Patron Behavioral Policy

PURPOSE:
To protect the rights of individuals who are in the library to use materials or services, to assist staff members in conducting library business efficiently, and to preserve library materials and facilities.

STATEMENT OF POLICY:
Library patrons are expected to use the library, including facilities and materials, in a responsible, appropriate, and courteous manner.  Illegal acts or conduct in violation of Federal, State, local laws, ordinances, regulations, and applicable policies of Baldwin-Whitehall School District are prohibited.  Behavior that disturbs or infringes on the rights of other library patrons and staff and which damages library materials and property is not permitted.  This policy applies to patrons of all ages.

RULES AND REGULATIONS:
Actions prohibited include, but are not limited to:

  1. Engaging in disorderly conduct, drunken, dangerous or threatening behavior, fighting or challenging to fight, running, or using offensive words which disturb the peace or good order of the library, and any other behavior that is disruptive to library use.
  2. Blocking entryways, book returns, or other common areas.
  3. Refusing to comply with requests of any member of the library staff to comply with library policy.
  4. Using offensive or abusive language or acting or behaving disrespectfully toward a library employee, volunteer or patron.
  5. Any form of harassment – physical, sexual, verbal – of library staff, volunteer, or patron. Harassment may include initiating unwanted conversations, impeding access to the library, stalking, and the like.
  6. Displaying obscene or sexually explicit materials or Internet sites in violation of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 5903.
  7. Excessive noise and other disturbances, such as loud conversations, laughter, cell phone use, or music which is disturbing to others, separate from an authorized library programs.
  8. Selling and/or soliciting for services, money, items, or signatures, except for library-related activities.
  9. Disturbing or posting printed materials, literature, or other items that have not been approved by the Library Director or staff he/she designates.
  10. Possessing or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  11. Smoking or other uses of tobacco or tobacco products.
  12. Consuming unauthorized food or beverages.
  13. Not wearing shoes or shirt.
  14. Bringing animals or pets into the library (except for assistance animals or for specific library programs.
  15. Intentionally damaging, destroying, or stealing any property belonging to the library, a patron, or employee.
  16. Removing library materials from the premises without authorization through established lending procedures.
  17. Moving furniture without permission from library staff.
  18. Leaving a child under (9) years of age unattended by a responsible person.
  19. Possessing weapons of any type.
  20. Indecent exposure.
  21. Entering “staff only” area without permission of library staff.
  22. Abuse of borrowing privileges.

The library reserves the right to:

  1. Inspect all backpacks, bookbags, satchels, and briefcases.
  2. Confiscate and dispose of any food, beverages, or containers thereof brought into the library.
  3. Limit the number of persons who may sit together at a single table or carrel or in an arrangement of casual seating.
  4. Separate members or a group from one another or relocate an individual from one area of the library to another.
  5. Impose time limits on the continuous use of library resources, including reference materials and computer equipment.
  6. Require patrons to furnish commonly accepted forms of identification, such as a driver’s license or student ID card.

The library is not responsible for personal belongings left unattended.  Personal items left by patrons are subject to disposal.

UNATTENDED CHILD POLICY

  1. The library is not responsible for the safety or well-being of any person beyond the extent reasonably expected of a public facility.
  2. The library staff is not responsible for any unattended minor child (age 17 and under).
  3. The library staff is not responsible for preventing minor children from leaving the library. However, should a child be found alone or waiting for transportation at the time of library closing, efforts will be made to contact the parent (s) or legal guardian. Should appropriate arrangements not be possible, local police will be called and two staff members will remain with the child until the police arrive.
  4. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for the conduct of their minor children in the library, regardless of whether they are accompanying the child.
  5. Children attending library programs are, for the duration of the program only, considered to be supervised by library staff and thus are not considered unattended.
  6. The accompanying caregiver may not leave a child under the age of nine (9) unattended in the library. The accompanying caregiver must stay in visual contact with the child.
  7. All children under the age of nine must be in the company of a caregiver who is 14 years of age or older.
  8. As library staff do not serve in the role of parent or police, they do NOT have any responsibility to report persons who may be truant from school.

NONCOMPLIANCE:

  1. Failure to comply with this policy and/or established rules, regulations, and procedures of the library will result in a warning and may also result in exclusion from the library for eh day, or a specified period of time up to and including permanent expulsion, and/or in arrest.
  2. Theft or damage of library materials will result in permanent exclusion from the library and/or in arrest.
  3. Communication of threats, physical violence or sexual offenses will result in permanent exclusion and/or arrest.
  4. Any person who is asked to leave the library as a result of the violation of these guidelines and refuses to do so shall be considered to be trespassing. The library staff will contact the Baldwin Borough Police Department in all such cases.
  5. The library staff will call the Baldwin Borough Police Department at times when staff deems this to be necessary or prudent.
  6. Any patron whose privileges have been denied by library staff may appeal the decision to the Baldwin Borough Public Library Board of Trustees within thirty (30) days of the decision.

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