Patron Behavior Policy
The Dundy County Library strives to maintain a welcoming and safe environment so that the library may operate efficiently and so all patrons may freely use and enjoy the public space.
The Dundy County Library Board of Trustees sets standards of acceptable behavior on Library premises to ensure an atmosphere that encourages the use and enjoyment of Library resources and services, promotes the safety of the general public and the Library staff, and protects Library materials, equipment, building and grounds.
As a limited public forum, the library is open to the public for the limited use of reading, studying, using library materials, and participating in library sponsored or library approved programs.
Disruptive and unacceptable behavior includes any activity that:
- Interferes with the rights of other people to use the Library
- Disrupts the normal functioning of the Library
- May result in physical, emotional or mental injury to oneself or others; [Including sexual content displayed on screens in public traffic areas]
- May result in damage to materials, equipment, building and grounds
- Constitutes a failure to comply with Library staff directives
.Examples of disruptive or unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- Engaging in any activity in violation of Federal, State, local or other applicable law or Library Policy.
- Abusive or Obscene Language or Behavior. Including confrontational and quarrelsome behavior, obscene language and inappropriate gestures or touching.
- Noncompliance. Disobeying the reasonable directive of a library staff member.
- Harassment. Including, but not limited to, threatening or annoying another person by verbal or physical contact or by following a person in or about a public place.
- Boisterous Behavior. Including, but not limited to, running, horseplaying, or behaving in any other way that is disrespectful or annoying to library patrons or library staff.
- Noise. Including, but not limited to, talking or laughing loudly (volume of person or group is heard above the general noise level in the library), using audible devices without headphones or with headphone sets at a volume that disturbs others, cell phone ringing, etc.
- Ringing Cell Phones. Patrons are asked to turn their cell phones to vibrate, especially if sitting at computers or library tables. Cell phone use in the library is allowed as long as the noise level of the conversation adheres to the noise guidelines.
- Eating and Drinking. Eating is not permitted except in designated rooms at designated times. Drinks in covered containers are allowed.
- Excessive Displays of Affection. Including, but not limited to, any sexual conduct or physical contact deemed inappropriate for a public place.
- Monopolizing. Patrons may not monopolize library staff time or resources.
- Soliciting or Canvassing. All canvassing, soliciting, petitioning, and leafleting is banned inside the library facility and on library premises consisting of the entrance and exit driveways, the parking lot, the areas in front of the library, and the entrance sidewalk leading directly into the library, regardless of content or purpose.
- Photographing or videotaping. Photographing or videotaping without the express permission of the Library Director is prohibited.
- Loitering. Congregating in or around entrances or stairways, inside or out; may not wander around library without apparent reason.
- Wheeled Devices (Skateboards, etc.). Including but not limited to, skateboards, roller-skates, scooters, and wheeled-shoes on library property or grounds. All bicycles must be left outside on the bicycle racks.
- Improper Attire. Shoes and shirts must be worn in library; attire should not be disruptive to the library environment.
- Poor Hygiene. A person may be asked to leave the library if his/her personal hygiene interferes with the orderly operation of the library or the ability of patrons to use and enjoy the facility.
- Animals. Animals are prohibited in the library except those needed to assist a disabled person or when they are part of a library program.
If a patron engages in inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, the staff will ask him/her to stop. If the behavior continues, he/she will be asked to leave. If the patron refuses to leave, the Police Department will be called. If a minor child engages in inappropriate and unacceptable behavior, the staff will ask him/her to stop. If the behavior continues, he/she will be asked to leave. If the minor child refuses to leave, the staff will contact the parent or guardian and request that the child be removed. If no parent or guardian can be reached, the Police Department may be called. The Library Director may request that the minor child not return to the library unless accompanied by an adult.
The staff has the right to call the Police Department at once if a patron’s behavior appears to be an immediate threat to the safety of the public, the staff, or the facilities.
Serious and/or repeated problem behavior by a patron may constitute just cause for possible suspension or termination of library privileges.
The Library reserves the right to:
- Inspect all Library materials, backpacks, oversized handbags, overcoats, luggage, shopping bags and packages;
- Report repeated disruptive behavior to parents, in the case of children, or to the Police;
- Require anyone who engages in disruptive behavior to leave the premises. Anyone asked to leave the library is not allowed to loiter in the vestibules, parking lot, sidewalk, or lawn areas;
- Notify Police immediately of unlawful or threatening activities.
The Library Board reserves the right, on a case-by case basis at the discretion of the Library Director, to:
- Restrict Library privileges of disruptive individuals for a specified period of time;
- Ban disruptive individuals from Library premises for a specified period of time or permanently;
- Take further disciplinary action.
ANY PATRON WHOSE PRIVILEGES HAVE BEEN DENIED MAY REQUEST IN WRITING TO HAVE THE DECISION REVIEWED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES.
The Library welcomes families and children of all ages. However, the parent and/or guardian is responsible for his/her children at all times. Library staff cannot assume responsibility for a child’s safety or behavior when they are unattended.
Unless at a Library sanctioned event, children under six (6) years of age must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian at all times. Children over the age of six (6) are left alone at the discretion of said parent/guardian, and the Library assumes no responsibility for children left unattended in the Library or the surrounding premises.
If an unattended child is being disruptive, is habitually left unattended for long period of time, or is deemed to be at risk of coming to harm (as in the case of a child being left unattended when the Library is ready to close), an effort will be made to locate the responsible parent or guardian. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached within one half hour (30 minutes), or if the parent / guardian has not responded within said one half hour (30 minutes), the police will be called to take the child until the parent can be reached.