University Library Building Use Policy

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In order to protect library materials and facilities, enhance library services, and to provide library users with safe, comfortable spaces for research and learning, the following policies apply to public areas of the libraries.
  1. Food and Drink
    Covered drinks are allowed in most areas of University Libraries. Food is to be eaten in the Plaza Café and Student Lounge in the University Library and designated areas in other libraries. Dispose of trash appropriately and take leftovers with you when you leave. Be respectful of those around you and respectful of library materials and furnishings. Certain areas (Special Collections, Art Collection, etc.) may not allow food or drink of any kind due to the nature of materials in those areas. Please respect posted No Food or Drink notices.
  2. Alcoholic Beverages
    Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages within the library is prohibited, excepting of-age guests at approved library events. Students found in violation of the no-alcohol policy will be reported to the appropriate University authorities. Non-Northwestern library users violating this policy will be reported to Northwestern University Police.
  3. Noise and Disorderly Conduct
    Disorderly conduct, including loud conversations, excessive noise, or the harassment of other patrons or library staff is prohibited
  4. Electronic Devices
    MP3 players, radios, games, CD players, and other electronic devices without earphones or loud enough to disturb others are prohibited in quiet study areas of the library.
  5. Cell Phones
    Cell phone use is permitted in non-quiet study areas of the library. Patrons are expected to be respectful of other patrons while using their cell phones.
  6. Skateboards, Skates and Scooters
    Skateboarding, roller or inline skating, and riding scooters is prohibited within library buildings.
  7. Bicycles
    Bicycles may not be brought into library buildings. Bicycles may be parked outside library buildings at provided racks. Do not secure bicycle to sign posts, gates, or other equipment.
  8. Animals 
    Trained services animals, which are limited to dogs and miniature horses, are permitted within the library. This policy is in compliance with federal and state regulations.  More information can be found at:
  9. Smoking
    Smoking is not permitted in the library or within 25 feet of library entrances.
  10. Filming, Recording and Photography
    Permission is required for filming, recording, and taking photographs in the public areas of the library buildings. Permission can be sought by completing the Application for Photography in the Library.
  11. Library Room Use
    University Libraries rooms including the Forum Room and Video Theatre and the Ver Steeg Faculty Lounge cannot be used for events for which an admission is charged or attendees are compensated.
  12. Solicitation and Posting
    Soliciting for donations, or sale of items, or approaching patrons for the purpose of obtaining signatures on petitions is not allowed within the libraries. Posting or placing of bills or flyers within the libraries is prohibited without prior approval from the Library. Approval is at the discretion of the University Libraries.
  13. Harassment
    Sexual harassment is against the law and any patron who is harassing other patrons or library staff will be asked to leave the library and reported to campus police.  Information about sexual harassment can be found in The Northwestern University Policy on Sexual Harassment.
  14. Vandalism/Destruction of Library Property
    Graffiti, destruction of furniture, books, magazines/periodicals, etc., are considered destruction of university property and all incidents of this nature will be reported to campus police.
  15. Theft
    It is against the law to steal library materials including books, CDs, DVDs, and furnishings. All incidents of theft will be reported to campus police.
  16. Other Policies
    All Northwestern University policies including those not listed here are enforced. The University Police may cite persons who violate the provisions of this and other library policies. Violations by faculty, staff, or students may result in corrective action through administrative channels. The privilege to use the libraries is revocable at any time for violations of these policies.
  Last review: May 22, 2014