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Acton Memorial Library will be CLOSED on Sunday, May 26, for carpet cleaning and Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day. The library will reopen at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28.

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Town of Acton Libraries

The Acton Libraries — Acton Memorial Library and Citizens’ Library — are welcoming spaces for all members of our community. To preserve these safe spaces, we ask that all patrons treat each other, our staff, materials, libraries, and museum space with respect. It is important for all patrons to be able to use Library materials and services without being disturbed or impeded by others, and for patrons and staff to have the right to work in an environment that is secure and comfortable.

These guidelines encourage an atmosphere that promotes the use and enjoyment of the Libraries’ resources and protects the public, staff, materials, and equipment.

Library staff, in the course of their regular duties, reserves the right to ensure that patrons are adhering to all Library policies.

We strive to make the Libraries a safe and comfortable place for collaboration and cooperative work.

Library behavior guidelines

Respect for other Library patrons and staff shall be maintained at all times. This includes observing rules and time limits set forth in other policies that, among other purposes, allow equitable access to equipment, programs and services.

Shirts and shoes shall be worn at all times.

The following are not allowed:

  • Smoking, vaping, using electronic cigarettes, using tobacco in any form, using alcohol, any other controlled substances while on Library property.
  • Soliciting signatures or distributing leaflets inside Library facilities.
  • Carrying firearms or dangerous weapons of any type (except by law enforcement officers).
  • Sales or conducting business of a commercial nature inside Library facilities, in the parking lot, or on walkways immediately adjacent to Library entrances.
  • Animals except for service animals.
  • Loud or boisterous behavior, enforced at the discretion of the Library management.
  • Running.
  • Audible cell phone (phone calls, videos) use except for the Solarium and closed study rooms.
  • Eating, except for the Solarium and study areas. Please leave any spaces as clean (or cleaner) than you found them.
  • Drinking beverages from an open container. The Library does allow you to drink water, coffee, and other beverages from a covered bottle or coffee cup except near computer workstations or other equipment. When you are not actively drinking, close your container to prevent spills.
  • Parking bicycles in or around the entrance. Bikes must be parked in the bike rack. The library is not responsible for lost or stolen property – remember to lock your bike.

Library staff reserve the right to determine if other actions not listed above are not allowed within the Library or on Library premises.

Library staff reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, packs, etc., for concealed library material. Any purposeful damage to materials, equipment, furniture, building, or Library property is against the law and will be dealt with appropriately.

Children in the Libraries

A library should be a warm and inviting place where children can 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 Libraries. Please keep in mind that the Libraries are busy places and staff cannot monitor the behavior, safety, or whereabouts of people, especially children, who use the Libraries. This responsibility resides with parents and other caregivers.

Children are expected to adhere to the guidelines above with the following additions:

Children under the age of eight must be accompanied by someone aged 15 or over who is responsible for supervising the child and for ensuring that the child complies with these guidelines.

Children over the age of eight may visit the Library alone at the discretion of their parents, guardians, or caregivers (referred to in the remainder of this policy as caregivers).

Note to caregivers: You know whether your child is mature enough to be at the Library alone. Especially before letting younger children stay at the Library alone, make sure that they will be content and well-behaved.

Children must know how to reach a caregiver, and caregivers should be aware of the Library closing time. If the Library is closing and a caregiver cannot be located, the police will be called to take custody of the child. If children are left unattended repeatedly and/or for periods of time beyond the guidelines listed above, the staff will apprise caregivers the library’s policies.

Library staff cannot transport children from the Library to any other location.

Disruptive Children

Staff will ask children who are being disruptive to behave. Disruptive behavior includes running, yelling, rough handling of Library materials or equipment, inappropriate behavior toward other Library patrons or staff. If the behavior continues, staff may ask caregivers for their cooperation in redirecting the child. If caregivers refuse to or are unable to do so, the family may be asked to leave.

If the child is unattended, they will be asked to sit quietly in a designated area while a staff member contacts their caregiver. The caregiver will be asked to pick up the child immediately and will be told of the child’s disruptive behavior. If staff are unable to locate their caregiver after several attempts, the police will be called to take custody of the child.

Adults in the Children’s Room

The children’s area of the Library is reserved for children, their 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, unaccompanied adults 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. Library staff understands that some adults may have individual needs and requirements and are happy to work with those patrons. Adults may not attend children’s programs unless they have permission from Library staff or are accompanied by a child.

Teen Space

The Acton Memorial Library Teen space is reserved for teens. Adult patrons are welcome to briefly browse in the Teen space, but this area is reserved for teens and adult patrons may be asked to relocate to adult sections of the Library..

Failure to follow behavior guidelines

If patron behavior makes other patrons, staff, or volunteers feel unsafe or repeatedly feel uncomfortable, Library staff will step in to rectify the situation using the steps outlined below.

Notice: If a patron refuses to follow staff requests or staff feels there is potential danger to people or property, the police will be called by the supervisor on duty or a designee.

In addition, Library use may be limited or denied by the Library Director for the following reasons:

  • Damaging Library property.
  • Stealing Library materials or their unauthorized removal.
  • Repeated violations of Library User Behavior Policy.

In the case of general misbehavior, staff will follow these guidelines when dealing with escalation of or frequent Library User Behavior Policy infractions:

  • First offense: Verbal warning:
    Patrons who do not comply with our behavior policies when asked to do so by staff will be given a copy of the Library User Behavior Policy. Staff will make the patron aware that a second offense will move from misbehavior to requiring documented consequences and request the patron read the policies. The staff member will document that a verbal warning was issued and a copy of the Policy was shared with the patron.
  • Second offense: Written warning:
    Patron will be issued a written warning and asked to leave the Library for 24 hours. If the patron is under 18 years old, a copy of the written warning will be emailed and sent to the patron’s home.
  • Third offense: Two-week suspension:
    The patron is suspended from the Library for two weeks. A letter will be issued to the patron confirming the suspension. If the patron is under 18 years old, the family will be notified by a call from the Library Director or designee.
  • Fourth offense: Notice of No Trespass:
    The patron will be banned from the Library with a letter of No Trespass through the Acton Police Department. A specific date and time for evaluating the ban will be attached to the restriction, and it will be posted for the information of the entire staff.

Notice: Third and fourth-time offenders: Repeat offenders will be notified in writing stating the reasons for the suspension or notice of No Trespass. Upon request, the patron may appeal the decision to the Library’s Board of Trustees.

Enforcement: The patron’s photo will be shared with staff and the supervisor on duty will ask the patron to leave the premises. If the patron does not leave, police will be called.

Approved by the Board of Trustees of Acton Memorial Library this 28th day of March, 2024.