Silent zone message on wall

Library rules and general policies

Library rules

Admission to the Library

  • The London School of Economics and Political Science exists for the purpose of public education. The School is a private institution and retains the right to revoke the permission of people to enter and use the estate if they are engaging in behaviour that is criminal, prejudices public safety, breaches the School’s rules and procedures or diminishes or disrupts the experience of students through the misuse of School facilities.
  • The Library is open for the purpose of study and research to current members of the School and other groups and individuals according to the Library's admissions policy.
  • All users must possess a current Library card and show it on request to Library staff and Security. Library users are responsible for the use of their Library card and should not allow others to use it. Users who are found to have allowed entry to unauthorised people will be subject to disciplinary procedures (see Enforcement below).
  • Applicants for a Library card will be required to provide evidence of identification and status. See the Join the Library page for full admissions policy details.
  • Children under 12 are not allowed beyond the Library entrance turnstiles.

Conduct within the Library

  • Noise, disturbance or inappropriate behaviour is prohibited, including abusive or threatening behaviour to Library staff and other Library users. As space is at a premium, users should not bring in large numbers of bags as these can make it difficult for other users to access study spaces.
  • No food is permitted in the Library building, apart from in the Escape areas outside of the Library turnstiles. Soft drinks and hot drinks may be consumed in the Library as long as they are in non-spill containers, cartons, cans or bottles. Anyone found to be eating in the Library will be asked to dispose of the food or take it to one of the Escape areas on the ground floor. Food left unattended will also be removed.
  • Alcohol cannot be consumed anywhere in the Library building.
  • Smoking (including smoking of electronic and herbal cigarettes) is not permitted in the Library building or outside near external doorways.
  • Mobile phones can be used in the Library but disruptive mobile phone use is prohibited. Phones should be set to silent mode in the Library building and cannot be used in the red Silent Zones.
  • Library users are asked to treat other users with consideration.
  • No material other than official notices from the Library or the School may be distributed or posted within the Library, without the permission of the appropriate Library manager.
  • Library furniture, fittings or equipment must not be misused or their arrangement altered.
  • Library users should not attempt to reserve study spaces by leaving personal belongings at desks when they have left the building. Belongings may be cleared to allow others to use study places. Note that any unattended belongings are left at the owner's risk and users are strongly advised not to leave valuables even if they will be away from the desk for a short time.
  • Study space and group study room bookings take precedent over casual use of space and rooms. A user who has booked a study space or room can expect any other user occupying it, at the reserve time, to vacate it.
  • Library users may be asked to present their bag for inspection by Library staff, as well as any books or folders they are carrying.
  • Any damage or defacement of Library materials is strictly prohibited and users found damaging material will be subject to disciplinary procedures (see Enforcement below). Library users are asked to report any instances of such defacement to Library staff.
  • Photography is not permitted unless permission is sought - via Security staff in the first instance. 

Loan facilities and terms of borrowing

  • Current members of the School and certain categories of external users may borrow from the Library. Details of borrowing privileges are available.
  • Loans may normally be renewed if the book is not required by the Library for another user. Special rules may apply for items in high-use categories.
  • Borrowing from the Course Collection is restricted to registered students of the School and its staff. External users may have access to the Course Collection for reference use during vacation at the discretion of Library staff.
  • Course Collection books may not be removed from the Collection unless issued on loan.
  • A current Library card is required whenever borrowing items.
  • Library materials on loan to one person may not be transferred to another. The person in whose name the loan is made is solely responsible for the safekeeping and due return of items loaned.
  • All Library materials borrowed must be returned within the stipulated loan period. Failure to do so will result in application of appropriate sanctions.
  • Items on loan may be recalled at any time if required for the use of another reader. Failure to return recalled books on time will result in application of appropriate sanctions.
  • Sanctions to be applied for the late return of borrowed or recalled material will be determined from time to time by the Library's management.
  • Late return of materials borrowed, or failure to comply with sanctions, may result in suspension of borrowing privileges and access, in the case of external user categories.
  • Where an item is lost or stolen, returned damaged, or not returned after a reasonable period of time, the borrower will be charged for the item at a level to be determined by the Library's management. An item charged for in this way remains the property of the Library.
  • No book or other Library property may be taken from the building at any time without authority.
  • Library users allocated a book locker may keep in it Library materials recorded as on loan to them. Checks of the lockers will be carried out, from time to time, by Library staff and any non-issued Library materials found will be removed. In such circumstances the individual concerned will automatically lose the right to use the facility. Locker keys must be returned by the date stipulated. Beyond this date, key deposits will not be refunded.
  • Special rules (displayed in the Archives Reading Room) apply to the use of rare books and archives in the Archives Reading Room or administered by its staff.

