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Client Code of Conduct

1. Summary

The Client Code of Conduct outlines the behaviour that the Library expects from its clients and visitors in all public spaces, both online and on site. It is related to the Library’s Policy on the Use of the State Library Under Library Regulation 2010, which outlines the use of libraries and library material and allows for the exclusion of those who breach the Regulation throughout the Library’s premises.

2. Policy statement

Client Code of Conduct

The State Library is committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment for research, study and learning. For your safety and for the security of the Library’s collections and buildings, a number of surveillance cameras have been placed in public areas.

This code outlines the conduct we expect from clients and visitors, both on site and when interacting with the State Library online. It is based on Library Regulation 2010 made under the Library Act 1939 (NSW).

Your responsibilities
  • Treat other clients and Library staff with courtesy and respect showing regard for their needs, sensitivities and rights. Unsociable behaviour, including harassing clients or staff, or using offensive language is not acceptable.
  • Children under the age of 12 must be in the company of an adult or Library staff member at all times.
  • Leave the Library when requested at closing time and during emergency procedures, or if directed to do so.
  • Inform Library staff immediately if you become aware of any risk or potential risk to people or property.
  • When copying Library materials and sharing material online, you are responsible for observing the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 with respect to materials in copyright.
Bags and belongings

The following bag restrictions apply:

  • Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room – Bags larger than 30cm x 35cm x 30cm are not permitted. Clients may apply for an exemption for laptop bags.
  • Mitchell Library Reading Room – Bags are permitted with no size restriction.
  • Special Collections Area (in the Mitchell Library Reading Room) – No bags permitted.
  • All other areas – Bags are permitted with no size restriction.
  • Library staff have the right to inspect your equipment, folders, bags or property as you enter or leave the reading rooms.
  • Belongings are not to be left unattended. Any items left unattended will be removed by Security staff.
  • The Library is not responsible for any loss or damage that may occur to personal belongings.
  • Bags or belongings must not be placed where they may put clients or staff at risk of injury.
  • Lockers are available for hire for the storage of your bags and belongings.
Food and drinks, smoking

The following food and drink restrictions apply:

  • Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room – No food or drink permitted.
  • Mitchell Library Reading Room – Bottled water only permitted.
  • Special Collections Area (in Mitchell Library Reading Room) – No food or drink permitted.
  • Exhibition Galleries – No food or drink permitted.
  • Verandah – Covered drinks and snack food permitted.

Smoking, including the use of vaporizers, is not permitted on Library premises.

  • Acceptable levels of dress and personal cleanliness must be met, in the interests of other clients using the Library.
  • Footwear must be worn.
Quiet environment
  • A quiet environment for study must be maintained in the reading rooms.
  • Disruptive behaviour and excessive noise are not acceptable in any public space in the Library.
  • Switch your mobile phone to silent when in the reading rooms. Talking on your mobile phone is not permitted in these areas.
  • Headphones are to be used when listening to music or other multimedia. The volume must be at a level that cannot be heard by other clients or staff.
  • Group discussions and mobile phone conversations may be conducted in the study rooms, but must be kept at an acceptable level that does not disturb other clients.
Library equipment and material
  • Damaging or misuse of Library equipment, facilities or furniture is not acceptable. This includes disconnecting Library equipment or using it for any purpose other than its intended use.
  • Library equipment is strictly for the use of Library materials only. You are not permitted to use Library equipment with personal items including microfilms and CD ROMs.
  • Damaging Library material in any way, such as marking, cutting or tampering with security tags, is not permitted. Special Collections material must be handled according to our guidelines.
  • Hiding or removing Library material from the reading rooms is not permitted.
Personal devices
  • Power is provided at tables in the reading rooms and Verandah area for the use of personal devices such as laptop computers.
  • Personal devices should not be left unattended. Any items left unattended will be removed by Security staff.
  • The Library accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage that may occur to personal devices.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that any personal devices used in the Library are appropriately maintained and safe to use.
  • Power cables must not be placed where they may put clients or staff at risk of injury.
Internet usage
Library website and social media accounts
  • Participation in the interactive sections of the Library’s website must be in accordance with the Website Terms of Use.
  • When interacting with the Library on social media sites you may be agreeing to terms and conditions of third parties that govern your access to and use of those platforms. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with any third party terms and conditions.
  • If the Library becomes aware that you are breaching the terms and conditions of a third party provider, the Library reserves the right to take action as appropriate, including (i) removing offending content from the Library’s account, where possible, and (ii) reporting you to the relevant authority, including the third party provider.
  • The Library is not responsible for, nor endorses, any content that is contributed to either the Library’s website or any third party website. Please read the website disclaimer for more information.
  • Removal of any content from the Library’s social media accounts and website, as well as the decision to exit from a social media account, is at all times within the discretion of the Library.
Photography and filming
  • Permission from Library staff is required before taking professional photographs or filming in the reading rooms and exhibition areas. Flash photography is not permitted.
  • Identifiable images of people cannot be included in your photographs or films, without their permission.

Clients who do not comply with Library Regulation 2010 and the Client Code of Conduct may be directed to leave the Library and/or be excluded from interacting on the Library’s website. Serious breaches of the Regulation may result in an exclusion and/or termination of your website user account.

3. Legislative and Policy Framework

Most relevant legislation

  • Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)
  • Library Act 1939
  • Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998
  • State Record Act 1998
  • Work Health & Safety Act 2011

Related and/or most relevant State Library policies

  • Policy on the Use of the State Library Under Library Regulation 2010
  • Internet Usage Policy
  • Website Registered Users Terms of Use
  • Privacy Management Plan
  • Security Systems Surveillance Policy
  • Smoke Free Workplace Policy
  • Staff Code of Conduct

4. Responsibilities

Executive Committee members are responsible for leading the implementation of this policy including its conformity to legislative and other compliance requirements, communicating this policy to managers and supervisors and other relevant activities regarding specific policy implementation.

Managers and supervisors are responsible for managing processes relevant to this policy and communicating this policy to staff.

Staff are responsible for understanding and complying with this policy.

5. Records and privacy management

Formal records are made of security incidents or a client or visitor’s refusal to cooperate with staff enforcing the Client Code of Conduct and Library Regulation 2010.

The Library will maintain records of incident and investigation reports in accordance with the requirements of the State Records Act 1998 and the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Library’s Privacy Management Plan.

Incident and investigation reports and related information are treated as confidential and limited to authorised staff. The Library may disclose personal information in instances where another Act or law authorises us to do so.

Further information about privacy.

6. Approval

This policy was approved by NSW State Librarian & CE on 19 January 2016 for submission to the Library Council of New South Wales for immediate implementation.

Change to bag restriction was approved by the Executive Committee on 24 July 2018. 

7. Implementation

This policy is implemented on 19 January 2016.

Implementation of this policy requires uploading of the policy on to the Library’s website and the development of a handout for staff to give to clients as needed.

8. History

This policy replaces the Client Code of Conduct version 2.0.

This policy is related to the Policy on the Use of the State Library Under Library Regulation 2010.

10. Prepared by

Digital Strategy & Policy Partner

13 January 2016


We welcome your feedback on this policy. You can complete the online feedback form or pick up a feedback form at the Library.