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Code of Conduct Print

Patron Conduct and Library Security

Out of concern for the safety and well-being of its patrons and staff, and in an effort to enhance its ability to provide high-quality service to all, the Blanchester Public Library Board of Trustees has established certain library conduct policies.

 

General Code of Conduct

The Blanchester Public Library Board of Trustees is responsible for determining the rules for public behavior in the library necessary to:

  1. Protect the rights of individuals to use library property, materials, and services.
  1. Protect the rights of library employees and volunteers to conduct library business without interference.
  1. Ensure the use of the building, materials, and services by the greatest number of individuals.
  1. Preserve the building and those materials from harm.
  1. Ensure the safety of library patrons, employees, and volunteers.

The rules for public behavior are listed below. The Board of Trustees authorizes the Director or his designee to revoke or restrict library privileges of any individual who violates the library rules. The Board also authorizes the Director to bring to the attention of law enforcement authorities the identity of and circumstances involving those individuals who violate these rules.

Library employees are authorized to bring to an individualís attention any act or omission which violates these rules and detracts from the decorum of the library.  Such an individual will be asked to change his behavior to conform to the rules.  If such change is not evident or forthcoming, that individual will be asked to leave the library property.  Failure to leave if asked will result in the library contacting local law enforcement.

Depending on the severity of the misbehavior, individuals who have been asked to leave the property may be barred from returning to the library.  Individuals who have been barred may be asked to talk to the director or his designee before being readmitted.  Juveniles may be asked to bring a parent or guardian to such a conference. 

 

Any misconduct that hinders use of the library or library materials is prohibited.  Such misconduct might include but is not limited to:

  • Loud or boisterous behavior.
  • Conversation, including cell phone use, that is disturbing to other individuals or employees.
  • Profanity or other abusive language toward other individuals or toward employees.
  • Abusing library furniture, equipment or materials.
  • Running in the library.
  • Harassing others, either verbally or through physical actions.  Harassment may include but is not limited to initiating unwanted conversations, impeding access to the building, or other actions another individual reasonably perceives to be hostile, threatening or offensive.
  • Fighting on library property.
  • Using any tobacco products or electronic cigarettes in the library.
  • Possession, sale or use of alcoholic beverages, illegal substances, or weapons on library property.
  • Engaging in any form of sexual misconduct on library property, including but not limited to activity, exposure or harassment.
  • Buying, selling, or soliciting for personal or commercial gain.
  • Using personal audio/video equipment at a level that can be heard by other individuals.
  • Taking photographs and/or recording video or audio of Library staff or patrons without their permission.
  • Skateboarding or roller-skating anywhere on library property.
  • Distributing literature, taking surveys or asking individuals or employees to sign petitions or similar activities.
  • Bringing animals other than guide dogs and the like into the library, unless as part of a library-sanctioned program.
  • Entering the library barefoot, without a shirt, with offensive body odor or personal hygiene, or being otherwise attired as to be disruptive to the library environment.
  • Using the emergency exits at times other than during an emergency.
  • Sleeping in the library.
  • Using restrooms for personal grooming, such as shaving, bathing, haircuts, laundry, etc.
  • Illegal activities.

As per Ohio law, the library does not permit weapons of any kind, either concealed or in plain view, on its property or in the building, unless the owner of the weapon is a law enforcement officer.

The library reserves the right to limit the number of individuals who may gather together where entrance and exit to the building are blocked.

The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, packs, personal listening equipment and overcoats for library materials.

The above rules are based on powers granted to a public library Board of Trustees under the Ohio Revised Code, Section 3375.40(H). 

 

Refusal to Leave the Library

Library staff may ask a patron who violates the policies regarding patron conduct to leave the library. Any patron refusing to leave the library at the request of library staff or after the hours of business set by the Library Board of Trustees for closing is considered in violation of Ohio Revised Code 2911.21 regarding trespass. Staff may ask local law enforcement to assist them if the situation warrants.

 

Soliciting, Surveying and Signature-Gathering

Neither soliciting nor pan-handling is permitted on library property. Solicitation is defined as asking for money, votes, petition signatures, support for issues, and the selling of goods or services. The only exceptions will be surveys performed by the library or its designees.

