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A Welcoming Library Environment

The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries seek to create a welcoming, comfortable, and safe environment for our users. The library is a place for learning and reflection, and our staff supports these activities by providing helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable service. Mutual courtesy and respect among users and staff are essential to promoting the educational mission of the library.

The Library Environment

One of our highest goals is to create a setting where our users feel free to pursue research and study without compromising their privacy or safety. The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries are in compliance with university policies, including those outlined by Student Accountability, Community Standards, & Academic Integrity and Vanderbilt Human Resources. Our libraries contain a variety of spaces for quiet study. Please be courteous to others and aware of conversation in open areas and when using electronic devices. All conduct should  be consistent with and support the research and scholarship of the Vanderbilt community.

Protecting our Resources

Equally important is protecting the physical integrity of our books, journals, and other resources. These materials form the intellectual core of the library, and we endeavor to ensure that users have access to sources of information that are in serviceable condition. In order to preserve and share materials, circulation policies (link to circ table) are in place. In order to protect delicate or one-of-a-kind materials, special guidelines for the handling and use of items may exist in some locations. Food and drinks in covered containers are allowed except in designated areas. 

Please help us care for our collection. Notify a Service Desk staff member of any damage or markings to library materials. 

Computing equipment is another vital resource that we must protect. The Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries are in compliance with Vanderbilt University's policies regarding Computing Privileges and Responsibilities as well as the libraries' policy regarding Use of Public Computers.  Users at workstations are in a public building and are expected to show consideration for others.

The Heard Libraries work closely with the Vanderbilt Police Department in order to ensure public safety. As needed, we report incidents and enlist the support of VUPD. Library patrons are encouraged to report concerns to any library Service Desk.