Patron Behavior Policy
The policy that follows is intended to guarantee that the highest level of public library service is provided to the residents of Monroe County Michigan and users of the library system.
The Library is Limited Public Forum; Library policy operates within the context of the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Michigan as well as various federal, state, and local laws and ordinances to guide procedural decisions which determine the agency’s day to day functioning.
The Monroe County Library System is committed to providing an environment where people of all ages may come to read, browse, research, and study. This in no way prohibits normal conversation between patrons and/or staff. Nor does it restrict interactions necessary to carry on library programs or business.
The Monroe County Library System believes inappropriate behavior to include any activity that disturbs patrons, interferes with library operations, damages the buildings or furnishings, or any conduct considered unacceptable in a public place.
If or when a patron is not respecting the needs and rights of other library users, the patron will be:
1. made aware of improper behavior and asked to stop;
2. if behavior continues, patron will be asked to leave the library for the day and will be notified that subsequent violations will result in additional and longer suspensions. (Parent will be called to pick up a minor patron at the library if necessary.)
3. if patron refuses, staff will contact appropriate law enforcement authorities
4. Subsequent violations could result in additional and longer suspensions.
Incident reports will be filed with library administration and appropriate authorities, and a completed Notice of Patron Behavior Policy Violation will be sent by registered mail, with a copy to the parent or guardian if the violator is a minor, or delivered by law enforcement authorities if law enforcement is involved in escorting the patron home.
A library facility is intended to preserve books and other related materials in organized collections for reading and quiet study. Patrons are expected to behave in a manner that does not disturb fellow library patrons, disrupt the operation of the library or jeopardize library materials. The following guidelines are designed to promote safety and security to library patrons and materials within the library.
ABANDONMENT: Leaving young children or individuals requiring care unattended will be considered unacceptable behavior. The library does not stand IN LOCO PARENTIS.
AISLEWAYS AND DOORS: Patrons shall not obstruct aisles or doorways as these need to be free and available to all patrons in case of emergency.
ALCOHOL: Use of alcohol is prohibited in library facilities and on library grounds.
ANIMALS: Except for service animals and those designated for a library program, patrons shall not bring pets or animals into library buildings.
BICYCLES: Bicycles are not allowed in library buildings and should be secured outside the building without obstructing the library entrance.
CAMPAIGNING, PETITIONING, INTERVIEWING, AND SIMILAR ACTIVITIES:
As a Limited Public Forum, the Library reserves the right to regulate the time, place, and manner for campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey-taking, pamphleteering, canvassing and soliciting on Library grounds as follows:
1. Campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey-taking, pamphleteering, canvassing, and soliciting are prohibited inside the Library.
2. Campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey-taking, pamphleteering, canvassing, and soliciting outside the Library but on Library grounds are subject to the following requirements:
a. Persons or groups are requested to sign in at the Checkout Desk in advance.
b. Use of the Library Property does not indicate the Library’s opposition or endorsement of the candidate or issue that is the subject of the petition, interview, campaign, or discussion.
c. Permitted areas for campaigning, petitioning, interviewing, survey-taking, pamphleteering, canvassing and soliciting outside of the Library shall be limited to the areas 25 feet from all entrances.
d. No person shall block ingress or egress from the Library Building.
e. Permitted times will be limited to the operating hours of the Library.
f. Campaign material, literature, or petitions may not be brought into the Library, posted at the Library, or left on Library property.
CELL PHONES: Cell phones and other electronic devices including those using headphones are permitted in the library as long as their use does not infringe upon the rights of another library user. Should this occur, the librarian would ask the device be turned off.
COMPUTERS: The public access workstations are not to be used for purposes contrary to federal, state (Michigan Compiled Laws 722.675, 722.677, 752.365, 752.795), local laws or the Library System’s Acceptable Use Policy.
CONVERSATIONS: Conversations must be kept low enough so as not to disturb other patrons. Loud talking is prohibited.
DRUGS: Possession, distribution or use of controlled substances is prohibited in library facilities and on library grounds.
ELEVATORS, STAIRS, AISLEWAYS: Patrons shall not obstruct aisles, doorways, or play on the elevator or stairs. These need to be free and available to all patrons in case of an emergency.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: Each branch library will develop a specific food & beverages statement. At no time should food or beverage be allowed near electrical equipment (computers, copiers, microfilm machines, etc.)
GRAFFITI: The vandalism and abuse of library property is against the law and will be dealt with through local authorities.
HARASSMENT: Harassment of patrons and staff will not be tolerated and may be subject to appropriate criminal prosecution. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, obscene, threatening, or suggestive language, photographing, video recording, audio recording, intimidating, following, stalking, harassing, arguing with, talking or behaving in a manner (1) which can be reasonably be expected to disturb library patrons or patrons that are in the library or on library property; (2) that interferes with the Library patrons’ use of the library or the ability of the staff person to do his or her job; (3) that would create or may result in a hostile work environment for Library Staff; and/or (4) that violates Michigan law or Federal law.
HYGIENE: Patrons whose bodily hygiene is considered offensive and unreasonable and substantially interferes with other people’s use of the library may be asked to leave the building.
PERSONAL BELONGINGS: Patrons are responsible for their own belongings. Items should never be left unattended. The library reserves the right and privilege to open and inspect any bag, pocketbook, briefcase, etc.
PHOTOGRAPHY: All patrons must seek permission from the Library Director or designee before taking photos of or filming individuals at the Library, unless taking photos of themselves or their family members or attending a meeting that is open to the public under the Open Meetings Act. Unattended children may not have their pictures taken.
RUNNING, PUSHING, AND SHOVING: This behavior is not appropriate for a library.
SHIRT & SHOES: Shirt and shoes are required to enter library buildings for hygiene and safety reasons.
SOLICITATION: Patrons shall not solicit funds or sell any article or service in library facilities.
SMOKING: The library is a designated smoke free environment and the use of any tobacco product or “e-cigarette” is prohibited.
Any violation of these rules may result in suspension or permanent revocation of library privileges.
Users violating the Rules of Conduct will be subject to the following:
Any individual violating the Patron Behavior Policy will be asked to cease such behavior or leave the building.
If an individual refuses to comply, local law enforcement may be called to the situation.
Information about incidents will be kept by the library staff on an Incident Report form. Patron name, address, and phone may be requested. This information may be used in any decision to restrict the individual’s future use of the library system.
Users violating the law:
Committing or attempting to commit an activity in violation of state, federal or local law, ordinance or regulation is prohibited including vandalism, theft or endangering the safety of others. Violators will be subject to arrest and prosecution. There will be an immediate suspension of library privileges at all library facilities.
Removing library materials from the library building without checking them out is theft and is subject to prosecution.
Entering a library building when a person’s library privileges are suspended or have been revoked constitutes trespass and is subject to prosecution.