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Access Services Policies

This guide houses the policies of the Access Services unit of the Newton Gresham Library

Patron Conduct Policy

In order to fulfill our mission to create “environments that promote the discovery of new knowledge and the transfer of existing knowledge,” the Newton Gresham Library seeks to enable and respect every patron’s right to the comfortable, constructive, and creative use of our physical space. To that end, all patrons using the library space are expected to demonstrate responsible use of campus resources and respectful behavior towards other patrons and library personnel.  

General Prohibitions

In addition to any substances prohibited by federal or state laws, the following are prohibited inside the library in accordance with broader SHSU campus policies:

Additionally, the possession of firearms is governed by the concealed carry campus policy.

Food and Drink 

Food and drink are generally permitted in the library with the exception of specific spaces (including the IT@Sam computer lab in Room 200 and the Special Collections & Archives).  

Patrons are asked to act responsibly, clean up any food/drink messes, and dispose of trash. 

Photography and Video/Audio Recording 

Photographing or filming other library patrons or library personnel without their consent is prohibited. See the Recording Inside the Library Policy for more information about photo/video/audio capture.) 

Disruptive Behavior 

The library is committed to providing an environment conducive to teaching, learning, study, and research, and to providing a safe and secure environment for its users and its staff. Disruptive behavior is detrimental to that environment and may pose a threat to the safety of library users and personnel.  

For the purpose of this policy, “disruptive behavior” is understood to include, but is not limited to, the following behaviors: 

  • Arguing, fighting, and/or any activity that creates excessive noise or commotion detrimental to the goals of library patrons 
  • Abusing, threatening, or intimidating library patrons or personnel through language or action 
  • Engaging in sexual harassment or overt sexual behavior in any library facility 
  • Bringing weapons (real or simulated) into any Library facility, except in accordance with the concealed carry campus policy 
  • Displaying overt signs of substance abuse, including drunkenness 
  • Use of musical instruments, except as permitted during approved events 
  • Excessively loud audio from computer or other electronic device that disrupts the work of library patrons, except as permitted during approved events 
  • Use of bicycles, skateboards, or other manually-propelled wheeled vehicles in any library facility, except as outlined in the relevant campus policy 
  • Bringing bedding into any library facility 
  • Entering areas of the library marked as “Staff Only” 
  • Refusing to leave a library facility at closing time or as directed by library staff 
  • Failing to comply with the direction of campus/system officials acting in the performance of their duties, including library personnel, as required by the SHSU/TSUS student code of conduct.
  • Failing to acquire and maintain a student identification card, as required by the SHSU/TSUS student code of conduct.
    • Library personnel will require presentation of this identification (either the physical card or the virtual identification available through the SHSU app) in order for patrons to receive specific library services or if patrons are engaging in disruptive behavior, which may be reported to the Dean of Students Office. 
  • Refusing to identify yourself to library staff when requested 
  • Soliciting goods, services, or donations 
  • Petitioning, conducting unauthorized surveys, or direct distribution of non-library materials to library patrons or personnel 

When one patron’s use of space disrupts other patrons (for example, exuberant noise disrupting a quiet study area), library personnel will strive to the extent possible to connect patrons with alternate spaces and resources, in order to minimize disruption and maximize each individual’s work. However, library personnel will take action as necessary to remedy persistent disruptive behavior, including, if necessary, notifying the University Police. 

Use of Electrical Outlets 

Electrical outlets provided in library public service spaces, including study carrels, may be used to power approved devices, including laptop computers, devices loaned to patrons by the library, and other mobile devices. They may not be used for powering small appliances, e.g., coffee pots, or any other electrical device that may pose a hazard to library equipment, facilities, and collections, e.g., space heaters. Electrical cords and power strips attached to approved devices may not be draped across aisles or arranged in any fashion that constitutes a personal hazard or that obstructs the use of identified emergency exits and/or fire doors. Library patrons may not unplug library equipment, e.g., copiers, workstations, or other peripherals, in order to access an outlet for personal use. 

Use of Staff Telephones and Workstations 

Library patrons may not make use of telephones, workstations, or other resources reserved for the use of library personnel. 

Cell Phones and Other Mobile Devices 

Recognizing that cell phones and other mobile devices are an important part of the learning environment—and an official means of emergency communication between the university and its faculty, staff, and students—the library condones their use.  

Library patrons are reminded to be courteous of others in their use of cell phones and mobile devices, and to avoid disruptive volume or behavior. 

Reporting Criminal Behavior 

Library personnel will notify the University Police of any criminal activity conducted in any library facility or any activity that makes unauthorized or inappropriate use of library equipment, facilities, collections, or network resources. Among the areas in which the library will be particularly vigilant and pursue legal action, as appropriate, are: 

  • Theft of library equipment or collections; 
  • Vandalism of library equipment, facilities, or collections; 
  • Deliberate misuse of library equipment, facilities, or collections; 
  • Exhibitionism, sexual harassment, and/or overt sexual behavior; 
  • Intimidation, including verbal threats, of library patrons or personnel, 
  • Assault and battery, 
  • Emails, IMs, or other electronically communicated threats to the safety of people on campus or to campus facilities. 

Patrons suspected of theft will be given an opportunity to voluntarily return the item or else may be asked to submit to a search by University Police.

Additionally, theft or defacing University property is a violation of the student code of conduct, and students committing such acts will be reported to the Dean of Students for investigation and potential disciplinary action See Code of Student Conduct and Discipline, 5.2(14), and TSUS Rules & Regulations, Chapter VI, 5.2(8).

Unattended Children 

The safety of children in libraries is of paramount concern. Library personnel cannot assume responsibility for children. The library assumes no responsibility for the safety of children left unattended in any library facility. Children under the age of 16 may not be left unattended by parents or guardians for any period of time. Library personnel will take appropriate action upon discovering unattended children, including, but not limited to: 

  • Contacting parents 
  • Contacting the University Police 
  • Contacting appropriate juvenile authorities in the Huntsville community 


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