Behavior and Conduct in the Library

Library Conduct

To maintain an atmosphere appropriate for work, study and enjoyment for all library users and staff, the following policy on behavior in the Pierce Public Library and on library property has been established. The policy will be courteously, but firmly, enforced by library staff.

Appropriate library activities include: browsing for materials, reading, thinking, quiet conversation, homework, writing reports and researching. If library games, puzzles, computers or audio-visual equipment are available, they are to be used quietly, so as not to disturb others. Group study up to four at one table and quiet tutoring of one or two students is permitted. Group study by, or tutoring of, more students at one time, or any other group work; which creates enough noise to disrupt other patrons, must be conducted in a meeting room, following meeting room policies and procedures.

Inappropriate activities include: running, throwing, loud or abusive talking, eating or drinking in other than designated areas, moving furniture, putting feet on furniture, sleeping, loitering, gambling, inappropriate public displays of affection, excessive socializing, soliciting, selling, distributing leaflets, use of tobacco products and any other activities which disrupt the library. Any illegal activities, including vandalism, will not be tolerated.
Disruptive behavior is defined as noisy, boisterous or acting-out behavior which is inappropriate in a setting where business is being conducted. This behavior may represent a physical danger to people or property, or may interfere with the legitimate library business of other users or staff.

Patrons who are behaving inappropriately or disruptively will be warned that the behavior must stop. If the behavior is not immediately corrected, the person will be told to leave the premises. For serious violations, patrons may be asked to leave even if they correct the problem. Anyone who does not leave after being told to do so will be considered a trespasser and will be treated accordingly, including involving the police. Habitual abusers of library rules may be banned from the premises for a period ranging from one day to three months. A minor (anyone under 18 years of age) who creates chronic problems may be required, for up to three months, to bring a responsible adult who will remain with him or her in the library.

Dress appropriately for a public place. Shirts and shoes should be worn at all times within the Library. Hygiene should be sufficient as to not offend others and to not leave stains/vermin on public property such as furniture, books, keyboards, etc.

We ask that cell phones be on a low ringer or vibrate so they don’t disturb others using the library. If you need to take or make a call; please exit the library.

The Library Director is responsible for training all library staff to consistently enforce library rules of conduct. Continuous and positive communication with local police is important to maintaining a positive and welcome atmosphere in each library.

The Behavior and Conduct in the Library policy is posted in each library.

Unattended Children

In an effort to provide a Library environment that allows all patrons to utilize Library materials and information sources in a safe, relaxed manner, the Library Board of Trustees has adopted a policy statement concerning unattended or disruptive children.

Parents are responsible for their children’s behavior while in the Library. Children and young people who are disruptive in the Library or on Library grounds interfere with Library service to all patrons. The public Library is not a child care provider but a public institution where all patrons have an equal right to quality Library services in a safe and relaxed environment.

If a child is left unattended in the Library, the staff will attempt to locate his/her parents. Staff are not permitted to remain after hours with an unattended child nor to give him/her a ride home. For the safety of the child, the staff will not leave a child under the age of ten outside to wait on a ride. If a parent cannot be reached by the time the Library is to close, the Police will be called to escort the child home or keep the child until parents can be reached.

The library welcomes youth to use its facilities and services. Responsibility for the behavior and well-being of children using the library rests with the parent (or guardian or care giver assigned by the parent) and not with the library’s personnel.

Library staff members cannot supervise children in the library.

Children under the age of eight years may not be left unattended by an adult in any part of the library for longer than 15 minutes. If children under the age of eight are found without an adult, staff will attempt to locate the parent or other care giver.

During story times or other programs, adults who do not attend the program with the child may leave the building but must return to the story area by the end of the program.

If children under the age of six are found without an adult at closing time, staff will attempt to locate the parent or adult care giver. If a parent/guardian cannot be reached within 15 minutes after closing, the Police will be called to take the child home.

Due to differences in child development, some children eight years and older may not be able to cope with being unattended. No public place, including the Library, can guarantee the safety of children. Therefore, it is recommended that children between 6 and 10 years of age be accompanied by a parent or other care giver when visiting the library.

When visiting the Library without an adult, children should have definite arrangements to be picked up by closing time. If children are left unattended at closing, staff will call the parents or care giver.

The Library staff will contact law enforcement personnel (police or sheriff) if staff are unable to reach parents or other care givers by telephone.

When police have been called, staff will leave a note on the door notifying the parent or care giver, in case the law enforcement personnel picked up the child from the library. Staff members will use their judgment when dealing with unattended youth at closing.

Staff do not drive children home.