Policy UL-AD24 Libraries' Short-Term Access Accounts for Research (STAARs)

Main Policy Content

Policy UL-AD24 Libraries' Short-Term Access Accounts for Research (STAARs) – REVISION DRAFT 4/19

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Background
  • Policy
  • Use of Licensed Resources
  • Procedure
  • Assessment


To describe the University Libraries' policy for issuing Short-Term Access Accounts for Research.


Short-Term Access Accounts (STAA “slim” accounts) are managed by PSU Identity Services and provide user authentication only to selected Penn State services for specified periods of time.  Libraries' staff may be authorized to issue these accounts, branded as STAAR (Short-Term Access Accounts for Research) accounts, to non-PSU visitors in accordance with the following policy.


STAAR accounts are intended to provide one-day, on-site internet access to facilitate research and scholarly communication, to afford non-PSU visitors access to library resources, and to provide assistance to community users and to colleagues visiting from peer institutions.  STAAR accounts are a privilege and the Libraries reserves the right to refuse accounts to anyone without proper identification or to anyone in violation of any Library or University policies, including the UL Code of Conduct, AD 95 (Information Assurance and IT Security) and AD 96 (Acceptable Use of University Information Resources).


Most licenses for online resources permit on-site access only for non-PSU users.  STAAR accounts cannot be used to access resources off-site.  Online resources are licensed by the University Libraries for non-profit, educational use only.  Users in violation of license agreements may be subject to loss of account privileges and possible financial and legal penalties.


  • Authorized staff may assign a STAAR account to any non-PSU user presenting current, photo ID issued by a government agency or educational institution by fully completing the Penn State STAA Distribution Center online form.
  • All accounts must be set to expire in one day.
  • A printed copy of the STAA confirmation page, including the STAA ID, password and a statement of network and information policy is provided to the user.

Exception for Visiting Groups

Groups visiting the Penn State libraries from area schools for library-provided instruction may be issued STAAR accounts for all participating students in advance of their visit. A school representative will be provided a spreadsheet template to record all required information, such as name, address, contact information and type of ID, for each student and provide the completed spreadsheet to library staff at least 48 hours prior to their arrival. Authorized staff will create the accounts and distribute the IDs and passwords to students during the instructional session. Anyone wishing to arrange a group visit should contact Library Learning Services at Pattee Library, University Park, or their local Penn State campus library.

Sponsored Accounts

Although library-issued accounts expire daily, other Penn State colleges and departments may sponsor longer-term STAA accounts for visiting researchers. Sponsored STAAs are available for departmental purchase from Penn State Identity Services and are not issued by the library.


The Manager of Lending and Reserve Services receives periodic reports from Identity Services listing all STAAR accounts issued by Libraries' staff and reviews these reports to track usage and to ensure policy and procedure compliance.  Regular report summaries may be prepared and made to Libraries' administration for review. 

Effective Date: March 2011
Date Approved: March 28, 2011 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • May 23, 2019 - Approved (Dean's Library Council)
  • April 24, 2019 - Revision
  • March 28, 2011 – New policy

Last Review Date:  April 2019