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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

About the Library

Access to and Use of the Building

The library is open to SSU Students, faculty, and staff, the local community, and the general public.

Access to Online Databases and Electronic Resources

Direct access to the library’s databases and online resources is available at via all campus computers and any devices connected to the SSU Wi-Fi. If you are off campus and not connected to SSU Wi-Fi, you will be prompted to enter your SSU network ID and password. Your network ID is the same as your email username. For more information about getting a network ID or for problems, contact ITS at or 978-542-2036.

Remote access to Berry Library databases is restricted to members of the university community, i.e., current students, faculty, and staff. Restrictions are due to the limitations of our licensing or subscription agreements. Anyone is welcome to unlimited use of the databases via the computers within the library.

ADA Access and Resources

The two entrances into the learning commons are fully accessible and equipped with automatic door openers. There are accessible restrooms located in both wings of the learning commons on every floor. General help may be found at the Library Help Desk on the first floor. Upon request, staff will retrieve items from shelves for you, assist with copying or printing materials, and provide other reasonable accommodation.

Special assistance with research is provided at the Library Help Desk. A portion of the service desk is lowered to accommodate patrons who use wheelchairs.

Assistive devices throughout the library include:

  • Height adjustable workstations
  • Merlin LCD – provides 5x to 61x magnification of black/white or color pages projected on a 17” monitor. On the 1st floor near the reference section. Another Merlin machine is available on the ground floor near the microfilm machines.  
  • Epson 1670 scanner – a flatbed color image scanner usable with text, graphics, or photos
  • Two laptops with accessibility software are available for SSU patrons at the Library Help Desk to use for two hours per day in the library. Software includes:
    • JAWS (Job Access with Speech) is a screen reading software that enables visually impaired users to access online catalogs, databases, Internet sites, and Microsoft Windows applications.
    • Windows Narrator is a built-in screen-reader and text-to-speak tool which helps people to complete common tasks.
    • Equatio is an equation editor that makes it easy to create digital, accessible maths.
    • Read&Write is a literacy support tool that offers help with everyday tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments and proofing written work.
    • OrbitNote is a PDF reader and annotation tool. It allows users to express their understanding in many flexible ways.

For more information on SSU disability services, contact Disability Services on the ground floor of the Learning Commons.


Service animals are allowed in the library. Other animals or pets are not allowed in the library unless approved for a library sanctioned event.


The Reading Room is available year-round by appointment between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday - Thursday. To arrange and plan your visit, please contact the archivist, Susan Edwards, by email at Please note that research visits and durations may be limited due to staff availability and health and safety protocols.

Behavior Guidelines

Bicycles, Scooters, etc.

The use of bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and skates is not allowed in the library. Additionally, library users may not bring bicycles into the library. You must leave bicycles in the bicycle rack located outside of the library. Skateboards, scooters, and skates may be carried into the library, but must be safely stored under your seat while in the library.

Borrowing Privileges for Salem State University Collections

Members of the Salem State University community may borrow physical books and items, including:

  • Day students: With a valid ClipperCard
  • Continuing Education students: With a valid ClipperCard  
  • Graduate students: With a valid ClipperCard  
  • Faculty and Staff: With a valid ClipperCard
  • Faculty Emeritus: Must complete a Faculty Emeritus Form
  • Faculty Proxy: Faculty member must complete a Proxy Form
  • Alumni: Must be listed in Alumni Directory or verified by Alumni Affairs Office. All the same borrowing privileges as students, except for study rooms and course reserves.
  • Thesis students: Students not currently enrolled but working on a thesis must have a letter from advisor or department requesting privileges
  • Special Friend: As requested by administration
  • Library Specific: Summer Reading Programs (Reading Clinic)
  • Interlibrary Loan: As requested by ILL staff

Salem State University enjoys reciprocal borrowing privileges with the following consortiums. Reciprocal borrowing means that patrons/students of the following consortiums are granted regular public borrowing privileges (10 items, 21 days, 1 renewal) at the SSU Library.

