Policies and Statements

We have a variety of policies and statements available. Please click on the required link below that will take you to the relevant policy or statement.

Statement of Public Task

The Library Services Department at the Glasgow School of Art operates within a complex Higher Education environment. It is subject to internal regulatory processes and to applicable external legislation including the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.

The service operates in line with the following core functions:

  • The Library Services provides a physical and virtual library and learning technology service for GSA staff and students. This is delivered through development of rich and diverse collections both physical and online, comprehensive library and technology user support and training
  • To support the teaching, learning and research activities of the Glasgow School of Art through
  • the provision of information resources, both in print and in electronic formats
  • the provision of learning technologies, including a virtual learning environment
  • the provision of study spaces, including technology-enabled spaces such as computing facilities
  • the provision of support, collections-based teaching, and library and learning technology skills-based training to students and staff
  • To engage with the wider community through provision of external membership and walk-in visitor arrangements, as well as through the online delivery of specific publicly-accessible digital collections.
  • To support GSA staff and students in their teaching, learning, artistic practice and research activities
  • To support the School’s administrative functions

In order fulfil their core functions both the Library Services produce, disseminate, hold and use a large number of information assets that are presented in various formats. The key online access points for these items are

Glasgow School of Art Library Services website and catalogue https://lib.gsa.ac.uk/

In addition, the services re-use information to:

  • Create electronic and print resources about our holdings and services, such as collection guides and blog posts
  • Provide tailored information in response to specific research and/or reprographic enquiries, as well in the preparation of collections-based teaching materials.

Details about accessing information from the Glasgow School of Art Library Service Collections holdings can be found in the following online documents:

You can contact the Library Services via library@gsa.ac.uk

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Library Policies

Here you can discover and read our policies and strategies, which outline how we acquire, manage and provide access to our collections, resources and spaces.

The Glasgow School of Art’s Data Protection Policy is available here. Privacy Notices from Academic Registry and HR cover students and staff use of Library and Learning Technology services. An additional Privacy Notice covers External Library Members.

To support staff and students based at the GSA Creative Campus in the Highlands we have set out the services available.

To protect students and staff with severe allergies, the Library is a nut-free space. Please do not eat any nuts, or food containing nuts, in the Library.

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Accessibility Statements

We have prepared accessibility statements to help you identify and overcome some of the known accessibility issues on our websites:

If you’d like to report an accessibility issue that has not been identified, please contact lthelp@gsa.ac.uk

Third party platforms

GSA Library Services supports students and staff to use a range of digital tools, such as Padlet, Miro, and Zoom. You can read accessibility statements for these third party platforms below:

GSA Library Services can answer any questions you have about these tools. Please contact lthelp@gsa.ac.uk for support.


We aim to surface the accessibility statements of publishers in Primo, the library catalogue.

We have produced accessibility scorecards for the publisher platforms that supply the majority of our e-books. These describe the customisation and accessibility functions that are available, and how to activate them:

GSA Library Services can answer any questions you have about these tools. Please contact lthelp@gsa.ac.uk for support.

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Statement on Harmful Materials

The Glasgow School of Art Library aims to describe and present materials in a manner that is accurate, respectful, and responsive to the communities who create, use, and are represented in its collections. We acknowledge that institutions are not neutral, and that their structures and methods are rooted in colonial and imperial histories. We are engaged in ongoing efforts to revise and decolonise our practices. This includes, but is not limited to, the review of inappropriate, problematic, or discriminatory language within our catalogues, improving the ways that our users can provide feedback, and creating contextual information that mitigates the negative impacts of dehumanising, discriminatory, or distressing materials. We are committed to using our voice to challenge prejudice and discrimination where we see it and will work with our students, researchers, staff and peers to build a more inclusive Library.

Why might I encounter discriminatory language and harmful content in the Library Catalogue?

For the purpose of encouraging critical thought amongst staff and students, we may hold, acquire, or provide access to some materials that are harmful and discriminatory in nature. When searching our resources, you may encounter text, imagery, film or audio that contains outdated, discriminatory, or harmful opinions relating to race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or class. This might include language and imagery that has been in the past, and is still today, used to incite hatred and violence against people from marginalised backgrounds. Whilst we cannot edit or erase the titles or content of these resources, we are committed to replacing inappropriate, outdated, or problematic terms in our descriptions where we are able, and to providing our users with context information where appropriate.

What work are staff doing to revise and decolonise Library practice?

From July-August 2022, we worked with an external consultant on 5-week Inclusive Cataloguing review. Working within the framework of our Collection Management Policy, we are committed to the careful review and description of existing and new resources. We are actively re-thinking the way we use terminology, description, and advisory notices, and we are committed to building reciprocal relationships with marginalised communities so that we can learn how to better represent them. Our Inclusive Cataloguing work is steered by the Library’s Inclusivity Group, which works more broadly to ensure that our staff are educated about issues relating to equalities, diversity, and inclusion.

Is the Library censoring or restricting materials?

The objective of our work is not to censor, remove, or restrict access to items, but to provide our users with information and context that promotes their ethical use. We believe that advisory notices are a useful tool for enhancing the quality and integrity of our collections and can enable users to make informed decisions about engaging with harmful content.

How can I get involved?

Improving our catalogue records is an ongoing process, and we value the input of our users. We also acknowledge that we might not always get it right. There are a number of ways you can help us with this work and provide feedback:

Where can I find support if I have been affected by any of these issues?

GSA Student Support can offer support, help and guidance to any student experiencing emotional distress or trauma https://gsofa.sharepoint.com/sites/StudentIntranet/ProfessionalSupport/StudentSupportServices

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