Code of Conduct

Shelby County Libraries

The Board of Library Trustees is responsible for determining the rules for public behavior in the library necessary:

  • to protect the rights of individuals to use library facilities, materials, and services.
  • to protect the rights of library employees to conduct library business without interference.
  • to ensure the use of buildings, materials, and services by the greatest number of individuals.
  • to ensure the safety of library patrons and employees.

The Board authorizes the Director or their designees to revoke library privileges of any individual who behaves contrary to these rules.  The Board also authorizes the Director to file criminal charges against individuals who continually transgress these rules.

The rules for public behavior are listed below.  Security staff and other employees are authorized to bring to an individual’s attention any act or omission which violates these rules and detracts from the decorum of the library.  Such an individual will be asked to comply with the rules.  If such change is not evident the individual will be asked to leave library property.  If the individual does not comply, police may be called for assistance.

Suspension of library privileges for a determinate or indeterminate period of time may occur if a patron is found to have engaged in unacceptable behavior on library property.

Appeal of the suspension may be made in writing to the Board of Trustees.  The Board will notify the patron or guardian of the time and date of a hearing on the appeal of the suspension.

Adult and minor patrons may be prosecuted under Title 29 of the Ohio Revised Code for acts against other patrons, Library personnel, or Library property.  Violators may be prosecuted for a fourth degree misdemeanor under Ohio Revised Code 2911.21.

An Incident Report must be completed by any staff member involved with patrons who have been asked to leave the building.

Any conduct that hinders use of the Library or library materials is prohibited.  The following behaviors and actions are examples of conduct not allowed on Library property:

Conduct which disturbs others or interferes with any person’s comfort or safety

  • Being disruptive, disorderly, using profanity, verbally or physically threatening or harassing patrons or staff
  • Using cell phones or playing audio equipment in a loud or disturbing manner
  • Running or walking in a manner that disturbs others
  • Viewing sexually explicit images on the Internet or violating the Library’s Internet Acceptable Use Policy
  • Sleeping
  • Panhandling or soliciting for sales or charity
  • Petitioning or distributing non-Library approved materials
  • Congregating on Library premises in a manner which obstructs access or interferes with use of Library facilities or services or where such activity may result in an unsafe or intimidating environment

Conduct towards Library property and facilities

  • Stealing, destroying, defacing or abusing Library facilities or property
  • Eating or drinking in restricted areas or in ways that may damage materials, furniture or equipment
  • Failure to dispose of trash properly

Conduct relating to personal property

  • Leaving packages, backpacks, luggage, or any other personal item unattended
  • Entering Library buildings with backpacks or luggage which measure more than 18”W x 18”H x 24”D

Conduct which violates local, state, and federal statutes

  • Possessing anything that is unsafe, including firearms or other weapons
  • Smoking, vaping or using tobacco products inside the building, on library property, or within twenty five feet of an entrance or operable window.
  • Being under the influence, consuming, or possessing alcohol or illegal substances
  • Violating any local ordinance or state or federal statute on Library property

Conduct relating to health and hygiene

  • Showing signs of offensive hygiene issues, including body odor and infestation
  • Bathing or cleaning personal items
  • Entering Library premises without shirt, shoes, or appropriate clothing
  • Bringing into the Library pets or animals other than certified service animals necessary for those with disabilities

Conduct relating to children

  • Leaving children eight years and under unattended
  • Attempting to solicit interaction with any minor by adults
  • Using spaces intended for youth by adults without children.

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