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Library Policies: User Code of Conduct

User Code of Conduct

The Himmelfarb Library's User Code of Conduct is designed to maintain an environment in which our users can safely and comfortably pursue their educational and research objectives. Respect for other users, for staff, and for Library resources is vital in order to uphold this commitment. All library users are expected to act in a professional manner. Academic deans or the GW Police (GWPD) will be contacted as appropriate when codes are violated.

General Codes of Conduct:

Students should be aware of and adhere to all codes of conduct in effect at The George Washington University.

Computer and Internet use:

Individuals will use library computers in a way that supports the mission of The George Washington University Schools of Medicine and Health Sciences, Milken Institute School of Public Health, and School of Nursing.

  • Viewing or creating obscene, offensive, or threatening material is not permitted.
  • Accessing, altering, deleting, damaging or destroying any systems or network files is prohibited.
  • Downloading software to library computers is forbidden.
  • Library-owned software may not be deleted or modified in any way.
  • Users may not make copies of library-owned software.
  • Library computer hardware may not be tampered with, moved, or stolen.
  • If you are having problems using a computer, printer, or scanner, please contact a library staff member.
  • No food or drink is permitted near computers.
Library materials or property:
  • Concealing or deliberately misplacing library materials in an attempt to deny access to others will not be tolerated.
  • Copyright laws must be observed at Himmelfarb Library when using print and non-print materials.
  • Questions about copyright should be directed to a Reference Librarian at Reference Services.
  • Defacing library materials by marking, tearing, or removing pages is prohibited.
  • Borrowers are responsible for the care of all items checked out to them, and for reporting damages to library staff.
    • Damage to returned materials may result in a replacement fee charged to the borrower.
  • Users are expected to comply with library policies regarding overdue or recalled items, and with policies concerning damaged or lost Library materials.
ID display:
  • Users of Himmelfarb Library are expected to wear a valid GWorld or GW University Hospital ID card.
  • Users must also show a valid GWorld or GW University Hospital ID card whenever an authorized library staff member requests it.
  • Users may not lend their GWorld card to others to use for any reason.
Emergencies and drills:
  • All users are expected to comply with instructions by library and/or security staff during an emergency or drill.
  • Users may only leave via the library's emergency exit doors during an emergency evacuation.
Theft and vandalism:
  • Theft and intentional damage or destruction of property belonging to Himmelfarb Library or to other users will be reported to Campus Police.
Personal items:
  • Do not leave personal items unattended, even for a few minutes. Himmelfarb Library does not assume responsibility for lost or stolen personal property.
  • Personal items and checked-out library materials may not be stored anywhere in the library for extended periods of time, including overnight.
Food and drink:
  • Library policy permits food in modest quantities and drinks in sealable containers, but food and drink are NOT permitted near any computer or other equipment. Users in violation of this policy will be asked to remove food/drink from the area or to stow it inside a backpack or carrying case.
  • Areas of the library such as the service desks, the Bloedorn Technology Center, study rooms and classrooms, and student lounges are not designated quiet spaces.
    • Conversations in these areas, however, should be kept at a low volume.
  • Other areas of the library are reserved for quiet study.
    • Any noise or rowdy behavior that disturbs fellow users is inappropriate, and offenders may be asked to leave.
  • Cell phones and pagers should be turned off or set to silent mode while in the library.
  • Please take ALL cell phone calls outside of Himmelfarb.
  • Headphones should be worn when listening to audio material.
Verbal abuse and offensive language:
Sexual harassment:
  • Any behavior, verbal or otherwise, that constitutes sexual harassment according to University policy, is unacceptable and will be dealt with according to University policy.
  • Soliciting is forbidden anywhere in the library.
Offensive odors:
  • Offensive body odors, and odors that result from alcohol or strong cologne or perfume, disturb others. Offenders may be asked to leave the library.
Alcohol, tobacco, controlled substances, illegal drugs and weapons:
  • The use, possession or distribution of alcohol, controlled substances or illegal drugs is prohibited as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.
    • People in an intoxicated state will be asked to leave Himmelfarb and proper authorities will be notified.
  • Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the University as stipulated in the University's Smoking Policy. This includes E-Cigarettes and "vaping".
  • Carrying weapons of any kind is not permitted inside the library, unless authorized by law. See GW's full Firearms Policy.
"Staff Only" areas:
  • Users may not enter "Staff Only" areas of the library without authorization.
  • GW University policy does not allow sleeping in public places on campus. Individuals requiring a brief nap are requested to leave the Library to sleep.

Violations of Himmelfarb Library's User Code of Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action by the library, or by GW. Certain violations may be referred to local or federal law enforcement officials.