Rules of Behavior

Rules for Behavior and Conduct in the Library

Holmes County District Public Library

Adopted: August 17, 1993

Revised and updated: June 28, 2001; February 21, 2008

Pursuant to section 3375.40(H) of the Ohio Revised Code, the following RULES FOR BEHAVIOR AND CONDUCT IN THE LIBRARY were approved by the Holmes County District Public Library Board of Trustees on August 17, 1993 and revised and updated on June 28, 2001. The public library is a place where citizens come to select materials, do research, study, read, and attend programs and meetings. The purposes of the rules for behavior and conduct are to:

  • Protect the rights of individuals who are in the library to use library materials and/or services
  • Protect the rights of staff members to conduct library business without interference
  • Ensure the safety of library users and staff
  • Preserve library materials and facilities

Employees and volunteers are authorized to bring to an individual’s attention any act or omission that violates these rules and detracts from the decorum of the library. Employees and volunteers will enforce these rules courteously, but firmly.

Such an individual will be asked to change his/her behavior to conform to the rules. If such change is not evident or forthcoming that individual will be asked to leave the library building and library property. If the individual does not leave on his/her own, the police may be called for assistance.

Depending on the severity of the misbehavior, individuals who have been asked to leave the building and property may be barred from returning to the library for a specific amount of time. Individuals who have been barred may be asked to talk to the director or his/her designee before being readmitted. Juveniles may be asked to bring a parent or guardian to such a conference.

Any misconduct that hinders use of the library or library materials is prohibited.

Such misconduct might include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Leaving a child under age 6 unattended in the library.
  • Conversation that is disturbing to other individuals or employees, which may include the use of cell phones.
  • Loud or boisterous behavior.
  • Profanity or other abusive language toward other individuals or toward employees.
  • Abusing library furniture, equipment or materials
  • Running in a library building.
  • Harassing others, either verbally or through actions. Harassment may include initiating unwanted conversations with employees or other users, impeding access to the building, etc…
  • Fighting on library property.
  • Using tobacco in any form while inside a library building. State law further prohibits smoking on library property especially within 25 feet of windows and doors.
  • Possession, sale, or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances on library property.
  • Sleeping in a library building.
  • Carrying a weapon unless authorized by law. Anyone entering the library that is carrying a weapon and is authorized to do so must notify library staff immediately.
  • Buying or selling of any kind, or soliciting for personal gain or charitable purposes.
  • Using audio equipment at a level that can be heard by other individuals.
  • Skateboarding, roller-skating, roller-blading on library property.
  • Operating a bicycle recklessly on library property.
  • Interfering with another person’s use of the library or with the library personnel’s performance of their duties.
  • Distributing literature, taking surveys, or asking individuals or employees to sign petitions or similar activities.
  • Bringing animals other than guide dogs and the like into the library building.
  • Misuse of the restrooms, such as using it for a laundry facility.
  • Not wearing a shirt or shoes.
  • Using the emergency exits other than during an emergency.
  • Violation of Acceptable Use of Internet Workstations Policy.

The library reserved the right to limit the number of individuals who may sit together.

The library reserves the right to inspect all bags, purses, briefcases, packs, personal listening equipment, etc. for library materials.

Library privileges may be limited for the following reasons:

  • damaging library property
  • stealing library materials
  • threatening or physically harming employees, volunteers or patrons

The above rules are based on powers granted to a library board of trustees under Ohio Statutory and Case Law to operate a public building. They will be posted prominently in each library location.

An Unusual Incident Report must be completed by any staff member involved with patrons who, because of the severity of their infraction of the above rules, have been asked to leave the building.

Other library policies affecting patrons are listed below:

Food and Drink in the Library

Non-alcoholic beverages in covered containers may be consumed in the library. Caution should be taken around library materials and library computer equipment.

Packaged snack foods are permitted in the library.

Noise and Cell Phone Use

Talking – expect conversational noise

Cell phones – cell phones may be used in the library – set ringer to vibrate; use quiet conversational tone and no speakerphones may be used.

Electronic devices – use earphones – must be set so others cannot hear.

Library patron’s personal property

Library staff members or volunteers will not assume responsibility for any items that are not library property. These items include, but are not limited to: coats, purses, backpacks, personal listening or computer equipment or packages brought into the library by patrons. At no time will a staff member or volunteer agree to _hold or watch_ non-library property. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that staff members and volunteers utilize their time for library related purposes.

Patron usage of library telephones

The Central  library has a public telephone on the lower level. Adult patrons in need of a telephone in the branches or on the bookmobile will be directed to the nearest public telephone except in emergency situations. Children who need to contact a parent or other caregiver for the purpose of making arrangement to be picked up from the library may use library telephones at the discretion of library employees or volunteers. They will be limited to three minutes or less. The library telephones are not available for patron use under any other circumstances. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that library telephones are available for library related inquiries.

Child Safety Policy

The library welcomes children to use its facilities and services. However, responsibility for the behavior and well being of children using the library rests with the parent/guardian or assigned caregiver, not with library personnel. Children are expected to follow the same rules for behavior and conduct in the library as all other library users. Library staff members will not assume responsibility for the supervision of children in the library. Children under the age of six years may not be left unattended in any part of the building except during regularly scheduled library programs.  The happiness and safety of children of any age left unattended can be a serious concern. They may become frightened or anxious OR they may not be able to use the library independently and soon become bored or restless, disturbing other library patrons, employees or volunteers. If children under the age of six are found in the library without an adult or caregiver, the staff will attempt to locate the parent, guardian or caregiver. If the responsible party cannot be located within the library building or at home within one hour, of if the building is closing, the local police will be contacted to pick up the child. If a child between the ages of six and sixteen years is not picked up after the library is closed and the parent/guardian cannot be reached, a library staff member will wait with the child up to 30 minutes beyond closing time. After this period of time, the local police will be called. Library staff will not transport any child from the library to any other location.