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Building Use Policies for Visitors

Steenbock Library Building Use Policies for Visitors 

April 3, 2018

Use of Library Facilities

Use of university and library facilities such as Steenbock Library is governed by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System under the Wisconsin Administrative Code, Chapter UWS 18, as well as additional policies and guidelines from various UW-Madison units with space use and building operations responsibilities. (https://www.wisc.edu/policies/) (https://www.vc.wisc.edu/vcfa-administered-policies/facilities-use/)

Code of Conduct

Users of Steenbock Library are expected to follow the UW-Madison Libraries Code of Conduct. The Code is posted at Steenbock’s main entrance and in the Teaching Annex.

“The UW-Madison Libraries support the teaching, research, and outreach mission of the university by providing access to and delivery of information. To that end the libraries acquire, organize, make accessible, and preserve sources of knowledge in all formats. They also provide instruction on how to find and evaluate knowledge resources. The libraries provide safe, respectful environments for collaborative and individual study and learning.”

Entrance Policies

Steenbock Library serves the library and research needs of University of Wisconsin students, staff and faculty.  Members of the public not affiliated with the University of Wisconsin are also welcome to use Steenbock Library for research and study.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Libraries are dedicated to the principles and practices of social justice, diversity, and equality among our staff, collections, and services. The UW–Madison Libraries will continue to look for ways to eliminate undue hardship for the patrons who use our collections, services, and facilities. We will continue to work to ensure we provide welcoming and inclusive surroundings for all who wish to take advantage of our spaces and services. Actions meant to hurt, alienate, or divide this community will not be tolerated. Please report incidents of bias or hate to Library staff or on the campus online report here: https://students.wisc.edu/doso/services/bias-reporting-process.


In addition to library and other policies noted above, computer use in the library is covered by the UW-Madison Office of the CIO Policies, including the Responsible Use of Information Technology Policy and Guest NetID Policy.  Patrons must adhere to these guidelines.

Most computers on 2nd floor, all in the 1st floor Teaching Annex, and those in 1st floor group study rooms have been purchased with designated tuition fees. Therefore, the computers are reserved for the use of UW-Madison students, faculty and staff and require a valid UW-Madison login for use.  Use of Guest NetIDs with these computers is allowed based on the user’s affiliation with campus and their business need to access certain applications, services and data.  Use of Guest NetIDs for purposes other than described in the CIO Policies is not allowed on these computers.

Research Help (public) computers on 2nd floor are primarily for doing library research. Priority is given to those using information sources accessible from campus library web pages. Limited personal or recreational use of these computers, such as checking email, is considered reasonable for a brief period of time, generally for no longer than 30 minutes.  Stand-up/kiosk computers on 1st and 2nd floor are intended to be used for quick searching. The kiosk computers also do not require a UW-Madison login and are available to the public for short-term use, generally for no longer than 15 minutes. We reserve the right to limit patrons’ use of public computers for non-library research purposes.

Room Reservations

Primary rooms available for reservation include:

Learn more about the available spaces on the Steenbock Library Rooms to Reserve page.


Rooms may be reserved at no charge during hours the library is open for group events so long as they comply with building use policies.  Please keep noise at levels designated appropriate for the space and when applicable, keep doors closed as much as possible to reduce noise carrying into adjacent areas.

Food and beverages are allowed at events but must be served in an area agreed upon by the library and event organizers (1st floor vending area, inside conference room, etc.)  Advanced notice of food / beverages being served is appreciated so adequate trash cans, cleaning supplies, etc., may be provided.  Organizers of events where food is served are responsible for completely cleaning up the areas used, including table surfaces, and disposing of trash and recyclables in appropriate containers.

Event set-up and takedown are the responsibility of the event organizers.  Any specialized requests for altering the space or equipment should be discussed with appropriate library staff ahead of the event.    When applicable, furniture and other equipment should be returned to the preferred arrangement posted in the area.  If setup or takedown times fall when the building is normally closed, access to the space must be pre-arranged with library staff.

Requests for exceptional uses of library spaces (e.g. advanced reservation, full day events, use of multiple rooms simultaneously, etc.) will be referred to the Head of the Library for consideration on a case-by-case basis.

