Building Use Guidelines


The Building Use Guidelines exist to ensure that our spaces provide a safe, pleasant, and productive environment for study and research. By designating library building spaces into noise zones for “silent study,” “low volume study,” or “collaborative workspace” purposes and enforcing college guidelines for behaviour and technology use, the Campus Libraries recognize and support a wide range of learning activities. All university policies and directives are in effect in the Oshawa Campus Library, while the policies and directives for Durham College are in effect in the Whitby Campus Library.

The Guidelines

The Building Use Guidelines support the Durham College Library Policy and comply with the college’s Student Conduct policy. To ensure an effective environment for study and research, and to respect the rights of all library users, library users are asked to observe the following code of behaviour when in the libraries.

Appropriate Behaviour in the Libraries

  • Treating all members of the library community with respect. Disturbance or inappropriate behaviour is not acceptable. Examples of inappropriate behaviour include rowdiness, noise, abusive behaviour or language, loitering and obstruction of facilities or access, distributing pamphlets or other materials, or soliciting for financial donations.
  • Refraining from smoking.
  • Practicing proper cell phone etiquette (turn ringers off, hold conversations in designated areas only, conduct conversations in low tones).
  • Using library computing resources responsibly to support teaching, learning and research, in accordance with the college’s Acceptable Use of Information Technology policy.
  • Refraining from “seat holding” (i.e. leaving possessions in a seat and not occupying the seat). Materials left unattended may be removed after 30 minutes. The Library is not responsible for loss of, or damage to, items left unattended or removed.
  • Using library materials and equipment with care and refraining from marking or damaging resources.
  • Disposing of personal garbage or recycling in the appropriate containers.
  • Exiting the building promptly at closing time and during emergency situations or drills.
  • Refraining from posting of notices (without prior approval from library staff).
  • Ensuring all doors to enclosed stairwells, classrooms and study rooms are closed when in use.
  • Showing consideration for other users by respecting the designation of noise and food zones in the libraries to accommodate different types of learning needs.


  • Oshawa Campus Library: The Library lobby and first floor, enclosed group study rooms, and enclosed stairwells

Green zone areas are intended for social learning and group discussion is encouraged at a moderate level. Cell phones may be used in the vestibule, lobby, enclosed stairwells, and group study rooms of the Oshawa Campus Library. Hot food, snack food, and lidded beverages are allowed on the first floor of the Oshawa Campus Library. Snack food and lidded beverages are permitted in enclosed Group Study Rooms.

Yellow zone areas: LOW VOLUME STUDY

  • Oshawa Campus Library: The main stairwell, the Fireside Reading Room, the Library Classrooms (when open for additional study space), as well as the second and third floor Study Halls
  • Whitby Campus Library: The main room of the Library

Yellow zone areas are intended for quiet study and research. Low-volume conversations, in which the only person able to hear you is the one directly beside you, are permitted as well as individual study.  Cell phone use is not permitted. Audio with the use of headphones is allowed. Headphones are available at the Service Desks. Laptop computers may be used with all audio features turned off. Snack food and lidded beverages are allowed in all yellow zone areas, except for the Library Classrooms where only lidded beverages are permitted.

Red zone areas: SILENT STUDY

  • Oshawa Campus Library: The third floor Special Collections Room and the fourth floor Silent Study Room (LIB330)

Red zone areas are intended for individual study and research. Patrons must work at separate carrels. Conversations are not permitted in these areas and cell phone use is not permitted. Headphones may be used; however, noise from headphones must not be audible to others. Laptop computers may be used with any audio features turned off. Headphones are available at the Service Desks. Lidded beverages are permitted in red zone areas; food is not allowed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which areas of the Library buildings are zoned green, yellow, or red?

Posters indicating all zones and permitted behaviour are posted in high traffic areas of the Oshawa Campus Library. The Whitby Campus Library is a yellow zone.

How do I report disruptions or issues?

Approach security or Library staff at the Service Desk to inform them of the issue. Library and security staff also monitor noise levels and building use on a regular basis and will respond to user complaints.

Alternatively, library staff can be contacted via email ( or phone (905.721.3082 for the Oshawa Campus Library/905.721.2000 ext. 4218 for the Whitby Campus Library).

What happens if I violate the posted zone or other guidelines?

Users not following the guidelines will be informed of the requirements of the zone that they are in and asked to comply. Continued non-compliance will result in sanctions (including expulsion from the Library). Security will be called to assist, as necessary.