Policies :: Nimitz Library :: USNA

Nimitz Library

Library Policies

This page contains information about the policies and procedures for midshipmen, staff, faculty and visitor use of the library.

Check Out & Loan Policies

Borrowing of Nimitz Library materials is limited to USNA midshipmen, staff, faculty and selected others. For more information on loan periods, borrowing eligibility, reserving materials for your course (Faculty only) and replacing missing items, please visit the Check Out and Loan Policies section.


Collection Philosophy

The staff of the Nimitz Library proudly serves the midshipmen and personnel of the United States Naval Academy, and as a cornerstone institution of the Academy’s motto, Ex Scientia Tridens, the Library fuels knowledge creation, and its distribution, for naval excellence.

The Library is a catalyst for naval excellence by, in part, collecting, organizing, and providing access to an expansive record of human thought. Librarians assess and acquire a variety of appropriate and available resources in formats that best meet the educational mission of the Academy.

This collection is first and foremost prioritized to support the academic inquiries and intellectual development of the Brigade of Midshipmen, i.e., the future leaders of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Thus, curriculum development, learning theory, pedagogy, and students’ course assignments and research are requisite areas of development.

To the fullest extent possible, the collection also supports the research of the faculty of the Naval Academy. Cutting-edge research contributes to the overall body of scholarly literature and helps inform an instructor’s teaching judgments and priorities.

The Nimitz Library is a premier institution of seapower knowledge supporting the nation’s undergraduate academy for seapower education and officer accession. Thus, collecting in the niche yet vital areas of naval history, tradition, science, and engineering is critical and prioritized.

Intellectual and academic freedom have been cornerstones of academic thought and rigor for over a century in higher education in the United States. The Nimitz Library is dedicated to these core principles of building knowledge in its acquisition, promotion, and retention of scholarly materials.

Furthermore, Nimitz’s librarians are dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the Library’s collections. Thus, the librarians actively acquire resources from content creators that encompass the full spectrum of voices and perspectives available.

To guarantee equity of accessibility to the Library’s scholarly materials, staff adhere to accepted access standards for physical and online resources. Librarians routinely assess the creation and dissemination of information products so as to collect materials in multiple, accessible formats when needed or appropriate.

Librarians with subject matter expertise direct the Library’s collection efforts, and they are charged with fostering peer relationships within the Academy to better inform their decision making. These decisions address questions not only about building the collection but about managing it. Therefore, as is standard across the academic library community, Nimitz houses a living collection, which acknowledges obsolescence, usage, and space limitations.

All subject matter librarians’ collection initiatives are framed by this document. Yet, inherent in their professional judgement and execution, a degree of autonomy exists that may provide greater specificity at a disciplinary or departmental level, or for a cross-disciplinary major.

All academic libraries, including the Nimitz Library, have limited resources and cannot comprehensively collect materials in all subject areas. Therefore, the Library supplements its collection through a robust interlibrary borrowing/loan program in order to maximize access to resources. Additionally, the Nimitz Library seeks and welcomes partnerships with internal and external stakeholders to support the resource needs of Library constituencies.

Digital Signage Requests

Nimitz Library provides Digital Signage to support the USNA community. Any student, faculty, or staff may submit signage to the library that supports an announcement, event, or activity that is non-commercial, open to the public, and directly related to a department or student organization.

Nimitz Library is not responsible for the proofreading, composition, or correctness of submitted materials. Be certain your submitted content for display is accurate and presentable. Your submitted content must meet Nimitz Library’s content guidelines.

Digital signage will be displayed in the lobby of Nimitz Library. Slides will be shown in rotation.

Content Guidelines

Appropriate Material

Nimitz Library Digital Signage is intended to support and spread awareness of activities, events, programs, and important information relevant to USNA and that supports an academic program and/or use of library resources or services.

We will not display personal ads

We will not display personal communications

We will not display political statements

We will not display material that violates USNA policies

We will not display offensive or objectionable images or text

Other material may not be displayed at the discretion of Nimitz Library


Please direct questions about our Digital Signage to the Research/Special Collections Librarian who can be reached at minakows@usna.edu.

