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VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons: Policies

In response to community feedback, the following policies have been developed to provide expectations that all VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons users are to follow to support a conducive learning environment and access to the library's collections, spaces, and services.  

Overview of the policies for the VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons

This page lists the current policies for library users to follow when using this space. As the library is open 24/7, if incidents occur that a library user would like to report, this can be done by meeting with a library staff member during staffed hours, emailing us at, or filling out this form

In order to maintain and enforce these policies, the VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons will first reach out and inform a library user of the policies to resolve the situation. When warranted, the VTCSOM Library will report instances of non-compliance to: 

  • University Libraries (UL) Health Sciences Library personnel; additional UL Administration 
  • VTCSOM's Senior Dean and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs; additional HS&T Campus Administration
  • University Bursar (for fines/replacement costs, processing fees) 

Accessing the VTCSOM  Library & Learning Commons

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) Library & Learning Common's main purpose is to support the educational and research needs of its medical students, faculty, and research partners.  

VTCSOM students, faculty, and staff

Members of the VTCSOM are able to use their badges to access the VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons 24/7. 

Members of the HS&T Campus (non-VTCSOM)

The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons is open to all members of the Health Sciences & Technology campus from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.  After hours access is restricted to VTCSOM medical students, their mentors, and their research colleagues.

General Public (Visitors)

As a land-grant institution, the VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons is open to the public during staffed hours of 8:00-5:00 Monday-Friday.  There are times when the library may close due to weather or other events, be sure to check for any VTCSOM closings prior to your visit.

Additional information as to what resources visitors can use or borrow from the library can be found further down in this policies page as well as noted on our Visitor Information page.

Accessing Online Resources

Off-campus access to online healthcare subscription resources is available solely to currently enrolled VTCSOM students and currently employed VTCSOM faculty and staff. Users must authenticate using their VT PID/password to access VT-purchases resources and MyAthens account for Carilion-purchased resources

As a land-grant institution, community users (non-VT affiliates) may use a guest login at either of the two a public computer workstations housed within the VTCSOM Library.  Log-in information is posted on each computer. 

Based on licensing restrictions, note that not all of the library's resources may be available to non-VT affiliates or non-VTCSOM affiliates.

Access for Persons with Disabilities

The VTCSOM Library and Learning Commons is committed to providing equal access and opportunity for all students, employees, and visitors to our space. 

If you are a person with a disability, please visit Virginia Tech's Accessibility Portal for a full list of resources available to you. 

If you have a need for accommodations to use the library space, collections, or services, please contact us at with any documentation from the above listed entities so we can help create a plan to address your specific need(s). 

Borrowing Books, DVDs, and Other Non-Equipment Items

During staffed hours, check-out materials at the VTCSOM Library & Learning Common's front service desk.  You are expected to return materials in good condition on or before the due date. 

Unauthorized removal of materials from any library is a serious offense and violates the VTCSOM environment of educational integrity.  Books and equipment to be used outside of the library must be checked out at the front desk by presenting your Hokie Passport or Community Borrowing card.

The following borrowing privileges are extended to borrower's in good standing.  Privileges are suspended when items are billed, and may be revoked if materials are not returned.

VTCSOM faculty, students, staff, and other members of HS&T campus with Hokie Passports/VT PID and credentials: 


VTCSOM students, faculty, and staff 

Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff 


30 day loan
2 renewals
Limit: 15 items

30 day loan
2 renewals
Limit: 10 items

Reserves - Books

1 week
Limit: 2 items

Not available for lending

Circulating: 1 week
Reserves:  2 days
Limit:  2 items

Circulating: 1 week
Reserves:  Not available for lending
Limit: 2 items

Carilion affiliates with no Hokie Passport/VT credentials and other Community borrowers

Books 30 day loan
2 renewals
Limit: 5 items
Reserves-Books Not available for lending

Circulating: 1 week
Reserves:  Not available for lending
Limit: 1 item

Borrowing Equipment 

The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons loans out different types of equipment based on library user's affiliations, as noted on our equipment pageNote, some equipment must be checked out even if you plan to use it within the library (e.g. headphones, USB drives, phone chargers).  

The following policies apply:

  • Equipment is only able to be loaned out when the library is staffed. 
  • Equipment is to be returned to library staff. 
    • Any damage or loss of equipment placed in the book drop bin or left out is the responsibility of the borrower and may incur fines to repair damage or full replacement costs. 
  • Note, you will be required to sign an equipment form the first time you check out a piece of equipment that provides you with information and your responsibilities for damage or loss
    • This form does not apply to equipment available for anyone to check out as noted in the section on the equipment page.
  • Typically only one piece of equipment by type may be checked out at a time (e.g. a student can check out one laptop). Faculty and staff may be able to check out multiple pieces of equipment (e.g. multiple laptops) by by first contacting the Library at and reserving the equipment for their need. 
  • For VTCSOM-only equipment, students can only check  out one type of equipment at a given time, faculty and staff may check out multiple items, but are to contact the library ( to arrange these types of checkouts. 

Charitable Drive Bins

The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons supports initiatives for VTCSOM members to collect donations of items. To assist in these endeavors and maintain a professional environment, the Library has plastic totes that serve as collection bins. These can be checked out individually for a period of time to organizations to serve as a collection point at the front desk of the library using the form linked below: 

Use this form to reserve a bin for your group's charitable drive

Bins are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Each group can check out one bin at a time. The default checkout is 30 days, but we will adjust from 14 to 60 days. Groups that provide cardboard or other collection boxes that are not from the library will be asked to remove those and use the bins provided by the library. If demand is high, the library will consider adding additional bins to support the collections of items for more than 2 groups at a time.

Code of Conduct

Professional integrity and respectful behavior is expected at all times in the VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons. 

