Patron Behavior Policy (https://wcpl.info/index.php/index.php/about/policies/behavior)
Effective: March 18, 2013; Revised: April 17, 2023
The Library Board of Trustees is responsible for determining the rules for public behavior in the library according to authority granted in the Ohio Revised Code. These rules are necessary to:
1. Ensure the safety of library patrons and employees.
2. Protect the privileges of individuals to use library materials and services.
3. Protect the ability of library employees to conduct library business without interference.
4. Ensure the use of the buildings, materials, and services by the greatest number of individuals.
5. Preserve those materials and facilities from harm.
The Board of Trustees of the Wayne County Public Library hereby adopts the following policy for the safety, comfort, and protection of the staff and of all individuals using library facilities.
The Board authorizes the Director or a person designated by the Director to revoke or restrict library privileges of any individual who behaves contrary to these rules. The Board also authorizes the Director to file charges against individuals who consistently transgress these rules.
The rules for public behavior are listed below. Security guards and other employees are authorized to bring to an individual’s attention any act or omission that violates these rules and detracts from the atmosphere of the library. Such an individual will be asked to change the behavior to conform to the rules. If the individual does not change the behavior, that individual will be asked to leave the library building and library property. If the individual refuses to leave, police will be called for assistance. The
board authorizes the Director to bring to the attention of law enforcement authorities the identity and circumstances involving individuals who commit serious infractions of these rules.
Depending on the severity of the misbehavior, individuals who have been asked to leave the building and property may be barred from returning to the library for a specified period of time. Guidelines regarding the length of a suspension for various offenses will be consulted to determine how long a person will be barred from library use. Individuals who have been barred may be asked to talk to the Director or a person designated by the Director before being readmitted. Juveniles may be asked to bring a parent or guardian to such a conference.
Any library patron who has been banned from using library facilities may appeal the suspension of privileges by submitting a written petition to the Director within thirty days of notification of the suspension. The petition should state why the person’s library privileges should not be suspended. Upon receipt of such a petition, the Director shall schedule a hearing before the board of trustees at which the suspended person shall appear. Information from incident reports by staff and statements of other witnesses, if any, will be taken into consideration. Failure to appear will be interpreted as a withdrawing of the appeal. At the conclusion of the hearing, the decision to suspend library privileges may be affirmed, modified, or cancelled.
Rules for Public Behavior on Library Property
Any misconduct that hinders use of the library or use of library materials or that places patrons or staff at risk is prohibited. Such misconduct might include but is not limited to the behaviors in the list that follows:
The following behaviors are not permitted in library buildings or on library property:
1. Bringing firearms or other deadly weapons into a library building unless the person in possession of the weapon is a law enforcement officer.
2. Brandishing knives, using knives to threaten or intimidate others, or using knives in an unsafe manner that could reasonably result in personal injury or property damage.
3. Fighting on library property.
4. Behaving in a loud or rowdy manner.
5. Using the Internet in a way that is in violation of the Library’s Internet Access and Safety Policy.
6. Reprogramming or altering library computers or software.
7. Harassing others, either verbally or through actions. Harassment may include initiating unwanted conversations or interfering with access to the building by congregating in or around entrances, exits and stairways.
8. Using profanity, racial or ethnic epithets, or other abusive language or gestures toward other patrons or toward employees.
9. Leaving children under the age of twelve alone inside or outside the building at closing time.
10. Allowing children in one’s care to behave disruptively or destructively.
11. Damaging library furniture, equipment, or materials.
12. Stealing library materials or other library property or stealing the property of library users or staff.
13. Speaking loudly so as to disturb other library users or employees.
14. Using audible devices without headphones or with headphones set at a volume that disturbs others.
15. Using cellphones and other communication devices in a manner that disturbs others.
16. Possessing, selling, or using alcoholic beverages or illegal substances on library property.
17. Behaving in a way suggestive of being under the influence of alcoholic, hallucinogenic or other controlled substances.
18. Using tobacco in any form while inside a library building.
19. Smoking or vaping in the library or in the area adjacent to any library entrance or exit.
20. Eating, drinking or carrying open beverage containers in a library building outside of designated areas. Covered drinks and food are permitted in designated areas of the library.
21. Running in a library building.
22. Using wheeled devices inside the library or on library grounds, except in designated areas, including use of skateboards, roller skates, bicycles, motorized or non-motorized scooters, and shopping carts. These restrictions do not apply to ADA assistive devices or baby strollers.
23. Soliciting for personal gain or charitable purposes or buying or selling of any kind, distributing literature, taking surveys, or asking individuals or employees to sign petitions or similar activities in a way that is in violation of the Library’s Petition and Solicitation Policy.
24. Video recording or taking photographs in a way that is in violation of the Library’s Photography, Video and Other Recordings Policy.
25. Bringing pets or animals, other than registered service animals necessary for assisting individuals with disabilities, into the library, except as authorized by the Director or their designee, or as part of special events sponsored by the library.
26. Dressing inappropriately to include, but not limited to, not wearing a shirt or shoes, or exhibiting bodily hygiene so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to others.
27. Misusing restroom facilities or bathing or washing clothing in restrooms or drinking fountains.
28. Taking library materials into the restrooms.
29. Using the emergency exits at times other than during an emergency.
30. Inappropriately displaying affection or engaging in sexual activity.
31. Leaving packages, backpacks, luggage, or any other personal items unattended. Any unattended items will be considered abandoned and subject to immediate confiscation and disposal.
32. Exhibiting a pattern of sleeping or napping in a library building.
33. Furnishing false information to obtain more than one library card.
34. Parking vehicles on library premises for purposes other than library use.
The Library reserves the right to limit the number of individuals who may sit together.
The Library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, packs, personal listening equipment, etc. for library materials.
The above rules are based on powers granted to a library Board of Trustees under Ohio statutory and caselaw for the operation of a public building. They will be posted prominently in each library location.
An incident report must be completed by any staff member involved with patrons who, because of the severity of their infraction of the above rules, have been asked to leave the building.
Failure to stop improper behavior when asked to do so by the staff will result in the offending person(s) being asked to leave library property immediately. Failure to leave if asked is a violation of the Ohio Criminal Trespass Statute and will result in the police being called.