Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

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The UMBC Library is committed to providing a comfortable research and study environment free of disruption, noise and other impediments to the success of Library users. Accordingly, the following rules have been developed in consultation with the Library Policy Committee, the Student Government Association, the Graduate Student Association, Campus Counsel, and individual members of the campus community.

The Food and Drink section of this policy is adopted as long as the policy is followed and the library remains clean.  If problems related to messiness, cleanliness, damaged materials or equipment,or other complaints arise, this section of the policy may be revised or revoked without notice.

FOOD and DRINK (drink in covered containers) is permitted in the AOK Library and the RLC with the following restrictions:

  • Areas where "NO FOOD OR DRINK" is posted, including:
    • Instruction room (259) and the Digital Media Lab.
    • Special Collections Reading Room and the Gallery.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at all times.
  • Parties anywhere are prohibited, except events sponsored by the Library or scheduled and catered through the Campus, within guidelines for such meetings.
  • Cooking or preparing meals, or food equipment anywhere is prohibited.
  • Food deliveries beyond the Atrium is prohibited.
  • Food at or near specialized equipment such as photocopiers, printers, and microform readers is prohibited.

Out of consideration for other users, please:

  • Clean up accidents or spills and dispose of trash and recyclables in appropriate containers.
  • Inform library staff if there is a spill, to ensure damage is avoided.
  • Clean spills immediately with paper towels, which are available in the restrooms.
  • Take special care of food and drink in proximity to computers and other electronic devices.
  • Keep food and drink covered except while consuming.



In accordance with State law, lighted smoking materials are not permitted anywhere in the building. Use of chewing tobacco is also prohibited.  UMBC has adopted a campus-wide smoke free policy.  For further details on this policy please see  


Out-loud study at reasonable non-disruptive volumes, discussion level instruction, etc., are permitted in the following designated areas only: the Entry Atrium, the circulation lobby, Reference Room, areas immediately around service desks and staff areas, the waiting area in front of the Administrative Offices, the areas around the double elevators, except on floors 5 and 6, in study rooms with doors closed and areas in which scheduled receptions or lectures are occurring.

All other areas of the Library & Gallery are quiet areas where all conversations must be no louder than a whisper volume.

Use of cell phones is permitted within the Library, except on the 5th and 6th floors where they must be turned off. Such use must, however, conform to the quiet rules articulated herein. Ringers must be turned off or set to vibrate.


To accommodate users who need a completely quiet study environment, the Library has designated the fifth and sixth floors as "absolutely quiet" floors. The quiet rules for these floors are more stringent and are more stringently enforced. If you cannot abide by these more stringent rules, please avoid these floors.

  • No talking above a whisper anywhere on the floor, including study rooms.
  • No extended conversations, even at a whisper.
  • No use of cell phones whatsoever.
  • No other noise sources are permitted on the floor.

Special enforcement provisions for the "absolutely quiet floors":

  • There will be periodic walkthroughs by Library staff to enforce quiet and other Library rules.
  • Library staff will respond promptly to requests for enforcement from users.
  • Library staff will require first time violators to show identification, and their names will be logged.
  • All violators of absolutely quiet floor rules will be given copies of the "Library Rules."
  • Second time violators will be asked to leave the library for the remainder of the day of the violation. If they do not cooperate, campus police will be called.
  • Third time student violators will be referred to the judicial board; third time faculty or staff violators will be reported to the campus administration; non-UMBC third time violators will be banned from the Library for one year.
  • Library users are urged to report violations to the Security Desk at ext. 52331 or Circulation Department staff at ext. 52354.



"Disruptive" behaviors are those behaviors which substantially interfere with the ability of staff or users to carry out their legitimate Library tasks efficiently in the building. Hazardous and damaging behaviors are disruptive. The limit of the right to use the building shall in general be that which is implied by the rights of others to their use. Respect for others' right to use the Library unimpeded is required of all users.

Disruptive behavior is, of course, not permitted in the Library. Enforcement will normally proceed as it would for other infractions, but in extreme cases Campus Police involvement and expulsion from the building would be required for a first infraction.


These spaces are open 24 hours per day, year round, regardless of weather. For safety and security purposes, they are equipped with surveillance cameras and emergency phones. While they are not quiet areas, noise must still be kept to a minimum since these spaces are often a "study hall of last resort" for many UMBC students. Disruption of other users' studies is not permitted.

The Library Atrium and the RLC are reserved for the use of UMBC faculty, students and staff, and their guests, when the Library is closed.


Periodic patrols are undertaken of various areas, especially the fifth and sixth floors, as staffing permits. Copies of this pamphlet will be available to library users at the Security Desk and other locations throughout the building.

In addition, complaints that library users are drinking, eating, smoking, causing disruption or making noise will ordinarily be referred to the security guard on duty for action. If no security guard is available or if a substitute cannot be provided to enable the guard to leave the exit, other staff members who can leave their posts will act on complaints. Action may be delayed due to such staffing considerations.

All Library & Gallery staff are charged to act against violations of this guideline as they come to their attention:

  1. When a Library staff member becomes aware of a violation of this guideline, he or she will approach the violator(s) and explain the Library's rules. If the violator cooperates and corrects the violation, no further action is taken except on the "absolutely quiet" floors where special procedures apply (see above).
  2. If the violator does not cooperate or fails to correct the problem, the staff member will then record the offender's name and other identifying information (using the ID card), the date, and detail the location and nature of the incident. If the staff member did not witness the behavior at issue (for example excessive noise), the complainants' names should be carefully noted. A standard form (see Appendix A attached) is used to record each incident. The forms are submitted the next business day to the Library Administrative offices.
  3. If violator refuses to supply positive ID upon request or otherwise indicates continuing unwillingness to comply with directions given in accordance with this guideline, staff should seek assistance from campus police (x53313). This should be noted on the incident report form.
  4. Administrative office staff maintain files of such incidents which they review for repeat offenses.
  5. Upon a second or subsequent such violation by the same perpetrator, staff may determine to eject the violator for the remainder of the business day. A third violation should be reported as such to the Director or a designee (through the incident report form, providing all information required by the form) who will determine whether to refer the matter to the Judicial Board (or other body if the offender is not a student) under appropriate section(s) of the UMBC Student Conduct Code.

1/23/04, rev. 8/4/09, 12/9/09, ed. LW 8/29/12, MD 07/02/13; food and drink trial revisions 12/3/13 LD, ed. LW 12/4/13,12/23/13, 3/29/16