Anyone who disrupts the study atmosphere of the library will be asked to leave.  Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to: creating excessive noise, harassment of others, odor constituting a nuisance or health and safety concern, and behavior that disturbs users and staff or interferes with the use of the facility. 

We ask that mobile phones be set on vibrate or silenced and calls are made or answered outside of the library.  

Conference Room

The VTCSOM Library &  Learning Commons Conference Room is available to be reserved between 7am-7pm, Monday-Friday for meetings, interviews, group collaboration work, and teleconferences. Reservations can be made on the Conference Room page with a default of 60 minutes initially provided, which can be extended to 4 hours per reservation by adjusting the time in the reservation form.  Reservations can be adjusted to 15-minute increments.  

Any library user can reserve the conference room, however the space is not allowed to be used for individual study.  The conference room is open first-come, first-served if no reservations have been made, but users must leave as soon as a reservation is noted (refer to the scheduling panel located just outside the room). Reservations can be made at  

Note, preference to use this space is given to Academic Affairs to support students taking exams, so reservations may be cancelled in order to support that service. 

Donations to the Library

Before donating your materials, please contact Please include as much detail as possible including author, title, edition, and the date of publication for each item.

The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons will review items for donation, however, as many resources are available online and the print collection has a finite amount of space, donated materials may not meet the criteria to be added to the collection and will therefore be placed out for patrons to be able to build their own personal libraries. Materials that are not taken will be subject to disposal at the Library's discretion. 

The library will accept a book authored or edited by a VTCSOM faculty if the book meets one of the criteria:

  • A VTCSOM faculty would like to donate his or her newly published book in excellent condition.
  • The donation is an un-opened biomedical textbook, brand-new, published in the current year.

On the rare occasions that the VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons will accept print book donations based on the criteria above, the following rules apply:

  • Donated materials that are accepted by VTCSOM Library become the property of the library and cannot be returned.
  • Once the VTCSOM Library takes possession of a donated item, the Library reserves the right to designate the location and utilization of the donated items.

Food & Drink

Food and drink (in covered containers) are allowed in the VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons.  As a courtesy to other patrons, please avoid foods with strong odors.  

At times Academic Affairs, the Library, or other groups will provide snacks and/or beverages to library users. These items will be made available at the table with coffee maker and canister for boiling water.   

To protect library materials and equipment from damage, to avoid potential insect and rodent infestations, and to maintain the professional appearance of the environment, wrappers/used food containers, etc. must be properly stored away or properly disposed of in garbage bins.

All spills must be cleaned up immediately. Paper towels are available at the dispenser near the Library's front desk and trash receptacles are located throughout the library. 

Food that is left for more than 20 minutes at an unoccupied table (either sitting out at an empty table or left at a table with unattended personal belongings) is subject to being disposed of at the library's discretion.

Overdue Items, Fines, Billing

The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons does not issue patrons daily fines for overdue materials, however processing fees are assessed for materials that are significantly overdue.  The following chart explains the grace periods, billing, and when items are sent to the Bursar.

Item type Fine accrual rate: Grace Period/Account blocked:

Billing (includes a $20 processing fee) occurs at:

Sent to Bursar/Collections:
Books None 15 days overdue 45 days overdue 60 days overdue
DVDs & Daily Reserves None 2 days overdue 5 days overdue 7 days overdue
Equipment See Equipment page 2 days overdue 5 days overdue 7 days overdue
  • If you have an overdue item(s) you will receive an email notification.
  • Your account will not be blocked until on the 15th day the item is overdue
  • Once an item is 45 days overdue, you will be billed for replacement. 
  • Learn more about our billing process

If items are not returned by the end of the grace period, the borrower's account will be blocked. No items will be checked out or renewed, including the overdue item(s) during this time. Patrons may still return the item without incurring fees until the item is billed, as noted in the timetable above.

The grace period lasts from its due date until the end of the period listed in the 'Account Blocked' column above. Once the account blocked status has been reached, fines will accrue.  Hourly items will not accrue time during periods when the library is closed.

If you cannot find an item that has been checked out to you, contact the library for information on providing a replacement. This option is sometimes less expensive than paying for the billed cost through the system, but this must be done before the bill is sent to the Bursar.

Study Spaces 

The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons provides study space for students and members of the Health Sciences & Technology Campus. 

Seating is first-come, first-served. The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons does not permit library users to "claim" or "save" a seat by leaving personal items for extended periods of time (see unattended items below) or spread items out to multiple spaces at one time.

The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons is not a silent space as users are permitted to work quietly together in addition to using the space for individual study. The library provides noise-cancelling headphones for checkout (see equipment page) and disposable ear plugs for those who wish to block out noise that comes from being in an open space that is used by many people for different purposes.   

Unattended Items

The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons is not responsible for unattended items left in the library or lost and found.

Personal items must be taken with library users if they are not going to be using the library for over an hour before returning (e.g. leaving items for a short break is fine, leaving them for a longer duration is not). 

Items left in the library to "save" or "claim" a seat for later use will be placed in the library's lost and found, or held by library staff to determine who is in violation of this policy. Library users who find materials left in order to save a seat may place the items in lost and found (e.g. after hours) or turn into library staff (e.g. during business hours) or report incidents using this form

White/Dry-Erase Boards

The VTCSOM Library & Learning Commons provides white/dry-erase boards to support student learning. When finished using a white/dry-erase board, please erase so that others are able to use the boards in a timely manner.  

Periodically Library staff will erase content left on white/dry-erase boards for more than a few days. This is because over time the residue from dry-erase markers become increasingly difficult to remove, which can render a board useless if the markings become permanent. 

Be sure to take photographs of content you wish to keep to avoid content you need being erased to provide longevity to the boards as well as promote continued access to others.