff with best-practices and strategies for marginalized students’ success:
Who We Are

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Program Outcome Stakeholders Served Key Performance Indicator
Student satisfaction with Library resources & services Students Annual Student Satisfaction Survey: User responses indicate a minimum 90% satisfaction rating in all categories.
Student learning achieved via the effectiveness of information literacy instruction. Students Post-instruction assessments: Student feedback expresses the helpfulness of the learning activities.
Library collection(s) & services support Program-level learning outcomes. All stakeholders Accreditations: 100% approval of Library resources & services that support students in accredited programs (i.e. no suggestions for improvement).

Please see the Library’s KPI Guide for documentation.

Mission, Vision & Values

Cincinnati State Library provides our college community with access to resources, guidance, and expert personnel in support of information literacy, research, teaching, creativity, and lifelong learning.

Cincinnati State Library aims to function as an intellectual hub for the college’s physical and virtual communities. We seek to foster a sense of belonging and build confidence in intellectual achievement through student-centered services, proactive outreach, and building collaborative relationships within the College.

Empowered Learning. We impart skills to help our students thrive professionally and as lifelong learners who contribute meaningfully to the changing world in which they live and work. We are committed to supporting student curiosity, creativity, and transformation.
Equity and Belonging. The Library values and serves the entire College community by fostering a culture of diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and social justice in our decision making.
Access. We provide equal opportunities for intellectual growth and access to resources and, using evidence-based assessment, we innovate learning environments that meet students where they are.
Intellectual Freedom.Through the diversity of our collections and our commitment to user privacy and confidentiality, we protect our patrons’ right to discover, receive, hold, and disseminate ideas.
Community Connection. As information professionals, we provide a human element to the technological resources we support. We create and maintain professional relationships, and we adapt and evolve to meet our community’s needs through professional growth.

Library Mission

Cincinnati State Library provides our college community with access to resources, guidance, and expert personnel in support of information literacy, research, teaching, creativity, and lifelong learning.