Guidelines for use of the MIT Libraries

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is an independent, private university.  Institute facilities, including the Libraries, have the primary purpose of supporting MIT’s educational and research programs. The MIT Libraries may also serve the local community, the nation, and the world through the use of Libraries facilities, particularly when there is a compelling need or interest that can be met without detriment to the Institute’s primary purpose.

Access to and use of the MIT Libraries is a privilege extended to the members of the MIT community of faculty, students, and staff; including members of their immediate families and sponsored affiliates. Access to MIT Libraries facilities, services, and resources by others is normally limited to meeting a specific need for the scholarly, research, or educational materials and services available in the MIT Libraries.

The following principles guide service provision to all users of the MIT Libraries:

Priority – Current MIT faculty, students, and staff have priority access* to physical, electronic, and staff resources.

Expectations – Library users and staff will:

  • Treat each other with respect and consideration
  • Respect private and Institute property
  • Feel safe as they work and study
  • Library users will comply with library policies and with requests made by library staff

Behavior – Library users are expected to refrain from:

  • Behaviors that threaten personal safety or the security of personal or Institute property
  • Behaviors that disrupt the activities of other library users or staff, including but not limited to excessive noise, cell phones, music, hostility, rudeness, and consumption of food and drink that does not comply with the Libraries’ food and beverage guidelines.
  • Excessive or inappropriate use of library resources; including books, journals, databases, seating space, study rooms, networks, computers, etc.
  • Inappropriate use of computing resources including equipment tampering,
    viewing websites or images that violate Institute guidelines, and recreational use by outside users. See the Libraries’ computer use policy for complete details.
  • The MIT Libraries network may not be used for personal gain or to conduct commerce. Compliance with MITnet rules of use is required.

The MIT Libraries may limit or refuse access to individuals or groups who fail to comply with these guidelines.

August 2011


*Federal document access:  As a selective US Federal Depository Library, the MIT Libraries will provide access to government information in accordance with the requirements of the Depository Program. Depository users must adhere to the same standards of behavior expected of other library patrons.