Augusta-Richmond County Public Library
PATRON BEHAVIOR POLICY
The Augusta-Richmond County Public Library seeks to provide materials and services to the public in an environment that is safe, pleasant, and conducive to comfortable library use. Therefore, the Library has adopted the following policy for behavior. Library staff members and security guards have been authorized to enforce these regulations. When noncompliance takes place, the staff may require a patron to leave the library premises and may call the police.
You are welcome to:
- Ask questions of staff and receive needed information in the library
- Borrow certain materials by using your library card through established lending procedures and take them home for use, treating them carefully so others may use them after you are finished
- Bring your children to the library and enjoy materials and programs
- Use the materials in all public areas of the library. The Augusta-Richmond County Public Library is committed to ensuring the safety of all its patrons, with a special emphasis on the safety of children in our libraries. For this reason, the materials, services, and equipment in the children’s areas are intended primarily for the use of children, their parents and/or caregivers. Others needing to access materials or services specific to the children’s area do so with the understanding that the library staff will determine whether or not a particular use or activity is appropriate in the children’s area. Thus, patrons may be asked to use alternative area of the library, at the discretion of the library manager or designee.
- Read, study, type and write while using library materials
- Register and use free library computers
- Speak quietly with others in the library
The following activities and behaviors are prohibited:
- Engaging in any physically intimidating or assaultive behavior; making any threats of violence or unlawful activities. The Library has a policy of zero tolerance for threats and acts of violence. Any person engaging in such behaviors will be immediately ejected from the Library.
- Possessing, selling, distributing, consuming or being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, illegal drugs or controlled substance
- 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 reasonable directions of Library staff and security on duty
- Engaging in any behavior that a reasonable person would find to be disruptive, harassing, or threatening in nature to Library users or staff including: excessive or disruptive conversations, talking loudly, screaming, banging on computer keyboards, using electronic equipment at a volume that bothers others, rowdiness, running, noise, vandalism, obscene or vulgar language, stalking, prolonged staring, lurking, offensive touching, and obscene acts such as sex acts and indecent exposure, or following another with the intent to annoy or intentionally behaving in a manner that could reasonably be expected to annoy or disturb other patrons
- Neglecting to provide proper supervision of children or leaving children under the age of 9 unattended on Library premises per the Library’s Unattended Child and Child Safety Policy
- Engaging in any sexual contact, activities or conduct
- Selling, soliciting, surveying, distributing written materials, panhandling or canvassing for any political, charitable or religious purposes inside a library building, doorway or vestibule without prior authorization of the Library Director or designee
- Smoking or other use of tobacco products
- Eating while using Library computers or in spaces designated as free from food
- Sleeping, napping or dozing in or on Library premises
- Not wearing shoes or shirt within the library
- Entering or remaining upon library premises with a bodily hygiene so offensive that it constitutes a nuisance to others
- Moving furniture without the express consent of the library staff or use of furniture in any manner that may damage the furniture, to include placing feet on the furniture
- Using library materials, furniture, equipment or facilities in any manner inconsistent with the customary use thereof or the theft or intentional damaging of library materials including: mutilation of library materials by marking, underlining, removal of pages, removing electronic detection devices or in any way defacing library property furniture, equipment or facilities
- Bringing in more than two bags; no more than two bags of any type may be brought into the library.
- Blocking of aisles with personal items or leaving such items unattended on library premises at any time; items may be removed from the library premises if they reasonably appear to be abandoned or have been left unattended for 30 minutes or more
- Interfering with the safe and free passage of library staff or patrons on the premises, including but not limited to the placement of objects in hallways, aisles, flooring or elsewhere in a manner that impedes the free passage of such persons about the library
- Bringing any animal into the library except service animals
- Entering non-public areas of the library without permission
- Improperly using library restrooms or facilities for purposes such as bathing, shaving or changing clothes
- Taking library materials into rest rooms
- Violating the Library’s rules for acceptable use of the internet and library public computers. A user accepts these rules before accessing the Internet through a library computer. Copies of these rules will be made available by staff upon request. See Internet Use Policy and Guidelines.
- Engaging in any activity in violation of federal, state, local or other applicable law, or Library policy
- Stealing, damaging, altering, or inappropriate use of Library property in Library facilities or on Library grounds, including computer hardware and software, printers, copiers, phones, and other equipment
- Fighting or challenging to fight, running, pushing, shoving, or throwing things
- Gambling and group activities which are disruptive to the Library environment
- Using cell phones, pagers, and other communication devices in a manner that disturbs others Cell phone and pager audible ringers must be turned off.
- Bringing in garbage, articles with a foul odor, or articles which, alone or in their aggregate, impede the use of the library by other users
- Using wheeled devices in Library property or on Library grounds, except in designated areas, including skateboarding, roller-skating, bicycling, scooters, and shopping carts (exceptions i.e. wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers)
- Concealing library materials for the exclusive use of an individual or group
- Refusal to abide by library regulations regarding the return of materials and payment of fines
Library Response to Violations of Behavior Policy
Any person who violates the behavior policy will be handled in a professional and courteous manner by staff, but the degree of the violation will determine the response. Staff is instructed to call 9-1-1 immediately in response to any behavior that is deemed dangerous. Staff will call the police for any behavior that is in violation of federal, state or local ordinances. Staff will call the police if a person or group of persons is asked to leave the library and they refuse to leave and/or become difficult with the staff member. For most other inappropriate behavior, one warning will be given. Continued violations will result in patron being asked to leave the library for the day. A serious violation or repeated violations, or a violation where the police are called, may result in longer exclusions from the library up to permanent banning from the library. An individual who is banned from the library may be criminally charged with trespassing if they return to library property during the term of the ban. Any individual who is banned and whose library privileges have been revoked, may request to have the decision reviewed by the Library Director after the suspension period has ended.
Approved June 23, 2014 by the Augusta-Richmond County Library Board of Trustees