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Policies of Sterne Library

Cell Phones

The Library's goal is to provide an environment that supports scholarship, research, and study. The use of cell phones in the Library is often distracting to others. Therefore, we request that cell phones be placed in a silent mode while in the building.

Use of cell phones is permitted in the first floor reading/lobby area across from the Circulation Desk, between the north and west entrances.

Internet and Computer Use

The Library's policies regarding computers and the internet have been developed to assist patrons in the appropriate use of network technology, through the use of university-owned computing resources. The use of University resources to access information on the internet and to support campus e-mail is a privilege for students, employees, or guests of the University.

The Library recognizes the internet as a global information resource. While the Library offers links to a wide range of selected web sites through its home page, all internet sites are accessible, and some may contain inaccurate, controversial, and even offensive material. Full access to all internet sites is permitted to encourage Library users to explore information technology and to assess the potential use of computing and networking in pursuit of knowledge. The valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweighs the possibility that users may access material that is inconsistent with the goals of the Library. The Library does not monitor, and has no control over, the information accessed through the internet and cannot be held responsible for the content of other web sites. Parents or legal guardians of minors are responsible for monitoring the library activities of their children.

Users of workstations are in a public building and are expected to show consideration for others. Any user exhibiting disruptive or harassing behavior may be subject to revocation of computer and/or Library access privileges or to removal or arrest by law enforcement officials. University students or employees engaging in disruptive or harassing behavior may be subject to additional University disciplinary action.

The Library provides computers to facilitate users' access to electronic information. The primary purpose of the computer workstations is for Library-related research. Users accessing the workstations for academic purposes have priority, and that priority is given to electronic database users. Users web browsing will be asked to relinquish a computer if other users are waiting to use a computer to access electronic databases.

Use of the public internet workstations should comply with all aspects of UAB policies and procedures. Examples of inappropriate use include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • violation of computer system integrity;
  • unauthorized tampering with computer hardware or software;
  • storage of data to anything other than a personal diskette;
  • violation of software license agreements and copyright laws;
  • violation of another user's privacy;
  • use of sounds or visuals which might be disruptive to others.
Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

The Library does not provide direct access to electronic mail or to news and discussion groups. Library users may utilize the computer workstations to access established accounts as long as they do not require alteration of the computer's resources or files.

The Library staff does not offer patrons extensive personal instruction on internet use, but will offer limited assistance as time permits. Reference staff are always available to assist library users locate books, periodicals, and other materials about the internet.

Unattended Children

The Library provides an unsupervised environment for the purpose of academic research and scholarship in support of the academic programs of UAB. This environment is not intended to provide Library staff to support unattended or unsupervised children.

Therefore, effective March 1, 2002, children under the age of 12 must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian. Parents and guardians are responsible for the conduct of their children on Library premises and must provide reasonable supervision of their children.

Should an unattended or unsupervised child be discovered, the staff will try to locate or telephone the parent or guardian. If the parent or guardian is not located, a staff member may contact the UAB Police Department to report the situation of an unattended child and/or seek assistance with such children.

Access to Electronic Resources

The Library's electronic databases and journals may be accessed from any computer on the UAB campus.

UAB students, faculty and staff may access the electronic databases and journals from any computer in the world. A BlazerID is required.

Most of the Library's electronic resources are provided by publishers whose policies restrict remote access to current UAB students and employees. The Library is obliged to abide by the publishers' policies. At this time, the Library cannot offer remote access to UAB alumni or to students not currently enrolled in a class.

The following guests may use Library computers to access electronic databases and journals, the internet, and Microsoft Office:
  • Faculty, staff, and students from other colleges and universities with current college or university-issued photo IDs or proof of enrollment. If ID does not show an expiration date, guests will be required to verify enrollment or employment online.
  • UAB National Alumni Society members with current membership cards
  • A Friend of Sterne Library with a current membership card
  • Anyone with a valid Sterne Library Courtesy card.

Using Library databases and online resources is restricted off campus to those with active BlazerIDs and passwords (faculty, staff, and students). Other users including Alumni Society members, Friends of Sterne Library, and those with Sterne Library courtesy cards must access Library resources from inside the Library with a password obtained at the Reference Desk. They cannot access most of these materials from off campus.

Guest users are asked to come to the Reference Desk to obtain a password to access the computers. Passwords expire each day at 10:00 p.m. More about using the Library computers.

