Library Policies


Collaborate. Create. Access. Share.

The Bishop Mueller Library works in collaboration with Briar Cliff University community members and the world in accessing, creating, and sharing information. 


Borrowing Privileges

The Bishop Mueller Library extends borrowing privileges to the students, faculty, and staff of Briar Cliff University, as well as members of the general public with a library card from any library in the state of Iowa. 


Loan Periods 

Different items in the library are loaned for various amounts of time. 


  • Curriculum books – 180 days 

  • Books – 30 days 

  • Movies – 3 days 

  • Equipment and Laptops –  1 day or 3 days

  • Reserve Items – 2 hours, 1 day, 3 days, or 7 days (the item will be clearly marked) 


All items must be returned by the end of the semester. Exceptions to this policy may be made by the University Librarian or the Head of Public and Research Services.


Overdue Items 

If an item is currently overdue, a patron may not borrow additional resources.


Upon checkout, a patron receives an email with the due date. 

  • 1 day prior to the due date, a patron will receive an automatic reminder via email. 

  • 3 days past the due date, a patron will receive an automatic reminder via email. 

  • 10 days past the due date, a patron will receive an automatic reminder via email. 

  • 17 days past the due date, a patron will receive an automatic reminder via email. 

  • 30 days past due, the patron will be charged the replacement cost of the item and emailed. 


If the item is returned after 30 days past due, the charge will be refunded, minus a $20 fine. 


After 60 days, the item is considered lost and a return will not be accepted. The patron will be charged the replacement cost for the item, plus a $20 processing. Patrons can settle fines and replacement cost with the university’s Business Office. 


Damaged Items 

If an item is returned damaged and deemed unusable by the University Librarian or Head of Public and Research Services, the patron will be charged the replacement cost for the item, plus a $20 processing.


Technology Device Circulation Policy and Replacement Cost 

Click here to review the technology device circulation policy and to view the current replacement cost of electronic items that are held by the Bishop Mueller Library. 

Conduct in the Library

The library strives to create an atmosphere conducive to academic work by all members of our community. To this end, it is excepted that all patrons will respect each other and library employees. This includes a reasonable noise level and reducing unwanted distractions. 


The basement of the library is a designated quiet study space. Voices should be restricted to a hushed tone. 


First Floor and Mezzanine 

The first floor and mezzanine in the library is set up to accommodate group work and individual study. Patrons are encouraged to use these spaces as meeting places. Course Mentoring (tutoring) also occurs on these levels. 


Second Floor 

The second floor of the library contains the writing center, the library computer lab, and the academic resource commons. Patrons are encouraged to utilize these spaces and services. 


Food and Drink

The library allows food and drink throughout the building. If a spill occurs, it is the patron’s responsibility to notify the library employee at the circulation desk. Patrons are expected to clean up after themselves. 


Drugs, Smoking, and Alcohol 

Drugs, smoking, and alcohol are prohibited within the building. 


Student Handbook 

Students are expected to adhere to the rules and guidelines outlined in the student handbook at all times, including in the library.

Public Use of the Library

Bishop Mueller Library works to encourage the Briar Cliff Community to collaborate, create, access, and share. As part of the Enrich Iowa Program the library welcomes the public and Iowa residents to simply use their local library card to access resources. Library hours are posted to the website. 


Computing Resources 

The computers in the building may be used by members of the public, if they are not currently needed by Briar Cliff University students, faculty, or staff. Public patrons may connect to the Guest Wi-Fi network on their personal devices or request to use a desktop computer. 


Borrowing of Materials 

Public patrons may borrow materials from the library with a public library card from elsewhere in the state of Iowa. The loan terms are subject to our regular policy.

ALA Library Bill of Rights

The Bishop Mueller Library affirms the ALA Library Bill of Rights.


The Bishop Mueller Library believes in the right of all patrons to access information without stigma, judgement, or prejudice. The library recognizes that libraries have a responsibility to protect the privacy of our users, as stated in the American Library Association's Code of Ethics: “[librarians] protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received, and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.” This level of privacy is essential to the free exercise of First Amendment rights and protection of academic freedom. 


To this end, information sought or received, materials consulted, borrowed or acquired, database search records, reference interviews, interlibrary loan records, computer use records are considered confidential. They will only be released if requested lawfully by a law enforcement officer, as mandated by the USA Patriot Act. Such requests will be forward to the University Librarian and only responded to after conference with counsel. To date, such a request has not been made. 


Questions regarding our confidentiality policy should be forwarded to the University Librarian at (712) 279-5451.

Collection Development

The Bishop Mueller Library works in collaboration with Briar Cliff University (BCU) community members and the world in accessing, creating, and sharing information.  Generally, the Library selects, acquires, processes, organizes, and maintains materials appropriate to the academic and cultural interests in the Siouxland area.  Specifically, the Library collections support the degree-granting programs of the University. Library materials include print, visual, and electronic resources.


The Collection Development Policy provides guidelines for the selection, maintenance, and evaluation of Bishop Mueller Library’s collections.  It also informs users about the principles that direct both the selection and de-selection of materials. ​Click here to view a copy of the Bishop Mueller Library Collection Development policy. 

Collaboration Lab Reservation

The Collaboration Lab may be reserved by faculty and staff of Briar Cliff University for teaching and university business by contacting the Head of Public and Research Services. The library requests at least three days notice to best accommodate any possible needs. 

Emergency & Disaster Plan

Filming and Photography

Any individual or organization wishing to take video or pictures in the library for official usage, must first consult with the University Library. Should the request require, the University Librarian confer with the Marketing Department.

Library Instruction Policy

Library instruction at the Bishop Mueller Library empowers students to define information needs, select appropriate information sources, evaluate source material, and correctly reference sources in papers and presentations. The library follows the Guidelines for Instruction Programs in Academic Libraries, written by the Association of College & Research Libraries. The full instruction policy has information about library instruction procedures, possible instruction topics, online instructional support, faculty workshops, and evaluation. Click here to view the Bishop Mueller Library instruction policy. 

The Bishop Mueller Library adheres to the Briar Cliff University privacy policy. Click here to view a copy of the Briar Cliff University website privacy policy.