Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Library Policies & Guidelines


Library Services


The Library Director serves as a single contact point for EIT and Accessibility in the library, with each librarian having responsibility in their liaison areas.

Assistive technologies and equipment in computer labs 

The library does not have control over software installed on public computers in the library building and only offers input on furniture purchases in those areas. Please contact CNS or bring your concern to the library so that it can be forwarded to CNS

Borrowing Proxy

All patrons are eligible to designate individuals to act as a proxy representative when checking out materials. Proxy representatives can check out both library-owned and interlibrary loan materials on behalf of the principal borrower with the same loan periods and privileges that the principal borrower would receive. Patrons must contact the library to set up proxy access. To designate proxy representatives, principal borrowers must be registered borrowers at the library. The principal borrowers are solely responsible for all materials checked out on a proxy representative’s account and any fines, fees, or replacement charges accrued. This is available to all patrons.


Upon request, library staff will assist with the retrieval of books and with the use of electronic and other bibliographic resources. Time needed for retrieval will vary depending on staff availability. This is available to all patrons.

Research Services

Librarians provide assistance in locating materials on a topic or using the many online and print resources provided by the Libraries for your research and teaching needs. In-person help is available at the F. Franklin Moon Library. In addition, research assistance via email, text, phone and chat are offered.  Consult the Library web page for more details. Individuals are also invited to make an appointment with a librarian for an one-on-one appointment for research assistance. This is available to all patrons.

Access to Library Materials

As a matter of standard procedure, the library provides high quality scans (300-600dpi) in grey scale, color, or black and white depending on the source material, and conducts the OCR procedure on these documents. The libraries purchase captioned media when possible and honor all format requests where possible.

The library has migrated nearly all instructional handouts and documentation to our accessible Springshare (libguides) platform. 

Library Spaces

All floors in the F. Franklin Moon Library can be reached by public elevators. If individuals need assistance entering and exiting the elevator, they may ask at the services desk.

Wheelchair access is offered at the main entrance (quad) of the F. Franklin Moon Library. Accessibility is considered with all furniture purchases and layouts. With new furniture purchases greater than 20% meet ADA guidelines. ADA guidelines are specified in requests for proposals/quotes from furniture vendors. 

An accessible women’s restroom is located on the lower level of the library. There is no accessible men’s facility in the building.

Digitizing Content


The library routinely purchases accessible versions of content and will work with patrons to obtain and/or create versions of content that comply with the ESF Digital Content Accessibility Standards.  


As a matter of standard procedure the library provides high quality scans (300-600dpi) in greyscale, color, or black and white depending on the source material, and conducts the OCR procedure on these documents. The libraries purchase captioned media when possible and honor all format requests where possible.

External Services

The library can facilitate work with an external vendor regarding accessibility-related processing beyond what the institution can support. 


The library includes transcripts for any media recordings with newly produced materials and relies on Youtube auto captions for legacy materials. As a matter of standard procedure, the library purchases materials that are captioned, and promotes the use of interlibrary loan to request captioned titles if another library owns the item. 

How to loan a bike

The Moon library has bikes available for student use.  In order to borrow a bike, a patron must read a short bike safety guide and sign two forms: user agreement and waiver of liablility.  These forms are available at the circulation desk or can be viewed following the links below.  Once you submit the forms at the circulation desk, a certification will be added to your patron record indicating that you have completed the requirements to loan a bike.  Bikes loan for 24 hours.  A bike helmet and bike lock are provided. The circulation desk also has a loanable bike repair kit and bike pump for student use.  

Bike Safety Course

Bike User Agreement and Waiver Forms


The role of the Moon Library is to support the mission of the College: “to advance knowledge and skills and to promote the leadership necessary for the stewardship of both the natural and designed environments.” The library provides materials that support, facilitate and motivate learning, scholarly research and communication and public service. The guidelines that follow focus on the curricula and academic interests of the faculty and research associates from which instruction, research and public service emanate.

The library faculty has the obligation to collect in the fields outlined in these guidelines. All faculty members have an obligation to keep current in the literature of their respective fields and to suggest materials for the library to acquire. Others in the college community are also encouraged to make recommendations as well.

Materials are selected on the basis of relevancy to the curricula as outlined in these guidelines, scholarly merit, publication date and reputation of the publisher.
Multiple copies of materials are not purchased, but may be accepted as gifts. Fiction is not purchased. The Moon Library generally does not acquire materials owned by Syracuse University in any format.

