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University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus

Library Spaces Usage Guide: Overview

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Kaya Van Beynen, USF Libraries
Library Research & Instruction
Office: POY 130
Phone: (727) 873-4626

The Nelson Poynter Memorial Library is an 81,000 square foot ADA-compliant building located on Bayboro Harbor. Opened in 1996, the facility has been well maintained with recent upgrades to carpeting, technical infrastructure, and furnishings, all adding to its utility and attractiveness. The expansive first floor lobby and atrium’s stunning artwork designed by USF alumnus Robert Calvo features three sculptures representing the great libraries of Alexandria, Nineveh, and Pergamum. Because the Library is located on Bayboro Harbor, beautiful views abound. It boasts many rooms and spaces that attract the interest of the USF St. Petersburg campus community and beyond. The building was designed and has been maintained in order to facilitate and enhance the Library’s primary mission to serve the students, faculty and staff of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus, as well as all of USF. As an academic unit of USF St. Petersburg campus, the Poynter Library also provides support for USF St. Petersburg campus’ partnerships with USF and beyond, as well as its efforts to engage with and develop stronger relationships with the community at large.


Usage Statement

While the use of the Library’s public and private spaces is weighted in favor of our primary mandate, we also strive to accommodate as many of USF St. Petersburg campus' partners’ needs as possible. Students, faculty, and staff of USF St. Petersburg campus and the USF, are free to use the library and its public spaces as long as they abide by all rules and guidelines, including designations of quiet study spaces and any special areas with usage restrictions. Students (both paying and non-paying), faculty, and staff are required to abide by all University codes of conduct and standards of behavior. Use of the building by members of the general public is a privilege that may be revoked by failure to abide by laws or University regulations or to respect the students and library staff. Library staff members and security personnel are authorized to request identification of anyone in the building. Library staff and security personnel are also authorized to ask anyone to discontinue disruptive or inappropriate behavior. Failure to comply with staff requests may result in staff summoning Campus Police and having an individual removed and trespassed from the building indefinitely. Students, faculty or staff who fail to comply with library staff requests will also have the situation referred to an appropriate University body for review.


Requests for Space for Special Events

A. Organizers of events must receive permission for their events from the Library Dean or the Dean’s designate. Requests must be in writing, either through email or through online forms.

B. Requests to use specific areas of the library will be subject to whatever additional conditions have been determined to be necessary for that space.


Expectations for Using Library Space for Special Events

A. Noise should be kept to a reasonable level and may not include the playing of loud music, conducting amplified prize drawings, or anything that would be disruptive outside of the area approved for the event.

B. Organizers and attendees must follow fire and other safety regulations and must keep entrances and exits into the area unobstructed and may not have any lighted or flammable materials (with the exception of approved catering equipment.)

C. Food and drink must be approved before it is brought in and organizers are responsible for cleaning up after their events. Arrangements with caterers are the responsibility of event organizers.

D. Event organizers or caterers may not have access to the building prior to or after normal hours of operation, unless special arrangements have been made.

E. Event organizers may request to use the Library’s 20 stackable chairs for their event. Additional chairs and tables must be secured through Reservation Services. If the Library’s chairs are used, Library staff will bring them out for use but will not set them up. Setting up special events is the sole responsibility of event organizers.

F. Event organizers are welcome to use existing equipment and furnishings that are in the spaces they have been approved to use.

G. Event organizers may request the use of a microphone or podium from the Library’s equipment. All other special equipment will need to be provided for or arranged by event organizers.

H. Event organizers must make arrangements within their group or with Reservation Services for setting up and restoring the space to its original configuration in a timely manner after the event. Library staff are not available to assist with setting up for an event or cleaning up after an event is done, unless special arrangements have been made in advance. Event organizers who fail to restore the space to its original configuration may be denied future use of library space. I. In general, one or more Library staff members must be present in the building while an event is underway and access will not be granted to public areas for times when the building is not open. Exceptions may be made for events of high importance to the institution.


