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Reading Room Policies

Our collections include many rare and fragile materials. The Libraries ask that you abide by a few general rules, listed below, to help ensure that our books are available for future use.

Note: If you plan to use any of the archival collections, you will also be asked to follow the Archives Access Policies.

General Policies

  • Coats, jackets, and umbrellas must be checked at the Museum coatroom prior to entering the Libraries, as must all backpacks and any bags larger than 13 x 17 inches. Staff at the Museum coatroom can provide you with a courtesy bag to transport research materials on request.
  • No food or drink is allowed inside the Libraries.
  • Please turn off or silence your cell phone while using the library.
  • All briefcases, bags, parcels, satchels, and loose books and papers will be inspected when leaving the Libraries.
  • Only pencils may be used in the Reading Room and the book stacks. Use of pens, ink, markers and erasable ink is not permitted.
  • Tracing from or writing on library materials is not permitted.
  • Do not write on books, mark pages, or use Post-Its on library materials.
  • Laptops may be used in the Reading Room. Wired internet connections are available. Wireless is also supported.

Photography Policies

  • The use of personal scanners is not allowed in the Libraries.
  • The use of professional photography equipment, including tripods, lighting equipment, and copy stands, is not permitted in the Libraries.
  • Digital photography of non-archival items is permitted, but please turn off the camera’s flash.
  • Archival materials may not be photographed without consulting the Reference Desk staff and completing the Permission to Photograph Archival Collections form (available at the Reference Desk). The following collections may not be photographed for any reason without the explicit permission of the Archives staff or the Library Director: Barbara Crane Collection, Fazlur R. Khan Collection, Irving Penn Collection, and any restricted or unprocessed archival materials.
  • Photocopying and photography services are available. Please see the Reference Desk for assistance.

Requesting Materials

  • Readers are not admitted to the book stacks, and materials do not circulate outside the Reading Room. All books other than those in the Reading Room must be requested through the Circulation Desk by using call slips.  Materials are paged from the stacks until one hour prior to closing.
  • After locating records in the catalog, fill out a separate call slip for each item desired. Blank call slips are located by the computers and at the Circulation and Reference Desks.
  • No more than five items may be requested from the stacks at a time.
  • Special collections and archival materials must be viewed at the Special Collections table.
    See Also: Archives Access Policies
  • Library materials may be put on reserve at the Circulation Desk.