Borrowing Privileges at Other Libraries

Salem State University students, faculty, and staff receive reciprocal borrowing privileges with the following consortiums. Reciprocal borrowing means that patrons/students of the following consortiums are granted regular public borrowing privileges (10 items, 21 days, 1 renewal) at the SSU Library. Salem State students, faculty, and staff are granted borrowing privileges at libraries in these consortiums.

  • NOBLE: students & faculty (must have valid ClipperCard)
  • NECCUM (Northeast Consortium of Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts): students & faculty (must have valid ClipperCard)
  • MCCLPHEI (Massachusetts Commonwealth Consortium of Public Higher Education Institutions): students & faculty (must have valid ClipperCard)

Databases at these member institutions may be used on-site at these institutions. Remote access to databases at other Massachusetts public colleges and universities is not possible at this time.

The Berry Library also grants borrowing privileges to some schools not affiliated in any way with Salem State University. SSU students may not have borrowing privileges at these schools. Please check directly with the library in question.

Cell Phones

Please mute cell phone ringers and text alerts before entering the library and use the designated cell phone areas (enclosed stairwells) if you must make or take a call.


Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult (a person aged 18 or over) in the library. Parents or caregivers must remain in close physical proximity to their children. Parents or caregivers are responsible for monitoring the activities and regulating the behavior of their children so that they do not disturb other library users. Children unattended by an adult may be asked to leave the library; Campus Police may be notified. Unaccompanied middle and high school students working on school assignments or other research may use the library, providing they do so in an orderly manner.

Unaccompanied middle and high school students who are disruptive or who are not working on school assignments may be asked to leave the library.

Code of Conduct and Behavior Guidelines

The Berry Library strives to maintain an environment that is conducive to study and research, in support of the University as a learning community.

All visitors and users of the library should observe the guidelines for behavior established in the SSU Student Conduct Code. In addition, Berry Library adheres to established university policies regarding the possession and use of alcohol, drugs, and weapons.  

All SSU community members and the general public are expected to act in ways that are socially appropriate to a learning environment.

Please treat library property, including computers or other technology and equipment, books, journals, and furniture, with respect. People who willfully commit vandalism will be required to pay repair or replacement costs and may be prosecuted. Parents can be held liable for damage done by children under the age of 18. All the following constitute acts of vandalism: tearing out pages, writing on library property, damaging library property, or spilling food or drink.

Inappropriate behavior encompasses any activity that interferes with another library user’s ability to use resources, collections, or services; violates another person’s civil rights; or jeopardizes the safety or well-being of others. Inappropriate behavior includes loud talking or music playing; cell phone use; offensive language; verbal or physical harassment; inappropriate physical contact; inappropriate use of computers or technology; smoking; use of illegal substances; drinking alcohol; vandalism; disorderly conduct; lack of personal hygiene; or any other behavior that does not comply with established guidelines.

Disruptive persons will be asked to cease their behavior and may be asked to leave the library. Staff will call Campus Police, as needed, to intervene and/or to escort disruptive persons out of the facility.

Please always keep your personal belongings with you, in the interest of the safety and security of all. Library staff members are not responsible for your property. Unattended belongings will be forwarded to Campus Police, for security reasons.

Collection Development Policy

Please see the Collection Development Policy guide that has a complete overview of the library's policy.

See the ERA Collections Policy guide for the policies specific to the Education Resource Area.

Community Access

The general public, particularly residents of Salem and the surrounding communities, are welcome to use library space, computers, and most resources with the understanding that Salem State University students, staff and faculty have first priority. Please note the following guidelines:

  • Study rooms are not available to the general public.
  • Reference assistance is available for 15 minutes per day in-person or by phone.
  • Print services for public patrons are not available at this time.

Computer Audio

Please use earbuds or headphones for all computer audio and keep music at a level "for your ears only."

