Library Policies

Main Content

Borrowing Privileges

ACU undergrad = 60 items for 3 weeks with 2 renewals

Faculty & ACU graduates = 60 items for 5 weeks with 2 renewals

Abilene Public library = 5 items, 21 days, 2 renewals. DVD’s non-circulating to APL

ACU’s leased materials (McNaughton & New Books) are non-circulating to MCM, HSU and HPU, and APL libraries.

Tex Share = 2 items from general collection of each consortium library for 21 days with 2 renewals.

Abilene Christian Schools– 20 items for 3 weeks with 2 renewals books and AV materials only

Learning Studio Equipment – available to ACU Staff, faculty, and students with the exception of projectors, which are only for faculty and staff. There is a $5.00 per day overdue fine for this equipment. The Learning Studio makes audio and video equipment available for checkout. Users must have a current ACU ID to check out gear for 2 days at a time. Longer-term checkout may be available for faculty loans required for class projects or research.

ACU Library follows the policy of the university with respect to information, inquiry,  and conversation.  This policy was articulated by the ACU Board of Trustees and communicated in a report published in the university’s magazine ACU Today.

ACU’s mission is to prepare people to lead and serve in a world with varying ideas.  Serving effectively and redemptively will involve encountering ideas contrary with one’s beliefs.  It is crucial to know how to engage such ideas, how to develop a personal response, and how to have conversations that matter.  As stated by former ACU President John C. Stevens, “There are no subjects on this earth, or in outer space, or in the metaphysical realm, which we cannot study on the campus of a Christian institution of higher learning.”

Since conversation is essential to intellectual exchange and spiritual formation, inhibiting learning and conversation can be troubling.  When community members cannot contribute to important dialogue, we risk impoverishing the search for truth, placing in jeopardy the university’s goal of preparing students to engage with the world.

The library selects material primarily to support the courses at ACU, the faculty’s research, and on a modest scale, the recreational reading interests of our campus community.  Because the university’s courses reflect a variety of ideas, the material in ACU Library reflects a variety of ideas.  Book selection does not equate to endorsement just as reading does not equal agreement with content.  Selection is based on our collection development policies to align library materials with course needs.  We endeavor to have materials that allow our campus and community to learn, to evaluate, and to discuss in Christ-like example.  We take seriously our responsibility to live in ways that honor God, and we invite our community to partner with us as we seek ways to do so.

Procedures for Request for Reconsideration of Materials

(Last Revised and Approved, September 13, 2023)

When the Dean of Libraries receives a written Request for Reconsideration of Materials, the Dean of Libraries should:

  • Stamp or write the date of receipt on the form.  This date will start Day 1 of the Reconsideration procedure timeline.
  • Make a copy for the Dean’s office and the person submitting the request.
  • Acknowledge receipt to the individual who made it and provide a copy of the procedures and timeline that will be followed.
  • Notify the relevant subject librarian and the Faculty Library Committee by sending them a copy of the request.
  • The dean will verify that the material being challenged has not been challenged within the past two years; a Request for Reconsideration of Materials of an item will be considered only once in any three-year period. 

Within 10 working days of when the request was filed

  • The Dean of Libraries will
  • Organize a Materials Evaluation Committee composed of:
    • Dean of Libraries (chair).
    • The librarian who is the liaison to the academic department the resource falls under (and previously notified on Day 1).
    • Classroom professor most closely associated with the resource.
    • Two members of the Faculty Library Committee chosen by random draw by the chair of the Faculty Library Committee.  The total number of members of the Materials Evaluation Committee should be an odd number to avoid the possibility of a tie vote.
  • Select a non-voting recorder for the Materials Evaluation Committee.

 The liaison librarian will provide to the Materials Evaluation Committee:

  • copies of the relevant portion of the collection development policy governing the selection of that resource.
  • a description of the classes the resource is primarily intended to support.
  • positive or negative reviews of the resource from professional or scholarly sources.
  • number of times the item has been checked out and how many other libraries in the Abilene Library Consortium have it.

Within 20 working days of when the request is filed, 

  • The Materials Evaluation Committee will:
  • Individually and as a committee, determine if the resource meets the criteria within the library’s collection development policy and ACU’s overall policy.
  • Individually and as a committee, check general acceptance of the materials by reading reviews.
  • Individually and as a committee, weigh values and faults and form opinions based on the material as a whole.
  • Meet, discuss, and prepare a Materials Evaluation Committee Report.

