Building Access Policy

The University Library system has a primary mission to support the educational, teaching, research, and administrative needs of the faculty, students, and staff of the University of Michigan. The collections are also accessible to others whose information needs require these resources. Policies governing the use of the facilities and collections reflect this mission.

Library staff are committed to maintaining a quality study and research environment, protecting the rights of users, and sustaining the integrity of collections. In addition to policies and procedures noted below, university-wide policies or civil laws related to facilities or collection vandalism apply.


Any individual may have access to University Library buildings to use collections and most resources and services on-site. Due to the specialized nature or fragility of some materials, use of some special collections may be governed by more restrictive policies. Please consult with staff in relevant areas.

Most library facilities are open to the general public during regular hours. Any library open after midnight is accessible to only U-M students, faculty, and staff with valid Mcards.


Animals that are not service animals are not permitted in the library. Patrons accompanied by non-service animals are invited to return to the library without the animal.

Service animals are defined as dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets.  The work or task the animal has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.  Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

The Library will provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities pursuant to the ADA. In order to request an accommodation, please contact

Carrels and group study rooms

These facilities are generally available only to members of the campus community, except by special arrangement. Several library facilities have study carrels for individual use. Members of the campus community may consult the appropriate information services desk for procedures for reserving these carrels. 

Group study space in some campus libraries may be reserved by consulting the library's information services staff or by booking online. Generally, these facilities are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to the high demand for group study space, we do not permit reservations for course office hours. In addition, campus department office hours cannot be held in library spaces, including group study spaces or open study spaces. Please contact your department to secure space on campus for office hours. 

U-M Library does not provide rentable space for other U-M department staff meetings or initiatives by private businesses.

Destruction of library materials

Any person who willfully defaces any library material or facility may be subjected to loss of library privileges, to appropriate administrative action within the university, and to prosecution under state law.


In the event of fire, tornados, or other emergency situations, our automated emergency alarms and/or library staff will alert building occupants to the procedures for evacuation or taking shelter.

Filming and photography

See film in the library for details.

Flyers, table tents, petitioning, and solicitation

Distribution of flyers and table tents is prohibited except in the designated posting area in the Shapiro Library lobby on floor 1. Flyers or table tents posted anywhere else will be removed. 

Campus departments and official student organizations can request to promote their department, service, or event on our dedicated campus partner digital signs.

Petitioning, solicitation, and election campaigning are prohibited in library spaces.

Food and drink

Food is permitted in study areas, if food items are handled with regard to the safety of library materials and the cleanliness of library facilities. 

Non-alcoholic beverages in closed containers (thermoses, travel mugs, bottled water or soft drinks, etc.) are permitted in most areas of the University Library.

No food or beverage is permitted in the Special Collections Research Center (and special collections or archives in any University Library), Papyrology Collection, and the Clark Library.

Foot coverings

In order to ensure the safety and comfort of all users, clothing and shoes are required at all times in the library.


In cooperation with appropriate university departments, the library tries to provide a welcome, open environment that is safe and secure for everyone.

Users should not leave personal belongings unattended.

Campus security phones are conveniently located throughout the libraries. Staff or users are encouraged to call the Department of Public Safety (911) in an emergency. Library staff should be alerted if users feel threatened in the library.


For your safety and security, we do not encourage sleeping in library buildings.

If a user is found sleeping, staff will perform one wellness check to confirm responsiveness. If a user is unresponsive, staff will call DPSS.

Staff will continue to awaken an individual after an initial wellness check if they:

  • Are blocking an exit, doorway, or circulation path
  • Are snoring loudly
  • Appear to be ill or in distress

If a user is awakened through a wellness check three times in one day for the reasons listed above, they will be asked to leave the library until the following day. 


In accordance with the campus-wide Smoke-Free initiative and university regulations, library facilities and the surrounding campus areas are non-smoking environments. Smoking, including the use of electronic cigarettes or vaporizers, is not permitted in the library.

Failure to comply with these policies may result in limitation of access to library facilities.