Computer Use

Current Salem State University students and faculty always have priority use over other library users. Library staff may request library users to present their ClipperCards to verify university affiliation. People who are using computers inappropriately may be asked to relinquish them.

Inappropriate use of computers or technology includes gambling; unauthorized use of computers for financial gain; disrupting the local networks; distributing media containing viruses; illegal uses of licensed databases; accessing materials or sites that may be prohibited by state or federal law; hacking; transmitting or displaying blatantly offensive visual or textual materials which constitute potential sources of sexual harassment of other people in the library.

The library follows policies created and maintained by Information Technology Services regarding computer use, such as the Web Use Policy, which can be found at Salem State University Policies.


In support of the University's policy on confidentiality, the NOBLE Confidentiality Policy, FERPA regulations, and the ALA Library Bill of Rights, all Library transactions are considered confidential. We do not discuss with anyone, other than library staff, information about any materials checked out by any patrons. We cannot tell any patron, student, or faculty, who has specific material checked out, including Course Reserve material. If a patron comes to the desk, presents his or her ClipperCard, and asks what materials they themselves have checked out, we can look up their record and tell them.

We cannot tell them what anyone else has checked out.

Copying and Scanning

Copying and scanning are done on the library's multi-function devices (MFDs) located through the building.


  • MFDs are located on the first and second floors
  • Copies are $0.05 per page (black & white) and $0.15 per page (color)
  • Copies can be paid for with ClipperCard.
  • MFDs can scan in color or black & white. They are located on the first and second floors.
    • ClipperCard is needed to access the MFDs.
  • Public computer scanner can scan in color or black & white. It is available on the first floor.
  • Scan to JPG, TIFF, or PDF, but not DOC.
  • Savable on USB drive (users can bring their own or borrow one from the Library Help Desk) or can be sent to email or OneDrive.
  • Scanning is free of charge.

Course Reserves for Students

Search the Course Reserves database to see if there are any print or online copies of your readings for your courses. Students must present a valid, barcoded ID/Library card to borrow items from course reserves. Students may check out up to two print reserve items at any one time. eCourse Reserves (electronic content) will be listed under the course reserves database or through your Canvas courses.

Course Reserves for Faculty

Berry Library provides Course Reserves to support instructional requirements for specific courses. The Reserves staff handles both physical and electronic requests. Items placed on physical Course Reserves can be in many formats, including books, journal articles, video recordings, compact discs, and DVDs. Items placed on eReserves can be online eBooks, Open Educational Resources, websites, scanned copies of a chapter of a book or 10% of a book.

Please submit your reserves (print or eReserves) requests with the required form. Materials submitted three weeks prior to the start of a semester will be ready for students to use on the first day of class. Materials submitted during the first week of a semester will take time to be processed. If a book is not available at the Berry Library contact your subject specialist research and instruction librarian to order the book. It will take 3-4 weeks for the book to arrive and be processed.

Course Reserves Online Forms:

To assure availability, print Course Reserves collections have short loan periods (2 hours, 24 hours, or 7 days) which vary by individual course selections by faculty.

Course Reserves can be searched by course name, course number, and by faculty name on Course Reserves Database in the NOBLE catalog.

Read more on course reserves guidelines for faculty.

Any questions call 978-542-6230 or email Course Reserves.

Denial of Borrowing Privileges

The Berry Library respects the delinquency statuses maintained automatically by the NOBLE system. Patrons may be denied borrowing privileges under any of the following circumstances:

  • owes long overdue billed materials.
  • owes long overdue ILL materials or fines.
  • owes fines of $50.01 or over.
  • at the request of other consortium libraries.

Education Resources Area

A significant number of books from the Education Resources collection are shelved on the Second floor of the library as a unit. They have the designation “Educ. Res.” preceding call numbers in the online catalog. These books can be checked out at the Library Help Desk. The Education Resource Area also maintains a small collection of educational and psychological test instruments for qualified Salem State users only. The Education Resource Area is open when the library is open, check for library hours.  For more information refer to the Education Resource Area LibGuide.

