Patron Behavior Policy
As a patron of the Library, you can expect excellent service, respect for your privacy, equitable access to materials and services, and a safe and welcoming environment. The Library is a place that belongs to everyone. The Library has established basic rules of courtesy so that its facility is a pleasant place for all to visit.
No individual may engage in inappropriate conduct on the premises of the Middlebury Public Library, or when using library facilities, or when participating in library programs. Patrons shall be engaged in normal activities associated with the use of a public library while in the building. Patrons not engaged in reading, studying, using library material and computers, or attending a library program may be asked to leave the building.
If your conduct or activities violate these rules, you will be asked to change your disruptive behavior. Failure to do so may result in the loss of Library privileges, up to and including removal from Library premises and contacting police. The Library defines “disruptive behavior” as any act that interferes with Library service or with someone else’s use of the Library.
Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to:
- Possession of alcohol, illegal substances, or a weapon (except as permitted under Indiana Code 35-47-11.1) on Library property
- Abusive, threatening, or harassing behavior in any form to anyone
- Selling, polling, soliciting, panhandling, or loitering on Library property
- Intoxication or impairment
- Sexual behavior
- Having offensive personal hygiene
- Use of devices that disrupt others’ use of the Library
- Use of furniture, Library equipment, and facilities in a manner for which they were not intended
- Trespassing by entering or remaining on Library premises after having been notified by an authorized individual not to do so, and entering or remaining on the Library premises during the period in which an individual has been banned from the premises
- Refusing to follow the directions of Library staff
- Behaving in a disorderly or disruptive manner which is not conducive to comfortable library use or a manner which threatens personal safety of patrons and/or staff.
- Inappropriate attire includes, but is not limited to, not wearing shoes or shirt
Other rules for the comfort and safety of visitors and staff include, but are not limited to:
- Children under the age of eight may not be left unattended anywhere in the library.
- The use of tobacco, tobacco products, and smoking-related products* is strictly prohibited in Library buildings and on Library property. The Library is 100% tobacco-free, both inside and out. *Prohibited products include, but are not limited to cigarettes, electronic cigarettes (e-cigs), vaporizers, cigars and cigarillos, hookah-smoked products, pipes, and oral tobacco (e.g., spit and spitless, smokeless, chew, snuff) and nasal tobacco (e.g., snus). Any product intended to mimic tobacco products, or the smoking of any other substance is prohibited.
- Food and beverages are not allowed in the computer area.
- Use of Library office equipment and/or telephones by patrons is not permitted. Courtesy phones for emergencies are available at the information desks.
- Only service animals or animals involved in Library programs are allowed in the Library. No unattended animals are allowed on Library property.
- Patrons may not enter non-public areas unless accompanied by Library staff. No roller blades, scooters, or skateboards may be used on Library property.
The behaviors identified above are unacceptable patron conduct and will result in appropriate discretionary responses from library staff according to the following progressive criteria:
- Ask patron to cease behavior.
- Repeat request to cease behavior and communicate that this correction is a warning of expulsion if behavior continues.
- Ask patron to leave facility or call police if patron refuses to comply. The staff member involved will document the occurrence and any action on the Incident Report form. The patron will not be allowed in the library for one full business day beginning the day after the incident.
- If there is a second offense, the patron will not be allowed in the library for one week starting with the business day after the incident. The staff member will document any action on the Incident Report form and report to the Director. If the patron is under 18 years of age, the parent/guardian will be contacted by phone or mail by the Director. For patrons over the age of 18 a letter will be sent to the last known address with a copy of this policy and a date of return.
- If there is a third offense, the patron will not be allowed in the library for six months starting with the business day after the incident. The staff member will document any action on the Incident Report form and report it to their direct supervisor. If the patron is under 18 years of age, the director will contact the parent/guardian by phone, if possible, to discuss the issue and a letter will be sent to the last known address with a copy of this policy and a return date. The parent/guardian will need to accompany their child after the six months ban to reinstate privileges. If the patron is over 18, a letter will be sent to the last known address with a copy of this policy and a date of return.
Zero Tolerance Behaviors
The behaviors mentioned below will result in immediate expulsion from the Library until either legal action is complete or the Library Director has met with the offender to discuss the consequences of the behavior.
- Stealing, damaging, altering of any library or personal property including, but not limited to, defacing of library materials, vandalizing library equipment, furniture, computers, etc.
- Stalking which is considered the pursuit of others. It is unsolicited, unwelcome, and unreasonable in nature, creates a threatening and intimidating service environment.
- Committing sexual offenses.
- Displaying any form of pornography.
- Verbal, physical, written, or electronic harassment or abuse. Any patron banned from the library six months or more may appeal to the MPL Board of Trustees for a potential reduction in time away from the library. The appeal will be scheduled for the next public meeting of the MPL Board of Trustees.
ADOPTED: June 5, 2014
REVISED: August 11, 2022