Duke University Libraries are committed to providing an environment for library users that is supportive of study, research and scholarly collaboration. We endeavor to create an atmosphere that is safe, welcoming and respectful of all and that allows for both individual study and collaborative work.

Library users and staff share responsibility for creating and sustaining an environment supportive of scholarship. To ensure this environment:

  • You have the responsibility to understand and comply with the Libraries’ policy for access and security.
  • You have the responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect.
  • You have the responsibility to behave in a manner that helps to preserve the Libraries’ collections and physical spaces.
  • You have the responsibility to refrain from behaviors that create disturbances, interfere with the right of others to use the Libraries for research and study, or otherwise detract from a scholarly environment. Disruptive and inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to the following:
    • Leaving personal belongings unattended, whether to “reserve” a study space or for other reasons.
    • Assault or intimidation of Library staff or patrons through language or actions.
    • Refusing to leave a Library at closing time or during building evacuations, including failure to vacate study carrels.
    • Engaging in sexual harassment and/or overt sexual behavior.
    • Removing materials from the library without first checking them out.
    • Vandalizing library property, including writing in or otherwise damaging library materials or spaces.
    • Entering restricted areas. Restricted areas include staff conference rooms, offices, mechanical rooms, storage closets, data closets, and electrical rooms.
    • Taking part in any activity that is illegal, endangers others or otherwise violates University policies.

These responsibilities come with the following rights:

  • You have a right to ask others to end conversations, lower their voices, and otherwise maintain an atmosphere that is supportive of scholarship.
  • You have a right to request and receive assistance from Library staff in maintaining an environment supportive of scholarship.
  • You have a right to expect that in addressing problems, Library staff will take measured steps to restore a scholarly environment.

Protocol for restoring a scholarly environment:

Library staff, including security personnel, will identify themselves and request that users comply with Library rules. If users do not respond to initial requests or if they violate rules repeatedly, Library staff will take additional measures, for example asking to see an ID, issuing an oral or written warning, or asking the user to leave the Library. Staff may also work with appropriate University officials in addressing problems or may request University disciplinary proceedings. In all cases Library staff will be respectful of the rights of all in working to restore the scholarly environment.

When serious violations occur and the resulting actions are criminal, endanger safety, or when more restrained measures to restore the scholarly environment have failed, Library staff will seek assistance from Duke University Police & Security officers. Those who engage in serious violations may lose the privilege of using the Duke University Libraries, be subject to University-imposed discipline (if affiliated with the University), be charged for damage to materials or equipment, and/or be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution.

Please join the Duke University Libraries in creating and sustaining a scholarly environment.