Protests and Demonstrations in the Library

The library takes an intentional, inclusive stance on protests and demonstrations by working to ensure safe and constructive spaces within which students and other members of our community can protest or engage critically with current issues.

Protests on campus can sometimes involve library buildings, both indirectly (such as demonstrations on the Diag) or directly (like occasionally marching through library buildings or very rarely staging a "sit-in"). We aim to ensure all library employees are prepared with the information and resources necessary to respond appropriately in the event a demonstration takes place inside a library building.

The library allows protests and demonstrations to take place in our spaces.

  • Students have a right to demonstrate on campus.
  • The library aims to ensure safe and constructive spaces within which students can demonstrate.
  • Students are permitted to partially block library entrance doors, as long as exiting the building is still possible through main entrances.
  • If patrons complain about disruption, we apologize for the inconvenience and refer them to an alternative library or other campus space away from the disruption.
  • Demonstrations inside Hatcher or Shapiro may require additional employee presence and attentiveness.
  • Demonstrations may go overnight in our 24/7 facilities, but cannot take place in a building that is closed.
  • All employees who might encounter a protest or demonstration should be aware of this policy.

The Department of Public Safety (DPSS) will not be called to disrupt a protest or demonstration in the library unless there is a safety issue such as:

  • Demonstrators are blocking others from exiting a space, which is a fire safety issue.
  • Any indication of dangerous physical activity between patrons or any other safety risk.

If you become aware of protest activity inside the building, please contact Circulation and Access Services managers at

If you have questions about our policy and approach, please contact Library Administration at