Building Use

Today's Hours: 8am - 10pm - All service hours

Effective: September 2006

Reviewed: November 2022

Reviewed By: Kirk Sprague


The Building Use Policy specifies appropriate use of the library's facilities and equipment, and designates areas of the library as intended for either "quiet" or "group" study purposes.

The Building Use Policy exists to ensure that the University of Guelph Library facilities provide a safe, pleasant, and productive environment for study and research. By enforcing University guidelines for behaviour and equipment use, and by designating building space for either "quiet" or "group" study purposes, the library recognizes and supports a wide range of learning activities.

The Policy

In order to ensure a supportive environment for study and research, and to respect the rights of the campus community, the Library asks that all users and staff of the University of Guelph Library observe the following code of behaviour when using library facilities:

Appropriate Behaviour in the Library

  • Complying with the University of Guelph's Student Rights and Responsibilities.
  • Treating all members of the library community with respect. Disturbance or behaviour which interferes with the normal use of the library is not acceptable. Examples of inappropriate behaviour include rowdiness, noise, prolonged conversations, abusive behaviour, loitering and obstruction of facilities or access, passing out pamphlets or other materials, or soliciting other users for financial donations.
  • Showing consideration for other users by respecting the designation of "quiet" and "group" spaces in the library's buildings. The library has to accommodate differing types of learning needs with their associated levels of noise.

Quiet areas include

  • All enclosed individual study rooms
  • The lower level, second, third (west side), fifth, and sixth floors of the library

Quiet areas are intended for private study and research. Conversations in these areas should be very quiet and brief, and cell phone use is not permitted. Headphones may be used; however noise from headphones must not be audible to others. Laptop computers may be used with any sound or audio features turned off.

Group study areas include

  • The first, third, and fourth floors of the library
  • All enclosed classrooms and meeting rooms (doors should be kept closed when in use)
  • Book a library group study room

In Group study areas of the library, discussion is encouraged and limited use of cell phones is allowed. Group study areas are intended to support social learning and research activities which support the University's academic mission.

  • Practicing proper cell-phone etiquette (turn ringers off, hold conversations in stairwells or group study areas only, conduct conversations in low tones)
  • Using library computing resources responsibly to support teaching, learning and research, in accordance with the University's Acceptable Use Policy and Guidelines for computing
  • Using library materials and equipment with care and respect and refraining from marking or damaging resources
  • Disposing of personal garbage or recycling in the appropriate containers
  • Exiting the library promptly at closing time and during emergency situations or drills
  • Refraining from posting of notices (except in designated areas, or with prior approval from Facilities Services and/or Library Communications, contact us)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which areas of the library buildings are zoned for "quiet" vs. "group" use?

Signage is also posted on all floors and stairwells. You can also consult our online map. The first, third, and fourth floors in the main library are intended for "group" use, along with all enclosed classrooms and meeting rooms. All other floors of the library are intended for "quiet" use. 

What do I do if someone is violating the policy?

Begin by politely reminding the other user(s) that their behaviour is not in keeping with the designated use of the space. If the problem continues, report noise level issues to the Ask Us desk. Library staff also monitor noise levels and building use on a regular basis and will respond to user complaints.

What happens if I violate the policy?

Students violating university or library policies will be warned, and may be asked to leave the building. Users failing to moderate their behaviour may be asked to present to library staff and/or Campus Police valid University of Guelph identification in order to track repeat policy infractions. Repeat violations may incur escalating sanctions, including being asked to leave the library without warning, being banned from the library for a period of time, and/or being charged by Campus Police under the Ontario Trespass to Property Act, RSO 1990, cT21 or under the University of Guelph Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Why can't I use the library to hand out information or do fundraising?

Because we are a busy place with lots of people passing through, the library receives many requests for the use of our space for a variety of causes — fund-raising for various student groups and charities, recruiting people to participate in research studies, passing out pamphlets which promote various causes or political viewpoints. While worthwhile in their intent, all of these activities disrupt the primary purpose and use of the library as a place for research, study and learning. "Soliciting" activities interfere with the right of library users to work in an uninterrupted manner, and distribution of print materials creates both visual clutter and a garbage disposal problem.

There are other venues on campus which present a better and more appropriate alternative for marketing activities which are not directly connected with library services. Please see On Campus Advertising Promotion, Sales and Solicitations for more information.

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: