General Rules and Regulations
In order to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for reading, learning and other Library activities, the Michigan State University Libraries (the “Library”) require all visitors to comply with the following General Rules and Regulations. Visitors must also comply with all MSU Ordinances.
Visitors may not engage in conduct that disrupts or interferes with the normal operations of the Library, its staff, or its use by other visitors. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to:
- Harassing or threatening behavior.
- Soliciting, petitioning, or canvassing.
- Selling or advertising any goods or services.
- Using obscene or abusive language or gestures.
- Making unreasonable noise, including loud talking on a cell phone or otherwise.
- Engaging in sexual conduct or lewd behavior.
- Possessing a knife, gun, or any other weapon in violation of University ordinance.
- Smoking, including electronic cigarettes.
- Using alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Failing to maintain appropriate personal hygiene.
- Using a bicycle, roller blades, skates, skateboard, in-line roller skates, or similar devices.
- Bringing in an animal, unless it is assisting a person with a disability.
- Damaging, defacing, or misusing any Library materials or property. This includes disabling Library equipment, changing the hardware or software or settings on a Library computer, or using a Library computer for a purpose other than that designated by the Library.
- Engaging in any activity in violation of federal, state, or local law or University or library policies.
For the safety and security of our users, excessive sleeping and camping in the MSU Libraries are prohibited. This includes:
- Sleeping for an extended period of time (longer than 30 minutes) on a chair, couch, bench, floor or other surface. If library staff find patrons sleeping in this way, we will verbally wake the patron and ask them not to sleep in the building. This protects the patron from theft of their personal property while they are sleeping in a public space, and it also allows library staff to ensure that the sleeping patron is physically well and not in need of medical assistance. Library staff will NOT disturb students that are taking short naps or studying while lying down, unless those behaviors disrupt other users or interferes with the operations of the library or its staff.
- Excessive use of seating or space that interferes with priority usage for students, faculty, or staff. This includes stacking furniture or books to create private study areas.
- Using the bathrooms for bathing, showering or for more than casual grooming.
- Use of bedrolls, blankets and other such covering; carrying on cooking activities; and other behavior that amounts to using the seating or space as a temporary shelter or living quarters.
Please also be aware that:
- The Library is not responsible for personal items that are lost, stolen, or damaged on Library premises.
- Library staff reserve the right to inspect bags or other personal property when visitors enter or leave the Library.
- Clothing and shoes must be worn in the Library.
- Some items in the Library cannot be copied because of copyright laws, poor condition, or donor restriction.
- The Library is not responsible for children who are left unattended on Library premises; please see the Library’s “Unattended Children Policy.”
- Library staff may ask visitors to show their Michigan State University or other ID at any time.
- Large groups that want to visit/tour the Library are required to obtain permission in advance.
- Photography and recording are not allowed on Library premises without prior permission.
- Certain rooms and other Library spaces may have additional restrictions.
- All promotional flyers must be reviewed prior to posting. Flyers will be considered for posting only for free, official MSU events/ offerings. After approval, one copy will be posted on the Libraries' bulletin board. If you wish to have your flyer reviewed, please send it to the Libraries' Events Coordinator.
Visitors with disabilities may ask Library staff for reasonable accommodations.
Visitors who do not follow the Library’s General Rules and Regulations may be asked to leave and may lose their Library privileges. Visitors who violate MSU Ordinances may also be subject to arrest or other legal action.
Last Revised 10/24/2022
The Michigan State University Libraries are dedicated to providing a welcoming environment. Children are permitted to use Library collections and services and attend Library programs at all locations that are open to the general public. Children are expected to be accompanied by an adult while in the Library and should not be left unattended. A child (an individual under the age of 18 years old) will be considered “unattended” if it appears to Library staff that he/she is not accompanied by a parent, guardian, and/or responsible caregiver.
Parents, guardians, and/or caregivers are solely responsible for the safety and behavior of their children. They are advised that children, like all Library users, are expected to comply with the Library’s “General Rules and Regulations” and a child who violates those rules may be asked to leave Library premises. Parents, guardians and/or caregivers should be aware of scheduled closing times and that a Library facility may sometimes close unexpectedly due to an emergency or safety issue. It is the responsibility of parents, guardians and/or caregivers to let their children know what to do if they are required to leave the Library during an emergency.
Library staff may call the police or Children’s Protective Services if a child is left unattended.
Last Revised 1/11/2012
Attendance at Library Programs
As part of its mission to assure open access to information and the exchange of ideas, Michigan State University Libraries sponsors a robust series of programs in its research library venues. The objective of these programs is to offer an opportunity to hear and experience presentations and discussions of timely and interesting topics with participants who represent a broad range of viewpoints. All members of the MSU community are welcome to attend the Library’s programs, subject to any occupancy limits and, where applicable, ticketing requirements. In order to maintain an environment conducive to the purpose of the programs, all attendees must comply with the following regulations:
- Attendees must comply with the Library’s General Rules and Regulations, as well as rules applicable to a particular venue (e.g., bag check requirements) or to a particular program (e.g., prohibitions on photography or recording).
- Individuals will not be allowed to enter meeting rooms once the legal occupancy limit has been reached.
- Attendees must comply with all University Ordinances, including those regarding:
- Disorderly assemblages or conduct (15.00)
- Signs and structures (28.00)
- Harassment (22.00)
- Firearms and weapons (18.00)
Failure to comply with these regulations may result in expulsion from a Library program or facility, suspension of library privileges, and/or arrest and prosecution to the full extent of the law. The Library reserves the right to amend these regulations from time to time.
Public Assemblies or Large Gatherings
The Library recognizes and supports the rights of attendees and other members of the public to exercise their rights of freedom of speech and peaceable assembly. Accordingly, picketing and distribution of literature in a traditional public forum (generally the sidewalk) outside Library premises may be conducted so long as it does not interfere with access or egress, is not disruptive to the activities within the Library, and is otherwise undertaken in accordance with applicable laws and University regulations. Organizers of demonstrations adjacent to Library facilities are requested to inform the Library 48 hours in advance of any demonstration or large gathering so it may put in place any necessary arrangements, including safety and security measures.
Last Revised 1/11/2012