On or before day 28 of the request period, the Dean of Libraries must respond to the completed Materials Evaluation Committee Report.  The Dean of Libraries will: 

  • Prepare a letter and a copy of the report and send them to the person who filed the request for reconsideration.
  • Notify the Provost of the University.
  • Notify library employees of the decision.
  • Keep a copy of the request, committee minutes and decisions, and any other correspondence.

The requestor may appeal the decision of the Materials Evaluation Committee to the full Faculty Library Committee within 30 days of the date of the Materials Evaluation Committee’s decision.  

Appeals Procedure

In the case of an appeal:


  • The original requestor may formally request an appeal by signing and dating the appeal option on the Request for Reconsideration form within 30 days of the original decision date. 
  • The Dean of Libraries will notify the Chair of the Faculty Library Committee that an appeal has been received, share copies of the documentation and background information, and go over the appeals procedure with the Chair.




  • Appeals will be considered at the next meeting of the Library Faculty Committee. These meetings typically take place no more frequently than twice during the Fall and Spring semesters.


Appeal Committee Structure:


  • A quorum of the Faculty Library Committee will consider appeals.  The Chair of the Faculty Library Committee will act as Chair of the Appeals Committee.
  • The Dean of the Library will attend as ex officio and note-taker.  
  • The two Faculty Library Committee members who participated in the original decision may attend but will not vote on the appeal.
  • If there is an even number of voting members, the chair of the academic department most closely associated with the resource will randomly select a faculty member of the department to serve on the appeal committee to avoid the possibility of a tie vote.  The faculty member selected will be someone other than the person who served regarding the original request.


Appeals Committee duties: 


  • Receive the entire packet of materials that the original committee received.  
  • Read or view the entire work under reconsideration individually before the meeting.
  • The Appeals Committee may request a statement from the appellant (written, recorded, or in-person) expressing their concerns about the resource under reconsideration. The Appeals Committee may decide to give committee members time to ask questions if the requestor is present.
  • The original requestor may not participate in or observe the committee’s deliberations. 
  • After deliberation, the appeals committee will prepare a Materials Evaluation Committee Appeals Report.

The Chair of the Faculty Library Committee will prepare a letter and copy of the report to share with the requestor and the Dean of Libraries.  The Dean of Libraries will keep a copy of all paperwork and minutes and will notify the Provost of the University and the library employees of the decision according to the timeline previously expounded. 


The decision of the Appeals Committee is final. If it is determined that an item should be removed from the library, the library shall wait three years before considering adding it back to the collection. 

The ACU Library charges a minimum of $60.00 for each lost or damaged book or other item. Lost and damaged items are charged to your banner account between the 1st and the 6th of each month. An automated email system sends pre-overdue notices 3 days beforehand, 1 day, 7 days, 14 days and 21 days after the item is overdue. At 28 days after the first overdue notice, you will be emailed notifying that a minimum charge of a $60 will be applied to your banner account within 48 hours. If the item is returned before it is billed, all charges will be waived.

If the item is returned within 45 days after being billed, a $15 dollar processing fee is kept and you can be credited for the rest of the initial charge (with rare exceptions due to extenuating circumstances decided by staff). A credit is given if returning a book within the 45-day time frame from the first overdue notice.

Damage includes, but is not limited to, spilling liquids, ripping, tearing, mold, mildew, barcode tampering, and anything beyond normal wear and tear.

ILL Probation Notice

NOTICE: As of January 1, 2018, there will be a change in Interlibrary Loan policy. Patrons who are found to consistently keep ILL books overdue will be placed on “ILL Probation,” allowing them to request only one Interlibrary Loan book at a time (article requests will be unaffected). This probation will last one semester for the first offense, one year for the second offense, and will be permanent upon the third offense.

ILL Overdue Policies

For Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items borrowed from other libraries, automated email notifications are sent 3, 7, and 14 days after the due date. At the final (14-day) overdue notification, a $100.00 bill is placed on your library account, blocking you from checking out books on the local system and from submitting ILL requests. After receiving this notice, you have one week to return the overdue book(s) before the $100.00 bill is actually billed to your Banner account.

The $100.00 bill is a placeholder and does not reflect a final charge. If you return the book before it is billed to the Banner account, the entire bill is cancelled. If you return the book after it is billed to the Banner account but before the ACU library has to compensate the owning library for the lost book, you are required to pay only a $15.00 processing fee.