Food & Drink
  • You may eat snacks in any public space in the Nimitz Library, except in Special Collections & Archives,
  • You may drink from covered containers (water bottles, coffee cups with lids, soda cans and anything reclosable), except in Special Collections & Archives

Donation & Gift Policy of the Nimitz Library

The Nimitz Library supports the research, educational, and informational needs of the midshipmen, faculty, and staff of the U.S. Naval Academy. It also endeavors to preserve the historical record of the Academy and its graduates. To that end, the Library accepts material gifts and monetary donations in the furtherance of these missions.


  1. The Nimitz Library may consider donations of published and unpublished works provided the work(s) meet one of the following conditions:

    1. (a) Works published before 1870 related to military or naval subjects.

    2. (b) Works published before 1801.

    3. (c) Unpublished documents (correspondence, diaries, memoranda, and the like) related to the Naval Academy, Naval Academy alumni, or the Navy more broadly that complement material already in the library's collections and that will, in the staff's estimation, be of interest to midshipmen and faculty.

    4. (d) Materials authored by USNA faculty and staff in their disciplinary fields.

    5. (e.) Unique materials such as cruise books, oral histories, unit histories, etc. that focus on the United States Navy and Marine Corps from specialty publishers.

    6. (f) Recent (defined as books published within two years of the donation) copyrighted materials that are published by a commercial publisher. Note: “Self-published” works might be accepted as an exception to policy. Preferred format is hardcover.

    7. (g) Other topical areas may be considered (check the Library's collection priorities here). Potential donors should provide the Library with a list of materials they are interested in donating. Donations received without a list or prior notice will not be considered. Library staff can advise on the appropriateness of any given item or collection and provide references to other libraries or repositories as appropriate.
  2. Potential donors should note that the Nimitz Library has a large collection of 20th and 21st century books in the areas of naval history, military biographies, military history and related subject areas. The Nimitz Library rarely accepts any donations of material already in the collection due to space and demand concerns. Potential donors are encouraged to check our catalog if they want to know if we already own a specific title.

  3. Potential donors should also note that the Nimitz library has all of the issues of the “Lucky Bag” the USNA yearbook (specifically we own 4 or more copies), and will not accept additional copies.

  4. It should be noted that materials received at the Nimitz Library that were not approved as donations in advance may not be accepted into the collection and may not be returned to the donor unless specific guidance is offered to take that action.

  5. When in doubt, send an email to the Nimitz Library donations, NimitzDonations-group@usna.edu, for additional guidance and directions.

  6. Gifts of books and other physical materials are coordinated by the Technical Information Specialist for Acquisitions. All offers or questions should be sent to NimitzDonations-group@usna.edu.

  7. Books and other materials offered to the Nimitz Library should be in good condition, consistent with books normally available in a library. Exceptions may apply for manuscripts and unique materials.

  8. Donors will receive a letter of acknowledgement from the Superintendent of the Naval Academy stating that their donation has been accepted by the Nimitz Library and added to the collection. The authority to accept gifts belongs solely with the Office of the Superintendent. The Nimitz Library acts only as an intermediary.

  9. All accepted materials become property of the United States Navy. No donations will be accepted that have specified conditions such as: being on loan from the donor, requiring a display, or requesting a specific period of retention. For any questions regarding this policy please contact the Technical Information Specialist for Acquisitions (see II above). 
    1. (a) COPYRIGHT: In general, the Nimitz Library asks a potential donor of unique and/or unpublished materials, for which the donor owns the copyright, to transfer copyright to the Library. In cases where the copyright is not transferred to the Library, it is understood that the Library may in its sole discretion and without further approval of the donor: (i) display or exhibit (and permit others to display or exhibit) the donated materials; and (ii) make copies of, or otherwise reproduce, in physical or digital formats, any or all of the donated materials for preservation, research, display, exhibition, and reference purposes (any fees charged by the Library for copying services are used to offset material and operating costs). This follows USNA INSTRUCTION 4001.5E ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS TO THE U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY.

  10. The donor accepts responsibility for the cost of packing and shipping donated materials to the Academy.

  11. Donors are granted the same right to access and use their materials as other members of the public.

  12. The Nimitz Library may receive monetary donations via sending offers to this address: ATTN: Nimitz Library Director, Nimitz Library, 589 McNair Rd., Annapolis, MD 21402. Alternatively, The Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation accepts offers here: https://www.usna.com/give. Select "Other" and enter "Nimitz Library".
Library Access for Retired Faculty
Borrowing Privileges

All retired faculty may set up a library account to check out books from the library for the standard staff loan period, as indicated on the library website.  Retired faculty may renew the books once over the phone provided there are no holds on or requests for the book.  

