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General Policies of the University Libraries.

Security & Safety

DO NOT, under any circumstances, leave laptop computers or any valuables unattended in the Libraries. The Libraries are NOT responsible for lost or stolen laptops, personal computers, their components, or any other items.


  • Parents may not leave children unattended in the Libraries and they are responsible for their children's behavior while in the Libraries. Unattended children under the age of 16 will be asked to leave the Libraries.

Cell Phone Use

Cell Phone Usage: Receiving and making calls is restricted in many areas of the Libraries. If you must receive or make a call, please do so quietly and move to the Café TJ (Level 3) for extended conversations. Do not leave your valuables unattended.


Photography is not allowed in the St. Louis Mercantile Library or in the State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center - St. Louis without prior authorization. Permission to use images may be requested at the Reading Rooms of each area.

Beverages and Food

  • All beverages must be in spill-proof containers or cups with lids. Water bottles with caps are acceptable.
  • Except for Café TJ, patrons are not permitted to consume food in the UMSL Libraries (this includes the study rooms).
  • Beverages are not permitted:
    • in the Rare Book Reading Room of the St. Louis Mercantile Library,
    • in the Reading Room of the State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center - St. Louis,
    • or on or around artwork as indicated by signs in those areas.
    • other areas, as needed, to protect materials

Beverages and food are available in the Café TJ in the Thomas Jefferson Library.  Information on other food and beverage locations on campus can be found at the Sodexo web site.

Library Closing

Prior to the daily closing, three announcements at 30, 15, and 5 minutes will be made reminding patrons that the library will be closing. Upon a fourth and final announcement indicating the libraries are closed, all staff members and patrons must promptly exit the libraries so that staff and security officers can lock the building.


Patrons should follow instructions given by the Libraries' Emergency Monitors, security officers, and staff, verbally or via the public announcement system, during emergency situations or drills.