Rules of Conduct

The Newberry is an independent research library. It supports and inspires research, teaching, and learning in the humanities. 

We offer free of charge the following services:

In order to maintain an environment that is conducive to research, education, and learning, all who visit the Newberry are expected to be engaged in Newberry-related activities, and to refrain from the following:

  • Disrupting or interfering with the normal operations of the library, or disturbing staff or other library visitors (for example, making excessive or disruptive noise that distracts others, blocking passageways or shelves, neglecting personal hygiene, creating a mess with possessions, performing personal grooming in public areas)
  • Bringing to the upper floors of the building backpacks, briefcases, or handbags larger than 12" x 9"; bulky outerwear; or umbrellas. These items may be securely stored, free of charge, in the lockers on the first floor or the lower level. Bags (including handbags) smaller than 12" x 9" are allowed on the upper floors. Transparent plastic bags for transporting computers, research material, and other personal items to the upper floors are available at the Greeter's Desk without charge. All items brought to the upper floors are subject to inspection upon exit. Please note that additional rules apply in the reading rooms.
  • Eating or drinking outside of specifically designated areas
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Entering the building without shoes, or in a state of undress
  • Taking photographs of readers, other visitors, or staff without their permission
  • Bringing animals into the library, other than dogs trained to assist with disabilities
  • Sleeping in the building
  • Disruptive use of mobile devices
  • Entering a controlled or restricted area of the building without explicit permission

The following conduct is explicitly prohibited and will result in loss of access to the Newberry:

  • Engaging in disorderly or harassing actions (sexual conduct or lewd behavior, threatening behavior toward staff or other users, stalking staff or users in the building or upon departure from the building, obscene or abusive language or gestures)
  • Possessing a gun, knife, or other weapon inside the Newberry
  • Damaging Newberry property, including collection items, furniture, or the building, or the property of others
  • Disabling Newberry equipment, including computing equipment, changing its hardware or software or settings, or using Newberry equipment for a purpose other than that designated by the Newberry
  • Engaging in any illegal activity, including using illegal drugs

This list is not intended to be comprehensive, and the Newberry reserves the right to designate other actions or behaviors as unacceptable if, in our view, they are causing disruption.