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Library Information

Circulation Policy

A Mercy College identification badge or other photo ID is needed to check out items.

Circulation Periods


Checkout Period for Students


14 days

Instructional Videos

Use in Library


7 days

Feature Film Videos

7 days

Instructional CDs

Use in Library

Music CDs

14 days


Use in Library


Use in Library (or instructor designated)


The Mercy College Library strives to create an environment that is quiet and conducive for research and study. Examples of inappropriate behavior include, but are not limited to, loud talking, using cell phones, and using audiovisual equipment without headphones. If a patron reports a noise or disturbance to a staff member, the staff member will ask the person(s) involved to move or be quiet. If a staff member receives a second complaint, the person(s) engaging in inappropriate behavior will be asked to leave the library.

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Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery

For books and articles that are not available at the College Library or Levitt Medical Library, a student may request an Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Books or articles will be borrowed from another library.  Materials requested from another library usually arrive by mail within 10 days. There is no charge to the student for this service.

A student is encouraged to start research for assignments and papers early so that there is adequate time to use ILL services if necessary.

Item Limits per Semester

  • Books: 5
  • Journals: 10
  • Feature film videotapes: 2
  • Special collections: May vary by collection

Library Services for Distance Education Students

Students have access to electronic books, a virtual reference collection, and full text journal article resources.  Students who live at a distance can also receive items by mail.

Print Books

Requests for print books should be e-mailed to mchslibrary@catholichealth.net and must include the book title, authors, date of publication, and call number as well as the patron name, mailing address, and phone number. Books will be mailed the next business day, with a limit of three items. Patrons are responsible for mailing items back, at their expense, within 30 days.

Print Articles

Requests for journal articles should be e-mailed to mchslibrary@catholichealth.net  and must include the article title, authors, name of journal, date of publication, volume, issue, and pages. Patron name and e-mail address should also be included. Articles (up to three) will be e-mailed the next business day.

Reference Assistance

An E-mail Reference Request form is available on the Mercy College Library Website: email-a-reference-question.cfm


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Online Resources

Mercy College Library provides access to a collection of online resources. Access to these online resources is intended for Mercy College students, faculty and staff. Links to all resources are on the Library Website and in the Student Course on E-LEOS. Passwords are made available to students in orientation materials and in the student course on E-LEOS. It is a violation of the College’s license agreements to publish passwords or provide them to non-authorized persons. Students must not make these passwords public.

Electronic Books

The Library owns a collection of electronic books. Some of these eBooks can be located through the library catalog. Others are accessed through the EBSCO database link on the Mercy College Library’s website or in the Student Course on E-LEOS. 

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Open Access Program

Mercy College and over 600 Iowa libraries, public and private, participate in a cooperative program called “Open Access.” This means that students can go to any one of the member libraries throughout Iowa and borrow from that library by showing a Mercy College identification badge. The student may return borrowed items to the College Library and College library staff will see that the owning library gets them back at no charge to the student. Local libraries participating include: Des Moines Public Library, Des Moines Area Community College, Grand View College, Simpson College, the State Library of Iowa, West Des Moines Public Library, and Urbandale Public Library. The complete list of participating libraries is available at the library desk or www.statelibraryofiowa.org/ld/enrich-ia/open-access

Overdue Materials


Patrons failing to return Reserve items after two library reminders will be charged $10.00 per day beginning the first day the item(s) is overdue.

Procedure for Overdue Items

The first overdue notice is sent by email 7 days after the due date. Students are asked to return the materials.

The second overdue notice is sent 14 days after the first notice is sent. Students are asked to return the materials. No additional items may be borrowed until overdue materials are returned or charges are paid. Students may however use items in the library.

The third notice is mailed 10 days after the second notice. This notice includes a request to return the materials and a statement of the charges owed if the materials are not returned. (See below for details regarding how charges are determined.) It also notifies the student that a “Library Hold” has been placed on the student’s academic record. The student is not able to enroll, reenroll, graduate, or have transcripts released until the Library Hold is cleared.

