Patron Code of Conduct
Adopted by the Plaistow Public Library Board of Trustees, May 12, 2015
These rules of conduct are intended to protect the rights, health and safety of Library patrons, staff, and volunteers, and to preserve and protect the Library’s materials, equipment, facilities, and grounds.
These and other Library rules and policies are further intended to ensure that the building and its resources are used for activities associated with the use of a public library, in particular those activities endorsed by the community of Plaistow through the elected Library Board of Trustees.
People shall respect the rights of others using the Library and shall not unnecessarily interfere with their ability to use the Library or with employees’ performance of their duties.
Patrons whose behavior demands constant staff attention and/ or which can reasonably be expected to disturb others may be removed from Library property, lose library privileges for a period of time, and/ or face prosecution for criminal offenses.
Regulations & Procedures
A. All staff members are authorized to enforce observance of these and other Library rules and procedures in a fair and reasonable manner. This includes providing verbal and written warnings, explanations, and physical copies of Library rules and policies.
B. Depending upon the seriousness of the violation, staff members may call the Police for assistance and/ or ask an individual to leave the premises immediately, either with or without a prior warning.
C. A brief report of any incident involving a violation of this policy will be written and placed on file with the Director as soon as possible after its occurrence.
D. The Director is authorized to impose a further suspension of library privileges when the severity or continued reoccurrence warrants such action.
E. Any suspension by the Director, or removal of a visitor, and the reason(s) for such will be reported to the Board of Trustees and communicated promptly by registered mail to the visitor in question and, in the case of a child under the age of 18, to the parent or guardian as well.
F. Individuals facing suspension of privileges longer than one week shall be offered a hearing in front of the Board of Trustees, who shall schedule a meeting as soon as is practical. The purpose of the hearing will be to consider all available evidence and to render an impartial decision on whether the offense(s) merit(s) the penalty imposed.
The following actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property that can be reasonably expected to disturb others; disrupt regular operations and activities; harm or endanger the Library’s property; and/ or threaten the rights, health and safety of Library patrons, staff, and volunteers. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive.
- Abusing, threatening or harassing staff, volunteers, or patrons, either verbally or physically (for example, swearing, stalking, prolonged staring, lurking, offensive touching, or performing lewd acts).
- Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of Library property.
- Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law, or Library policy.
- To prevent theft of Library property, all bags and other articles are subject to inspection by staff. The Library reserves the right to limit the size and number of items brought into the building.
- Being under the influence of alcohol/ illegal drugs or selling, using, or possessing alcohol/ illegal drugs.
- Entering Library premises while on suspension for violations of the Code of Conduct.
- Horseplay, running, fighting or challenging to fight, pushing, shoving, or throwing things.
- Using scooters, roller-skates, bicycles or similar wheeled devices in the building.
- Creating disruptive noises such as loud talking, yelling, screaming, banging on computer keyboards, or using audible devices with or without headphones at a volume that disturbs others.
- Lying down or sleeping in the restrooms, on any floor, couch, table, or seat in the Library, or in such a manner as to block aisles, exits, or entrances.
- Bringing pets or animals, other than service animals necessary for disabilities, except as authorized by the Director.
- Photographing, filming, or recording other patrons without their consent.
- Soliciting, petitioning, canvassing, conducting surveys, or distributing written materials without express permission of the Library.
- Engaging in behavior or activities which impede access to or egress from Library property.
- Trespassing in nonpublic areas, being in the Library without permission of an authorized Library employee before or after Library operating hours, camping on Library grounds, or parking in non-designated areas.
- Loitering in areas designated for other classes of patrons in a manner that interferes with the intended use of those spaces (e.g., unaccompanied adults in the Children’s Area, children in the Adult areas).
- Using open flame or other burning/ heating elements.
- Consuming food or beverages in the Library, except at events sanctioned by the Library. Drinking from lidded beverages, away from public access computers, is allowed.
- Smoking, chewing, or other tobacco use.
- Littering, spitting, clipping nails, changing diapers in public areas, or other unhygienic actions.
- Using restrooms and toilets in ways and for purposes other than those for which they were intended (e.g., bathing or shampooing, shaving, doing laundry, changing clothes, placing foreign materials or excessive toilet paper in the toilets, clogging the toilet and failing to report this to staff, etc.)
- Entering the Library barefooted, bare-chested, with offensive body odor or personal hygiene, or being otherwise attired so as to constitute a nuisance to other persons or damage Library property (wet bathing suits, cleats, etc.)
- Leaving personal belongings unattended. The Library shall not be responsible for patrons’ belongings.