Patron Behavior Policy
The Middlebury Public Library has established this Behavior Policy to ensure that library facilities are safe, welcoming and provide equitable access to materials and services for all library users.
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/computers or attending a library program may be asked to leave the building.
Guideline Behaviors with Progressive Consequences
Instances of irresponsible use of the library and its facilities shall include but is not limited to:
- Producing excessive noise. (Examples: loud talking, cell phones, singing, playing a musical instrument, or other electronic device, etc., which are determined to be inconsistent with public service operations.)
- 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. (Examples: skateboarding, rollerblading, running or groups gathering around a single computer.)
- Eating or drinking in the library except in areas specifically designated for that purpose
- Loitering – Repeat violators and/or persons who refuse to leave when requested will be subject to arrest and prosecution under Section 35-43-2-2 of the Indiana Code entitled “Criminal Trespass”.
- Soliciting donations of money or anything of value; selling materials or services. (Examples: Panhandling, etc.)
- Inappropriate attire includes but is not limited to not wearing shoes or shirt.
- Having offensive personal hygiene.
The behaviors identified above are considered to be 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 security/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 the 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 property including, but not limited to, defacing of library materials, vandalizing library equipment, furniture, computers, etc.
- Carrying concealed or obvious weapon(s). An exception to this zero tolerance behavior: A legal U.S. resident who legally possesses a firearm may carry, transport or store a firearm and any accessories, including ammunition, on library property. “Firearm” means any weapon that is capable of expelling or designed to expel or that may readily be converted to expel a projectile by means of an explosion.
- 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. (Examples: indecent exposure, inappropriate/unwelcome sexual advances or harassment)
- Displaying child pornography.
- Verbal, physical, written or electronic harassment or abuse. (Examples: Cursing at patrons or staff; approaching patrons or staff and engaging in unwanted or inappropriate interaction; threats to personal safety of patrons or staff; the transmission of threatening, harassing, malicious, or abusive language and/or images, etc.)
Any patron banned from the library six months or more may appeal to the MCP Library 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 MCP Library Board of Trustees.
ADOPTED: June 5, 2014