Library Policies

Can I bring food & drinks into the library?

To maintain Duke University Libraries’ collections, furnishings and study environment, we have adopted the following policies regarding food and drink in the library:

  • You can consume light snacks and covered drinks in most areas
  • Please note that noisy, messy and strong-smelling foods are prohibited
  • Throw away all trash when you leave a study spot

Note that some library spaces are "food-free," as follows:

  • Bostock Library’s Carpenter Reading Room and adjacent tower reading room (Covered drinks are allowed)
  • Lilly Library’s Thomas Room (Covered drinks are allowed)
  • Food and drinks are prohibited in all public spaces of the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Enforcement policy

As a Duke University Libraries' patron, you are responsible for paying attention to signs and to self-policing. Library security officers will address egregious violations

Can I advertise in the library?

Using public areas of Perkins Library for solicitation, exhibit tables and displays are not permitted.

Public areas of Perkins Library are reserved for library-sponsored activities in order to:

  • maintain the library as an attractive and uncluttered environment
  • ensure unimpeded access to the building and its resources
  • increase the effectiveness of library-related exhibits and displays, which are intended to assist and inform those who use our resources

Public areas include:

  • book stacks
  • doors and doorways
  • hallways
  • public building entrances
  • lobbies
  • seminar rooms
  • stairwells
  • study rooms
  • windows

Request exceptions to this policy contact the Executive Group at  (919) 660-5800 .

Posting Notices in Perkins Library

Posting of non-library notices (including posters, notes, announcements, flyers, advertisements, signs, handbills, cards, etc.) in the public areas of the library, with the exception of the designated bulletin boards, is prohibited. Public areas include study rooms, lobbies, seminar rooms, doors, elevators, hallways, windows, restrooms, stairwells, book stacks and the public building entrances. Notices posted in these areas will be removed.

The library provides two areas for the posting of notices:

  • Two bulletin boards in the elevator/stairwell area on the first floor, near the Circulation Desk
  • A large bulletin board in the first floor hallway of the old building, outside the Deryl Hart Room

Priority for space on the bulletin boards is given to the university community. Out-dated and duplicated notices will be removed.

This policy is intended to:

  • Maintain the library as an attractive and uncluttered environment
  • Increase the effectiveness of notices and signs posted by library staff, which are intended assist and inform those who use our resources

Do you allow pets?

Duke University Libraries prohibit pets from library-controlled buildings, except service animals and on-duty police dogs. All animals must be attended and leashed at all times. Owners are responsible for proper disposal of their animals' waste.

Can I smoke in the library? 

No. Duke is a smoke-free environment . You cannot smoke:

  • in any library building
  • within 10 feet of a library building
  • anywhere on the Medical Center campus