These guidelines are used in evaluating materials considered for acquisition, for establishing priorities in budget allocation and for evaluating potential discards from the collection. They are reviewed periodically by the library faculty and revised to reflect changes in curricula and needs of the Library’s users.

Censorship and Intellectual Freedom

The Library strives to uphold the American Library Association Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights.

Branch Libraries

There are collections under the control of the Moon Library at the Adirondack Ecological Center, the Ranger School and the Cranberry Lake Biological Station.

Materials for these collections are selected, ordered and processed at the Moon Library with input and recommendations from faculty and staff located at those facilities. These guidelines do not cover collections or instructional material in other facilities of the College or private collections of individual faculty members that are shelved in their offices. Those collections have no connection with Moon Library.

Interlibrary Cooperation

Students, faculty and staff of the College have full access and borrowing privileges at the Syracuse University Libraries and the Library at the Upstate Medical University as well as at all other SUNY institutions. There are informal collection acquisitions guidelines between the ESF, UMU and SU. Through the use of interlibrary loan and other processes we have attempted to rationalize the collection development process and reduce the amount of overlapping holdings in our collections.


Gifts to the Moon Library are accepted. There should be no special conditions attached to the gift and potential gifts are evaluated according to these guidelines for inclusion in the Library’s collection. The Library is free to dispose of material that is not needed or is inappropriate for the collection.

Categories of materials

There are generally four categories of materials that are considered for acquisition. They are listed and described below in order of decreasing priority.

  • Serials include scholarly periodicals and journals, annuals, reports, transactions, proceedings, bibliographic databases, etc. (any publication issued in parts or series.) The term periodical and journal are used interchangeably and refer to a publication with a distinctive title, usually appearing unbound in successive numbers or parts at stated or regular intervals. Serials are often purchased in electronic format.
  • Current books include monographs (an exhaustive treatment of a subject), theses and dissertation of ESF students, and reference works (such as encyclopedias and dictionaries.)
  • Theses and Dissertations: Bound copies, if available, are shelved in the main circulating collection when available and an archival copy is held in the College Archives. The Library also has links in the online catalog to electronic copies of theses and dissertations from approximately 1996 to the present. 
  • Special collections contain rare books and primary source material including but not limited to manuscripts, diaries and photographs.  
  • The SUNY ESF College archives contains college records and historical publications relating to the college and created by various college departments, faculty and students. Examples of items in the archives include but are not limited to The Empire Forester, Papers of Past ESF Presidents, faculty publications, faculty meeting and board of trustees minutes and 3-dimensional college artifacts.
  • Digitized items from both special collections and the college archives can be found via 2 online repositoriesSUNY ESF’s online repository and New York Heritage and finding aids for some collections may be found online 

Levels of Emphasis

The subject areas included in Moon Library’s collections are ranked according to the following five levels of emphasis (developed by the American Library Association.) The collection is frequently and systematically reviewed for currency of information for all levels. Many of the materials at all levels may be in available in an electronic format.

Level 0: Out of Scope. The Library does not collect in this subject.

Level 1: Minimal. The Library collects few materials beyond very basic works.

Level 2: Basic Information. The Library collects a selective group of materials that serves to introduce and define a subject. This may include dictionaries, encyclopedias, access to appropriate databases, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, handbooks and a few major periodicals.

Level 3: Study or Instructional Support. The Library collects materials adequate to impart and maintain knowledge about a subject in a systematic way but at a level of less than research intensity. Materials include a wide range of basic works in appropriate formats, a significant number of classic retrospective materials, a selection of representative journals. The materials collected at this level should be adequate to support independent study and most learning needs of undergraduate and graduate students.

Level 4: Research. The Library collects materials that include the major materials required for doctoral and other original research. Materials include all important reference works, a wide selection of specialized monographs as well as a very extensive collection of journals and the major databases in the field. Older materials are usually retained for history research and actively preserved.

Level 5: Comprehensive. At this level the Library would collect as far as reasonably possible all significant works of recorded knowledge in any format and language for a necessarily defined and limited field. No subjects at Moon Library are collected at this exhaustive level.