Emergency Closings

If the University closes due to poor weather conditions or other emergency conditions, the library will be closed. If the Library should close or have a delayed opening, it will be noted on the library hours webpage. University closures are announced on:

Radio: WEFX 1230 AM, WRKO 680 AM, WBZ 1030 AM, WMWM 91.7 FM

Television: Channel 4 WBZ, Channel 5 WCVB, Channel 7 WHDH, Channel 56 WLVI

Salem State University Web Page:

University closures will also be announced via the Salem State Community email list.

Faculty Proxy Cards

A Faculty Proxy card is a second card issued in a faculty member’s name. The card would be used by graduate/research assistants or any other designee. Items checked out on this card would receive faculty due dates (5/1, 12/1). The card could be used to request interlibrary loan material in the faculty’s name; however, the materials would receive the usual ILL due dates. The faculty member agrees to be responsible for all items checked out on this card. Faculty members are asked to inform staff if they wish to have borrowing privileges on the card rescinded for any reason (e.g., student no longer works for them). Faculty Proxy cards are valid for one semester. The card may be used again, but a new form must be filled out if the proxy holder has changed.

Food and Drink

Snacks are permitted, and covered drinks are allowed. Food and drinks are not allowed in Archives and Special Collections. Other guidelines include:

  • Delivery of food to the library is not permitted.
  • Properly dispose of all trash and immediately report spills to library staff.
  • Any food and drink left unattended may be discarded by library staff.


Holds are requests placed in the system on behalf of patrons for material they wish to borrow. Holds can be placed for material that is currently checked out and needs to be set aside for the patron at their preferred pickup location when it is returned. Holds can also be placed on material that is available and needs to be pulled from the shelf and set aside for the patron or sent to the patron's desired pickup location. Holds are placed in two ways: by staff in our records management system or by patrons requesting materials in the web catalog. Library book pick for holds can be found in the lobby of the Berry Library and Learning Commons in front of the library entrance.

Instruction Room Use Policy

The primary purpose of the library instruction rooms is for librarians to provide information literacy instruction for academic departments. For this to happen, librarians must have priority over other bookings. Library classrooms may be available to faculty and staff, with the following provisions:

  • Instruction rooms may be reserved only after the first five weeks of the semester. The first five weeks of the semester are reserved for librarian instruction use only.
  • Rooms are also not available from Reading Day to the end of finals each semester, as they are used for extra student study space.
  • Single, one-time bookings can be made for room 107 and 214 no more than 72 hours in advance. Room 107 has 20 computer stations for students, a large flat-screen display, and an instructor’s station. Room 214 has 42 computer stations for students, two large flat screen displays, a HyFlex unit, and an instructor’s station.
  • Faculty and staff should contact the Library Help Desk if any issues with the room arise.
  • Rooms must be left in the condition in which they were found. This includes cleaning writing from walls and whiteboards, picking up trash, turning off the projector, and removing all handouts or course materials.
  • Food is not allowed in the rooms, but closed container beverages are permissible.
  • Failure to follow these provisions will result in the loss of future room booking privileges.

Any other inquiries regarding library room use or room reservations should be directed to the Library Administration Office email.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

ILL Request Form


Interlibrary Loan is a service in which libraries lend their collections to other libraries for their patrons. It is a way for libraries to offer access to many more items than their physical space or budget may allow. Salem State University both borrows material to meet our community's needs and lends our materials to other libraries.


The fastest way to get the materials you need is from the library's collection. If we don’t have what you need, you can request material that is available within the NOBLE network to be sent to SSU's Library. You will need your ClipperCard and a PIN to order items yourself from the NOBLE catalog. To obtain a PIN, visit the Library Help Desk. For items that show “available” in the catalog, we expect those items to arrive usually within 3-5 business days. For items that are currently checked out, you will be put on the “hold list” to wait for books to be returned, and then sent to the next patron waiting for them. Please plan ahead for when you need materials.


