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Building Use Policy

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.

Alcoholic Beverages

Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages within the library is prohibited, excepting of-age guests at library-sanctioned 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.


Animals are not allowed in library buildings with the exception of trained and tethered service animals, which are limited to dogs and miniature horses. No other animals are allowed on the private building premises. Should non-service animals be brought on the premises, the owner will be directed to remove the animal from the building immediately.

Disruptive Behavior

Disorderly conduct, including loud conversations, excessive noise, or the harassment of other patrons or library staff is prohibited and may be reported to University Police.

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.

Food and Drink

To help us balance the comfort and convenience of students and faculty with the library’s responsibility to protect equipment and collections

Room Use

Library rooms cannot be used for events for which an admission fee is charged or attendees are compensated.


Smoking (including electronic cigarettes) is not permitted in the libraries or within 25 feet of library entrances.

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, including entryways. 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.

Transportation Devices

Bicycles may not be brought into library buildings but should be secured outside at provided racks. Skateboards, roller blades, hoverboards, and scooters (except those assisting persons with disabilities) may not be used within the Libraries.

Vandalism/Destruction of Library Property

Graffiti and destruction of furniture, books, periodicals, etc. are considered destruction of university property and will be reported to University Police.

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: August 2016