Policy UL-IT04 Email and University Libraries Listservs (ULL)

Main Policy Content

  • Purpose
  • Library Email Accounts
  • Getting Help
  • Personal Use of University Email
  • . . . . Use of OPPORTUNITY in the Email Subject
  • University Libraries LISTSERV Management and Structure
  • Libraries ULL Guidelines
  • . . . . Subscription to ULL Lists
  • . . . . Eligibility for ULL List Membership
  • . . . . Email Policies for Library Groups
  • Cross References


To state the University Libraries’ position on email and University Libraries Listservs (ULL).


The University Libraries use Microsoft Outlook for employee email.


Outlook is administered by Information Technology Services (ITS). Problems with email delivery or service should be submitted to the ITS helpdesk at helpdesk@psu.edu. Users can also consult the ITS Knowledgebase for assistance. I-Tech can help facilitate problem resolution when necessary. 


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.”

Use of OPPORTUNITY in the Email Subject

When sending an email message to Libraries' employees for personal matters (e.g., items for sale, free items, housing opportunities, travel opportunities or inquiries, leisure events and opportunities, etc.) use the word "OPPORTUNITY:" as the prefix in the subject line of the email message. 


            OPPORTUNITY: Football tickets wanted

            OPPORTUNITY: Free to a good home

It is against University and Libraries' policy to use the University email system, including "opportunity" messages, to advertise a personal business or any for-profit venture of Libraries' employees or their families. 

Filtering Opportunity Messages: Using the keyword "OPPORTUNITY:" as filter criteria allows automatic transfer of these messages to a designated folder, keeping these messages separate from business-related email correspondence.  See instructions for setting up filters in Outlook on the staff site.

Caution: No filter is perfect.  Don’t use the word opportunity for “non-opportunity” messages or your recipients may not see them in a timely manner.

Tip: Try using Library News for dissemination of work-related general information instead of or as well as email. 


The purpose of University Libraries LISTSERV (ULL) lists is to provide standardized email groupings.  These eliminate the need for library units and individuals to create their own address book entries for commonly use organizational groupings.

The structure of the ULL lists is based upon the organizational structure of the University Libraries, its committees and ad-hoc groups.

Every employee, both full-time and part-time, is a member of at least one list. Full-time employees are added by default to the unit in which they are employed; part-time employees are added by default to the part-time employees list.

ULLs are arranged hierarchically -- employees are members of the most specific ULL possible that matches their unit and job function.

Day-to-day management of ULLs throughout the Libraries is handled by list managers.  To change membership of a ULL, contact the Global List Manager for your area.  A current list of global list managers (staff site) is available.


Subscription to ULL Lists:

Employees are added to departmental ULLs at the lowest level of the hierarchy based on job function/role.  This does not apply to standalone lists (e.g., committees, etc.).  In these cases, membership is determined by the committee chair or appropriate administrator.

Eligibility for ULL List Membership:

Only PSU email accounts can be used in subscribing members to ULL lists.  Aliases are not permitted. 

Email Policies for Library Groups:

Ad hoc groups and groups that require membership outside of the psu.edu community are not required to, but may distribute information using PSU Listserv lists rather than ULLs.  Individuals may create their own Listserv at lists.psu.edu.


UL-IT01 – Computer, Network, and Email Account Authorization Process for Library Employees

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):

  • 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:  March 2016