Rules of Conduct for Library Users Policy

Rules of Conduct for Library Users Policy

The Board of Library Trustees has prescribed these Rules of Conduct for the purpose of assuring that (i) all library patrons have a fair and equitable opportunity to the quiet use and enjoyment of the Library’s services, materials and facilities without being subjected to unreasonable interference or disturbance by others; (ii) all library patrons enjoy a safe and secure facility in which to use the library’s materials and services; (iii) the library’s materials are protected from theft and damage; and (iv) all library employees enjoy a safe and secure workplace. Illinois Library Law authorizes the Board of Library Trustees “to exclude from the use of the library any person who willfully violates the rules prescribed by the board.” 

The general Rules of Conduct in the library are as follows: 

1.  Any behavior that is disruptive or hinders the use of the library or endangers public safety is prohibited on library property. This includes, but is not limited to, loud or boisterous behavior, verbal or physical harassment, drunkenness, running, fighting, and congregating in large groups.

2.  Seating at library tables, carrels, and chairs is limited to the number of persons for which the furniture was designed.

3.  Improper acts which are subject to prosecution under any criminal or civil codes are prohibited, including, but not limited to, illicit manufacture, use, possession, or distribution of controlled substances, look-alike drugs, drug paraphernalia, and the manufacture, use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages, marijuana, and its derivatives on library property. Smoking, the use of electronic cigarettes, or the use of any tobacco product is not permitted in the building and/or within 15 feet of the building.

4.  Food and drink are allowed in the library, with the following exceptions: Food should not be eaten while  using a library computer.  In the event that equipment or materials are being damaged because of food or drink, or if the food or drink being consumed is disturbing other patrons because it is smelly or messy, staff will ask the patron to take their food or drink out of the library. Patrons are expected to clean up after themselves and to immediately report spills to staff. Group meals (e.g. pizza parties) and food delivery are not allowed in public areas except for pre-arranged and approved meetings in public meeting rooms.

5.  Sleeping or the appearance of sleeping is not permitted anywhere on library property.

6.  Patrons must be fully clothed in the library and on library property.

7.  Animals shall not be left unattended on library property and are not permitted on the premises of any library facility, except for those used to aid persons with disabilities or for library activities.

8.  Selling or soliciting products, services, or donations are not permitted on library property unless authorized by the Library Director or designee.

9.  Taking surveys, asking people to sign petitions, distributing leaflets, and other similar activities are not permitted on library property except those conducted by the Normal Public Library.

10.  Parents/legal guardians or caregivers age 16 or older – not library staff - are responsible for the behavior and safety of children under their supervision while they are on library property. Children under the age of 8 must physically remain with – and be actively supervised by – a parent or other responsible caregiver age 16 or older at all times while on library property. Children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old shall not remain at the library unsupervised for more than one hour. Library sponsored activities may have modified supervision requirements, as determined by library staff. If children are unattended on library property at the time of closing, the Normal Police Department  will be notified immediately.

11.  The library is not responsible for personal belongings. Library users may not leave personal belongings in the library when they leave the building. Unattended personal belongings may be opened by library staff in attempt to identify and contact the owner. The library is not responsible for any loss of users’ personal belongings, through theft or otherwise.

12.  Bags or other personal belongings must be no larger than what fits underneath one library chair.

13.  No offensive odor detectable from 4 feet or more is permitted.

14.  The violation of federal or state laws or local ordinances is not permitted on library property.  Theft, vandalism, or mutilation of library material or property are criminal offenses that shall be prosecuted. In this regard, the library reserves the right to inspect any and all library users‘ personal belongings, including, but not limited to, bags, purses, briefcases and backpacks.

15.  Polite cell phone use is permitted. Extended cell phone conversations should occur at the Mulberry Street entrance.

16.  The children’s area of the library is reserved for children, their parents, or responsible caregivers age sixteen or older, and adults interested in children’s literature. Adults who are not using the children’s department collection or services will not be allowed to linger in the department. Library staff are authorized and instructed to query adults not accompanied by children concerning their need for children’s department collection or services, and to ask adults in the children’s area to move to other reading areas in the adult department after making their selections from the children’s collection. All restrooms on the children's floor are reserved for children and their parents or responsible caregivers accompanying them.

17.  The teen area is intended for middle school and high school students, for adults  accompanying teens in their charge, or for others using the teen collection. Adults who are not accompanying teens in their charge or who are not using the teen collection will not be allowed to linger in the teen area. Library staff are authorized and instructed to ask adults in the teen area to move to other reading areas in the adult department after making their selections from the teen collection.

18.  Weapons such as explosives, firearms, knives, look-alike weapons, or any other objects that can reasonably be considered as weapons, are not permitted on library property or at any library-related events.

19.  The library reserves the right to impose time limits upon continuous use of library resources.

20.  Bathing, shaving and laundering clothes are not permitted in the library.

21.  Library materials are not allowed in the restrooms.

22.  Dependent individuals of any age must be accompanied by a responsible caregiver at all times. The Normal Police Department will be notified immediately if a dependent individual of any age is not accompanied by a responsible caregiver.

23.  Patrons are expected to follow the directions of library staff; this includes, but is not limited to, taking shelter in an emergency when directed by staff.

24.  Depending upon the offense and the particular circumstances of the case, violators of the foregoing rules may be barred from use of the library, either temporarily or permanently. Staff are authorized to ask disruptive patrons to leave the library and ban them for a 24-hour period.

In addition to barring persons, temporarily or permanently, from use of the library for violations of the foregoing rules, the library may, in its sole discretion, bring criminal charges against any persons suspected of criminal acts toward library staff or patrons, including theft or vandalism of library property or materials or of any violations on library property of federal, state or local laws and ordinances. 

Persons who refuse to comply with the Rules of Conduct may lose their library privileges. The library reserves the right to remove any person whose behavior is disruptive, is inappropriate for a library environment, or interferes with the use of the library by others. Any behavior that does not support a welcoming environment and/or violates the Rules of Conduct may result in cost-recovery charges, suspension of library privileges, exclusion from the library and prosecution. 

Amended by the Board of Trustees of Normal Public Library:  August 31, 2011; December 18, 2013; January 28, 2015 

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