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Regulation Infractions by External Users

Links to other policies / documentation

This policy links to the University of London Library Access Agreement (see http://www.london.ac.uk/libraries_agreement.html), the operating policy of the SCONUL access agreement (see http://www.sconul.ac.uk/groups/access/operatingprinciples.pdf), and the UCL Library Services general regulations (see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/regs.shtml). The contents and policies of these agreements should be applied in conjunction with the policy set out below and the above have priority should there be any contradiction.

Definitions

"External users" are defined as those users who gain access and/or borrowing privileges to the UCL Library Services facilities on a basis OTHER THAN their membership of the UCL population in the "narrow" sense (the narrow sense meaning current UCL degree level students, UCL staff (including honorary), and UCL departmental visitors of all types (including summer school / short course students)). Existing policy and procedure remains in place for the UCL population.

As such, the term external users includes users from other higher education institutions (including SCONUL and University of London institutions), users from UCL affiliated learned societies, UCL alumni and members of the public.

The infractions covered by this document are those that would normally be detected and reported by attendant staff and involve issues of security, personal conduct and the maintenance of "good order" while in library facilities. This document is not intended to cover "operational" infractions, such as late return of items loaned to external users with borrowing privileges, as these are already adequately covered by existing procedure.

Background

A separate policy for dealing with regulation infractions by external users is required because the standard method of dealing with such infractions from UCL users is not applicable. The standard methods of dealing with such infractions from UCL users is to report the matter to the UCL Dean of Students / Head of Department who assesses the matter as an issue of internal discipline and imposes sanctions as appropriate.

Obviously, as external users do not come under the jurisdiction of either the UCL Dean of Students or an appropriate UCL Head of Department, such procedure is inappropriate in cases of infraction by external users. While similar authorities may exist in other institutions, their interest in, and knowledge of, UCL Library Services regulations is limited and the strict enforcement applied to UCL users is not likely to be available, resulting in little incentive to maintain discipline and adhere to UCL Library Services regulations amongst such users. With no external force available to ensure compliance, UCL Library Services must provide its own "policing" and sanctions where library regulations are broken by such uses.

Types of infraction

The infractions covered by the document can be divided roughly into three groups according to their level of seriousness – one, two or three. It is intended that the sanctions imposed as a result of infractions should reflect this division and mirror, as far as possible, the treatment of similar infractions by UCL’s own population. However, it is acknowledged that more than one infraction may take place at the same time and, in such instances, the assessment of the level of seriousness should be cumulative of the constituent infractions.

Examples of Level One infractions would include:

  • Failure to adhere to library Food & Drink regulations
  • Failure to adhere to library regulations on the use of mobile phones
  • Failure to adhere to library regulations on causing a disturbance in Reading Areas

Examples of Level Two infractions would include:

  • Using, or attempting to use, the ID card of another user to gain access (NB. Both the owner of the card and the attempted user would be responsible in such cases)
  • Using, or attempting to use, one’s ID card to allow access to another person (NB. Both the owner of the card and the attempted user would be responsible in such cases)
  • Bringing, or attempting to bring, alcohol into library premises
  • Attempting to gain access while intoxicated
  • Inappropriate use of fire exits / fire fighting equipment

Examples of Level Three infringements would include:

  • Attempting to remove items from the library without proper permission / activating the security alarm systems
  • Rude, aggressive, threatening and/or abusive behaviour towards library staff
  • Rude, aggressive, threatening and/or abusive behaviour towards other library users
  • Failure to produce valid relevant ID when requested by library staff
  • Vandalism / deliberate damage to library resources, facilities, furniture and/or buildings

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Sanctions / procedures in the event of an infraction

The security reports concerning all infractions should be passed to Security Manager in the first instance. The Security Manager should then assess the seriousness of the infraction, record their assessment on the report sheet and then take action as appropriate (see below). The period an offence remains on a user’s record is determined by the seriousness of the offence committed:

  • Level One Infractions: record removed after one term
  • Level Two Infractions: record removed after one year
  • Level Three Infractions: permanent record kept

Responsibility for the monitoring, management and removal of such records would lie with the Security Manager.

Level One Infractions

For level one infractions, a standard written warning should be issued, posted to the address provided on aleph. The offence should also be recorded on Aleph.

Should a further level one infraction occur, a further standard written warning should be issued. Again, the offence should also be recorded on Aleph and, this time, the relevant authority (e.g. Director of Medical Education for the trust in the case of NHS users, External Dean of Students / Head of Department in the case of HEI users) should be contacted by the UCL Dean of Students (Welfare) informing them of the official warning.

Should a third level one infraction occur, the Security Manager should report the intention to ban the user to the Director of Library Services for confirmation and, once the ban is confirmed, write to inform the user of the action taken and to the Head of Membership to request that the relevant changes to the person’s account be made. The UCL Dean of Students (Welfare) should contact the relevant authority to inform them of the ban.

Level Two Infractions

For level two infractions, a standard written warning should be issued, posted to the address provided on aleph. The offence should also be recorded on Aleph and the relevant authority (e.g. Director of Medical Education for the trust in the case of NHS users, External Dean of Students / Head of Department in the case of HEI users) should be contacted by the UCL Dean of Students (Welfare) informing them of the official warning.

Should a second infraction occur, the Security Manager should report the intention to ban the user to the Director of Library Services for confirmation and, once the ban is confirmed, write to inform the user of the action taken and to the Head of Membership to request that the relevant changes to the person’s account be made. The UCL Dean of Students (Welfare) should contact the relevant authority to inform them of the ban.

Level Three Infractions

For level three infractions, the Security Manager should report the intention to ban the user to the Director of Library Services for confirmation and, once the ban is confirmed, write to inform the user of the action taken and to the Head of Membership to request that the relevant changes to the person’s account be made. The UCL Dean of Students (Welfare) should contact the relevant authority to inform them of the ban.

Where appropriate, serious level three infractions will be reported to the Police by the Security Manager.

Please note that these steps can be varied, omitted or repeated at the discretion of the Director of Library Services, subject to written confirmation of the reasons for any variation.

Reinstatement of access

In the case of level one Infractions, the user may re-apply for access in the UCL term period following their ban. They must re-apply to the Head of Membership and provide a formal request for reinstatement from the relevant authority, including confirmation that there is a genuine academic need for further access and that the authority is prepared to act as guarantor with regard the user’s future conduct.

Further access is granted only at the discretion of the Head of Membership, Security Manager, Head of Reader Services and / or Director of Library Services and can be refused if deemed appropriate, even if the required documentation is provided. Access remains suspended during the time required to make the appropriate arrangements.

Should a user reapply for access in this way and then become subject to a second ban, this second ban would be permanent, with further access only available following a successful appeal.

Bans for level two and three Infractions cannot be lifted in this way and, instead, further access is only available following a successful appeal.

Appeals

A user who becomes permanently banned may appeal the decision only on one of the following grounds:

  1. New information has come to light that was not available at the time of the original deliberations
  2. Correct procedure, as set out above, was not followed in the handling of the particular case.

Appeals against bans from UCL Library Services facilities can only be by writing to the Director of Library Services within one month of the date of the official letter confirming the ban. Such appeals will be considered by the Director as appropriate and the Director will inform the user involved, the Security Manager and the Head of Membership of the outcome of their deliberations Access remains suspended throughout the appeal, pending the Director’s decision.

Should an appeal be successful, the Director will write to inform the user of the decision and access will be restored within two working days of the date of this confirmation letter. Should an appeal be rejected, the Director will write to user confirming the decision and the ban on access will remain indefinitely.

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Last modified 2 October 2009

 
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