Interlibrary Loan

Access to Nimitz Library interlibrary loan (ILL) services are available for emeritus faculty only.  Retired faculty claiming emeritus status must be able to demonstrate that status to the library with documentation, listing on a department website, or other reasonable means.  Additional information about ILL policies and services can be found in the Nimitz Library ILL Policy

Access to Library Databases

All retired faculty may visit the library during operating hours to access library resources electronically using one of the available public computers.  Remote access to electronic library resources requires access to the Academy’s VPN.  Access to the VPN is controlled by the IT Services Division (ITSD) and inquiries about access should be directed to that office .


Retired faculty will not have printing privileges in the library.  However, nearly all electronic resources provide an option for users to send information and documents to their personal email accounts.    

General Access

Additional information about library access after retirement can be found in the Nimitz Library FAQ pages .  Questions about the policy can be directed to 410.293.6945. 

Printing Policy

See the Printing page for information about printing policy.

Reserving Library Rooms

Nimitz Library controls two classrooms in the library, rooms Nimitz 227 and the Nautilus Room. The primary purpose of these rooms is to provide spaces in which librarians conduct hands-on classes for midshipmen in research skills and use of the Library's extensive resources. To request use of one of the library classrooms, contact Dr. Amanda Click, Head of Research & Instruction.

When not in use for library instruction, both of these rooms serve as open labs and are heavily used by midshipmen. Use of these rooms as a meeting place for regularly scheduled classes or non-library training during the academic terms is generally not permitted. Exceptions can be made occasionally at the discretion of the Head of Research and Instruction.

Group study rooms, located on the second and third floors of the Nimitz Library, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. At times group study rooms may be reserved for one-time class use during the day by contacting Catherine Johnson, Associate Library Director for User Services.

Tablet Loans and Rules for Use


USNA Midshipmen, Faculty, Staff, and dependents with appropriate USNA ID are eligible to check out a tablet from the Nimitz Library Circulation Desk for in-house use only.

Rules for Use

  • Tablets circulate for three hours at a time. They may be renewed once if no other patron is waiting for one. If a tablet is checked out within three hours of the Library’s closing, the tablet must be returned no later than thirty minutes before closing.
  • Tablets may not be checked out overnight. They may not be removed from the Nimitz Library or taken to non-Library spaces on the ground floor of the building.
  • Do not leave a tablet unattended.
  • Do not install additional software on the tablets.


Instructions for using the tablets are available at Circulation desks in Nimitz Library.

USB Drives

Use of thumb drives (also known as flash or jump drives) is suspended.

This restriction applies to the entire USNA Network.

Please use your Google Drive. CDs and DVDs are also permissible.

We apologize for the inconvenience.


The Naval Academy's Nimitz Library is funded and staffed to provide library collections and other services to the Academy's midshipmen, faculty, and staff. From time to time other individuals seek to make use of the Library's materials and other resources, and we often extend them this courtesy on a limited basis.

It is the Nimitz Library's policy that individuals entering the Library who are visitors - that is, not midshipmen, faculty, or staff of the Naval Academy - must sign in at the Circulation Desk on each visit, and provide the information requested on the sign-in sheet as well as a photo I.D.

While visitors are often permitted to visit the Library and use our resources on-site, our midshipmen, faculty, and staff have top priority for all material, seating, computer use, and staff assistance. Our mission is to support the students' education and the faculty's classroom and research needs.

After 6 p.m. each day, the Library is restricted to midshipmen, faculty, staff, and emeritus faculty; to the escorted guests of individuals in any of these groups; and to others who have a letter of authorization from the Library administration. At any time, unaccompanied children must be at least 14 years of age to visit the Library, and must sign in.

Visitors are expected to respect the rules of the Nimitz Library and to maintain a quiet atmosphere to research and study. Visitors who do not sign in may be asked to do so and to provide identification or leave the premises; those whose behavior is disruptive will be asked to leave the premises and not return.

Please direct any questions to Mr. Nicholas Brown, Nimitz Library, at 410-293-6943 or nbrown@usna.edu.

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