Patron Behavior Policy

Cochranton Area Public Library Patron Behavior Policy

Purpose: The Board of Trustees of Cochranton Area Public Library believes that library patrons have the right to use library materials and services without being impeded by other library users; that library patrons and employees have the right to an environment that is secure and comfortable; and that library patrons and employees have a right to materials and facilities that are available and in good condition.

These rules shall be applied in a neutral and nondiscriminatory manner to protect the property, users and staff of the Cochranton Area Public Library, and to maintain the availability of library resources for all users. The library staff reserves the right to contact the Cochranton Police Department for assistance related to the dismissal of a patron. Any patron who violates these rules and regulations may be denied the privilege of access to the library. A patron whose privileges have been denied may have that decision reviewed by the Board of Trustees by appealing the denial via written request to the Library Director within 14 days of the denial of library service.

APPROPRIATE LIBRARY BEHAVIORS INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  • Reading, writing, researching, studying

  • Browsing and checking out library materials

  • Asking for and receiving staff assistance

  • Listening to music through headphones

  • Using computers according to library guidelines

  • Quiet socializing and discussions

  • Working on small group projects

  • Attending programs

INAPPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  • Using library computers in a manner prohibited by the Internet Acceptable Use Agreement

  • Conditions or activities that disturb others, including cell phone use, excessive or loud talking and socializing

  • Misuse of furniture, collections, equipment, facilities, building or grounds

  • Misrepresenting one’s identity in the conduct of business with the library

  • Unsafe behavior (running, pushing, rollerblading or skateboarding on the grounds)

  • Leaving children under 8 unattended except as permitted by staff for programs

  • Eating, drinking and possessing food in open containers except as permitted by staff for programs

  • Inappropriate attire (shirt and shoes required)

  • Use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or any illegal drug

  • Use of abusive, threatening, inappropriate or offensive language or behavior with; interference with; or harassment of other patrons or staff

  • Campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey taking, or soliciting

  • Bringing animals in the building, except for service animals or for programs

  • Excessive displays of affection

  • Gambling

  • Littering

ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  • Theft

  • Possessing any kind of weapon on library property

  • Voyeurism, peeping, stalking, public lewdness

  • Criminal mischief, intentional damage, vandalism

  • Drunk and disorderly conduct, and possession or use of illegal controlled substances

  • Harassment, threats, assault

  • Trespass – entering non-public areas without permission or remaining in the building after closing

Cochranton Area Public Library

Procedures for Enforcing the Patron Behavior Policy

The board of trustees delegates authority to the staff and will support their decisions and judgment in regard to enforcing the patron behavior policy. The below procedures are intended to be guidelines. Formal actions may be enforced by staff based on their judgment of specific facts and circumstances and previous occurrences. Staff should attempt to keep confrontations about inappropriate behavior low key but firm in the case of first time minor infractions such as cell phone use or eating, while taking a firmer stand against more serious behaviors such as abusive language. There must be an element of flexibility based on individual circumstances, but at the same time, the staff must strive for consistency in the application and enforcement of this policy. Staff should attempt to maintain patron dignity and avoid scenes. Police must be called immediately in the case of illegal activities.

Adults: Staff will warn adults when their behavior is unacceptable and will warn them that if it continues they will be asked to leave. If the behavior continues, staff will ask the person to leave. The library privileges of frequent offenders may be suspended. The staff will call the police if they need assistance.

Attended Children: Staff will ask children who are being disruptive to behave. If the disruptive behavior continues, a staff member will inform the parent/guardian that his/her child is disturbing others. If the parent/guardian refuses to cooperate or is unable to control the child, he/she and the child will be asked to leave.

Unattended Children Ages Nine and Under: If a child is unattended and is behaving in a disruptive manner, the staff member will ask the child to correct the behavior. If the behavior persists, the staff member will attempt to contact the parent/guardian by telephone. When the parent /guardian is contacted, the staff member will tell him/her that the child is being disruptive, will remind him/her of the library policy and will ask that he/she pick up the child immediately. If he/she is unable to come immediately, staff will warn him/her that the child may stay this time but the police will be called the next time such an incident occurs. Staff will send a warning letter to the parent/guardian stating that further disruptions may result in the suspension of library privileges. If the parent/guardian cannot be contacted within an hour, or if the library is closing the staff member will call the police to pick up the child.

Unattended Children Age Ten and Over: A staff member will tell the young person that he/she is causing a disturbance and that this is a warning. The next time he/she will be asked to leave the library. If the disruptive behavior continues, a staff member will escort the youngster to the door and will call police if he/she needs assistance. Staff will send a warning letter to the parent/guardian stating that further disruptions may result in the suspension of library privileges.

Approved

2009