Library Code of Conduct

Consideration of Others
General Behaviour
Use of Collections and Facilities
Equitable Access
Food and Drink
Exiting the Library

All policies referred to in the University of Lethbridge Library Code of Conduct can be found in the University's Policy Manual and in Library Plans and Policies.

Background information on Library Code of Conduct.

The University Library – as a central learning area and a shared, common resource – is committed to providing users with fair and equitable access to library materials, resources, and services in an environment that is:

  • Safe, comfortable, and clean
  • Staffed by individuals who strive to respond to service requests with courtesy and respect
  • A positive and productive place for
    • academic pursuits such as concentrated, deliberate study and research
    • instruction and learning

The achievement of these goals for the benefit of all requires relationships based on collective responsibility, mutual respect for diverse user needs, and full compliance with the rules and regulations listed below.


Users and visitors are expected to engage in behaviour consistent with these goals. Entering the Library signifies an agreement to do so.


Consideration of Others

Cooperation, courtesy, and respect are an integral part of the social contract of the university community. Library users are expected to show consideration for the right of others to use the University Library for its intended purposes.


This Code of Conduct serves to articulate these expectations by elaborating on what constitutes infringement on the rights of others. The examples included are not intended to be exhaustive. Rather they are to help users and staff members to more fully understand the principles embodied in the Code. The Code was developed in accordance with the Principles of Student Citizenship and the Student Discipline Policy, as published in the University of Lethbridge Calendar.

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General Behaviour

Users are expected to observe all University policies and appeal procedures, as well as posted rules of library use. These include, but are not limited to:


Principles of Student Citizenship; Student Discipline Policy; External Users of University Facilities; Managing Unacceptable Behaviour; Personal Security Policy; Computer Use Policy; Access/Circulation Policy; Computer Use Policy; Campus Smoking Policy; Animals on Campus; Alcohol Policy; Library Work Room Policy; Copyright; Safety Policy; Guidelines on Scented Products; etc.


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Use of Collections and Facilities

Library users are expected to respect University Library collections and facilities in accordance with the “Non-Academic Offences” portion of the Student Discipline Policy.


This includes but is not limited to:


     For Collections:

  • signing out all library materials, equipment or property before removing items from the Library
  • returning or renewing materials when due
  • treating library materials with respect (i.e., not defacing, mutilating, or otherwise damaging them)


     For Facilities:

  • returning any furniture that has been moved to its original configuration
  • treating library property with respect (i.e., not mutilating, defacing, or otherwise damaging study carrels or other library furniture)
  • disposing of chewing gum in proper waste receptacles
  • not disposing of chewing tobacco, snuff, etc., on Library premises

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Equitable Access

Users expect equitable access to the resources of the Library. The University Library is intended primarily for academic work and as such, the use of its resources for academic purposes has priority over personal pursuits. Obstructing access to study facilities, workstations, or library materials is not permissible. Specifically:

  • during peak times, computer workstations and study spaces should not be left unattended for extended periods of time. Personal belongings may be removed by staff and re-located to the Library’s “lost and found” if space or equipment is left vacant for longer than one hour.
  • library materials should not be deliberately misplaced to prevent or limit access
  • academic work on computer workstations takes priority over personal pursuits

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All University Library users are entitled to a quiet environment in which to work. Users should respect the study area designations and noise level expectations of particular areas by modifying their conversations and activities accordingly.

