Life-Long Library Etiquette

Note: Contest information below

One of the remarks on the Comments panel of our Library Etiquette Displays reads “Library Etiquette Month??? Does that mean next month don’t need etiquette in the library??!!!”. Yikes!! That is definitely not what we meant. To the contrary in fact. We want the users to observe library etiquette at all times when they are in the library!

Library Etiquette Month starts March 23rd and will run till April 17th. In this month, we hope to highlight to library users, through the use of posters, hanging ceiling art and a modest display, the desired behavior within a library setting. We hope that this knowledge will be internalized by users and brought along with them even after the campaign ends (especially during exam period).

The two main messages of the campaign are firstly, to keep the library clean by not eating in inappropriate places and disposing of one’s trash in the right manner and secondly, to keep the noise level low.

There have been many instances of bemused library staff finding users with overflowing  sandwiches/burgers/fried bee hoon (!!!??), etc. munching noisily in the quiet areas, oblivious to the stares of annoyed users around them. We think it is quite a universal sentiment that we do not like a library that smells like or one that looks like a hawker centre, fast food joint or canteen…and the noise we do not need either!

Our plea: Please finish your food outside the library before coming in- it’s the considerate thing to do.

As much as we try to create a quiet and conducive environment for users, we greatly need your help to ensure that it remains so. Talking loudly and endlessly with friends or having cell phones ringing or beeping all the time within the library destroys this peaceful environment we try to create and again, makes it frustrating for your fellow library users.

Our plea: Library users value a quiet environment where they can think and study- respect that and either talk softly or if you cannot, do it outside the library.

We hope that as the exam period approaches, we will see real improvement in these two areas. Ultimately, we want users like you to really benefit from being with us.

We know students get hungry and thirsty and we know students like talking with their friends. There are places set aside to do all these. So let’s work together and create a conducive library for everyone!


Have something to say about library etiquette? This is your chance! Take part in our campaign contest and you might just win yourself a goodie bag full of stationery!

Contest Requirements:

Contestants will write a paragraph (max 400) on the 3 types of behavior they want to see OR don’t want to see in the library and these entries can be emailed to

Period of submission: March 23rd to April 8th

The top 10 most original and humorous entries will win attractive stationery goodie bags and there will also be 10 consolation prizes. All winning entries will be posted on our LINUS blog ( as well as on our exhibition panels by April 13th, Monday. Winners will also be notified via email.

Submit your entry today!!!

  1. Melissa Chai

    I graduated from NUS and spent many hours in HSSML. I have been a member of the NUS libraries for many years now. I just finished my postgraduate in a local university in town and I want to share how much I appreciate the NUS libraries. For a start, thank you past and present users of the NUS libraries, for giving me a conducive environment to study during my undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Thank you, librarians of NUS libraries for your policing work (it is a thankless job) and your defence of the conducive environment of the NUS libraries. I cannot even begin to talk about how inconsiderate users of the other university library are. There are too many examples to give. In NUS libraries, I observe that most users have their phones switched to silent mode and when it rang, in majority of the cases, the user would either end the call or leave the study area to take the call outside of the library or in the little cubicles set up recently for the purpose of taking calls. Those inconsiderate ones would be told off by a fellow user and the latter would have the approval of the other users. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the other library of the other university. Librarians of the other university are also quite incompetent and hence the environment of the other library worsened to an almost unbearable state, so much so it would be quite apt to call it “the fishmarket library in town” rather than whatever it is called. Keep up the good work, both users and librarians of NUS libraries in defending the conducive study environment of the NUS libraries!

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