General Policies

General Library Rules

The following rules serve as the governing rules for the James B. Duke Memorial Library. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact a library staff member.

  • All electronic devices on which audio will be played require the use of headphones.
  • Loud music played through headphones is not allowed.
  • The second floor is designated as the Quiet Zone; no cell phones or loud conversations are permitted.
  • Cell phones must be on vibrate while in the library.
  • Cell phones are permitted on the First Floor, Lounge Areas, and Study Rooms. The 2nd Floor is the Quiet Zone.
  • Before approaching the Center of Information Desk, please end conversations and set cell phones to vibrate.
  • No loud conversation or horseplay allowed in the library.
  • Low-level conversations are permitted.
  • Large groups should use the group study rooms or designated lounge areas in the library.
  • Vandalizing library property is prohibited.
  • No riding on Hover board or skate boards in the library.

Food and Drink

Limited amounts of food and drink is allowed to create a welcoming atmosphere for our users. Users are expected to clean up after themselves and place trash in the trash cans designated throughout the library. We strongly encourage users to help keep the library clean, avoiding infestation or damage to library property. Absolutely no food or drink in the Archives research area or Black Heritage room.

  • Food is limited to snacks for individual consumption only.
  • No group consumption of food is allowed.
  • No fast food, open plates, greasy or odiferous food allowed.
  • No food should be ordered for delivery to the library.
  • Only drinks with secure lids or caps are allowed.
  • The library prefers the use of travel mugs, or bottled drinks with screw caps.
  • No glass bottles are allowed.
  • Absolutely no alcohol will be tolerated.

Disclaimer: Users will be liable for any damage to library property and equipment caused by mishandling of food or drink. Users with inappropriate food or drink will be asked to leave the library; refusal to comply will result in calling campus security; extended non-compliance of the library food policy will result in loss of library privileges.


The James B. Duke Memorial Library reserves the right to protect the scholarly resources of the University against theft and abuse. To fulfill this responsibility library staff are authorized:

  • To check books and personal bags as a person leaves the library when the alarm is triggered.
  • To request identification of any person wanting to use library resources.
  • To question or confront any person if it appears that the library policy was violated.
  • To contact the JCSU University Campus Police to escort any person from the library premises for violating library policy or assaulting or using profanity toward library staff.

Computer Policies

The James B. Duke Memorial Library works to ensure that all of our patrons have access to computers and digital materials. In order to maintain the integrity of the University and the digital safety of our patrons,

  • Computer priority is given to educational and research use over recreational use.
  • Students can conduct their own searches and if they are having difficulties locating information on a subject they are free to contact a librarian in order to receive help.
  • As mentioned, reference services are available upon request.
  • No alteration of the computer desktop is allowed.
  • Printed copies are charged electronically to students.

Library Guests

Guest users are defined as those individuals who do not have a valid JCSU ID or are not members of the Friends of the Library at JCSU

  • Guests may use books and other resources within the library but may not check out items.
  • Guests must be logged onto the computer using the library guest user ID and password. For computer usage, guests must fill out an application located at the Center of Information Desk in addition to providing a photo ID such as a driver’s license to be copied and kept with the application.
  • Guests may not check books out of the library.
  • Guests may not use the conference rooms or multi-media classroom.
  • Guests must abide by all University and library policies and procedures.
  • Guests are encouraged to request ILL materials from their area public library.
  • Children’s presence in the library will be governed by the library policy and policy of Johnson C. Smith University.


Children are a treasured part of the academic community. As such their safety and that of our patrons is our utmost responsibility. In aligning with the rules of the university,

  • All children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Children are not allowed to use the computers in the library without an adult.
  • Children are not allowed to run throughout the library.
  • If a child is loud (crying, yelling) or disruptive, library staff have the right to ask the parent to leave the library facility with the child.
  • The University or the Library is not responsible or liable for children in the library.

Patron Responsibility and Conduct

The James B. Duke Memorial Library has a responsibility to its patrons, and its users have a responsibility to the Library. Rules of conduct and levels of responsibilities must be adhered to if the Library is to effectively carry out its mission.

  • Items are to be returned on or before the due date.
  • Library users may not intentionally damage, mutilate, or otherwise destroy library materials or property.
  • Patrons are solely responsible for compliance with all current laws applying to library materials (i.e., copyright laws – Title 17, U.S. Code).
  • Library users will be careful not to damage library materials, grounds, buildings, furnishings, or other property.

Disruptive Behavior Policy

Disruptive behavior is any activity that endangers the perpetrator or others, interferes with the library business of other patrons or staff, or is illegal. This may include any activity that results in harm to library equipment or services.

In this respect:

  • Patrons should conduct themselves in an orderly manner.
  • Patrons will be respectful of other library users and keep the volume of their conversation as low as is practical.
  • Patrons will not physically, verbally, or with gestures threaten, abuse, or assault another person on library property.
  • Patrons may not interfere with the staff’s performance of its duties. This includes engaging in inappropriate conversation, behavior, or physical and/or verbal harassment.

A patron who is disruptive will be informed by a library staff member that the behavior is inappropriate. If the behavior continues, the patron will be asked to leave the library. If the patron refuses to leave, University security will be called. Disruptive behavior on the part of a library patron may result in further disciplinary action.