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Graham Library Conduct Policy


Adapted from the University of Toronto Library Conduct Regulations with permission of the Chief Librarian of the University.

The College Librarian has the authority to ensure that the library operates in the best possible environment for study and research. In order to meet the needs of the Trinity College Library community of users overall, the library should provide the following:

  • Library materials, i.e. books, journals, newspapers, documents in print and other formats, that are complete, undamaged and properly filed.
  • Access to library materials within the applicability of appropriate loan policies.
  • Services that are both cost-effective and cost-efficient.
  • An environment free of disruptive activity.
  • Designated areas where quiet study, group study and conversation can take place
  • Book stacks, other areas where library materials are housed, and study areas, all of which are free from inappropriate food and beverages and resulting disruption and other problems.
  • Buildings designed to enhance study and research activities that are free from damage or defacement due to vandalism.

Prohibited Activities

In order to ensure that the best possible environment for study and research is provided for all users, each user of the library is required to follow the Trinity College Library Conduct Regulations which prohibit:

  1. Removal or attempted removal of library materials or property from a library building or controlled area without authorization.
  2. Mutilation of library materials or files by marking, underlining, removing pages or portions of pages, removing binding or staples, adding sticky notes, tabs or flags, removing security devices, tampering electronically, or in any other way damaging or defacing library materials.
  3. Deliberately concealing or misfiling library materials in the library for the exclusive use of an individual or group.
  4. Inappropriate and/or offensive use of library computers, which are available in the library to serve the academic purposes of members of the University community.
  5. Refusal to abide by the library regulations regarding the return of materials and payment of fines and/or penalties. These would include penalties on lost or damaged items and blocks (preventing the patron from using circulation services until penalties are paid or books are returned) as outlined in the library publications.
  6. Any disturbance or behaviour which interferes with normal use of the library. Such inappropriate behaviour includes activities that are distracting or disruptive to others. Examples of inappropriate behaviour include rowdiness, noise, prolonged conversation, cell phone use, abusive behaviour, loitering, and obstruction of facilities or access.
  7. Bringing animals into the library, except those which are needed to assist persons with disabilities.
  8. Photographing, filming or video recording on library property without prior approval of Trinity College and of individuals being filmed, recorded or photographed.
  9. Harassment or assault of library staff or users.
  10. Consumption of food or beverages in the library, with the exception of water and covered drinks.
  11. Smoking in the library or near the library entrances.
  12. Access to or use of any library facility, equipment or service without proper permission by authorized persons.
  13. Entering or being in a restricted area of the library, remaining in the library after closing or when requested to leave during an emergency exercise.
  14. Damage or defacement of the library building, furnishings, or equipment.
  15. Refusal to abide by library regulations pertaining to matters of health, safety and security.

Library users are asked to inform the Circulation Desk staff of any damage in specific library materials, especially at the time of borrowing the relevant item. Staff will note the damage on the database record for the item, thus both protecting the current borrower and facilitating replacement, if necessary.

Library users and members of the public interacting with the library online, including via social media platforms, are expected to follow the University of Toronto Libraries Online Community Guidelines.


The library will make every effort to ensure that users are fully apprised of the Library Conduct Regulations, which will be published on the Graham Library website stating the regulations and the sanctions that may be applied if a breach is committed. The College Librarian shall have the power to revoke library privileges.

Breaches of the Library Conduct Regulations

The library and the College will actively pursue disciplinary action, prosecution or other legal action for breaches of the Library Conduct Regulations as defined in the Prohibited Activities section of this page (see above).

The library community comprises different user groups (students, members of the teaching, administrative, and library staffs, alumni, registered external members and members of the general public), whose conduct is covered in varying degrees by different College and University of Toronto codes and policies. It is understood also that it is not possible to rely solely on these existing policies because they do not govern all the stated prohibited activities, and because the College’s interests may be best served by an administrative procedure rather than by a judicial one. For breaches relating to the Library Conduct Regulations, therefore, the following procedures will apply:

  1. Anyone who believes a breach under these regulations has been committed may initiate a complaint by bringing the matter to the attention of the College Librarian or designate.
  2. Whenever possible and appropriate, reason and moral suasion shall be used to resolve issues of individual behaviour before resort is made to formal disciplinary procedures. Library staff will assist in monitoring the clauses of these regulations and, as appropriate, issue warnings to library users who may have committed offences as defined in these regulations.
  3. At present some of the prohibited activities in the regulations may be considered offences as defined in the Colleges Regulations Concerning Student Discipline, the University’s Code of Student Conduct, the Trinity College and the University of Toronto Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, or the Criminal Code of Canada (clauses relating to assault, theft, etc.). As such, appropriate hearing procedures and sanctions outlined in those codes may be applied.

Upon investigation of a complaint which is deemed to be in breach of the Library Conduct Regulations as defined, a person designated by the College Librarian may conclude that action is warranted. At this point the person designated by the College Librarian will recommend the appropriate disciplinary procedures.

Generally, the College Librarian will deal with breaches of the regulations using the authority given by virtue of the office. In cases of persistent breach of the regulations or vexatious conduct, the College Librarian will generally consider whether the conduct constitutes behaviour prohibited under the disciplinary policies as listed in item C, above, or, for employees, under administrative procedures. If another policy or procedure applies he/she may refer the complaint to the appropriate person or persons responsible for carrying out the hearing procedures and sanctions of that particular policy, code, or administrative procedure.

In cases where a student has committed the alleged offence, the student’s college or faculty may conduct a hearing, and sanctions imposed under the Code of Student Conduct may apply after a hearing, as required under the Code, has been held. In cases where a serious offence such as theft or damage has been committed by a member or non-member of the University, the College may seek action under civil suit and/or prosecution (under the Criminal Code of Canada).


The person designated by the College Librarian to consider the case may impose the following sanctions or combinations of them upon library users found to be in breach of these regulations.

  1. A formal written reprimand. In the case of a student or staff member, a copy of the written reprimand may be sent to the library user’s principal, dean or director, and to the Chief Librarian of the University of Toronto.
  2. Denial of access to the Graham Library and its services for a period of up to one year. This denial of access will be confirmed in a written notice to the user found to be in breach of the Regulation. In the case of a student or staff member, a copy of the written notice may be sent to the Library user’s principal, dean or director, and to the Chief Librarian of the University of Toronto.

In addition, library users who are in breach of the Regulation may be placed on conduct probation for a period not to exceed one year, with the provision that one or more of the sanctions as appropriate, will be applied if the conduct probation is violated.

Appeal Procedures

  1. A library user who has been notified of the denial of access to the Graham Library and its services has up to 10 days (from the mailing of the notice) to appeal the decision.
  2. The College Librarian, or his/her designate (other than the person who considered the case and imposed the sanction being appealed), will hear the appeal and will render a decision to uphold or dismiss the appeal, or possibly to vary the sanction imposed. Another person, who may be legal counsel, may assist the accused library user or users in the appeal.