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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 Membership pages 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 online.
  • 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 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.
  • The Data Protection Act 1998 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 the Data Protection Act 1998. Guidance on Data Protection 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, as set out in the Calendar of the School and on the IMT website. 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 Complaints Policy.