Behavior Policy

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Purpose:
The Haverford Township Free Library has established this Behavior Policy to ensure that library facilities are safe, welcoming and provide equitable access to materials and services for all library users. Appropriate library conduct includes activities such as reading, studying, properly using library materials or computers and other similar conduct normally associated with a public library.

Overview and Definitions:
No individual may engage in inappropriate conduct on the premises of the Haverford Township Free Library, or when using library facilities, or when participating in library programs. Library customers shall be engaged in normal activities associated with the use of a public library while in the building. Library customers not engaged in reading, studying, using library materials or computers or involved in library programming may be asked to leave the building.

Inappropriate conduct includes any individual or group activity which is unreasonably disturbing to other individuals lawfully using library facilities, materials and/or premises or is otherwise inconsistent with activities such as reading, studying, properly using library materials and other similar conduct normally associated with a public library.
When possible, staff will first educate individuals about the applicable policies before taking stronger measures to enforce those policies.
Inappropriate Behavior, shall include, without limitation by enumeration, the following conduct or behaviors:

  • Committing or attempting to commit any activity that would constitute a crime or a violation of Township ordinances.
  • Possessing, selling, distributing, displaying or using any dangerous weapon as that term is defined in (Township Ordinance, Chapter 83) upon 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 or verbally intimidating or assault behavior. Making any threats of violence or unlawful activities. The Library has a policy of zero tolerance for threats and acts of violence.
  • Possessing, selling, distributing, consuming or being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage 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
  • Engaging in any behavior that a reasonable person would find to be disruptive, harassing, or threatening in nature to library users or staff including 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 7 unattended on Library premises.
  • When an unattended or under-attended child is disruptive, appears to be a danger to herself or himself, appears to be threatened by others, appears to be ill or upset, or has not been met by a parent or caregiver at closing, library staff will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of the child. In the event that the parent or guardian cannot be located, staff will contact the Haverford Township Police Department. In the event of an emergency, staff will call 911.
  • 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 either within the building or exterior of the library property.
  • Eating except during programs or items sold within the library premises.
  • Drinking from open containers without lids or tops. All consumables to be kept away from library computer work stations.
  • Sleeping, napping or dozing in or on library premises.
  • Engaging in excessive or disruptive conversations, talking loudly, using personal electronic equipment at such a volume or making ongoing noise that is unreasonably disturbing to other library users.
  • Running, fighting, shoving, or any other roughhousing.
  • Absence of shirt, shoes, or lower body clothing within the library.
  • Use of the public bathrooms for bathing, shaving, washing clothes or changing clothes; taking of library materials into rest rooms prohibited.
  • 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 standing on furniture or placing feet on the furniture.
  • Seating may not be saved or held for future use.
  • Sports equipment may not be brought into the library (staff may offer to stow equipment but are not required to do so).
  • 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, furniture, equipment or facilities including damaging of walls, carpets, graffiti.
  • Blocking of aisles with personal items such as an excessive number of bags 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 customers 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.
  • Engaging in any other activities that are inconsistent with those activities normally associated with the use of public library facilities that include reading, studying, and using library materials.
  • 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.

Addendum Concerning the Behavior and Supervision of Adults With Special Custodial Needs in the Library
Caregivers are responsible for their charges while in the library. Library employees cannot function as caregivers. The Library is not equipped—and it is not the Library’s role—to provide long-or short-term adult supervision. The Library assumes neither responsibility nor liability for the actions, care, supervision or safety of adults with special needs. If an individual is left in the library without a caregiver, library staff will attempt to contact a family member. In the event that a family member cannot be located, staff will contact the Haverford Township Police Department.

Addendum Concerning the Behavior and Supervision of Minors and Children’s Areas of the Library
The Haverford Township Free Library welcomes children. Parents/caregivers are responsible for their child’s safety and behavior while in the Library whether the parent/caregiver is present or not. Library employees cannot function as caregivers, babysitters or act in a parental role. The Library is not equipped—and it is not the Library’s role—to provide long-or short-term childcare. The Library assumes neither responsibility nor liability for the actions, care, supervision or safety of minors.

For the safety and comfort of children, a responsible adult or an older responsible individual must accompany children under age seven when they are using the Library. This responsible individual must supervise, guide and control the behavior of their charge or charges at all times.
When a child is unattended or under-attended/ignored and

  • the behavior of the child is disruptive or inappropriate (or)
  • the child appears to be a danger to herself or himself or others (or)
  • the child appears to be threatened by others (or)
  • the child appears to be ill or upset (or)
  • the child has not been met by a parent or caregiver at closing.

Library staff will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of the child. In the event that the parent or guardian cannot be located, staff will contact the Haverford Township Police Department

Inappropriate Use of Children’s Spaces/Youth Services: Adults are permitted in children’s areas of the library or in the Youth Services Department at the Library when accompanied by a child or if the adult is actively reading, studying and using library materials from the children’s area collections. Computers in the Children’s department are reserved for children or those accompanying a child. Any adult not in compliance with this provision will be asked to use other areas of the library. If the individual does not comply with staff direction or repeatedly violates this policy, the individual may be banned from the Library.

Staff Response to Behavior Policy Infractions:
Violation of these rules is misconduct that can result in expulsion from the library and forfeiture of library privileges. Minor violations of these rules will first result in library staff attempting to educate or warn individuals about the policies before enforcing such policies. If an individual continues to violate these policies, staff may order them to leave for the day. However, any conduct that threatens the life or safety of any person or that is damaging to library property, equipment or facilities may result in immediate expulsion from the library premises. Library staff is authorized to contact the Haverford Township Police Department to respond to such situations. Repeat misconduct or severe offenses (even if a single isolated event) may result in individuals being banned from the library from a week to a year. Staff will follow established procedures. Staff will call the police for severe or illegal behavior or when an individual refuses to leave when told by staff to do so.

Approved: 10/22/09

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