Patron rules of conduct for the San Francisco Law Library

Please help keep the library safe and pleasant for everyone by following these patron rules of conduct.

Permission to access and use the library

  1. Access and use of the San Francisco Law Library’s computers, facilities, and services is limited to persons preparing a legal matter, engaged in legal research, or legal information studies. The library may require people to leave the library if they are not engaged in activities associated with legal research.
  2. Users shall limit their carry-in items to those materials necessary to accomplish their legal research. For safety and security, the library may limit users to one bag and one purse, backpack or briefcase.
  3. Large objects such as carts, luggage, bicycles, bed rolls, shopping carts, large parcels or groups of parcels are not permitted in the building or the library with the exception of wheelchairs and walkers.
  4. Briefcases, backpacks, packages, purses, and outer garments may be subject to inspection by library staff for library materials at any time. California Penal Code §490.5.
  5. Pets are not permitted in the library. Service and support animals are permitted.
    • Animals entering the library must be up-to-date on vaccinations and handler must be able to show proof of current rabies vaccination.
    • Service animals are animals that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with a disability. Service animals are working animals, not pets.
    • Service and support animals must be under the control of their handler at all times and may not block aisles or walkways, be on furniture, or be fed in the library. Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless the individual's disability prevents using these devices or these devices interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of tasks. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
    • Keep your support animal with you and under your control at all times. If your support animal is a dog, keep your dog on a leash. 
    • Keep your animal on the floor or on your person at all times.
    • If your service or support animal's behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or disobeys SFLL's Patron Rules of Conduct, it may not stay in the library.
  6. Weapons and persons who appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not permitted in the library. Consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs, engaging in any illegal activity, smoking, spitting, and loitering are prohibited in the library and building.
  7. The Law Library will not tolerate discriminatory conduct or language based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Anyone violating this policy will be required to leave the library immediately.
  8. Patrons shall respect the rights of other library users and staff. Threatening, harassing, yelling, using profanities, intimidating, engaging in abusive language, staring at, following or any other activity or behavior that disturbs or interferes with any person’s comfort, safety or use of the library is strictly prohibited. California Penal Code §602.1(b). Anyone whose conduct poses a threat to the safety of patrons or staff shall be removed from the premises.
  9. Users shall comply with all library policies including the technology, computer and internet use, photocopying, printing, and circulation policies, and with building regulations including sign-in and out procedures, and the directives of building management.

Use of library facilities

  1. For the courtesy of other patrons, quiet is expected throughout the library. Patrons may engage in quiet conversation so long as other users are not disturbed. Extended or loud conversations are not permitted. Cell phones, pagers, and PDAs should be turned to vibrate. Quiet conversations on cell phones may be conducted in the elevator lobby, but not in the library or restrooms.
  2. Library patrons shall conduct all reading, study and research at the tables and seating provided, not at the reference center desk, the circulation/information desk, or on the floor. Computer workstations are for computer use only.
  3. Walkways and aisles shall be kept clear and unobstructed by patrons or their personal effects, including books, materials, briefcases, and electrical cords.
  4. Users may not spread out materials beyond their immediate workspace or use more than one work or computer space. Users shall not use their personal belongings “to save a space,” nor store, or leave them in the library.
  5. Cords for laptops and tablets may only be used at designated outlets, and may not be placed across tables or obstruct pathways. Library users are not permitted to recharge cell phones on library computers and outlets, or to unplug library equipment.
  6. No eating, bathing, loitering, food preparation, cell phone use, sitting or lying on the floor is permitted in library rest rooms. Spreading out personal belongings is not permitted. Persons may only use the rest rooms for a reasonable period of time, and must leave if instructed to do so by staff. Users must maintain rest room cleanliness, and be courteous to fellow users. Use of the rest rooms is restricted to library users. Individuals may use the rest room of their choice comfortable for their gender identity. All rest rooms must be vacated promptly after staff announces that rest rooms are closed.
  7. Entering unauthorized or off-limits areas of the library or the building, opening emergency exits except in emergency situations, and remaining in the library or building during emergency drills or evacuations is prohibited.
  8. Patrons shall not rearrange furniture, chairs or equipment. Please do not adjust blinds; ask staff for assistance if blinds need adjustment.
  9. Sleeping, lying or sitting on floors and counters or tables are not permitted.
  10. Patrons must leave the building immediately when the library closes.
  11. Groups or classes wishing to tour the library must make an appointment in advance.
  12. Media or videotaping, commercial photography or filming is not permissible without prior permission from the library director.
  13. To ensure a pleasant, stress-free work environment, all users are required to treat staff and others with courtesy and respect, and to observe the following rules when interacting with library staff:
    • Do not demand, interrupt, or point at staff when you want assistance
    • Do not interrupt staff when they are helping another person. Please wait your turn.
    • Speak in a polite, courteous manner
    • Do not argue with, threaten or raise your voice to staff
    • Follow the instructions of staff promptly
    • Use “please” and “thank you”

Use of materials

  1. Any person who removes or attempts to remove materials without permission is in violation of California law. Stealing, vandalizing or abusing library materials, equipment or facilities is prohibited. California Penal Code §490.5, §594; Education Code §19910, §19911. 
  2. All checked-out materials shall be returned when due. Failure to do so can result in loss of library privileges and/or payment of overdue fines, and replacement, administrative and court costs.
  3. Patrons shall not conceal or hide library materials for their exclusive use. Pocket parts or loose-leaf pages may be removed from books briefly to be photocopied on the library’s copiers and shall be returned by the patron to the book promptly.
  4. Please help keep the library in order and re-shelve all materials. If staff assistance with re-shelving is required, place items on book carts. A limit of six items may be removed from the shelves at one time. Materials left on library tables will be removed by library staff at the end of the day.
  5. Personal scanners or photocopiers are not permitted.
  6. Copyright Limitations: Federal law (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies, scans or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Persons who fail to comply with copyright laws while using library resources and copiers are liable for any infringement.

Personal conduct in the library

  1. Food, coffee, and other beverages are not permitted, with the exception of water in clear containers. Water containers may not be placed on computer tables.
  2. The library shall not be used in lieu of an office for the practice of law or any other business or professional activity. Library users shall not volunteer or solicit legal advice or business from other users. This includes, but is not limited to, the distribution of literature, goods or services. People who are not members of the California State Bar in good standing are not permitted to offer legal advice or otherwise violate California Business and Professions Code §6125.
  3. Users shall not leave personal property unattended. The library is not responsible for articles that are lost, stolen or damaged in the library.
  4. Fraudulent use of another’s library card, guest bar code, or other information for any purpose is prohibited.
  5. Appropriate clothing, including shirts and shoes, must be worn in the library.
  6. Persons whose parcels, clothing, or bodily hygiene emit odors, including odors caused by perfume or cologne, that are pervasive, offensive, or disrupt others’ ability to work, as determined by library staff, shall be required to leave the library.
  7. For the health and safety of others, please observe sanitary practices: Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, wash your hands frequently, and avoid visiting the library when you are ill or contagious. Personal grooming in the library is not permitted.

Failure to comply with rules of conduct and library policies

Failure to comply with library rules and policies, the directives of staff, or to cooperate with staff in their enforcement of these rules may result in the loss or suspension of library privileges. Repeated failures to comply with library rules or staff directives will result in the loss or suspension of library privileges for longer periods.

Download the SFLL's Patron Rules of Conduct

View or download a copy of the library's Patron Rules of Conduct

Last updated December 2, 2022