Library Use Guidelines

Chicago Public Library provides access to all through its collections, programs, facilities and resources. We strive to serve our patrons effectively by providing a welcoming and safe environment. We ask that visitors help us to maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to learning and community engagement by following our Library Use Guidelines.

To ensure a safe and positive library experience for all, please do not:

  • Engage in any activity prohibited by law.
  • Engage in disruptive or unsafe behavior, including interfering with the use or operations of the library by users or staff.
  • Harass library users or staff including intimidating, annoying, following or staring.
  • Use loud, abusive, or profane language.
  • Leave a vulnerable adult or child unattended.
  • Use computers, areas of the library, or attend programs designated for children or teens without a need to access those collections or accompanied by a child or teen.
  • Take photographs or videos of library users without their permission.
  • Sleep, eat or drink (except for covered beverages).
  • Enter the library with hygiene conditions or unsanitary belongings that interfere with the use of the library by other patrons or staff.
  • Enter the library without shoes or clothing covering both your upper and lower torso.
  • Remove shoes or clothing while inside the library.
  • Solicit, distribute leaflets or post notices without permission from CPL management.
  • Bring in animals other than service animals.
  • Enter non-public or staff-only areas.
  • Park vehicles on library premises for purposes other than library use.
  • Use bicycles, skates, skateboards or similar items inappropriately on library property.
  • Bathe, shave or wash clothes.
  • Engage in any activity prohibited by the library’s computer and internet use guidelines.
  • Block aisles, shelves, entrances or leave items unattended at any time.
  • Use another person’s library card number without that person’s permission.
  • Bring weapons of any kind into the library.
  • Remove library materials from the building without checking them out.

We ask patrons to follow all Chicago Public Library policies and guidelines or abide by any reasonable request from staff or security to refrain from disorderly or disruptive behavior. Violations of policies or guidelines may result in removal from the facility and/or suspension of library privileges. Any suspension of privileges applies to all Chicago Public Library facilities. Illegal activity may result in arrest.

To appeal a suspension, a request must be made in writing to the Appeal Officer, Chicago Public Library, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605 or

This request must be made within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the notice of violation. The written appeal will be reviewed within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the request for an appeal. The suspension of privileges will remain in force during the review period. The decision will be sent via e-mail or by U.S. Postal mail. This decision will be final.

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