Gift and Donation Policy

Moon Library accepts gifts to its collection on an unrestricted basis.  Gifts of books and other materials will only be accepted under these guidelines.  For further information contact Ruth Owens, Acquisitions/ILL Librarian at 315-470-4780 or at

1. Arranging donations:

  • All arrangements for gifts to Moon Library should be made with the Acquisitions/ILL Librarian. 
  • Donors are requested to inform the Library in advance that a potential gift is being offered.  The Library can generally not accept gifts without prior notification.
  • The Library reserves the right to refuse materials which are inappropriate for the Library’s collection, obsolete, duplicate materials in the collection or are in questionable physical condition.  Potential gifts are evaluated according to the Library Guidelines for Collection Development (see attachment A). No donation will be accepted without an evaluation for appropriateness to the collection.
  • The Library reserves the right to refuse donations which the Library may not be able to care for due to the costs associated with conservation and storage of those materials.
  • The Library staff can not make on site evaluations of potential gifts. Thorough evaluation of gifts requires the use of library catalogs and files. Lists of proposed gifts, which may be checked against the Library’s holdings, are preferable.  A random selection of the materials from a proposed donation may also serve as a sample by which an evaluation may be made.
  • The donor must arrange for delivery of gifts to the Library.  The Library will be happy to offer advice about means of delivery.
  • Donors signify their agreement with these terms by signing the policy linked to below.

2. Appraisals:

  • The legal and tax complications of appraisals and the fact that the Internal Revenue Service considers the Library to be an interested party make it impossible for the Library to enter directly into such transactions.  For the donor’s benefit, it is the policy of the Library not to be become involved in matters relating to the appraisal of donated materials.
  • The donor should make arrangements directly with an appraiser.  The Library may help to identify an appraiser.

3. Acknowledgement:

  • The Library will acknowledge receipt of gifts by letter.
  • If the gift to the Library is for the College Archives the donor must complete a signed release form transferring title to the College.  (See: Donor Policy for the College Archives and Donor Agreement Form).

4. Retention and Disposal of Donated Material:

  • The Library has the right to retain or dispose of donated materials as collection demands dictate.
  • Donated "collections" are integrated into the Library’s collections.
  • Bookplates identifying the donor may be placed in those items retained by the Library and a gift note may be included in the cataloging record for the material. 

Gift Guidelines and Donation Form

Recommending Items for ESF Libraries

Moon Library welcomes suggestions for new library materials.  Requests may be sent to Moon Library, in whatever format is most convenient including this online request form. Before requests are sent to the Library, the catalog should be searched to be sure the Library doesn’t already own the material or has already placed an order for the material. 

Recommendations will be reviewed and ordered as long as funds are available and the request matches the Library’s collection development guidelines. Materials will generally not be ordered under the following circumstances:

  1. Moon already owns the material.
  2. Syracuse University owns the material and it doesn't seem necessary to duplicate it.
  3. The subject matter is clearly outside the Library's responsibility.
  4. The price is astronomical. 

The Library will acknowledge receipt of recommendations indicating what course of action is being taken (ordered, or not ordered and why.)

Once a request has been ordered it may be received in a matter of days or it can take months depending upon its availability and other considerations. (Take this into consideration when ordering materials for classes!). 

Borrowing and Renewing Items

What do I need to take out items?

ESF students, faculty, and staff: ESF ID card

ESF students who want to check out a bike: please refer to the FAQ "How Do I Check Out a Bike?"

SU students, faculty, and staff: SU ID card

Non-ESF/SU users: A courtesy card may be issued at Moon Library upon presentation of an acceptable ID

Loan Periods

Semester Loan
  • Books
  • Theses
  • Environmental Impact Statements (EIS)

Note: Semester loans may be recalled after 3 weeks if needed by another library patron or for course reserve. Recalled items that are not returned are considered overdue and fines are charged. There is no grace period for recalled items.

14 Day Loan
  • Bound periodicals
  • Topographic maps
In Library Use Only
  • Reserve items
  • 2 Hour Non-reserve items such as calculators, usb drives, colored pencils, etc.
  • Current periodicals
  • Reference books
  • Bibliographic books (indexes and abstracts)
24 Hours
  • Bikes

Renewal Policies

Only semester loan materials such as books and theses can be renewed.

Library items may not be renewed more than 5 times online or kept longer than 2 years.

Item  Where to Renew
ESF semester loan item renewed 4 times or fewer Through your library account or at Moon Library
SU item renewed 4 times or fewer Through SU's catalog or at one of the SU Libraries
Any item renewed 5 times or more

In person at the library you borrowed it from

Bikes, DVD's, maps, bound periodicals, reserves Can not be renewed
Interlibrary Loans Online in ILLiad; Check out the ILL guide for more information

Please note: ESF library materials may not be returned or renewed at SU library service desks, and SU library materials may not be returned or renewed at Moon Library's service desk.

How many items can I take out at a time?

