It is the policy of the Hiawatha Public Library to provide a safe, comfortable environment that is conducive to the use of library materials either by individuals or small groups. The library is designed for the use of all members of the public. Patrons are expected to observe the rights of other patrons and staff members and to use the library for its intended purposes.
The following kinds of behavior will not be allowed in the library:
- Any behavior that endangers the safety or health of others
- Violation while in the library of any local, state, or federal law
- Vandalism or deliberate destruction of library materials
- Theft of library materials or the personal property of other patrons or staff member.
- Deliberate disruption of library procedures
- Any behavior that is disruptive to the Library environment; for example loud talking or laughing.
- Use of abusive language
- Smoking inside the building or on library grounds
- Consuming food or beverages in such a way that could damage the library building, materials or furniture. Non-alcohol beverages in covered containers may be consumed.
- Possession of weapons, concealed or openly visible, on library premises with the exception of those carried by authorized law enforcement agents, members of the armed services, or those with private security firms.
- Disruptive use of cell phone.
In most cases, patrons who are behaving inappropriately in the library will be given one warning by the library staff and asked to behave in an appropriate manner. Patrons who refuse to behave more appropriately after one warning will be asked to leave the library.
In cases in which a patron poses a clear danger to her/himself or others, deliberately violates the law, or refuses to leave the library after being asked to leave by the library staff, the police will be called to handle the situation.
Minors who are being disruptive will be asked to leave after one warning. If they are accompanied by an adult who cannot or will not control them, the adult will be asked to remove the minor from the building. The library’s policy on unattended children will be used for those persons under the age of nine who appear to be unattended and/or are causing a disturbance.
- Staff members are to use their best professional judgment when enforcing this policy.
- The goals of staff action will be to curtail a patron’s inappropriate behavior, and to encourage the patron to behave appropriately in the Library.
- Response to any incident should occur as soon as possible after the incident begins.
- Except in cases where the staff feels in physical danger, they will discuss the inappropriate behavior with the patron, suggest alternatives, and if necessary state the consequences of the behavior.
- In cases where a juvenile refuses to behave appropriately in the Library, the staff member in charge is authorized to call the juvenile’s parents.
- In cases where a patron, whether juvenile or adult, continues to behave in an inappropriate manner after the staff has warned the patron that such behavior is inappropriate, the staff member in charge is authorized to tell the patron to leave, and to call the police if the patron refuses.
SEQUENCE OF ACTIONS
1. Any patron asked to leave the Library may return the next working day.
2. If the patron continues to behave in an inappropriate manner, the staff member in charge is authorized to tell the patron to leave, and Library privileges are withdrawn for a week.
3. If after a week without Library privileges the patron still behaves in an inappropriate manner, the staff member in charge is authorized to tell the
patron to leave, and Library privileges are withdrawn for a month. A letter of explanation will be sent to a juvenile's parents or responsible adult explaining the behavior and the loss of privileges.
4. At the end of the month, an adult must meet with the Library Director, Assistant Director, or Youth Services Librarian for reinstatement of Library privileges. A juvenile must bring his/her parents or responsible adult and meet with the Library Director, Assistant Director, or Youth Services Librarian for reinstatement of Library privileges.
In cases where an illegal or potentially dangerous incident occurs, any staff member is authorized to call the police.
Notes should be made in the patron's account explaining the loss of privileges and when the patron may use the library facilities again.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees 10/9/2003