Surveying and signature-gathering is not prohibited on library property, but persons gathering signatures may not obstruct traffic into the library, create a hazard in the parking lot, harass library patrons or disrupt library operations. A limit of two persons or group members may petition at any one time.

Fundraising or selling goods and services on library property is prohibited. Library staff or volunteers participating in approved library or Friends of the Blanchester Public Library activities are exceptions to this policy.


 

Eviction and Suspension of Library Privileges

A patron who has violated the libraryís Conduct Policy may be evicted from the library and refused further admission to the library for a set time. The library recognizes the patronís right to contest the eviction and present his or her side of the story. The patron may request to speak to the Director or his designee in order to hear the reasons for eviction and to present any counter-arguments. If possible, such a discussion may take place prior to the patronís eviction or denial of service. However, the library reserves the right to take immediate action if necessary to answer an ongoing threat to the operation of the library, or a continuing danger to the health or safety of patrons or staff; in these circumstances, the patron may schedule a discussion at a later date.

The Director, or his designee, may, when possible, send written confirmation stating the period during which the patron may not enter library property. This letter may also include the reasons for the patronís barring and any conditions under which the patron will be re-admitted to the library. Notices regarding the barring of a minor patron from the library will be sent to the minor patronís parent or legal guardian.

 

Reinstatement of Library Privileges

A patron who has been evicted from the library and permanently refused admission may request both a re-evaluation of the banning and the reinstatement of his or her library privileges. Requests must be submitted in writing to the Director and should include a statement demonstrating that the patron understands why the conduct that resulted in the loss of privileges is unacceptable in the library or on library property, and a statement from the patron that he or she understands the libraryís Code of Conduct.

The Director may consider any of several factors when deciding to reinstate library privileges including: the details of the incident that led to the suspension; the length of time since the initial eviction and suspension; the patronís completion of any requirements imposed by the court as a result of the incident; and any other information provided by the patron that suggests that he or she is unlikely to engage in the conduct that led to the suspension of privileges.

The Director will make decisions about reinstatement of privileges in all cases except those based upon threats or physical harm to another person or possession of a weapon within the library or on its property. Decisions of the Director may be appealed to the Board of Trustees. Decisions to reinstate privileges of individuals banned for possession of a weapon or because of threats or physical harm to another person will be made by the Board.

 

Unattended Minors

The library welcomes and encourages patrons of all ages to visit the library and take advantage of the programs, services and resources that it offers. Responsibility for the safety and behavior of minors always rests with the parent, guardian, or assigned adult caregiver, and not with library staff. Staff cannot act in loco parentis, nor can library staff supervise unattended youth. Children under age 10 should be closely supervised by a parent or responsible caregiver. Parents or guardians will be held responsible for damage to items or equipment caused by their minor child.

It is important for staff to take note of disruptions caused by children who are apparently unaccompanied. Children displaying inappropriate or destructive behavior will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the child may be asked to leave the library. If a child is unaccompanied by an adult or appropriate-aged caregiver, and, in the judgment of the staff, is too young to travel the streets alone, the staff will attempt to contact a parent, guardian, or assigned caregiver. Staff is not permitted to give an unaccompanied child a ride home. Local law enforcement may be asked to intervene if the situation warrants.

 

Unattended Minors at Closing Time

No stranded child shall be ejected from the library at closing time. At least two library staff members will remain at the library with the child. Staff is not permitted to give an unaccompanied child a ride home. Staff will attempt to contact a guardian, parent or assigned caregiver up to 15 minutes after closing. After that time, staff will contact local law enforcement and ask them to assume responsibility for the unattended child.

 

Food and Drink

The library allows patrons to bring food and beverages into the building. The library encourages patrons to leave food or beverages in a designated area while the patron uses the library computers or other electronic equipment. Patrons are responsible for any damage to library property caused by their food or drink.

 

Personal Property Disclaimer

Patrons should be attentive to their property while in the library or on library property. The library is not responsible for a patronís lost, damaged or stolen property.

 

Approved by the Board of Trustees 7/22

 
t.one blue was designed 2006 by Karsten Oltrogge: www.tone.oltrogge.ws
Homepage of Karsten Oltrogge: www.oltrogge.ws



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