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Patron Behavior Policy

Wauconda Area Public Library District

PATRON BEHAVIOR POLICY

Approved May 13, 2002 by the Board of Library Trustees
Revision approved June 11, 2007
Amended July 12, 2010

No person shall engage in inappropriate conduct on the premises of the Library or when using Library facilities or participating in Library programs.

Inappropriate conduct shall include any individual or group activity which is disruptive to other persons lawfully using Library facilities, materials, premises or otherwise inconsistent with activities, such as reading, studying, proper use of library materials, and other similar conduct normally associated with a library.

The term “premises” includes inside and outside areas of the library property.

The term “public area” of the Library shall mean those portions of the facilities of the Wauconda Area Library that are open for public use.

The term “Library facilities” shall include both the public and non-public areas of the library and its facilities.

Support of Staff Members’ Actions: Public service staff members who have acted on their best judgment in confronting a person will be supported by their supervisor, the Person-in-Charge, and the administration.  Any staff member who observes or receives complaints of inappropriate behavior may:

  • Handle the problem directly with the patron.  Staff should use their judgment as to whether the situation requires assistance from another staff member. 
  • Immediately telephone the police if the situation is of a severe/violent or emergency medical situation. 
  • Contact the supervisor in charge if the situation is of a nature that the staff member chooses not to confront patron. 
  • At any time contact police if the patron is not responding to staff requests to conform to the Library’s rules of conduct. 

RULES OF CONDUCT

The Library has the right to maintain its facility in a clean, pleasant, and safe manner.  Every individual has the right to use the Library undisturbed and every library employee has the right to work without undue interference.  All library users and employees should be free of any threat of harm, invasion of property, or gross indignity.  To guarantee these rights for all persons, the following rules of conduct apply to behavior on the premises of all Library property.

INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT

The following conduct shall be deemed “inappropriate;” such conduct is not consistent with appropriate use of Library services:

Including but not limited to:

  • Sleeping
  • Loitering
  • Excessive and disruptive conversations/discussions. 
  • Running, throwing, fighting or any other behavior which disrupts other library patrons
  • Eating food in the library, other than that which is available in the library vending machines or is served at a library program or meeting (i.e., no fast food from McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc.)
  • Drinking or carrying a beverage other than water in a public area of the library using an uncovered container
  • Operation of a cell phone inside the library other than in the library’s main vestibule
  • Skateboarding, roller-blading, roller-skating, or stunt-biking anywhere on library property, including the parking lot
  • Occupying or “holding” more than one seat and/or table per individual
  • Taking multiple copies of handouts without staff permission 
  • Using materials for purposes other than reading, research, viewing or listening 
  • After having been warned by library staff: Using, stacking, or monopolizing unreasonable numbers of library materials at any given time
  • Unauthorized canvassing, selling, soliciting, or engaging in any other commercial activity 
  • Preventing staff from normal, reasonable, clean-up, reshelving activities, especially ten (10) minutes before closing 
  • Being in a state of intoxication
  • Smoking or use of tobacco products
  • Bringing any animal into library buildings, except working animals used in assisting the disabled
  • Possession of a firearm or display of any other type of weapon while on library property
  • Other activities which are inconsistent with activities such as reading, studying, use of library materials, and other similar conduct normally associated with the use of library facilities
  • Causing sounds which are unreasonable and highly disruptive of other persons using the library facilities.  Including but not limited to: loud, prolonged, abusive, indecent, profane or drunken conversation and/or behavior 
  • Stealing or damaging library property.  Removing protective covers from books, magazines, and other media with the intent to damage and/or steal library property
  • Committing any crime, misdemeanor, or violation of a municipal ordinance on the premises of Library facilities 
  • Any behavior which is disruptive, harassing, or threatening in nature to library patrons or staff.  This includes staring at, following or stalking of patrons or staff 
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages or repeatedly being in a state of intoxication that precludes the individual’s using the library for its intended purposes 
  • Knowingly entering non-public areas of library facilities
  • Inappropriate use of the public restroom facilities, including bathing, shaving or washing personal clothes or kitchenware (?). 
  • Library materials are not allowed in any public restroom
  • Behavior prohibited by any other Library policy, including but not limited to the Internet Policy and the Circulation Policy

UNATTENDED MINORS

Children eight years of age and under must be closely accompanied at all times by an older responsible person. The child’s parent will be contacted if the child is left unattended.

The library reserves the right to turn over to the proper authority minors (under age 18) left unattended for extended periods of time or left after library hours.

INAPPROPRIATE USE OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES

If an adult in Children’s Services is not accompanied by a child or is not involved in appropriate use of children’s library materials and is observed by staff to be spending an unnecessary and unusual amount of time in Children’s Services, such person shall be asked to use other areas of the library. 

Public restrooms in the Children’s Services Department are reserved solely for children and their parents or caregivers

INAPPROPRIATE PERSONAL HYGIENE

Patrons whose bodily hygiene is so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other persons shall be required to leave the building.  When the problem is corrected, patrons may re-enter the library.

HARASSMENT

It is the policy of the Wauconda Area Library to maintain and ensure a working environment free from harassment, including sexual harassment or intimidation. Verbal or physical conduct based on age, race, color, sex, national origin, religion and/or disability which creates an offensive working environment or interferes with an employee's ability to perform his or her job is considered harassment under this policy.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct creating an offensive working environment or interfering with an employee's ability to perform his or her job constitutes a violation of this policy.

THEFT, VANDALISM, OR OTHER ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES

When a patron attempts to steal or maliciously destroy library and/or personal property (belonging to staff and/or patrons), the police will be called and the incident reported to the Person-in-Charge.  The library will prosecute anyone who steals or maliciously destroys library property.  When other illegal activities (e.g., indecent exposure) are committed by a patron, the library will prosecute.

SANCTIONS FOR VIOLATING PATRON BEHAVIOR POLICY

Violators of this Patron Behavior Policy may be required to immediately leave the building at the discretion of the Person-In-Charge. 

Any patron who violates these rules may be immediately removed from the building.  The patron may be banned from library property for a maximum of one year at the discretion of the Library Director, depending on the nature and the seriousness of the offense which required removal, the extent of damage or disruption caused, any history of prior infractions of library policies and other relevant circumstances.  The patron may be banned from the library for more than one year at the discretion of the Board of Library Trustees if such sanction is recommended by the Library Director.

A library patron shall not be sanctioned with suspension of library privileges unless and until the patron has been told of the reasons for the proposed sanction, and given an opportunity to state his or her views as to the facts giving rise to the proposed sanction.

A person whose library privileges have been denied or limited may appeal the decision to the Board by requesting a hearing within thirty (30) days after the imposition of the sanction. Any such request must be submitted in writing. Failure to request a hearing within that period shall result in the sanction becoming final and binding. The requested hearing will be held at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Any person who enters or remains on library premises after having been notified by an authorized individual not to do so, and any person who enters or remains on the library premises during the period in which he or she had been banned from the premises, will be subject to arrest and prosecution for trespassing.