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Library Regulations


These regulations apply to authorised users, referred to as 'users' in the regulations, of the National Marine Biological Library. An authorised user is defined as a current members of PML, SAHFOS and MBA staff or a registered visitor who has been issued with a network user name and password.

1. Access to the NMBL

  • The NMBL is a reference library and is staffed from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm excluding bank holidays/privilege days.
  • Users have access to the NMBL and its electronic resources 24 hours a day.
  • It is necessary to hold a security swipe card or PML ID card to use the library out of office hours. 
  • New PML, SAHFOS and MBA staff must complete and return the Library User Registration form.

2. Borrowing

  • Documents may be borrowed by users on completion of a loan card (available from the first floor reception area) but must not be taken off either the Citadel Hill or West Hoe sites.
  • The NMBL must be notified if an item of stock is borrowed from or forwarded to another user.
  • Documents must not leave the laboratories under any circumstances as library staff need to be able to access the stock at any time.
  • Borrowed items must be accessible by library staff at all times.
  • Older books (pre-1900) are reference only and may only be borrowed at the discretion of the Librarian.
  • Reference books may not be borrowed.
  • Apart from CDs which have a 2 week loan period, there is usually no fixed term loan period.

3. Conduct in the Library

  • Identify yourself to library staff if requested to do so.
  • Please keep noise to a minimum in the reading areas to avoid disturbing other library users.
  • Please switch off mobile phones.
  • All documents removed from the shelves for consultation in the library should be placed on the trolleys for reshelving.
  • Please treat library property with due consideration.
  • Provided a note is left with them, documents left on the tables in the reading area will not be reshelved until you have finished using them.
  • Any damage to library stock should be reported to a member of library staff.
  • Users who behave inappropriately in the library or who are abusive to library staff will be given one warning and asked to behave in a more appropriate manner. Those who refuse will be asked to leave the library.

4. Use of Electronic Resources

  • Electronic databases, e.g. Web of Science, should be used in accordance with licence terms and conditions. 
  • All use of electronic journals is governed by publishers’ licence agreements. You should check the terms & conditions on the publishers’ web sites before downloading or printing from a title.
  • Copyright legislation applies to electronic journals in the same way that it applies to print journal. All use of electronic journals should be in compliance with current copyright legislation, i.e. only one paper from any issue of a journal should be downloaded or printed for non-commercial research or private study.
  • Spider programs or other download programs must not be used to take information from these sites. 
  • No part of the materials should be transmitted by any means to any unauthorised user.
  • Copies must not be stored or accessed by an unauthorised user.
  • Collections of the materials must not be made.
  • The materials' content must not be altered, amended, modified or changed.

5. Copyright

  • Current copyright legislation must be complied with at all times. Further guidance is available on the NMBL web pages. Information on copyright is displayed on posters by photocopiers and the computer terminal in the library.
  • Under copyright law, you may make personal copies under “fair dealing”: One article from one journal issue or 5% (or one chapter) of any other publication for non-commercial research or private study. 
  • A copyright declaration form must be completed for photocopies supplied by the British Library and for photocopies made by library staff.
  • Copying done for a commercial purpose must be covered by an appropriate licence. Guidance on the definition of commercial copying can be found on the NMBL web pages.

6. MBA Archive

  • The MBA archive is not open-access. Library staff will retrieve items required.
  • Archive material must not be removed from the NMBL.
  • Parts of the collection, which contain sensitive information, may not be copied. Library staff will advise.
  • Photocopying is forbidden if documents could be damaged in the process. Library staff will advise.
  • The permission of the copyright holder must be obtained prior to copying any documents.

7. Health & Safety

  • Library users should vacate the library immediately on hearing the fire alarm.
  • Users should pay attention to health and safety notices displayed in the library.