Conduct policies

The Stanford Libraries seek to provide a safe and productive environment suitable for reading, studying, and other scholarly activities in all our branches. These conduct policies and our values statement support that objective.

When visiting Stanford Libraries, you must:

  • Present an active Stanford ID card or Mobile Key.
  • Visitors: register onsite with an acceptable form of government ID.
  • Never leave personal belongings unattended.
  • Prepare your bags for inspection at library exit desks at Green Library (and at other libraries, if requested).
  • Properly check out all Libraries materials before exiting the library.
  • Comply with all university and library policies, including requesting permission in advance for photography or video, and adhere to borrower responsibilities.
  • Observe a general culture of quiet in our buildings. Conversation is welcomed in the service desk and lobby areas, group study rooms, classrooms, and meeting rooms.
  • Please take phone calls to the lobby or outside.

Please do not:

  • Leave personal belongings unattended, no matter the value. Doing so attracts thieves.
  • Stolen property is more than just a financial hardship; your personal information can be compromised and you may lose important research.
  • Consume any food or beverages in the Libraries, except water in sealable containers, unless granted explicit permission for events. Pests that are attracted to food and food waste will also harm book collections.
  • Use tobacco, controlled substances, or electronic smoking devices. See Admin Guide 2.2.6.
  • Carry or use scooters, bicycles, hoverboards, skateboards, skates, or other personal transportation within the library, except for equipment used by persons with disabilities.
  • Circumvent visitor registration procedures to gain extra access. Do not create multiple accounts, attempt free visits, or enter without required identification.
  • Harm, threaten, or intimidate others (e.g., abusive language, shouting, staring, threats of violence, harassment, indecent exposure).
  • Disrupt other patrons or staff with noise (e.g., talking, music) or engage in inappropriate behaviors (e.g., sexual activities, unwanted advances).
  • Prevent others from accessing library resources (e.g., taking excessive space, monopolizing an overhead scanner, prolonged bathroom use or sleeping).
  • Engage excessively with staff.
  • Share your SUNet ID, Stanford ID Card, or Stanford Libraries Card to allow another person to visit the library, check out materials, or access electronic resources.
  • Use computers, scanners or online resources in a way that creates a disturbance for others around (e.g., noise, pornography, disturbing images) or violates copyright or license agreements.
  • Misuse, damage, or tamper with library property (e.g., graffiti, standing on tables, unplugging equipment).
  • Damage or deface library materials (e.g., writing in books; folding or tearing pages; removing security devices).
  • Misplace or sequester books to deliberately prevent others from finding them. Do not rearrange or reshelve books. Books kept in study carrels and lockers must be checked out.
  • Solicit, petition, or sell anything on the premises. The libraries do not provide public boards for posting or distributing materials. Requests to post flyers or event announcements at our entrances or service desks points must be approved in advance.
  • Take materials out of the library that have not been checked-out (theft).
  • Refuse bag inspection at library exits.
  • Refuse to return to the service desk if an exit alarm sounds.
  • Use emergency building exits, except in emergency situations.
  • Leave a minor unattended.
  • Fail to leave the library at closing time.
  • Return to a library if banned.
  • Fail to show identification upon request.
  • Bring animals into the library, except service animals.

COVID policy for visitors and vendors

Visitors and vendors must follow Stanford COVID guidance, including:


Stanford Libraries has a low tolerance for disturbances and misuse of library resources and space. Report disturbances to any staff member or service desk or, if appropriate, directly to Public Safety. Library staff are empowered to interpret and enforce library and university policies and will call Public Safety for assistance, if necessary. 

If you violate the Libraries' policies, staff may ask you for identification and contact information, inspect your bags, and/or ask you to leave the building. You may also lose all library access and service privileges (including paid access). When notified by staff of improper conduct of any kind, excessive staff engagement will not be tolerated.

As a private institution situated on its privately-owned property, Stanford has the legal right to bar anyone from any or all parts of its premises, including persons whom it reasonably believes would disrupt or have disrupted its normal business operation.