Code of Conduct for Library Use

The Dwight Foster Public Library has an obligation to its patrons to maintain an atmosphere conducive to reading, study, research, and the pursuit of life-long learning opportunities. Library patrons are expected to use the Library, including its facilities, grounds, resources and materials, in a responsible, appropriate, and courteous manner.

These rules are posted for the comfort and protection of all. They will be courteously and firmly enforced by Library staff. If necessary, the police may be called for assistance. Persons who fail to follow the Library’s rules may be excluded from the Library and/or face legal action which includes a possible charge of violation of municipal ordinances. Repetitive violations could mean permanent exclusion from the Library.

Instances of irresponsible use of the Library and supporting examples include:

  • Any illegal activity including stealing, damaging, or altering any Library property. Patrons who trigger the Library’s theft detection system may be required to open any bags or clothing for inspection.
    Examples (includes but is not limited to): Altering or damaging setup of computer equipment or software; writing on Library materials; cutting or tearing out pages from Library materials; carving table tops; puncturing upholstery, jumping in bushes, starting a fire.
  • Disorderly, drunken, dangerous, disruptive, or threatening behavior that may jeopardize the personal safety of patrons, staff or facilities at the Library.
    Examples (includes but is not limited to): Cursing; making obscene gestures; wearing clothing which can reasonably be deemed vulgar or obscene; wearing inadequate clothing; approaching patrons or staff and engaging in unwanted or inappropriate interaction; threatening the personal safety of patrons or staff; transmitting threatening, harassing, malicious, or abusive languages and images; running, skateboarding, or rollerblading; fighting; chronic sleeping; using a laser pointer (except for authorized use in a presentation); playing in and around the elevator and climbing the theft detection system.
  • Loitering
    Examples (includes but is not limited to): Blocking the entry ways, vestibules, book return or staircases. Disruptive groups congregating on Library grounds may be asked to disperse. Any bicycle or other item blocking the Library entryway is subject to confiscation by Library staff.
  • Consumption of intoxicants, tobacco, and food
    Examples (includes but is not limited to): Consuming drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products inside the Library, including entryways and restrooms or within a 15 foot perimeter of the front door. Food is permitted in staff areas, the coffee shop area and for groups meeting in the meeting rooms, if arrangements have been made in advance. Non-alcoholic beverages in covered containers are allowed in the library except near computers or other electrical equipment.
  • Openly carrying a weapon (except for an on-duty law enforcement official) is not allowed. Concealed carry of a weapon is permissible provided the proper permit has been attained. No one may exhibit any weapon, tool or other item in a threatening manner.
  • Stalking
    Examples (includes but is not limited to): Conduct that alarms, annoys or harasses another patron or staff; an adult unaccompanied by a child in the Youth Service’s area who is not engaged in Library business.
  • Indecent exposure; harassment; displaying pornography.
    Examples (includes but is not limited to): Inappropriate touching; attempting or threatening physical contact; solicitation for sex; display of sexually explicit materials or sites from the Internet.
  • Soliciting signatures on a petition; soliciting donations of money or distributing materials at the Library without prior approval. Impeding ingress to or egress from the Library. Community organizations may submit literature to the administration for approval for display in the information racks in the Library.
    Examples (includes but is not limited to): Panhandling.
  • Unacceptable personal hygiene.
    Examples (includes but is not limited to): Obnoxious body odor or overpowering perfume or cologne.
  • Producing excessive noise separate from an authorized Library program.
    Examples (includes but is not limited to): Loud talking, singing, playing a musical instrument or radio/cassette/CD player, using a portable telephone, prolonged ringing of a beeper, crying children for an extended period, or a hearing aid that continues to squeal.
  • Bringing animals or pets into the Library separate from authorized programs, with the exception of handicapped aid animals.
  • Any behavior or actions not listed above will be left to the discretion of the library director or his/her designee for review and action.

In addition, parents are responsible for the behavior of their children. Parents are asked to come with their children, not only for their own safety, but to show respect for other Library patrons. The Library enforces its Unattended Children Policy. It has clear rules regarding the ages that children are allowed to be in the Library unattended. Parents of young children may be asked to relocate to the children’s department if they are disruptive to others in the adult areas of the library.

Adults unaccompanied by children/teens are allowed to use the juvenile or teen collections but are not allowed to remain in those specially designated areas without staff permission.

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

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 and may be subject to permanent exclusion from the Library and/or arrest. Any patron whose privileges have been denied by the Library Director may appeal the decision to the Dwight Foster Public Library Board of Trustees within thirty (30) days of the decision.

Approved by the Dwight Foster Public Library Board of Trustees 10/4/99
Revised 2/4/02
Revised 1/9/12