Library staff will notify the Registrar to release the library hold when materials are returned or charges paid.

Determination of Charges for Replacement of Lost Items

Serials: Cost of replacement plus $5 processing fee for each issue lost.  (Replacements generally cost $15 to $30) If replacement is not an option, a $25 fee will be charged for each journal.

Books: Cost of replacement plus $5 processing fee for each book lost. If replacement is not an option, a $50 fee will be charged.

Restricted Borrowing

The Mercy College Library reserves the right to limit both circulation periods and the number and types of items checked out in order to assure equitable access to all patrons. Patrons with a record of not returning items after receiving multiple notices will be placed on Blocked status. The Library Director or designee must then authorize each circulation which will not exceed two items at a time with no renewal permitted. Blocked status applies to checkouts at all Mercy Library branches and will remain in force for a period of one year from implementation.

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Recording Equipment

The library has both digital audio recorders and pocket video cameras available for overnight checkout. In checking out equipment, students take responsibility for any loss or damage.


If hold requests have not been placed for items, materials may be renewed up to two times by calling the library circulation desk. This does not apply to special collections or reserves.

Special Hours

Weekend Access

Please remember to bring a Mercy badge. The building doors are locked on weekends; however, students can enter the Sullivan Center during library hours by passing the badge through the card reader.

Holidays and Breaks

The library and the computer labs are closed over holiday weekends and hours are limited during semester breaks. The Library telephone will have a recording with details on holiday hours.

College students may use and check out materials from Levitt Medical Library, located at Mercy Medical Center, Level A.

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Study Rooms

The Mercy College Library provides four study rooms for student use. Study rooms SC116 and SC120 (west side) are available on a first come, first serve basis. Reservations will not be made. Study rooms SC121 and SC122 (east side) may be reserved by signing up in person on the daily reservation sheet posted outside these rooms. The reservation will be cancelled if the group does not arrive within 15 minutes.

A group should not expect to use a room for more than three hours at a time in fairness to other students. Video viewing will take precedence over other uses in the study rooms. If students are studying in a study room and another student needs to use the multimedia equipment, students may be asked to share the room or possibly relocate.

Use of rooms by groups is encouraged and should take precedence over individual use. If a student is studying alone, the student may be asked to share the room or possibly relocate. Study carrels provide a quiet environment for individual studying.

When students leave a room, please take all belongings and leave the door open.

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Use of Library Computers

The computing and networking facilities in the Mercy College Library are provided to support the educational and curriculum-related research needs of students and staff. The Library supports free access to research materials and the use of computing technologies to identify, locate and use scholarly resources.

The number of computer workstations is limited. The Library reserves the right to claim workstations being used for personal or recreational purposes, and to reassign them to patrons who need to locate or access research materials or complete coursework assignments.

The Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy applies to all computers in the library.

Wireless Laptop Policy

Wireless laptops are available for groups using the study rooms in the Library. Please keep the following in mind:

  • Laptop use is on a first come, first served basis. They cannot be reserved.
  • The laptop must be checked out by an individual who will take responsibility for its use and safe return to the desk.
  • The laptop must stay in the library and should not be left unattended.
  • Time limit is three hours.
  • No software should be downloaded to the laptop.
  • Files should be saved to external storage, not to the computer
  • For safety, power cord use is limited to the study carrels and study rooms.

Wireless access provides an Internet connection but does not provide share drive or student drive access or printing.

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This College Student Handbook is presented as information only and is not a contract between Mercy College and its students. The information, policies, and procedures contained in this Handbook are subject to change at any time with or without notice. Students are responsible for reading and following the information contained in the Handbook, including school-specific policies and procedures. The Admissions Manager will ensure that all admitted students receive instructions on how to access the Student Handbook online.  The student is responsible for knowing and complying with the information contained in the College Student Handbook and any changes to the policies and practices as posted on the College’s learning management system (E-LEOS) and College website.

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Library Information