Code of Conduct

Policy
Created August 2004
Approved by the Library Board on September 29, 2004
Latest revision by the Library Board on January 24, 2019

I. Introduction
II. Charge of the Library Staff
III. Code of Conduct Guidelines for Library Customers
IV. Guidelines for Handling Code of Conduct Violations
V. Theft of Library Materials
 

I. Introduction

A. Under the provisions of Chapter 43 of the Wisconsin State Statutes, specifically section 43.52 (1), the Mount Horeb Public Library Board of Trustees may enact regulations that serve to insure the safety of all Library staff and customers, protect the usefulness of the materials collection, and maintain order in the Library.

B. The Board of Trustees and library staff are committed to providing an atmosphere where people of all ages may come to read, browse, do research, study, or participate in leisure activities such as book discussion groups, playing computer or board games, and engaging in other Library sponsored activities. This policy does not prohibit quiet conversation between customers and/or staff members or conversations required to carry on Library programs or business. It is designed to preserve a reasonably quiet atmosphere where Library customers may use Library services and materials with limited disturbance.

C. Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to, any activity that disturbs others, interferes with Library operations, or damages the building or its furnishings.

D. This policy has been established for all customers. If a customer is not responsive to the needs of other Library users or disregards the policies protecting customers, staff, or Library property, the customer will be asked to leave the Library.

E. For the purpose of this policy:

  • Ban means that the individual "banned" may not enter the Mount Horeb Public Library while the "ban" is in effect, except for the sole purpose of voting if the library is the banned party's polling place. If the banned individual enters the Mount Horeb Public Library, staff will be advised to call the police and the individual may be arrested for trespassing.
  • Suspension means that an individual may lose privileges to some or all aspects of Library service (Internet, checkout of materials, etc.) for a certain period of time.

II. Charge of the Library Staff

The staff is obligated to enforce the Code of Conduct guidelines. In the event of a violation of the code of conduct, the patron will be asked to discontinue any violations or leave the Library for the rest of the day.  This decision is left to the discretion of the Library Director and his/her designee.

III. Code of Conduct Guidelines for Library Customers

To guarantee full access to Library services, Library customers will be responsible for following the guidelines below:  The behavior rules listed in this document shall apply to all patrons on Library property as well as attending outreach events provided by the Library.

A. Behavior that is disruptive to Library patrons or staff will not be permitted.  This includes, but is not limited to, excessive noise, harassment, drunkenness, running or horseplay.

B. For your safety, the Mount Horeb Public Library prohibits, on Library premises, all firearms, explosives, and any item deemed to be a dangerous weapon in Wisconsin Statue sec 939.22(10).

C. Be considerate of other Library customers and Library staff:

  • Keep noise to a minimum.
  • Avoid rude behavior. Uttering profane, obscene, or offensive language is grounds for removal from the Library.
  • Customers are not welcome behind service counters, in staff work areas, or the staff break-room unless authorized and supervised by the Library staff; this infringement of staff space interferes with Library operations.

D. Ensure your cell/mobile phone is in silent mode or switched off when you enter the Library.  If you receive a call, please take the call to the foyer.

E. Smoking and/or the use of e-cigarettes are prohibited in the Library and within 20 feet of the building. (The foyer is considered the inside of the building.)

F. Please do not eat in the Library unless the food is distributed as part of a Library sponsored program.

G. Customers may bring a beverage into the Library in a securely covered beverage container; however, they may not take any beverages near the computers.

H. For your health and safety patrons are expected to be fully clothed, including footwear.

I. The perception of scents and fragrances is very subjective. Library staff members cannot be responsible for monitoring scents and fragrances, particularly with the public.

J. Service animals are welcome; however, all other pets are prohibited from the Library unless part of a Library sponsored program.

K. Theft of, or mutilating, defacing, underlining, highlighting, removing pages or portions, or otherwise damaging library materials is not respectful of the community's property and will not be tolerated.

L. Vandalizing or defacing the Library building, furniture, or equipment will not be tolerated.

M. Please secure your bike in the bike rack located near the front of the building.

N. Customers are responsible for their personal items while in the Library. The Library is not responsible for lost/stolen items.

O. Sleeping in the library for an extended period of time (more than 15 minutes) is not encouraged. Customers sleeping in the Library may be awakened by Library staff if there is concern for the customer's health or well-being, or if the customer's sleep is disturbing others.

P. Only persons on library business will be allowed to solicit for the sale of goods and services in the library. Salespersons may meet with authorized library personnel only. Exceptions may be made for Library sponsored activities and organizations affiliated with the Library.

Q. Surveying of groups or individuals may only be done in conjunction with output measures or other similar surveys designed to quantify Library use or satisfaction with Library services.

R. Please respect the guidelines for computer usage. Please refer to our Computer, Internet, and Gaming Use Policy for more information.

S. Parents (guardians or designated caregivers) should remain within sight and sound of children ages 7 and under.  For more information, please review the Library's Children in the Library Policy for more information.

IV.  Guidelines for Handling Code of Conduct Violations

A. In the event of a violation of the Code of Conduct, the patron will be asked to discontinue any violations or leave the Library for the rest of the day.  This decision is left to the discretion of the Library Director and his/her designee.

B. Patrons whose behavior is illegal face immediate removal from the Library.  Library staff will use their discretion in dealing with the patron, which includes the possibility of notifying the Mount Horeb Police.

C. In the event of continued violations of the Code of Conduct, the offending patron will be banned from the Library for up to 3 months or more.
     * Bans will be determined by the Library Director.
     * In severe cases, The Library Director may issue a permanent ban of a patron.

D. In the event that a patron is banned for up to 3 months or more, the patron shall be advised in writing of the ban and the reason(s) for such action.  The offending person shall also be informed that the ban may be appealed at the next regularly scheduled Library Board meeting.

E. In the event that a patron is permanently banned, the patron shall be advised in writing of the ban and the reason(s) for such action. The offending person shall also be informed that after 1 year, the patron may petition and appeal to the Library Board to reinstate their privileges.

F. If a banned patron enters the Mount Horeb Public Library before the return date listed in the letter, staff will be advised to call the police and the individual may be arrested for trespassing.

G. The Library Director, acting on behalf of the Board of Trustees, may suspend the Library privileges of any individual who willfully violates Library regulations when the severity or continued reoccurrence warrants such action. [Wisconsin State Statutes 43.52(2).] The Library Director will inform the Library Board of any such action taken.

H. Parents, legal guardian, or caregivers of children under the age of 18 will receive a letter notifying them of the conduct violation and the length of suspension of service or removal from the Library property if suspension of Library services exceeds 24 hours.

I. A brief written report of any incident involving theft, vandalism, illegal activity, or major disruptive behavior will be filed with the Director as soon as possible after its occurrence.

V. Theft of Library Materials

A. According to section 943.61 (3) of the Wisconsin State Statutes, the concealment of library material beyond the circulation desk is evidence of intent to deprive the library of possession of the material. (Materials may not be taken into the foyer unless they are checked out.) The discovery of library material which has not been checked out in accordance with established library procedures and which is concealed upon the person or among the belongings of the person or concealed by a person upon the person or belongings of another is theft.

B. According to section 943.61 (4) of the Wisconsin State Statutes, an employee of the library who has probable cause for believing that a person has committed a theft in his or her presence may detain the person in a reasonable manner for a reasonable length of time in order to turn the person over to the police, or to the person's parent or guardian in the case of a minor.

C. The detained person shall be promptly informed of the purpose for the detention, but shall not be interrogated or searched against his or her will before the arrival of the police, who may conduct a lawful interrogation of the accused person.

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