Procedure for Managing Requests 

It is the prerogative of the Library Dean or the Dean’s designate to deny any request. The criteria for evaluating a request include:


A. Is the event important to the goals of USF St. Petersburg campus?

B. Is the Library a co-sponsor of the event?

C. Is the event organizer affiliated with USF St. Petersburg campus?

D. Is the event directed at or open to USF St. Petersburg campus students?

E. Is the event planned for a time when classes are in session or during exam periods, or is it planned for a break period or a time between semesters?

F. Is the event (and setup for it) planned for a time that would interfere with the normal functioning of the library and disrupt the work of the students and faculty using the Library?

G. Will setup for the event require Library staff to reconfigure technology or otherwise assist with the setup and cleanup?

H. Is the event of long or short duration?

I. Are the event organizers prepared to reimburse the Library for staff expenses related to the event or damages to or loss of equipment and facilities?

J. Is the event of such importance to the long-range goals of USF St. Petersburg campus that short-term disruption to student work and normal Library service is determined to be worth the short-term inconvenience?

K. Will the event organizers provide an opportunity for the Library to promote its services as part of the event, if such promotion is appropriate?


Areas and Usage Information

Most public areas of the library are available for use by anyone on a first-come, first-served basis. All public areas of the library have a range of furnishings for group or individual study, limited access to power, and a range of technology options to enable users to carry out their research and study effectively. Although researchers from the public may sign up for guest access to the wireless network, access to library computers and to library databases may be restricted. Some furnishings may be moved and other pieces of equipment are fixed in place. All general conditions already outlined above apply to these spaces, in addition to some extra requirements as outlined below.

A. First Floor Lobby and Atrium

The lobby is the only public entryway to the more than 300,000 items (including books, periodicals, microforms, and archival materials) that the library holds, as well as the computer labs, reserve materials, circulation, Instructional Media Center and Distance Learning, Special Collections, and all other library services. The lobby adjoins the primary computer commons, the café-style seating for laptop use, the Scholars’ Lounge, Poynter Corner, and a variety of study spaces. Special exhibits are occasionally arranged for some of the space. Requests to use the lobby and atrium for special events and exhibits must be approved by the Library Dean.

B. Poynter Corner

Located in the southwest corner of the busy first floor, Poynter Corner is an open student-use area that is available for students to practice presentations and group projects, or study alone or in groups. This space boasts a beautiful view of Bayboro Harbor and is equipped with sophisticated technology. An oversized LCD flat panel TV provides a large screen for effective group presentations. Rolling, reconfigurable furnishings allow users to redesign the room for maximum effect. The outer edge of the space is defined with two banks of special workstations with built-in power to accommodate the use of laptops or other technology. Use is on a first-come, first-served basis. The large panel TV has an attached computer that can be used with a NetID logon. Laptops can be connected if they have VGA or HDMI outputs using a connection box supplied at the TV. Users are responsible for testing laptop connections before an event to assure compatibility, as library staff are not always available to assist with resolving technical difficulties on short notice.


The space may sometimes be reserved for special events throughout the year by filling in the online form available at:


C. Group Study Rooms

Fifteen study rooms are available for use by USF students, faculty, and staff only; a current USF ID card is required for access to the rooms. The larger rooms in particular are intended for group work; a single occupant may be required to cede usage to a group if asked to do so by Library staff. Keys to the study rooms can be checked out at the circulation desk. Study room keys are checked out for three hours and may be renewed one time if no other patrons are waiting to use a room.

The fine for overdue room keys is $5.00 per hour to a maximum of $25.00. Keys are considered lost after 5 hours. Please note all Reserve items available for 3 hour checkout are overdue after 5 minutes. The fee for a lost key is $100.00.  

All group study rooms contain large screen monitors which may be connected to a laptop computer to supply audio and video for group project work. Large screen monitors accept VGA connections only. Video adapters are available for checkout through the Service Desk, as well as laptop computers that are compatible. Wireless access is available throughout the library building. Requests to reserve a study room for special usage may be made at the Circulation Desk and are subject to approval by the Head of Access Services or the Library Dean.


