Key Control and Access Authorization Policy

I.  Purpose/Scope of the Policy

It is the policy of the University Library to promote the security of library personnel and patrons and to provide appropriate access to Library facilities while ensuring the safety of its facilities and collections.

This policy describes the control of the use and possession of keys to Library facilities, including (A) general provisions, (B) design of keying systems, (C) fabrication, (D) Library responsibility for issuance, (E) eligibility for issuance – exterior keys, (F) eligibility for issuance – interior keys, (G) eligibility for access to high security spaces, (H) key and building security, and (I) responsibilities relating to lost keys. This policy applies to all keys, including keys for all doors and cabinets keyed by the F&S Locksmith Shop for use in the following facilities: the Main Library Building , ACES, Grainger, Oak Street , and the Undergraduate Library.

II.  Definitions

A.  Key

In this document, the term “key” or “keys” refers to the means by which one gains entry into a secured entry point. A “key” may be used in reference to traditional lock-and-key arrangements in doors, swipe cards or other non-mechanical means of gaining access, or access codes for spaces with additional security needs. In some cases, multiple types of keys may be required for single locations depending upon the operational needs of the unit.

B.  Key Control Officer

The Key Control Officer is the individual within the Library given authority for authorizing, distributing, and collecting keys for all Library-managed spaces.

C.  Key Holder

The Key Holder is the individual to whom a key is issued and is, therefore, the individual ultimately responsible for the key’s security. If the key is lost, the individual to whom the key is issued is considered the responsible individual regardless of employment status (faculty, AP, staff, GA, student, or carrel patron). In the case of unit keys, the individual considered the key holder is the unit head.

III.  Detailed Policy Statement

A.  General Provisions

  1. Unauthorized fabrication, duplication, possession, or use of keys to premises owned by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a violation of University policies.
  2. University keys are the property of the University of Illinois and may be recovered at any time.
  3. Keys to Library facilities are authorized at the discretion of the Library and may be recovered at any time. The Office of Library Facilities is responsible for the issuing of all keys.
  4. Locks and access codes may be changed as appropriate to ensure the proper management and security of the Library, its facilities, and collections.

B.  Keying Systems

  1. UIUC F&S Locksmith Shop creates keying and access systems that will ensure security and reasonable convenience to units occupying buildings or facilities.

C.  Fabrication

  1. Unless otherwise authorized by the Office of Library Facilities, the F&S Locksmith Shop fabricates and duplicates all authorized keys and performs all authorized lock work for campus facilities.
  2. Locks may not be changed by external locksmiths without the express permission of the F&S Locksmith Shop and authorization from the Office of Library Facilities.
  3. To ensure compliance with applicable fire and life safety codes, non-University locks or keys shall not be used on any Library facilities.
  4. Authorization for the fabrication of all keys is the responsibility of the Key Control Officer.

D.  Library Responsibility – Key Issuance & Recovery

  1. The Library is responsible for issue and control of keys to its spaces. Keys to Library facilities may only be issued in accordance with the Key Eligibility Criteria below.
  2. The Library must recover all keys from personnel who are separating from employment or transferring to another unit or activity within the Library or on campus at the time of separation.
  3. The Library shall document all key transactions in a database located on a restricted access, shared drive.
    • The issuance of each key requires a form issued by the Office of Library Facilities and signed by the Director of Library Facilities, or their designate(s). Issuance shall be documented in the database at this time.
    • The return of each key at time of separation or transfer will be tracked by the Office of Library Facilities and is the responsibility of the key holder. Return of keys or transfer of responsibility for keys in the case of unit key sets shall be documented in the database at time of official separation.
    • If all assigned keys are not returned within one week from separation, the Office of Library Facilities shall notify Library Human Resources to withhold processing of benefit pay until the keys are returned.
  4. The Office of Library Facilities shall maintain all paper records about key authorization.
  5. The Office of Library Facilities shall manage a database of individuals holding keys to Library facilities. The database will permit searching by name, department, employment category (faculty, staff, GA, F&S, security, contractor, etc.), building code, key number, room numbers that the keys open, issue date, and return date.
  6. Keys shall only be issued to the assigned key holder.

