The Howe Memorial Library provides a safe and respectful environment for collaborative and individual research and study. In order to provide an atmosphere conducive to research and study, patrons who enter the Howe Library agree to abide by this Code of Conduct. These policies are applicable to all UVM Libraries patrons and are enforceable by all Library staff and faculty. For your reference, a PDF copy of Expectations of Library Behavior is available to download.
Patrons of the Library have a right to expect the following:
- Access to library resource, services, and facilities.
- Access to library materials in their entirety and in unmarked condition.
- Appropriate behavior from other library patrons as defined by the Howe Memorial Library Code of Conduct.
- An atmosphere conducive to study and research.
All Library users are expected to respect Library facilities, other users, and Library staff. Library patrons will:
- Comply with all Library policies.
- Honor other safety policies that the Libraries or University may implement to address temporary concerns.
- Use computers and online resources within the guidelines of the Library and University of Vermont computer use policies.
- Present identification to Library faculty/staff upon request.
- Leave the building promptly at closing, and limit use of the Library to authorized areas only.
- Respond to security gate alarms, emergency alarms, and other situations as instructed by Library staff and faculty.
Behaviors that infringe upon the rights of Library patrons, faculty, or staff and that conflict with the Libraries’ mission are prohibited. Prohibited activities and behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following.
Individuals will not:
- Engage in disruptive behavior including but not limited to: playing media without headphones or at a level that disturbs other users; loud conversations; shouting, singing and loud noises; loud cell phone conversations; competing noise levels amongst groups; roughhousing; belligerent behaviors.
- Demonstrate threatening or intimidating behaviors such as abusive language, shouting, threat of violence, invasion of personal space, staring, or harassment.
- Deliberately expose others to unwanted or unwelcome content or material.
- Engage in behavior that is potentially unsafe or harmful to self or others.
- Engage in any sexual activities including, but not limited to, unwanted or inappropriate touching, unwanted or inappropriate advances, harassment, or indecent exposure.
- Talk or create other disturbances in designated quiet areas. Communication should happen in a hushed tone and prolonged conversations must be moved to the first floor.
- Vend, peddle, solicit, or petition in the Library; post or distribute materials without permission. Signs, posters, fliers, etc. may be posted in designated areas.
- Use alcohol, cannabis, tobacco or tobacco substitutes, or controlled substances; enter the building while intoxicated. Please see the University policy on Alcohol, Cannabis, Tobacco and Other Drug use.
- Remove or attempt to remove library materials or property without proper check-out or authorization.
- Allow others to use their nontransferable UVM identification or UVM NetID.
- Use restroom facilities for purposes other than which they are intended.
- Enter unauthorized areas of the library.
- Remain in the library after closing or when requested to leave (including emergencies and drills).
- Bring animals or pets, other than identified service animals, into the Libraries. Please see the University policy on service animals.
- Leave animals unattended outside the Library building.
- Bring firearms, weapons, fireworks, or other dangerous substances into the libraries. Please see the University policy on weapons and explosives.
- Disrupt other patrons due to poor hygiene.
- Misuse, misappropriate, damage or deface Library furniture, buildings or equipment, including computer systems.
- Use Library areas for prolonged sleeping or as living quarters.
- Fail to wear attire including tops, bottoms, and footwear at all times when in the Library.
- Use rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, Segways, unicycles, and other rideable devices, except those needed by individuals with a disability. These devices may be carried in but not used in Library facilities. Bicycles, including collapsible bicycles, must remain outside the building, secured to designated bicycle racks.
- Photograph, film, video record and/or audio record Library users or staff without permission*. Under Vermont state law, library users have a right to privacy in their use of library resources (22 VSA 171-173). Individuals may photograph, film, or video record the library building and/or collections and exhibits located in public areas. If you would like to photograph, film, video record and/or audio record library users or staff with their consent in the Library, please contact the Dean's Office for permission at 802-656-2020.
- Leave personal property unattended. Patrons are responsible for their personal property at all times and should never leave personal belongings unattended.
- Leave young children unsupervised.
- Bring food or drink in areas where they are prohibited.
*Public libraries are considered to be limited public forums and may regulate First Amendment activities such as photography, assemblies, and public speeches using viewpoint-neutral rules (Kreimer v. Board of Police of Morristown, NJ).
The library will actively pursue disciplinary action, prosecution, or other legal action for offenses.
Any patron who commits or attempts to commit any of the offenses listed as Violations - or any other behaviors illegal under the laws of the state or federal government - is subject to sanctions, which may include:
- Being asked to leave the library premises.
- Being reported to the Dean of Students.
- Having library privileges suspended or revoked.
- Being trespassed or banned from the UVM Libraries.
- Being reported to UVM Police Services.
- Legal prosecution.
--Approved by Libraries Dean's Council
March 8, 2022