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Northern Illinois University
College of Law
David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library

Law Library Policies and Procedures

Patron conduct policy

The law library is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for its patrons and staff that is conducive to teaching, learning, study and research. Behavior that disturbs or disrupts law library patrons or staff is detrimental to that environment and will not be tolerated.

The law library staff reserves the right to limit or deny access to the law library to any individual or group as required by the needs of the law library and/or of the College of Law.

For the purposes of this policy, “disturbing or disruptive behavior” includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Patrons who are not current students, faculty or staff of the College of Law soliciting law students or other library patrons for assistance with legal questions or research. (Also see Policy on Legal Research Assistance to Patrons.)
  • Soliciting library patrons or staff for any reason, including but not limited to offers of or requests for goods, services, donations, employment, or business.
  • Petitioning, conducting unauthorized surveys, or distributing materials to library patrons or staff.
  • Taking part in any activity of a suspicious nature or that suggests criminal intention.
  • Assaulting, abusing, threatening, intimidating or disrupting library patrons or staff through language or action.
  • Engaging in sexual harassment or overt sexual behavior towards library patrons or staff.
  • Violating the Northern Illinois University Concealed Carry Policy
  • Violating the Northern Illinois University Smoke-Free Campus Act.
  • Leaving children unattended. (Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.)
  • Displaying overt signs of substance abuse, including drunkenness.
  • Not wearing shoes or other footwear. (For safety and hygiene reasons, bare feet or stocking feet are not permitted in the library. Patrons not meeting this requirement will be required to leave the library.)
  • Refusing to leave the library or areas within the library at closing time or when directed by library staff.
  • Refusing to provide identification to library staff when requested.
Noise and disturbances
  • Not keeping conversations low in volume. (If those nearby can hear the conversation, the volume is too high.) Library staff will ask those violating this policy to reduce the sound level. A second violation will result in being asked to leave the library.
  • Not setting cell phone ringers to silent or vibrate-only upon entering the library.
  • Not leaving the library when taking or making a cell phone call.
  • Arguing, fighting, or any activity that creates noise or commotion detrimental to the work of patrons or staff.
  • Using audio or other devices or materials that create excessive noise or in any other way disrupts patrons or staff.
Use of the library facility, materials or equipment
  • Leaving spills, paper waste or garbage in any areas of the library.
  • Entering areas of the library designated as “staff only”, “authorized users only,” or that are restricted in other ways.
  • Marking, damaging or misusing library materials, equipment, or facilities.
  • Engaging in the theft of library materials, supplies or equipment.
  • Concealing library materials within the library for exclusive use of an individual or group.
The above behaviors may result in one or more of the following responses on the part of Law Library staff, including, but not limited to:
  • Refusal of Law Library staff to provide services
  • Expulsion from the Law Library for a period of up to 24 hours
  • Referral to the Dean of the College of Law or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs of the College of Law
  • Contacting the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety
  • Temporary or permanent banning from the Law Library

Patrons who are found to be in violation of the above policies may continue to use the library (or, if expelled, re-enter the library), if they cease the non-compliant behavior(s).

--Last updated August 3, 2023

The policies and procedures of the David C. Shapiro Memorial Law Library apply to all law library patrons: faculty, students, staff, and visitors. The law library reserves the right to update or modify these policies at any time and without prior notice.

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