User Rights and Responsibilities for Creating and Sustaining a Scholarly Environment

The University of Chicago Library is the heart of a University that seeks to enrich human life through the growth of knowledge. For the pursuit of knowledge to flourish, the Library is committed to maintaining an environment for users that is:

  • supportive of study, research, reflection, and scholarly collaboration
  • welcoming
  • safe
  • respectful of all
  • comfortable, with:
    • spaces for quiet individual study, research, and reflection
    • designated areas for collaborative work

Creating and Sustaining a Scholarly Environment

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

  • You have the responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect.
  • You have the responsibility to refrain from engaging in behavior that creates a disturbance, interferes with the right of others to use the Library for research and study, or otherwise detracts from a scholarly environment.
  • You have the responsibility to learn about and comply with Library policies for maintaining this environment.

These responsibilities come with the following rights:

  • You have a right to ask others to end conversations, lower their voices, or maintain an environment supportive of scholarship.
  • You have a right to request and receive assistance from a Library staff member 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 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 (in accordance with University policies), issuing an oral or written warning, or asking the user to leave the Library. If a user is affiliated with the University, 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 University Police. Those who engage in serious violations may lose the privilege of using the University Library, be subject to University-imposed discipline (if affiliated with the University), be charged for damage to material or equipment, and/or be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution.

Please join the Library in creating and sustaining a scholarly environment.

Contact if you have questions about these policies or our scholarly environment.