The New York Public Library General Rules and Regulations

General Rules and Regulations

In order to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for reading, learning and other Library activities, The New York Public Library requires all visitors to comply with the following General Rules and Regulations:

The following are NOT allowed at The New York Public Library:

  • Engaging in conduct that disrupts or interferes with normal operation of the Library, or that disturbs staff or other Library visitors. Such conduct includes:
     
  • – Harassing or threatening behavior.
    – Using obscene or abusive language or gestures.
    – Making unreasonable noise, including loud talking on a cell phone or otherwise.

  • Engaging in sexual conduct or lewd behavior.
  • Having a knife, gun, or any other weapon.
  • Smoking.
  • Eating or drinking except in designated areas.
  • Using alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Sleeping in the Library or at the Library’s entrance.
  • Making unreasonable use of the rest rooms, including laundering clothes and bathing.
  • Soliciting, petitioning, or canvassing.
  • Selling any goods or services.
  • Using a bicycle, skates, skateboard, scooter, or anything like them.
  • Bringing in an animal, unless it is assisting a person with a disability.
  • Damaging, defacing, or misusing any Library materials or property. This includes disabling Library equipment, changing the hardware or software or settings on a Library computer, or using a Library computer for a purpose other than that designated by the Library.
  • Engaging in any activity in violation of federal, state, local, or other applicable law or Library policies.

 Please also be aware that:

  • The Library is not responsible for personal items that are lost, stolen, or damaged on Library premises.
  • Visitors are not permitted to bring any large bags, bags with wheels, or shopping carts into the Library.
  • Library security and staff can inspect any of your property when you come in or leave.
  • You must wear clothing and shoes in the Library, and your body odor must not be so offensive that it disturbs others.
  • Some items in the Library cannot be copied because of copyright laws, poor condition, or donor restrictions.
  • The Library is not responsible for children who are left unattended on Library premises; please see the Library’s “Unattended Children Policy.”
  • Library staff and security officers can ask visitors to show their Library cards or other ID at any time.
  • Large groups that want to visit the Library have to get permission before they visit.
  • Photography and recording are not allowed on Library premises without prior permission.
  • Certain reading rooms and other Library spaces have additional restrictions.

Visitors with disabilities may ask Library staff for reasonable accommodations.

Visitors who do not follow the Library’s General Rules and Regulations can be asked to leave and can lose their Library privileges. They can also be arrested or be subject to other legal action.

Last Revised 6/4/2010
 


Unattended Children Policy

The New York Public Library is dedicated to providing a welcoming environment that encourages children to visit the Library, use Library collections and services, and attend Library programs. Library staff are available to assist and support children with their use of Library resources. However, the Library is not responsible for children who are left unattended on Library premises. Unattended children are children of any age who are apparently unaccompanied by a parent, guardian, and/or responsible caregiver in the Library.

Parents, guardians and/or caregivers are solely responsible for the safety and behavior of their children. They are advised that children, like all Library users, are expected to comply with the Library’s “General Rules and Regulations” and a child who violates those rules may be asked to leave Library premises. Parents, guardians and/or caregivers must inform themselves as to scheduled Library closing times and be aware that a Library facility sometimes may have to close unexpectedly due to emergencies or safety issues. It is the responsibility of parents, guardians and/or caregivers to let their children know what they should do if they must leave the Library.

Library staff may call the police or other appropriate City agency if a child is left unattended when a Library facility closes or if a child otherwise appears to be at risk.

Last Revised 11/25/2008


Regulations for Attendance at Library Public Programs

As part of its mission to assure open access to information and the exchange of ideas, The New York Public Library, a non-governmental tax-exempt organization, (the “Library”) sponsors a robust series of public programs in its various circulating and research library venues. The objective of these programs is to offer to the public an opportunity to hear and experience presentations and discussions of timely and interesting topics with participants who represent a broad range of viewpoints. All members of the public are welcome to attend the Library’s public programs, subject to any occupancy limits and, where applicable, ticketing requirements. In order to maintain an environment conducive to the purpose of the programs, all attendees must comply with the following regulations:

  • All Library users and program attendees must comply the Library’s General Rules and Regulations as well as rules applicable to a particular venue (e.g., bag check requirements) or to a particular program (e.g., prohibitions on photography or recording).
  • Persons shall not be allowed to enter meeting rooms once the legal occupancy limit has been reached.
  • For pre-ticketed events, attendees will only be admitted upon the presentation of a valid ticket.
  • The Library does not permit:
    • distribution of pamphlets or fliers within Library premises unless such materials have been approved in advance by the Library;
    • carrying or displaying signs, posters or placards within Library premises;
    • actions that will block access or egress to Library premises or create safety hazards;
    • actions that would disrupt a program or obscure a presenter from the audience’s view or prevent the audience from hearing the presenter;
    • any use of force or violence damaging to property or threatening or intimidating to any person or group.
  • The Library recognizes and supports the rights of attendees and other members of the public to exercise their rights of freedom of speech and peaceable assembly. Accordingly, picketing and distribution of literature in a traditional public forum (generally the sidewalk) outside Library premises may be conducted so long as it does not interfere with access or egress, is not disruptive to the activities within the Library, and is otherwise undertaken in accordance with any applicable local permitting and public assembly laws and regulations. Organizers of demonstrations adjacent to Library facilities are requested to inform the Library 48 hours in advance so the Library may put in place any necessary arrangements, including safety and security measures.

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in expulsion from a Library program or facility, suspension of library privileges and/or arrest and prosecution to the full extent of the law.

The Library reserves the right to amend these regulations from time to time.

Last Revised 7/28/2010

WHY WE FIGHT: HIV and AIDS in New York City Neighborhoods - Call for Artists, Writers, and Activists

Opportunity to study and collaborate with artist, writer, and activist Avram Finkelstein.

In conjunction with the WHY WE FIGHT: Remembering AIDS Activism exhibition, The New York Public Library will be hosting a project to create site-specific installations in four library branches—across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—that explore the ways that HIV and AIDS are currently affecting these local New York City communities. The Library is putting out a call 

Read More ›
24 Frames per Second

24 Frames per Second

Everything and anything to do with with film and film programs at the New York Public Library.

Across A Crowded Room
Africa and the African Diaspora

Africa and the African Diaspora

The history and culture of Africans and African descendants around the world.

Archives

Archives: Out of the Box

This blog channel explores the library’s world-class and ever-growing archival holdings. We’ll examine these unique materials and the works produced by researchers consulting them. Open the box and delve into the archives with us!

Barrier-Free Library

Barrier-Free Library

The New York Public Library strives for total accessibility, no matter what our differences may be. Join us as we move down the path toward that goal.

Blog en Español

Blog en Español

Blog en Español incluye una serie selectiva de listas de libros nuevos en español de ficción y no ficción (Novedades), y otras listas conmemorativas y festivas de obras que pueden estar disponibles en diferentes formatos de audio, video y electrónico, además de información sobre programas y servicios ofrecidos en la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva York.

Community Information

Community Information

Resources and services for residents of the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. Can't find what you need? Also try the Community Information Search in NYPL's Best of the Web.

eReading Room

eReading Room: The future of books at NYPL

There are so many new ways to access books and other digital reading matter on personal computers and portable devices. How to keep up? Library staff offer tips and tricks to get the most out of free ebooks online and our own eNYPL services, and share occasional thoughts on the future of reading.

Facing the Page

Facing the Page: Adult Learning Centers

Exploring adult literacy at the library. The voices and experiences of students and volunteer tutors at our Adult Learning Centers.

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Uncovering the edible NYPL in books, menus, and ephemera.

For Teachers

For Teachers

This blog highlights the opportunities and resources for teachers that are available throughout the the NYPL system. Learn more about our primary sources, professional development opportunities and student learning experiences. Let NYPL help you reach your teaching and learning goals!

Freedom of Thought

Freedom of Thought

Reflections on the work of NYPL Correctional Services, promoting access to knowledge for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in our communities.

Hand-Made

Hand-Made

Are you interested in sewing and knitting, book arts and letterpress printing, traditional crafts and the new DIY, sewists of yesterday and today, vintage-inspired design, and all things handmade? Then join in the conversation at Hand-Made. We'll share information on unique items from the Library's collections as well as details on Library events that cater to the curious crafter in us all.

Inside NYPL

Inside NYPL

Dig deeper into NYPL and learn about new programs, projects, and services for patrons of all ages.

Je vois la vie en blogue… @vec NYPL

Je vois la vie en blogue… @vec NYPL

Bonjour francophones et francophiles new-yorkais! Bloguons en français avec la Bibliothèque publique de New York.

Bienvenus à ce nouvel espace dans le Web où toutes les personnes intéressées de célébrer les cultures francophones sont invitées à partager des idées et opinions sur différents sujets, soit en littérature, histoire, musique, événements, faits divers et plusieurs autres thèmes.

Job Search Central

Job Search Central: Looking for Work?

Let the Library guide your search for employment with everything from resume help to databases to classes.

LGBT@NYPL

LGBT@NYPL

Connecting you with the LGBT collections, programs, and expertise that The New York Public Library has to offer.