Unattended Children

Children may not be left unattended in the Library. Parents/caregivers must be present at all times and must supervise, guide and control the behavior of children accompanying them to the Library.

Food & Beverages

Food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted in all areas of Steenbock Library except in the stacks/bookshelves themselves.  Please use covered beverage containers.  In order to protect the library’s computer equipment, no messy food or snacks are allowed near any computers.


All library visitors are entitled to an environment in which to work and fulfill the teaching and research mission of the university.  Users should respect the study area designations and noise level expectations of particular areas by modifying their conversations and activities accordingly.

Vending, Peddling, Soliciting, or Petitioning

These activities (e.g. sales of goods or services, fundraising, requests to sign petitions, etc.) are not allowed within the building because they are inconsistent with the mission of the university and explicitly prohibited by the UW-Madison Libraries’ Code of Conduct.

Use of Library Entrance Space

Requests to set up near the library entrance for promotional, informational and other purposes will be considered on a case-by-case basis, weighing factors of broad campus value, clear benefit to patrons using the space, and alignment with campus and library policies.  Examples include voter registration information, support of students during finals by campus units, etc.  Groups wanting to conduct activities like this must contact asksteenbock@library.wisc.edu or the Head of the Library to obtain approval prior to the activity.

Conducting Research, Research Participant Recruitment, Surveys, Etc.

Researchers, survey conductors, participant recruiters, etc. may post information about their project, including recruitment of participants, on bulletins boards in the library.  Rooms may be reserved for activities related to the research project, but these activities may not be set up in library open areas, including the library entrance.  Library patrons, who are here to use the library for other purposes, may not be approached by researchers directly and asked to participate in studies, surveys, focus groups, etc.

Student Organization Activities

Steenbock Library supports registered UW-Madison student organizations by occasionally inviting them to participate in promotional events in the building.  The Library also considers requests from student organizations, on a case-by-case basis, for limited activities in the building to distribute information or to support current projects directly related to the primary work of the organization.  Examples include temporary setup of information tables, collection of service project material donations in unattended donation bins, etc. Student groups that want to conduct activities like this within the library must contact asksteenbock@library.wisc.edu or the Head of the Library to obtain approval prior to the activity.

Public Notices

Bulletin boards are provided in the southeast stairwell for posting announcements of events and other information.  Notices are removed regularly, for example, when the date for an event is past.  Notices should not be placed on the bulletin boards reserved for Steenbock staff.  Notices placed in other library locations (bathroom stall doors, tables, etc.) will be removed.


Steenbock Library reserves the right to prohibit filming in the library if it is believed that a filming project would be disruptive to patrons and staff. Anyone interested in filming in the library should inquire at the service desk and obtain the permission of the Head of Steenbock Library.

Smoking and Vaping

Steenbock Library complies with the UW-Madison smoke-free policy and does not have any areas in which smoking or vaping is permitted.  The smoke-free policy applies to all indoor space including individual offices.  Entrances to all UW-Madison buildings are also smoke-free within 25 feet of the doors.   Please extinguish and dispose of all smoking materials in appropriate containers available where smoking is permitted.

Sleeping in the Library

Steenbock Library is not intended to be used as a place for sleeping.  Given that extended study sessions, especially during exam periods, can cause a student to fall asleep while studying, brief naps will typically be allowed.  However, we reserve the right to wake individuals and check on their status.

Lost & Found

Items belonging to library patrons found by or turned in to library staff are retained in a staff area designated for this purpose.  When the owner can be identified library staff will attempt to contact the individual and notify them on how to retrieve the item.  Items containing personal identity or thought to have significant value will be turned over to UWPD.  Items held but not claimed within a reasonable period of time will be donated or discarded as appropriate.

Exiting the Library

Library patrons are expected to leave the library promptly when it closes, during emergency situations and/or drills, and when asked to do so.  Remaining after hours is considered trespassing and may result in disciplinary action.  Except in emergency situations, users are expected to exit the building through the security gates at the 2nd floor exit.  Should a security gate alarm be activated, users are expected to follow instructions from library staff to resolve the situation.