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Code of Conduct for Library Users

The University of Kansas Libraries are publicly-accessible facilities where we seek to provide accommodations suitable for all library users. In the interest of protecting the rights of all library users and in order to provide an environment suitable for pursuit of scholarly activities, the University of Kansas Libraries have enacted a Code of Conduct for Library Users. This Code of Conduct supplements existing University and Library policies and provides guidance for all library users. Library users must ensure their use of library facilities, services, collections, and electronic resources does not infringe on or disrupt the work, research, and use by other library users. The Code of Conduct is designed to encourage maintenance of a positive and productive learning environment in which all persons treat each other with respect and courtesy.

Libraries' Commitment to Our Users

The University of Kansas Libraries are committed to providing the highest level of service, access and instruction to all library users. The Libraries’ primary mission is to serve the students, faculty and staff of the University of Kansas.

For information about available library services, see the Libraries’ Policies for Access to Library Services.
The University of Kansas Libraries follow the guidelines for the protection of patron privacy outlined in the University of Kansas Privacy Policy and in the Libraries' Privacy and Confidentiality statement.
To read the mission statement of the University of Kansas Libraries, see Mission, Vision, and Values statement.

Expectations of Library Users

Expectations of library users include, but are not limited to:

Come to the library prepared to present a valid KU Card, KU Library Proxy Borrower Card and photo identification, or a KU Library Borrower Card. These forms of identification are not transferable and should not be loaned to others.
Follow appropriate procedures to check out library materials before removing them from the library. You are responsible for what you check out. Pay attention to loan periods, due dates, recalls and return policies. Library borrowers are responsible for using My Account to see what you have checked out, when items are due, whether items have been recalled, and to renew long-term loan items. To use My Account, go to the Library Catalog and click My Account. In addition, read and comply with library notices received by U.S. mail, electronic mail, or through the myKU portal (KU students, faculty and staff only).
Do not hide material from others within the libraries. Do not re-shelve library materials, including items you have checked out.
Protect library materials and handle them with care. See Care and Handling of  Library Materials, below, for additional information.
Keep your email and mailing addresses up to date in university and library records. See Address Changes for additional information.
Follow all instructions provided for use of library equipment including computer workstations, scanners, laptops, copiers, microform readers, printers and other electronic devices. Treat equipment with care and ask for assistance when help is needed.
Food and drink policies vary by library location, and all library users should be aware of and adhere to the policies applicable in the library they are using. Library users are asked to help maintain a clean, pest-free environment and to aid in the preservation of library collections. See the Food and Drink Policy for Anschutz and Watson Libraries, below.
All library users are expected to leave library buildings at closing time and when an evacuation alarm has sounded or is announced by library staff. In the case of a weather-related take cover, all users are expected to follow instructions provided by library staff.

Expectations for Users of Copyrighted Materials and Licensed and Other Electronic Resources

Users of copyrighted, licensed and other electronic information resources must adhere to these policies:

Protect the privacy of your KU Online ID and password and do not share this access with other individuals. Use of the KU Online ID and password are not transferable to others. See KU's Password Policy for additional information.
Library users are expected to respect the rights of copyright owners, and, when appropriate, to obtain permission from owners before using or copying protected material. For additional information, see:
Use electronic information resources for educational and research purposes only in an ethical and lawful manner. Electronic information resources are not available for commercial or other for-profit purposes. For additional information, see University and Library policies:
All patrons using online and Internet resources are expected to show common courtesy and respect for the privacy and the sensibilities of others, and to avoid accessing illegal forms of expression. For additional information, see the University’s policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Information Resources and the Libraries' policy on Acceptable Use of the Internet on Public Workstations.
The KU Libraries’ collections and services are developed for an adult audience, and the libraries offer open access to a number of electronic resources as well as the Internet. Use of the resources is not monitored by library staff. In all cases in which non-KU students under the age of 18 are using these resources, parents, guardians and other adult care-providers, are responsible for overseeing and supervising the minors’ use of the Libraries. For the purposes of this policy, currently enrolled KU students are considered adults.

Acceptable Use of the Internet on Public Workstations

For the purposes of this policy, public workstations include 1) Public Workstations requiring the KU Online ID and password for login, and 2) Community Access Workstations that do not require the KU login.

The KU Libraries provide, to authorized users, open access to the Internet for academic or educational purposes. Academic freedom in teaching and research and the right of freedom of speech are fundamental principles of the KU Libraries. Accessing and viewing controversial material is protected speech. Constitutionally protected speech is all speech not explicitly denied such protection, e.g. libel, child pornography, etc. The Libraries support of the First Amendment also extends to endorsement of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, which supports access to information and opposes censorship and/or restricting access to information. This policy upholds the individual's right to privacy, and library staff do not monitor content or censor access to materials that others may find offensive.

Using public workstations for personal viewing of material that others find offensive is not harassment as academic research and study often deals with such controversial material. Harassment is a much more serious concern that occurs when there is a pattern of conduct directed towards an individual or individuals, intended to humiliate or cause discomfort or fear. Consequences of such actions are addressed in the KU Libraries' Consequences of Failure to Comply with Code of Conduct for Library Users and the KU's policy on Sexual Harassment. Users should strive to be sensitive to the diverse population accessing University computers, and all should treat others with dignity and respect.