If you have questions about using the computers, please ask at the Reference Desk.


The Library's Circulation Department implements policies regarding borrowing, which cover the following:

Group Study Rooms, Conference Rooms, and Study Carrels

Group Study Rooms (capacity 6 - 8 people)

The Library has a limited number of group study rooms. Current UAB students, faculty, staff and active alumni who are seeking a place to hold short-term collaborative study sessions may use group study rooms.

  • Group study rooms cannot be reserved in advance.
  • Group study rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Group study rooms may be checked out for a period of three hours. No renewals.
  • Groups must vacate the room when the key is due and turn in the key at the circulation desk. If rooms are available, groups may check out another room.
  • When group study rooms are not available, groups may place a student's name on the waiting list and:
    • remain in the circulation area to hear when his or her name is called; otherwise the next name on the list will be contacted; OR
    • place a cell phone number on the waiting list and indicate that they wish to be sent a text message; otherwise the next name on the list will be contacted.
  • When individuals are on the waiting list, the group is given five (5) minutes to return to the desk when contacted that a room is available.
  • At least two (2) individuals must be present at the circulation desk to check out a key. Only one UAB ID is required.
  • Keys to group study rooms much be checked out with a valid UAB ID card.
  • At least one (1) individual must be in the room at all times.
  • Groups not actively using the room must return the key to the circulation desk.
  • Overdue fine is $3.00 per hour ($0.05 per minute).
  • Groups must return the key to the circulation desk when they leave the group study room
  • Keys may NOT be taken outside the Library.
  • Keys may NOT be taken in to Starbucks.
  • Group study rooms users must maintain a moderate noise level -- rooms are not soundproof, and loud talking disturbs other individuals studying in adjoining rooms and/or those studying outside of the rooms.
  • Walls, furnishings, and glass must not be defaced. No pictures or other items may be attached to the walls or structure. Windows and/or door glass must not be covered in any way.
  • Groups must clean up after themselves and leave the room in good condition for the next group, including erasing the board.
  • Groups are not allowed to sleep in the rooms at any time.
  • Loss of a key will incur a replacement charge of sixty dollars ($60).
  • The maximum fine for a key being returned late is fifty dollars ($50).

Failure to follow the above policies, or other applicable Library policies, may result in a temporary or permanent suspension of access to the group study rooms. In addition, patrons who fail to follow the policies risk being blocked in Banner (students blocked in Banner cannot register for classes, nor graduate, nor receive a transcript).

Conference Rooms (7 or more people up to room capacity)

Room 182 (Dean's Conference Room) is available to larger groups of students who wish to meet for group study sessions. Room 182 is available on a first-come first-served basis and cannot be reserved in advance by study groups.

Room 182 is available only when no conflict exists with other events scheduled for the room. Study groups will be informed of any conflicts in scheduling and asked to vacate the conference rooms 15 minutes prior to the next scheduled booking.

Permission and access to Room 182 will be granted as follows:

  • Monday-Friday, 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. --- Administrative Office Staff (Room 172)
  • After 5:00 P.M. and on weekends --- Reference Librarian on duty (inquire at 1st Floor Information Desk)

Room 182 cannot be used by fewer than seven people, or by a greater number of people than room capacity will allow. (Capacity for Room 182 is 20.)

Study Carrels

Policies and rules for study carrels

The Library has a limited number of short-term study carrels available throughout the building. Study carrels may be checked out with a valid UAB identification card at the Circulation Desk. Use of study carrels is limited to one person at a time.

Short-Term Study Carrels

Current UAB students, faculty, staff, and active alumni who are seeking a place for intensive short-term study may use carrels. Carrels may be checked out for a period of three hours and renewed once. Overdue fines will be charged at five cents a minute which is three dollars ($3) per hour. Short-term study carrels cannot be reserved in advance.

Long-Term Study Carrels

Long-term carrels are available to current UAB faculty, graduate students, and students with disabilities. Due to limited availability, all carrel assignments are checked out by term on a semester-by-semester basis. Overdue fines will be charged at a rate of ten dollars ($10) per day. A completed Library Carrel Application form is required to check out a long-term carrel. This form may be picked up in person at the Circulation Desk, or it may be printed.

Seminar Rooms

Sterne Library's Instructional Space includes Seminar Rooms 163 and 174.
Seminar Rooms Use Policy.