Rules of Conduct for Readers in the All Souls College Library

These rules are effective from 15 September 2023.


  1. In these rules “material” means any material, including electronic material, owned by or in the possession or custody of the All Souls College Library.
  2. All Readers in the All Souls College Library are deemed to be bound by the current rules of conduct.
  3. For the purposes of these rules, “Reader” refers to anyone who successfully applied directly to the Library to use the collections and facilities, and has confirmation of registered status. “Visitor” refers to a permitted user of the All Souls College Library.
  4. Readership in the All Souls College Library is not transferable and does not expire. Access to the Library is renewed periodically.

Admission and access to the Library

  1. A University or Library card, registered and activated on the All Souls College door entry system, is required to enter the All Souls College Library.
  2. The registered card is for the exclusive use of the individual to whom it was issued. Readers may not lend their card to anyone else for access to the Library.
  3. A registered card must be carried at all times while using the Library and must be shown to any member of Library Staff who requests to see it. If a Reader does not show their card they will be asked to leave the Library.
  4. Should a Reader’s name or contact details change, or if their card is lost or stolen, they must inform the Library immediately.
  5. Readers must observe all rules and instructions relating to the introduction, deposit, and inspection of bags and cases.
  6. Readers must familiarise themselves with and observe the rules and procedures.
  7. Registered Readers may not bring any guests or tour groups into the Library.
  8. Children and young people under 18 years of age are not normally admitted as Readers.
  9. Animals may not be brought into the Library, except for assistance dogs.
  10. Readers must follow all emergency procedures, including evacuation in the event of a fire or fire drill. Failure to do so may result in loss of Reader status.
  11. Readers must leave the Library premises by the stated closing time.
  12. Readers must follow all other reasonable requests made by Library Staff.

Consideration of others

Staff, Readers, and visitors must be able to work comfortably in the All Souls College Library without disturbance to others and in an environment that is conducive to study. Therefore:

  1. Treat Library Staff and other Readers with courtesy and respect at all times. Do not behave in a way that causes or is likely to cause inconvenience, annoyance, or offence to other Readers, visitors, or members of Library Staff.
  2. Do not engage in the harassment of any other Reader, member of Library Staff, or other visitor. All Readers must abide by the University Policy and Procedure on Harassment.
  3. Readers must show due regard for their own safety and that of other Readers, visitors, and Library Staff.
  4. Readers must not endanger the safety or well-being of any other Reader, member of Library Staff, or visitor by engaging in disorderly, threatening, or offensive behaviour.
  5. Consider other Readers and behave in a way that does not disturb them. Computers, mobile phones, pagers and other equipment must be on silent and sound from headphones must be inaudible to other Readers.
  6. Readers may not take photographs in the Library (including selfies), except for pages of modern books as allowed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Readers may not take photographs of special collection materials. These can be requested from the Librarian-in-Charge.
  7. All Souls College operates a no smoking policy in all areas. Smoking and use of other devices (including vapes or e-cigarettes) is strictly prohibited in the Library, following the University Statement of no smoking. Cigarettes and other devices must not be used near doors, windows or in other locations where vapours could become a nuisance to others.
  8. Readers must treat as confidential any information (such as information about other Readers) which may become available to them through the use of Library facilities and which is not clearly intended for unrestricted dissemination; such information must not be copied, modified, disseminated, or used either in whole or in part without the permission of the All Souls College Library or other person or body entitled to give it.
  9. If Readers observe breaches or attempted breaches of these rules of conduct, they are asked to report them to Library Staff and not intervene themselves.

Use of library material

  1. All books in the All Souls College Library are reference only. No books may be removed from the Library by Readers.
  2. The Law collection in the Anson Room is on open shelves. Readers can take material in the Anson Room off the shelves without the assistance of the Library Staff but they cannot remove it from the Library.
  3. Apart from material in the Anson Room, all other modern books must be requested from Library Staff. The request can be placed online in advance or in person when in the Library.
  4. Special collection materials must be requested in advance, by email sent to the Librarian-in-Charge, and are available by appointment only.
  5. Library material and equipment is the responsibility of a Reader at all times when they are using it, or until they have returned any requested items to the Library Staff. Readers must protect material or equipment issued to them and must not damage it or expose it to hazardous conditions.
  6. Special collection materials must be handled in accordance with guidance from the Librarian-in-Charge and/or other members of Library Staff.
  7. Readers must familiarise themselves with and abide by the terms of all licence conditions and permissions when using electronic material owned by or in the possession or custody of the All Souls College Library.
  8. Readers may only make copies from modern Library material as allowed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print works) Regulations 2013 and as amended by any subsequent legislation. In practice, this means that Readers are allowed to copy one chapter or 5% of a work, whichever is greater; or one article from any one issue of a journal; or a poem or short story of up to ten pages from an anthology, as long as these are used for private study or research for a non-commercial purpose. Readers can request scans and photocopies using the online form.
  9. Readers must not use library facilities, including IT or network facilities, either for private profit or commercial purposes without specific authorisation from the All Souls College Library.
  10. All Readers and visitors are bound by the University’s Computing Rules.
  11. Readers must follow all specified procedures for taking material from the shelves, requesting, or downloading material.
  12. Readers must not pass items requested by them to another person. Neither should they use items requested by another Reader.

Looking after library material

The Library, All Souls College, has a responsibility and duty to preserve its collections for current and future users. Theft or deliberate or reckless damage of Library material are criminal offences and may result in prosecution.

  1. Readers must not write in, mark, or otherwise deface or damage Library material or equipment in any way.
  2. No food or beverages are allowed in the Library, except for still water in a clear plastic bottle with a secured lid, left on the floor when not in use.

Breaches of rules of conduct

The purpose of imposing a sanction is to make clear to the Reader that breach or attempted breach of the rules is unacceptable, and/or to protect the wellbeing of Readers, Library Staff, and visitors and/or the material of the Library.

The All Souls College Library grants access to its facilities and services subject to acceptance by the Reader of the associated rules of conduct. Sanctions, including the withdrawal of access and services, may be imposed on Readers who breach or attempt to breach these rules. Further, the All Souls College Library may suspend access and services whilst allegations of breach or attempted breach of the rules of conduct are investigated and determined.

  1. Readers are responsible for the costs of making good any materials lost or damaged by them, including administrative and replacement costs.
  2. Readers are responsible for reimbursing the costs or charges, including administrative costs, incurred by the All Souls College Library through breach or attempted breach of these rules.
  3. All All Souls College Library Staff have a responsibility to ensure that Readers and visitors abide by the rules of conduct and, if necessary, to report incidents to their recommender, College, Department, or Faculty, as appropriate.