Patron Etiquette

Food & Drink

Food attracts insects that can be harmful to books – and annoying to humans.  In recognition of people enjoying a snack while they study, we allow limited food consumption in the library.  If you need a snack, please limit yourself to dry food that is quiet to eat and comes in small packages.  For drinks, we ask you to use covered containers such as a travel mug or bottles with caps.  Please clean up after yourself.  If you have a spill, contact a staff member so that the situation can be cleared up as soon as possible.


Smoking is allowed in designated areas only on campus.  The closest smoking area to the library is outside the north entrance of the dining hall (Take-a-Break).

Cell Phones

In consideration of others, please refrain from cell phone conversations in the library’s reading room and stacks, and set cell phones to silent or vibrate.  The library lounge, just outside the library doors, offers comfortable chairs for cell phone use and conversation.


In the library lobby normal voices are welcomed.  However, please remember that offices are nearby and that classes take place in the adjacent Seminar Room.  The Reading Room is considered a “whisper zone.”  The stacks are a place for quiet study.


Thorndike Library is open to the general public.

  • Library cards are available to eligible borrowers.
  • Public computers are available in the library lobby to any visitor.  Priority is given to COA community members doing library research.  Other computer use is limited to 10 minutes if others are waiting.
  • Copying, scanning and printing is available to visitors.  Black/white printing and copying is $.10 per side.  Color printing and copying is $.20 per side.  Scanning is free.
  • Access to the internet from personal laptops is available provided the laptop has the most recent anti-virus software and operating system updates installed.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies and other reproductions of copyrighted material.  Library users are expected to act in accordance with this law.  Library users may wish to consult our copyright guide.

Donations to the Library

The collections of the Thorndike Library, including those of the archives and audio-visual collections, focus on the academic and co-curricular needs of our COA community as well as the college’s history.  We appreciate any donations that support these collections.

All donations are accepted unconditionally and become the property of the College.  Donations that are not kept by the library are either sold or given away.  All proceeds are returned to the library for additional purchases.

In general, we consider the following when determining what to add to the collections:

  • Content
  • Condition
  • Whether it is a duplicate copy

Donations are acknowledged by a Gift-In-Kind form, if desired.  Please note that the library cannot provide a valuation for any gifts.  For additional information or if you are interested in making a donation, please contact Jane Hultberg (books, videos, journals), Hannah Stevens (COA historical material or special collections) or Zach Soares (AV equipment).