Building Use Policies

Visitors who do not have a campus card must stop at the Service Desk before using the library.

Public Access
Both the Folsom and Architecture Libraries are open to the general public. A Rensselaer ID card is required to open the front doors of the Folsom Library. Those without an ID card may request entry to the Library by pressing the intercom button located immediately outside the front doors and may be required to show a picture ID upon entry. 

Library computers are provided in support of Rensselaer's educational and research missions. The use of this equipment for other purposes is not permitted. All library users are expected to adhere to Rensselaer's Cyber Citizenship Policy . Access to library computers by members of the Rensselaer community takes precedence over access by the general public. Library staff may require individuals not affiliated with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to substantiate an appropriate research purpose in order to use library computers, scanners, and copying equipment.

Access Rules

  • Individuals may be required to show or deposit an acceptable form of identification, such as an unexpired Rensselaer or other college ID, or an unexpired driver's license.
  • Minors 16 years of age or under must be accompanied by an adult.
  • A quiet study atmosphere is expected in study and meeting rooms, and in all reading and stack areas, at all times.
  • The third and fourth floors of the Folsom Library are geared toward individual study. Group study is more appropriate on the first and second floors of the Folsom Library.
  • Individuals are expected to leave promptly at closing time, in emergencies, and during evacuation drills.
  • With the exception of service dogs, no animals are permitted inside library facilities.

Emergency Evacuation and Fire Drills
An electronic horn will sound to signal either a fire drill or an actual emergency evacuation. Library users and staff are required to immediately exit library buildings using the nearest designated exit. Periodic fire drills are required by New York State law.

Security Alarm Gate System
There is a security alarm gate located at the Libraries' main entrance. When the alarm sounds, the person who triggered the alarm must return to the Library Service Desk. If that person has any unauthorized library materials in their possession, the Library staff will report the incident to the appropriate administrative authority for disciplinary action. Such action may include, but not be limited to, loss of library privileges, disciplinary warning, disciplinary probation, expulsion from the Institute, or legal prosecution.

Closing Time Signal
Notice is given 30 minutes before closing over a loudspeaker, signaling the return of group study room keys and class reserve materials. Users have 15 minutes until the Library Service Desk closes to borrow library materials.

Requests for Exceptions to Standard Access to Folsom Library
Access to the Folsom Library is established with the issuance of a valid Rensselaer ID. Visiting scholars, visiting researchers and visiting faculty may be granted access to the library during open hours by pressing the intercom button located immediately outside the front doors, and may be required to show a picture ID upon entry.

Individuals who did not previously have Library access, or who wish to change their level of access, must have their department send an e-mail to the Library Director for their approval. All requests must include the individual's name, their RIN, the start date and end date of their library access, and the reason for the request. Departments requesting library access prior to the building’s normal opening time must provide justifications for the request. Early access constitutes a security issue and will be approved at the discretion of the library.

Library staff will sign any approved access requests and forward them to Public Safety for processing. Library staff will also notify the requesting department of any access requests which are not approved.

Designated individuals who are granted access to Folsom Library prior to the building’s official opening time are not to allow anyone else to enter with them. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the loss of early access to the library.

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