Public Access Policy

The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is a private library with public access whose primary mission is to serve the students, faculty and staff of Tulane University. Recognizing its value to the greater New Orleans community and its unique resources of broader interest, the Library welcomes visitors and special borrowers. Public access to the Library is not extended to visitors as a surrogate for the general use of public or other academic libraries in the New Orleans area, however. Use of the Library by minors below the age of 14 unaccompanied by an adult is not permitted at any time.

A related Computer Use Policy applies to the computers provided for library research and as a means of access to the Library's online catalog and digital resources.

User Groups

Services and privileges addressed in this policy include walk-in workshops, reference or point-of-use instruction, interlibrary loan and document delivery, mediated online searching, requests for in-process materials, requests for on-order materials, and recommendations for item purchases. Levels of service are determined through the reference interview and are described below for the Library's user groups.

Tulane Affiliates

Tulane students, faculty, and staff are given priority assistance and are entitled to all services and privileges listed above. Tulane students, faculty and staff affiliated with programs supported by the Tulane libraries of business, law and medicine receive priority assistance and are entitled to all services and privileges except interlibrary loan, document delivery, and mediated online searching. Tulane alumni with alumni borrowing cards are entitled to most services and privileges except interlibrary loan, document delivery, mediated online searching, Microsoft Office and other licensed software, and off-campus access to research databases.

Visitors and Special Borrowers

Visitors and special borrowers are welcome to use the Library's General Collections, the Special Collections in Jones Hall, and the Library's Government Documents Depository. "Special borrowers" are those included with the CALL and LALINC programs, other reciprocal borrowers, and those who have purchased special borrower cards.

All borrowers with Tulane library cards or reciprocal-, alumni-, and special library cards may request in-process and on-order items and may submit recommendations for new purchases.

For use of the General Collections, visitors and special borrowers may expect basic assistance that includes a brief introduction to searching the local catalog and/or another resource most appropriate to the visitor's needs. For use of the unique materials at Special Collections, visitors and special borrowers may expect basic assistance that includes a brief introduction to searching the local catalog, onsite finding aids, and resources most appropriate to the visitor's needs. More in-depth assistance with Special Collections is available by pre-arrangement or as staff time permits.

Visitors and special borrowers served by other local libraries are expected to use their home library for in-depth instruction or detailed help with research topics. Visitors and special borrowers are identified through the initial reference interview employed with each library user who requests in-depth assistance. Instructors at other schools should not refer their students to Howard-Tilton for resources and services available at their own institution. 

Lusher High School Students

Tulane has established a long-term commitment to and partnership with the Lusher Charter School. As part of this partnership, the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library works with the librarian and teachers at Lusher high school to offer borrowing privileges and other services to Lusher students in grades 9-12. For details, see the Lusher School Students and Teachers guide.

International High School of New Orleans Students

Tulane has established a long-term commitment to and partnership with the International High School of New Orleans. As part of this partnership, the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library works with the librarian and teachers at International High School of New Orleans to offer borrowing privileges and other services to International High School of New Orleans students in grades 9-12. For details, see the International High School of New Orleans students and Teachers guide.

Pre-College Students

Use of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library by pre-college students, except for Lusher and International High students, is not encouraged. The services and resources of the library are designed for study at the undergraduate level and above and are generally not appropriate for pre-college students. Due to limited resources we are not able to offer borrowing privileges, instructional services, or online database access to pre-college students. Therefore we strongly discourage pre-college students from using the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library for research. Pre-college students are encouraged to work with their school’s librarian to determine appropriate local libraries and other sources of information that are available to them.

In cases where pre-college students report they have been sent by their teacher to the Library, the name of the teacher will be obtained and the Dean of Libraries will contact the teacher's school. Unannounced visits by a teacher with a group of pre-college students are not allowed.

Pre-college students are not allowed in the Library during exam periods.

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