Library User Behavior Policy
ACTON MEMORIAL LIBRARY LIBRARY USER BEHAVIOR POLICY
It is important for all users to be able to use library materials and services without being disturbed or impeded by other library users, and for library patrons and employees to have the right to work in an environment that is secure and comfortable. The Board of Library Trustees has established these guidelines for behavior in the library to encourage an atmosphere that promotes the use and enjoyment of the library’s resources and protects the public, staff, materials and equipment. However, the library is a very busy place and staff cannot monitor the behavior, safety, or whereabouts of people, including children, who use the building. This responsibility resides with parents and other caregivers.
LIBRARY BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES
Respect for other library users and library staff shall be maintained at all times. This includes observance of rules and time limits set forth in other policies that, among other purposes, facilitate equitable access to equipment, programs and services.
The material and equipment in the library are for patron and staff use. The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, packs, etc., for concealed library material. Any purposeful damage to materials, equipment, furniture, building, or property of the library is against the law and will be dealt with appropriately.
Appropriate attire, including shirts and shoes, shall be worn at all times.
Children under the age of eight must be accompanied by someone aged 15 or over who shall be responsible for supervising the child and for insuring that the child complies with these Guidelines.
The following are not allowed:
- Smoking or vaping; use of alcohol, controlled substances or tobacco in any form;
- Sales, conduct of business, or soliciting or distributing of leaflets;
- Animals except for guide or assist animals;
- Loud or boisterous behavior;
- Eating and cellular phone use except in the Solarium on the first floor. (Water from covered bottles may be consumed in the library except near computer workstations or other equipment.)
- Bicycles in or around the entrance; they should be placed in the bike rack and locked.
CHILDREN AND THE LIBRARY
It is important that children who use the library find the facility a warm and inviting place where they may develop a love of books, reading and the library. This section of the policy is not intended to restrict library use by children; instead, it has been adopted to ensure the safety and well-being of all who use the library.
Children are expected to adhere to the guidelines above with the following additions:
Children may be left unattended at the discretion of their parent(s) for a period of time not to exceed the hours listed below in order to complete homework assignments or special projects.
- Ages 8-10 1 hour
- Ages 11-12 2 hours
- Ages 13-14 3 hours
Children left unattended should know how to reach a parent or guardian, and parents should be aware of the closing time of the library. If the library is closing and the parent(s) cannot be located, the police will be called.
When children are left unattended repeatedly and/or for long periods of time beyond the guidelines listed above, the staff will apprise parent(s) of the library's policies.
Library staff will not transport children from the library to any other location.
Staff will ask children who are being disruptive to behave. Disruptive behavior includes running, loud noise, rough handling of library materials or equipment, inappropriate behavior toward other library users or library staff. If the behavior continues, staff shall ask the parents for their cooperation in restraining in the children. If parents refuse to or are unable to control their children, the family will be asked to leave.
If the children are unattended, they will be told to sit quietly in a designated area while a staff member contacts their parents. The parents will be asked to pick up their children immediately and will be told of the children's disruptive behavior. If the staff is unable to locate the parent(s) after several attempts, the police will be called.
Adults in the Children’s Room
The children’s area of the library is reserved for children, their parents or responsible caregivers, and adults working with children’s literature, such as teachers and college students taking children’s literature classes. Out of concern for the safety of young patrons, adults who are unaccompanied by a child or children in the children’s area of the library may be questioned by staff, and may be asked to move to another area of the library. Adults may not attend children’s programs unless they are accompanying a child, or have permission from library staff.
FAILURE TO FOLLOW LIBRARY BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES
The staff reserves the right to request any library user who repeatedly violates these Guidelines to leave. The individual will be expected to do so immediately and in a peaceful and orderly manner.
If the offender refuses to follow staff requests or staff feels there is potential danger to people or property, the police will be called by the circulation area supervisor on duty or a designee.
If an individual repeatedly ignores warnings issued by staff and/or the police, the Library Director has the right to ban the individual from the library for a specified period of time.
Library use may be limited or denied by the Library Director for the following reasons:
a. Damaging library property;
b. Stealing library materials or their unauthorized removal;
c. Threatening or physically harming staff or patrons;
d. Repeated violations of Library Behavior Guidelines.
When an individual’s use has been limited or denied, he or she shall be notified in writing stating the reasons and the terms. A specific date and time will be attached to the restriction, and it will be posted for the information of the entire staff. Upon request, the patron may appeal the decision to the Board of Library Trustees.
Approved by the Board of Trustees of Acton Memorial Library this 27th day of June, 2019.