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Catalogue service interruption: Due to an upgrade, the catalogue will be unavailable from 9pm AEST on Wednesday, 3 September until 10am AEST Thursday, 4 September. We apologise for any inconvenience.

La Trobe Reading Room event: A traditional Chinese drum performance will be held in the La Trobe Reading Room on Thursday 4 September, from 6pm until 6.10pm. More information

Catalogue service interruption & La Trobe Reading Room event
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Operating guidelines

1. Purpose

This policy supports the use of personal copying equipment and devices by users in all public areas of the Library, except the Keith Murdoch Gallery and provided it does not infringe federal and state laws and State Library of Victoria by-laws, rights, agreements and policies. It excludes copying for commercial purposes which is provided for by the media policy and procedures.

2. Scope

This policy provides for the use of personal copying equipment and devices within the public areas of the Library building.

3. Responsibilities and roles

As an institution committed to the principle of providing and promoting accessible information, and in keeping with service trend enhancements being undertaken by other Australian and international heritage libraries, the State Library of Victoria supports the use of portable copying equipment and devices by users provided such use does not infringe the following:

  • State Library of Victoria by-laws (that is, use which puts the preservation or integrity of collection material at risk or impacts upon the comfort and safety of other users and staff)
  • Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968
  • Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic)
  • any restrictions on special handling or usage conditions (as directed by authorised officers)
  • any intellectual property rights of the State Library of Victoria.

3.1 Copyright and reproduction rights

Copyright is a complex legislation. While the general rule, as of 1 January 2005, is that copyright lasts for 70 years (from the creator's death or if copyright depends on year of publication, 70 years from the end of the year of first publication), copyright requirements vary between published and unpublished items and may involve multiple copyrights.

The State Library of Victoria supports and operates within the parameters of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cwlth). Copyright protects the expression of ideas. The Act covers rights relating to original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works as well as sound recordings, films, sound and television broadcasts and published editions.

The legislation allows copying by individuals within certain parameters and also protects libraries from infringements made by users provided the prescribed notices are placed near all types of Library-provided copying equipment.

It is the responsibility of users to obtain copyright permission from copyright owners. The Library accepts no liability for copyright infringements resulting from unauthorised copying of collection materials using personal equipment.

Reproduction of collection materials made using personal equipment for the purposes of publication, exhibition, display, video, film or television production or for any other commercial purpose cannot be undertaken without prior permission from the Library. Fees are applicable for these purposes.

3.2 Personal equipment and devices

3.2.1 Personal computers

Users may operate personal computers, typewriters or similar portable devices within the Library provided that the officer in charge or the shift leader on duty is satisfied that the operation is inaudible, it does not present an occupational health and safety hazard and that a power point is available (if necessary).

All bags with computers or other equipment must be presented for security inspection when leaving the Library.

3.2.2 Cameras and video equipment: Library collections

Copying of collection material using personal photographic equipment is permissible provided this is done in accordance with:

  • the requirements of the Copyright Act (section 3.1)
  • the Library's procedures for handling and care of collection material
  • any special access or usage conditions, as directed by authorised officers

The Library reserves the absolute right to:

  • withdraw permission to use personal photographic equipment within the Library at any time
  • require the use of personal photographic equipment to be carried out under the direct supervision of Library staff. In such cases a supervision fee will be charged.

Due to copyright and privacy restrictions within the Australian Manuscripts Collection the use of personal photographic equipment is not permitted without authorisation by the collection manager.

All photographic or other equipment carrying bags must be presented for security inspection when leaving the Library.

3.2.3 Cameras and video equipment: Library spaces and buildings

Permission is not required for non-commercial or private photography within the public areas of the Library building but:

  • photography of other users is not permitted
  • permission from the marketing and communications manager is required for photography in the Keith Murdoch Gallery
  • the marketing and communications manager, media coordinator or venue manager should be contacted if the photography is for commercial or public relations purposes. There may be a supervision fee and commercial use is subject to a reproduction fee.

All photographic or other equipment carrying bags must be presented for security inspection when leaving the Library.

3.4 Personal data storage devices

Copying to personal storage devices such as memory sticks, digital pens, mp3 players is permissible provided this does not infringe:

  • the requirements of the Copyright Act
  • the Library's procedures for handling and care of collection materials
  • any special access and usage conditions (as directed by authorised officers)

Personal storage devices using public internet access networks are subject to download and bandwidth limits. These limits are reviewed annually; however, the Library reserves the right to change such limits without notice as deemed necessary.

3.5 Personal radios, CD players and other audio equipment

Users are permitted to use personal radios, and CD, DVD and mp3 players with headphones provided staff or other users are not disturbed by sound leaking from the headphones.

Users are not permitted to use Library equipment to access personal videos, CDs and similar, due to the potential risk of damage to Library equipment.

3.6 Mobile phones

Mobile phones must be turned to silent mode in the Library's designated quiet rooms, which are reserved for silent work and study. This includes the Arts, La Trobe, Heritage Collections, Chess, and Journals and Magazines reading rooms. Conversations on mobile phones are permitted in other Library areas, provided this does not disturb other users.

3.7 Penalties

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in a user being asked to leave the Library premises.

4. Fees and charges

Refer to the State Library of Victoria schedule of fees and charges.

5. Related documents

Media policy & procedures
Information & communication technology security policy
Copyright Act 1968 (Cwlth)
Library Board of Victoria by-laws
Copyright & permissions
Freedom of information
Risk management audit
Australian manuscripts access policy
Use of personal equipment in the Library policy

6. Procedure

Library staff will advise users if they are contravening this policy and ask them to desist. Security staff may be asked to remove users disregarding their obligations.

The policy is reviewed every 12 months.