For further information, please contact Judith Emde, Assistant Dean of Content and Access Services, at jemde@ku.edu.


Prohibited Behaviors in the University of Kansas Libraries

Prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The consumption of alcoholic beverages or drugs of any type is prohibited in all facilities of the University of Kansas Libraries.
  • No pets are allowed in all facilities of the University of Kansas Libraries. An owner-accompanied service animal is permitted in all library buildings as a reasonable accommodation to assist the owner.
  • Smoking, and use of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and similar devices, are not permitted in any library or within a 20-foot radius of all library entrances, doors and windows, and air intakes.
  • Avoid behavior that interferes with normal use of the libraries. Examples of inappropriate behavior include: excessive noise from loud voices, cell phones, and personal listening devices; rowdiness; abusive language; rearranging furniture; inappropriate use of equipment and computers; offensive sexual behavior; and so forth.  See the Libraries' Noise Policy for additional information.
  • Refrain from misuse, misappropriation or damage to library collections, resources, furniture, buildings or equipment.

The KU Libraries enforce these expectations in accordance with the policies recorded in the KU Policy Library:

Consequences of Failure to Comply with Code of Conduct for Library Users

Library users who 1) fail to meet the expectations of library users, 2) fail to use copyrighted materials and electronic resources in appropriate ways, or 3) engage in prohibited behaviors, will face disciplinary or legal action to be taken in accordance with the laws of the State of Kansas and University and Library policies.

Users engaged in activities that are illegal or that disrupt the work of other users will be asked to cease that activity. Individuals whose behavior causes complaint either from library users or from library staff will be asked to refrain from the inappropriate behavior and may be asked to leave the library premises if they refuse to comply. If necessary, the KU Department of Public Safety will be called to assist. If the offense is determined to be of a serious enough nature, the user may be banned from all sites of the University of Kansas Libraries.

The responsibility for appropriate use of copyrighted, licensed and other electronic resources lies with user. The university may suspend delivery of services to any individual found to be in violation of its policies.

Failure to observe circulation policies and procedures may result in charges or suspended borrowing privileges; unpaid charges are turned over to the University Bursar’s Office for collection. For additional information, see Circulation Policies and Procedures.

As a deterrent to theft and intentional mutilation of library materials and equipment, and/or facilities, and as a means to recover the cost of resulting loss and damage, the University of Kansas Libraries will prosecute persons who:

  • Willfully damage library collections, equipment, and/or facilities
  • Intentionally misplace library collections, equipment, and/or items located in library facilities so as to deprive others of their use
  • Willfully and without authorization take or attempt to take library collections, equipment, and/or items belonging to the library facility from the library
  • Fail to return checked out library collections or equipment with the result of depriving others of their use

To insure uniform proceedings, penalties and protection of rights in such cases, it is the practice of the University of Kansas Libraries to pursue criminal and/or civil, rather than University, procedures against individuals charged by the Libraries with these offenses.

Food and Drink Policy for Anschutz and Watson Libraries

Note: Other libraries in the KU system may set more restrictive policies for users and staff.

Library staff members are responsible for maintaining collections, equipment and furnishing for both current and future users. We also strive to provide a neat and comfortable research and study environment. This policy attempts to achieve a balance between these needs.

What’s allowed? What’s not allowed?

  • Avoid consuming food and drinks or exposure to smoke and tobacco products and your pets while using library collections (books, journals, microforms, laptops, etc.) that you check out from the library.
  • Food and drinks purchased at the iQ Cafe in Anschutz or the Hawk Food Stop in Watson or carried into one of these libraries may be consumed away from library collections, computers and equipment.
  • Dispose of all trash in appropriate containers so that a clean environment can be maintained. Report any spills you cannot effectively clean up to library staff so that appropriate action can be taken.
  • No food deliveries are allowed to the libraries.

Care and Handling of Library Materials

All library users can help to extend the life of the University of Kansas Libraries’ collections by following these guidelines:

  • Protect borrowed materials from rain, dampness, sun, heat, pets, and smoking and tobacco products.
  • Handle books carefully, especially when photocopying.
  • Mark your place with a bookmark; do not bend corners of pages or use tape, Post-It notes, paper clips, or other objects.
  • Take notes rather than using highlighters, underlining, or writing in the margins of the Libraries’ books and periodicals.
  • Avoid eating snacks and drinking beverages while handling or working around library materials.

Please notify the library staff at any service desk if you discover a book that needs repair.

The KU Libraries has a program for repairing materials to make them available as long as possible. For more information, visit the Conservation Services webpage.

The Northwestern University Library Preservation Department provides several visual displays about the Care and Handling of Library Materials:

1.5 million visits a year at 7 library locations
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection
—American Library Association
KU ScholarWorks offers access to more than 13,000 items created by KU faculty and students
An international leader in the open access movement
Users check out nearly 300,000 items every year
Users access more than 3.3 million articles online each year
More than 111,000 scores, books, sound recordings, and other volumes in Music & Dance Library
Anschutz Library serves as KU’s 24-hour study facility for students
More than 700 Vosper Society members support the mission of KU Libraries
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
KU Today