The purpose of this policy is to ensure that work-related electronic files of importance to the organization, but maintained and/or created by individual Libraries’ employees, are available during extended absences or after retirement. Respect for an employee’s mail and files is also a consideration. The following information applies to Libraries-owned workstations at all locations and is designed to encompass the most common situations. Other instances should be referred to the Libraries' Administration.
- While the Libraries will make every effort to respect personal privacy, in some rare circumstances it will be necessary for a supervisor or other library employee to request access to an employee’s (or former employee’s) psu.edu email and/or computer files residing on the network and/or assigned workstation(s). In these cases access, if justified, will be arranged by Digital Library Technologies (DLT), with special permission granted by the Libraries' Administration.
- As a general rule, access to email accounts is not granted to anyone other than the owner of the account. It is the responsibility of the department to ensure that critical work-related email messages that require a response are not being sent to a single individual’s account.
- In the case of unexpected long-term illnesses or other absences, unit heads may request access to an employee’s psu.edu email and network/PC files to ensure that work-related items are resolved in a timely manner. In these cases access will be arranged by Digital Library Technologies (DLT), with special permission granted by the Libraries' Administration.
These processes are designed to be as uncomplicated as possible in order to maintain the work of the Libraries. Depending on the individual situation, the actual procedures described as examples may be slightly different.
Employee with a Long-Term Absence:
This situation will typically occur for medical leaves or sabbatical/study-related reasons. Individuals with short-term contracts, or contracts that mirror the academic year also fall in this category.
- If the absence is planned, it is the unit supervisor’s responsibility to work with the staff member to ensure that files needed for the workplace are transferred prior to departure.
- If an employee is absent long term for any of the reasons above and the unit finds that critical files or documents are needed and appear to be available only on the workstation or network space of the absent staff member, written permission (print, email, fax) from the individual staff member can be given to authorized person(s) such as immediate supervisor to allow access to copies of work-related files needed for library operations. In these cases access will be arranged by Digital Library Technologies (DLT).
- If an absence is unplanned or an individual is unable to give written permission, the supervisor and appropriate dean will contact DLT to arrange access to work files because of the special circumstances. DLT’s Mail Administrator can also arrange to have an automatic email response message, with brief text approved by the Libraries' Administration.
Employee Resigning or Retiring:
- It is the responsibility of the unit supervisor to work with a departing staff member well in advance of the departing employee’s last day to ensure that critical electronic work files are transferred from workstation or network space to an appropriate place and/or person for retention. The unit may elect to keep these files where they wish. Submit requests for assistance via the Libraries' helpdesk.
- All “official” Web sites created by an individual or group will reside on DLT/Libraries’ servers for back-up and access. Ideally, Web files will have been subject to regular code review and documentation so that the next person responsible for their content will be able to update and revise them easily.
- The individual employee should copy any personal files from the workstation prior to departure.
- Upon departure, the supervisor submits a completed DLT Application for Libraries Computer Access form.
- The departing staff member’s network files will be deleted by DLT according to their internal schedule.
- The workstation will be reimaged or reconfigured on departure by DLT technicians to be ready for the next employee.
Any situations not covered by this document should be referred to the Libraries' Administration.
Employee Leaving Under Duress:
All Libraries’ network accounts for the individual are disabled by DLT under the direction of the Libraries’ Administration.
- Workstation files are moved to CD or other media if Libraries' Administration determines that this step is needed. Occasionally the entire intact workstation may be removed from the work area to a secure location as directed by Libraries' Administration.
- University security has the right to confiscate any PC, all files stored on it, etc. DLT is the Libraries’ designated security contact for the University and any network-related situations will be addressed in conjunction with them. DLT will monitor the location of confiscated Libraries’ property as part of the inventory.
- Supervisor submits DLT Application for Libraries Computer Access form.
- Unless the workstation is under a security directive, it will typically be reimaged by DLT with approval of Libraries' Administration shortly after the individual’s departure so that the library may put it to other uses.
Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:
UL-IT01 – Computer, Network, and E-Mail Account Authorization Process for Library Employees
UL-IT02 – University Libraries Staff Information Technology Use Policies
Guideline UL-ITG01 – Suggestions for Effective Use of Libraries Staff Workstations and the Network
Also reference should be made to University Policy AD35 – University Archives and Records Management.
Effective Date: May 24, 2005
Date Approved: May 24, 2005 (Dean)
Date Approved: June 14, 2004 (Dean's Library Council)
Revision History (and effective dates):
- November 12, 2007 – Revised; Removes references to Itech
- May 24, 2005 – New policy
Last Review Date: November 2007