About the Library

Information Policy

Information Policy

The primary goal of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library is to provide excellent healthcare information systems and services to support the University of Virginia Health System's patient care, teaching, and research programs. In addition, the Library serves as a resource for biomedical information for the community, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nation as a member of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

This document addresses the Library's policies and activities as they specifically relate to its services to the user community and does not address internal operations per se. All internal operations are conducted in accordance to University and state administrative and management policies as well as guidelines governing management of materials and services.


  • The Library maintains a current User Eligibility Policy that clearly delineates the access and services levels for all types of users. The goal of the User Eligibility Policy is to ensure that adequate resources are available to support the institution's primary mission and that services are provided in a reasonable fashion, consistent with the Library's state and public service responsibilities.
  • The Library is responsible for providing access to biomedical and health sciences literature in support of the programs of the Health System, particularly for teaching, research, and patient care regardless of ownership or location of material. The Collection Development Policy delineates and explains the criteria used when selecting materials and resources for the collection. The Library's collection is intended to provide access to the core literature for the Health System's programs. The Library provides document delivery and interlibrary loan services for all materials not owned by the Library.
  • To promote optimal access for materials, the Library seeks to acquire and license electronic materials such as databases, books, and journals that will provide fuller access to the entire Health System. Collaborative acquisitions that promote greater online availability are sought with other libraries on-Grounds as well as in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Physical access to Library facilities and collections is provided 99 1/2 hours per week. A 24-hour study room is available for Health System affiliates. The Library is open to the general public, although access to the Computer Lab is limited to UVa affiliates.
  • The Library makes all reasonable efforts to accommodate the access needs of disabled users. Special service policies and services such as photocopy assistance are available for users with special needs.
  • The Library ensures the timely reshelving of materials through service standards for shelving backlogs. Library staff routinely perform "shelf reading" activities to ensure that materials are shelved correctly. There are procedures to handle lost or missing materials that include staff searches, interlibrary loan, and editing the Library Catalog to note the status of missing items and referral for collection services.
  • The Library subsidizes all costs for regular interlibrary loan services. An on-Grounds delivery service, in collaboration with other on-Grounds libraries, provides free delivery of materials from other UVa libraries on-Grounds.
  • The Library provides access to a broad and interdisciplinary array of online databases, books, journals, and other resources relating to healthcare. Health System users have access to other online resources from other on-Grounds libraries as stipulated by license agreements.
  • All online access to electronic materials is governed by license agreements negotiated between the University and the vendor. While the Library seeks to license all materials for the entire University, the Library does reserve the right to limit access if system demands conflict with the Library's responsibility to ensure reasonable system responsiveness for its primary user clientele.
  • All public users of the Library's systems have "read only" capabilities unless specifically designated otherwise, such as programs in the Computer Lab and other functions like online ordering of materials. In contrast, authorized Library staff members will be given "write" capabilities to certain systems commensurate with their job duties.
  • Access by all public users will be limited to public modules of any Library system.
  • The Library will utilize the Internet as its primary delivery system. Local network issues and establishment of proxy accounts and VPN for remote access will be referred to ITS or HIT, respectively.
  • Critical files on the Library's servers are backed up nightly under a service contract with ITS. The Library maintains emergency policies and procedures to maintain critical services in the advent of outages. There is a staff "on call" system in place to handle system problems with support based on severity, time of day, and access to available vendor system support.
  • The Library requires all vendors to ensure timely response to service interruptions and the Library staff will communicate service problems to vendors in a timely fashion.
  • The Library's catalog and integrated library operations are part of the Virgo system. Virgo is maintained and operated by the University Library system.
  • Confidentiality:

  • All Library transactions and records relating to users are considered confidential and the Library will make all reasonable efforts to protect the security of these records. These records include, but are not necessarily limited to, circulation transactions, online search requests, document delivery and photocopy services, patron records, public access online searching, and reference service. All Library staff are trained to protect confidentiality of user information and policies are in place to handle any inquiries for Library data from law enforcement agencies.

  • No employee is permitted to access or browse confidential files, even with appropriate password access, unless it is related to work responsibilities.


  • All patrons must follow the University's policies governing ethical use of computers . The Library posts its own policy for computer use in the Health Sciences Library. All users of University computer resources have the responsibility to use computer resources in an ethical, professional, and legal manner. Rules governing use of the facilities, privacy, integrity of data, and unauthorized use must be obeyed. The Library adheres to the University's policy on revoking access to computer resources for just cause including abuse of resources or violation of legal or ethical behavior.
  • Library staff conduct their activities according to ethical professional standards as described in the Medical Library Association's statement, "A Code of Ethics for Health Sciences Librarianship," therein ensuring that equitable, reasoned, and responsible service is provided to the institution, profession, users, and society in general.
  • Library staff members conduct all activities in a business and professional manner and observe accepted practice for courteous and responsible use of computer and communication systems such as email and Instant Messaging.

Quality Control

  • The Library will take all reasonable steps to ensure the quality of its services and products. This includes the recruitment of high quality staff, staff training (introductory and ongoing), equipment adequate in number and appropriate to the technology available, and ongoing supervision of service and quality control methods. Users who are dissatisfied with services or products are encouraged to express their views to appropriate department heads or administrators to identify what further actions may be possible.
  • The Library maintains procedures for the collection and maintenance of data that ensures the accuracy, quality, and currency of records. Appropriate quality control measures are maintained to ensure ongoing integrity of data.
  • Procedures are maintained for all data quality control. Designated staff are trained and cross-trained to ensure continuity during staff turnover.
  • The Library seeks and collects data on the use of materials and input from users that is used continuously to improve the quality of services and resources.


  • Library systems are protected by user ID codes and passwords. ID codes and passwords are removed from systems when employees terminate employment.
  • Library servers are physically protected in a secure, off-site, environmentally-controlled area.
  • In the event of a power outage, an uninterrupted power source (UPS) is in place.
  • Critical files are backed up on a designated schedule by ITS (for the servers) or by the University Library system staff (for Virgo).


  • All materials and records are considered property of the University of Virginia and by extension are property of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Many databases are proprietary and are licensed solely for the University of Virginia.
  • Bibliographic data records for Health Sciences Library materials in Virgo may be downloaded by University of Virginia users and uploaded in personal and departmental computers if the use of these records is solely to support the mission of the University and not for commercial purposes.
  • Data such as bibliographic citations in commercial and proprietary database and software available from Library systems are protected by copyright or by the terms of the license agreement. The University's copyright information site provides information on copyright issues relating to digital materials at http://www.virginia.edu/copyright.html.

Electronic Standards

  • The Library seeks to utilize accepted industry standards for computer systems to ensure ongoing functionality, support, and interaction with other systems.
  • The Library will work to ensure that electronic resources are accessible on-Grounds and in the Health System.
  • The Library will monitor the marketplace for healthcare information systems to ensure that new technologies relating to information management are implemented in a timely and reasonable fashion.
  • Library systems and electronic resources will be Internet accessible in order to ensure the maximum accessibility.
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Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
1350 Jefferson Park Avenue P.O. Box 800722
Charlottesville, VA 22908 (Directions)

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