  • Faculty of Education Curriculum Laboratory: This area of the University Library is a laboratory/teaching environment where conversation, group work, and noise are acceptable and to be expected. The use of headphones for viewing audiovisual materials in this area is also optional.
  • Silent Study Area (L1168): This space, when not in use as a classroom, has been designated as a silent study area. To ensure maximum quiet, talking, eating, audio devices or computer equipment are not permitted during time periods when the area is designated as a Silent Study facility. Entering and exiting the area should be done as quietly as possible. [More info]
  • Elsewhere in the University Library: The remainder of the University Library consists of a combination of environments which must accommodate all types of user preferences; therefore, users should observe the following protocols.
    • Conversation: If someone can be heard at the next table, study carrel or beyond 1.2 meters (4 feet) – the noise level is too loud. Loud conversation or other disturbing noise is not permitted in open study areas designated as “quiet” zones. The entry area, the northern half of level 10, the Faculty of Education Curriculum Laboratory, and the areas around class and meeting rooms all have higher traffic. They are noisier areas in which some conversation is acceptable and to be expected. Nevertheless, users should keep their voices lowered. Loud, boisterous, or prolonged exchanges are disturbing to others.
    • Group Work: Group work rooms are available on levels 10 and 11 for those wishing to work in groups. The door should be closed while groups are occupying the group work room and any noise generated should not be audible outside of the room. Group work around computer workstations or personal computers is not permissible in designated “quiet” zones and must be limited to the group work rooms or to computer workstations outside of designated “quiet” zones.
    • Cell Phones: Audible ringers should be turned off on cell phones and other devices on entering the University Library. Incoming and outgoing cell phone calls disturb others and therefore, out of courtesy, should occur outside of the Library.
    • Other Audio Devices: Audio visual materials in the University Library collection must be viewed within an enclosed space or using headphones or other listening device. Personal audio devices with earphones are permitted. Volume levels on all head/earphones must be kept low so that they do not disturb others.

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Food and Drink

The University Library has a food and drink policy that tries to balance user needs with the need to maintain a comfortable, clean environment and to preserve the collection.

In University Library study areas, food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed under the following conditions:

  • beverages are in containers with spill resistant lids (i.e., travel mugs, closed drink bottles, etc.)
  • food is cold and produces minimal mess and smell (i.e., vegetables, crackers, cheese, raisins, chips, chocolate bars, etc.)
  • all garbage and waste materials are disposed of in the proper receptacles available on each floor
  • users take responsibility for cleaning any spills (cleaning supplies are available from the nearest Service Desk)
  • any spills or leftover refuse is immediately reported to staff
  • the following restrictions with respect to food and drink are adhered to:
    • food and/or beverages are consumed with extra care when in proximity to computer workstations or other technology (i.e., microcomputers, photocopiers, printers, audio visual equipment, etc.)
    • food and/or beverages are not located or consumed in the Special Collections/Archives areas
    • food is not consumed in the Silent Study area
    • no food deliveries, other than those cleared by Library Administration, take place

Open cups or glasses are not allowed anywhere. Hot or messy foods are likewise not allowed anywhere.

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Exiting the Library

Users are expected to leave the Library promptly when it closes; during emergency situations and/or drills; and when asked to do so. Remaining after hours is considered to be trespassing and repeat offenders will face disciplinary action.

Except in emergency situations, users are expected to pass through the security gates when exiting the University Library. Users are expected to empty their backpacks, bags, etc. if the security alarm is activated on their exit.

Emergency exits should only be used in times of emergency.

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All Library staff members have the responsibility of ensuring that the Code of Conduct policy is adhered to and are empowered to remind users of the policy and request compliance.

Library staff members will endeavour to treat all users with fairness, equity, courtesy, and respect. It is expected that users will reciprocate in kind.

Serious offences and repeated violations of the policy may result in Security being summoned. When this occurs, users may be faced with some or all of the following consequences:

  • be asked to produce identification
  • have their name(s) recorded
  • be responsible for the costs to clean up and/or replace damaged library materials, furnishings or equipment
  • be asked to leave the University Library
  • face disciplinary action
    • for students, as described in the Student Discipline Policy
    • for employees, as outlined in the appropriate contract
    • for others, as outlined in the Policy on Managing Unacceptable Behaviour by External Users of University Facilities

Users are encouraged to report any observed violations of this policy to Library staff or administration.

Ratified by the GFC Library Committee April 26, 2007

Ratified by GFC May 7, 2007

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 Content Revised: May 2, 2018