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Library Code of Conduct

The Princeton Theological Seminary Library supports the educational goals of Princeton Theological Seminary by providing access to all forms of information in support of research, teaching, learning, and the general pursuit of knowledge. Usage of the Library is to be commensurate with this missional end.

This Code of Conduct affirms the Library’s commitment to nurturing and protecting an environment that enables all users to achieve their educational and research objectives and that ensures Library resources, services, and spaces are available on an equitable basis. Such an environment is characterized by respect for others working in the Library and for the Library’s resources. The Library and its community of users observe a relationship of reciprocal rights and responsibilities.

The Library is committed to:

  • Serving and being responsive to the needs and priorities of its users; protecting each user’s right to privacy and confidentiality in all of their interactions with the Library.
  • Building collections that meet the research and instructional needs of the Seminary and the communities it serves; simplifying, enhancing, and expanding access to information.
  • Preserving and conserving the collections so they may be accessible for present and future users.
  • Being a place of welcome and providing healthy and safe spaces for meeting, scholarly exchange, research, study, instruction, and reflection.
  • Keeping the physical environment of the Library clean and well-maintained that it might continue to support inquiry and learning for many years to come.

Everyone in the Library is to:

  • Engage with others in a respectful and courteous manner.
  • Use facilities, computers, equipment, furniture, collections and other resources with care.
  • Refrain from moving wired furniture. Move any other furniture with care so as not to damage floors or other surfaces.
  • Supervise closely any children brought to the Library. The Library reserves the right to deny admission to minors unless accompanied by an adult.
  • Follow Library policies, including the Courtesy and Noise Policy and Food and Beverage Policy.
  • Abide by all other applicable Seminary policies, including those found in the Seminary Handbook.
  • Use computers in accordance with policies posted on https://its.ptsem.edu/policies
  • Observe copyright restrictions and principles of fair use.
  • Respect designated quiet zones by silencing cell phones and avoiding conversation, except in designated social zones.
  • Avoid loud conversation and disruptive behavior.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, including shirts and footwear.
  • Exit the Library immediately at closing hours, when prompted by fire alarm or other emergency announcements, and when directed by Library staff or security personnel.
  • Consult with Director of Research and Public Services for permission to take photographs or make films in the library.

The Library reserves the right to suspend or revoke library privileges for those whose behavior inhibits others’ abilities to utilize effectively the Library for its intended purposes or disrupts the regular operations and activities of the Library.

Unacceptable behavior includes but is not limited to:

  • Refusing to honor Library regulations regarding overdue items, materials recalled by the Library, and the payment of fines and/or fees for lost or damaged Library materials.
  • Damage, defacement, or theft of any Library property or material, or any personal property or material.
  • Leaving personal materials and library books that have not been checked out unattended in stacks and study areas for extended periods of time or overnight.
  • Smoking anywhere in the building.
  • Use of profanity, abusive or threatening language or threatening gestures, bullying, or unwanted physical contact.
  • Unreasonable noise levels, including shouting, loud talking or disruptive conversation, uncontrolled or repeated ringing of cell phones, loud cell phone conversations (see the Courtesy and Noise Policy), and use of personal electronic equipment at a volume that disturbs others. Note: The Library will make every effort to give advance notice of Seminary events that may cause noise in the Library.
  • Consumption of food except in designated areas or at authorized Seminary functions (see the Food and Beverage Policy).
  • Bringing animals inside the Library, with the exception of service animals.
  • Lack of personal hygiene that interferes with the use and enjoyment of the Library by others or interferes with the work of Library staff.
  • Using spaces in the Library for prolonged sleeping or as living quarters.
  • Use of restrooms for anything other than their ordinarily intended purpose, it being understood that such purposes do not include bathing, shaving, or washing hair.

Anyone unable or unwilling to abide by this Code may be asked to leave the building. Repeat offenders may be subject to loss of library privileges. Anyone whose privileges have been suspended or revoked may have the decision reviewed by the James Lenox Librarian. Further appeals may be taken, upon prior written request, to the Academic Dean.

Revised by the Princeton Theological Seminary Library, January 2019.