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Library Policies

User Conduct Policy

Users of the David L. Rice library are expected to treat library staff, fellow users, library materials, and facilities with courtesy and respect. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Wearing appropriate attire including shirts and shoes at all times.
  • Cell phones must be set to silent or vibrate, and should be used in designated areas only. (Central stairwell, and Starbuck's seating area)
  • Refraining from defacing materials (books, videos, periodicals, etc.) or facilities with pencil, ink, markers, adhesive notes, tape, paper clips, etc.
  • Refraining from tearing or cutting pages from materials.
  • Refraining from taking materials from the library without first checking them out.
  • Refraining from disruptive behavior.
  • Refraining from any activity that violates other university rules and regulations.
  • Displaying, scanning, or printing pornographic or potentially offensive material is strictly prohibited.
  • Music may not be played at a sound level which is audible to any other person. You must be wearing headphones/ear buds and have the volume adjusted so others cannot hear the sound.
  • Conversations should be quiet and should not disturb others.
  • Group study rooms are intended for 2 or more users. Please be considerate of those using neighboring rooms.
  • USI is a tobacco free campus. Smoking, the use of tobacco or tobacco products, and e-cigarettes are prohibited.

Reviewed: November 2018
Responsible Unit: Administration

Soliciting in the Library

Per university policy, unauthorized individuals, entities or their representatives may not engage in sales, peddling, soliciting, distributing, or posting of any materials, or use equipment or networks owned/operated by the University without written permission of the president of the University or designee. For more information, visit USI's Campus Solicitation Policy.

Food & Drink Policy

Only covered drinks are allowed in the library. While small food items such as candy bars, granola bars, etc. are allowed, food such as sandwiches, hot food, fast food, pizza, etc. are to be eaten in the lobby/hall/Starbucks areas only.

  • Do not bring aromatic or messy food items into any area of the library.
  • Please do not place drinks close to computer workstations or bring them into University Archives and Special Collections.
  • Please report any major spills to Checkout or call 812-464-1913 for immediate clean-up.
  • Please dispose of trash in the wastebaskets. 

Reviewed: November 2018
Responsible Unit: Administration

Children in the Library

To ensure the safety of all patrons and employees in the building and to facilitate the pursuit of its education and research missions, we ask that all children under the age of 16 be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

  • If a child with an adult behaves inappropriately, library staff may inform the adult that the child should be supervised more closely.
  • Children are not allowed to use library computers without direct supervision of a parent or guardian.
  •  If an un-attended child is found in the library, staff will attempt to contact the child's parent or guardian.  If this is not possible, Public Safety will be contacted.

Reviewed January 2019
Responsible Unit: Administration

Filming in the Library

News media are permitted to enter public areas of the University campus, but are encouraged to first contact USI's University Communications staff prior to visiting campus. While on USI property, media representatives should be accompanied by a member of the University Communications staff. Employees who see unaccompanied media on campus are asked to contact University Communications. 812-228-5157 or 812-461-5259

Individuals who are not representing news media wishing to film (including still photographs or any kind of image gathering device) inside the library must request permission from Library Administration or the senior Checkout staff member. The library reserves the right to deny permission to film.  The intent is to protect the rights and privacy of individuals using the library to work or study. If permission to film is granted, it is done only with the provision that the filmmaker asks - the least disruptive manner possible - permission of everyone who will be filmed.  Anyone has the right to refuse to be filmed, and this must be honored by the filmmaker.

Full news media policy for USI employees is located at:

Reviewed March 2022
Responsible Unit: Administration

Closing Procedures

Closing procedures begin one hour before the library's stated closing time when staff will lock empty study rooms and labs. Closing announcements requesting patrons exit the building begin 30 minutes before the closing hour. Staff conduct a final sweep of the building after the final exit reminder, then secure the building as closed.

Reviewed October 2021
Responsible Unit: Checkout

Emergency communication

Library staff are able to alert patrons through a library-wide public address system when  immediate safety instructions must be delivered due to weather emergencies or crisis situations. 

USI Public Safety maintains 24-hour, seven-day-a-week security coverage of the campus. They provide safety and security for all employees, students, and guests of the campus. Additionally, security staff are trained in first aid and other emergency procedures. They may be reached by calling 812-464-1845 or 812-492-7777 or the final four digits of those phone numbers from any campus phone.

The library's nearest campus phone is located in the in the Starbucks hallway of the Rice Library building. This phone is for campus calls only and requires the final four digits of any campus phone number to reach the intended party. 

Reviewed October 2021
Responsible Unit: Checkout

Inclement Weather Policy

The Library is considered an Essential Building to be open when classes are canceled along with the University being closed for Inclement Weather.

When this happens, the library will be in contact with University officials and determine the shortened hours of operation. Hours of operation will depend on the time of day the closing is announced and the availability of staff.  Hours will be posted on the University's Emergency Information Web page along with the Library's web page.

If weather conditions deteriorate during the posted hours of operation and staff is advised to close earlier, announcements will be made on the library's PA system.

Reviewed February 2019
Responsible Unit: Administration