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Access Services Policies

This guide houses the policies of the Access Services unit of the Newton Gresham Library

Eligibility to Borrow Policies


All SHSU users must present a valid SHSU I.D. card (Bearkat OneCard) at the time of checkout to borrow library books or Reserve materials.

If a patron checks out material on their account for someone else, the account-holder is responsible for any overdue or lost book charges.


TexShare Cards - For SHSU Students/Faculty/Staff

Sam Houston State University faculty, staff, and students, in good standing, with no outstanding fines or overdue material, are eligible for a TexShare card issued by NGL.  ‘Good standing’ for students also includes being currently enrolled. The TexShare card allows faculty, staff, and students to checkout books from other participating institutions.

SHSU faculty, staff, and students may request a TexShare card from NGL. Other individuals may request a TexShare card from their nearest participating public library.


Summer Access Policy

Students generally must be enrolled for the semester to maintain library privileges. (More about enrollment and services in Academic Policy Statement 030603)

Students who are not enrolled in the summer semester may request through the Library Service Desk that their library privileges be extended for the summer if they have pre-registered for the fall semester. (see Academic Policy 840606) If an extension is granted, it includes borrowing, renewal, hold, recall, and interlibrary loan.


Employee Separation Policy

Per SHSU Human Resources policies, “When an employee separates employment from SHSU, all authority and access delegated to this person related to their official duties, must be revoked effective no later than the separation date.”

Separation notices will be processed by the library as they are received from the university. Patrons will be contacted (preferably before their separation) concerning outstanding checkouts or fines, and their library borrowing privileges will be set to expire on their separation date.

Also per university policy, retired staff and faculty maintain library borrowing privileges. Therefore, when a user separates for reason of retirement, their status with the library will be updated but their privileges will continue.

NGL encourages faculty members to use the Faculty Direct system. This service retrieves, checks out, and delivers the material(s) to the faculty member. This service applies to all library materials, including books, periodicals, reference material, and government documents. Some faculty, however, prefer to send a student to retrieve the material from the shelves and check it out for them.

The policy for allowing a student to checkout books or journals for a faculty member is as follows:

  • The library must have a letter giving permission for the student to checkout the materials under the faculty member’s account:
    • Written/typed on University or Department letterhead.
    • Include the faculty member’s name and Bearkat One ID card number
    • Include the student’s name and Bearkat OneCard ID number
    • Signed by the faculty member
  • A new letter must be provided to the Service Desk each semester.
  • The first time the student comes to the library to get material for the faculty member, the student must have the faculty member’s Bearkat OneCard, the student’s Bearkat OneCard, and the letter with them.
  • Thereafter, the student will need to provide only their own Bearkat OneCard to check out on the faculty member’s account. 
  • If, for some reason, the faculty member’s Bearkat OneCard is not available for the first time the student comes to the library, the staff member on duty will attempt to verify and has the discretion to approve the exception.
  • The books must be for the faculty member’s use.

The faculty member who provides the letter of authorization accepts responsibility for all items checked out on their account by the student.

The Newton Gresham Library is pleased to offer the families of our university faculty and staff library privileges. Faculty/staff members remain responsible for all material checked out on their cards.

If a faculty/staff members wishes to give a family member access to their account, they must do the following:

  • Write a letter indicating that they wish members of their family to have library borrowing privileges. (An email is acceptable if sent from a faculty/staff member’s SHSU account.) The letters will be kept in a binder located at the Service Desk. An example is provided below.
  • The letter should be given or sent to the Library Service Desk, located on the main / second floor of the library, or mailed to SHSU Box 2179, Huntsville TX 77341. The letter will remain on file until the faculty/staff member sends another letter retracting permission or is no longer employed with SHSU.
  • The first time a family member uses the library, they must have the letter giving them permission to use the account, the faculty/staff member’s Bearkat One ID, and their own ID.  The family member must have the faculty/staff member’s Bearkat One ID in their         possession when they checkout books on their own ID.  If the faculty/staff member is often unavailable, a Courtesy card will be issued in the faculty/staff member’s name for use by authorized family member.
  • Overdue notices for books checked out by family members will be sent to the faculty/staff member’s email address.

Books are subject to recall after 14 days.


Sample Family Use Authorization


            Please allow my partner/child, name(s), to check out library material using my Bearkat One ID number.




            Faculty/staff member’s name

            Faculty/staff member’s Bearkat One ID number

Newton Gresham Library also offers some services to patrons who are not affiliated with the university.


TexShare Cards

Institutions participating in the TexShare program include public libraries, community colleges, colleges, and universities, public and private.  When an individual receives a TexShare card from their home library and presents it to the SHSU library, they must:

  • Complete an incoming TexShare application.
  • Present the TexShare card from home library, and a photo ID at the Service Desk.
  • Read the Library’s TexShare circulation policies.

Reference our circulation/borrowing policies for TexShare card holders.

The conditions attached to the card include…

  • Cards must be renewed every year or every semester with home library, then renewed at SHSU library.
  • Only individuals listed on the application will be allowed to use the card.
  • Responsible for all charges due to late, damaged, and lost books.
  • Eligible for checkout of circulating materials. Does not include ILL services, recalls, or computer account.


Courtesy Cards

Courtesy cards can be offered to patrons who may not qualify for a TexShare card and/or if the patron does not want to go through the steps to acquire a TexShare card.

Applications for Courtesy cards will be approved if the applicant…

  • Is 18 years or older. (Anyone under 18 must have parent/guardian apply for the card.)
  • Does not owe the library money.
  • Has a permanent address.
  • Has cash, a debit or credit card, or check for payment.

The conditions attached to the card include…

  • Payment of $20.00 per year. (Renewals require a new completed application, another $20 paid, and the account renewed in SIRSI.)
  • Only individuals listed on the application will be allowed to use the card.
  • Responsible for all charges due to late, damaged, and lost books.
  • Eligible for checkout of circulating materials. Does not include ILL services, recalls, or computer account.

Please apply and pay for a Courtesy Card at the Library Service Desk.

Reference our circulation/borrowing policies for Courtesy Card holders.


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