Copyright and data protection

  • Copyright law must be observed in all copying of Library and archive material and in all copying carried out within the Library, whether by reprographic or any other means. Current copyright licensing rules for Library material are displayed next to Library photocopiers and copyright guidelines for archive and historic print material are displayed on desks in the archives reading room.
  • Article 89 of EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR 2018) governs how personal data should be handled and applied to the use of information relating to living individuals found in our archive collections. Library users are responsible for ensuring that any data obtained relating to living individuals is treated in accordance with the principles of GDPR. Guidance on the handling of personal data is displayed in the archives reading room, and further information and the full text of the Act are available on the Information Commissioner's website.

Use of information technology facilities within the Library

  • Use of information technology facilities within the Library is governed by the School's Conditions of Use of such services. By accessing and/or using the IT facilities, you agree to be bound by these Conditions of Use.
  • The software, databases, websites and other electronic resources accessible via the Library are either owned by LSE or owned by various publishers and other third parties. Users may only access and use these resources in accordance with any applicable terms of use including any relevant licence.


  • Failure to observe any of the foregoing provisions may, in the first instance, be dealt with by an authorised Library manager, who may take such action or apply such penalty as is reasonable in the circumstances.
  • Any user who is aggrieved by a decision of a member of Library staff may appeal to the Director of Library Services, as set out in the Library's Feedback Policy.


Library Feedback Policy

The Library strives to provide an excellent standard of customer service. Library user feedback is welcomed and used to improve the Library services.

If Library users experience a problem inside the Library, they are advised to report it to a staff member as soon as possible, so that the issue can be addressed immediately. Where action cannot be taken immediately, the member of staff will explain the reasons for this.

If Library users would like to offer feedback, they are advised to contact us by email. The Library will respond to all feedback within two working days, informing the relevant Dean and Academic Liaison Librarian when a complaint has been made and ensuring that any subsequent outcomes are communicated to them as well.

Where necessary, the Library will advise users that their feedback will be reviewed by the manager of the relevant service area. The manager will investigate and make recommendations, and a response will be sent within ten working days.

If users are dissatisfied with the Library’s response, a senior manager will review their feedback and provide a further response within ten working days.

If Library users remain dissatisfied, LSE staff and students are advised to follow the School Service Complaints Procedure [PDF].

Other Library users who remain dissatisfied, including members of the public, should put their complaints in writing to the Director of Library Services. Users should include full details of the issue and information about any attempts they have made to resolve it.

The Library reserves the right not to investigate complaints that it considers to be frivolous (unfounded, trivial and persistent) or malicious (with vindictive motivation).

Library Incidents Policy

Library staff can expect to be treated with respect by users. The Library rules provide a code of conduct expected by all Library users.

Incidents where staff feel users have behaved in an abusive or threatening manner will be reported and investigated.

The School's disciplinary procedure will be used for incidents involving students where the matter cannot be resolved informally at a local level.

LSE is committed to a working and learning environment where people can achieve their full potential. The School's harassment policy provides a mechanism to resolve complaints where it is felt that harassment has occurred.

Flickr Rights Statement

The Library joined Flickr Commons in November 2009.

The images published on our Flickr Commons photostream are all marked as having ‘no known copyright restrictions’ attached to them, either because LSE owns the copyright, or the term of copyright has expired, or because no evidence has been found that copyright restrictions apply.

You are free to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, or to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially.

If you re-use images from the LSE Library Flickr pool, please credit "LSE Library."

Please also consult The Commons rights and copyright page to ensure you are aware of your own obligations regarding re-use of any of the content we have made available.