D. Assistive Technologies Room

The library provides assistive technologies in a quiet study room setting for registered students or USF faculty and staff with special visual needs. All students with a USF NetID who have registered with Student Disability Services may check out the key to the room. Normal check-out is for three hours but special arrangement can be made for longer periods of time in consultation with Student Disability Services. Contact the Service Desk for access to room 136. Use of the room is normally on a first-come, first-served basis but Student Disability Services may reserve the room under special circumstances. The room is not available for use by members of the general public. Located in room POY 136, the space contains a computer equipped with screen reading technology well as popular visual enhancement. Two monitors are used in tandem to supply two differing adjustable screen resolutions for enhanced screen reading as well as text-to-speech services. A video magnification unit is also provided. Students should work with Student Accessibility Services regarding training to use the equipment. The Accessibility Services office has additional like-kind equipment offerings and may be reached at 727-873- 4990, or online at . More information can be found on the Library’s ADA Web page at Overview - Assistive Services & Technologies - USF St. Petersburg Library at Nelson Poynter Memorial Library


E. Instructional Media Center

The Instructional Media Center (IMC) provides office space and collaborative work space for instructional designers working with faculty in the development and design of their online courses. It also houses some specialized collections and study tables. Within IMC, one small group listening and viewing room is available for students, faculty, and staff of USF to make use of media while in the library. This room is not available for general study. Two other small rooms are available for study by checking out a key at the circulation desk. The IMC also houses the USF ID card production service. Requests for reserving the IMC for any non-library groups or functions must be made to and approved in advance by Instructional Media Services and Distance Learning. Fees may apply in some cases and the Library reserves the right to deny a request.


F. Library Instruction Classroom The Library Instruction Classroom is located on the second floor of the Poynter Library, in room 218. Twenty-six desktop computers are available in the room, which has overhead data projection and connects to a pay-for-print system. First priority in scheduling goes to library-related instruction; however, USF sponsored or attended training sessions, or non-recurring instruction sessions may be scheduled when the room is not in use by Library staff. Full listings of hardware and software can be found on the Hardware & Software Resources pages at Computing Hardware - Library Systems & Technology and Software Information - Computing Support Services - USF St. Petersburg Library at Nelson Poynter Memorial Library Non-USF sponsored use may incur a fee based on the status of the group and any systems needs. USF sponsored groups are considered those that are both HOSTED and ATTENDED by parties employed or funded directly by the University of South Florida. A Non-USF Sponsored group is any party not employed or funded directly by the University of South Florida. In accordance with USF and SUS policies and procedures, such groups will be charged for lab use whether hosting a session or receiving instruction, according to their profit or non-profit status. Any non-USF sponsored groups, as described above, must contact the Head of Systems & Digital Technology to verify any software or hardware requirements beyond those outlined in the Software Inventory and Hardware Specifications, and also the Head of Library Research and Instruction for availability. Hardware or software installations may be performed based on the capacity of the machines, availability of staff, and the scope and time frame of the project. Special software requests may be subject to fees to recover costs. Requests to reserve the classroom must be made with the Head of Library Research and Instruction or the Head of Library Systems & Digital Technology. The Library reserves the right to deny a request.

G. Special Collections Reading Room

Special Collections and Archives serves as the repository for rare and unique research materials. The Reading Room is a public space available to researchers using the materials within Special Collections. The room can accommodate up to 25 people (standing room only) for class presentations, meetings, and events. Due to the presence of some materials on shelves in the Reading Room, all event requests must have the approval of the Special Collections Librarian or the Library Dean. All Reading Room events that receive approval will require the presence of the Special Collections Librarian or a library representative throughout the entire period of use (including setup and breakdown). Under no circumstances will the room be left unattended by the Librarian or designated staff. No food, drinks, or other materials that have the potential to stain or damage any books, library materials, or furniture will be permitted in the Reading Room. Use of materials in Special Collections is arranged only by appointment with the Special Collections Librarian.

H Other public areas

Occasionally the book stacks, study areas, or other public spaces are requested for public events, such as filming or short interviews. With the Dean’s permission, such areas may be used for events of short duration if the expected disruption to students and other Library patrons or staff is minimal.