Policy on 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.


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.

  1. Ask the patron for photo identification and record it.
  2. Inform the patron that accessing such material in the library is not permitted and ask them to stop immediately.
  3. Complete a Security Incident Report with your supervisor.
  4. 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:

  1. Dentistry Library call Campus Police (416-978-2222)
  2. Earth Sciences Library call Campus Police (416-978-2222)
  3. Engineering and Computer Science Library call Campus Police (416-978-2222)
  4. 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)
  5. Mathematical Sciences Library call Campus Police (416-978-2222)
  6. OISE Library call:
    • The Circulation Desk (416-978-1850) or the Reference Desk (416-978-1860)
    • OISE Security Office (416-978-0029)
  7. Robarts Library and Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library call:
    • The Information Desk (416-978-5093)
    • Robarts Library Security Office (416-946-3590)

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:

  1. Name
  2. Date of the offense
  3. Location of the offense
  4. 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:

  1. Conduct probation for up to one year
  2. Withdrawal of certain library privileges
  3. Issuance of Notice of Trespass