E.  Eligibility for Issuance – Exterior Keys

  1. Eligibility for exterior building keys to Library buildings will be limited to the following categories of individuals:
  • Library Faculty and Academic Professionals
  • Staff members in administrative units (Systems Office, Business Office, etc.) with duties requiring such access
  • Individuals on the Emergency Contact List
  • Staff and graduate assistants with opening and closing duties or other responsibilities that require access during non-operating hours, e.g., emptying the bookdrop during breaks, etc.
  • Employees of the U.S. Postal Service
  • Employees of the Lincoln Trails Delivery Service
  • Appropriate F&S staff  Library Security staff
  • Appropriate CITES staff
    1. Eligibility for exterior building keys to Library buildings will not be granted to the following categories of individuals:
      • Staff and graduate assistants without opening or closing duties
      • Library staff claiming need based upon flextime requirements
      • Non-library faculty
  1. Eligibility for Issuance – Interior Keys
    1. Faculty, staff, graduate students, and student employees will only be provided with keys for their units, unless their position explicitly requires access for collection/facility security purposes, i.e., emergency and disaster response, facilities management.
    2. Keys shall not be issued to one individual for the use of others working within a unit on either a temporary or a permanent basis. Such practices may lead to revoking the access privileges of both the key holder and its user.
      • Units with multi-user key sets may petition the Office of Library Facilities for a key box. Keys issued for such use shall be stored in the key box and a sign-out sheet shall be maintained by the units with two permanent employees being given access to the key box and authority to sign out keys. Keys and key sets thus maintained are not to be “issued” locally to student employees working in the unit. Such actions will result in removal of the key box and all associated key sets from the unit. Individually issued keys must be signed out through the Office of Library Facilities (per III.D.6).
    3. Graduate assistants and student employees will only be issued keys if sufficient justification is provided, i.e., opening and closing responsibilities.
    4. UIUC faculty and graduate students and visiting scholars sponsored by a UIUC academic department can request a carrel assignment in the Main Library Bookstacks. An eligible patron may fill out a form to request a carrel. These forms are available in the Circulation Office (Room 203) of the Main Library.Patrons are assigned a key for the duration of their carrel use and are required to return the key when they are done with the carrel and/or when they leave the university.
  2. Eligibility for Access to High-Security Spaces
    1. Library personnel shall be granted access to high-security spaces on a limited basis based upon job responsibility and security need.
    2. Authorization may be given by the Key Control Officer only after consultation with the director of said units.
    3. The Library reserves the right to restrict authorization at its discretion.
  3. Key and Building Security
    1. Library keys shall not be left unattended.
      • Keys to exhibit cases and other means of securing rare and/or valuable materials shall not be left unsecured (e.g., labeled in unsecured desk drawers local to the cases) or in areas that would facilitate unauthorized access to the cases.
    2. All students, faculty and staff are responsible for maintaining building security. Doors shall not be propped open or left in an unlocked position during hours when the building is normally closed to the public.
    3. Library faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and student employees shall not unlock buildings or rooms for unknown individuals nor distribute keys or access codes to unauthorized individuals.
    4. The Library will pursue a policy of re-keying exterior keys to Library buildings biennially.
    5. The Library will pursue a policy of re-keying areas with significant unmarked materials (Acquisitions, Asian, Binding, Cataloging, Gifts, Slavic, Rare Books, and Archives) annually.
    6. After an initial re-keying, other interior library facilities will be re-keyed a minimum of every four years or as needed.
  4. Key-holder Responsibilities – Lost Keys and Re-keying Library Facilities Individuals possessing keys to campus facilities are responsible for said keys.

    All lost Library keys must be reported immediately to the unit head and to the Office of Library Facilities. All lost Main Bookstacks carrel keys must be reported immediately to the Circulation Office (Room 203) in the Main Library.

    If the loss of keys is discovered after business hours, the employee will report the event directly to the University Division of Public Safety and follow up with the Office of Library Facilities on the next business day. The Main Bookstacks carrel-holder must report it to the Circulation Office (Room 203) the next business day.

    The Library accepts responsibility for any costs associated with re-keying due to loss of keys or other methods of access. However, key-holders will be assessed a fee of $25.00 per key lost with a maximum of $200.00 in total fines.

    In the event of a key being lost, the Office of Library Facilities will determine if locks are to be replaced or keys changed.


Library Emergency Response and Security Task Force – March – April 2002 (rev. June – July 2002)

UIUC Operations and Maintenance Review – May – June 2002

UIUC Police Review – May 2002

University Library Administrative Council – July 2002


University Library Emergency Response and Security Task Force – March/April 2005

University Library Office of Services – January 2007

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