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Patron Policy

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Patron Code of Conduct

PURPOSE: 

            Webster Parish Libraries has established this Patron Code of Conduct to ensure that library facilities are safe, welcoming and provide equitable access to materials and services for all library patrons. Appropriate library conduct includes, without limitation, activities such as reading, studying, properly using library materials or computers and other similar conduct normally associated with a public library. This Patron Code of Conduct shall apply to all buildings, interior and exterior, and all grounds controlled and operated by Webster Parish Libraries (such buildings and grounds are hereafter referred to as the “Library Premises") and to all persons entering in or on the Library Premises.

 

When the problem patron is a minor, the parent or legal guardian should be notified and asked to come to collect the patron.

 

The library staff is not to be subjected to abuse or placed in danger in the workplace from any person coming into the building with disruptive intentions, or from persons whose actions are no longer under their own control.

 

All library patrons and staff will be protected from dangerous or aggressive persons while the patrons are in the confines of the library or on library grounds.

 

Civil authorities will be summoned to remove dangerous and/or aggressive persons.

 

Listed below are the library’s rules for public behavior. The Webster Parish Libraries Board authorizes the Director or his/her designee to temporarily or permanently restrict or revoke the library privileges of any individual who violates this Patron Code of Conduct. Patrons who violate these rules may be removed from the Library Premises and excluded from all Library Premises for a period of time based on the severity of the misconduct. Authorized library staff or on/off-duty police officers may intervene to stop prohibited activities and conduct. Failure to comply with these rules may result in withdrawal of a person’s permission to remain on the Library Premises and/or a loss of library privileges. A violation of law may also result in arrest and prosecution.

Persons who violate this Patron Code of Conduct may have their photograph or video captured by the Webster Parish Libraries staff.

 

OVERVIEW AND DEFINITIONS:

 

No individual may engage in inappropriate conduct on the Library Premises 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 on Library Premises. Patrons shall not engage in prohibited conduct set forth in this Patron Code of Conduct.

 

Prohibited conduct includes, without limitation, any individual or group activity which is unreasonably disturbing to other patrons who are lawfully using library facilities, materials and/or the library resources.

When possible, staff will first educate individuals about the applicable policies before taking stronger measures to enforce those policies. Library staff is authorized to contact the Webster Parish Sheriff or a local police department to respond to unlawful conduct.

 

Any patron who is in disagreement with the action taken by Webster Parish Libraries staff may appeal the decision to the Director.  If dissatisfaction continues after addressing the Director, he or she may write a letter addressed to President, Webster Parish Library Board of Control, 521 East & West Street, Minden, LA 71055.  Mark as CONFIDENTIAL. This letter will be delivered, unopened, to the Webster Parish Libraries Board President.

 

INAPROPRIATE CONDUCT:

The following list of disruptive behavior is used for illustrative purposes and is not comprehensive.

  • Committing or attempting to commit any activity that would constitute a crime or a violation of federal, state or local law.

  • Selling, distributing, or using any dangerous weapon upon the Library Premises, or using or threatening the use of any other object in such a manner that it may be considered a weapon.

  • Engaging in any physically intimidating or assaultive behavior; making any threats of violence or unlawful activities toward library staff or other library patrons; using threatening, abusive or obscene language.

  • Possessing, selling, distributing, consuming or being under the influence of any intoxicating beverage or controlled substance.

  • Trespassing by entering or remaining on the Library Premises after having been notified by an authorized individual not to do so, and entering or remaining on the Library Premises during the time in which an individual’s library privileges have been suspended.

  • Engaging in any behavior that a reasonable person would find to be disruptive, harassing, or threatening in nature to library patrons or staff including, without limitation, stalking, prolonged staring at, 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.

  • Leaving children under the age of eight (8) unattended on the Library Premises without being accompanied by someone age fourteen (14), or older. Unaccompanied children will be considered abandoned and reported to law enforcement.

  • Engaging in any sexual contact, activities or conduct including without limitation the physical manipulation or touching of a person’s sex organs through a person’s clothing in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification.

  • Selling, soliciting, surveying, distributing written materials, panhandling or canvassing for any political, charitable or religious purposes inside a library building or on the Library Premises without prior authorization of the Library Director or designee.

  • Smoking or other use of tobacco products including electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco anywhere on the Library Premises.

  • Eating while using library computers or in spaces designated as free from food.

  • Engaging in conduct that disrupts or interferes with the normal operation of the library, or unreasonably disturbs library staff or patrons, including but not limited to, talking loudly, arguing, yelling, cursing.

  • Using personal electronic equipment including, but not limited to, stereos, cellular telephones, portable computers and tablets at such a volume or making ongoing noise that is unreasonably disturbing to other library patrons

  • Conduct that involves the use of abusive or threatening language or gestures

  • Emitting strong pervasive odors, including odors caused by perfume or cologne that unreasonably interferes with library user or staff comfort.

  • Dressing inappropriately for a public building including attire that does not sufficiently cover those parts of the body considered private; failing to wear shoes or a shirt inside a library building.

  • Using library materials, equipment, furniture, or buildings in a manner inconsistent with the customary use thereof; or in a destructive, abusive or potentially damaging manner; or in a manner likely to cause personal injury to themselves or others.

  • Interfering with the safe and free passage of library staff or patrons on the Library Premises, including without limitation the placement of objects in hallways, aisles, flooring or elsewhere in a manner that impedes the free passage of such persons inside the Library Premises.

  • Leaving an animal tethered and unattended on the Library Premises.

  • All animals on Library Premises must be under the control of its handler and leashed unless an individual’s disability prevents using these devices, or these devices interfere with a service animal's safe, effective performance of tasks. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. No disruptive behavior to patrons or staff is allowed.

  • Bringing bicycles or other similar devices inside library buildings, including, but not limited to, vestibules or covered doorways.

  • Impeding access to the Library Premises or otherwise interfering with the free passage of library staff or customers in or on Library Premises, including without limitation placing objects such as bicycles, skateboards, backpacks or other items in a manner that interferes with free passage of patrons.

  • Entering nonpublic areas of the Library Premises without permission.

  • Using library restrooms or facilities improperly for purposes such as bathing, shaving, washing hair or changing clothes.

  • Taking any library materials into restrooms.

  • Bringing fireworks or other dangerous substances on the Library Premises

  • Engaging in any other activities that are inconsistent with those activities normally associated with the use of public library facilities that include without limitation reading, studying, and using library materials or computers or attending programs.

  • Violating the libraries rules for acceptable use of the internet and library public computers. A user accepts these rules before accessing the Internet through a library computer.

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