Library Code of Conduct | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Library Code of Conduct

Library, Archives and Museum Collections

Library Code of Conduct | Wisconsin Historical Society


The Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) Library and Archives support a wide array of research interests in the field of United States and Canadian history, as well as the teaching and research mission of the University of Wisconsin-Madison by providing access to and delivery of information. To that end the Library and the Archives acquire, organize, make accessible, and preserve sources of knowledge and information in all formats.

The Historical Society serves as the American history library for the university, and the library and archives cooperates closely with the university library system.  Many of the Historical Society IT systems and public services are interconnected with those of the university.  As a consequence, a violation of the Historical Society’s Code of Conduct or the Code of Conduct of the UW-Madison libraries may result in sanctions not only at WHS but across the campus library system.

In order to provide a safe and respectful environment for collaborative and individual study and learning, patrons who enter the Wisconsin Historical Society library and archives agree to abide by this Code of Conduct.

Policy Expectations

Individuals will:

  • Obey all federal, state, and local laws including Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter UWS 18 which governs conduct on university lands.
  • Comply with applicable university policies and with all library policies including, but not limited to, food and drink, noise, mobile device usage, and photography and filming.
  • Use computers, online resources, and all other library technology within the guidelines of the UW System Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources policy.
  • Adhere to policies governing appropriate use of university identification and present identification to library staff upon request.
  • Respond to alarms and other emergency or security situations as instructed by staff.
  • Limit use of the library to public areas and leave library spaces at closing.
  • Treat all library users and staff with respect.

Individuals will not:

  • Exhibit any threatening or intimidating behaviors, e.g., abusive language, threats of violence or harassment.
  • Engage in behavior that is potentially unsafe or harmful to self or others.
  • Create disturbances or disruptions, or behave in any manner that is inconsistent with the UW-Madison Libraries’ mission.
  • Engage in any sexual activities outside the limits of applicable laws.
  • Vend, peddle, solicit or petition in UW-Madison Libraries.
  • Post or distribute materials without permission in UW-Madison Libraries.
  • Misuse, misappropriate, damage, steal, deliberately misplace or obstruct use of library equipment, resources or facilities.
  • Violate copyright laws, including systematically downloading, printing, scanning or disseminating content in violation of copyright laws.
  • Deface or damage library materials including, but not limited to, underlining, highlighting, writing, removing pages or security devices.
  • Use library areas for prolonged sleeping or as living quarters.


Any violation of our code of conduct is subject to sanctions, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Being asked to leave the library premises
  • Being reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (Division of Student Life)
  • Having library privileges suspended or revoked
  • Being banned from the UW-Madison Libraries or Campus
  • Being reported to the police
  • Legal prosecution

Activities that result in sanctions by any University of Wisconsin-Madison library may be grounds for comparable action by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Incidents which result in a ban may be appealed to the State Archivist.  Appeals must be written and sent to:

State Archivist

Wisconsin Historical Society

816 State Street

Madison WI 53706

The State Archivist will consider the appeal and respond in a timely fashion. 

Questions or comments may be directed to the Library-Archives Director of Reference and Public Services.