Policy UL-IT04 University Libraries Official Listservs and Group Communication Tools

Main Policy Content

  • Purpose
  • University Libraries Official Listserv Management and Structure
  • Eligibility for Official Library Listserv Membership and Group Communication Tools
  • Use of University Email Listservs and Group Communication Tools
  • Cross References


To state the University Libraries’ position on official University Libraries Listservs.


The purpose of University Libraries official listservs and group communication tools is to provide standardized email groupings to aid dissemination of information throughout the organizational hierarchy. 

The structure of the official listserv is hierarchical and based upon the organizational structure of the University Libraries. A listserv is created and maintained centrally by Libraries IT for each library, department, and unit within the library organization.  Several lists are maintained centrally that fall outside of the hierarchy to meet organization-wide or library systems specific communication needs. Official listservs are listed on the library intranet site.

In order to ensure that information is disseminated to every employee, all employees are a member of at least one listserv by default. Part-time student employees are added to the part time student listserv. Full-time and part-time (non-student) employees are added to listserv of the unit(s) in which they are employed. 


  • Only active University Library Employees may belong to official library listservs and group communication tools. 

  • Only PSU email accounts will be used in subscribing members to official library listservs. 

  • Only the listservs noted on the library intranet site  will be centrally maintained by Libraries IT (this list represents the official list of library listservs). Individuals are welcome to utilize tools available to all Penn State employees to create and maintain their own special purpose listservs or distribution groups.  


Libraries' employees must adhere to University policy FN14, which states that:

“The use of email, internet, and office phone services for reasonable personal use is permitted if the University incurs no additional incremental cost for personal use. 

  • These services may never be used in the conduct of a personal business or any other for-profit venture from which the employee (or member of their family) would receive personal gain.
  • Employees should not use these services for personal use if additional costs are incurred (i.e., long-distance phone calls).  If incremental charges are incurred, the University must be reimbursed for the cost. 
  • Excessive personal use which interferes with the employee’s job performance is not appropriate and can be limited as needed by supervisors to assure employee productivity.”


AD56 - Use of Group Communication Tools to Communicate University Business to Employees and Students

FN14 - Use of University Tangible Assets, Equipment, Supplies and Services

Effective Date: June 8, 2006
Date Approved: February 6, 2006 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • October 2021 - Revised to limit scope to official library listservs
  • December 2018 –Revised to reflect transition to Outlook from UCS 
  • March 2016 – Revised to add UCS email and delete information that is no longer accurate
  • September 2011 – Revised policy; Streamlined and Reformatted
  • June 2011 – Revised to reflect transition from Global Mailing Lists (GMLs) to University Libraries LISTSERVs
  • June 2010 – Revised to reflect transition from Eudora to Thunderbird; incorporates POP and IMAP protocols and handheld devices
  • March 2009 – Revised to reflect the Libraries transition from psulias to psu.edu
  • August 2007 – Editorial
  • February 6, 2006 – New policy

Last Review Date:  October 2021