Library Code of Conduct

A. Preamble
B. Prohibited Activities
C. Procedures

A. Preamble

The Chief Librarian has the authority to ensure that the U of T Mississauga Library operates in the best possible environment for study and research. This requires that Library policies be observed in the Library.

In order to meet the needs of the University community of users overall the Library should provide:

• 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 conversation can take place
• book stacks, other areas where library materials are housed, and study areas relatively free from food waste or problems arising from food or drink (e.g., undue presence of mould, mildew, or unhealthy bacteria)
• buildings designed to enhance study and research activities and that are free from damage or defacement due to vandalism

 

B. 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 U of T Mississauga Library Code of Conduct, which prohibits:

  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, 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. 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, "blocks" (preventing the patron from using "circulation" services until penalties are paid or books returned) as outlined in the Library publications.
  5. Any disturbance or behaviour which interferes with the academic use of the Library. Such inappropriate behaviour includes activities that are distracting or disruptive to others. Examples of inappropriate behaviour include but are not limited to rowdiness, noise, abusive behaviour, loitering, obstruction of facilities or access, behaviour that contravenes the expectations defined for each of the Library ‘Learning Zones’, or other behaviours determined by the Library staff in his/her discretion to be inappropriate
  6. Bringing animals into a Library building except those which are needed to assist persons with disabilities.
  7. Harassment or assault of Library staff or users.
  8. Consumption of food.
  9. Access to or use of any Library facility, equipment or service without proper permission by authorized persons.
  10. 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.
  11. Damage or defacement of the Library building or equipment, inside or outside.
  12. Refusal to abide by policies or regulations pertaining to matters of health, safety and security.
 

C. Procedures

The Library will make every reasonable effort to ensure that its users are fully apprised of the U of T Mississauga Library Code of Conduct. A Library publication will be made available to all Library users stating the Code, the sanctions that may be applied if a breach is committed and a statement that the Chief Librarian shall have the power to revoke Library privileges.

Breaches of the U of T Mississauga Library Code of Conduct

The Library and the University will actively pursue disciplinary action, prosecution, or other legal action for breaches of the U of T Mississauga Library Code of Conduct as defined in the Section"Prohibited Activities."

The library community comprises different user groups (students, members of the teaching, administrative and library staff, alumni, registered external members and members of the general public), whose conduct is covered in varying degrees by different University codes and policies. It is understood 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 University's interests may be best served by an administrative procedure rather than a judicial one. For breaches relating to the U of T Mississauga Library Code of Conduct, therefore, the following procedures will apply.

Disciplinary Procedures

Anyone who believes a breach under these regulations has been committed may initiate a complaint by bringing the matter to the attention of the Chief Librarian or her/his designate.
Wherever possible and appropriate, reason and moral persuasion 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.

At present some of the prohibited activities in the regulations may be considered offences as defined in the University's Code of Student Conduct, the University's Policy & Procedures: Sexual Harassment, the University's Smoking Policy , the Policy on Information Technology, or in 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 a breach of the U of T Mississauga Library Code of Conduct as defined, a person designated by the Chief Librarian may conclude that action is warranted. At this point the person designated by the Chief Librarian will decide on the appropriate disciplinary procedures to follow.

Generally, the Chief 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 Librarian will generally consider whether the conduct constitutes behaviour prohibited under University disciplinary policies as listed above, or, for employees, under administrative procedures. If another policy or procedure applies s/he 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 an alleged offence has been committed by a student, a hearing may be conducted by the student's college or faculty, 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 University may seek action under a civil suit and/or prosecution (under the Criminal Code of Canada).

Sanctions

The person designated by the Chief 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.

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 Chair, Director, or Supervisor.

Denial of access to the University 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 library user found to be in breach of this 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.

In addition, library users who are in breach of this policy 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

A library user who has been notified of the denial of access to the University's Library and its services has up to 10 days (from the mailing of the notice) to appeal the decision.

The Chief 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. The accused library user or users may be assisted in the appeal by another person who may be legal counsel.