Plainview Public Library

209 N Pine St., Plainview, NE

PATRON BEHAVIOR POLICY

Written By: Donna Christiansen

The Library is not a playground, day care center or recreation center. Noisy, or physically active behavior appropriate in such facilities is not appropriate in the Library. Section 51-212 of the Nebraska Statutes specifically gives public libraries the power to regulate the use of the library and to exclude from the library persons who violate or refuse to comply with the library’s rules and regulations.

The Plainview Library Board of Trustees has established certain standards of acceptable behavior on library property in order to maintain an atmosphere that promotes the use and enjoyment of the resources and services of the library, promotes the safety of the general public and the library staff, and protects the building, furniture, equipment, and materials of the library.

It is a patron’s responsibility to maintain necessary and proper standards of behavior in order to protect his/her individual rights and privileges of other patrons. If a patron creates a public nuisance, that patron may be restricted from the Library and from the use of library facilities for a specified period of time or permanently. Those who are willing to leave or do not leave within a reasonable amount of time, after being instructed to do so by the staff, will be subject to the law and local authorities will be notified.
Behavior becomes unacceptable when it impinges on the rights of others. Unacceptable behavior includes any form of harassment which could result in physical or emotional, or mental injury to oneself or others, or when it could result in damage to the facilities, equipment or materials. Patrons behaving in an unacceptable manner will be asked once to modify their behavior or, upon failure to do so, to leave the library facility. Police will be called if there is not compliance or if staff feels in any way unable to handle the situation or feels threatened. Unlawful activities will be reported immediately to the police.
Unacceptable and disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to the following:
• Excessive noise/noise which disturbs others. Including loud talking, laughing, and singing, humming, whistling and playing music at a level that is disruptive to other patrons. Sensitivity to noise varies from one person or group to another; however, if one person or group is heard above the general noise level in the library at a particular time, this person or group will be requested to lower their voices.
• Harassment/physical, sexual, or verbal abuse in any form, of other library users or library staff.
• Abusive or Obscene Language or Excessive Displays of Affection. Includes language or displays a sexually explicit message or are conveyed in a coarse or crude manner and any language that verbally abuses another individual.
• Roller blading, skating or skateboarding except for when used as transportation to and from the library
• Fighting. Includes any type of fighting, whether real or pretend.
• Throwing Objects. Includes wadded up papers, paper airplanes, other small objects, and larger objects that could cause injury.
• Unruly/offensive/Boisterous Behavior. Includes running, horseplay, playing on furniture, and annoying other patrons.
• Cellular or Portable Phones. Talking on cellular or portable telephones by patrons is restricted. Patrons in the library will be asked to step outside of the library in order to talk on the cell phone.
• Using library computer equipment for purposes other than those permitted under the computer use policy, or performing any act that damages or disables computer hardware or software.
• Removing Library Materials or Equipment. Staff members must check out all circulating materials and equipment at the circulation desk before they can be removed from the library building. The stealing of library materials is a felony and is punishable by state law.
• Hygiene. A person may be required to leave the library if his/her personal hygiene interferes with the orderly operation of the library or with the ability of other patrons to use and enjoy the facility.
• Public Restrooms. Bathing, washing hair, shaving, and washing clothes in library restrooms is prohibited.
• Sleeping. Pertains to habitual sleeping or those who are noisy, sprawled on furniture, or generally disturbing other patrons.
• Restricted areas only – Entering non-public work areas or public areas which have been temporarily restricted by the library staff.
• Personal Property. Patrons are responsible for their personal property. Please do not leave items unattended. The Library staff and Board are not responsible for lost or stolen property.
• Improper Attire. Patrons must wear shoes and a shirt in the library building.
• Abuse of Library Equipment, Furniture, and Materials. Includes but is not limited to placing feet on tables and chairs, standing on furniture, mutilating or defacing books or periodicals, and mistreating equipment or computers. For more information on computer abuse, see the library’s Internet Policy.
• Blocking Aisles or Doorways. Includes obstructing aisles or doorways or in any way interfering with the free movement of any other persons.
• Polling, photography, or filming on library premises without prior permission from the library administration.
• Weapons. Carrying weapons of any type on library property is not permissible except by law enforcement officers.
• Bringing in animals of any kind are prohibited unless serving as an aide animal or part of a library-sponsored program.
• Eating and Drinking. Reserved for designated areas only and at special library events.
• No Chewing Tobacco
• No Spitting
• Smoking. Patrons may smoke outside the building at least 10 feet from entrances.
• Soliciting. Includes selling anything for personal gain or a charitable cause, begging, panhandling, or circulating petitions among other patrons and staff members. Public petitions may be posted on the public bulletin board located in the front of the library.
• Illegal Behavior within the library or on library grounds. Any staff member who witnesses illegal behavior will notify his or her immediate supervisor who will contact the police when necessary. Illegal behavior includes but is not limited to the following:
o Assault. Intentionally or by reckless conduct causes injury to another person.
o Criminal Mischief. Intentionally damages the property of another (includes vandalism and mutilating library materials, facilities and equipment).
o Drunk and/or Disorderly Conduct. Causes public inconvenience by fighting, unreasonable noise, abusive or obscene language or gestures, threatening behavior, hazardous or physically offensive condition.
o Harassment. Threatens or annoys another person by physical contact or abusive or obscene language or follows a person in or about a public place.
o Public Lewdness. Intentionally exposes the private parts of the body in a lewd manner in a public place.
o Theft (Larceny). Wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds the property of another.
o Trespass. Knowingly enters or remains unlawfully on the premises.
o Controlled Substances. Includes using, selling, or possessing controlled substances on library property, and entering library property while intoxicated or under the influence of illegal controlled substances.
Any patron who feels unfairly treated should make a written complaint to the library director. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the matter will be taken up with the Library Board.

Unattended Children. A parent, guardian, or other responsible adult must accompany children under age 12 at all times in the library. Parents who use the library’s computer lab MUST supervise their children while they are in the lab. Minors (under the age of 18) left at the library after closing hours may be considered abandoned and the library may contact the police. The library staff is not responsible for waiting after hours for a parent to pick up a child. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for the safety, behavior, and supervision of their children at all times in the library and on library property. Children, like all library users, are required to respect library property and to act in a manner appropriate to the use and function of the library.
Young Children – The Plainview Public Library encourages visits by young children and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library. Therefore it is library policy that a parent or a designated responsible person must accompany all children under the age of 3 while in the library. Also, if the young child is attending a library program, we require the responsible person to remain in the library throughout the program. (Any child under 3 years of age.)
Disruptive Children – Children of all ages are encouraged to use the library for homework, recreational reading and program attendance. The library staff realizes that the library will be noisier at busy times and that children by nature can cause more commotion. However, children (whether with parents or not) who are being continually disruptive will be given a warning that he/she must settle down or will be asked to leave the library. If the child needs to contact a parent, they may do so and then wait with a staff person until the parent arrives.

Adopted by the Library Board on 6/1/15