If you do not return the book, or if the book is permanently lost, the ACU library will work with the lending library to determine what the lost charge will be, dependent on the lending library’s policy (some libraries charge only the cost of replacement; some charge a flat lost book fee which can be greater than $100.00.) You are charged whatever the lending library charges us plus the $15.00 processing fee. If you have not returned the ILL book by this time, you will be notified by email the date when ACU would compensate the library for the lost book and what the charge to you would be. After ACU has paid the other library, charges billed to you will be completely non-refundable.

Damaged books borrowed from other libraries are dependent upon the owning libraries’ policies. Keeping other libraries’ books overdue can damage our library’s reputation with other libraries and make it more difficult for you and other ACU users to borrow books in the future. Some blocking, unblocking, and billing is done manually, so you are encouraged to email or contact the library if you experience a delay in resolving issues after returning overdue books.

Usage Policy

1. The Learning Commons exists for the academic and cultural enrichment of students and employees. It is an academic environment, not a general purpose room or reception hall. Activities in the Learning Commons need to be in keeping with its purpose.

2. The Learning Commons cannot be open without someone from the library present to oversee the facilities. If a valid campus group or department wants the Learning Commons to be open when it would normally be closed, the decision is dependent on the availability of Learning Commons staff. The group requesting the Learning Commons agrees to pay for that staff member(s)’ time.

3. The library typically does not allow non-ACU groups to use its facilities for commercial, selling, or advertising purposes, even if that group agrees to pay for student coverage. We consider such gatherings to be a conflict of interest in our stewardship of facilities. The Learning Commons operates under the same guidelines.

To schedule an event please contact Penny Ruot at or at 674-2344.

Library Policy for Service Animals in the Library

In accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are welcomed and permitted in the Brown Library facilities. Per ADA, a service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. In other words, the dog must be trained to perform specific tasks. Per ADA regulations “the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.”

In order to help maintain a pleasant, productive and safe environment for all Library users and staff, the following behavioral guidelines for service animals are to be observed.

  • Service animals must be in physical proximity with their handler (owner) and under handler control and not left unattended at any time.
  • Service animals must remain on the floor at all times and not permitted on tables or other furniture.
  • Service animals must be on a leash or harness at all times unless the use of a leash or harness interferes with the animal’s effective performance of its designated task(s). If the animal cannot be leashed or harnessed, it must be under the handler’s control via voice, signals, or other effective means at all times.
  • Service animals must not display disruptive behavior such as barking and growling.
  • Service animals must be housebroken and their handler is responsible for any upkeep or cleanup of the animal.
  • If a person has allergies or is uncomfortable in the presence of a service animal, that person should seek out a staff member for assistance.
  • With rare exceptions, service animals are not allowed in the construction/fabrication area of the Library Maker Lab

NOTE: If a service animal’s behaviors or actions pose an unreasonable or direct threat to the health or safety of others or do not conform to these guidelines, it may not remain in the Library building. In accordance with ADA guidelines, non-compliance of guidelines can be grounds to ask the person and the service animal to leave the Library building.

Library Conduct Policy
The Brown Library provides collections and services in support of the instruction, research and service missions of Abilene Christian University. Users have the right to expect a safe, pleasant and productive environment for research and study. Users are expected to abide by the rules established by the Brown Library and ACU’s Student Code of Conduct (

Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating a disturbance or behaving in a manner which interferes with normal use of the Library, such as rowdiness, noise, loitering, and offensive interpersonal behavior.
  • Disruptive use of cell phones or other electronic devices.
  • Violating policies concerning food, drink, tobacco products, alcohol or drugs.
  • Failing to follow library circulation policies and procedures.
  • Mutilating, defacing or misusing library materials, equipment, or property.
  • Removing or attempting to remove library materials or property without checking them out or without proper authorization.
  • Concealing or otherwise restricting access to materials in the library for the exclusive use of an individual or group.
  • Possessing a weapon or hazardous substance/item.
  • Tampering with emergency mechanisms (fire alarms, alarms in elevators, opening emergency exits in non-emergency situations).
  • Being in an unauthorized area of the building; remaining in the building after closing or when requested to leave during emergency situations or drills.
  • Bringing animals into the building that do not meet ADA guidelines.
  • Riding wheeled devices in the library not intended for medical use.
  • Violating University and Library rules regarding computer use.

Brown Library employees have the responsibility to enforce these guidelines. All visitors to the Library will be held accountable for their actions. Library employees may notify ACUPD if an individual or group refuses to follow the guidelines.