University of Toronto Library Policies

Library Conduct Regulations | Policy on Accessing Pornographic Material

Library Conduct Regulations


Along with other Division Heads, the Chief Librarian has the authority to ensure that the Division operates in the best possible environment for study and research. This requires that certain regulations be observed in the University of Toronto 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 quiet study, group study and conversation can take place
  • book stacks, other areas where library materials are housed and study areas free from food and resulting problems
  • buildings designed to enhance study and research activities and 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 University of Toronto 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, 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).
  5. Improper use or interfering with the intended use of computers, including the viewing of pornography.
  6. Posting notices, distributing circulars or petitions, soliciting, or engaging in any commercial activity on library property without prior approval of the Library.
  7. Photographing, filming or video recording on library property without prior written approval of the Library and of individuals being filmed, recorded or photographed.
  8. 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, abusive behaviour, loitering, rollerblading, obstruction of facilities or access.
  9. Bringing animals into a Library building except those which are needed to assist persons with disabilities.
  10. Harassment or assault of Library staff or users.
  11. Consumption of food, except in the cafeterias and/or designated lounge areas.
  12. Smoking in Library buildings and in close proximity to library entrance ways.
  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 Library buildings or equipment, inside or outside.
  15. Refusal to abide by Library Conduct Regulations pertaining to matters of health, safety and security. This would include restriction on stack access as appropriate in individual libraries.


The Library will make every effort to ensure that its users are fully apprised of the the Library Conduct Regulations. A Library publication will be made available to all Library users stating the regulations, 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 Library Conduct Regulations

The Library and the University will actively pursue disciplinary action, prosecution or other legal action for breaches of the Library Conduct Regulations as defined in the Section Prohibited Activities 1-15.

The library community consists of 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 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 University's interests may be best served by an administrative procedure rather than a judicial one. For breaches relating to the Library Conduct Regulations, therefore, the following procedures will apply.

Disciplinary Procedures

A) 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 of the university, or designate.

B) Wherever 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.

C) 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 Occupational Health and Safety Act 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 Library Conduct Regulations 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 Chief Librarian will generally consider whether the conduct constitutes behaviour prohibited under University disciplinary policies as listed in section 2(c) 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).


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

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 supervisor.

B) 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 supervisor.

In addition, library users who are in breach of this 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

A) 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.

B) The Chief Librarian, or a 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.

June 2011

Policy: Accessing Pornographic Materials

University of Toronto Libraries (UTL)

Dept: Finance and Administration

Policy: Accessing Pornographic Material

Section: Security

Date: August, 2013

1.0 Policy

This policy is to ensure Library patrons and staff are not subjected to pornographic material from computers while in any of the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL).

To this end, every effort will be taken to discourage patrons from accessing pornographic material, explicit or otherwise, in the libraries as prescribed in the University of Toronto’s policy on "Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology," the "Policy on Information Technology," and section five of UTL’s Conduct Regulations. This policy and procedures will apply when using either a Library computer or patrons’ devices including, but not limited to, a laptop or personal digital assistant.

Appropriate Use of Information and Communication Technology

Policy on Information Technology

University of Toronto Library Conduct Regulations

2.0 Purpose

2.1 To ensure that library patrons and staff are not subjected to pornographic materials.

2.2 To ensure that any suspected criminal activity with respect to graphic representations of sexual violence or of sexual activity involving people who appear to be under 18 is reported immediately to Campus Police.

2.3 To maintain records of those who are non-compliant with this policy.

2.4 To ensure consistency in applying this policy at UTL.

3.0 Procedures

3.1 Library Staff

3.1.2 All library staff will apply section 5 of UTL’s Conduct Regulations – improper use or interfering with the intended use of computers.

3.2.2 If a patron is suspected of accessing graphic representations of sexual violence or of sexual activity involving people who appear to be under 18 immediately call Campus Police at 416-978-2222.  

3.2.3 If a patron is accessing pornographic material on a computer, remind the patron of the Library’s policy.

a) Ask the patron for photo identification and record it.

b) Inform the patron that accessing such material in the library is not permitted and ask them to stop immediately.

c) Complete a Security Incident Report with your supervisor.

d) Submit the completed Security Incident Report form to the UTL Security Manager.

3.2.4 If the patron is not cooperative or reacts inappropriately to the request, call security:

a) Dentistry Library call Campus Police (416-978-2222)

b) Earth Sciences Library call Campus Police (416-978-2222)

c) Engineering and Computer Science Library call Campus Police (416-978-2222)

d) Gerstein Science Information Centre call:

- Monday to Friday daytime hours, first call staff at Loan Services (416-978-2280). Staff at Loan Services are to determine which to call: Robarts Library Security Office (416- 946-3590) or Campus Police (416-978-2222) for assistance.

- Evening or weekends, call the Gerstein Library Patrol Pager (416-715-1297)

e) Mathematical Sciences Library call Campus Police (416-978-2222)

f) OISE Library call:

- The Circulation Desk (416-978-1850) or the Reference Desk (416-978-1860)

- OISE Security Office (416-978-0029)

g) Robarts Library and Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library call:

- The Information Desk (416-978-5093)

- Robarts Library Security Office (416-946-3590)

- Robarts Library Security Pager (416-328-3001)

3.2.5 Report the inappropriate behaviour to your supervisor.

3.2.6 If the patron reacts aggressively and / or in a threatening manner, immediately call

Campus Police at 416-978-2222.

3.3 Security Staff

3.3.1 Security will compile information on all received reports on individuals accessing pornographic material, including:

a) Name

b) Date of the offense

c) Location of the offense

d) Patron’s affiliation to the Library or University

3.3.2 Any recurrence from the same patron is subject to disciplinary action or sanction as prescribed by the UTL Conduct Regulations.

3.3.3 Security will inform the Library’s Patron Relation Office or designate.

3.4 Patron Relation Office

3.4.1 The Office will apply the appropriate sanction as prescribed by the UTL Conduct Regulations which may include but is not limited to:

a) Conduct probation for up to one year

b) Withdrawal of certain library privileges

c) Issuance of Notice of Trespass

Mon. - Thurs. 10am-10pm
Fri. 10am-5pm
Sat. - Sun. 12-6pm


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