Before submitting your ILL request:

  • You will need your ClipperCard number. This number is on the back of your ClipperCard and begins with 21506. It is not your student ID number.
  • Provide us with as much information about the material you're requesting as you can (e.g., title, author, volume, number, dates, page numbers, etc.). If your citation includes ISBN or ISSN numbers, please include those, however they are not required to complete your request.
  • There is a limit of 5 requests per student at a given time. As requests are filled, we will continue to fill additional article/book requests.
  • Most of the time we can borrow ILL items for free. However, some libraries charge for their ILL service. We will always try to fill your request for free. If we cannot, we will let you know what the range of prices may be and give you the option of paying for your item or cancelling your request.
  • Please note that e-books and textbooks cannot be requested through ILL.


For more information, please contact the ILL Department Staff by phone at 978.542.6501, by email at, or visit the Library Help Desk in person.

Loan Periods

Material Type Student Faculty Public (NOBLE) patrons
Typical items 3 weeks; 2 renewals Due May 1 or Dec 1; 5 renewals 3 weeks; 1 renewal
Course reserves

Options (decided by faculty)

  • 2 hours in-library use only
  • 24 hours
  • 7 days
n/a n/a
Audio material 3 weeks; 1 renewal 3 weeks; 1 renewal 3 weeks; 1 renewal
Video material 2 hours in-library use only 1 week 2 hours in-library use only

Varies by item:

  • 2 hours in-library use only
  • 3 weeks; 2 renewals

Varies by item:

  • 2 hours in-library use only
  • 3 weeks; 2 renewals

Varies by item:

  • 2 hours in-library use only
  • 3 weeks; 2 renewals
Study rooms 2 hours By request n/a
Headphones, cables, DVD drives 2 hours in-library use only 2 hours in-library use only 2 hours in-library use only
Tests 7 days 7 days n/a
Museum passes Varies by subscription Varies by subscription n/a

Reference materials and serials do not circulate. Rare exceptions are made with the permission of Library staff. If permission is granted for an exception, staff will use a Circulating Reference Materials Form to record the transaction.


The Berry Library has 42 lockers located on the ground floor that are available to all SSU students. There are also 26 lockers located in the Faculty Research Reading Room that are available to all SSU faculty. Current Salem State University Students may request to use a locker at the Library Help Desk.

  • Lockers may be checked out for the current semester with your valid ClipperCard.
  • The library will not be responsible for articles left in lockers.
  • All library circulating materials must be checked out before being placed in the locker.
  • No reference books, serials, or library use only reserve books may be kept in a locker.
  • The library retains the right to check lockers periodically for library materials.
  • Key cards must be returned before leaving campus for the semester and before graduation.
  • You are responsible for a $45 replacement fee if the key is lost or not returned according to the above terms, resulting in loss of locker privileges.
  • Items left in locker after due date may be disposed.
  • Failure to comply with these rules will mean suspension of locker privileges

Lost & Found

Unattended personal belongings such as keys, eyeglasses, notebooks, gloves, hats may be forwarded to Lost & Found at the Library Help Desk. Most unclaimed items will remain in Lost & Found until the end of the semester, after which they will be discarded. Any valuable items (jewelry, purse, money, credit cards, etc.) will be held in the Access Services office for 24 hours after which they will be turned over to the Campus Police. Every effort will be made to contact the owner of any lost ClipperCards using the information in our records. If the owner cannot be notified within 24 hours, the ClipperCard will be turned in to the ClipperCard Office.

Museum Passes

The library has museum passes to the Peabody Essex Museum. Salem State University faculty, staff, and students may use their ClipperCard for free admission to the PEM. Faculty, staff, and students may also pick up a PEM guest pass from the Library Help Desk. The guest pass includes a promo code that can be used for two guests to make an online reservation for free admission to the PEM at a specific date and time.

