Responsibilities of Library Users

The Harvard libraries are maintained for the University’s students, faculty, staff, and other authorized members of the scholarly community. In order to preserve the collections and to ensure ongoing access to them, users are expected to respect the rules and regulations around use of library materials and property and to assist in the protection of library materials.

Every user of the library has a responsibility to:

  • safeguard the integrity of library resources;

  • respect the restrictions placed on access to and use of those resources;

  • report to library officers the theft, destruction, or misuse of library resources by others;

  •  respect the rights of others to the quiet use of the library; and

  • respect the authority of the librarians and staff whose job it is to protect library resources.

The following is prohibited:

  • the exploitation of library resources or materials for profit or use for commercial purposes

  • the systematic printing or downloading of significant portions of licensed online resources

  • unauthorized removal of materials or property from the library

  • destruction, defacement, or abuse of library materials or property

  • use of library privileges for reasons other than personal academic pursuits

Students, staff, faculty members, researchers, visitors, and other users who fail to comply with library rules and regulations are subject to revocation of library privileges, disciplinary actions, and legal prosecution. All library users are subject to the fines and penalties of the University, as well as the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts governing crimes against property.