OWEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
POLICY ON BEHAVIOR IN THE LIBRARY
The Board of Trustees is responsible for determining the rules of behavior necessary to protect the rights of individuals to use the library material and services, to protect the rights of library employees to conduct library business without interference, and to preserve library materials and facilities.
The Board of Trustees believes that library patrons have the right to use library materials and services without being disturbed or 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 the right to materials and facilities that are accessible and in good condition.
General Rules of Behavior
1. No eating, drinking, smoking (or use of tobacco in any form) or use of controlled substances in the library.
2. No soliciting or distributing of leaflets within the library.
3. Animals are not permitted (except for Licensed and Insured assist animals.)
4. Appropriate attire, including shirts and shoes, must be worn at all times.
5. Roller skates and roller blades are not allowed in the library.
6. Staff is not responsible for a patron's personal belongings left unattended.
7. Bicycles should be placed in the bike rack and locked. Bikes may not be left inside the library or on the handicap ramp or on the ground outside the library.
8. Any sports equipment brought into the library must be left at the circulation desk (eg. skateboards, basketballs, tennis rackets, etc.).
9. Computers and radios or tape players with headphones may be used in the library with the permission of the staff on duty.
10. The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, packs, etc., for concealed library material.
11. The telephone at the reference desk is a business phone. It may be used by patrons (with the permission of the staff) in cases of emergency or to call home for rides if the patron does not have money for the public phone.
12. Disruptive behavior, including shouting, running, punching, or other rowdy, rambunctious activities, will not be tolerated.
13. Physical or verbal harassment of others, including Library Staff is prohibited.
14. The material and equipment in the library are here for patron and staff use. Any purposeful damage done to the material , equipment, furniture, building, or property of the library is against the law and will be reported to the police.
15. The Rules set in the Acceptable Use policy for the computers in the library must be observed.
16. Children under 10 years of age must be supervised by someone aged 16 years or older.
17. Three (3) documented events will result in being banned from the library for a period of 1-3 months at the discretion of the librarian
18. Cell Phones may only be used in the foyer area of the library. It is requested that cell phones be placed on vibration before entering the library, and quiet tones be used when using the cell phone in the foyer. (added 03-24-03)
Children and their Behavior in the Library
The Board of Library Trustees hopes that the children who use the library will find the facility to be a warm and inviting place to develop a love of books, reading and the library.
Many programs are offered to make the library enticing to children, but, when children are left unattended for several hours when no library programs are offered, they often become disruptive.
Young children are not safe when left unattended in the library. The staff cannot know if children are leaving the building with their parents or with strangers. In order to create an environment of safety, and maintain an atmosphere where reading and study can be encouraged, the following policy has been created:
CHILDREN ARE EXPECTED TO ADHERE TO THE SAME RULES AS STATED FOR ALL PATRONS WITH THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONS:
- Parents or guardians are responsible for the behavior of their children in the library, and may not leave children under the age of 10 unattended.
- If a problem arises with children of any age and we are unable to locate the parent(s) or if the library is closing and the parent(s) cannot be located, the police will be called at the discretion of the staff.
- Children age 10 to 14 may be left unattended (at the discretion of their parent(s) for a period of time (not to exceed 2 hours) to complete homework assignments and special projects or unless at the library for specific after school programs or events. Children left unattended should know how to reach a parent or guardian, and parents should be aware of the closing time of the library.
- When children are left unattended repeatedly and/or for long periods of time, the staff will notify parent(s) of the library's policies.
- When children are attending library programs, parent(s) must be aware of the times of the programs, so their children do not have to wait for unreasonable amounts of time to be picked up. Parent(s) should have them wait inside the building to avoid the hazards of the street.
- It is the policy of the Library that staff members will not transport children from the library to any other location.
Encouraging Acceptable Library Behavior
The Library Staff should encourage patrons toward acceptable library behavior.
- The staff will give warning of inappropriate behavior.
- The staff will explain the rules of behavior.
- In case of a minor disruption, and after explanation and warning, a patron may be asked to leave for the rest of the day.
- Three (3) documented events will result in the offender being banned from the library for a period of 1-3 months at the discretion of the librarian.
- If the offending patron refuses to follow the requests of the staff, or the staff feels there is potential danger to patrons or staff, the police will be called.
- If a patron repeatedly ignores the warnings issued by the staff and/or the police, the library administration has the right to remove the patron for specified periods of time. A specific date and time will be attached to the restriction, and it will be posted for the information of the entire staff.
- Emergency situations: In case of a medical emergency, the police and the EMT squad will be notified.
This policy is not intended to restrict library service to children. Instead, the policy has been adopted to insure the safety and well-being of all children who use the library.
- Disruptive Attended Children
- Staff will ask children who are being disruptive to behave.
- If the disruptive behavior continues, staff shall inform the parents that their children are disturbing others.
- The family will be asked to leave if parents refuse or are unable to control their children.
- Disruptive Unattended Children
- Staff will ask children who are being disruptive to behave.
- If the disruptive behavior continues, the children will be told to sit quietly in a designated area while their parents are contacted.
- Staff will contact parents who will be asked to pick up their child immediately.
- Parents will be told of their child's disruptive behavior.
- Three (3) documented events will result in the child being banned from the library for a period of 1-3 months at the discretion of the librarian
Staff judgment and discretion will be used at all times in the interpretation of the above policy.
(Adopted 10-21-02) (Amended 03-24-03)