Item Limits
  • Short term 14 day loans
    • 5 items
  • Reserve materials
    • 3 items
  • 2 hour non-reserve materials
    • 10 items
  • Bikes
    • 1 bike
  • Semester Loans
    • ESF / SU undergraduate students = 100 items
    • ESF /SU graduate students, faculty, and staff = 250 items
    • Guest borrowers, alumni, etc. = 10 items

Overdue Charges

Moon Library does not levy late fines or fees on materials owned by the library. Moon Library will "pass along" any fines or fees related to interlibrary loan items obtained on behalf of a patron. 

Please note: Circulation notices generated by the automated library services platform are sent as a courtesy; failure to receive an overdue notice does not exempt you from charges. Notices will imply late fines or fees but a limitation of the system prevents notices without fines. Moon Library does reserve the right to charge replacement fees for lost and/or damaged items.

Lost Items

Items are considered lost after the following time periods:
  • Semester Loans: 40 days overdue
  • 2-Hour Reserve Items: The end of the day on which they were checked out
  • Bikes: 10 days overdue
Charges for lost items (non-bike):
  1. $100 lost item replacement fee, or the actual cost of the item
  2. $20 lost item processing fee
  3. $20 overdue fine
Charges for lost or missing bike items:
  1. $500 lost bike replacement fee
  2. $15 for every lost or missing helmet, bike lock, or key

If a lost item is subsequently returned before a replacement copy has been purchased, the replacement fee is forgiven, but the lost item processing fee is still payable.

Please Handle Library Materials with Care

Library users are encouraged to exercise care when using the library collection. By following these simple guidelines, the lifespan of the library materials will be extended:

  1. Remove books carefully from the shelf without pulling them at the top of the spine.
  2. Avoid eating or drinking when using library materials. Not only may this damage books, but it also attracts book loving bugs and rodents.
  3. Photocopy library books carefully and only when necessary. Both the light on the pages and the pressure exerted on the spine when pressed flat are unhealthy for books.
  4. Do not underline or write in books. The ink may be acidic and damage the book (and it annoys other users).
  5. Use flat bookmarks. Bending pages weakens the paper; pens or other such objects can damage the spine of the book when the book is closed. The use of paper clips may also damage pages.
  6. Protect library materials from rain and snow by putting your library books in a bag. The library has a supply of plastic bags for this purpose.
  7. Handle fragile materials with special care. Please bring any book in poor condition to the Main Desk so that it may be repaired.

Patron Use of the Library


The Moon Library Staff believes that its users should have a pleasant and productive environment for study and research. Therefore, the Library requests that its users respect community norms below so that the library environment is conducive to study, research, and social interaction, and that access to all is ensured.

Guidelines for Patrons:

We recognize that students spend many hours in the library and access to sustenance is a tangible aspect of sustainability. Food and beverages are permitted in all areas of the library except for in Archives and Special Collections and around those materials if they are being used outside of those areas.

We need your help in keeping the library clean. The key to success will be the willingness of library users to be responsible in their choice of foods and beverages and to help by cleaning up after themselves.

Clean Up:

Clean it up/throw it away/recycle it/compost it: wipe up accidents, throw away or recycle your food containers and bottles. All bathrooms have paper towels and they are available at the service desk. Trash, recycling, and compost containers are available throughout the library; please pick up after yourself.

"No Fault Policy:" Tell a library staff member immediately if there is an accident so we can ensure that damaged materials, furniture and carpeting are properly treated and there is appropriate clean-up.

Library Spaces:

The Academic Library is a places for people to meet colleagues, come together for discussion, plan and prepare collaborative works, or simply to relax and spend some quiet time during class session breaks or down time.

The library seeks to provide a variety of spaces to cater for different users and uses. These include individual study spaces, group study  spaces,  more formal collaborative spaces that requires certain equipment and technologies and a higher degree of privacy and teaching & presentation spaces. As well, we strive to enhance these spaces to enrich the social and personal experiences of students and promote inclusiveness and access of individuals. 

We ask you to be observant of community norms for different spaces of the library. We respect the community to define its own expectations. 


When a patron is disruptive of the community they will be approached by a staff member and asked to cease their behavior. Respect for library personnel and compliance with their directives is expected. If the behavior continues during that visit, or a given individual has established a pattern of behavior, the student may be referred to the College's Coordinator of Judicial Affairs for disciplinary action, which will become part of the student's College disciplinary file. Any inappropriate behavior by any library patron may be reported to the University Police.

Thank you:

Compliance with the above guidelines should ensure a pleasant atmosphere for studying and doing research in Moon Library. Your assistance in providing an atmosphere, which enhances the library’s role in the educational process at SUNY ESF, is important and is appreciated.

Please contact us