Standards of Behaviour in Memorial University Libraries

Approved: Senate Advisory Committee on the Library (March 21, 2007)

Memorial's library facilities are a shared resource. In order to facilitate that sharing among users present and future, the following principles should guide all users.

  1. All users should respect the need of others to work in an environment conducive to study and learning.
  2. All users should abide by the policies and practices that make sharing the collections effective, while preserving them for future use.

This document describes the conduct that will realize those principles. It is not meant to replace general university policies about university facilities (e.g. the appropriate use of computing policy). It is meant to highlight the kind of behaviour that will facilitate the use and preservation of library facilities for the general good and applies to all users of and visitors to our libraries.

Policies about noise, food, and drink are specific to individual branches because they can only be articulated with reference to the architectural features of each branch. They flow, in general, from the principles above with the additional recognition that food garbage, which inevitably follows food consumption, increases the cost of maintenance, and also attracts vermin which both damage the collection and make using the facility unpleasant. Furthermore, spilled beverages, particularly those containing sugar or milk solids, represent a threat to library materials and workstations, as well as an increased load on the cleaning staffs.

Members of the general public are welcome to use the libraries in accordance with this policy. 

I. Recognizing the Need of Others to Work in an Environment Conducive to Study and Learning

    1. Users must not engage in disruptive or abusive activity.
    2. Users should treat other users and library staff with civility at all times.
    3. Users should maintain silence in the silent areas.
    4. Users should converse quietly where conversation is allowed, remembering that others are near who value relative quiet.
    5. Electronic devices should be set to be inaudible to nearby users.
    6. Users should turn off their cell-phone ringers when entering any campus library. Designation of cell-phone use areas is specific to individual branches. (Section IV, 3)
    7. Informal reservation of space, workstations, or seating by the deposit of personal effects is not allowed.
    8. Users must not damage computers or tamper with computer software or other library equipment.
    9. Food consumption is not allowed except as specifically provided for under section IV, 2.
    10. Drinks are allowed only in spill-proof containers; disposable containers are not allowed, however, all drinks may be banned from specific collections or areas. For further details, see section IV, 2.
    11. Users should dispose of all trash in appropriate containers.


    II. Sharing the Use of the Library Collections 

    1. Users must not mark or underline books or journals. Both high-lighting and underlining are acts of vandalism that have serious impacts on the ability of future users to make use of the material.
    2. Users must not tear pages from, or otherwise damage, books, journals or other library materials.
    3. Users should not willfully misplace library materials.
    4. It is the responsibility of the user to return or renew materials when they become due. (Section IV,1)
    5. It is the responsibility of the user to keep the libraries informed of current contact information to facilitate the delivery of various notices.
    6. It is the responsibility of users to return materials promptly when these materials are recalled by the libraries.
    7. It is the responsibility of users to take care with library materials and guard them against loss and inadvertent damage.
    8. Users are responsible for all materials signed out on their cards and for funding replacements if the materials are damaged or lost.
    9. Users should report lost or stolen cards immediately to Library Circulation.
    10. All users must submit books, brief cases, bags, etc. for inspection at the exit, if requested to do so.
    11. Users under the age of 14 are to be accompanied by an adult and remain the responsibility of that adult.
    12. Users must present identification on request.


    III. General Use

    1. Memorial University Libraries do not accept any responsibility for loss, damage, or the destruction of personal property.
    2. Canvassing, soliciting, photographing, filming or voting for campus office is permitted only with the permission of the University Librarian or delegate.
    3. Pets, with the exception of Service Animals, may not be brought into the libraries.


    IV. Other Related Policies

    For a complete listing of:

    1. Borrower categories, loan policies and procedures, refer to the following website:
    2. Branch-specific food and drink policies, refer to the following website:
    3. Branch-specific noise policies, refer to the following website:
    4. Branch-specific borrowing policies, refer to the following website:


    V. Suspension of Privileges

    Use of the Memorial University Libraries and their collections is a privilege. The privilege may be suspended, all or in part, in response to behaviour that does not conform to the expectations above, by the University Librarian or delegate. Appeals of such suspensions by a delegate may be made to the University Librarian, appeals of the actions of the University Librarian may be made to the Senate Advisory Committee on the Library, and decisions of the Senate Advisory Committee on the Library can be appealed to Senate.