Rules of Conduct for Readers

Made by the Curators of the University Libraries on 4 December 2017 w.e.f. 1 January 2018


  1. The Bodleian Libraries operate as a single library service. These rules of conduct apply to each and every facility within the Bodleian Libraries and the service as a whole.
  2. In these rules "material" means any material, including electronic material, owned by or in the possession or custody of the Bodleian Libraries; "issued" means legitimately in a reader's possession either as a loan, an intended loan or for consultation or use within a library, and including material and equipment legitimately taken directly by a reader without the intermediation of library staff.
  3. All readers in the Bodleian Libraries are deemed to be bound by the current rules of conduct.

Admission and access to Libraries

  1. A valid University card, Library card or day pass is required to enter a Library.
  2. You may be charged for a Library card / day pass in accordance with a tariff to be published from time to time by the Curators of the University Libraries subject to approval by Council.
  3. A University card / library card / day pass and computer password are for the exclusive use of the individual to whom they were issued. You must not pass them to another person, or use them for another person’s benefit.
  4. Your University card / Library card / day pass must be carried at all times and be shown to any member of Libraries staff who requests to see it. If you do not show your card or pass you will be asked to leave the Library.
  5. Should your name or contact details change, or if your card / pass is lost or stolen, you must inform the Libraries immediately.
  6. You must observe all rules and instructions relating to the introduction, deposit, and inspection of bags and cases.
  7. You must familiarise yourself with and observe the rules and procedures of each library you use.
  8. University card holders may bring visitors into a library only with the express permission of library staff authorised to provide such permission. For a visit to Arts End of Duke Humfrey’s Library this is Bodleian Admissions; for other libraries this is the Librarian-in-charge. Visitors may be restricted to specific areas within a library (such as Arts End of Duke Humfrey’s Library in the Old Bodleian Library) and some libraries (including the Radcliffe Camera and Weston Library) do not permit any visitor access to reader spaces. You must accompany your visitors at all times.
  9. Children and young people under 18 years of age are not normally admitted as Readers.
  10. You may not bring animals into a library, with the exception of assistance dogs.
  11. You must follow all emergency procedures, including evacuation in the event of a fire or fire drill. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
  12. You must leave library premises by the stated closing time unless permission for after-hours access has been granted by the Librarian-in-charge.
  13. You must follow all other reasonable requests of library staff.

Consideration of others

Staff and readers must be able to work in the Bodleian Libraries, and visitors undertake bone fide activities, without disturbance and in an environment that is conducive to study. Therefore:

  1. Treat staff, other readers and visitors with courtesy and respect at all times. Do not behave in a way that causes or is likely to cause inconvenience, annoyance, or offence to other readers, visitors or members of staff.
  2. Consider other readers and behave in a way that does not disturb them. Computers, mobile phones, pagers and other equipment must be on silent and headphones inaudible to other readers, except where indicated by library notices and signs. Do not speak into devices, except where indicated by library notices and signs.
  3. Do not engage in the harassment of any other reader, member of library staff or visitor. All readers must abide by the University Policy and Procedure on Harassment.
  4. If you observe breaches or attempted breaches of these rules of conduct you are asked to report them to library staff and not intervene yourself.
  5. You must not smoke or use electronic cigarettes in any part of a library.
  6. You must show due regard for your own safety and that of other readers, visitors and staff.
  7. You must not prejudice the safety or well-being of any other reader, member of library staff or visitor by engaging in disorderly, threatening or offensive behaviour.
  8. You must treat as confidential any information (such as information about other readers) which may become available to you through the use of library facilities which is not clearly intended for unrestricted dissemination; such information must not be copied, modified, disseminated, or used either in whole or in part without the permission of the Bodleian Libraries or other person or body entitled to give it.

Use of library material

The Bodleian Libraries has established procedures for the use of its collections to help ensure that they are adequately protected. Please observe any additional procedures displayed in particular reading rooms.

  1. Library material and equipment is your responsibility at all times when you are using it, or until you have returned any issued items in accordance with library procedures. You must protect material or equipment issued to you and must not damage it or expose it to hazardous conditions.
  2. You must familiarise yourself with and abide by the terms of all licence conditions when using electronic material owned by or in the possession or custody of the Bodleian Libraries.
  3. You may only make copies from library material as allowed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print works) Regulations 2013 and as amended by any subsequent legislation.
  4. You must not use library facilities, including IT or network facilities, either for private profit or commercial purposes without specific authorisation from the Bodleian Libraries.
  5. You must follow all procedures for taking material from the shelves, requesting material from book stacks, borrowing material, or downloading material.
  6. You must return promptly any library material or equipment issued to you, in accordance with the terms upon which it was issued.
  7. You must not pass items issued to you to another person. Neither should you use items issued to another reader.

Looking after library material

The Bodleian Libraries has an obligation to preserve its collection for the users of today, the future and the nation. Theft or deliberate or reckless damage of Library material are criminal offences and may result in prosecution.

  1. You must not write in, mark, or otherwise deface or damage library material or equipment in any way.
  2. You must use only library-approved facilities to photocopy, photograph, or scan material in the library.
  3. You may not eat or drink in a library except as and where indicated by library notices and signs. Hot or cold beverages may be brought into selected libraries as long as an approved container is used; check with the individual library.
  4. You may use your own computers or other equipment only in accordance with the instructions of library staff.
  5. You must not engage in conduct which infringes the Statutes and regulations of the University governing the use of the property of or in the possession or custody of the University, or the facilities and services provided by or on behalf of the University, including the regulations relating to the Use of Information Technology Facilities.

Breaches of rules of conduct

The purpose of imposing a sanction is to make clear to the reader that breach or attempted breach of the rules is unacceptable, and/or to protect the wellbeing of readers, staff and visitors and/or the material of the libraries.

  1. You are liable to pay fines for late return of material borrowed. The fines tariff will be published by the Curators of the University Libraries from time to time.
  2. You are responsible for the costs of making good the damages or loss of materials, including administrative and replacement costs.
  3. You are responsible for reimbursing the costs or charges, including administrative costs, incurred by the Bodleian Libraries through breach or attempted breach of these rules.
  4. You may be barred from using or connecting computers or technology peripherals to the Bodleian Libraries’ IT networks, equipment or services where breaches of Statutes, regulations or rules of conduct involves the misuse of these facilities.
  5. The Bodleian Libraries grants access to its facilities and services subject to acceptance by the reader of the associated rules of conduct. Sanctions, including the withdrawal of access and services, may be imposed on readers who breach or attempt to breach these rules. Further, Bodleian Libraries may suspend access and services whilst allegations of breach or attempted breach of the rules of conduct are investigated and determined. Where a breach of the rules cannot be resolved on an informal basis, action will be taken in accordance with Statute XI and associated regulations and protocols.
  6. The University may use all avenues open to it to recover monies owed, including court action.
  7. All Bodleian Libraries staff have a responsibility to ensure that readers abide by the rules of conduct and, where necessary, to report incidents to the Librarian-in-Charge.

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