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Rules of the House

Welcome to York University Libraries!

We strive to:

  • Provide courteous and efficient service to every library user
  • Listen to your concerns and respond with appropriate action
  • Provide assistance in research, teaching, and learning
  • Provide opportunities for instruction on usage of our facilities and resources
  • Provide an accessible website to support and extend our in-library services
  • Maintain a comfortable environment with access to resources and facilities that can assist our library users
  • Assist library users with disabilities
  • Develop a collection and provide access to online resources appropriate to supporting teaching, learning, and research

We ask you to:

  • Familiarize yourself with and observe library regulations
  • Respect library resources, equipment, and facilities
  • Return resources in good condition and in a timely fashion
  • Observe restrictions on noise, food, drink, and cell phone use
  • Take advantage of the opportunities offered by the library for developing information literacy skills
  • Assist the library with evaluation of resources and services
  • Be considerate of the needs of others
  • Treat staff courteously

When you are using York University Libraries, you are one of many library users – most of whom are trying to get their work done just like you. It is very important that you do not inconvenience, offend, or limit the rights of other users to have access to library materials, services, equipment, and facilities.

In respect of others library users, we ask you to:

1) Work quietly in quiet study areas
Why? To avoid disturbing other library users. In each of our libraries there are quiet areas and less quiet areas. Please keep conversations to the conversation-friendly areas, turn off your ringers and refrain from using your phone in these areas.

2) Respect the food policies.
Why? Food smells and debris may inconvenience others who wish to use study space, and can cause damage to library materials and computers. Excessive food debris may also encourage insects and rodents. Please see the York University Libraries Food and Drink Policy for more detail.

3) Use library computers and other equipment for designated purposes only
Why? Computers are essential for research and study and are in heavy demand at peak times, so they must be kept available for academic purposes.

Library Behaviour Code

The policies and procedures of the York University Libraries, with respect to expected behaviour in the Libraries, are intended to accord with the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities and York University's Campus Safety Guidelines.

All library users are required to show consideration for the rights of others and should behave in a manner that does not inconvenience, offend, or limit the rights of other library users to access library materials, services, and facilities. Similarly, library users should behave in a manner that does not interfere with or otherwise prevent the library staff from providing library services.

Failure to observe the rules described here may result in disciplinary action being taken against the offender. The following minimum standards of conduct are to be observed in the Libraries:

1. Food is not permitted in the Libraries. Library users are expected to respect the York University Libraries Food and Drink Policy.
2. All activities in the libraries will be conducted in a respectful manner to avoid disturbing other library users. Library users are expected to respect library noise policies.
3. Library users may be required to open briefcases, knapsacks, other bags or carrying cases at the exit.
4. Library users may be required to show valid identification.
5. Library users are required to use library equipment for designated purposes only.
6. No unauthorized entry to restricted library areas.
7. Service animals are welcome in the libraries, however pets are not permitted.

Lending Code

The York University Libraries’ Lending Code outlines the obligations of borrowers, details about loan periods, returns, resource sharing, fines and sanctions. The appeals process for fines and other sanctions is detailed within the Lending Code

Public Workstation Policy

Prohibited activities include:

1. Use of public workstations that violates University Policy on Computing and Information Technology Facilities such as altering systems, software and/or data without authorization, copying, destroying, removing, or disclosing software and/or data without authorization, interfering with the processing of a system, such as deliberately overextending the resources of a system, misrepresenting oneself as another user, disclosing confidential passwords, access codes, account numbers or other authorization assigned to them, changing another person’s password without authorization, using the University facilities and resources for unauthorized purposes, including unauthorized commercial purposes.
2. Tampering with or changing the workstation, components, or default setup.
3. Use of library computers to send hateful or obscene messages and/or images.
Library users who violate University Policy on Computing and Information Technology Facilities are subject to disciplinary action as described in that policy.

Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources

York University Libraries have signed license agreements with a variety of vendors and publishers of electronic resources. Users who breach license agreements may lose access to resources and may face other disciplinary or legal consequences. Misuse may also result in loss of access to a given resource for the entire York University community. For more information see Acceptable Use Guidelines for Electronic Resources.

Theft or Mutilation

The Libraries consider the theft, the willful mutilation or defacement of library materials or property, the illegal removal of library materials or property, and the fraudulent attempt to obtain library materials or to gain access to library facilities to be serious offences. Such offences include:

1. the theft or unauthorized removal of any library materials or property by failing to charge out the materials or by failing to obtain other appropriate authorization;
2. the removal of any part of library books, journals, or other research materials;
3. the defacement or damage of library materials including writing, highlighting, or underlining in or on any library materials;
4. the damage of furniture or equipment;
5. the deliberate misplacement of library materials;
6. the deliberate falsification of circulation or other library records;
7. the deliberate tampering with the configuration of library workstations.

Smoking and Vaping

Smoking, vaping, and the consumption of illegal substances are strictly prohibited within all York University Libraries spaces.


Complaints of improper behaviour within or related to the libraries may be reported to and acted upon by the heads of library branches/departments, or by an Associate University Librarian. The libraries may also initiate complaints against users. In some cases the libraries may initiate complaints through the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.

Enforcement and Sanctions

Library staff monitor behaviour within the libraries and may request individuals or groups to cease and desist from any behaviour deemed to limit the rights of others to use or have access to library materials, services, or facilities. The libraries may be patrolled by library staff and York Security who share the responsibility of ensuring that the behaviour code is respected.

The application of sanctions is determined by the Associate University Librarian in consultation with the library department in which the alleged offence occurred. The Associate University Librarian or delegate shall advise the alleged offender of the nature of the complaint, and provide a fair but informal opportunity for response. After considering the evidence and submissions of the alleged offender, and any further evidence or submissions which, at the discretion of the Associate University Librarian may be deemed relevant or helpful, the Associate University Librarian shall dismiss the complaint or impose one or more of the following penalties:

i. suspend library privileges and/or prohibit access to the Libraries for varying periods;
ii. require an apology;
iii. levy charges and/or fines for the replacement of library materials or property.


Inquiries concerning the application of the Library Behaviour Code may be made to the appropriate library or department head.

Library users may choose to appeal decisions regarding sanctions. In the petition and appeal the library user is afforded the opportunity to provide additional information to assist the reviewer.In the case of a complaint initiated by a library department/branch head, the library user may choose to: 1) submit a petition to the head of the library or department concerned; and subsequently 2) appeal the decision to the Associate University Librarian.

In the case of a complaint initiated by an Associate University Librarian, the library user may choose to: 1) submit a petition to the Associate University Librarian; and subsequently 2) appeal the decision to the University Librarian.