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning

Part of NYPL's Mission is to inspire lifelong learning. No matter your age, where you are in life or what new thing you are trying to learn, you can follow this channel to get suggested resources as well as support and inspiration.

LIVE from the NYPL

LIVE from the NYPL

The before and afterlife of LIVE events. Learn about speakers, get background readings, interviews, clips and more. The conversation about the conversation.

Musical of the Month

Musical of the Month

Each month, a libretto of an important early American musical in a variety of electronic formats, plus associated photographs, vocal scores, and the occasional audio file.

My Library

My Library

Who I am.
Why I use the library.
...And what keeps me coming back.

Next Chapter

Next Chapter: A 50+ Library Blog

Don't despair if you are a Boomer, or a Silent, or a Greatest — the public library is with you every step of the way! This channel covers services, programs and other items of interest for the active older adult.

NYC Neighborhoods

NYC Neighborhoods

Five boroughs, 300 square miles, 6,375 miles of streets, 8.3 million people... hundreds of neighborhoods.

This channel covers the history, culture, people, hustle and bustle and goings-on of New York City.

NYPL Labs

NYPL Labs

NYPL Labs is an experimental technology unit that works closely with curators to create tools that expand the range of interaction, interpretation and reuse of research library collections and data. Learn more

Paperless Research

Paperless Research

The New York Public Library subscribes to hundreds of online databases and other information tools. Some are available onsite while others can be accessed at home using your library card number. This blog channel offers tips and tricks on getting the most out of online resources.

Periodically Speaking

Periodically Speaking

A reading series providing a major venue for emerging writers to present their work while emphasizing the diversity of America’s literary magazines and the magazine collections of The New York Public Library. Each event presents writers from three influential literary magazines—one poet, one fiction writer, one nonfiction writer—introduced by their editors. This blog provides coverage and context around Periodically Speaking events.

Poetry Month

Poetry Month

Each April, librarians throughout NYPL post readings, discussions and events celebrating National Poetry Month, a time when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.

Popular Music

Popular Music

Libraries are thought of as quiet places, but that doesn't mean the NYPL doesn't know how to rock out. This channel will highlight popular music found in the library's collections.

Preservation

Preservation

News about the Library's preservation efforts and information for those interested in preserving their own collections. About the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation Division.

Reader’s Den

Reader’s Den

The Reader’s Den is an online book discussion group offering library readers with busy lifestyles a convenient way to connect with books and The New York Public Library.  This virtual discussion is accessible 24/7 and gives readers an opportunity to spark insightful discussions with the surrounding community by reading at his or her own pace.

The NYPL Broadcast

The NYPL Broadcast

The NYPL Broadcast serves up the latest in audio and video recordings made at The New York Public Library, everything from short profiles of our staff and collections, to full-length recordings of our LIVE from the NYPL, KidsLive and TeenLIVE programs.

The Ticketless Traveler

The Ticketless Traveler

Travel the world without leaving your chair with these book, film and music recommendations.

Three Faiths

Three Faiths

Librarians, curators, programmers, educators, and users share their thoughts on faith, and discuss the Library's Three Faiths exhibition. Check here regularly from October to February 2011 for: behind-the-scenes glimpses at the making of the exhibition; art, literature, and music at the intersection of Judiasm, Christianity, and Islam; lively discussions about the similarities and differences among these three religions... And more!

Vandamm

Vandamm

This blog channel is inspired by the exhibition at the Library for the Performing Arts, Poet of Light: Florence Vandamm & the Vandamm Studio, which is on view from September 2013 through February 2014. The exhibition samples the photographs, key sheets and negatives are becoming available on the Digital Gallery.

Women's History Month

Women's History Month

In honor of Women's History Month, each March, NYPL librarians present a monthlong series of posts highlighting the many amazing women they've discovered through the print and online resources of The New York Public Library.

All Possible Worlds

All Possible Worlds: Conversations on Voltaire's 'Candide'

Based in the recently closed exhibition Candide at 250: Scandal and Success, this blog traces the vectors Voltaire's book has taken through the popular and scholarly imagination. Posts frequently reference passages and commentaries in an experimental online edition, Candide 2.0. Learn more...

Design by the Book

Design by the Book

Mining the Library's collections for art and craft inspiration.

Duke Jazz Series

Duke Jazz Series

Coverage and context on The Duke Jazz Series and Talks at the Library for the Performing Arts.

Haiti

Haiti

NYPL resources on the history, culture and geography of Haiti, and information on rebuilding and relief efforts in the aftermath of the January, 2010 earthquake.

The Great American Revue

The Great American Revue

Revues and other topical popular entertainment of the early 20th century.