The Samuel C. Williams Library is a research and study facility for the Stevens Institute of Technology community.  Stevens is a private university; its facilities, including the Library, have the primary purpose of supporting Stevens’ educational and research programs. 

Library Use Policy

Access to and use of the Library is a privilege extended to the members of the Stevens community of students, faculty, and staff.  Access to the Library, its services, and resources by visitors is limited to meeting a specific need for the scholarly, research, or educational materials and services available in the Library.  

The following principles guide service provision to all users of the Samuel C. Williams Library:


Library users will interact with mutual respect and consideration.

Library users will:

  • Respect private and university property.
  • Abide by all university and library policies, licensing, and contractual agreements.  The University Policy Library provides a compilation of regulations and policies approved by the University.
  • Comply with all requests made by library staff.
  • Swipe their Stevens ID card upon entering the Library.  To replace lost ID cards, library users should visit the Campus Card Office.  Alumni must obtain Alumni ID cards from the Office of Alumni Engagement.  Alumni must sign in at the Circulation Services Desk in addition to presenting their Alumni ID card.

  • Show valid identification upon request.
  • Use the Library resources (content, equipment, or facilities) safely and appropriately.
  • Clean up all food trash and place it in the appropriate trash and recycling receptacles.
  • Report food or drink spills to the library staff immediately.
  • Return library materials and equipment on time.  Circulating items that are not returned on time are subject to fines.  Details are available in the Borrow and Renew section of the Library website
  • Place furniture back where it was found and refrain from moving furniture to other floors of the building.
  • Place books on reshelving carts following in-library use of books.

Priority of use

  • Current Stevens students, faculty, and staff have priority access to physical and electronic resources, including computer equipment and facilities.
  • Visitors may be asked to relinquish computers or resources to Stevens students, faculty, or staff at any time.
  • Some computers may provide access to unique or specific resources.  Use of these resources takes priority over other activities on these computers.  These machines may have posted special access rules.
  • Library resources and computers are primarily for academic use.  Recreational use is permitted but during peak library use periods, priority use is given to non-recreational use of library resources and computers.
  • Due to limited seating during peak library use periods, students will not leave their belongings unattended on study tables, carrels, and seats.  If belongings are left unattended for more than 15 minutes, the library staff will place an informational card on the items to notify the library user of this policy.  Library users who continue to leave their belongings unattended for more than 15 minutes will risk the loss of library use privileges.

Limits of use

The following are prohibited:

  • Behaviors that threaten personal safety or the security of personal or university property.
  • Behaviors that violate the Stevens Policy on Discrimination and Harassment 
  • Behaviors that interfere with the activities of other library users or staff, including but not limited to excessive noise, mobile phones, music, hostility, and consumption of food and drink near library equipment and materials.  
  • Behaviors that violate the Stevens Information Technology Use Policy 
  • Tampering with computers, equipment, facilities, or any other Library resources; this includes installing or downloading software or adding hardware to library computers.
  • Smoking or vaping inside the Library and near Library entrances or windows.
  • Use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs.
  • Animals.
  • Use of skates, skateboards, hoverboards, bicycles, scooters.  These items must be stowed in a manner to avoid trip and fall hazards.

 The Samuel C. Williams Library may limit or refuse access to individuals or groups who fail to comply with these guidelines.  Interpretation of policies or guidelines is at the discretion of the Library staff.


This policy has been adapted from the MIT Libraries: Library Use Policy through a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.

This policy was drafted in March-April 2016 by the Library Advisory Board, a group formed in January 2016 comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students, and library staff members.