Overdue Items, Fines & Lost Materials

Overdue Items

Material becomes "long overdue" after it has been overdue for 42 days. At this point, the patron is sent a bill notice and is blocked in our records management system. The block prevents a student from being able to register for classes or to obtain grades or transcripts. We make every effort to remove all blocks within 24 hours after all materials have been returned.



Salem State University Library does not charge fines.


Payment for Lost Materials

Patrons who lose SSU Library materials must pay the replacement cost as indicated on their bill or as noted on their patron record. Most books have a standard (average) replacement cost of $45.00, but some books and other media have other costs as shown on the bill or record.

  • Payment for lost materials is non-refundable, even if the item is later found.
  • Please pay cash or make checks or money orders payable to: Salem State University Library.
  • Payment can also be made with credit/debit card via your NOBLE account (see below under PIN/Password).
  • In certain cases, it may be acceptable to provide a replacement copy of the same edition, in new condition. Please email library staff to see if this option will work for a particular item.


If you are a registered borrower of a NOBLE library, you can create an account to:

  • View a list of items you have checked out
  • Renew the items you have checked out
  • View your outstanding fines
  • Pay for fines or lost items with debit/credit card
  • Request items (place holds)
  • View a list of items you have on hold
  • Cancel or suspend your holds
  • Create lists of items from the catalog
  • Opt in to maintain a list of your check out history


To access your account, you will need to type in your library card barcode number and a Personal Identification Number (PIN)/password. To obtain a PIN/password, you can present identification at a NOBLE member library, or set it up online if your account has an email address on file. Visit NOBLE's PIN info page for instructions. Please note:

  • You will be able to change your PIN/password at any time using the same methods.
  • PIN/passwords will not be given out over the phone.


The print stations are multi-function devices (MFDs) that can print, copy, and scan. They are located on the first floor and second floor and serve all the desktop computers in the library, and all over campus. Students, Faculty, and Staff print with their ClipperCards. Guests may ask at the Library Help Desk for printing options.

  • Salem State University adds $5 in Printing Points each semester on each student's ClipperCard. When Printing Points are used up, ClipperCash can be used, which can be added through the GET app or Navigator account.
  • Black & white prints: $0.05 per page
  • Color prints: $0.15 per page (1st floor only)
  • When printing a document in the library, send your print job to the Student_Follow_Me or Follow_Me print queue. At the printer (MFD), tap your ClipperCard to bring up your account. Follow prompts to print the document.
  • See Printers and Printing on Ask The Viking for more detailed instructions, including how to print from laptops or phones using PaperCut Web Print.


Accessible restrooms are located on all floors of the Berry Library. Gender-neutral restrooms are available on the 3rd floor and the ground floor.

Study Rooms

For all group study rooms in the Frederick E. Berry Library, you will need to check out a key card from the front desk to access the room. Study room reservations can be made here: Study Room Booking.

  • Only current SSU members with a valid ClipperCard may reserve the rooms.
  • Reservations for a group study room can be made online up to 1 week in advance.
  • Rooms may be reserved for up to 2 hours at a time (4 half-hour time slots).
  • Only one reservation per day is allowed, although users can stay longer if nobody else is waiting.
  • The person who checks out the key card is responsible for returning it. The key card must not leave the library.
  • Room reservations will be held for 15 minutes only past the beginning of the reserved period.
  • Group study (two or more students) has priority over individual use.
  • Rooms that are not reserved may be assigned to any user on a first come, first served basis.
  • Faculty, staff, and community members with a valid ClipperCard may request to use a room on a first-come, first-served basis during non-peak study periods. Inquire at the help desk on the 1st floor about availability.
  • Personal belongings should not be left unattended in the room.
  • Write with erasable markers on the glossy white walls only. Clean walls when done.
  • If you need a cable or headphones to use the TV, request them from the help desk on the 1st floor or call 978-542-6230.